These are the feeds from some of the best blogs about Family History / Genealogy

Family History old picture Venice

  • Scheduled Site Maintenance
    by Geni on May 28, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    Geni will be performing scheduled site maintenance starting at 7:00 am PDT on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 and lasting for approximately 2 hours. During this time the Geni website will be unavailable. We’ll do our best to complete the maintenance quickly and return to normal service as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience. The post Scheduled Site Maintenance first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Rachel Carson
    by Amanda on May 27, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    On this day in 1907, American marine biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson was born. Carson’s groundbreaking work is often credited with advancing the global environmental movement. Image: Rachel Carson / Smithsonian Institution Carson was born on May 17, 1907 on a family farm near Springdale, Pennsylvania to Robert Warden Carson, an insurance salesman, and Maria Frazier McLean. Growing up, she developed a deep love of nature and enjoyed writing stories, publishing her first story at… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Rachel Carson first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • War of 1812 Pension Index Is Online!
    by Sean Daly on May 27, 2022 at 2:42 pm

    Geneanet volunteers have completed indexing the National Archives War Of 1812 Pension Index dataset! Learn how this collection can help you locate ancestors who volunteered or were conscripted during the 1812-1815 war between the United States and Great Britain, including its colony Canada.

  • Profile of the Day: Sally Ride
    by Amanda on May 26, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    Today we remember astronaut Sally Ride, who was born on this day in 1951. In 1983, Ride became the first American woman in space when she flew into orbit aboard the space shuttle Challenger. Image: Sally Ride / NASA Born in Los Angeles, California, Ride held a keen interest in science from a young age. As she was finishing her Ph.D. in physics at Stanford University, Ride saw an article in the school’s newspaper advertising that NASA… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Sally Ride first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Family Tree Charts are Back!
    by Amanda on May 26, 2022 at 3:40 am

    Today we are thrilled to announce that Family Tree Charts are back on Geni! The previous version was temporarily unavailable as we were working towards moving the chart feature off of Flash. With the Family Tree Chart, you can create your own custom, high-quality version of your family tree for downloading or printing.  The Family Tree Chart includes five generations of relatives, your family’s names, dates, and photos. You can customize the look of the… Read the full story The post Family Tree Charts are Back! first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Celebrate Those Who Served with Free Military Records
    by Esther on May 25, 2022 at 12:32 pm

    As we celebrate the people who put their lives on the line to serve their country this Memorial Day, there’s never been a better time to explore the war stories in your family history. MyHeritage is pleased to help open the door for new discoveries about your family’s military history by offering free access to The post Celebrate Those Who Served with Free Military Records appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Ralph Waldo Emerson
    by Amanda on May 25, 2022 at 11:00 am

    American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on this day in 1803. Image: Ralph Waldo Emerson / Library of Congress Emerson was born on May 25, 1803 in Boston, Massachusetts to Ruth Haskins and William Emerson, a Unitarian minister. At the age of 8, Emerson’s father died, leaving his mother to care for the young family with the aid of his aunt, Mary Moody Emerson. He formed a close bond with his aunt… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Ralph Waldo Emerson first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • MyHeritage Online Events for June 2022
    by Esther on May 25, 2022 at 6:26 am

    Start off a productive summer (or winter!) with the fascinating, free online sessions we have lined up for you in the coming weeks and months! Get your DNA questions answered, locate your elusive traveling ancestors by delving into immigration and passenger lists, and much more. Here’s what’s on the menu for June and July: Facebook The post MyHeritage Online Events for June 2022 appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • MyHeritage Publishes 11 Million German Historical Records
    by Talya on May 24, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    We are delighted to announce that MyHeritage published 11 million historical records from two death collections that include images: Germany, Hesse, Deaths, and an update to Germany, North Rhine Westphalia Deaths 1874–1938. The North-Rhine Westphalia death collection is exclusive to MyHeritage and cannot be found on any other commercial site. With this update, the total The post MyHeritage Publishes 11 Million German Historical Records appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Queen Victoria
    by Amanda on May 24, 2022 at 12:09 pm

    Have you found your connection to the British royal family? On this day in 1819, Queen Victoria was born in Kensington Palace in London, England. Image: Queen Victoria / Library of Congress She was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, who was the fourth son of King George III. At the time of her birth, she was the fifth in the line of succession. While she was still an infant, her grandfather and… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Queen Victoria first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • See Geni at NGS 2022
    by Amanda on May 20, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    Next week Geni will be at the 44th National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in Sacramento, California. This year, NGS 2022 will be both in-person and virtual, so if you can’t be there in Sacramento, you can still join the fun online from the comfort of your own home. We are extra excited because we’ve greatly missed seeing everyone in person. The conference will take place on May 24-28 at the SAFE Credit Union Convention… Read the full story The post See Geni at NGS 2022 first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Cher
    by Amanda on May 20, 2022 at 3:55 pm

    Happy birthday to Cher! Today the music legend turns 76. Image: Cher / Nationaal Archief, Wikimedia Commons Cher was born Cherilyn Sarkisian in El Centro, California on May 20, 1946. Her father, John Sarkisian, was truck driver, and her mother, Georgia Holt, was a former model and actress. When she was ten months old, her parents divorced. In the 1960s, Cher rose to stardom as part of a singing act with her husband, Sonny Bono…. Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Cher first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Anne Boleyn
    by Amanda on May 19, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    On this day in 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England, was beheaded for charges of treason and adultery. Image: Anne Boleyn / Wikimedia Commons Her marriage to Henry VIII was scandalous from the start and had plunged the country into political and religious upheaval. Denied an annulment for his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon by the Roman Catholic Church, Henry VIII broke away from the Church to establish the Church… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Anne Boleyn first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • MyHeritage Census Helper™ Gets a Major Upgrade
    by Esther on May 19, 2022 at 3:40 pm

    Just before the release of the 1950 U.S. Census in April 2022, we released the Census Helper™, a tool that scans your family tree and compiles a list of your relatives who are very likely to be found in census records. In the initial release, the Census Helper™ calculated a list of family members to The post MyHeritage Census Helper™ Gets a Major Upgrade appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Blast From My Past, Ep. 6: Heirloom Hunters
    by Esther on May 18, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    We are excited to share the 6th episode of the Blast From My Past podcast. In this episode, we get a moving glimpse into the work of heirloom hunters: people who make it their life’s mission to locate old, lost photos, letters, and other personal items, and return them to the descendants of those who The post Blast From My Past, Ep. 6: Heirloom Hunters appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Frank Capra
    by Amanda on May 18, 2022 at 5:37 pm

    On this day in 1897, director Frank Capra was born. One of the most prominent and influential filmmakers of the 1930s, Capra won three Academy Awards for Best Director. Image: Frank Capra / Library of Congress Capra was born Francesco Rosario Capra in the village of Bisacquino, near Palermo, Sicily, Italy. He was the youngest of seven children born to Salvatore Capra, a fruit grower, and Rosaria Sarah Nicolosi. When he was five, the family… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Frank Capra first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • I Found Descendants of the Man Who Saved My Father from the Nazis
    by Esther on May 18, 2022 at 7:21 am

    Lionel Rossler, 49, of Rebecq, Belgium, tried for years to find the family that hid his father and grandmother and saved their lives during the Holocaust. When he took to social media to ask for help, MyHeritage’s Marie Cappart responded — and thanks to her research, Lionel and his father, David, were able to meet The post I Found Descendants of the Man Who Saved My Father from the Nazis appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Maureen O’Sullivan
    by Amanda on May 17, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    On this day in 1911, actress Maureen O’Sullivan was born in Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland. Image: Maureen O’Sullivan / Wikimedia Commons She was the daughter of Mary Eva Frazer and Charles Joseph O’Sullivan, an officer in the Connaught Rangers who served in World War I. As a child, O’Sullivan attended a convent school in Dublin where future Academy Award-winning actress Vivien Leigh was a classmate. Discovered by Hollywood filmmaker Frank Borzage at a horse show… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Maureen O’Sullivan first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Using a Single Photo & DNA Matching, I Unlocked the Secret Her Grandmother Took to the Grave
    by Esther on May 17, 2022 at 9:29 am

    Maria Brolin, an experienced genealogist and educator from Sweden, recently helped one of her clients make an amazing breakthrough using MyHeritage’s advanced DNA tools. This is her story: The first time that I really heard about my maternal ancestry and saw my family tree was when my grandfather showed me the family research that his The post Using a Single Photo & DNA Matching, I Unlocked the Secret Her Grandmother Took to the Grave appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Are You Related To Stevie Nicks?
    by Jean-Yves on May 17, 2022 at 7:39 am

    Stephanie Lynn Nicks (born May 26, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter, and producer known for her work with the band Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist.

  • Buzancy Military Cemetery, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on May 16, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    Buzancy was reached (though not held) by the 1st American Division on the 21st July, 1918, after an advance begun on the 18th. It was attacked by the 15th (Scottish) and 34th Divisions on the 23rd July, and taken on the 28th.

  • Profile of the Day: Henry Fonda
    by Amanda on May 16, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    Remember watching Henry Fonda on the big screen? On this day in 1905, the Hollywood legend was born in Grand Island, Nebraska. Image: Henry Fonda / Wikimedia Commons Henry Jaynes Fonda was the son of William Brace Fonda and Elma Jaynes. His Fonda ancestors were among the first Dutch people to settle in what is now upstate New York. The small village of Fonda was named after Douw Fonda, a prominent settler who was killed in 1780 during a… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Henry Fonda first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Geneanet Advanced Search Tips
    by Sean Daly on May 13, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    Geneanet’s basic search is free for all, but Premium members know they have a powerful and flexible search engine at their fingertips. Learn some advanced search tips and tricks to get the most out of your searches!

  • Profile of the Day: Bea Arthur
    by Amanda on May 13, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    Do you remember watching The Golden Girls or Maude? Today, we remember star Bea Arthur on what would have been her 100th birthday. Image: Bea Arthur / Wikimedia Commons She was born Bernice Frankel on May 13, 1922 in Brooklyn, New York. Before beginning her career as an actress, Arthur worked as a truck driver and typist in the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve during World War II. After the war, she found success in theater… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Bea Arthur first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Florence Nightingale
    by Amanda on May 12, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    Have you found your connection to the “Lady with the Lamp”? On this day in 1820, Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy. A nursing pioneer, Nightingale is remembered as the founder of modern nursing. Image: Florence Nightingale / Library of Congress Nightingale was born to an affluent and elite British family. Growing up, she felt uncomfortable among her family’s social circles and preferred to spend her time helping the poor and ill near her family’s… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Florence Nightingale first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • The 1950 U.S. Census Index for Nevada and Puerto Rico Are Now Live
    by Talya on May 12, 2022 at 12:57 pm

    In this week’s update of the 1950 U.S. Census indexed records (and their corresponding images), MyHeritage has added records from Nevada and Puerto Rico. An additional 2,439,619 records were added for a total of 6,680,023 historical records in the collection. All of the records are available to search, view, and add to your family tree The post The 1950 U.S. Census Index for Nevada and Puerto Rico Are Now Live appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Geneanet ‘Save our Graves’ Weekend, May 20-22, 2022
    by Jean-Yves on May 12, 2022 at 5:00 am

    On May 20-22, 2022, take pictures of graves in a nearby cemetery.

