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

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  • Profile of the Day: Lewis Carroll
    by Amanda on January 27, 2023 at 5:50 pm

    Remember the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? On this day in 1832, author Lewis Carroll was born. Image: Lewis Carroll / Wikimedia Commons The eldest son in a family of 11 children, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson spent much of his childhood reading books. He enjoyed entertaining the children of his close friend, Henry George Liddell, and spent much time delighting them with stories of fantastic adventures. Liddell’s daughter, Alice, became the inspiration for Carroll’s most famous… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Lewis Carroll first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Paul Newman
    by Amanda on January 26, 2023 at 5:10 pm

    Ninety-eight years ago today, legendary actor Paul Newman was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Image: Paul Newman / Wikimedia Commons A versatile actor and entrepreneur, Newman showed an early interest in theater. He made his Broadway debut in 1953 and eventually segued into television and film. Some of his most memorable films include Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, and The Sting. In 1958, Newman married actress Joanne Woodward. They remained married for 50 years… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Paul Newman first appeared on About Geni.

  • The Apprentice of Buchenwald: A Story of Survival, Triumph, and Family Love
    by Daniella on January 26, 2023 at 1:33 pm

    The last time Oren Schneider saw his beloved maternal grandfather Alexander Ruziak, the elderly man, who was 92 years old at the time, made an unusual request. For as long as Oren could remember, his grandfather had openly shared the unbelievable details of how he survived the horrors of the Holocaust. But though the importance The post The Apprentice of Buchenwald: A Story of Survival, Triumph, and Family Love appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Researching to write a family history narrative
    by Lisa Cooke on January 26, 2023 at 3:14 am

    Dale Spaulding discovered remarkable stories when he was researching his family for over 30 years. But he got a little worried that these really uniquely American stories were going to be lost to time if he didn’t do something about it. Maybe you have some of those same fears. It was his determination to preserve Source

  • Profile of the Day: Virginia Woolf
    by Amanda on January 25, 2023 at 6:31 pm

    Today we celebrate the 141st birthday of British author Virginia Woolf. A pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device, Woolf is remembered as a central figure of the modernist movement in literature. Image: Virginia Woolf / Harvard Theater Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University Woolf was born Adeline Virginia Stephen on January 25, 1882 in London England to Sir Leslie Stephen, a prominent author and mountaineer, and Julia Jackson, a noted philanthropist. She was… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Virginia Woolf first appeared on About Geni.

  • New: Download and Share Your MyHeritage Ethnicity Estimate as a Video
    by Erica on January 25, 2023 at 4:40 pm

    When MyHeritage DNA results are ready, the Ethnicity Estimate is revealed in an interactive display featuring a spinning globe, and background music representing the user’s ethnicities. Recently, some MyHeritage DNA users have started converting this interactive display of their ethnicity results into a video and sharing it on social media. Such videos have gained huge The post New: Download and Share Your MyHeritage Ethnicity Estimate as a Video appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Australia Day Free Records: Access 95 Million Records from Australia for Free!
    by Talya on January 24, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    In honor of Australia Day, we are delighted to announce that we are offering free access to all of the Australian records on MyHeritage — encompassing 95 million records from across 288 historical record collections! Search 95 million Australian records for free January 26 marks Australia Day, the national holiday that honors the history of The post Australia Day Free Records: Access 95 Million Records from Australia for Free! appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Edith Wharton
    by Amanda on January 24, 2023 at 5:55 pm

    On this day in 1862, American author Edith Wharton was born. Known for her stories about America’s upper-class, Wharton became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1921. Image: Edith Wharton / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution CC0 She was born Edith Newbold Jones on January 24, 1862 to a prominent and wealthy New York family. In 1885, she married Edward Wharton, a wealthy banker. The couple eventually divorced in 1913 after 28 years… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Edith Wharton first appeared on About Geni.

  • Geneastar: discover more than 17,000 family trees of celebrities!
    by Aliénor on January 24, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    With Geneastar, the site of celebrity genealogies by Geneanet, you can discover in a few clicks if you are related to someone famous. The site has just reached 17,000 trees online!

