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

Family History old picture Venice

  • Save our Graves: Cemeteries added to Geneanet in September 2022
    by Jean-Yves on October 4, 2022 at 8:27 am

    Because cemeteries are one of the most important resources for genealogists, Geneanet has launched the project “Save our Graves” to capture graves before they are lost. More than 5 million graves are already available! Here are the cemeteries added in September 2022: Australia Tallong General Cemetery, Tallong, New South Wales, 43 graves (just3thoughts) Garden of

  • Geneastar: New Famous Family Trees Added in September 2022
    by Jean-Yves on October 4, 2022 at 7:58 am

    Have you ever heard of Geneastar? Geneastar is a Geneanet website that focuses on the genealogy of famous people. Some new famous family trees have been added to Geneastar in September 2022: Hank Patterson, American actor and musician Margo, Mexican-American actress and dancer Mike Douglas, American “Big Band” era singer, entertainer, television talk show host

  • Profile of the Day: Andy Griffith
    by Amanda on October 3, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    Do you remember watching The Andy Griffith Show? 62 years ago today, the classic sitcom starring Andy Griffith premiered. Image: Andy Griffith / Wikimedia Commons Set in the small town of Mayberry, the show followed the lives of the widowed sheriff, Andy Taylor, his deputy Barney Fife, his young son, Opie, and his Aunt Bee. From the moment it premiered, the show was a success. For all 8 seasons, the show consistently remained one of the most popular… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Andy Griffith first appeared on About Geni.

  • Send Us Your Childhood Halloween Photos for a Chance to Win!
    by Daniella on October 2, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    Dressing up in costumes is one of the highlights of Halloween for most kids… alongside stuffing themselves with candy, of course! Who doesn’t love the chance to become someone or something else for a day? Even if you don’t wear costumes for Halloween anymore, perhaps you have some fond memories of costumes you wore in The post Send Us Your Childhood Halloween Photos for a Chance to Win! appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • New: Sorting for Shared DNA Matches
    by Erica on October 2, 2022 at 5:33 am

    We’re happy to announce the addition of sorting abilities for Shared DNA Matches. It’s one of several new improvements we’re making to DNA Matches on MyHeritage in the coming weeks. Shared DNA Matches are a valuable tool for users interested in figuring out how they’re related to a specific DNA match. The new sorting functionality The post New: Sorting for Shared DNA Matches appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Elie Wiesel
    by Amanda on September 30, 2022 at 4:55 pm

    Today we remember Holocaust survivor, human rights activist, and Nobel Peace-prize winner Elie Wiesel, who was born on this day in 1928. Image: Elie Wiesel / Library of Congress Wiesel was born on September 30, 1928 in Sighet, Romania and grew up in a close-knit Jewish community. At the age of 15, Wiesel and his family were sent to Auschwitz, where his mother and sister were killed. He and his father were later sent to… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Elie Wiesel first appeared on About Geni.

  • Geneanet ‘Save our Graves’ Weekend, October 14-16, 2022
    by Jean-Yves on September 30, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    On October 14-16, 2022, take pictures of graves in a nearby cemetery.

  • Ahnenfest: Free access to German records for a week at Geneanet!
    by Sean Daly on September 30, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    October 3 is Unity Day in Germany and October 6 is German-American Day. To celebrate, we are celebrating “Ahnenfest” – Ancestor Festival – with free access to our Premium German records from Oct. 1-6 inclusive!

  • Profile of the Day: Miguel de Cervantes
    by Amanda on September 29, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    Do you have Spanish ancestors? Today in 1547, author Miguel de Cervantes was born in Alacalá de Henares, Spain. Image: Miguel de Cervantes / New York Public Library He was the fourth of seven children born to Rodrigo Cervantes Torreblanca, a barber-surgeon, and Leonor de Cortinas, the daughter of a nobleman. His paternal grandfather, Juan de Cervantes, was a prominent and influential lawyer, while his uncle, Andrés de Cervantes, served as mayor of the city of Cabra…. Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Miguel de Cervantes first appeared on About Geni.

  • Daniel’s Favorites: 5 Cemeteries Our Genealogy Expert Loves to Visit
    by Daniella on September 29, 2022 at 7:35 am

    When you’re as obsessed with genealogy as I am, cemeteries become your #1 favorite place to visit. I have visited many, many cemeteries around the world: when I’m traveling, when I’m at home… even when I know for sure that I don’t have any relatives buried in a cemetery, I like to take photos whenever The post Daniel’s Favorites: 5 Cemeteries Our Genealogy Expert Loves to Visit appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • 921 million individuals added to Geneanet in 2022!
    by Jean-Yves on September 29, 2022 at 6:37 am

    We are proud to announce that we have added 9 new collections to Geneanet, and we take this opportunity to make a quick overview of all the collections added to the site since the beginning of this year, including the collections provided by Ancestry which, as you know, has become Geneanet’s main partner!

  • Profile of the Day: Ed Sullivan
    by Amanda on September 28, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    Do you remember watching The Ed Sullivan Show? On this day in 1901, Ed Sullivan was born. Image: Ed Sullivan / Library of Congress Edward Vincent Sullivan was born on September 28, 1901 in Harlem, New York City, New York to Peter Arthur Sullivan and Elizabeth Smith. He was born a twin, but his brother Danny died a few months after birth. Growing up, Sullivan excelled in sports and wrote for his school newspaper. After graduating, he landed… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Ed Sullivan first appeared on About Geni.

  • Who among your ancestors lived the longest?
    by Sean Daly on September 28, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    October 1 is the International Day of Older Persons! It’s the perfect time to look up the longest-lived ancestor in your tree. Here’s how.

