Friday, May 27, 2016

Battle of Jutland Service Records Available to Search This Findmypast Friday, May 28, 2016


Over 38,000 records of Royal Marine and Royal Navy service men who fought at the Battle of Jutland are available to search this Findmypast Friday.

The publication marks the 100th anniversary of the largest naval engagement of the First World War and has been specially put together using various service records held by The National Archives and Naval and Military Press. British Royal Navy & Royal Marines, Battle Of Jutland 1916 Servicemen gathers together the names of those who served with the British Grand Fleet between 31 May and 1 June 1916 to form a single, easily searchable index of Jutland servicemen.

The records contain the names, ranks, service numbers, enrolment dates, dates of birth and birth places of Royal Marines and Royal Navy personnel. Scanned images of original documents also reveal if they were promoted, the names of the ships on which they served and their dates of service. Many will also include a home address, occupation prior to joining the service and a full physical description. Each record consists of a transcript and a scanned image of the original document.

The Battle of Jutland was a collision of the world’s two largest naval powers, fought in Skagerrak, a strait on the North Sea off of the coast of Denmark. It was the largest naval battle of the First World War, with 250 ships and about 100,000 men. Of the total number of ships involved, 25 vessels were sunk: 14 British and 11 German. The battle also resulted is a large loss of life: 6,094 on the side of the British and 2,551 on the side of the Germans died. It was a confusing and bloody battle that resulted in an indecisive victory.

Paul Nixon, military expert at Findmypast, says: “The Battle of Jutland was the defining naval engagement of the First World War – and one which cost the British Navy over 6000 dead sailors. Today, one hundred years on, it is both timely and fitting and that we should be able to re-trace their heroics through Findmypast’s naval records of the First World War.”

Other new additions released this week include:


Over half a million new articles have been added to our Irish Newspaper Collection. The latest updates include 4 brand new titles as well as additional articles in a further 7 existing ones. This brings the entire collection to 119 different national, regional and local Irish newspapers covering 248 years of history from 1708-1956. In all, you can now delve into over 20.9 million fully searchable articles.


Over 5,000 records have been added to our collection of Irish Poverty Relief Fund records. The records come from The National Archives at Kew and relate to the Irish Reproductive Loan Fund. Each record includes an individual transcript and an image of the original record. The majority cover the years 1824-1846 and provide unique information about your ancestors from before and during the Irish Famine. Many of the records are loan application forms, which include the name of the borrower and two names of guarantors, who were often close family members or neighbours. Other details recorded include occupation, notes of health, family circumstances and whether the borrower emigrated.


Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania, Bethany Children's Home Indexes contains just under 8,000 records that can help you trace your displaced ancestor who may have ended up in a children’s home due to parents’ deaths or their inability to care for the child.

Each record consists of a transcript and an image of the original index. The images may reveal which parent died, when the parent died, and their religious denomination. There may also be notes about the health and next of kin of the child, as well as information on whether the child was baptised and confirmed. Some entries will also include detailed notes about a child’s disposition and time at the home. Discharge notes can provide you with a wealth of information and direction on where to look for your ancestor next. The notes may include death dates (and cause of death), a relocation address or place, next of kin or new guardian information, or the names of the individuals who adopted your ancestor.

Don’t forget to regularly check our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to keep up to date with all the latest additions.

About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Mocavo, Genes Reunited, The British Newspaper Archive amongst others.

Announcing the Australian history & genealogy expo 2016

Announcing the Australian history & genealogy expo 2016


Announcing the Australian history & genealogy expo 2016
a major event for all history, genealogy & heritage enthusiasts

Adelaide, South Australia, 25 May 2016 - History and genealogy company, Unlock the Past, invites all history, heritage and genealogy enthusiasts to attend its 8th history & genealogy expo. It will be held in Adelaide over two days, Friday and Saturday 7–8 Oct 2016, at Immanuel College, Novar Gardens SA. The 2016 expo is the first ever national expo in Australia. It will appeal to anyone interested in family, local and social history and heritage in South Australia especially, but to all Australians.

It is a unique opportunity to see many societies, libraries and commercial product and service suppliers in one place and to learn from the presentations offered. The exhibition will feature about 70 exhibitors from several states covering a wide range of history, heritage and genealogy interests. Hear 30 expert presenters from five states and New Zealand. The expo is also an opportunity to mingle and network with other likeminded attendees and people who have been working in the industry for many years.

We are fortunate to have two eminent historians to head our extensive program of presentations. Professor Philip Payton is a leading international authority on Cornish history, the Cornish in Australia, Cornish emigration and Australia and the First World War. Dr Tom Lewis, OAM, is an Australian author, military historian, editor, and former naval officer. A further 30 others, many recognised nationally and internationally, will add to the program which will feature

  • 12 main theatre feature presentations
  • 25 classroom presentations
  • 50 short FREE mini-theatre product demos, tutorials, etc.

Other features include one-on-one consultations with experts, special offers from some exhibitors and over $2000 in prizes from expo exhibitors and sponsors.

Pre-booking will be encouraged with extra benefits, but expo entry and talk bookings (if not booked out) will be available on the day as well.

“We have organised seven previous expos and over 90 other events in all eight Australian states and territories and some overseas. This expo will be our largest event. With a large number and variety of exhibitors and a wide ranging program of presentations by some of the leading presenters in the history, genealogy and heritage fields in Australia and New Zealand, it should be something special for all Australians with history, genealogy and heritage interests” – Alan Phillips, Unlock the Past

“Attending family history expos is an excellent way to hear fantastic speakers in the one venue plus visit and talk with a range of vendors, purchase books and other genealogy resources as well as meet other family history enthusiasts or catch up with old friends. A two day event makes it just like a conference and worth any travel and accommodation if you don't live in Adelaide. Who can resist a one stop genealogy experience? – Shauna Hicks, historian, genealogist, speaker and author – and impetus for the launch of Unlock the Past in 2009

For more information, including speakers, exhibitors, program and online bookings visit the expo website: http://www.unlockthepast.com.au/AustralianExpo2016

Monday, May 23, 2016

Genealogy Jamboree 2016 Live Streaming Announced

Registration is now open for FREE live streaming of the 47th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree and the pre-event Genetic Genealogy 2016 The Future of the Past: Genetic Genealogy 2016.