  • Profile of the Day: John Hancock
    by Amanda on January 23, 2023 at 1:00 pm

    It’s National Handwriting Day! Established in 1977, National Handwriting Day is celebrated on the birthday of John Hancock. The American Founding Father is best remembered for his iconic signature on the Declaration of Independence. Image: John Hancock / Library of Congress John Hancock was born on January 23, 1737 in Braintree, Massachusetts. A major figure of the American Revolution, Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. His large and stylish signature has become so… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: John Hancock first appeared on About Geni.

  • Resources for Scottish genealogy
    by Sean Daly on January 21, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    Scotland has had a rich and varied history and records are available going back centuries. Learn about resources to research your Scottish ancestors!

  • Profile of the Day: Buzz Aldrin
    by Amanda on January 20, 2023 at 5:20 pm

    Happy 93rd birthday to Buzz Aldrin! Image: Buzz Aldrin / NASA On January 20, 1930, Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr. was born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey to Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Sr. and Marion Gaddys. His nickname “Buzz” originated in his childhood; his younger sister mispronounced the word “brother” as “buzzer” and the name stuck. The family later shortened it to Buzz. As the Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 11, Aldrin made the first manned lunar landing… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Buzz Aldrin first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Dolly Parton
    by Amanda on January 19, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    Today country music superstar Dolly Parton celebrates her 77th birthday! Parton went from very humble beginnings to become one of the most successful artists in history. Not only has she made her mark in music and film, but she even has her own theme park called Dollywood. Image: Dolly Parton / Wikimedia Commons Parton was born on January 19, 1946 in Locust Ridge, Tennessee and was the fourth of twelve children born to Robert Lee Parton… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Dolly Parton first appeared on About Geni.

  • Her Parents Left Her on a Bench to Save Her from the Nazis. At 80, She Reunited with a Long-Lost Cousin
    by Daniella on January 19, 2023 at 3:00 pm

    When the Gestapo boarded the train carrying Marta and Alexandr Knapp during their attempted escape from Prague in June 1942, they had to make a fast decision. They knew that the Nazis would find them. They knew that they would probably never return from wherever they would be taken. And they knew that their baby The post Her Parents Left Her on a Bench to Save Her from the Nazis. At 80, She Reunited with a Long-Lost Cousin appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • How to find newspapers in Google Books for free
    by Lisa Cooke on January 18, 2023 at 5:32 pm

    Show Notes: Google Books is known for having millions of free digitized books. But did you know that it’s also packed with hidden old newspapers? Since newspapers don’t typically appear in your initial search results in Google Books, I’ll show you two ways to filter down to only newspapers. Plus I’ll also show you some of the Source

  • Profile of the Day: Cary Grant
    by Amanda on January 18, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    On this day in 1904, star Cary Grant was born in Bristol, England. Image: Cary Grant / Wikimedia Commons He was born Archibald Alexander Leach on January 18, 1904 to Elias James Leach, a tailor’s presser, and Elsie Maria Leach, a factory seamstress. Grant had an unhappy childhood. When he was 9 years old, his father placed his mother in a mental institution and told a young Grant that she had gone away on a… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Cary Grant first appeared on About Geni.

  • Winter Savings on MyHeritage DNA
    by Erica on January 18, 2023 at 10:08 am

    Whether you’ve been thinking of taking a DNA test for a while or are just starting to toy with the idea, you won’t want to miss our Winter DNA Sale. The MyHeritage DNA test covers 2,114 geographic regions — more than any other test — and thanks to the sale, you can now order as The post Winter Savings on MyHeritage DNA appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • MyHeritage Publishes 65 Million Records in November and December 2022
    by Talya on January 17, 2023 at 8:27 pm

    What a way to cap off 2022! In November and December 2022, we added and updated 67 historical record collections with 65 million records from all over the world. The collections are from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Spain, the U.K., Ukraine, and the U.S. The post MyHeritage Publishes 65 Million Records in November and December 2022 appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Muhammad Ali
    by Amanda on January 17, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    On this day in 1942, boxing legend Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky. An Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Heavyweight Champion, Ali is remembered as one of the greatest athletes in history. Image: Muhammad Ali / Nationaal Archief, Wikimedia Commons CCO He was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. to Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr., a painter, and Odessa O’Grady, a domestic helper. He became interested in boxing at the age of 12 after his bike… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Muhammad Ali first appeared on About Geni.