  • 16 ways to find your ancestors’ town of origin
    by Lisa Cooke on September 28, 2022 at 1:50 pm

    Show Notes: Whether you want to visit the village where your ancestor was born on your next vacation, or you just want to find their records, you’ll need to know the exact place name and location. Professional genealogist Rich Venezia of Rich Roots Genealogy joins me in this video to help us pin down those Source

  • Behind the Crooked Smile: My Dad & Granddad Are My Heroes
    by Daniella on September 28, 2022 at 11:21 am

    For Father’s Day this year, we asked you to send in photos of father-child look-alike pairs in your family. The response was absolutely overwhelming! We received so many beautiful photos and fascinating stories. One of them comes to us from Mervi Rahikainen, who shared the photos and stories of her father and grandfather — who The post Behind the Crooked Smile: My Dad & Granddad Are My Heroes appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Amazing Sale on MyHeritage DNA!
    by Erica on September 25, 2022 at 9:25 am

    Millions of people have made amazing discoveries with the MyHeritage DNA test. If you haven’t taken one yet, there’s no time like the present. Our Amazing DNA Sale starts today, which means that you can gain fascinating insights about your origins and order as many kits as you want for an outstanding low price!  Order The post Amazing Sale on MyHeritage DNA! appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Ray Charles
    by Amanda on September 23, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    Today we remember Ray Charles on what would have been his 92nd birthday. Image: Ray Charles / Nationaal Archief, CC0 Ray Charles Robinson was born on September 23, 1930 in Albany, Georgia. He was the son of Bailey Robinson, a mechanic, and Aretha Williams, a laundress. Around the age of four or five, Charles began to lose his sight and by the age of seven, he was completely blind. Although the family had little money,… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Ray Charles first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Michael Faraday
    by Amanda on September 22, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    On this day in 1791, English physicist Michael Faraday was born in Surrey, England. Faraday is remembered for his groundbreaking discoveries in electromagnetism. Image: Michael Faraday / Science History Institute Faraday was the third child born to James Faraday and Margaret Hastwell. His family was not well off and could only afford him a basic education. At the age of 14, he began an apprenticeship with a local bookseller and educated himself by reading a wide… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Michael Faraday first appeared on About Geni.

  • The Secret to Finding Old Family Photos
    by Lisa Cooke on September 21, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    Show Notes: Discover more than 100,000 old family photos on Dead Fred. Founder Joe Bott explains how to find photos of your relatives on this free website. Watch the Video Premiere with Live Chat Show Notes Would you like to find more old family photos? One of the secrets is to search places where other distant Source

  • Profile of the Day: H.G. Wells
    by Amanda on September 21, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    On this day in 1866, The Time Machine author H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, England. Image: H.G. Wells / LSE Library, Flickr Wells was the fourth child born to Joseph Wells and Sarah Neal, both shopkeepers. The family struggled financially and by the age of 14, Wells became an apprentice to a draper. After finishing school, Wells became a science teacher. In 1891, he married his cousin, Isabel Mary Wells, however, the marriage did not… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: H.G. Wells first appeared on About Geni.

  • Emma Willard: The 19th-Century Educator Who Drew Magnificent Maps of History
    by Daniella on September 21, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words. While language gives us the capability to convey complex and abstract concepts, it is still much easier for our brains to understand certain ideas when they are presented visually. This explains the popularity of infographics in the 21st century. Seeing a graphic representation of data helps The post Emma Willard: The 19th-Century Educator Who Drew Magnificent Maps of History appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Sophia Loren
    by Amanda on September 20, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    Happy birthday to Sophia Loren! Today the Italian actress turns 88. Image: Sophia Loren / Wikimedia Commons She was born Sofia Villani Scicolone on September 20, 1934 in Rome, Italy to Romilda Villani and Riccardo Scicolone. Raised in poverty, Loren would become one of Italy’s most renowned and honored actresses. Loren began her path to international stardom after entering a beauty pageant at the age of 15. In 1957, she starred in her first Hollywood film, The… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Sophia Loren first appeared on About Geni.

  • Are You Related To Gwyneth Paltrow?
    by Jean-Yves on September 20, 2022 at 11:27 am

    Gwyneth Kate Paltrow (born September 27, 1972) is an American actress, author, businesswoman, model and singer. She is the recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award.

  • Is your DNA at Geneanet? Add your tree to find common ancestors with your matches!
    by Jean-Yves on September 20, 2022 at 10:50 am

    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!

  • Profile of the Day: Adam West
    by Amanda on September 19, 2022 at 5:40 pm

    Remember watching Batman on TV? Today we remember Adam West on what would have been his 94th birthday. Image: Adam West / Wikimedia Commons The television star was born William West Anderson on September 19, 1928 in Walla Walla, Washington. His father was a farmer and his mother was a former opera singer and concert pianist. While serving in the U.S. Army, West worked as an announcer on American Forces Network television. After getting his… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Adam West first appeared on About Geni.