Sessions from the Genetic Genealogy 2016 conference are available on a pay-per-view basis on Thursday, June 2, beginning at 8:30am PDT.  

Subscribe in advance.
The cost is $20 per session.
The full day of six sessions can be purchased for only $99.
Handouts will be are available for each session for which a person registers.
Sessions may be viewed in real time, or at your convenience through July 5.
The schedule and other details can be found here.

FREE live streaming of sessions of the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree is available thanks to Jamboree's Diamond Sponsor, Ancestry on Monday, June 3 through Sunday, June 5.

Subscribe in advance.
Sessions will be streamed beginning 1pm PDT on Friday and ending 3:30pm on Sunday.
Handouts will be available for all free live-streamed sessions.
Streamed sessions will be available for viewing through July 5.

The schedule and other details can be found here.

Findmypast Challenges Family Historians to “Find the Ancestors They’ve Never Met in Their Tree” Challenge


  • From 23rd May until 30th May 2016 all 1.8 billion records hinted against in Findmypast trees will be completely free
  • This includes over 116 million United States Marriages, over 10 million Irish Catholic parish registers, and 570 million UK BMDs, the largest collection available online including over 78 million exclusive parish records you won’t find anywhere else
  • Findmypast challenges you to find at least one new ancestor through an FMP family tree
  • Family historians will be supported with expert insights, help videos, how to guides and a dedicated “tree building” webinar at 11am EDT on Wednesday 25th May.

Salt Lake City: 23 May 2016.
Time: 7am MT, 9am EST, 2pm BST

Is your family history leaving you stumped? Findmypast is here to help with their “Tree Challenge”, a seven day event to encourage people to branch out and discover ancestors they’ve never met. From 04:00 EDT, 23rd May until 17:59 EDT, 30th May 2016, all hints on Findmypast Family trees and the 1.8 billion records they cover will be completely free to view and explore.

Findmypast is challenging family historians around the world to discover at least one new ancestor by building their family tree on the site, or uploading an existing GedCom file. Researchers will be provided with daily getting started guides, expert insights, useful how to videos and a special webinar hosted by expert genealogist, Debra Chatfield, dedicated to helping you get the most out of your Findmypast family tree.

#TreeChallenge week will have something for everyone, from seasoned experts to complete beginners. Keeping a tree on Findmypast is the first step towards exploring our archive of more than 8 billion records from around the world, more than 1 billion of which aren’t available anywhere else online. That’s over 1 billion family connections you won’t find anywhere else, so explore our collections today to ensure you don’t miss out.

Findmypast trees currently provide matches from birth, baptism, marriage, death, burial and census records across the UK, US, Ireland, and Australia. This includes Findmypast’s vast collections of more than 116 million United States marriages and over 10 million Irish Catholic baptisms, marriages and burials. Findmypast’s entire collection of 570 million UK BMDs - the largest available online - will also be free for the duration of #TreeChallenge, including over 78 million exclusive parish records you won’t find anywhere else. All UK and Irish parish records are hinted against.

Uploading a tree to Findmypast is quick, easy and secure. We will never share your tree or data with anyone else. As you add information, Findmypast does all the hard work for you by sifting through millions of records to instantly identify potential matches. Once potential matches have been made, you can quickly and easily review possible leads before adding the relevant information to your tree.
To encourage you to make the most of this feature, we are running a special tree themed competition. Share any discoveries you make on your tree via social media with the hashtag - #TreeChallenge and you could be in with the chance of winning an expert bundle worth $1000. This includes a 64 GB Ipad mini4, a three TB hard drive and a 12 month subscription to Family Tree magazine. We will also be giving away a 12 month world sub on our social media channels daily. You can find out more here.

Hinting allows you uncover records for multiple ancestors at once with virtually zero effort. The larger your tree, the more potential matches you’ll be presented with so it’s well worth your while to add as many ancestors as possible.

As we release new records, our hinting system will continue to grow, providing you with even more opportunities to find unknown ancestors.

About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online family history. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Lives of the First World War, The British Newspaper Archive and Genes Reunited, amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over eight billion family history records, ranging from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and conducting detailed historical research.

In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, the company has digitized records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. Findmypast, in association with The National Archives, recently launched the 1939 Register, a record of 41 million lives on the eve of World War II.

Friday, May 20, 2016

1.4 Million Westminster Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday 20 May 2016


This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of more than 1.4 million historic records held by the City of Westminster Archives Centre. The release forms the final phase of Findmypast’s Westminster Collection, rich archive of more than 15 million records including bastardy papers, workhouse records, militia records, wills and probate records, constables’ records, census fragments and more.

Consisting of parish baptisms, banns, marriages and burials, today’s release includes fully searchable transcripts and beautifully scanned images of original handwritten registers from more than 50 historic Westminster churches including St Martin-in-the-Fields and St Paul's Covent Garden.

Spanning more than four centuries of the city’s history from 1538 to 1945, the records full of fascinating details of London life through the ages and will provide researchers from all over the world with the opportunity to uncover the stories of inhabitants from all walks of life.

Also available to search this week are new additions to our collection Kent, Wills and Probate records, over 13.5 million historic British newspaper archives and a Browse function for our Irish Electoral Registers. We have released over 15 million new records and newspaper articles including:


Over 1,000 new records have just been released in the third phase of our collection of Westminster Baptisms. The records will reveal your ancestor’s birth date, baptism date and parents’ names.


Over 272,000 new records have just been added to our collection of Westminster Banns. The records will reveal where and when your Westminster ancestors announced their intention to marry, when they were married and where they lived.


Over 409,000 new marriages covering more than 40 Westminster parishes are now available to search. The records will reveal when your ancestor was born, where they lived, where they were married and to whom.


Discover if your English ancestor was buried in Westminster with over 517,000 new records that reveal when they were born, when they died and where they were laid to rest.


Over 1,600 will abstracts that reveal your ancestor’s occupation, probate date and any other names included in the documents have been added to our Kent Wills & Probate Indexes. The collection consists of four indexes created from probate cases in the English county of Kent from 1328 to 1890. The original probate documents are held at the Kent History & Library Centre.