  • MyHeritage Supports Africatown Heritage Preservation Foundation
    by Erica on January 17, 2023 at 3:31 pm

    Each year, we mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day and reflect on the legacy of one of the most influential leaders in American history. Dr. King is remembered the world over, and his message of equality and justice for all continues to inspire and guide us to this day.  Dr. King’s own family history is The post MyHeritage Supports Africatown Heritage Preservation Foundation appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Martin Luther King, Jr.
    by Amanda on January 16, 2023 at 1:00 pm

    “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” Today the U.S. observes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in honor of civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Image: Martin Luther King, Jr. / Library of Congress He was born on January 15, 1964 in Atlanta, Georgia to Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. A leader of the American Civil Rights movement, King sought to bring an end to… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Martin Luther King, Jr. first appeared on About Geni.

  • New: Photo Tagger Enhancements
    by Daniella on January 16, 2023 at 10:15 am

    In August 2022 we introduced Photo Tagger, a free feature that lets you easily tag multiple photos of the same individual in one go. It was first released on the MyHeritage mobile app and then extended to the MyHeritage website. We’re now pleased to announce new enhancements to this powerful feature: tagging suggestions are now The post New: Photo Tagger Enhancements appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • 15 Genealogy Freebies – Audio Podcast Episode 272
    by Lisa Cooke on January 13, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    A ton of genealogy and family history research can be done for free. In this episode I’ll share 15 fabulous free websites and what I love about them. These are essential for everyone serious about saving money while climbing their family tree. Listen to the Podcast Episode To Listen click the media player below (AUDIO Source

  • Profile of the Day: Jan van Goyen
    by Amanda on January 13, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    Do you have Dutch ancestry? On this day in 1596, Dutch artist Jan van Goyen was born. A prolific artist, van Goyen (sometimes spelled Goijen) produced about 1,200 paintings and over 1,000 drawings during his lifetime. Image: Jan van Goyen / Wikimedia Commons He was born Jan Josephszoon van Goyen in Leiden, Netherlands. Van Goyen began an apprenticeship at the age of ten and studied painting under the tutelage of several masters. Although he made… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Jan van Goyen first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Jack London
    by Amanda on January 12, 2023 at 6:35 pm

    On January 12, 1876, American journalist and author Jack London was born in San Francisco, California. Image: Jack London / Library of Congress The author is best remembered for his novels, Call of the Wild and White Fang, which are both set in Alaska and the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush. He was one of the first fiction writers to gain worldwide celebrity and fortune from his works of fiction alone. London died on… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Jack London first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Alexander Hamilton
    by Amanda on January 11, 2023 at 5:50 pm

    Founding Father Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11, 1755 or 1757 (the exact day is unknown). Image: Alexander Hamilton / Wikimedia Commons Born on the island of Nevis, British West Indies, Hamilton and his older brother James were born out of wedlock to James A. Hamilton and Rachel Faucette, who was still married to another man. While he was still a child, his father left the family, leaving them impoverished. Then in 1768, Hamilton’s mother… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Alexander Hamilton first appeared on About Geni.

  • A Taste of Family History: Recipe Contest Winners!
    by Daniella on January 11, 2023 at 7:59 am

    In early December we invited you to send in your family recipes for a chance to win a free MyHeritage Complete plan or AI Time Machine™ theme pack. We received so many incredible entries! Thank you so much to all who shared their wonderful recipes, beautiful photos, and heartwarming stories. We truly enjoyed getting a The post A Taste of Family History: Recipe Contest Winners! appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Profile of the Day: Rod Stewart
    by Amanda on January 10, 2023 at 6:10 pm

    Are you a fan of Rod Stewart? Today the music legend turns 78. Image: Rod Stewart / Helge Øverås, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) Born on January 10, 1945 in London, England, Stewart was the youngest of five children. He excelled at soccer in his youth, however, when his ambitions to become a professional soccer player were thwarted in the summer of 1960, Stewart decided to pursue a career in music. His distinctive voice set… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Rod Stewart first appeared on About Geni.