  • Using Old Newspapers to Reconstruct an Ancestor’s Story – Podcast Episode 268
    by Lisa Cooke on September 18, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    Listen to Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 268 Episode Show Notes In this episode, Lisa Louise Cooke and Jenny Ashcraft from Newspapers.com discuss how to use newspapers to fill in the missing stories in your ancestors’ lives. Jenny shares strategic tips on finding unique information many researchers miss.     Resources Video version and show notes Downloadable Source

  • I Found My Dad and Got to Visit Him Twice Before He Passed Away Thanks to DNA Quest
    by Daniella on September 18, 2022 at 6:39 am

    MyHeritage user Stephen Drake, 70, from North Carolina, applied for a free MyHeritage DNA kit through our pro bono DNA Quest project in hopes of finding his birth father. A DNA match led him to his father, and he was able to develop a relationship with him and visit him twice before he passed away. The post I Found My Dad and Got to Visit Him Twice Before He Passed Away Thanks to DNA Quest appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Lauren Bacall
    by Amanda on September 16, 2022 at 4:50 pm

    Today we remember screen legend Lauren Bacall on what would have been her 98th birthday. Image: Lauren Bacall / Wikimedia Commons Actress Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924 in New York City, New York. She was the only child of William Perske and Natalie Weinstein, who later legally changed her surname to Bacal. After her parents divorced, Bacall was raised by her mother. Bacall began her career as a model before catching the… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Lauren Bacall first appeared on About Geni.

  • Searching for French Ancestors with the Tables Décennales
    by Sean Daly on September 16, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    Searching for French ancestors? Geneanet is France’s #1 site for genealogy! Learn about the “tables décennales” or decennial tables, indexes to vital records registers prepared every ten years starting in 1793. They are a key finding aid for French records!

  • Profile of the Day: Agatha Christie
    by Amanda on September 15, 2022 at 4:35 pm

    Are you a fan of Agatha Christie’s mystery novels? On this day in 1890, the best-selling author was born in Torquay, England. Image: Agatha Christie / Nationaal Archief, CC0 Christie was born on September 15, 1890 to a wealthy upper middle-class family. Educated in her home by her mother, Christie was encouraged to write from a very young age. During World War I, Christie served in a hospital as a nurse while her husband served as a… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Agatha Christie first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Francis Scott Key
    by Amanda on September 14, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    On the morning after the Battle of Baltimore, lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry,” which would become the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Image: Francis Scott Key / Library of Congress During the War of 1812, Key accompanied Colonel John Stuart Skinner aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant to negotiate the release of prisoners. During the negotiations, the British attacked Fort McHenry, leaving Key and Skinner powerless… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Francis Scott Key first appeared on About Geni.

  • New Series of My Grandparents’ War, in Partnership With MyHeritage
    by Erica on September 14, 2022 at 1:31 pm

    We’re excited to share that MyHeritage has partnered with Channel 4 and Wonderhood Studios to create the new season of the highly acclaimed docuseries My Grandparents’ War, which premieres in the U.K. this Thursday, September 15th at 9pm GMT on Channel 4. My Grandparents’ War takes some of today’s biggest celebrities on a riveting journey The post New Series of My Grandparents’ War, in Partnership With MyHeritage appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Genealogy
    by Lisa Cooke on September 14, 2022 at 12:52 am

    Show Notes: Discover Sanborn Fire Insurance maps with Julie Stoner of the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress. Learn the best search strategies, how to download the Sanborn maps for free, and hidden online resources! Sanborn maps are an invaluable tool for family history because they provide an up-close look at the Source

  • Profile of the Day: Roald Dahl
    by Amanda on September 13, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    Happy Roald Dahl Day! On this day in 1916, author Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, Wales. Image: Roald Dahl / Library of Congress Dahl was the son of Norwegian parents, Harald Dahl and and Sofie Hesselberg. Dahl’s father was a wealthy shipbuilder and had emigrated from Sarpsborg, Norway and settled in Cardiff, Wales in the 1880s. His mother later immigrated to the UK and married his father in 1911. During World War I, Dahl… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Roald Dahl first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Jesse Owens
    by Amanda on September 12, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    On this day in 1913, Olympic champion Jesse Owens was born in Oakville, Alabama. Image: Jesse Owens / Library of Congress The youngest of ten children, James Cleveland Owens was known as J.C. until the age of nine when his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio in search for better work opportunities. When his new teacher asked for his name, he said “J.C.” in a heavy southern accent. The teacher misheard and thought he said “Jesse.” The name… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Jesse Owens first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Leo Tolstoy
    by Amanda on September 9, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    Have you read Anna Karenina? On this day in 1828, author Leo Tolstoy was born at his family’s estate in Tula, Russia. Image: Leo Tolstoy / Library of Congress The Tolstoy family was a prominent family of old Russian nobility. He was the fourth child born to Count Nikolai Ilyich Tolstoy, a veteran of the Patriotic War of 1812, and Countess Maiya Tolstaya. Tolstoy’s parents died while he was young, and so his relatives helped care… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Leo Tolstoy first appeared on About Geni.

  • Bidding Farewell to Elizabeth II, the World’s Favorite Queen
    by Daniella on September 8, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    It is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. No modern monarch was more well-known and beloved than the Queen. At 96 years of age, she was not only the longest-lived British monarch, she was also the oldest living monarch in the world. She was the first British monarch in The post Bidding Farewell to Elizabeth II, the World’s Favorite Queen appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Peter Sellers
    by Amanda on September 8, 2022 at 4:40 pm

    Remember watching Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau? On this day in 1925, the iconic comedian was born in Portsmouth, England. Image: Peter Sellers / Wikimedia Commons He was born Richard Henry Sellers, but his parents called him “Peter” after his elder stillborn brother. Both of his parents were vaudeville entertainers and Sellers often accompanied his parents on the variety show circuit. In 1943, he joined the Royal Air Force and traveled with the entertainment… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Peter Sellers first appeared on About Geni.