You can now browse through 26 volumes of British Library Electoral registers to discover your ancestors in an exact location between the census years.


A massive 13.5 million new articles have been added including 13 brand new titles and updates to a further 23 existing newspapers. New titles from across the UK have joined the collection including publications from Cheshire, Essex, Kent, Lancashire, Wiltshire, Yorkshire and several new additions from Scotland.

Don’t forget to regularly check our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to keep up to date with all the latest additions.

About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Mocavo, Genes Reunited, The British Newspaper Archive amongst others.

2017 International Germanic Genealogy Conference—July 28-29, 2017 Hosted in Minneapolis, Minnesota

2017 International Germanic Genealogy Conference—July 28-29, 2017 Hosted in Minneapolis, Minnesota

An exciting international genealogy conference that offers researchers new dimensions in German-American cooperation and information-sharing is scheduled for July 28-29, 2017, in Minneapolis, Minn.

Our society is part of the German-American Genealogical Partnership organizing this international conference, and you as a member are invited to participate.

This is a unique conference, organized through an international Partnership of societies across the United States and Europe. The 2017 conference “CONNECTIONS: International. Cultural. Personal” is hosted by our Minnesota-based Germanic Genealogy Society. It is a great opportunity for real progress in your genealogical research:
  • Make personal connections with people from other organizations both in the United States and in Germany.
  • Learn new insights directly from Germanic genealogy experts worldwide. Choose from more than 30 presentations over two full days.
  • Become part of the conference surname and locality database to match up with others attending, including visitors from Germany and other countries worldwide.
  • Use study rooms equipped with computers and experts there to help you, including help with German script, language, and online research.
  • Take advantage of opportunities for impromptu gatherings by region or special interest.
  • Settle down in casual seating for 1-on-1 discussions with others you’ve connected with.
  • Explore the large field of major genealogy vendors.
And much more.

We hope you can join us in the German-American Genealogical Partnership’s first-ever international conference. It’s a wonderful and unique opportunity.

Save the date: July 28-29, 2017.

Conference location: Minneapolis, Minnesota — at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest Hotel and conference center (in Brooklyn Park, a Minneapolis suburb).

Early-bird registration begins in January 2017 at an early-bird discounted conference rate. There will also be an additional partner discount available through our society as a Partnership member. Beginning April 1, 2017, registration is at the regular conference rate. You will be able to register by mail or online. Watch for more information.

Lodging: A block of rooms will be reserved for conference attendees at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest Hotel, 7025 Northland Dr. N., Brooklyn Park, MN 55428. Hotel reservations will open by early August 2016. We will send out an announcement when the special phone number and Marriott reservation link for our conference are set up.

For more information: See the Germanic Genealogy Society website “Partnership” pages. Go to www.ggsmn.org, click “German Partnership” in the left menu.

We are looking forward to a great conference next year, with Germanic family researchers coming together from across the continents. We very much hope you will be able to join us.

Please watch for more information over the coming months. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us at Partnership@GGSMN.org.

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy 2017 (SLIG) Scholarship Opportunities

SALT LAKE INSTITUTE OF GENEALOGY SCHOLARSHIP Jimmy B. Parker Applications Now Being Accepted
Planning to attend the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) in January 2017? SLIG is pleased to announce that there are several scholarship opportunities available for SLIG students.


  • SLIG Jimmy B. Parker Scholarship – Deadline June 1, 2016. Named in honor of Jimmy B. Parker, whose legacy of service to the genealogical community covered more than 50 years, this full-tuition scholarship will be awarded to an individual who has “demonstrated commitment to genealogical excellence and community involvement.” The winner will be announced June 29th and their course of choice pre-reserved. See slig.ugagenealogy.org for full details.
  • ASG Scholar Award, American Society of Genealogists – Deadline August 31, 2016. This award provides “financial assistance for a developing scholar to attend one of five academic programs in American genealogy.” The award, which will be given in October, will apply toward a SLIG 2017 course of study. See http://fasg.org/awards/asg-scholar-award/ for additional details.
  • The Genealogy Fairy – Genealogy Grants Program – Awarded monthly. This program, created by Thomas MacEntee, gives “back to the genealogy community through a series of grants to organizations and individuals . . .” Awards up to $500 are given for qualifying projects, including genealogy continuing education programs. See http://www.geneabloggers.com/genealogy-fairy-genealogy-grants-program/ for additional details.
  • New SLIG Scholarship Fund – Deadline October 1, 2016. This fund, opened at SLIG 2016, was created to enhance scholarship opportunities for SLIG students. Donations were made by Maia’s Bookstore and SLIG 2016 students. This year’s award will provide partial tuition to a transitional genealogist attending an institute for the first time. Further details will be posted at slig.ugagenealogy.org.


SLIG will be held at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center hotel, January 22-27, 2017. Fourteen courses of in-depth study on a wide array of genealogical topics are being offered to help students “elevate [their] genealogical education to new heights”! Registration opens July 9, 2016 at 9:00 am MDT. With the exception of the winner of the Jimmy B. Parker scholarship, students with scholarships will need to be registered for the course of their choice, or select an available course at the time of the award, in order to apply scholarship funds toward the tuition.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Ancestry Acquires Adpay, Inc.