  • Winner: Mother’s Day 2022 Giveaway
    by Amanda on May 11, 2022 at 10:05 pm

    This Mother’s Day we asked you to tell us three words that best describe your mother or mother-figure in your life. Many of you sent in your answers and photos, but only one lucky winner would receive a free 1-year subscription of Geni Pro. Today we are excited to announce the winner of our giveaway is Debra Richards! Debra emailed the above family photo and shared the three words that best describe her mom: Three… Read the full story The post Winner: Mother’s Day 2022 Giveaway first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Episode 264 1890 Census Substitutes
    by Lisa Cooke on May 11, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    Listen to Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 264 Episode Show Notes In this episode you’ll discover the best places to locate records that can substitute for the lost 1890 census. You’ll learn: what happened to the 1890 census which parts of the 1890 census survived Information that was provided in the 1890 census the best substitute Source

  • How to Get Dual Italian Citizenship
    by Lisa Cooke on May 11, 2022 at 5:51 pm

    Learn how to get dual Italian citizenship using genealogical information with my guest professional genealogist Sarah Gutmann of Legacy Tree Genealogists.  Watch Live: Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 11:00 am CT  (calculate your time zone)  Three ways to watch: Video Player (Live) – Watch video premiere at the appointed time in the video player above. Source

  • Profile of the Day: Salvador Dalí
    by Amanda on May 11, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    Do you have Spanish ancestry? On this day in 1904, surrealist painter Salvador Dalí was born. Image: Salvador Dalí / Library of Congres He was born Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí y Domènech in Figueres, Spain. Nine months before his birth, his older brother, also named Salvador, died of gastroenteritis. At the age of five, his parents had told him that he was the reincarnation of his brother. A believer in the concept, Dalí incorporated… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Salvador Dalí first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Fred Astaire
    by Amanda on May 10, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    Today we remember Hollywood icon Fred Astaire, who was born on this day in 1899. Remembered as one of the most influential dancers in the history of film and television musicals, Astaire’s impressive career spanned a total of 76 years.  Image: Fred Astaire / Wikimedia Commons Astaire got his start as a dancer at the tender age of four. By the age of six, he was performing along with his sister Adele as a popular vaudeville act. The siblings changed… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Fred Astaire first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: James Barrie
    by Amanda on May 9, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    On this day in 1860, author James Barrie was born in Kirriemuir, Scotland. Today he is best remembered as the creator of Peter Pan. Image: J.M. Barrie / Library of Congress James Matthew Barrie was the ninth of ten children born to David Barrie, a weaver, and Margaret Ogilvy. As a child, Barrie and his mother often entertained each other by telling stories. The character of Peter Pan first appeared in the novel, The Little… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: James Barrie first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • This 20th-Century Mom Had 22 Kids
    by Esther on May 8, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    Most would agree that motherhood is the hardest and most rewarding job in the world, no matter how many kids you end up raising or how many of them actually share your DNA. Whether you had one kid or a whole bundle of them, we salute and celebrate you this Mother’s Day! The MyHeritage Research The post This 20th-Century Mom Had 22 Kids appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: George Clooney
    by Amanda on May 6, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    Happy birthday to George Clooney! Today the actor turns 61. Image: George Clooney / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration George Timothy Clooney was born in Lexington, Kentucky on May 6, 1961 to Nina Bruce, a city councilwoman, and Nick Clooney, a former anchorman and game show host. His aunt was singer and actress Rosemary Clooney. Clooney first rose to fame on the hit television show ER. His work on the series earned him two… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: George Clooney first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Mother’s Day 2022 Giveaway: Win a Free Year of Geni Pro
    by Amanda on May 5, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    We’re celebrating Mother’s Day with a chance to win a 1-year Geni Pro subscription! On this special day, we honor and celebrate the mothers and mother-figures in our lives for their hard work, dedication, and care. This Mother’s Day, we want to learn more about your moms and mother-figures in your life. Send us a photo and answer the question, “What are three words that best describe your mom or mother-figure in your life?” and… Read the full story The post Mother’s Day 2022 Giveaway: Win a Free Year of Geni Pro first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Nellie Bly
    by Amanda on May 5, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    On this day in 1864, journalist Nellie Bly was born. A pioneer in her field, Bly helped launch a new kind of investigative journalism. Image: Nellie Bly / Library of Congress Bly was born Elizabeth Jane Cochran on May 5, 1864 in Cochran’s Mills, Pennsylvania. The town of Cochran’s Mills was named after her father, Michael Cochran, who was a mill owner and judge. As a journalist, she wrote under the pen name “Nellie Bly.”… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Nellie Bly first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Audrey Hepburn
    by Amanda on May 4, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    Do you have a favorite Audrey Hepburn movie? On this day in 1929, the iconic actress was born in Brussels, Belgium. Image: Audrey Hepburn / Wikimedia Commons She was born Audrey Kathleen Ruston to Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston and Baroness Ella van Heemstra, a Dutch aristocrat and the daughter of Baron Aarnoud van Heemstra. Hepburn took up ballet at a young age, and by 1944 was a very proficient dancer. During World War II, she would secretly… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Audrey Hepburn first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Tune In to These Amazing Episodes of Blast From My Past
    by Esther on May 4, 2022 at 12:34 pm

    We’ve just passed the half-season point in Season 1 of our podcast, Blast From My Past — available on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you get your podcasts. The Blast From My Past podcast features the incredible true stories of people whose lives were changed by what they discovered through MyHeritage about their family’s pasts — The post Tune In to These Amazing Episodes of Blast From My Past appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • 10 Good Reasons To Publish Your Tree On Geneanet
    by Sean Daly on May 3, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    You come to Geneanet often and visit many trees, because you know about a strong point of the site: more than 7 billion ancestors are indexed. This richness exists thanks to all those who have taken the plunge and chosen to publish their family tree. So… why not publish your tree in turn? Here are ten good reasons to upload your tree.

  • Profile of the Day: Bing Crosby
    by Amanda on May 3, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Do you have a favorite Bing Crosby film? On this day in 1903, the legendary actor was born. Image: Bing Crosby / U.S National Archives and Records Administration Crosby was born Harry Lillis Crosby, Jr. on May 3, 1903 in Tacoma, Washington in a house built by his father. The fourth of seven children, Crosby acquired the nickname “Bing” at a young age from a comic strip called “The Bingville Bugle.” After finding success on… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Bing Crosby first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Geneanet is growing and seeks an International Digital Project Manager
    by Jean-Yves on May 3, 2022 at 10:08 am

    JOB DESCRIPTION Reporting to the Customer Experience Director, you will work closely with the various communications, marketing, and digital teams and carry out the following tasks:

  • Are You Related To George Lucas?
    by Jean-Yves on May 3, 2022 at 7:56 am

    George Walton Lucas Jr. (born May 14, 1944) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and entrepreneur. Lucas is best known for creating the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises and founding Lucasfilm, LucasArts, and Industrial Light & Magic.

  • Bethune Town Cemetery, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on May 2, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    For much of the First World War, Bethune was comparatively free from bombardment and remained an important railway and hospital centre, as well as a corps and divisional headquarters.

  • Profile of the Day: Dwayne Johnson
    by Amanda on May 2, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Happy birthday to Dwayne Johnson! Today the actor and former professional wrestler turns 50. Image: Dwayne Johnson / Eva Rinaldi, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) Johnson was born on May 2, 1972 in Hayward, California to Ata Maivia and Rocky Johnson, a former professional wrestler. His maternal grandfather, Peter Maivia, was also a professional wrester and a member of the famous Anoa’i family of wrestlers. A standout athlete, Johnson attended the University of Miami on… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Dwayne Johnson first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Willie Nelson
    by Amanda on April 29, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    Happy 89th birthday to Willie Nelson! Image: Willie Nelson / Library of Congress Nelson was born on April 29, 1933 in Abbott, Texas to Myrle Marie Greenhaw and Ira Doyle Nelson. Raised by his paternal grandparents, Nelson developed a love for music at an early age. At the age of 6, his grandfather bought him his first guitar and by 7, he had written his first song. Throughout his childhood, Nelson earned money by performing… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Willie Nelson first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • NYC Vital Records Are Online Now in New York: A Guide
    by Sean Daly on April 29, 2022 at 6:34 pm

    Last month, New York City made available online over 9 million birth, marriage and death certificates! Previously, these images were only available at a FamilySearch Family History Center or as a certified hardcopy from the archives. Read our guide to get the most out of the portal’s new search screen. Hint: find the certificate number first! We’ll show you how.

  • Profile of the Day: Harper Lee
    by Amanda on April 28, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    Do you remember reading To Kill a Mocking Bird? On April 28, 1926, author Harper Lee was born. Image: Harper Lee / Wikimedia Commons Nelle Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama and was the youngest child of Francis Cunningham Finch and Amasa Coleman Lee. Growing up, Lee was close childhood friends with author Truman Capote. In 1959, Lee helped serve as Capote’s research assistant for an article he was writing for The New Yorker…. Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Harper Lee first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • New FamilySearch Records Added To Geneanet: March 2022
    by Jean-Yves on April 28, 2022 at 9:32 am

    Last month, Geneanet added 127 million new records from FamilySearch collections!

  • Profile of the Day: Samuel F.B. Morse
    by Amanda on April 27, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    On this day in 1791, inventor Samuel F.B. Morse was born. Morse revolutionized long distance communication with his invention of the single-wire telegraph and the development of Morse code, a code using pulses and pauses to deliver messages quickly over vast distances.  Image: Samuel F.B. Morse / Library of Congress Samuel Finley Breese Morse was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts on April 27, 1791. He was the first child of Jedediah Morse and Elizabeth Ann Finley Breese…. Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Samuel F.B. Morse first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Carol Burnett
    by Amanda on April 26, 2022 at 11:30 am

    Happy birthday to Carol Burnett! Today the beloved comedic actress celebrates her 89th birthday. Image: Carol Burnett / Wikimedia Commons Born on April 26, 1933 in San Antonio, Texas, Burnett caught the acting bug at a young age. After her parents divorced in the late 1930s, she was sent to live with her grandmother in a boarding house in Hollywood, California. In the second grade, she briefly invented an imaginary twin sister named Karen and found enjoyment in fooling the… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Carol Burnett first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Ella Fitzgerald
    by Amanda on April 25, 2022 at 10:00 am

    Are you a jazz fan? Today we celebrate legendary singer Ella Fitzgerald’s birthday! Image: Ella Fitzgerald / Library of Congress The “Queen of Jazz” was born in Newport News, Virginia on April 25, 1917 to William and Temperance Fitzgerald. At the age of 17, she made her singing debut at the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. Her performance set her career in motion and onto a path of stardom. Her extraordinary vocal range… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Ella Fitzgerald first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Jack Nicholson
    by Amanda on April 22, 2022 at 4:40 pm

    Happy birthday to Jack Nicholson! Today the actor turns 85. Image: Jack Nicholson / Georges Biard, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) Nicholson was born on April 22, 1937 in Neptune, New Jersey. His biological mother was June Nicholson, although he spent the first 37 years of his life believing that she was his older sister. Only 17 years old and unmarried at the time, June’s parents agreed to raise Nicholson as their own child and… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Jack Nicholson first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Elizabeth II
    by Amanda on April 21, 2022 at 4:40 pm

    Happy 96th birthday to Queen Elizabeth II! Image: Queen Elizabeth II / Wikimedia Commons, NASA The Queen was born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on April 21, 1926, in London. At the time of her birth, no one would have predicted that she would someday become queen. Her father, Prince Albert, succeeded to the throne after his brother, King Edward VIII, abdicated the throne six months into his reign. Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-lived and… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Elizabeth II first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Napoleon III
    by Amanda on April 20, 2022 at 4:35 pm

    On this day in 1808, Napoleon III was born in Paris, France. The nephew and only heir to Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon was the first Head of State of France to hold the title of President. After being barred from running for a second term, he organized a coup in 1851 and took the throne as Napoleon III. Image: Napoleon III / Wikimedia Commons He was born Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte on April 20, 1808. He was the third… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Napoleon III first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Is your DNA at Geneanet? Add your tree to find common ancestors with your matches!
    by Sean Daly on April 19, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    Have you tested your DNA at Ancestry, 23andMe, MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA, or Living DNA, and uploaded your DNA file to Geneanet? If you have roots in Europe and want to find cousins, be sure to add your tree to Geneanet and link your DNA to it!

