Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October is Family History Month

October is Family History Month, which means that there are many bargains out there!  Here are a few: 

1. Amy Johnson Crow: Family History Month 2017 Giveaway: Week 3

To celebrate Family History Month, Amy teamed up with several top family historians for a series of giveaways. Prizes have been donated by Maureen Taylor (the Photo Detective), Denise Levenick (the Family Curator), Lisa Lisson (Are You My Ancestor?), Elizabeth O'Neal (My Descendant's Ancestors), Melissa Barker (A Genealogist in the Archives), Melissa Dickerson (Genealogy Girl Talks), and me.

Each Friday in October, we draw for a prize pack from two of us. On October 31, we'll award the Grand Prize with seven different family history items!

This Friday (October 20), the prize will be:
How to Research in a Burned County, by Lisa Lisson
- $10 gift certificate for Legacy Republic digitization services, by Elizabeth O'Neal

Enter here to win! Good luck!

2. Family Tree Magazine Week 3 Deals

Celebrate Family History Month each week with deals from Family Tree! The deal changes each week, so check back to see the new sale. This week save 50% on all downloads $5 or less with code DOWNLOAD.

3. Free Live Q&A with Experts on Southern U.S. Genealogy

Have a question regarding genealogy research in the Southern U.S.? Legacy Tree Genealogists will be hosting a special "Legacy Tree Live" broadcast, where their expert genealogists will be answering YOUR questions on Southern U.S genealogy research. Tune in to the scheduled LIVE broadcast on their Facebook page for answers on Wednesday, October 25th at 9 a.m. MST

MyHeritage Holding One-Day Online Genealogy Seminar October 29, 2017

MyHeritage Holding One-Day Online Genealogy Seminar 
October 29th 

MyHeritage announced its first One-Day Genealogy Seminar, to be held on October 29, 2017 from 7am to 3pm EST.

It will feature the participation of experts in the fields of DNA, Jewish genealogy, general research techniques, and technology trends for genealogy. The lectures will be broadcast from the MyHeritage headquarters in Israel. The public is invited to join the lectures via Legacy Family Tree Webinars from anywhere in the world for FREE. Later, the recordings will be available to view for free on demand. To register, click here.

Times, topics, and speakers:
7:00AM Eastern – “Filling in the In-Between of the Jewish BMD” by Rose Feldman

8:00AM Eastern – “Jewish Family Research Challenges” by Garri Regev

9:15AM Eastern – “Introduction to the Use of Autosomal DNA Testing” by Tim Janzen

10:15AM Eastern – “Google for Genealogy: Search Tricks to Tease Out Information” by Jessica Taylor

11:15AM Eastern – “Discover Your Family History with MyHeritage’s Unique Technologies” by Daniel Horowitz

12:30PM Eastern – “How to Pass Your Ancestors’ Legacy to Your Grandchildren” by Jessica Taylor

1:30PM Eastern – “Advanced Autosomal DNA Techniques used in Genetic Genealogy” by Tim Janzen

Register for the Online Broadcasts

All seven classes will be broadcast online by Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Visit to sign up individually (free)
or click here to sign up for multiple classes at once.

The Association of Professional Genealogists Holds Elections

APG Election - Polls Open October 15 through November 2

APG Election - Polls Open October 15 through November 2

It is time to elect members of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for two-year terms, January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019; and the Nominating Committee for 2018. The election is managed electronically within the Members Only section of the website as follows:

WHEN TO VOTE: Polls are open from October 15, 2017 through November 2, 2017.

ELIGIBILITY TO VOTE: All members in good standing of the Association of Professional Genealogists as of 15 September 2017 are eligible to vote. If you joined after that date, the ballot will not be accessible.

CONFIDENTIALITY: All votes are confidential.

ELECTION RESULTS: Election results will be reported to the membership in November and posted on the APG website.

ELECTION PROCESS: Visit the APG website and log into the Members Only section. Click on Elections on the menu on the left. You will be taken to the ballot with further instructions. You may only vote one time.

NYC Vital Records Access Threatened

Posted: 17 Oct 2017 01:13 PM PDT

Save NYC vital records access: Why we all should act

New York City is trying to restrict access to important records, and we need you to act now to stop this from happening!

Even if you don't have New York City research interests, this is an important fight to join - other states and municipalities may follow suit if New York City is successful.To keep these historical records accessible to the millions who have New York ancestors, we need to mobilize quickly and act decisively.!

New England Historic Genealogical Society Offering Fall Membership Savings through Oct 23rd

Fall into Savings with NEHGS!
This autumn, why not add some leaves to your family tree? Become a member today and unlock essential resources to help you uncover your family’s unique story. Explore 1.4 BILLION searchable names on, essential educational resources, award-winning publications, and more!
Be sure to enter code
FALL17 at checkout to save!
Offer expires October 23, 2017.
Members Receive:
• Full access to 1.4 BILLION searchable names on 

• Subscriptions to our quarterly magazine, American Ancestors, and the Register: The Journal of American Genealogy

• Access to the most exclusive and essential research materials and assistance in family history

• Discounts on our publications and services

• Free access to our Boston research library
Learn more about all the ways membership with NEHGS can advance your research by viewing our webinar, "Get the Most Out of Your NEHGS Membership."