Memoriams.com bolsters Ancestry's offering to newspapers across the country

PROVO, Utah, May 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ancestry.com LLC, the largest provider of family history and personal DNA testing, announced today that its subsidiary has entered into a definitive Agreement and Plan of Merger to acquire Adpay, Inc., creators and operators of the Memoriams.com obituary input network.
"Memoriams.com is a great addition to the Ancestry family. Together with Newspapers.com, it enables us to help newspapers across the country strengthen and grow their business and presence in their communities," said Brian Hansen, SVP of Emerging Businesses at Ancestry.  "We are excited to have this incredible team onboard and look forward to helping them accelerate their growth."
Memoriams.com is the largest and fastest growing obituary platform, submitting to approximately 3,000 newspapers in the U.S. from a rapidly growing number of funeral homes.  Designed for funeral directors and newspaper publishers, Memoriams.com streamlines the obituary entry process to better support the needs of families, eliminate errors and reduce overhead for funeral homes, and increase revenue for newspapers. 
Memoriams.com is the only national network allowing funeral directors to submit and pay for obituaries in the local newspaper and out-of-area publications in a single order. Newspapers partnering with Memoriams are seeing a 30% increase in obituary revenues on average.  Memoriams is a partner of the Local Media Consortium, representing more than 1,600 daily newspapers, as well as many other newspapers across the US.  Adpay, Inc. will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ancestry.com Operations Inc., and will continue to be managed by its founder, Mike Heene.
"Since our first meeting, we've known that the Ancestry team, culture, and strategy is the perfect landing spot for us.  This is a great next step for our team, we are thrilled to be joining an organization that so clearly understands how digital platforms like ours can help newspapers grow their businesses," said Mike Heene, founder and CEO of Adpay, Inc.  "We are excited to grow these platforms together."
Memoriams.com joins Newspapers.com, which powers online archives, as the second newspaper-focused business in the Ancestry portfolio.
The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include a variety of factors, some of which are beyond the company's control. In particular, such risks and uncertainties include the consummation and anticipated timing of the transaction between Ancestry and Adpay, Inc., the expected benefits of the proposed transaction, and the effects of the proposed transaction on Ancestry, our subscriber base, our reach, our activities to enhance subscribers' experience, our business outlook, our leadership position and our opportunities and prospects for growth.  Information concerning these and additional factors that could cause events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements is contained under the caption "Risk Factors" in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2016, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 29, 2016, and in discussions in other of our Securities and Exchange Commission filings. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date and we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
About Ancestry
Ancestry, the leader in family history and consumer genomics, harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Ancestry has more than 2.3 million paying subscribers across its core Ancestry websites and more than 1.5 million DNA samples in the AncestryDNA database. Since 1996, more than 17 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 80 million family trees on the Ancestry flagship site and its affiliated international websites. Ancestry offers a suite of family history products including Archives, Fold3, Newspapers.com and AncestryDNA sold by its subsidiary, Ancestry.com DNA, LLC, and the AncestryHealth product, offered by its subsidiary AncestryHealth.com, LLC.

Monday, May 16, 2016

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, May 13, 2016


This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 1.5 million fascinating records from the South East of England including an eclectic collection of assorted documents covering many aspects of life in historic London. Also included in this week’s releases is a collection of war-time announcements from Britain’s oldest continuously printed newspaper, the London Gazette, and substantial updates to our collections of Greater London and Sussex burials records.


London Lives, Culture & Society 1680-1817 is a rich archive of more than 1.5 million records including criminal registers, apprentice records, coroner inquests, workhouse minutes, clerks’ papers and much more.

London Lives, funded by the Economic and Social Research, is a project that has digitised records from six archives. The project has scanned and digitised numerous record types including a range of primary sources, such as session papers, coroner’s inquests and ordinary’s accounts from Old Bailey. The records detail the lives of ordinary and common Londoners and describe a London beyond the popularised portrayals in media and literature.

Each record consist of a transcript listing the vital details contained within that document and a link to the image of the document provided by London Lives.


The London Gazette, supplements August 1914 -January 1920 contains more than 40,000 announcements of armed forces promotions, appointments of official public offices, Royal proclamations and much more. The supplements also allow you to read through full reports and despatches from key battles of the First World War.

The London Gazette was the official journal of the British government. It published statutory notes, royal proclamations and notices of insolvency or bankruptcy. It also reported official appointments in public offices such as the board of trade, board of agriculture, customers and trade, postmaster, factory department and much more. Additionally, the gazette was used to report military appointments, attachments, promotions, and awards. One was ‘gazetted’ when one was mentioned in The London Gazette for promotion.

The records are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). The information revealed about your ancestor will vary depending on the nature of the gazette entry.


Search over 6,000 new additions to our collection of Sussex burials to reveal your ancestor’s burial date, where they are buried and, in some cases, additional notes that will tell you about your ancestor’s marital status, occupation, residence or other relatives’ names. The new additions cover Halisham Cemetery in the Wealden district of East Sussex and consist of transcripts created by the Sussex Family History Group. The entire collection now contains the records of 499,907 burials from the registers of 237 parishes across the county and dates back as far as 1530.


Over 79,000 new records have been added to the Greater London Burials Index. The Index comprises over one million names from more than 226 parishes in the Greater London area and includes records from both Anglican and non-conformist parishes. It also includes the City of London Burials, Middlesex Memorial Inscriptions, Middlesex & City of London Burials Index and the South London Burials Index.

Don’t forget to regularly check our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to keep up to date with all the latest additions.

About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Mocavo, Genes Reunited, The British Newspaper Archive amongst others.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

MyHeritage Launches Global Pro Bono Initiative to Document the Family Histories of Remote Tribes


Tribal Quest team members visit indigenous communities to create their family trees and record their family stories online, preserving them for future generations

TEL AVIV, Israel & WINDHOEK, Namibia & PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea, May 10, 2016 MyHeritage, the fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, unveiled today a new initiative — Tribal Quest — to record the family histories of communities that lack access to modern technology.

MyHeritage has completed its first two Tribal Quest expeditions to Namibia and Papua New Guinea, meeting elders and families of the Himba people in Namibia, and different tribal groups in Papua New Guinea. Collaborating with local guides, MyHeritage teams spent three weeks in each destination, interviewing hundreds of community members, taking thousands of family photos, gathering information at cemeteries, and attending local community events and rituals. The teams then processed all the data they gathered, cross-correlated and tagged it, and organized the family history information of over 6,000 members of tribal communities in 55 richly-detailed family trees. This information is now saved online on MyHeritage, preserving cultural heritage and personal family histories of tribal people forever.

At one of the villages deep in the rural Kunene region of Namibia, Tribal Quest team members met Mbunguha, a village elder who recounted family stories going back many generations. Mbunguha’s parents told him that he had been born during a particularly intense drought, marking a tough period for his family. He now worries about the effects that recent repetitive droughts, and the resulting economic instability, will have on his community. With the traditional Himba way of life now in decline and globalization and urbanization on the rise, Mbunguha is concerned that many family traditions will be lost. Mbunguha was eager to participate in the project and have his family history recorded to ensure that it is not lost for the next generations of the village. Mbunguha’s family tree — and those of his clan — are now preserved online on MyHeritage.