  • The Christmas Gift of a DNA Kit Helped My Birth Father Find a Brother He Didn’t Know He Had
    by Daniella on September 8, 2022 at 6:10 am

    Tina Hampton was adopted as a baby and never knew anything about her birth father’s family. She received a free MyHeritage DNA kit through the pro bono DNA Quest project — and thanks to a couple of DNA kits given as Christmas gifts, she connected with a half-brother of her father’s that he hadn’t known The post The Christmas Gift of a DNA Kit Helped My Birth Father Find a Brother He Didn’t Know He Had appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Buddy Holly
    by Amanda on September 7, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    Today we remember rock and roll legend Buddy Holly, who was born on this day in 1936. Image: Buddy Holly / Wikimedia Commons Charles Hardin Holley was born on September 7, 1936 in Lubbock, Texas. He was the fourth child born to Lawrence Odell “L.O.” Holley and Ella Pauline Drake and nicknamed “Buddy” by his mother. Growing up, Buddy wasn’t the only member of the family interested in music. His older brothers performed in local talent shows and… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Buddy Holly first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette
    by Amanda on September 6, 2022 at 4:15 pm

    Today we remember French aristocrat and military officer, Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, who was born on this day in 1757. Also known simply as Lafayette, the Frenchman was an important figure during the American Revolutionary War and fought alongside the Continental Army against the British. Image: Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette / Library of Congress Lafayette was born to a wealthy, aristocratic family in Auvergne, France on September 6, 1757. The Lafayette family had… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette first appeared on About Geni.

  • Geneastar: New Famous Family Trees Added in August 2022
    by Jean-Yves on September 5, 2022 at 10:02 am

    Have you ever heard of Geneastar? Geneastar is a Geneanet website that focuses on the genealogy of famous people. Some new famous family trees have been added to Geneastar in August 2022: Cade Foehner, American singer and musician Johnny Mercer, American lyricist, songwriter, and singer Amelia Heinle, American actress Michael Weatherly, American actor, producer, director,

  • Save our Graves: Cemeteries added to Geneanet in August 2022
    by Jean-Yves on September 5, 2022 at 7:36 am

    Because cemeteries are one of the most important resources for genealogists, Geneanet has launched the project “Save our Graves” to capture graves before they are lost. More than 5 million graves are already available! Here are the cemeteries added in August 2022: Canada Cimetière Beechwood / Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa, Ontario, 5,140 graves (francerivet) Cimetière Notre-Dame

  • Exploring the Dublin Port Archive’s Name Book
    by Sean Daly on September 2, 2022 at 11:13 am

    Did your ancestor work on the docks for the port of Dublin a century ago? Learn about Dublin Port Company’s new digital archive including the “Name Book” of employees!

  • 5 million photos of graves at Geneanet!
    by Sean Daly on September 1, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    Geneanet has rich collections of genealogical data in France and Europe. We are excited to share that our “Save Our Graves” project has topped 5 million graves!

  • Profile of the Day: Lily Tomlin
    by Amanda on September 1, 2022 at 10:00 am

    Happy birthday to actress and comedy legend Lily Tomlin! Today the star turns 83. Image: Lily Tomlin / U.S. Department of State Tomlin was born Mary Jean Tomlin on September 1, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan to Guy Tomlin and Lillie Mae Ford. After high school, Tomlin enrolled at Wayne State University to study medicine. During her time in school, she began taking theater art classes and before long, she was performing stand-up comedy at local… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Lily Tomlin first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Richard Gere
    by Amanda on August 31, 2022 at 10:00 am

    Happy birthday to Richard Gere! Today the actor turns 73. Image: Richard Gere / Francesco, Flickr (CC BY 2.0) The popular actor was born Richard Tiffany Gere in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 31, 1949. His middle name comes from his mother, whose maiden name was Tiffany. Gere’s family had deep early American roots. He descends from Mayflower passengers through both his mother and father. As a teen, Gere excelled at gymnastics and even earned a… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Richard Gere first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Mary Shelley
    by Amanda on August 30, 2022 at 10:46 am

    Have you read the story of Frankenstein? On this day in 1797, author Mary Shelley was born. Image: Mary Shelley / Wikimedia Commons She was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin on August 30, 1797 in London, England. She was the daughter of philosopher and novelist William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, a writer and women’s rights advocate. Shortly after her birth, Shelley’s mother died, leaving her father to raise her and her older half sister, Fanny Imlay. At the age… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Mary Shelley first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Ingrid Bergman
    by Amanda on August 29, 2022 at 10:00 am

    Do you remember watching Casablanca? Today we remember star Ingrid Bergman, who was born in Stockholm, Sweden on August 29, 1915. Image: Ingrid Bergman / Wikimedia Commons Bergman lost both her parents at a very young age; her mother died when she was 3 and her father passed when she was 13. After her father’s death, she was sent to live with an aunt, who died of heart disease only six months later. At 17, she… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Ingrid Bergman first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Katherine Johnson
    by Amanda on August 26, 2022 at 5:05 pm

    On this day in 1918, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson was born. A brilliant mind, Johnson’s calculations helped send the first American astronauts into space. Image: Katherine Johnson / NASA Johnson was born on August 26, 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia to Joylette Roberta Lowe and Joshua McKinley Colman. A gifted student, Johnson graduated high school by the age of 14. She studied at West Virginia State College and graduated summa cum laude with… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Katherine Johnson first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Sean Connery
    by Amanda on August 25, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    On this day in 1930, actor Sean Connery was born. Image: Sean Connery / Nationaal Archief, CC0 The James Bond star was born Thomas Sean Connery on August 25, 1930 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was named after his paternal grandfather, Thomas Connery, and was called “Tommy” throughout his childhood. Connery quit school at a young age and got his first job working as a milkman before joining the Royal Navy. After he was discharged for… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Sean Connery first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: William I of the Netherlands
    by Amanda on August 24, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    Do you have family ties to Dutch royalty? On this day in 1772, William I of the Netherlands, the first King of the Netherlands, was born. Image: William I of the Netherlands / Wikimedia Commons He was the son of William V, Prince of Orange of the Dutch Republic, and Wilhelmina of Prussia. In 1791, he married his first cousin, Wilhelmina, who was the daughter of King Frederik William II of Prussia. After the French… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: William I of the Netherlands first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Louis XVI of France
    by Amanda on August 23, 2022 at 5:50 pm

