Monday, October 30, 2017

Family Tree Magazine Offers 50% Off All Genealogy Books Through the End of Family History Month

Family Tree Magazine is offering 50% off all genealogy books listed on its website.  

The list includes guides to resources such as and as well as heritage-specific resources including German, Irish and Italian.


The deal is good through October 31st so take a look.

OCLC and Internet Archive collaborate to expand library access to digital collections

OCLC, the organization that has given us WorldCat, has announced a new collaboration that will make access to digital books easier.  From Internet Archive's Blog:

We are pleased to announce that the Internet Archive and OCLC have agreed to synchronize the metadata describing our digital books with OCLC’s WorldCat. WorldCat is a union catalog that itemizes the collections of thousands of libraries in more than 120 countries that participate in the OCLC global cooperative.

What does this mean for readers?When the synchronization work is complete, library patrons will be able to discover the Internet Archive’s collection of 2.5 million digitized monographs through the libraries around the world that use OCLC’s bibliographic services. Readers searching for a particular volume will know that a digital version of the book exists in our collection. With just one click, readers will be taken to to examine and possibly borrow the digital version of that book. In turn, readers who find a digital book at will be able, with one click, to discover the nearest library where they can borrow the hard copy.
There are additional benefits: in the process of the synchronization, OCLC databases will be enriched with records describing books that may not yet be represented in WorldCat.
“This work strengthens the Archive’s connection to the library community around the world. It advances our goal of universal access by making our collections much more widely discoverable. It will benefit library users around the globe by giving them the opportunity to borrow digital books that might not otherwise be available to them,” said Brewster Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “We’re glad to partner with OCLC to make this possible and look forward to other opportunities this synchronization will present.”
If you haven't yet used WorldCat or Internet Archive, check them out.  Both are great resources I use regularly!

New Genealogical Resource: ArchiveGrid

A recent post on Family History Daily detailed a resource I haven't tried, but now ArchiveGrid is at the top of my list.

According to Alexandra Mendez-Diez: 

What Is ArchiveGrid?
ArchiveGrid does not provide direct access to records online, but rather it is a catalog of catalogs, documenting the primary sources being held at over 1,000 archival institutions. Institutions choose to upload their catalog of items to ArchiveGrid or their parent organization, WorldCat (which includes all kinds of library catalogs, not just those for primary sources).

The 5 million records held in ArchiveGrid’s catalog represents primary source material, such as photographs, family histories and personal papers, being held in historical societies, libraries, archives and museums around the world.

If you’re looking for a specific family history book or collection of records, ArchiveGrid will help you find it. You can also use ArchiveGrid to search out primary sources that are most relevant to what you are looking for. These searches will help you determine which archives are worth planning a visit to and help you make a plan of attack for your on-site research before you have even arrived.

How Do You Use ArchiveGrid?
There are several different ways to use ArchiveGrid. At its core it’s an in-depth library catalog so it can feel a little bit intimidating at first. However, with this guide, you’ll find that the resource is actually extremely simple to use.

If you know the title or topic of the resource you need (such as vital records for Jefferson County, KY or the Oral History Interviews of the Rondo Oral History Project) you can enter it into the search in the upper right hand corner and findthe offline genealogy resource you are looking for in less than a minute. It’s very convenient.

You can easily locate family papers and pedigrees. birth, death, marriage, and burial record collections, oral and local histories and much more.

For more details see more of the article here.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Free NARA 2017 Virtual Genealogy Fair 25 October 2017

From our friends at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)!  An always great opportunity to learn about federal records and just how valuable they can be to your genealogy research.

WHAT: The National Archives will host a live, virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast on YouTube. Participate in our biggest genealogy event of the year! Sessions offer advice on family history research for all skill levels. Topics include Federal government documents on birth, childhood, and death; recently recovered military personnel files; Japanese Americans during World War II; 19th century tax assessments; and a “how to” on preserving family heirlooms. For the schedule, videos, handouts, and participation instructions, visit the Virtual Genealogy Fair online.

WHEN: October 25, starting at 10 a.m. EDT

WHO: Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero and records experts from National Archives’ facilities nationwide.

WHERE: Anywhere! Participate during the Fair while it is live streamed on the US National Archives’ YouTube channel.

Captioning: Live captioning will be available online. If you require an alternative or additional accommodation for the event, please send an email to: or call 202-357-5260 in advance.

Background: The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the Federal government. These include records of interest to genealogists, such as pension files, ship passenger lists, census, and Freedmen’s Bureau materials. See “Resources for Genealogists and Family Historians” online.

Follow the National Archives on Twitter @USNatArchives and join the Genealogy Fair conversation using #genfair2017.

Thousands of U.K.Catholic records available in new database

Who Do You Think You Are Magazine reports that a new database listing over a quarter of a million English Roman Catholics has been created by the Catholic Family History Society (CFHS).

The Margaret Higgins Database is compiled by an Australian monk, Brother Rory Higgins FSC, and named after his mother. It holds indexed records of 275,000 people living between 1607 and 1840.

The database brings together original, printed and published material for the first time, and was launched at a CFHS seminar in London on 7 October.

After Anglicanism became the official religion of Britain during the Reformation, Catholics faced surveillance and persecution.