Further expeditions to other remote destinations are currently being planned.

"Across a wide range of diverse cultures and traditions, we all have family in common; we all learn from and honor our ancestors," said Golan Levi, User Experience Expert at MyHeritage and founder of the Tribal Quest project. "This project aims to allow people around the world — no matter where or how they live — to save their ancestors’ legacies forever, for the benefit of their descendants, and our descendants."

“We are privileged to be the global destination of choice for millions of people interested in discovering and preserving their family history,” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “We love combining our work with pro bono projects, utilizing our technologies and our enthusiastic staff to bring the benefits of genealogy to more people. With Tribal Quest we are preserving diverse cultural heritage that is at risk, and doing it uniquely at the level of individuals and families. If we don't do this, nobody else will, and therefore we must do it."

The Namibia expedition is showcased online at www.tribalquest.org; Papua New Guinea expedition materials will be added soon. Visit the website to learn more about the project, view photos and read stories of the Himba people, and to get involved.



View the Tribal Quest introduction video.

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is the world's fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees, and ground­breaking search and matching technologies. Trusted by millions of families, MyHeritage provides an easy way to share family stories, past and present, and treasure them for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 42 languages. www.myheritage.com

NGS Introduces Two New Research in the States Books: Florida and Texas



ARLINGTON, VA, 10 MAY 2016—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is pleased to announce the publication of two, new books as part of its Research in the States series, which now covers research in more than twenty-four states. The newest volumes are Research in Florida by Ann Staley, CGSM, CGLSM, and Amy Giroux, PhD, CG, CGL, and Research in Texas, by Kelvin L. Meyers. The books will be available for purchase in the NGS store in both PDF and print versions beginning 10 May.

Research in Florida covers the State’s history as the earliest permanent white settlement in the United States and includes sources and guides to records of its early history under the British, French, and Spanish governments. From the time of its establishment as a territory of the United States, Florida has suffered little record loss resulting in a rich array of records for the researcher. In addition to a discussion of general record groups, emphasis is placed on Special Archives publications detailing Florida’s military history including its Indian wars, which, along with school, tax, and voter records, provide focused sources for research. Sources for information on Florida’s Sunshine Law are also provided.

Research in Florida co-author Amy Larner Giroux is an award-winning author with articles published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Record, and The Genealogist. She serves as the editor of the Florida Genealogist, and webmaster for the Board for Certification of Genealogists®. C. Ann Staley is an instructor, consultant, trip leader, and a lecturer. She is the education chairman for the Jacksonville Genealogical Society, Inc.; the secretary of the Genealogical Speakers Guild; a faculty member of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies; and a trustee of the Florida State Genealogical Society.

Research in Texas begins with a brief review of Texas’s rich history from early exploration and settlement to the Battle of the Alamo. It provides an overview of the major research facilities including the well-known Texas State Library and Archives, the Dallas Public Library, and Houston’s Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research as well as lesser known, but equally important, smaller collections. Resources for major research categories from atlases, maps, and gazetteers to women are also provided. The publication includes a discussion of differences in probate law under the Spanish and Mexican governments and the English common law adopted by the Republic of Texas, as well as topics specific to Texas including cattle brands and the Texas Rangers.

Kelvin L. Meyers worked at the renowned Dallas Public Library under the tutelage of Lloyd Bockstruck and has been a professional genealogist since 1996. He has a solo practice as a forensic genealogist serving clients that include probate attorneys, trust departments of banks, the United States Immigration Service, and energy companies. Meyers is a former board member of the Association of Professional Genealogist (APG), a former president of the Lone Star Chapter of APG, and a founding member of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG).

The Research in the States series editor Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNSG, FVGS, is a former NGS president and editor of theMagazine of Virginia Genealogy. Other titles in the series includes Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York City, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Additional states guides are planned.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records.  The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Excellence in Genealogy Scholarship and Service Honored by National Genealogical Society Awards


ARLINGTON, VA, 6 MAY 2016—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) held its annual banquet on Friday evening, 6 May, at the NGS 2016 Family History Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to present awards that acknowledge and honor genealogical scholarship and service.  The banquet speaker, David E. Rencher, AG, CGSM spoke on the topic “It Don’t Matter,” a lighthearted look at what really matters to genealogists.  Each year, these awards are presented to organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to NGS programs or have performed outstanding work in the field of genealogy, history, biography, or heraldry.

National Genealogy Hall of Fame

Beginning in 1986, the National Genealogy Hall of Fame program, administered by the NGS, has honored outstanding genealogists whose achievements in the field of American genealogy have had a great impact on our field. Qualified nominations are solicited annually from genealogical organizations. Those nominated must have been deceased for at least five years and have been actively engaged in genealogy for a minimum of ten years. Their contributions to the field of genealogy in this country need to have been significant in a way that was unique, pioneering, or exemplary. Such contributions could have been as an author of books or articles that added significantly to the body of published works, served as a model of genealogical research or writing, or made source records more readily available. Nominees could also have been a teacher or lecturer, or contributed to the field through leadership in a genealogical organization or periodical.

Entries are judged by a panel of genealogists from various parts of the United States. This year, Marsha Hoffman Rising, whose nomination was made by the American Society of Genealogists; was elected to the National Genealogy Hall of Fame. The main body of her work consists of Opening the Ozarks: First Families in Southwest Missouri, 1835-1839, which traced the lives (from birth to death) of the first one thousand individuals who purchased federal land from the Springfield, Missouri Federal Land Office;The Family Tree Problem Solver: Tried and True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Ancestors; Descendants of Nathan Brown (1731-1779) of Newberry County, South Carolina, Preble County, Ohio, Coweta County Georgia and Warren County, Illinois,: A Presbyterian Family; Genealogical Data from Southwest Missouri Newspapers, 1850-1860; Genealogical Data from the Monmouth Atlas, Warren County, Illinois; Genealogical Gems from Early Missouri Deeds, 1815-1850; and Vermont Newspaper Abstracts, 1783-1816: Vermont Gazette, The Vermont Gazette, Epitome of the World, The World, The Green-Mountain Farmer.

In addition to her publications Rising published numerous articles in the National Genealogical Society’s Quarterly and The American Genealogist.  She lectured at numerous NGS Conferences, the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conferences and served in numerous positions of the boards of both organizations.