Your family has a unique story; let us provide you with the resources, tools, and expertise you need to tell this story for generations to come!

National Archives Announces Digitization of Confederate Maps

RG 109 Confederate Maps Series Now Digitized and Available Online

Brandi Oswald of the NA posted: 

Civil War maps are always popular at the National Archives, and the Cartographic Branch is pleased to announce the digitization of over 100 Confederate maps from Record Group (RG) 109.  All are now available to view or download through our online catalog.
Maps played a very important role during the Civil War. They were instrumental to leaders and generals for planning battles, campaigns, and marches. As a result, thousands of maps relating to the Civil War were created, many of which are held by the Cartographic Branch in a variety of record groups. These maps can include rough sketches created quickly before or during a battle, but can also include maps that were drawn to accompany official reports or even post-war publications. Many are highly detailed and colorized. Civil War maps frequently show topography, ground cover, roads, railroads, homes, the names of residents, towns, and waterways. They can be very helpful to better understand what the land looked like and how it was used during the Civil War era. Maps showing the names of residents can also be helpful to genealogists.
The Civil War maps we are featuring today are all Confederate maps. These maps were captured by or surrendered to the United States at the conclusion of the Civil War, or were later donated to the National Archives by former Confederate leaders. The maps cover areas in the states of AlabamaArkansasGeorgiaKentuckyMarylandMississippiMissouriOklahoma (Indian Territory)South CarolinaTennesseeTexas, and Virginia. There is also a grouping of miscellaneous maps that show more than one state, which are filed as "US." Most of the maps are manuscripts, although some are printed maps or even copies of maps. Many of the printed maps are annotated to show troop movements, battles lines, or other important features.
Many of the maps show well known battlefields and locations, such as Shiloh, Antietam, Murfreesboro (Stones River), Richmond, Petersburg, Atlanta, Knoxville, Manassas (Bull Run) and others. A number of maps show the battlefield at Shiloh, which was fought April 2-3, 1862 in southern Tennessee.
Map of Shiloh Battlefield. TN-11.
Many maps also cover lesser known but also very important locations, such as Corinth, Mississippi, the location of a strategic railroad junction and site of a siege and battle. Other lesser known battles with maps in the series include Cross Keys, VAPrairie Grove, AR, and scores of others.
Sketch of the Vicinity of Corinth, Mississippi. MS-5
The series also includes maps and plans of fortifications, including those that protected Charleston, South Carolina, Vicksburg, Mississippi, and Beaufort, South Carolina. Some fort plans are even included, such as a plan for Fort Waul in Texas and Fort Beauregard in South Carolina (SC-3A), although most of the Cartographic Branch's fort plans and drawings can be found within RG 77 in the Fortifications File and Miscellaneous Forts File. 

National Museum of American History Offering Free Archives Fair Oct 21

Posted: 17 Oct 2017 12:37 PM PDT

Washington, DC — In celebration of American Archives Month, the National Archives Assembly, a professional organization of current and former employees of the National Archives, joins with its partners to present a free Archives Fair at the National Museum of American History on Saturday, October 21, 2017, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Archivists and experts from a wide array of institutions will be joined by musicians, dancers, singers, and performers to share their collections, answer questions, and highlight the ways in which the preservation of archival collections translates into the preservation of culture through the performance and artistry of individuals and communities across the United States and around the world.

2017 Archives Fair: Performance and Preservation
West Wing First Floor: Coulter Performance Plaza and SC Johnson Conference Center
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

The 2017 Archives Fair will give visitors an inside look at what it takes to protect, preserve, and share the records at the foundations of history in these history-making times.

Panel discussions will focus on the following topics:
  • Expression in Archives
  • Bodies in Motion
  • The Art of Access
The Archives Fair is sponsored by the following professional organizations: the Smithsonian Institution Archives and Special Collections Council (SIASC), the DC and Maryland Caucuses of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Council (MARAC), and the National Archives Assembly (NAA).

Follow the American Archives Month celebration using hashtag #ArchivesMonth.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Free Family History Library Classes and Webinars for September 2017

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, has announced its free family history classes and webinars for September 2017. A Nordic countries series (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden) will feature 21 classes for researchers from Monday, September 11 to Friday, September 15. Participants can attend in person or online. See the full schedule below. Find and easily share this announcement online in the FamilySearch Newsroom

Mark your calendars for events you want to join so you don't forget. Online classes are noted on the schedule as webinars.  Webinar attendees need to click the link next to the class title at the scheduled date and time to attend the class online. Those attending in person simply go to the room noted. Invite your family and friends. All class times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST).

If you are unable to attend a class in person or online, most sessions are recorded and can be viewed later online at your convenience. To access these, go to the archive for Family History Library classes and webinars.