  • 8 Billion individuals in 2022!
    by Sean Daly on January 10, 2023 at 8:00 am

    As we review Geneanet’s milestones and new features in 2022, we are excited to tell you that in mid-December, we reached 8 billion individuals indexed on the site!

  • Profile of the Day: Joan Baez
    by Amanda on January 9, 2023 at 7:35 pm

    Happy birthday to Joan Baez! Today the American folk singer turns 82. Image: Joan Baez / Nationaal Archief, CC0 Baez was born on January 9, 1941 in Staten Island, New York to Albert Baez and Joan Bridge. Her mother was born in Scotland while her father was born in Mexico. Baez’s father was noted physicist and made important contributions to the early development of the X-ray microscope. An activist and songwriter, Baez often used her… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Joan Baez first appeared on About Geni.

  • MyHeritage Publishes Exclusive Huge Collection of Israel Immigration Records
    by Talya on January 8, 2023 at 7:10 pm

    We are delighted to announce sensationally good news: MyHeritage just published a huge new collection covering immigration to Israel from 1919 onwards, with 1.7 million records! And the best news is that we’ve made it completely FREE! This collection is the Israeli equivalent of the famous “Ellis Island” immigration database for the United States. This The post MyHeritage Publishes Exclusive Huge Collection of Israel Immigration Records appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

  • Resources for Irish Genealogy
    by Sean Daly on January 7, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    Ireland has a special place in genealogy in the English-speaking countries and elsewhere due to the massive emigration in the 19th century and in the century before and after as well. Learn about resources to overcome the challenges of Irish genealogy!

  • Profile of the Day: Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier
    by Amanda on January 6, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    Have you ever been in a hot air balloon? On this day in 1745, French inventor Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier was born. Image: Library of Congress Montgolfier was born on January 6, 1745 in Annonay, France into a family of paper manufacturers. His brother, Joseph-Michael, developed an interest in aeronautics and enlisted Jacques-Étienne to help construct a balloon in the 1770s. As they worked together, the brothers discovered that heated air directed into a paper or fabric bag made… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: King C. Gillette
    by Amanda on January 5, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    On this day in 1855, American inventor King C. Gillette was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. As the inventor of the best selling version of the safety razor, Gillette’s name is still synonymous with razor blades to this day. Image: King C. Gillette / Library of Congress Raised in Chicago, Illinois, Gillette and his family had survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but lost most of their possessions. To help his family, Gillette… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: King C. Gillette first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Isaac Newton
    by Amanda on January 4, 2023 at 6:50 pm

    On this day in 1643, Isaac Newton was born. Considered one of the most significant scientific figures in history, Newton revolutionized our understanding of the world. Image: Isaac Newton / Wikimedia Commons Newton was born prematurely three months after the death of his father, also named Isaac Newton. When he was three, his mother remarried and Newton was sent to be raised by his maternal grandmother. A gifted student, Newton especially excelled at mathematics. He would go… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Isaac Newton first appeared on About Geni.

  • Geneanet, a company unlike any other!
    by Jean-Yves on January 3, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    We often hear questions and remarks about whether to participate in contributing to Geneanet or to choose a Premium subscription.

  • Geneastar: New Famous Family Trees Added in December 2022
    by Jean-Yves on January 3, 2023 at 10:45 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 December 2022: William C. Campbell, One of the most distinguished amateur golfers in golf history Delta Burke, American actress, producer, and author Gerald McRaney, American

  • Save our Graves: Cemeteries added to Geneanet in December 2022
    by Jean-Yves on January 3, 2023 at 10:00 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 December 2022: Australia Marist Brothers Catholic Cemetery, Mittagong, New South Wales, 72 graves (just3thoughts) Picton

  • Profile of the Day: Rudyard Kipling
    by Amanda on December 30, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    Do you remember reading The Jungle Book? On this day in 1865, author Rudyard Kipling was born. Image: Rudyard Kipling / Library of Congress He was born on December 30, 1865 in Bombay, in Bombay Presidency of British India to John Lockwood Kipling and Alice MacDonald. Kipling’s experiences in India, as both a young child and years later as a young adult, highly influenced much of his writings. Considered a major innovator in the art… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Rudyard Kipling first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Ted Danson
    by Amanda on December 29, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    Happy birthday to Ted Danson! Today the popular star turns 75. Image: Ted Danson / Dominique Redfearn, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0) He was born Edward Bridge Danson III on December 29, 1947 in San Diego, California. His father, Edward “Ned” Bridge Danson, Jr., was an archaeologist and a director of the Museum of Northern Arizona. Raised in Flagstaff, Arizona, Danson attended Stanford University where he became interested in drama. He later transferred to Carnegie… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Ted Danson first appeared on About Geni.