NGS Fellowship

Fellowship in the National Genealogical Society recognizes a valued servant of the NGS. This year’s Fellow was presented to Julie Miller, CG of Bloomfield, CO and Claire Mire Bettag, CG of Washington, DC.

Miller served on the NGS Board from 2006 to 2014, as a director 2006 to 2010 and as vice president 2010 to 2014. She chaired the NGS conferences in 2010 in Salt Lake City, 2012 in Cincinnati, and currently serves as chair of the NGS conference committee.

Miller is a frequent speaker at the annual NGS conference and at state and regional conferences around the country.  She has shared her knowledge with others with uncommon clarity and insight.  A professional genealogist with more than thirty-five years of experience, she has been board-certified since 2005.  NGS is pleased to recognize her high level of achievement and contribution to the Society by declaring her a Fellow of the National Genealogical Society.

Bettag served as vice president of NGS from 2000 to 2002, co-editor of theNational Genealogical Society’ Quarterly from 2003 to 2005 and has served on the NGSQ editorial board for many years.  She is the former director of the National Institute on Genealogical Research at the National Archives (now the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records).  She has been board-certified since 1997.

Bettag has lectured at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the National Genealogical Society Conference in the States, and other conferences around the United States.  She was the mentor for the 2011 Professional Genealogy study group.  NGS is pleased to recognize her high level of achievement and contribution to the Society by declaring her a Fellow of the National Genealogical Society.

Award of Merit

The Award of Merit is presented to an individual or non-profit genealogical or historical organization to recognize exceptional contributions to the field of genealogy over a period of five or more years, which has significantly aided research or increased interest in genealogy. The Award of Merit was presented to Janice Schultz, MLS of Dunedin, Florida.

Schultz began working as a librarian for the Genealogy and Local History Department of the Mid-Continent Public Library in 1987.  At that time, the department shared a 6,000 square-foot space with the periodicals department at the North Independence Branch of the Mid-Continent system.  By 1998 the Genealogy Department had expanded to a 12,000 square-foot wing of the North Independence Branch and was upgraded in status to a Branch. In August of 2001, she became manager of the Genealogy Branch. 

Schultz realized that the library’s holdings were expanding and that the current facility would not be sufficient to contain the entire collection in one space.  With the support of the director of the Mid-Continent system, she persuaded the library board to build a new facility to house the branch.  In 2008, a 52,000 square-foot free-standing building was opened and the Genealogy Branch was renamed the Midwest Genealogy Center.  The center has been honored by Family Tree Magazine, in 2010 it was described by the magazine as “one of 9 libraries to visit before you die.”  She was elected chair of the History Section of the American Library Association, and at various times chaired the Local History Committee, the Genealogy Committee, and the Genealogy Pre-Conference Planning Committee.  She was active in the Missouri State Genealogical Association, serving on the Board of Directors for ten years, including as President 2010 to 2014.


National Genealogical Society Quarterly’s Award for Excellence

The NGSQ Award for Excellence is presented for an outstanding article published in the NGSQ in the previous calendar year. For 2015, the editors have chosen Context and Comrades Illuminate a Silent Southerner: John Temple (1758-1838), Revolutionary War Pensioner by Rachal Mills Lennon, CG, of Cottontown, TN, published in the March 2015 issue of theNGSQ.  This is the third time Lennon has received the NGSQ Award for Excellence.

Award for Excellence: Genealogical Methods and Sources

This year’s recipient of the Award for Excellence: Genealogical Methods and Sources was the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. The title of their entry was New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer.  This award is for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a book, an article, or a series of articles that discuss genealogical methods and sources, which serves to foster scholarship and/or advances or promotes excellence in genealogy.  This 800+ page comprehensive resource for family history in New York State and its outstanding gazetteer serve as a model for all future state research guides.

Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History Book

This year’s recipient of the Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History Book was William B. Saxbe Jr. of Williamstown, Massachusetts. The title of his entry was Richard Bowen (1594?-1675), of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, and His Descendants Volume 3--Generation 5This award is for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a family genealogy or family history book published in the past five years. Entries serve to foster scholarship and/or otherwise advance or promote excellence in genealogy. 

Senior Rubincam Youth Award

Jane M. Wilkey of Dalton Gardens, ID, was the winner of this year’s Senior Rubincam Youth Award (for students in grades 10–12 or between the ages of 16 and 18). The title of her entry was Five Generation Genealogy of Jane Madison Wilkey.  The Senior Rubincam Award was established in 1986 to honor Milton Rubincam, cg, fasg, fngs, for his many years of service to the NGS and to the field of genealogy. The award encourages and recognizes our youth as the next generation of family historians. 

Junior Rubincam Youth Award

Amelia Dogan of Philadelphia, PA, won this year’s Junior Rubincam Youth Award (for students in grades 7–9 or between the ages of 13 and 15).  The title of her entry was Doreen Lee: A Lady with Mettle.  The Junior Rubincam Award was established in 1986 to honor Milton Rubincam, cg, fasg, fngs, for his many years of service to the National Genealogical Society and to the field of genealogy. The award encourages and recognizes our youth as the next generation of family historians. 

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records.  The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Wins Two Awards for Excellence from the National Genealogical Society



New York, NY, May 6, 2016. The National Genealogical Society (NGS) presented the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) with two distinguished prizes at the NGS Family History Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The NYG&B’s groundbreaking book, the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer, is the recipient of the 2016 NGS Award for Excellence: Methods and Sources Book. And the NYG&B’s quarterly magazine, the New York Researcher, has been recognized as the best Major Genealogical or Historical Society Newsletter for 2016.

Since its highly anticipated release in 2015 the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer has received numerous accolades and become the de facto textbook for New York genealogical research. Hailed as “. . . the biggest and best ever guide to New York research.” (NGS Quarterly, September 2015), the book was previously recognized by the Federation of Genealogical Societies with its Award of Merit.

The New York Researcher has been published quarterly since spring 1990 when it began life as the NYG&B Newsletter. Each issue features articles on genealogical research techniques and resources, profiles of repositories and genealogical societies across New York State, and news about the rapidly changing field of genealogy. The New York Researcher is edited by Susan Miller, Director of Education at the NYG&B.