Monday, September 04, 2017

MoSGA Announces New First Families

The Missouri State Genealogical Association takes pride in offering the Missouri First Families program to honor early Missouri families.  Your work in proving your ancestor’s early years in Missouri will be preserved for future generations by the Missouri State Genealogical Association [MoSGA].

The three categories are: 
Territorial Certificates – Ancestors proven to have resided in Missouri on or before statehood, 10 August 1821.
Pioneer Certificates – Ancestors proven to have resided in Missouri at any time between and including 11 August 1821 and 31 December 1860.
Civil War Service Certificates – Ancestors proven to have served in a Missouri military unit during the Civil War; those ancestors in other military units who saw service in Missouri during the Civil War; and those ancestors who were Civil War veterans and died and/or were buried in Missouri.

Please welcome our newest first families!

Category: Civil War
Ancestor: Johann Nicholas Friedrich
Name of Person Requesting: Carol J. Norman

Category: Civil War
Ancestor:  Martin Ballew
Name of Person Requesting: Marilyn L Taylor

Category: Pioneer
Ancestor: Charles Skinner
Name of Person Requesting: Anna Lou Martin

Category: Territorial
Ancestor: William Jones Kelly
Name of Person Requesting: Judith Lee Frisch

Would you like to see your ancestor's name on a certificate? Your application and accompanying documentation will make a significant contribution to the record of our state’s heritage and your family’s participation in that heritage.

In order to comply with genealogical standards of evidence, we ask that all applications include a complete set of the supporting documentation for all generations from yourself to the ancestor you are honoring. Please send only photocopies of the documents. The application may be shared with other genealogists; however, information on living persons and those born within the past 100 years will be withheld.

For more information check the MoSGA website.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" Is Coming Back in 2018 has announced that "Who Do You Think You Are will be seen on TLC in spring 2018. Celebrity names have not been released, but the 2017 season included: Courteney Cox, Julie Bowen, Jennifer Gray, Noah Wyle, Jessica Biel, John Stamos and Liv Tyler, and musician Smokey Robinson.

Disaster Planning for Genealogists

With the national heartache over the Hurricane Harvey and the resulting flooding in Houston and other Gulf coast towns, genealogists are often reminded about disaster planning for our records and keepsakes.  Here are a few suggested sites and tips worth your time.

1.  Thomas McEntee blogged about a great reference for disaster planning that is currently FREE at Legacy Family Tree.
Melissa Barker, aka The Archive Lady, knows all too well what can happen to important papers and artifacts as well as data when a disaster hits. Whether it is fire, flood or simply a computer failure, Melissa has created a guide at Legacy Family Tree entitled Disaster Planning for the Genealogist.
2.  Melissa Barker also recommends a free document from the New York State Archives that is available for free here.  It is a bit dated but the 58-page document is worth a read.

3.  Lisa Louise Cooke provides a three-step process on her website.  She also has a podcast about disaster planning here.

4. Family Tree Magazine provides additional advice here. Maureen Taylor has tips for protecting photos here, while Diane Hadad gives four pointers for protecting keepsakes here.

5. Finally, I got a Flip Pal Mobile Scanner at the recent MoSGA annual conference.  It is my new best friend.  I immediately went to my Aunt Mary's and proceeded to run through a set of batteries scanning photos.  Flip Pal has a great blog here.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

New Digital Archive Sheds Light on WWII Civilian Internment Camps in Singapore

The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Collection has launched a new digital archive, Voices of civilian internment: WWII Singapore. These unique records, now freely available through Cambridge Digital Library, were conserved and digitized over a two year period with the support of the Wellcome Trust. They powerfully bring to life the experience of civilians who were interned at the Changi and Sime Road camps between 1942 and 1945 following the fall of Malaya to the Japanese. The archive will be of immense interest to the families of internees and a wide range of researchers since few survivors ever spoke of their traumatic ordeal. 

 The Cambridge University Library site provides a little background: 
The Royal Commonwealth Society Collection at Cambridge University Library has digitized the archives of two Second World War civilian internment camps established by the Japanese at Singapore, generously funded by a Research Resources Award from the Wellcome Trust.  The records are of immense interest to the families of internees and a wide range of researchers, since few survivors ever spoke of their traumatic ordeal.  The survival of this unique archive is largely due to the vision of Hugh Bryson, a career member of the Malayan Civil Service, who himself was interned.  While Secretary of the British Association of Malaysia and Singapore from 1952 to 1967, he collected original documents, diaries and correspondence of historical interest from members, and encouraged them to write their memoirs.  When the association disbanded in 1977, its archive was deposited with the Royal Commonwealth Society, and it came to Cambridge in 1993 when the University acquired its library.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, British colonial civil servants remained at their posts and civilians running businesses overseas stayed to support the war effort.  In this respect Malaya’s rubber and tin industries were particularly important.  There were plans to evacuate women and children from Malaya, but the speed of the Japanese invasion in December 1941 caught many by surprise. There was an exodus of refugees to Singapore as the Japanese advance continued.  Memoirs in the collection record the final battle for Singapore: aerial bombardment, shelling, blazing petrol stores in the harbour and the acrid smoke of burning fuel.