  • Italian Genealogy – Research Your Italian Heritage
    by Lisa Cooke on April 19, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    In this video on Italian genealogy and family history research  Lisa Louise Cooke and her guest professional genealogist Sarah Gutmann of Legacy Tree Genealogists will discuss: How to get started in Italian Genealogy  The best websites for Italian Genealogy Italian genealogical records Language tips and resources Sarah Gutmann began her obsession with family history when Source

  • Profile of the Day: Charles Darwin
    by Amanda on April 19, 2022 at 5:32 pm

    On this day in 1882, Charles Darwin died at his home, the Down House, in Kent at the age of 73. Considered to be one of the most influential scientific minds in history, Darwin’s work transformed the world’s understanding of nature. Image: Charles Darwin / Library of Congress Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in his family home, The Mount, in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. The fifth of six children, Darwin came from a line… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Charles Darwin first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Are You Related To Kelly Clarkson?
    by Jean-Yves on April 19, 2022 at 10:03 am

    Kelly Brianne (née Clarkson, formerly Blackstock; born April 24, 1982), is an American singer, songwriter, actress, author, and television personality. She rose to fame for winning the first season of American Idol in 2002, which earned her a record deal with RCA. Her debut single, “A Moment Like This”, topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and became the country’s best selling single of 2002.

  • Geneanet: List of Possible Duplicates
    by Jean-Yves on April 19, 2022 at 9:28 am

    You can view the list of possible duplicates in your family tree and easily merge them if needed.

  • Fosse No.7 Military Cemetery (Quality Street), Mazingarbe, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on April 18, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    Fosse 7 was four kilometres East of Mazingarbe, on the West side of the road from Lens to Bethune and it consisted of a pit-head and an Electric Power Station with a garden suburb of miners’ houses (the trench which led into the cemetery was named “Quality Street” during the War).

  • Profile of the Day: Paul Revere
    by Amanda on April 18, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    As the British began their approach towards Lexington and Concord on the night of April 18, 1775, Patriots Paul Revere and William Dawes set out on horseback to warn the American colonists of the approaching British troops. The British had planned to capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who were known to be hiding in Lexington, and confiscate supplies stored by the Massachusetts militia at Concord. Revere and Dawes set out on different routes towards… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Paul Revere first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Find Your People In The 1950 Census!
    by Sean Daly on April 15, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    The 1950 US federal census became available online at the National Archives on April 1, with machine indexing. However, accurate and complete indexing of the scanned images at NARA or at FamilySearch or Ancestry won’t be available for some time. Having trouble finding your people now? Read our guide for useful tips and tricks!

  • Profile of the Day: Leonardo da Vinci
    by Amanda on April 15, 2022 at 4:40 pm

    On this day in 1452, Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci was born in the Republic of Florence. Image: Leonardo da Vinci / Library of Congress Little is known about Da Vinci’s early life. He was born on April 15, 1452 and was the illegitimate son of Piero da Vinci, a well-to-do notary, and Catarina, a peasant who later married an artisan. Growing up, da Vinci received an informal education and by the age of 14, became an… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Leonardo da Vinci first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Abraham Lincoln
    by Amanda on April 14, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    On this day in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth while watching a play at the Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. Image: Abraham Lincoln / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Just five days earlier, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, signaling the end of the American Civil War. The President had gone for an evening out with his wife to… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Abraham Lincoln first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Thomas Jefferson
    by Amanda on April 13, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Are you related to a Founding Father of the United States? On this day in 1743, Thomas Jefferson was born at his family home in Virginia. Image: Thomas Jefferson / Wikimedia Commons The third of ten children, Jefferson was born into one of the most prominent families in Virginia. His father, Peter Jefferson, was a successful planter and surveyor. He died when Jefferson was just 14. One of America’s Founding Fathers, Jefferson was the principal author… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Thomas Jefferson first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Beverly Cleary
    by Amanda on April 12, 2022 at 4:55 pm

    On this day in 1916, beloved author Beverly Cleary was born. Image: Beverly Cleary / Washington State Archives, Wikimedia Commons Clearly was born Beverly Atlee Bunn on April 12, 1916 in McMinville, Oregon. An only child, Cleary spent the early years of her life on her family’s farm before moving to Portland, Oregon at the age of 6. A passionate reader, Cleary had aspirations to become a children’s librarian after graduating high school. Cleary began writing… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Beverly Cleary first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: William III of England
    by Amanda on April 11, 2022 at 4:35 pm

    On this day in 1689, William III and Mary II were crowned as joint sovereigns of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The couple reigned together until Mary’s death in 1694 at the age of 32. The post Profile of the Day: William III of England first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Betty Ford
    by Amanda on April 8, 2022 at 5:05 pm

    On this day in 1918, former First Lady and activist Betty Ford was born. Image: Betty Ford / Library of Congress She was born Elizabeth Anne Bloomer on April 8, 1918 in Chicago Illinois to Hortense Neahr and William Stephenson Bloomer, a traveling salesman. As a young girl, she studied dance and worked as a model at a department store to help pay for her lessons. In 1948, she married Gerald Ford, who at the… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Betty Ford first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • How to Preserve Your Own Life Story, and Why You Should
    by Patricia Hartley on April 8, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Why is it that we, as family historians, often do a poor job of preserving our own personal histories for the generations to come?

  • Profile of the Day: Will Keith Kellogg
    by Amanda on April 7, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    Do you enjoy a bowl of corn flakes for breakfast? On this day in 1860, Will Keith Kellogg, breakfast cereal inventor and founder of the Kellogg Company, was born in Battle Creek, Michigan. Image: Kellogg’s corn flakes / State Library and Archives of Florida, Flickr Kellogg began his career selling brooms before joining his older brother, John Harvey Kellogg, to help run the Battle Creek Sanitarium. His brother was a doctor and together, the brothers worked… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Will Keith Kellogg first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Paul Rudd
    by Amanda on April 6, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    Happy birthday to Paul Rudd! Today the actor turns 53. Image: Paul Rudd / Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) Rudd was born on April 6, 1969 in Passaic, New Jersey to British parents, Michael Rudd and Gloria Irene Granville. His parents were second cousins and were descendants from Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants who moved to England from Poland and Russia. His paternal grandfather changed the family surname from Rudnitsky to Rudd. Rudd made his… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Paul Rudd first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Gregory Peck
    by Amanda on April 5, 2022 at 4:35 pm

    Do you remember watching To Kill a Mockingbird? On this day in 1916, star Gregory Peck was born. Considered one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars, Peck is fondly remembered for his iconic portrayal of characters with unwavering strength and integrity. Image: Gregory Peck / Wikimedia Commons Peck was born Eldred Gregory Peck on April 5, 1916 in La Jolla, California to Gregory Peck, a chemist, and Bernice Ayres. Before pursing a career as an actor, Peck studied at the University of California,… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Gregory Peck first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Are You Related To Kristen Stewart?
    by Jean-Yves on April 5, 2022 at 7:37 am

    Kristen Jaymes Stewart (born April 9, 1990) is an American actress and filmmaker. The world’s highest-paid actress in 2012, she has received various accolades, including a British Academy Film Award and a César Award, in addition to nominations for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.

  • Maroc British Cemetery, Grenay, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on April 4, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    The cemetery was begun by French troops in August 1915, but it was first used as a Commonwealth cemetery by the 47th (London) Division in January 1916.

  • Profile of the Day: Dorothea Dix
    by Amanda on April 4, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    On this day in 1802, activist and social reformer Dorothea Dix was born in Hampden, Maine. Image: Dorothea Dix / Library of Congress The first of 3 children born to Joseph Dix and Mary Bigelow, Dix left home to live with her wealthy grandmother in Boston at the age of 12. By the age of 14, she became a school teacher and began her own school. She continued to teach for many years, but her health often forced her… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Dorothea Dix first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Use the MyHeritage Census Helper™ to Find Relatives in the 1950 U.S. Census
    by Amanda on April 2, 2022 at 12:04 am

    The 1950 U.S. census is finally here! The images are available for FREE on MyHeritage now and in the coming days and weeks, MyHeritage will be indexes the images, state by state, so you can start searching the 1950 U.S. census by name. As the records are indexed, you will gradually start receiving Record Matches to the census on your Geni profiles. Until then, you may want to check out MyHeritage’s newly released Census Helper™…. Read the full story The post Use the MyHeritage Census Helper™ to Find Relatives in the 1950 U.S. Census first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Debbie Reynolds
    by Amanda on April 1, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    Today we remember actress Debbie Reynolds on what would have been her 90th birthday. Image: Debbie Reynolds / Allan Warren, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) Reynolds was born on April 1, 1932 in El Paso, Texas to Maxine “Minnie” Harman and Raymond Francis Reynolds. Her father was a carpenter and worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1939, her family moved to Burbank, California and at the age of 16, she won the Miss Burbank beauty… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Debbie Reynolds first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • What to Know About the 1950 U.S. Census
    by Amanda on March 31, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    The wait is almost over! On April 1, 2022, the 1950 U.S. census will finally be released to the public. This new collection offers a treasure trove of information that sheds new light on the lives of our relatives who lived in the United States during the mid-20th century. In anticipation for the release of this new collection of records, we’re taking a look at what information you can find in the census and introduce… Read the full story The post What to Know About the 1950 U.S. Census first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Johann Sebastian Bach
    by Amanda on March 31, 2022 at 4:50 pm

    Does music run in your family? On March 31, 1685 (N.S.), composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany. Image: Johann Sebastian Bach / Wikimedia Commons Considered one of the greatest composers of all time, Bach had music in his blood. He came from a family of musicians, stretching back generations. Bach’s second great grandfather, Veit Bach, was a baker, miller, and founder of the Bach musical dynasty. He played the cittern and passed on his love for music to… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Johann Sebastian Bach first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Half A Million Postcards At Geneanet!
    by Sean Daly on March 31, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    Geneanet has lots of rich and varied content useful for you: records collections, family trees, DNA matching, the Genealogy Library, ancestor and family name maps, Geneastar, Save Our Graves… and a fabulous free Postcards collection. We are thrilled to announce that we have just topped half a million cards in the database!

  • Profile of the Day: Celine Dion
    by Amanda on March 30, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    Happy 54th birthday to Celine Dion! Since signing her first recording contract at the age of 12, Dion has has become one of the world’s best-selling artists in history with more than 200 million records sold worldwide. Image: Celine Dion / Georges Biard, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) Dion grew up in a very large family. She is the youngest of 14 children born to Thérèse Tanguay and Adhémar Dion in Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada. Music was… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Celine Dion first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: President John Tyler
    by Amanda on March 29, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    On March 29, 1790, John Tyler, the 10th President of the United States, was born in Charles City, Virginia. Image: John Tyler / Library of Congress Born to a prominent and influential Virginia family, Tyler was one of the last presidents to hail from Virginia’s elite aristocracy of planters. Tyler’s time at the White House was unique. In 1840, the newly elected President, William Henry Harrison, died of illness only one month into his presidency. Tyler, who… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: President John Tyler first appeared on The Geni Blog.

  • Are You Related To Keira Knightley?
    by Jean-Yves on March 22, 2022 at 3:46 pm

    Keira Christina Righton (née Knightley, born 26 March 1985) is an English actress. She has starred in both independent films and big-budget blockbusters, and is particularly noted for her roles in period dramas.

  • Woburn Abbey Cemetery, Cuinchy, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on March 21, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    Cuinchy remained during almost the whole of the war within range of German guns, and the cemeteries in the commune were made, so far as British troops are concerned, by fighting units and Field Ambulances. Woburn Abbey Cemetery was named from a house on the East side of it used as Battalion Headquarters and as a Dressing Station.

  • Upload Your Pictures To Geneanet With Your GEDCOM File!
    by Jean-Yves on March 20, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    With Geneanet Upload, import your family pictures and archival records with your GEDCOM file, and easily update your family tree.

  • Never forget a birthday with Geneanet alerts!
    by Sean Daly on March 17, 2022 at 3:18 pm

    Do you forget birthdays of your loved ones? Even if the answer is no, Geneanet’s Birthday Alerts feature makes it possible to not forget anyone, even among your distant cousins.