The full run of the New York Researcher is accessible in the NYG&B’s eLibrary, and more than 100 articles—many of which have been updated by the original authors—have been collected as Research Aids on the NYG&B website.

D. Joshua Taylor, NYG&B President, said, “As the newest member of the NYG&B team it is very gratifying to accept not one but two awards from the NGS. Recognition from one’s peers is especially sweet. From the launch of The Record in 1870 and the New York Researcher in 1990 to the publication of the Research Guide and Gazetteer in 2015, the NYG&B has been a pioneering contributor to the scholarship on New York families and resources for New York research.”

Following the success of the Research Guide and Gazetteer, the NYG&B began working on an entire volume devoted to the vast holdings of the New York City Municipal Archives, many of which have never been described in published form. That work, The New York City Municipal Archives: An Authorized Guide for Family Historians is now available for pre-sale and will be officially released in the summer of 2016.

About the NYG&B

New York’s only statewide genealogical society, the NYG&B has been helping people find their New York ancestors and tell their stories since 1869. Its publications include The Record, published quarterly since 1870, which has as its goal the scholarly preservation of the history of families who have contributed to the rich diversity of what is now New York State. The Society provides online access to original research tools and millions of records; it produces education programs, including lectures, webinars, assisted research trips, and a statewide conference; it collaborates with members of the genealogical community throughout the state and across the country; and it shares news from the rapidly changing field of genealogy through its blog and other social media.

5.4 Million Yorkshire Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday


Findmypast completes project with six Yorkshire archives to create the most comprehensive online repository of Yorkshire family history records in the world

We are pleased to announce that this week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of more than 5.4 million records released in partnership with the Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium. The publication marks the final phase of our Yorkshire Collection, a rich archive of more than 10.5 million records spanning the years 1538 to 1990.

The Yorkshire Digitisation project was first launched in October 2014 and has resulted in the creation of the largest online repository of Yorkshire family history records anywhere in the world. The final phase, released today, includes parish baptisms, banns, marriages, burials, school records, university records and a variety of other documents held by the East Riding Archives and Local Studies Service, the Borthwick Institute for Archives (University of York), the North Yorkshire County Record Office, Teesside Archives, Sheffield Archives and Local Studies, and Doncaster Archives and Local Studies.

As the provenances of the records are defined by historical, rather than modern boundaries, areas now outside of today’s Yorkshire such as County Durham, are also covered.

Also available to search this week are substantial new additions to our collection of United States marriage records and the PERiodical Source Index.


Over 2.2 million new records have recently been added to our collection of Yorkshire Baptisms. Yorkshire baptisms, 1538-1990, now contains over 4.4 million records from parish churches right across the three historic Yorkshire counties; North Riding, West Riding and East Riding.


Search 203,000 new additions to our collection of Yorkshire Banns to see if your ancestors declared their intention to marry in the county of Yorkshire. Yorkshire banns, 1653-1930, now contains over 541,000 records.


Over 1.4 million new records have been added to our collection of Yorkshire parish marriages. Yorkshire Marriages 1538 – 1942 now contains over 2.2 million records spanning almost 400 years. The records list the details couples married in Anglican parishes across the three historic Yorkshire counties.


Uncover the location of your ancestor’s grave with over 1.5 million brand new Yorkshire burials. The Yorkshire Burials now contain over 3.2 million records spanning more than four centuries that list the details of men and women buried in Anglican parishes across the three historic Yorkshire counties.


Over 1,000 Yorkshire records containing biographical details about your ancestor after their school years have been added to our collection of school and university register books. Britain, School and University Register Books 1264-1930 contains over 18,000 records that list biographical details about your ancestor’s life after school, such as employment information and marriage and death dates. You can also discover if your ancestor taught at these schools, as all the registers include staff names.


Delve through more than 34,000 assorted Yorkshire records, ranging from parish magazines to school registers, Kelly's directories and more. There are over 200 publications included in our collection of Yorkshire registers & records. The collection comprises various publications including, parish magazines, school registers, almanacs, abstracts of wills, and local histories, to name a few.


Over 10 million new records containing approximately 45 million new names have just been added to our collection of United States Marriage Records including substantial new additions from Indiana, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Maine.


Over 23,000 images have been added to eleven publications that will help you to discover useful contextual information about the time and place in which your ancestor lived. The PERiodical Source Index is the world’s largest and most widely used subject index for U.S. genealogy and local history literature.

Don’t forget to regularly check our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to keep up to date with all the latest additions.

About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Mocavo, Genes Reunited, The British Newspaper Archive amongst others.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Findmypast helps RootsMagic customers discover more using new feature


Salt Lake City, Utah: 05 April 2016

Family history website, Findmypast, has today announced the start of an important new partnership with leading genealogy desktop software publisher, RootsMagic.

As a result, Findmypast’s vast collection of US, UK, and Irish data has been connected with RootsMagic software, allowing customers to automatically search more than 8 billion historical records.

Names and dates stored in RootsMagic trees will be matched against Findmypast’s databases to directly link customers to relevant records, enabling them to easily expand their research and open up new lines of discovery. Once a potential match has been identified, customers will be notified by a RootsMagic WebHint™ which will direct the user to the Findmypast website.

Automatic record matching is already a popular feature of Findmypast’s Family Tree builder and has made the process of finding historical records for ancestors considerably quicker and easier. Their tree software automatically sifts through billions of birth, baptism, marriage, divorce, death, burial, and census records to provide researchers with new clues, information, and even potential new relatives through a series of on screen icons known as “leads”.

Findmypast’s heritage and rich record collections coupled with RootsMagic’s sophisticated technology will make for a powerful combination, providing customers with new and improved ways of unlocking the fascinating stories within their family. Automatic record matching is already a popular feature of Findmypast’s online family tree and has made the process of finding historical records for ancestors considerably quicker and easier.

Customers already using RootsMagic 7 can easily download the update for free by checking for updates via the RootsMagic main menu or can download the update from RootsMagic.com. New customers and those currently using an earlier version than 7, can try RootsMagic Essentials for free and purchase the upgrade at any time.

The update allows them to build their tree using the RootsMagic software while having access to Findmypast records and searches.