    On this day in 1754, Louis XVI of France was born at the Palace of Versailles. The French monarch was the last King of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. Image: Louis XVI of France / New York Public Library Louis-Auguste was the second son of Louis, the Dauphin of France, and Marie-Josèphe of Saxony, the daughter of Augustus III, the King of Poland. Louis became the Dauphin at the age of… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Louis XVI of France first appeared on About Geni.

  • Are You Related To Jackson Browne?
    by Jean-Yves on August 23, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    Clyde Jackson Browne (born October 9, 1948) is an American musician, songwriter and political activist who has sold over 18 million albums in the United States. Emerging as a precocious teenage songwriter in mid-1960s Los Angeles, he had his first successes writing songs for others, writing “These Days” as a 16-year-old.

  • Profile of the Day: Ray Bradbury
    by Amanda on August 22, 2022 at 5:05 pm

    On this day in 1920, author Ray Bradbury was born. Image: Ray Bradbury / Alan Light, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0) Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois to Esther Moberg, a Swedish immigrant, and Leonard Spaulding Bradbury, a power and telephone lineman of English descent. Bradbury began writing his own stories as a child. During the Great Depression, he would sometimes use butcher paper to compose his works. It was his… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Ray Bradbury first appeared on About Geni.

  • POTTIER/POTTER Family Reunion in Brussels
    by Sean Daly on August 22, 2022 at 12:16 pm

    Do you have Pottier or Potter in your family tree? If you are a Geneanet member planning a large family reunion, tell us about it!

  • Webtemeber 2022 at Legacy Family Tree Webinars
    by Amanda on August 19, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    September is just around the corner and that means it’s almost time for Webtember, Legacy Family Tree Webinars’ third annual free, month-long online genealogy conference! Every Friday for the entire month of September, Legacy Family Tree Webinars will host live and pre-recorded webinars. Join live each Friday to learn how you can take your genealogy skills to the next level. If you can’t make the live sessions, you can enjoy all 31 recordings at your… Read the full story The post Webtemeber 2022 at Legacy Family Tree Webinars first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Gene Roddenberry
    by Amanda on August 19, 2022 at 4:40 pm

    Are you a fan of Star Trek? Today we celebrate the birthday of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, who was born on this day in 1921. Image: Gene Roddenberry / NASA Before finding success as a screenwriter and producer, Roddenberry served in the United States Army Air Force. During World War II, he flew 89 combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. After the war, he continued to work as a commercial pilot… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Gene Roddenberry first appeared on About Geni.

  • Geneanet DNA: annotate your matches!
    by Jean-Yves on August 19, 2022 at 12:27 pm

    If you have checked the list of your matches on Geneanet DNA these past few days, you may have already noticed: some new features have appeared! In this article, we will explain these in detail.

  • Searching Your Belgian Ancestors
    by Sean Daly on August 18, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    Do you have ancestors from Belgium? Here are some tips, links, and key resources to help you search for them, on Geneanet, on Belgian sites, and elsewhere.

  • Profile of the Day: Patrick Swayze
    by Amanda on August 18, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    Today we remember actor Patrick Swayze on what would have been his 70th birthday. Image: Patrick Swayze / Alan Light, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0) Patrick Wayne Swayze was born on August 18, 1952 in Houston, Texas. He was the second child of Patsy Yvonne Helen Karnes, a choreographer and dance instructor, and Jesse Wayne Swayze, an engineering draftsman. Thanks to his mother’s profession, Swayze was first introduced to dance at an early age. He showed… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Patrick Swayze first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Davy Crockett
    by Amanda on August 17, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    On this day in 1786, American frontiersman and folk hero Davy Crockett was born. Image: Davy Crockett / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution CC0 David Crockett was born to John Wesley Crockett and Rebecca Hawkins in what is today Tennessee. He was named after his paternal grandfather, who was killed in a Cherokee raid at the onset of the Cherokee-American wars. Crockett gained fame for his many larger-than-life exploits. A skilled woodsman, an excellent hunter, and gifted storyteller, Crockett developed… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Davy Crockett first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Elvis Presley
    by Amanda on August 16, 2022 at 4:35 pm

    Today we remember the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, who passed away on August 16, 1977 at the age of 42. Image: Elvis Presley / Wikimedia Commons Elvis was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi to Vernon and Gladys Presley. From very humble beginnings, Elvis would go on to be one of the most successful musicians in history. In 1956, he scored his first number one hit, “Heartbreak Hotel.” Shortly after, he made his big… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Elvis Presley first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Napoleon I
    by Amanda on August 15, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    Today we remember French Emperor Napoleon I, who was born on this day in 1769. Commonly called Napoleon Bonaparte, the French military commander and emperor conquered much of Europe during his rule, making France one of the strongest empires in Europe until its collapse in 1815. Image: Napoleon I / Wikimedia Commons Napoleon was born on August 15, 1769 on the island of Corsica to Carlo Maria di Buonaparte and Maria Letizia Ramolino. Although the family were of minor Corsican… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Napoleon I first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: George IV
    by Amanda on August 12, 2022 at 4:50 pm