  • Stop Spending Hours Looking for Nonexistent Records: Do This Instead
    by Patricia Hartley on March 15, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    As it turns out, there is an incredibly straightforward and comprehensive resource that can tell you exactly what records are available for every county in every state in the United States — and plenty of other geographical areas, too.

  • Should Your Ancestry Tree Be Public or Private?
    by Patricia Hartley on March 8, 2022 at 4:59 pm

    Public or private? This is one of the first decisions Ancestry.com asks you to make when you create your family tree. Indicating your preferred sharing status is as simple as checking a box, but it’s not a trivial decision.

  • Are You Related To James Taylor?
    by Jean-Yves on March 8, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. A six-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

  • Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on March 7, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    A little west of the crossroads known to the army as ‘Windy Corner’ was a house used as a battalion headquarters and dressing station. The cemetery grew up beside this house.

  • The Geneanet Family Tree Edit Form Has Been Redesigned and Improved
    by Jean-Yves on March 7, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    The Geneanet family tree edit form has been fully redesigned and improved to facilitate data entry and to highlight some informations.

  • New: Geneanet’s video library!
    by Sean Daly on March 4, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    Perhaps you already know about Geneanet’s YouTube channel in English. But as the old saying goes, “If you want something done right, do it yourself!”, Geneanet has just created its own video library. Check it out!

  • The 1950 Census for Family History: When, Where and How to Access It
    by Patricia Hartley on February 28, 2022 at 4:16 pm

    The 1950 United States Federal Census is set to be released by the National Archives and Records Administration on April 1, 2022. Use this guide to discover how to find and use these fascinating records in your family history research.

  • Are You Related To Kate Mara?
    by Jean-Yves on February 22, 2022 at 2:43 pm

    Kate Rooney Mara (born February 27, 1983) is an American actress. She is known for work in television, playing reporter Zoe Barnes in the Netflix political drama House of Cards (2013–2014; 2016), computer analyst Shari Rothenberg in the Fox thriller series 24 (2006), wronged mistress Hayden McClaine in the FX miniseries American Horror Story: Murder House (2011), Patty Bowes in the first season of the FX drag ball culture drama series Pose (2018) and Claire Wilson, a teacher who begins an illicit relationship with an underage student, in the FX on Hulu miniseries A Teacher (2020), for the last of which she received an Independent Spirit nomination for Best New Scripted Series as an executive producer.

  • Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gouy, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on February 21, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    On 3 October 1918, the 1st King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry captured Prospect Hill, after Le Catelet and Gouy had been taken by the 50th (Northumbrian) Division, the 6th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the 4th King’s Royal Rifle Corps. The cemetery was made by the 50th Division and the 18th Field Ambulance immediately after.

  • Is your tree on Geneanet? Use the matching features!
    by Sean Daly on February 18, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    Your Geneanet family tree can be compared to others with corresponding identical data, but there is also an automatic matching feature which can quickly indicate new lines of research to look into. Find out how to use it effectively!

  • Use This Search to Access 1960-2010 Census Details
    by Patricia Hartley on February 15, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    The U.S. Census Age Search for years 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010 involves restrictions, guidelines, and even fees – but it all might well be worthwhile if it helps you to fill in more recent blanks in your family tree.

  • 5 new features for Geneanet DNA’s second anniversary!
    by Sean Daly on February 9, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    Geneanet DNA celebrates two years online this month! Some great new features have appeared these past few weeks, and this anniversary is the ideal occasion to show them to you.

  • The 10 Hard Truths Every Family Historian Must Learn
    by Patricia Hartley on February 8, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    If you’re just starting to build your family tree, or if you’ve simply put it aside due to frustration or defeat, listen up. You’re not alone in your family history challenges, and perhaps having a better understanding up front of what to expect down the road will help you overcome them. 

  • Are You Related To Molly Ringwald?
    by Jean-Yves on February 8, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    Molly Kathleen Ringwald (born February 18, 1968) is an American actress, singer, dancer, and author. She was cast in her first major role as Molly in the NBC sitcom The Facts of Life (1979–80) after a casting director saw her playing an orphan in a stage production of the musical Annie. She and several other members of the original Facts of Life cast were let go when the show was reworked by the network. She subsequently made her motion-picture debut as Miranda in the independent film Tempest (1982), which earned her a Golden Globe nomination for New Star of the Year.

  • Guizancourt Farm Cemetery, Gouy, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on February 7, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    Le Catelet and Gouy were captured by the 6th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the 4th King’s Royal Rifle Corps on 3 October 1918; and on the 5th, Guizancourt Farm (a building 3.2 kilometres North-East of Gouy, on the German Masnieres-Beaurevoir line) was secured by the 11th Sherwood Foresters and the 1st/8th Royal Warwicks (25th Division).

  • Get Ready For The 1950 US Census!
    by Sean Daly on February 4, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    US genealogists are looking forward to solving mysteries with the release of the 1950 Census, coming April 1st! Learn how to find ancestors before complete name indexing becomes available, if you know where they lived.

  • The Simple Steps to Take When You Inherit Family History Research
    by Patricia Hartley on January 25, 2022 at 5:50 pm

    For a fledgling family historian, receiving a collection like this might seem like the perfect ready-made foundation from which to build new branches. Even the experienced genealogist would consider it a windfall. However, inheriting someone else’s genealogy research can be both a gift and a curse if not handled properly.

  • Geneanet DNA: View your Haplogroups!
    by Jean-Yves on January 25, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    You can view your haplogroups on Geneanet if your DNA data allows it. Discover this feature.

  • Epehy Wood Farm Cemetery, Epehy, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on January 24, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    The village of Epehy was captured at the beginning of April 1917. It was lost on 22 March 1918 after a spirited defence by the Leicester Brigade of the 21st Division and the 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers. It was retaken (in the Battle of Epehy) on 18 September 1918, by the 7th Norfolks, 9th Essex and 1st/1st Cambridgeshires of the 12th (Eastern) Division.

  • Are You Related To Chloë Grace Moretz?
    by Jean-Yves on January 24, 2022 at 2:01 pm

    Chloë Grace Moretz (born February 10, 1997) is an American actress.

  • Searching the Napoléon Military Muster Roll Registers
    by Sean Daly on January 21, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    Did your ancestor fight for Napoléon? Learn how to effectively search our million-plus dataset of Napoléon’s soldiers!

  • Are You Related To Dolly Parton?
    by Jean-Yves on January 11, 2022 at 11:28 am

    Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author, businesswoman and humanitarian, known primarily for her work in country music.

  • Domino British Cemetery, Epehy, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on January 10, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    The village of Epehy was captured at the beginning of April, 1917; lost on the 22nd March, 1918; and retaken (in the Battle of Epehy) on the following 18th September by the 12th (Eastern) Division.

  • Geneanet, still a company unlike any other!
    by Sean Daly on January 7, 2022 at 10:35 am

    We often hear questions and remarks about the Geneanet model, whether to contribute or to choose a Premium subscription.

  • 2021: The Year In Review
    by Sean Daly on January 5, 2022 at 2:47 pm

    2021 was an eventful year, and not only for Geneanet. Although the health context improved compared to 2020, the year was disruptive… but that didn’t slow us down from moving forward! What was new on the site in 2021? The main improvements were in the online family trees. First off, we created an automatic thumbnail

  • Meath Cemetery, Villers-Guislain, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on December 27, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Villers-Guislain was occupied by Commonwealth forces from April 1917 until the German counter attacks (in the Battle of Cambrai) at the end of November 1917.

  • Are You Related To Dido?
    by Jean-Yves on December 21, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O’Malley Armstrong (born 25 December 1971), known professionally as Dido ( DY-doh), is an English singer and songwriter. She attained international success with her debut album No Angel (1999). Hit singles from the album include “Here with Me” and “Thank You”. It sold over 21 million copies worldwide, and won her several awards, including two Brit Awards: Best British Female and Best British Album, and the MTV Europe Music Award for Best New Act.

  • Geneanet: List of Possible Duplicates
    by Jean-Yves on December 19, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    You can view the list of possible duplicates in your family tree and easily merge them if needed.

  • Geneanet’s Community Has Indexed Over A Million Of Napoléon’s Soldiers!
    by Sean Daly on December 17, 2021 at 11:31 am

    Two hundred years after the death of the emperor on Saint Helena, we are excited about a major milestone: Geneanet’s community of genealogists has indexed over 1 million of Napoléon’s soldiers!

  • Targelle Ravine British Cemetery, Villers-Guislain, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on December 13, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Targelle Ravine British Cemetery was made in September and October 1918.

  • Are You Related To Taylor Swift?
    by Jean-Yves on December 7, 2021 at 9:57 am

    Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. Her discography spans multiple genres, and her narrative songwriting, which is often inspired by her personal life, has received widespread media coverage and critical praise.

  • Offer a Beautiful Ancestry Chart To Your Family and Friends!
    by Jean-Yves on December 5, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    On GeneaNet, you can download (in PDF) and print ancestry and descendancy charts for free!

  • Find Matches In Your Family Tree
    by Sean Daly on December 2, 2021 at 11:06 am

    Premium members: Learn how to use Geneanet’s two matching features to grow your tree! Geneanet offers a full tree matching feature for Premium members which can help you locate source documents as well as other trees with the same individuals. And automatic matching as you work on your tree will point you to possible matches

  • Villers Hill British Cemetery, Villers-Guislain, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on November 29, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Villers-Guislain was occupied by Commonwealth forces from April 1917 until the German counterattacks (in the Battle of Cambrai) at the end of November 1917. It was lost on 30 November and retained by the Germans on 1 December in spite of the fierce attacks of the Guards Division and tanks.

  • Are You Related To Mary Elizabeth Winstead?
    by Jean-Yves on November 23, 2021 at 8:54 am

    Mary Elizabeth Winstead (born November 28, 1984) is an American actress and singer. Her first significant role came as Jessica Bennett on the NBC soap opera Passions (1999–2000) and she went on to appear in series such as Tru Calling (2004) and films including the superhero film Sky High (2005).

  • Do You Have Some Errors in Your Family Tree? Discover our Consistency Checker!
    by Jean-Yves on November 21, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Our consistency checker has been recently updated for greater flexibility and efficiency.

  • Have An Old Postcard? Upload it to Geneanet!
    by Sean Daly on November 17, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    When researching ancestors, we often discover a place associated with them – where they were born and grew up, where they married and lived, where they moved to. The hometowns and villages of immigrants are always of interest. The Geneanet postcards database is a fabulous resource of nearly half a million postcards from Europe (especially

  • Ste. Emilie Valley Cemetery, Villers-Faucon, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on November 15, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Villers-Faucon was captured by the 5th Cavalry Division on 27 March 1917, lost on 22 March 1918, and retaken by the III Corps on 7 September 1918. On the site of this cemetery at the Armistice, there were three large graves of Commonwealth soldiers buried by the Germans, which now form part of Plot I.

  • Tracing Ancestors in the Old Country: How to Start Your International Research
    by Bridget Sunderlin on November 10, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    Nearly every one of us has ancestors who lived, worked and died in a country not our own. And, for this reason, we sometimes need to leave our comfort zone behind and head into unfamiliar territory with our family history research.

  • Are You Related To Neil Young?
    by Jean-Yves on November 9, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    Neil Percival Young (born November 12, 1945) is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter, musician, and activist. After embarking on a music career in Winnipeg in the 1960s, Young moved to Los Angeles, joining Buffalo Springfield with Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and others. Since the beginning of his solo career with his backing band Crazy Horse, Young has released many critically acclaimed and important albums, such as Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush, and Harvest. He was a part-time member of Crosby, Stills & Nash.

  • Sponsor a Friend or Family Member, and Get a Geneanet Premium Extra Month Free
    by Jean-Yves on November 7, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    On Geneanet, you can sponsor a friend or family member, and get a Geneanet Premium extra month free!