Commenting, Ben Bennett, Executive Vice-President North America and International for Findmypast said:
“We are thrilled to partner with RootsMagic and look forward to the many discoveries that their customers will make using Findmypast’s new record leads. Not only will customers be able to access our best in class records from England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, but, they will also benefit from our ever expanding US and Canadian collection. It’s partnerships like this that bring together the best software, expertise, and records that are essential to helping more customers discover more about their relatives.”
Michl Booth, Vice President of RootsMagic, said:
“One of the most exciting new features of RootsMagic 7 is our amazing WebHints and we are excited to add Findmypast’s tremendous library of UK, Irish, and US data in our latest update. With more than 1000 exclusive collections and new additions released every week, Findmypast has records that you just won’t find anywhere else. Personally, almost all of my ancestral lines go back to England and Scotland. So Findmypast’s 1 billion records from the British Isles are especially valuable to me. Having access to these fantastic records from inside of RootsMagic opens up a whole new world of research for our customers.”
The announcement marks the latest step in Findmypast’s drive to put innovation at the center of its business and follows on from the announcement of a raft of global partnerships with leading technology providers, such as Family Historian, Twile and Puzzilla and many others designed to offer customers an easy and engaging family history experience.

About Findmypast


Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online family history. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Lives of the First World War, The British Newspaper Archive, and Genes Reunited, amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over eight billion family history records, ranging from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and conducting detailed historical research.

The company has digitized records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. Findmypast, in association with The UK National Archives, recently launched the 1939 Register, a record of 41 million lives on the eve of World War II. In the US the company has embarked on a major program, in association with FamilySearch, to digitize 100 million US marriage records, many of which have never before been published online.

About RootsMagic


For over 20 years, RootsMagic, Inc. has been creating computer software with a special purpose- to unite families. One of their earliest products- the popular “Family Origins” software, introduced thousands of people to the joy and excitement of family history.

That tradition continues today with “RootsMagic”, their award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history fun and easy. “Personal Historian” will help you easily write and preserve your life stories. “Family Reunion Organizer” takes the headaches out of planning those important get-togethers. And their newest product “Family Atlas”, which makes creating custom family maps fun and easy.

With their growing list of online partnerships and integrations, RootsMagic has established itself as the place to plant your family tree.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

National Genealogical Society Presents Awards Honoring Excellence in Newsletter Editorship and Service to NGS


ARLINGTON, VA, 4 MAY 2016
—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) honored excellence in the categories of newsletter editorship and service to the Society with the presentation of several awards at the Opening Session of the NGS 2016 Family History Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 4 May 2016. The Opening Session keynote speaker, Connie Lester, PhD, spoke on the topic “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives” after which NGS President Jordan Jones presented the following awards.

Each year, the NGS Newsletter Competition recognizes the hard work, long hours, and creativity that editors devote to their newsletters. A panel of three judges reviews each newsletter on material interest, variety, organization, quality of writing and editing, readability, and attractiveness. This year’s categories and winners are:

Family Association Newsletter:

Winner: The Timen Stiddem Society Newsletter, the newsletter of the The Timen Stiddem Society, edited by Richard L. Steadham.

Honorable Mention: About Towne, the newsletter of the Towne Family Association, Inc., edited by Rae Russell Johnson.

County/Local Genealogical and/or Historical Society: for societies with less than 500 members:

Winner: GRIVA News & Notes, the newsletter of the Genealogical Research Institute of Virginia, edited by Sharon Barden Garber.

Honorable Mention: The Newsletter of the Irish Family History Forum, the newsletter of the Irish Family History Forum, edited by Patricia Mansfield Phelan.

Major Genealogical and/or Historical Society: for societies with more than 500 members:

Winner: The New York Researcher, the newsletter of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, edited by Susan R. Miller.

The President's Citation

The President's Citation is given in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy or the society. This year, the President’s Citation honors two individuals, Cyndi Ingle of Milton, WA, and Dick Eastman of Orlando, FL, who have given generously of their time and talents to benefit the genealogical community.

Since 1996, Cyndi Ingle has published and maintained Cyndi’s List, a free, categorized, and cross-referenced online listing of genealogical sites. Cyndi’s List quickly became an indispensable resource for genealogists worldwide.

In addition to running her website, Cyndi has also found time to volunteer. She served as a board member of the NGS for five years, and is involved in other genealogical societies, such as the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), where she currently serves on the technology and awards committees. She has published three books, and is an internationally renowned speaker about genealogy and technology. Her generosity and dedication have greatly benefited the genealogical community.

Also in 1996, Dick Eastman launched the Eastman Online Genealogy Newsletter. EOGN covers genealogy news, as well as issues of technology, privacy, digital rights, and access as they relate to genealogy. A trailblazer in the use of technology, Dick was an early promoter of the use of online forums to advance genealogical research. Today more than 75,000 people read his newsletter and benefit from his reviews and tutorials.

Dick’s dedication to clear writing and independent opinion has made his periodical a sought-after source of information, commentary, and discussion for twenty years. Dick is also an internationally renowned speaker on the broad array of topics he covers in his newsletter.

NGS also recognized several individuals for their dedicated efforts in support of the NGS 2016 Family History Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Award of Honor

The Award of Honor was presented in recognition of dedication and sustained service in support of the conference. Recipient of the award was the Florida State Genealogical Society, Inc., Marlis Humphrey, president.

Certificates of Appreciation

Certificates of Appreciation were given to recognize the committee chairs who spent countless hours preparing for the conference. NGS is aware that there could be no conference if it were not for the volunteers’ efforts and commitment. So honored were Conference Chair, C. Ann Staley, CG; Conference Vice Co-Chairs, Amy Larner Giroux, PhD, CG, CGL and Margo Fariss Brewer; Local Host Committee Chair, David W. Dellinger, PhD; Librarians' Day Chair, Drew Smith, MLS; Registration Chair, John F. Laurent; Local Publicity Chair, Marlis Humphrey; Vendor Support Chair, Jean Foster Kelley, CG; Vendor Support Assistant Chair, Denise Manning; Volunteer Chair, Susan Luce; Volunteer Assistant Chair, Cheryl Shaughnessy; and Youth Camp Chair, Margo Fariss Brewer.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.