    Do you have royal blood? On this day in 1762, George IV of the United Kingdom was born. Image: George IV / Wikimedia Commons, Rijksmuseum The first child of King George III and Queen Charlotte, George became Prince Regent in 1811 during his father’s mental illnesses and ascended to the throne following his death in 1820. George enjoyed living an extravagant lifestyle and at the age of 23, secretly and illegally married Maria Fitzherbert, a twice-widowed commoner and a Roman… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: George IV first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Chris Hemsworth
    by Amanda on August 11, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    Happy birthday to Chris Hemsworth! Today the actor turns 39. Image: Chris Hemsworth / Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) Hemsworth was born on August 11, 1983 in Melbourne, Australia to Leonie van Os, an English teacher, and Craig Hemsworth, a social services counsellor. He was the second of three sons. Both of his brothers, Luke and Liam, also became notable actors. Before becoming a household name as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe,… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Chris Hemsworth first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Vicente Guerrero
    by Amanda on August 10, 2022 at 4:55 pm

    On this day in 1782, Vicente Guerrero, a leading general of the Mexican War of Independence and later President of Mexico, was born. A champion of the common people, Guerrero is remembered as one of the most influential leaders in Mexican history. Image: Vicente Guerrero / Wikimedia Commons Guerrero was born on August 10, 1782 in Tixtia, a small town in what is today his namesake state of Guerrero in Mexico. He was of Afro-mestizo descent and… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Vicente Guerrero first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Mary G. Ross
    by Amanda on August 9, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    On this day in 1908, space pioneer Mary G. Ross was born in Park Hill, Oklahoma. Remembered for being the first Native American female engineer, Ross’s contributions would become crucial to the development of the American space program. Image: Mary G. Ross / San Diego Air and Space Museum Ross was the second of five children born to William Ross and Mary Henrietta Moore. Her second great grandfather was John Ross, who was the longest serving Chief of… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Mary G. Ross first appeared on About Geni.

  • Are You Related To David Crosby?
    by Jean-Yves on August 9, 2022 at 7:51 am

    David Van Cortlandt Crosby (born August 14, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. In addition to his solo career, he was a founding member of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

  • Profile of the Day: Emilie Flygare-Carlén
    by Amanda on August 8, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    On this day in 1807, Swedish writer Emilie Flygare-Carlén was born. A popular writer during her lifetime, Flygare-Carlén had endured several personal hardships before turning to literature as a means of supporting her family. She became known for her realistic depictions of family life in Sweden and was widely read both within the country and around the world during the later half of the 19th century. Image: Emilie Flygare-Carlén / Wikimedia Commons She was born Emilie… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Emilie Flygare-Carlén first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Neil Armstrong
    by Amanda on August 5, 2022 at 4:35 pm

    Today we celebrate what would have been astronaut Neil Armstrong’s 92nd birthday! Image: Neil Armstrong / NASA Neil Alden Armstrong was born to Stephen Koenig Armstrong and Viola Louise in Wapakoneta, Ohio on August 5, 1930. Armstrong’s love of flying began at a young age when his father took him on his first airplane flight at the age of five. After serving in the Korean War and finishing college, Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee for… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Neil Armstrong first appeared on About Geni.

  • Finding Your European Immigrant Ancestor’s Ship, Part 2
    by Sean Daly on August 5, 2022 at 4:26 pm

    In the first part of this two-part article, we covered 19th century European immigration to New York City. In this article, we will go over other American ports of entry as well as some other techniques to find your ancestors!

  • Profile of the Day: Percy Bysshe Shelley
    by Amanda on August 4, 2022 at 3:55 pm

    On this day in 1792, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in Sussex, England. Regarded as one of the greatest English Romantic poets of the 19th century, Shelley’s work was often characterized as visionary and radical by his peers. Image: Percy Bysshe Shelley / Wikimedia Commons Shelley was the eldest legitimate son born to Sir Timothy Shelley, a member of Parliament, and Elizabeth Pilfold. He grew up learning to fish and hunt in the meadows around… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Percy Bysshe Shelley first appeared on About Geni.

  • Geneastar: New Famous Family Trees Added in July 2022
    by Jean-Yves on August 4, 2022 at 8:29 am

    Have you ever heard of Geneastar? Geneastar is a Geneanet website that focuses on the genealogy of famous people. Some new famous family trees have been added to Geneastar in July 2022: Wesley Addy, American actor of stage, television, and film Buddy Baker, American composer who scored many Disney films Joel Barlow, American poet, and

  • Save our Graves: Cemeteries added to Geneanet in July 2022
    by Jean-Yves on August 4, 2022 at 6:57 am

    Because cemeteries are one of the most important resources for genealogists, Geneanet has launched the project “Save our Graves” to capture graves before they are lost. More than 4.5 million graves are already available! Here are the cemeteries added in July 2022: Australia Cairns War Cemetery, Cairns, Queensland, Australia, 12 graves (meu12tjetra) Campbell Town Uniting

  • Profile of the Day: Tony Bennett
    by Amanda on August 3, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    Happy birthday to Tony Bennett! Today the iconic singer turns 96. Image: Tony Bennett / Nationaal Archief, CC0 Bennett was born Anthony Dominick Benedetto on August 3, 1926 in Queens, New York to John Benedetto, a grocer, and Anna Suraci, a seamstress. Growing up, Bennett had a passion for music and the arts. He began singing at the age of 10 and as a teen he worked as a singing waiter in several Italian restaurants…. Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Tony Bennett first appeared on About Geni.