  • Adding Images To Your Geneanet Family Tree
    by Sean Daly on November 4, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    Your Geneanet family tree can have an unlimited number of people in it. But did you know that you have 1Gb of space available for photos and documents with a free tree? Or that Premium members get 10Gb? Genealogy is about sharing, but remember, Geneanet respects genealogists: you retain full ownership of your family tree

  • Templeux-le-Guerard Communal Cemetery Extension, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on November 1, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Templeux-le-Guerard was taken early in April 1917, lost on the 21st March 1918, and retaken by the 15th Suffolks of the 74th (Yeomanry) Division on the following 18th September.

  • Are You Related To Winona Ryder?
    by Jean-Yves on October 26, 2021 at 8:28 am

    Winona Laura Horowitz (born October 29, 1971), known professionally as Winona Ryder, is an American actress. She is the recipient of several awards, including a Golden Globe Award, and has been nominated for two Academy Awards. She is known for taking on quirky roles in her earlier films, after which she went on to play more prominent roles in the 1990s.

  • How to link your DNA data to your Geneanet family tree?
    by Jean-Yves on October 24, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    When you upload your DNA data to Geneanet, you can link it to an individual in your family tree. See below how to do if you did not link it during the upload.

  • Ancestors in France? Geneanet is the Biggest French Genealogy Database!
    by Sean Daly on October 22, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Find if you have French ancestors on Geneanet!

  • Templeux-le-Guerard British Cemetery, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on October 18, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    The village was taken early in April 1917, lost on the 21st March 1918, and retaken by the 15th Suffolks of the 74th (Yeomanry) Division on the following 18th September.

  • Are You Related To Katy Perry?
    by Jean-Yves on October 12, 2021 at 9:19 am

    Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter and television judge. After singing in church during her childhood, she pursued a career in gospel music as a teenager.

  • New option to change the order of spouses and children in your Geneanet family tree
    by Jean-Yves on October 10, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Some very useful new options have been added to the Geneanet family tree. You can now change the order of spouses and children if they are not correctly displayed for any reason or if you want to intentionally change it, and you can easily change the gender of an individual to fix an error or to enter a same-sex couple.

  • Participate in the General Slocum Disaster Collaborative Tree!
    by Sean Daly on October 8, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    The steamer General Slocum burned in New York’s East River in 1904 with great loss of life to the German-American community there.

  • Pigeon Ravine Cemetery, Epehy, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on October 4, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Epehy was captured at the beginning of April 1917; lost on the 22nd March 1918; and retaken (in the Battle of Epehy) on the following 18th September by the 12th (Eastern) Division.

  • Are You Related To Gwen Stefani?
    by Jean-Yves on September 28, 2021 at 8:46 am

    Gwen Renée Stefani (born October 3, 1969) is an American singer and songwriter. She is a co-founder, lead vocalist, and the primary songwriter of the band No Doubt, whose singles include “Just a Girl”, “Spiderwebs”, and “Don’t Speak”, from their 1995 breakthrough studio album Tragic Kingdom, as well as “Hey Baby” and “It’s My Life” from later albums.

  • Discover the new Geneanet family tree home page
    by Jean-Yves on September 26, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    The Geneanet family tree home page did not change for many years. Discover all the changes we have made to this home page.

  • Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on September 20, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    The Dieppe Raid of 18-19 August 1942 was the first large scale daylight assault on a strongly held objective on the Continent since the Allied withdrawal of 1940.

  • Bruyelle War Cemetery, Bruyelle, Belgium, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on September 6, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    All but one of the men buried in Bruyelle War Cemetery died in May 1940, during the battle on the line of the river Scheldt (Escaut) before the final withdrawal to Dunkirk ahead of the German advance.

  • Geneanet Joins Ancestry, the World’s Largest Genealogy Company
    by Jean-Yves on August 30, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Ancestry, the world’s largest genealogy company, announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Geneanet. This announcement marks a new chapter in the history of Geneanet. This blog post aims to explain the ins and outs of this important news. Who is Ancestry? Ancestry is a United States-based company that offers online services

  • Are You Related To Zendaya?
    by Jean-Yves on August 24, 2021 at 9:08 am

    Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman (born September 1, 1996) is an American actress and singer. She began her career as a child model and backup dancer before gaining prominence for her role as Rocky Blue on the Disney Channel sitcom Shake It Up (2010–2013).

  • Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-l’Abbe, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on August 23, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    The cemetery was begun in May 1916 and was used by the three medical units until April 1917.

  • How a Research Log Will Transform Your Family History Research
    by Family History Daily on August 21, 2021 at 12:44 am

    A family history research log is a document that tells you what you’ve researched, what you’ve found, what you didn’t find, and what research you still need to tackle. Here’s how to find one and put it to use.

  • Gordon Cemetery, Mametz, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on August 9, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Mametz was within the German lines until 1 July 1916, when it was captured by the 7th Division and Mametz Wood, north-east of the village was taken on the days following 7 July.

  • 10 Ways to Improve Your Family Tree in 10 Minutes or Less
    by Patricia Hartley on July 16, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Unlike most projects, you’re never truly “done” with genealogy. Tracing your family’s history can easily become a lifelong pursuit. Locating relevant records, uncovering family stories and overcoming brick walls can take years, or even decades. Therefore, you may wonder what you can possibly accomplish in a mere ten minutes. In reality, though, this short amount of time can be more than enough to make real improvements to your family tree. 

  • How to Use Marginal Annotations in French Deeds
    by Wesley Eames on March 20, 2018 at 10:00 am

    By Sophie Boudarel   Original text written in French Marginal annotations are, as we saw in my last post, a precious element of French deeds. Although they are useful in descending genealogy, they may contain traps that must be skipped. All our ancestors did not die at age 50, and we may find exceptionally marginal… The post How to Use Marginal Annotations in French Deeds appeared first on Trace.com.

  • III. Explaining Genealogic Germany – Some notes on civil records
    by Wesley Eames on March 19, 2018 at 10:11 am

    By Kathrin Kweseleit Most requests that reach me are dealing with the search for ancestors in the pre-civil record era but some are dealing with finding relatives during the time period the German Empire was existing or for finding relatives today. In this case civil records are great. But even if your ancestors left during… The post III. Explaining Genealogic Germany – Some notes on civil records appeared first on Trace.com.

  • 5 More Tips for Embarking on African-American Genealogy
    by Wesley Eames on March 16, 2018 at 10:00 am

    By Julia Joy Dumas This is the 2nd installment of Tips for Embarking on African-American Genealogy. Click here to read the 1st installment of Tips for Embarking on African-American Genealogy.   Patience + Perseverance = Pride   Genealogy research is not for the faint of heart. It is important to remember to be patient. It… The post 5 More Tips for Embarking on African-American Genealogy appeared first on Trace.com.

  • 5 Tips for Embarking on African-American Genealogy
    by Wesley Eames on March 15, 2018 at 10:00 am

    By Julia Joy Dumas Relax, you got this! The biggest misconception regarding African-American genealogy is the fear that Black people are invisible in America’s written historical records. Some people I speak with believe finding one’s African-American family history is impossible. I must admit, there are more challenges, but it is not impossible. Begin your research… The post 5 Tips for Embarking on African-American Genealogy appeared first on Trace.com.

  • Marginal Annotations in French Deeds
    by Wesley Eames on March 14, 2018 at 10:00 am

    By Sophie Boudarel Original text written in French Marginal annotations are a measure of publicity intended to establish a relationship between two acts of civil status or between an act and the transcription of another act or judgment.They are, for the genealogist, a valuable element of his research. Varied and numerous, they make it possible… The post Marginal Annotations in French Deeds appeared first on Trace.com.

  • Using Historical Documents to Capture Student Engagement
    by Wesley Eames on March 13, 2018 at 10:00 am

    By Nikki Paine As well as my genealogical work, I also work part time teaching mathematics to adults in the community for a local further education college. This week I was planning a session on revision for mean, mode, median, range, tally charts and graphs. Not the most inspiring of subjects for learners who find… The post Using Historical Documents to Capture Student Engagement appeared first on Trace.com.

  • Mothering Sunday
    by Wesley Eames on March 12, 2018 at 10:00 am

    By Anne Sherman Today Mother’s Day and Mothering Sunday are seen as the same day, and are celebrated at the same time, however they started as very separate celebrations. Mother’s Day In America Mother’s Day officially dates from about 1914 and was the result of a campaign by Anna Jarvis, whose mother had died on… The post Mothering Sunday appeared first on Trace.com.

  • Finding Records From the War to End All Wars: Thinking “Outside-The-Box”
    by Wesley Eames on March 9, 2018 at 10:00 am

    By Sharon Hall There certainly are obvious ways for genealogists to obtain World War I records, and you’ll find those at sites like Ancestry.com, Fold3 and more (see Part I).  For instance, you may begin by typing “World War I” in the keyword field (with quotes) in Ancestry’s Card Catalog and you’ll see a long… The post Finding Records From the War to End All Wars: Thinking “Outside-The-Box” appeared first on Trace.com.

  • Civil War Pension Records: A Wealth of Knowledge
    by Wesley Eames on March 8, 2018 at 10:00 am

    By Erika Grizzard Did you know that there is a wealth of information hidden in Civil War pension records? I certainly didn’t until recently, when these records helped me to begin knocking down a long-standing brick wall in my own family’s genealogy. I thought that the information gained wouldn’t extend beyond an acknowledgement of service and a… The post Civil War Pension Records: A Wealth of Knowledge appeared first on Trace.com.

  • Going to College…back in the Day…even girls!
    by Wesley Eames on March 7, 2018 at 10:00 am

    By Bonnie Samuel In 1870 America, there were only 500 public high schools with enrollment of about 50,000 students (U.S. population was almost 40 million in 1870 as per census data). At that time, enrollment had opened to accept females, mostly to be trained as teachers. Reading, writing and arithmetic curriculums were also expanding to… The post Going to College…back in the Day…even girls! appeared first on Trace.com.