At various times they were forbidden from voting, joining the army or standing for Parliament, and their rights to own property were severely limited. However, between 1778 and 1829 a series of Roman Catholic Relief Acts introduced greater civil rights.

This year marks the 250th anniversary of the submission of the most complete records of Catholics in England, which were created because of these religious divisions and are now published in the Margaret Higgins Database.

In 1767 the House of Lords began an enquiry because the Anglican bishops were accused of not doing enough to stop the spread of Catholicism.

On 22 May the House voted an address to the king asking that the bishops of England and Wales direct their parish clergy to “correct and complete lists as can be obtained of the papists or reputed papists, distinguishing their parishes, sexes, ages and occupations and how long they have been there resident”.

The clergy took the instructions to mean that they were also required to include the names of Catholics and suspected Catholics in the subsequent records.

Over half of the Catholics resident in England at the time are thought to be included in the Returns of Papists which were submitted to Parliament.

The returns from the dioceses of Oxford, Norfolk, Salisbury and Worcester, which were not sent to Parliament, are also included in the Margaret Higgins Database.

Previously, in 1745, the government compiled a list of Catholics and non-jurors (those who refused to swear an oath of allegiance to the Protestant monarchy) to identify those who might support the Jacobite Uprising.

They are also in the database, as are suspected Catholics for 1705–6, 1711, 1735 and 1780, and those who took and refused to take Oaths of Supremacy, Allegiance and Abjuration.

There are also baptism, confirmation and marriage records, which are particularly useful because they often contain names of parents, siblings, godparents, aunts and uncles, and lists of Easter communicants and the Rosary Confraternity.

As well as English Catholics, the records cover French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Catholics who were living in England. Non-Catholics also appear on the records, for instance as witnesses to marriages or wills.

The database is searchable by surname, first name, occupation, age and other details. It will be available to purchase for £10+P&P later this year, and will eventually be published online.

Ceremonial Groundbreaking for National World War 1 Memorial To Be Held Nov 9th

Centennial Commission to Host Ceremonial Groundbreaking for National World War I Memorial

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission will host a ceremonial groundbreaking for the National World War I Memorial on Thursday, November 9, 2017, 11:00 am, at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C.  

Guests of honor will include senior military & veteran leaders, as well as Centennial Commission members, members of the historical/cultural community, U.S. and city officials, and major donors.  

U.S. Military Academy Cadets, the Pershing Rifles Group, and the US Army Band's "Pershing's Own" Brass Quintet are also expected to attend.

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission is a Congressional Commission created in 2013 to provide public outreach, education programs, and commemoration events for the American involvement in the war. The Commission operates through private donation, and their founding sponsor is the Pritzker Military Museum & Library in Chicago, IL. 

About the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission  

Found on Ancestry Blog: Tips on Researching World War One Ancestors on Fold3

Photo courtesy of the National Library of Scotland

I’ve found one of the best ways to search what is available on Fold3 is to search within the records of a particular conflict. I wrote a little about this concept in my WWII article, Combining World War II Research on Fold3 With Your Ancestry Family Tree on this blog in April 2016. The same idea applies whether we look at WWII or WWI or any other conflict on Fold3.
Looking at the available World War I records on Fold3, we see a lot of British records, which include the Canadians and Aussies. There are not as many American records. We were however, only in the war a brief time.
Using the concept of searching within, I discovered resources I didn’t know existed. Rather than searching for a specific name, I look at the various publications available within World War I records. When we explore this way, we may find resources created for other states or soldiers that may apply to our soldier. For example, you will find a publication called Connecticut WWI Service Rosters which are sorted by town. The link here takes you to Avon county which pulls up a sheet of information on men from the town.
What kind of information do we find here that is useful for our research?
  • Service number
  • Ethnicity
  • Home town
  • Induction location
  • Units in which served
  • Discharge (and whether or not it was honorable)
  • Wounds or death
  • Campaigns in which they participated
This information is an incredible starting point for anyone with a soldier from Connecticut who had little to no prior information. Have you checked to see if your state created a registry similar to this? If nothing is published online, check with your state archives, state historical society, and state library to start.
Did your family member serve in the Armed Guard? There are Rendezvous Reports Index Cards. You can view the one for Dan Jackson Babb which provides ship and station information with dates.
I wrote an article called U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939, that discusses Ancestry’s passenger lists for both living and dead service members. Fold3 has a publication called U.S., Army WWI Transport Service, Passenger Lists, which do not seem to contain actual lists, but do contain a lot of information about the transports.  You can choose incoming or outgoing ships and review their numerous documents. Looking at the USAT Wheaton, the ship my great grand uncle Michael Kokoska was repatriated on after the war, I found some interesting documents. You can combine both document sets and learn a lot about the ship(s) your soldier was on board.
There are many other American World War I Publications on Fold3. Take a look at what’s there. But before I end this article, you might pay particular attention to the publication, WWI Panoramic Photographs. While Michael Kokoska’s 32nd Infantry Division 127th Infantry Regiment photograph was not part of this collection, the 126th Infantry Regiment photo is. Take a look and then search for your soldier’s unit within this collection to see what you can discover.
 As with any website, check back often as updates and additions are always being made. You never know what you’ll discover!

Posted by Jennifer Holik on October 11, 2017 in Guest Bloggers on

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.