  • St. Mihiel American Cemetery, France, Now Available on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on August 3, 2022 at 7:25 am

    The St. Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial is located at the west edge of Thiaucourt (Meurthe-et-Moselle), France. The 40.5 acres (16.4 ha) cemetery contains the graves of 4,153 American military dead from World War I. The majority of these died in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, an offensive that resulted in the reduction of the St. Mihiel salient that threatened Paris.

  • Profile of the Day: Henry III of France
    by Amanda on August 2, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    On this day in 1589, Henry III of France died at the hands of a religious fanatic. Image: Henry III of France / Rijksmuseum, Wikimedia Commons Henry III was born on September 19, 1551 at the royal Château de Fontainebleau. The fourth son of King Henry II and Catherine de Medici, Henry was never expected to become the King of France. He ruled as the King of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth before inheriting the French throne… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Henry III of France first appeared on About Geni.

  • Some new more effective menus for your searches on Geneanet
    by Jean-Yves on August 2, 2022 at 7:21 am

    Genealogy library, genealogical society indexes, family pictures, cemeteries, archival registers… It may be difficult to find your way through the large number of data provided by Geneanet. We have launched new more effective menus which should help you find more quickly what you are searching for.

  • Profile of the Day: Herman Melville
    by Amanda on August 1, 2022 at 4:50 pm

    Have you read Moby-Dick? On this day in 1819, author Herman Melville was born in New York City, New York. Image: Herman Melville / Library of Congress He was the third of eight children born to Allan Melvill and Maria Gansevoort. Both of his grandfathers were heroes of the American Revolutionary War. His paternal grandfather, Major Thomas Melvill, participated in the Boston Tea Party and served as a Major in the Continental Army. Melville’s maternal grandfather,… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Herman Melville first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Vincent van Gogh
    by Amanda on July 29, 2022 at 11:00 am

    Do you enjoy the artwork of Vincent van Gogh? Today we remember the famous Dutch painter who died on this day in 1890 from a self inflicted gunshot wound. Image: Vincent van Gogh / Wikimedia Common Van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 to an upper-middle class family. He was born exactly one year after the stillbirth of his parents’ first son, who was also named Vincent. Van Gogh had a close relationship with his… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Vincent van Gogh first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
    by Amanda on July 28, 2022 at 3:30 pm

    Today we remember former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis on what would have been her 93rd birthday. Image: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis / Library of Congress She was born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier on July 28, 1929 in Southhampton, New York to Wall Street stockbroker John Vernou Bouvier III and socialite Janet Norton Lee. Before marrying John F. Kennedy, she worked as an inquiring photographer at the Washington Times-Herald. The couple was first introduced by a mutual friend, journalist… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Bob Hope
    by Amanda on July 27, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Do you remember watching Bob Hope onscreen? The comedian died on this day in 2003 at the age of 100. Image: Bob Hope / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration He was born Leslie Townes Hope on May 29, 1903 in Eltham, London. He was the fifth of seven sons born to William Henry Hope, a stonemason, and Avis Townes, an amateur opera singer and cleaner. In 1908, the family emigrated to the United States on… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Bob Hope first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Mick Jagger
    by Amanda on July 26, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Happy birthday to Mick Jagger! Today the Rolling Stones singer turns 79. Image: Mick Jagger / Nationaal Archief Michael Philip Jagger was born on July 26, 1943 in Dartford, Kent. His father, Basil Fanshawe Jagger, and his grandfather, David Ernest Jagger, were both teachers. His mother, Eva Ensley Mary Scutts, was a hairdresser. From a young age, Jagger loved to sing. He was classmates with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who shared Jagger’s love of the blues…. Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Mick Jagger first appeared on About Geni.

  • Are You Related To Hilary Swank?
    by Jean-Yves on July 26, 2022 at 7:43 am

    Hilary Ann Swank (born July 30, 1974) is an American actress and film producer. She first became known in 1992 for her role on the television series Camp Wilder and made her film debut with a minor role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992). She then had her breakthrough for starring as Julie Pierce in The Next Karate Kid (1994), the fourth installment of The Karate Kid franchise, and as Carly Reynolds on the eighth season of Beverly Hills, 90210 (1997–1998).

  • Profile of the Day: Maria Weston Chapman
    by Amanda on July 25, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    On this day in 1806, abolitionist Maria Weston Chapman was born. Image: Maria Weston Chapman / Wikimedia Commons Chapman was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts to Captain Warren Richard Weston and Anne Bates. Although her family was not wealthy, they were well connected. She spent several years of her childhood living in England, where she received a good education thanks to her uncle, Joshua Bates, who was a prosperous London banker. In 1928, she became principal… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Maria Weston Chapman first appeared on About Geni.

  • Offer a Beautiful Ancestry Chart To Your Family and Friends!
    by Jean-Yves on July 24, 2022 at 11:00 pm

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

  • Profile of the Day: Emma Lazarus
    by Amanda on July 22, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    On this day in 1849, American poet and activist Emma Lazarus was born. Lazarus is best remembered for the sonnet “The New Colossus,” and today, her iconic words, “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled Masses yearning to breath free,” can still be found inscribed on a bronze plaque at the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Image: Emma Lazarus / Wikimedia Commons Lazarus was born on July 22, 1849 in New York City, New York… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Emma Lazarus first appeared on About Geni.

  • Finding Your European Immigrant Ancestor’s Ship, Part 1
    by Sean Daly on July 22, 2022 at 12:06 am

    There are a number of resources available for finding your immigrant ancestors. In this first of two articles, learn how to search the most typical case: a European immigrant arriving in New York City from 1820 to 1924.