  • A Fond Farewell
    by The Ancestry Insider on May 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Dear friends, I’m afraid the time has come for the Ancestry Insider to say goodbye. Over ten years ago I put virtual pen to virtual paper. Now it is time to put it down. I wonder if a couple of times a year you might still see something from me, but this may be it. This newsletter has brought me lots of enjoyment. I’ve enjoyed trying to bring you news you didn’t get anywhere else. I’ve enjoyed teaching how to better utilize Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. Through my reports about national conferences, I’ve enjoyed promoting education. Through my series on serendipity, I’ve enjoyed sharing my belief about the miraculous nature of life and family history. Through my Monday mailbox series, I’ve enjoyed answering your questions. Through my series, “Records Say the Darnedest Things,” I’ve enjoyed teaching about records and methodology. I have enjoyed the opportunities to acknowledge FamilySearch’s sponsor—and my current employer—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This newsletter began at a time when Ancestry’s communication policy was to say nothing. FamilySearch didn’t do much better when I started reporting on the rollout of New FamilySearch. Today, both organizations have healthy, vibrant communication programs. This newsletter has also consumed about six hours of my personal life each week and I think it is time for a change. But I put down this pen with a great measure of sadness. This newsletter has given me the opportunity to rub shoulders with many wonderful people. Thank you. For that I am most grateful. Of myself, I am pretty insignificant and I am forever humbled that you would consider this newsletter worth a little of your time. Before I say goodbye, I’d like to personally thank each and every single one of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you… Wow! This is going to take some time… Please feel free to go about your lives while I finish up. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …;  (inside joke), …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …, …Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • The Science Behind AncestryDNA — #NGS2017GEN
    by The Ancestry Insider on May 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Julie Granka, of AncestryDNA, spoke about “Understanding the Science Behind Your DNA Results” at the 2017 National Genealogical Society Conference last week. I’m hardly qualified to report about this session, but I’ll give it a try. Julie started by defining several terms, utilizing lots of diagrams. I was hoping to link to some pages on Ancestry.com that contain explanations as clear and simple as Julie’s. No luck. If I am going to provide links to basic information about DNA and genealogy, I will have to send you to someplace other than Ancestry. That is too bad. They should publish Julie’s presentation on their website. Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, has provided a nice list of links to introductory information. See “DNA Basics for a Sound Foundation.” Suffice it to say, there are basic building blocks of DNA that are represented by the letters A, C, G, and T. Our chromosomes are composed of long strings of these—3 billion, in fact. Almost all the letters are the same in every single person on the planet. Julie said that only about 10 million are different among different individuals and populations. A DNA test looks at about 700,000 of them. A location in the string of letters where the letters differ between individuals is called a SNP (pronounced “snip”). A group of inherited letters is called a haplotype. Julie studies SNPs and haplotypes in the context of human populations. “Patterns of SNPs and haplotypes among human populations are driven by history,” she said. “As humans migrate, they bring their DNA with them.” She explained the founder effect: Not everyone in a population has the same SNPs and haplotypes. If a small number of people migrate somewhere, their most common SNPs and haplotypes are likely to be different than the parent population. They have founded a population with a different profile than the parent population. A related phenomena is isolation. If I understand correctly, newborns in an isolated population are statistically more likely to have the most common SNPs and haplotypes of their population. These effects make different populations look different genetically. AncestryDNA uses the SNPs and haplotypes to determine three things.  Tiny amounts of the haplotypes and SNPs associated with a population from the distant past (hundreds of thousands of years) survive in our DNA. AncestryDNA uses this information to provide your ethnicity estimates. To determine what SNPs and haplotypes are associated with distant populations, AncestryDNA uses reference panels. These are individuals whose haplotypes and SNPs are thought to be representative of the distant populations. AncestryDNA has 26 reference panels. Founder effect and isolation make ethnicity estimates easy. Migration makes ethnicity estimates difficult. Large amounts of shared haplotypes between two persons indicate recent common ancestors. The more closely related, the more DNA is shared. AncestryDNA uses this information to provide your DNA matches. There are several challenges in determining DNA matches. Just sharing DNA doesn’t mean you are closely related. DNA you share for other reasons is called identical by state (IBS). DNA shared because of recent common ancestry is called identical by descent (IBD). AncestryDNA has to determine the difference. Another challenge arises from the way DNA is processed in the laboratory. For any given SNP, the data coming from the lab does not differentiate between the value contributed by your father and the value coming from your mother. AncestryDNA uses tools to estimate which came from which. She didn’t say this, but I would guess that if they ever get it wrong, you could be shown relatives who aren’t really your relatives. In between the two extremes, AncestryDNA searches for groups of people who share large numbers of matches to others within a group. They use this information to provide your Genetic Communities.It is possible to share no DNA at all with cousins. The closer the cousin, the higher the probability of shared DNA. Julie showed these numbers: Cousin Probability of shared DNA1st 1002nd 1003rd 984th 715th 326th 117th 3.2She showed a chart that looked like the one below. I think it indicated the average amount of shared DNA between two close relatives. It went by so fast, I am not certain. However, Blaine T. Bettinger provides similar data, which I’ve charted below. Source: Blaine T. Bettinger, “The Shared CM Project – Version 2.0 (June 25, 2016),” The Genetic Genealogist (http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com : updated 31 July 2016). AncestryDNA uses these numbers to estimate your relationship to your DNA matches. She covered more, but that’s about all I have time and space for here. I’m sorry that I’m not as clear as she was, but hopefully you learned something.     Chromosome inheritance diagram credit: Catherine A. Ball, et. al., “DNA Circles White Paper,” Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com/cs/dna-help/circles/whitepaper : updated 18 November 2014), figure 2.1.Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • FamilySearch: A Global Experience at #NGS2017GEN
    by The Ancestry Insider on May 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    The 2017 National Genealogical Society conference wrapped up last Saturday, and after a couple of articles, so will I. Diane Loosely of FamilySearch spoke at the FamilySearch luncheon. Her title was “FamilySearch: A Global Experience.” She described three definitions of global for which FamilySearch is global. One definitions of global refers to world-wide global reach. Diane showed us a FamilySearch booklet, My Family: Stories that Bring Us Together. It is available in 66 languages. FamilySearch has 5,000 family history centers located in 33 countries. They offer support to patrons in 13 languages. FamilySearch operates cameras in countries across the globe. They have 5.6 billion names published online from many countries. They publish an additional 2 million names a day. Diane showed a video, “Preserving and Accessing the Records of the World,” documenting record destruction in the Philippines resulting from super-Typhoon Yolanda. One town’s records, indeed all the town offices, were completely destroyed. All that was left was the cement floor of the building. Because FamilySearch had photographed their records, FamilySearch was able to restore all the records to them. Diane said that FamilySearch is gathering the genealogies of villages in Africa that, today, are preserved only by “Rememberers.” Aging village elders have memorized the genealogies of the village. Many are old and their knowledge is perishing with them. In the case of 95-year old Opanin Kwame Nketia, FamilySearch interviewed him and documented 12 generations and 1,000 people. A couple of days later when they returned to thank him, they discovered he had passed way. Diane said that 50 years ago FamilySearch canvassed Mexico, filming their records. It is thought that today 15 to 20% of those records have perished. Another sense of the word global is the idea of operating on a whole set of things. To find and search all of FamilySearch’s records, you have to know a few ways of accessing the records. Diane showed a Kentucky probate collection containing 12,000 names and nearly a million images. Obviously, FamilySearch had not completely indexed the collection. To access all the records, you have to be prepared to browse through the images like you would microfilm. She also pointed out that some records are accessed only through the catalog. Another sense of the word global is embracing the whole of something. “We feel a responsibility to help everyone discover their family history,” she said. She shared the quote from the Emory university study stating that the more children know about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives and the higher their self-esteem. FamilySearch recently remodeled the first floor of the Salt Lake Family History Library to appeal to a younger generation. Diane shared the well-known quote of Alex Haley: In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage—to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness. She then challenged us to choose a person we would like to introduce to family history. Prepare beforehand. Then go and give them a meaningful experience with family history.     Note: I was interested in where one might find Alex Haley’s original quote, as very few people cite the source. Barbara Renick in her book Genealogy 101: How to Trace Your Family’s History and Heritage (Thomas Nelson Inc., 2003) is the only source I could find who cited a source: “What Roots Means to Me,” Reader’s Digest (May 1977), 73-74.Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • Darned Page Order
    by The Ancestry Insider on May 12, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Tracy Reinhart is a long-time researcher who remembers way back when accessing the census meant scrolling through microfilm. Long ago she discovered her Braford ancestors’ family in Cannon, Kent, Michigan was one of those split across pages in a census. Online publishers like Ancestry and FamilySearch have to identify these split families and join them back together. That’s a fairly straightforward process unless you run into the situation Tracy ran into recently. “Part of the 1870 census for Cannon, Kent Co. Mich.  was not filmed in page order,” she told me.  “As a result,  when a family list carries over from one page to the next,  you will find wrong family associations.” She found that for Cannon, Kent, Michigan: Image 28 on Ancestry.com is page 28 and ends with the Henry Wolaver family. Image 29 on Ancestry.com is page 30. Notice page 29 was skipped. It starts with Emma Braford. Since Emma has no family or dwelling numbers, we know that she belongs to the family on the previous page. Because the pages were filmed in the wrong order, Ancestry erroneously places her in the Henry Wolaver family. This page ends with the Harry (or Harvy) Haines family. Image 30 on Ancestry.com is page 31, which correctly continues with Mary Haines. Image 31 on Ancestry.com is page 29, the skipped page. It ends with the A. B. Brayford family. I was interested to see how FamilySearch handled this situation. Researchers with access to both Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org universally advise using Ancestry.com for census research and the 1870 census on FamilySearch.org is a good illustration of why. If you search for Cannon, Kent, Michigan, you get everyone living in the entire state of Michigan! If you don’t know where your person lived, but you somehow find them, FamilySearch doesn’t indicate where the person was!The only advantage I see for searching FamilySearch’s 1870 census is that in a search you can specify another family member (in the “Other Person” field). That’s not possible on Ancestry. But I digress… As I compared FamilySearch.org with Ancestry.com, I noticed several interesting things. The image order on FamilySearch.org matches Ancestry.com. FamilySearch didn’t erroneously combine the Wolaver and Braford families. But they also didn’t correctly join the the two parts of the Brayford/Braford family. While Ancestry has 31 images for Cannon, Kent, Michigan, FamilySearch has 32. Ancestry has left out one of the pages from the microfilm! I’ve seen FamilySearch do the same thing. Neither company discloses the censure. The companies deem the image to have no genealogical value so they delete it. This is a very bad practice! There is no guarantee the decision maker understands advanced methodologies that may require a knowledge of the existence of that page, its contents, or the lack thereof. (A little looking showed this particular page is facing page 31 on folio 139. It has no names on it.) The digital folder number (004271429) and image number (00268) for Emma Bradford on FamilySearch.org match the image URL on Ancestry.com: https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/7163/4271429_00268. That’s kind of techie, but the takeaway is that Ancestry seems to be using FamilySearch images. FamilySearch misindexed the name Braford on page 30 as Bradford. Ancestry did not. Ancestry doesn’t seem to be using FamilySearch’s index.I see several lessons we should draw from this: If you don’t find your ancestor on one website, check others. Search several images forward and backward from your ancestor. Your ancestor’s name can be spelled differently by the same person in the same record. Look at and try to understand all the information on a page. When the day comes that we no longer have access to microfilm, there will be errors that we can no longer detect or overcome. Everybody makes mistakes. Ancestry. FamilySearch. Microfilm. Everybody.”Just a heads up for something that I never expected to find on Ancestry,” Tracy said. “Grrrrrrr” Thank you, Tracy. Image credit: Ancestry.com.Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • NGS Announces Tom Jones Documentation Book at #NGS2017GEN
    by The Ancestry Insider on May 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Today marks the opening of the 2017 National Genealogical Society Conference. At the conference NGS is announcing Mastering Genealogical Documentation by Thomas W. Jones. Tom is considered one of the top educators in the genealogical community. He is a PhD, Certified Genealogist, Certified Genealogical Lecturer, Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, Fellow of the National Genealogical Society, and Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association. He is the author of Mastering Genealogical Proof, another in the NGS Special Topics Series. According to NGS, “Mastering Genealogical Documentation teaches genealogists how to describe and cite their sources—including sources for which no model citation exists. … In this new step-by-step guidebook, Dr. Thomas W. Jones provides a foundation in the principles, logic, and decisions that underpin genealogical documentation. Exercises are provided at the end of each chapter (with answers at the back of the book) to reinforce concepts and provide opportunities for practice.” You can order the book in the store on the NGS website. It’s true that I’m prejudiced (I volunteer for the NGS), but I’m genuinely excited to get this book. I’ve attended Tom’s lectures on documentation at national institutes and they have been most helpful. Speaking of the NGS Conference, it’s not too late to attend. You can register onsite. For more information, visit the National Genealogical Society Conference website.Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • Free Exhibit Hall at #NGS2017GEN
    by The Ancestry Insider on May 10, 2017 at 11:00 am