  • Profile of the Day: Ernest Hemingway
    by Amanda on July 21, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    Remember reading A Farewell to Arms? On this day in 1899, author Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois. Image: Ernest Hemingway / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration During World War I, Hemingway enlisted with the Red Cross to become an ambulance driver in Italy. On July 8, 1918, he was seriously wounded by mortar fire and despite his injuries, Hemingway assisted Italian soldiers to safety. He would receive the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Ernest Hemingway first appeared on About Geni.

  • Are You Related To Linda Ronstadt?
    by Jean-Yves on July 12, 2022 at 9:39 am

    Linda Maria Ronstadt (born July 15, 1946) is a retired American singer who performed and recorded in diverse genres including rock, country, light opera, and Latin. She has earned 11 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, and an ALMA Award.

  • Do you know how to view the frequency of last names on Geneanet?
    by Jean-Yves on July 10, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    On Geneanet, it’s possible to view the frequency and the geographic distribution of last names, and to easily search these names in the database. Here’s how to.

  • Ireland’s New Virtual Record Treasury is online!
    by Sean Daly on July 8, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    On June 30, 1922, a calamity occurred for the people of Ireland: in the opening engagement of the Civil War, a massive explosion and fire in the Four Courts complex in Dublin destroyed seven centuries of Irish archives in the Public Records Office of Ireland. The new Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland is a 21st century project to replace what was lost 100 years ago.

  • Save our Graves: Cemeteries added to Geneanet in June 2022
    by Jean-Yves on July 5, 2022 at 6:43 am

    Because cemeteries are one of the most important resources for genealogists, Geneanet has launched the project “Save our Graves” to capture graves before they are lost.

  • Geneastar: New Famous Family Trees Added in June 2022
    by Jean-Yves on July 4, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    Have you ever heard of Geneastar? Geneastar is a Geneanet website that focuses on the genealogy of famous people.

  • Are You Related To Liv Tyler?
    by Jean-Yves on June 28, 2022 at 8:07 am

    Liv Rundgren Tyler (born Liv Rundgren, July 1, 1977) is an American actress, producer, singer and former model. She is best known for her portrayal of Arwen Undómiel in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003). She began a modeling career at age 14.

  • Geneanet: List of Possible Duplicates
    by Jean-Yves on June 28, 2022 at 7:30 am

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

  • Improved handling when entering individuals with the same name!
    by Sean Daly on June 23, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    We’ve all been there: a son is named after a father; granddaughters are named after their grandmother; a child is named after an earlier sibling who died young. When you enter someone with the same name as someone else in your tree, what happens next?

  • Geneanet trees indexed in the Ancestry search engine
    by Geneanet on June 20, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    Geneanet family trees are going to be indexed on the Ancestry.com site in July. Maybe you will be in touch with American cousins!

  • 700 Families In The General Slocum Families Tree
    by Sean Daly on June 15, 2022 at 1:05 am

    On June 15, 1904, the General Slocum steamboat disaster in New York City decimated the German-American community there. At Geneanet, we honor the victims and survivors of the tragedy with the family trees of every known passenger. It’s a free and collaborative project, open to all.

  • Are You Related To Blake Shelton?
    by Jean-Yves on June 14, 2022 at 8:51 am

    Blake Tollison Shelton (born June 18, 1976) is an American country music singer and television personality. In 2001, he made his debut with the single “Austin”. The lead-off single from his self-titled debut album, “Austin” spent five weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

  • Do You Have Some Errors in Your Family Tree? Discover our Consistency Checker!
    by Jean-Yves on June 12, 2022 at 11:00 pm

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

  • Are you descended from the Filles du Roy?
    by Sean Daly on June 9, 2022 at 11:29 am

    Well-known in Canada, in particular in Québec, the Filles du Roy — the King’s Daughters — are the ancestors of most Canadians today and many Americans too. Discover their history… and participate in our collaborative family tree!

  • Geneastar: New Famous Family Trees Added in May 2022
    by Jean-Yves on June 8, 2022 at 9:04 am

    Have you ever heard of Geneastar? Geneastar is a Geneanet website that focuses on the genealogy of famous people.

  • Are You Related To Angelina Jolie?
    by Jean-Yves on May 31, 2022 at 9:16 am

    Angelina Jolie (; born Angelina Jolie Voight, June 4, 1975; later Angelina Jolie Pitt) is an American actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian. The recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award and three Golden Globe Awards, she has been named Hollywood’s highest-paid actress multiple times.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 DNA 1st 100 2nd 100 3rd 98 4th 71 5th 32 6th 11 7th 3.2 She 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.] AncestryDNA Each 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 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 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 Saturday BCG Skillbuilding BCG Skillbuilding BCG Skillbuilding BCG Skillbuilding DNA DNA DNA DNA Research Planning Solving Problems Records & Repositories Research in the States North Carolina Historical Context Methodology North Carolina Historical Context Religion Military Records & Repositories Working with Records North Carolina African American Family Stories Tips & Techniques Records & Repositories Historical Context Methodology Military Technology Technology Records & Repositories Records & Repositories Organizing Research Native American Religion Methodology Beyond the Borders Methodology Solving Problems Pretty 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 Colletta From Ancestry: Anne Gillespie Mitchell Anna Swayne Peter Drinkwater (Find A Grave, Newspapers.com) Juliana Szucs From FamilySearch: James Ison Diane C. Loosle David E. Rencher David S. Ouimette Robert Raymond To 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.

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