    The 2017 National Genealogical Society conference started today (10 May 2017) in Raleigh, North Carolina. The exhibit hall is free, so even if you don’t register for classes, come see mini-classes, product demos, product announcements, sell prices, and give-away prizes. If you are in the area, you should come down and check it out at the Raleigh Convention Center. The exhibit hall opens at 9:00am each morning with the exception of 9:30 on Wednesday. It closes at 5:30pm each day, with the exception of 3:00pm Saturday.The Ancestry booth presentation schedule for Wednesday, 10 May is: Ancestry, Thursday, 11 May: Ancestry, Friday, 12 May: Ancestry, Saturday, 13 May: Other vendors do product demos, either on a schedule or by request. Lisa Louise Cooke included the Genealogy Gems schedule in the conference bag: Stop by the National Genealogical Society’s booth to enter daily drawings, buy their latest books, and get books signed by the authors. Judging from the advertising inserts in the conference bag, I imagine at the MyHeritage booth they would give you a coupon code for 30% off MyHeritage subscriptions. Likewise for a 15% coupon code from jigsaw genealogy. Genealogical Studies might give you a promo code for a free course and let you enter a drawing for additional free courses. Excelsior College has a drawing for an AncestryDNA kit. It’s not too late to register for one or more days of the conference. Come on down and check it out. Oh, and FamilySearch is offering free accounts in their booth. Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • Review: Unofficial Ancestry.com Workbook
    by The Ancestry Insider on May 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Somehow I missed the release of the Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com by Nancy Hendrickson. When I reviewed Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch.org, I became a big fan of Family Tree Book’s unofficial series, so I was very happy when I received a review copy of the new Ancestry book, Unofficial Ancestry.com Workbook: A How-to Manual for Tracing Your Family Tree on the #1 Genealogy Website. Chapters are organized around record types. The chapters of the book are: Search and the Card Catalog Census Records Birth, Marriage, and Death Records Military Records Immigration Records Historical Maps, Images, Newspapers, and Publications Social History [directories, tax records, land records, histories, etc.] AncestryDNAEach chapter contains overviews of the databases of the chapter’s record type and helpful instructions on using that type. For example, from the vital records chapter: Death records can open up new lines of research, primarily because they can contain the name of the person’s parents (including the mother’s maiden name) as well as where the parents and the decedent were born. Each chapter has a number of exercises. Don’t think workbook quizzes; think step-by-step walkthroughs.  Each chapter also contains some helpful “search strategies” for the chapter’s record type. Here is an example search strategy from the census chapter: Don’t assume your ancestor was skipped during an enumeration. Look for alternate surname spellings, first name shown as initials, or location in a neighboring county. Each chapter contains workbook forms and worksheets for things like searching the census and abstracting birth records. Appendices have additional checklists, worksheets, and census abstract forms. While a book obviously isn’t going to contain enough copies of each form or worksheet, additional copies can be downloaded from the Family Tree Magazine website.   Unofficial Ancestry.com Workbook: A How-to Manual for Tracing Your Family Tree on the #1 Genealogy WebsiteNancy Hendrickson8.2 x 0.6 x 10.9 inches, 192 pp., paperback. 2017.ISBN 1440349061Family Tree Books1-855-278-0408, shopfamilytree.com$10.99 Kindle$13.19 Google eBook$14.57 Amazon$21.99 Paperback/eBook list price, plus shipping.Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • Darned Record: No Father — Just Growed
    by The Ancestry Insider on May 5, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    We depend upon records to reveal the “truth” about the past. Yet sometimes records have anomalies. Some are amusing or humorous. Some are interesting or weird. Some are peculiar or suspicious. Some are infuriating, or downright laughable. Records say the darnedest things! Reader Steve Squier shared this: Hello, I thought you might like to use the attached image for one of your “Records Say the Darnedest Things” posts. The first entry in this register of births is for an unnamed daughter of a Miss Knox, of whose father the clerk wrote: “hain’t got none just growed.” Source: Taylor County, Iowa, Register of Births, vol. 1 (1880–1897): 160, entry no. 110 for [unnamed female]; County Courthouse, Bedford; digital images, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/search/catalog/679412 : accessed 16 April 2017); imaged from FHL film no. 1,035,143, item no. 1. Unfortunately, I can’t show you the image. To see it, visit your local family history center and click here: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DYWS-4V5.Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • Dear #NGS2017GEN Attendees
    by The Ancestry Insider on May 4, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    For those headed off to the 2017 National Genealogical Society Conference, in Raleigh, North Carolina, from 10‒13 May 2017, I have two items: syllabus and conference app. I attended a genealogy conference recently and heard that some attendees—first time conference attendees—were confused when presenters kept referring to handouts and syllabi. They were surprised that other attendees seemed to have copies of these handouts when they, themselves did not. Don’t be caught in the same situation at NGS. If you paid for a printed syllabus or syllabus on a flash drive, then you will receive said syllabus when you check-in at the conference. If not (or even if you did), you should download the syllabus PDF file beforehand and print any pages that you wish to hold in your physical paws during the conference. All conference attendees should have received by now an email with instructions on how to download the syllabus. (I received my email on Friday, 28 April 2017.) The file is 70 megabytes, so it will take forever to download if you wait and try to do it using the conference center wi-fi. Wi-fi connections at conference centers are seldom robust. I also wanted to point out that the conference app is available now for download. To download it, visit http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/mobile-app. The app offers another way to access class syllabi. To access the syllabus through the app requires a password. You received that password in the same email that gave instructions on downloading the PDF. Reading the syllabus on a phone is difficult, but it isn’t bad on a tablet. If you have attended an NGS conference before and never deleted the conference app, then when you install this time, there is an additional step you must take to see this year’s conference. The new conference app uses a blue color scheme (below, left). If you see the green color scheme from last year (below, right), you need to tap the icon on the bottom row that is titled “Exit to Conference List.” Then select the 2017 conference. The third of the two things I wanted to mention was the class schedule. Look through it beforehand to decide which classes you wish to attend, and which classes to attend if your first choices are full. If you are inclined to purchase recordings of some sessions, consider attending other sessions at corresponding times. Sessions marked “(R)” will be audio recorded and those marked “(LS)” will be lived streamed and video recorded. Hope to see you next week, at the 2017 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference!Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • NGS Live Streaming – #NGS2017GEN
    by The Ancestry Insider on May 3, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    If you can’t make it to the 2017 National Genealogical Society Conference, all is not lost. NGS is offering select sessions via live streaming or for three-month’s later viewing. You can purchase five sessions for Thursday, 11 May 2017 and five sessions for Friday, 12 May 2017. Thursday: Viewers will be able to stream five lectures on DNA from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. These lectures will demonstrate how DNA has revolutionized genealogy problem solving, clarified contradictions in records, and found female ancestors without a known maiden name. They will also offer advice on the best practices for analyzing autosomal DNA. $95 member, $115 non-member.     Friday: View five “BCG Skillbuilding” lectures by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. This set of lectures will teach how to probe documents beyond the obvious, find rich evidence in deeds, use an ancestors’ neighbors, prepare a Genealogical Proof Summary, and build a solid conclusion from disparate evidence. $95 member, $115 non-member.x     All ten sessions can be purchased for $150 member, $185 non-member, if purchased before midnight, 10 May 2017. After 14 May 2017, the price jumps to $175 member, $215 non-member. Sessions can be viewed for three months following the conference. All packages include a full, electronic conference syllabus. For more information, or to purchase sessions, visit http://www.playbackngs.com/7770.Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • AncestryDNA Whips Past 4 Million Samples
    by The Ancestry Insider on May 2, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Four million. It’s staggering, really. AncestryDNA has exceeded four million samples in its DNA database! It took AncestryDNA three years to get the first million samples. (See “AncestryDNA Exceeds Million Mark” on my blog on 22 July 2015.) It took them 11 months to reach two million. (See “AncestryDNA Database Reaches Two Million” on 28 June 2016.) It took just seven months to get to the three million mark. (See “AncestryDNA Zips Past 3 Million Samples” on 19 January 2017.) Less than 4 months later, AncestryDNA has reached four million persons in the DNA database. (See “AncestryDNA Reaches 4 Million Customers in DNA Database” on the Ancestry blog, 27 April 2017.) AncestryDNA must be selling over 8,000 kits a day to grow that fast. Ancestry says as many people took their DNA test during that period as got married in the United States. They said “that’s about as fast as babies are born in the United States.” That’s astonishing.Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • Monday Mailbox: FamilySearch Change or User Change?
    by The Ancestry Insider on May 1, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Dear Ancestry Insider, Hello, I enjoy reading your emails, and wonder if I missed something important, such as:         Did Familysearch.org change how personal family trees are managed?    Last week I looked up my Wilmot tree there, and found someone had changed a last name of an ancestor to Wilmont, when the father and grandson were right there as Wilmot. Duh??? A friend said the family trees are now wide open and anyone can add or change information.         Normally, all information is good, but in this case I am dealing with an idiot.   Then someone else gave my Hessian ancestor, John Stegman, a wife who was his mother-in-law, Does this mean that my tree can be changed by anyone going online to FamilySearch.org? If that is the case, I will not use the program anymore.  It would be a waste of time – I am not a church member – have served/helped many years in a local Family History library.Too many people are well meaning but uneducated on proof of sources.     Ellen Thorne Morris, Monmouth Co., New Jersey Dear Ellen, May Day! May Day! (Yes, today is the first of May. But I digress…) There has been no change. FamilySearch has Genealogies (personal trees) and it has Family Tree (a shared tree). What you are using is Family Tree, and yes, anyone can change anything. FamilySearch’s Genealogies feature is a GEDCOM preservation service. It is not an online tree management program like Family Tree or Ancestry Member Trees. It is merely a repository to preserve and share your life’s work. Export a GEDCOM file from your genealogy program. Go to FamilySearch.org. Select Free Account in the upper-right corner and create an account. Or if you already have an account, sign in. Select Search > Genealogies. Scroll to the bottom. Underneath “Contribute Your Research to the FamilySearch Community,” select Submit Tree. Follow the instructions to add your tree.You will be given the opportunity to synch your tree with Family Tree. That step is unnecessary, especially since it sounds like you already have. I don’t know how long it takes to appear, but when others go to Search > Genealogies and search for a person, they will see results from your tree along with the other contributed GEDCOMs. Ellen, let me close with a heartfelt thank you for your service in a family history center. Several times last month I had patrons express frustration at the limited hours of their local center. It is only through volunteers like yourself that FamilySearch family history centers are open at all. Thank you, thank you! Signed,—The Ancestry InsiderNotice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • Darned Carcinogenic Names
    by The Ancestry Insider on April 28, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    We depend upon records to reveal the “truth” about the past. Yet sometimes records have anomalies. Some are amusing or humorous. Some are interesting or weird. Some are peculiar or suspicious. Some are infuriating, or downright laughable. Records say the darnedest things! What parent names their child after some kind of cancer?! Brain Cancer Lung Cancer Prostate Cancer Skin Cancer Cancer de la Laringe (larynx) Cancer de la Matriz (uterus) Cancer Primitivo del Higado (Primitive Cancer of the Liver) Cancer del Riñon (kidney)Yes, records say the darnedest things!Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • NGS 2017 Conference Pre-Registration Ends Today – #NGS2017GEN
    by The Ancestry Insider on April 27, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Still need convincing? Pre-registration for the 2017 National Genealogical Society Conference ends today (27 April 2017), so you need to get on the stick. NGS has put together a heck of a program. NGS has loosely organized sessions into 10 tracks each day: Wednesday Thursday Friday SaturdayBCG Skillbuilding BCG Skillbuilding BCG Skillbuilding BCG SkillbuildingDNA DNA DNA DNAResearch Planning Solving Problems Records & Repositories Research in the StatesNorth Carolina Historical Context Methodology North CarolinaHistorical Context Religion Military Records & RepositoriesWorking with Records North Carolina African American Family StoriesTips & Techniques Records & Repositories Historical Context MethodologyMilitary Technology Technology Records & RepositoriesRecords & Repositories Organizing Research Native American ReligionMethodology Beyond the Borders Methodology Solving ProblemsPretty much every speaker is a nationally known expert or an expert in subjects in and around North Carolina. You may know these names (in no particular order): D. Joshua Taylor Thomas W. Jones Elizabeth Shown Mills J. Mark Lowe Judy G. Russell Mary M. Tedesco John Philip CollettaFrom Ancestry: Anne Gillespie Mitchell Anna Swayne Peter Drinkwater (Find A Grave, Newspapers.com) Juliana SzucsFrom FamilySearch: James Ison Diane C. Loosle David E. Rencher David S. Ouimette Robert RaymondTo see the program online, go to http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/program. To see the PDF registration brochure, click here. The National Genealogical Society 2017 Family History Conference is being held 10-13 May 2017 at the Raleigh, North Carolina convention center. Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • Pre-Registration for NGS Conference Ends Tomorrow #NGS2017GEN
    by The Ancestry Insider on April 26, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Pre-registration for the 2017 National Genealogical Society Conference ends tomorrow, 27 April 2017. The conference will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, 10-13 May 2017 at the Raleigh Convention Center. While you can register onsite starting noon on 9 May 2017, you must register by tomorrow for meals, events, and workshops. As I write this, some luncheon choices and workshops are already sold out. According to NGS, The conference program, Family History Lives Here, features more than 175 lectures from basic to advanced genealogical research, including eighteen presentations on DNA science and methodology. Finding records and effectively using them is the focus of fifty-seven lectures. Among the types of records discussed are a wide range of religious records, military and associated records, North Carolina and regional U.S. records, and African American and Native American records. Organizations sponsor luncheons during the conference and provide entertaining speakers ($32). The North Carolina Genealogical Society is hosting an evening event, “Pig Pickin” ($45). Pig Pickin’ features North Carolina BBQ, a five-member blue grass band, and local artisans. NGS is hosting its annual banquet with speaker Stuart Watson, an award-winning investigative reporter ($45).  The conference costs $240 for society members and $275 for non-members. One day registrations are available for $110 (member) and $120 (non-member). For more information or to register for the conference, visit http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org. I’m happy to serve again this year as an official social media reporter for the conference.Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • AncestryDNA 20% Sale
    by The Ancestry Insider on April 25, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Happy DNA Day! Today (25 April) is the anniversary of the publication of articles theorizing the helical structure of DNA. Ancestry is celebrating with a 20% sale on its DNA kit. (Thomas MacEntee has put together a list.) Normally priced $99, Ancestry is offering the kit for $79 (plus taxes and shipping) through 26 April 2017 at 11:59pm Eastern Time. While I sometimes see a $89 sale price, I don’t recall seeing the $79 price since DNA Day last year. After Thanksgiving the past couple years they have offered the kit for $69. It seems likely they will do the same this year. At RootsTech this year they were trying to overshadow the announcement of kits from other vendors by selling AncestryDNA for $49 (with no shipping since you purchased in-person). I don’t know that you will ever see that happen again. Bottom line, if you aren’t willing to wait until after Thanksgiving, today’s the day to order AncestryDNA for $79. To see what scientists, teachers, and students are doing to commemorate DNA Day, visit the National Genome Research Institute website. Click here to order AncestryDNA for $79.Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • Serendipity in a Box
    by The Ancestry Insider on April 21, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Over 40 years ago Glen and Joyce Alt lived in Platteville, Wisconsin where they became friends with Glenda Clyde and her husband. After several years, the two couples moved their separate ways, the Alts to Massachusetts, the Clydes to Washington state, and the couples had no further contact. Years passed by. One day Glen’s parents were participating in a household auction in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. When they bought a box of stuff for a few dollars, the auctioneer threw in another for free. The Alts found the second box contained a bunch of old photographs and a piece of paper with names, dates, and places. For some reason, Glen’s mother threw them into a drawer instead of throwing them away. Eventually, she passed them on to Glen. Glen felt there must be someone out there who would place great value on the photographs, so he began investing great efforts in finding them. He had a clue. The paper identified the family as the Urens of Blanchardville, Wisconsin. Glen started looking, but without success. When he went to Wisconsin on vacation three years later, he availed himself of the opportunity to ask around. He asked some old friends in Platteville if they knew any Urens. One remembered that they had a mutual friend whose maiden name was U’Ren: Glenda Clyde. Twenty-eight years after they had last communicated, Glen found Glenda on social media. She thought the photographs and information might be of her family, so Glen sent the photographs and the paper to her. Glenda discovered that the pictures and paper were of her great-grandfather’s brother’s family. The information gave her seven new families and 31 new names. “These precious pictures/paper were bought in the Midwest, given to Glen on the East Coast and then sent to me, a family member, on the West Coast,” Glenda wrote. “Considering the incredible preservation and journey of this valuable information, to us, it truly is a miracle.”   Retold with the permission of Glenda Clyde. You can also read her story in R. Scott Lloyd, “Family History Moments: Package Deal,” Deseret News (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865675767/Package-deal.html : 16 March 2017). Photograph contributed by Glenda Clyde.Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • Ancestry Offering Irish Heritage Tour
    by The Ancestry Insider on April 20, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Ancestry ProGenealogists, in conjunction with Go Ahead Tours, is offering an 11 day tour to the Emerald Isle. “Discover the country’s highlights and enduring heritage with special insight from the expert AncestryProGenealogists team.” This guided tour visits Dublin, County Cork, County Kerry , Galway, and back to Dublin. For an extra cost, “continue your experience by adding an ancestral home visit to the places where your family members once lived, worked, worshipped, and went to school.” The tour runs 22 October through 1 November 2017. For more information, visit https://ancestry.grouptoursite.com/. Photograph by Gary Deane, used under license.Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • Erroneous AncestryDNA Genetic Community
    by The Ancestry Insider on April 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Reader Clytee Gold wrote me about an apparently erroneous AncestryDNA Genetic Community assignment. One of her two communities is “Mormon Pioneers in the West.” (First, I am jealous that she has two community assignments.) She is rather positive that none of her ancestors were ever Mormons. She has done extensive research and has never found any connection to the Church. As there are still pockets of prejudice against members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this assignment could be highly offensive to some people. Coincidentally—or not—it is not offensive to Clytee. Forty years ago she joined the Church and moved to Utah. She is, literally, the “Mormon Pioneer in the West” of her family. I’m not qualified to explain how this misassignment occurred, but fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Perhaps experts among my readers can correct me. Clytee gave one possible explanation: The only thing I can figure out is that is based on OTHERS testing (guess that makes a community – who else took the test to compare to), and that somewhere, 5-6 generations back a sibling of a great-great something of mine joined the church in Denmark in the late 1800’s and came to Utah as a “Mormon Pioneer in the west” and populated the west and there are lots of descendants who took the DNA test. Ancestry has explained that they use an algorithm called community detection to detect groups of individuals with a large number of interconnections. I think of it like large DNA Circles that don’t require common ancestors. The Mormon Pioneers community contains 89,000 testers. Just like a DNA Circle, Ancestry states a confidence level for your membership in the genetic community. My connection to the Mormon Pioneers community is “Very Likely.” Ancestry says they then examine the Ancestry Member Trees of the genetic community “to learn about the historical forces that may have brought their ancestors together.” Of course, some testers don’t have trees, some don’t include all their ancestors, some have ancestors without complete location information, and some have complete garbage in their trees. I assume Ancestry looks for common locations in 25-year increments. If they find a large number of ancestors who lived in the same place at the same time, they look into the history of that time period and why there was a large number of individuals there. Then they give that community a name. For example, the sweet spot for one genetic community is centered on Massachusetts in 1725-1750 (shown on the map, below left). Ancestry chose to name that community, “Settlers of Colonial New England.” Another centered on Utah at a much later time period, 1875-1900 (below, right). Ancestry called this one “Mormon Pioneers in the Mountain West.”   I assume Ancestry can follow the group forward and backward in time, up and down the member trees. This provides additional touchpoints to compare against historical sources and decide if they have correctly identified and named the genetic communities. Moving forward in time gives an interesting view on migration that may not be available from other demographic sources. This may truly be groundbreaking demographic tools. For example, look at the 1900-1925 map (below) of the descendants of early residents of Chihuahua and Durango. If I am interpreting the map right, by that time they were as likely to be living in El Paso as Chihuahua. (The large circle over central Texas represents ancestors whose member trees didn’t specify where in Texas they lived.) Moving backwards in time gives an interesting view on where the Mormons who settled in Utah came from. In the period 1825-1850, most were living in England, with a fair number in Denmark. (See map, below.) The surnames associated with the Mormon pioneer genetic community further point to Denmark: Jensen, Christensen, Larsen, Hansen, Allred, Nielsen, Olsen, Sorensen, Nielson, Rasmussen, Christiansen, Madsen, Peterson, Anderson, Barney, Leavitt, Child, Andersen, Petersen, and Jorgensen Once they are sure they have identified the genetic community, Ancestry can take information from history books about that group and display it next to the migration map. However, the information may not apply to your ancestors who didn’t participate in the chain migration. That is how Clytee may have been put in a migratory group that her ancestors didn’t participate in. She told me her ancestry: My father was half Swiss (4 generations from the immigrant to Missouri) and half German (5 generations from the immigrant to Missouri).  Mother half Norwegian (2nd generation from the immigrant to Iowa) and half Danish (2nd generation from the immigrant to Iowa). I think the conjunction on Denmark is more than coincidence. Clytee’s Danish ancestors didn’t have to join the Mormon church for her ancestors to share DNA with those that did. I don’t think it had to have been a sibling in genealogic-time, either. I think Ancestry is looking at shared DNA in a closed community with hundreds of years of intermarriages. There is a possibility that the genetic community Ancestry has identified is actually more specific than “all Mormon pioneers.” Ancestry may have identified DNA of Mormon pioneers of Danish origin. Look back at the dominant surnames for this genetic community. Does it look more English or Danish? There are other possibilities. Remember the mention of confidence level? Clytee may not belong to the genetic community at all. Her DNA may just be a statistical anomaly. Remember the mention of garbage trees? Ancestry may be running calculations overwhelmed by erroneous information. GIGO. Garbage in—garbage out. Thank you, Clytee, for your message.Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • Monday Mailbox: Browsing Ancestry Database Images
    by The Ancestry Insider on April 17, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Dear Ancestry Insider, The database “Pennsylvania Wills and Probate Records 1683-1993,” offers the subscriber a “Browse this collection” window which works perfectly for all Pennsylvania counties except for Philadelphia County. The list of available images for Philadelphia County never shows up anymore—it did when the database was first launched. Perhaps because it is such a huge amount of data, it cannot load properly. Because the list of digitized probate files for Philadelphia County can only be accessed by clicking on a link from this “Browse” function (administrations, etc), it is now not possible to access those files since there is no dropdown menu. If you know someone at Ancestry who could correct this, I know many researchers would be grateful. With thanks, Sandi Hewlett Dear Sandi, I’ll see what I can do. In the meantime, there is a workaround. There are two ways to access the browse capability of an Ancestry collection. One is the browse you have identified on the collection page. The other is accessed via the breadcrumb path at the top of the page, underneath the title when viewing an image. If you can find a way to see any image, then you can browse to any other image. You can get to an image via browsing one of the other counties that works, or by searching for a common name. Or do this: 1. Start at https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/8802/005871739_00002. 2. Underneath the collection title at the top of the page, click on “Administration Files, 1764.” 3. Select from the available options. Signed, —The Ancestry Insider Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

  • Darned Undertaking
    by The Ancestry Insider on April 14, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    We depend upon records to reveal the “truth” about the past. Yet sometimes records have anomalies. Some are amusing or humorous. Some are interesting or weird. Some are peculiar or suspicious. Some are infuriating, or downright laughable. Records say the darnedest things! Kenneth H. Rich was the undertaker. He was also the decedent. Weird. After 30 years as an undertaker, Kenneth retired just 7 weeks before his doctor started treating him for interstitial nephritis. Less than 6 weeks later, Kenneth was gone. His son, Robert, took over the family business. Six years after his father’s passing, Robert had his first born son. He named him Kenneth. Reader Naomi Martineau shared this record with me. Thanks, Naomi! Image credit: Ancestry.com.Notice: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Ancestry Insider, not necessarily those of Ancestry.com or FamilySearch. All content is copyrighted by the Ancestry Insider unless designated otherwise. See http://ancestryinsider.org for other important legal notices.

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