  • 2022: Year in Review
    by Amanda on December 28, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    As the year comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at 2022. We introduced some great, long-awaited features and we finally had the chance to see people in person once again! This year our team worked hard on some big projects. We were thrilled to announce the return of Family Tree Charts to Geni! The previous version had been unavailable for some time as we worked on moving the charts off of Flash…. Read the full story The post 2022: Year in Review first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Woodrow Wilson
    by Amanda on December 28, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    On this day in 1856, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States, was born in Staunton, Virginia. Image: Woodrow Wilson / Library of Congress Wilson was the third of four children born to Joseph Ruggles Wilson and Jessie Janet Woodrow. His paternal grandparents had immigrated to the United States from Ireland, while his maternal grandparents had come from Scotland. As President, Wilson led the country through World War I and helped craft the Treaty… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Woodrow Wilson first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Louis Pasteur
    by Amanda on December 27, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    On December 27, 1822, French scientist Louis Pasteur was born in Dole, France. Image: Louis Pasteur / Library of Congress Known for his scientific breakthroughs in the prevention of diseases, Pasteur made remarkable strides in the study of germs and was the first to encourage doctors to sanitize their hands and equipment before surgery. Perhaps his most famous scientific contribution was his development of pasteurization, which bears his name. In 1887, the Pasteur Institute was… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Louis Pasteur first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Madam C.J. Walker
    by Amanda on December 23, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    On this day in 1867, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and activist Madam C.J. Walker was born. Walker was one of the first African American female self-made millionaires in the United States. Image: Madam C.J. Walker/ Wikimedia Commons Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867 near Delta, Louisiana to Owen Breedlove and Minerva Anderson. The fifth of six children, Walker was the first child in her family to be born into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation…. Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Madam C.J. Walker first appeared on About Geni.

  • Introducing Inbox Search for Pro
    by Amanda on December 22, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    We’re excited to announce a new feature for Geni Pro users – Inbox Search.  Over the years, we have often been asked to add the ability to search your Geni inbox to quickly locate specific messages. Today we’re delighted to deliver this long awaited feature!  As your tree grows and you begin communicating with other members on Geni, you’ll soon find yourself with a full inbox. Now you no longer need to waste time scrolling… Read the full story The post Introducing Inbox Search for Pro first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Giacomo Puccini
    by Amanda on December 22, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    On this day in 1858, Italian composer Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca, Italy. Image: Giacomo Puccini / Library of Congress He was born Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini to Michele Puccine and Albina Magi. One of nine children, Puccini had come from a long line of musicians. His second great grandfather, also named Giacomo Puccini, was the first of five generations of composers in the family. Remembered as one of the greatest… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Giacomo Puccini first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Jane Fonda
    by Amanda on December 21, 2022 at 6:04 pm

    Happy birthday to Jane Fonda! Today the actress turns 85. Image: Georges Biard / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) She was born on December 21, 1937 to legendary actor Henry Fonda and Frances Ford Seymour in New York City. At the age of 12, her mother committed suicide while receiving treatment at a psychiatric hospital. After working as a model, Fonda decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and pursue an acting career. She rose to… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Jane Fonda first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: John Steinbeck
    by Amanda on December 20, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    Do you remember reading The Grapes of Wrath? On this day in 1968, author John Steinbeck died at the age of 66. Image: John Steinbeck / Wikimedia Commons The acclaimed American novelist was born John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California. His paternal grandfather, Johann Adolf Großsteinbeck, had shortened the family name to Steinbeck after immigrating to the United States. After leaving his studies at Stanford, Steinbeck found work as a freelance writer and… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: John Steinbeck first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Édith Piaf
    by Amanda on December 19, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    Today we remember French singer and actress Édith Piaf, who was born on December 19, 1915 in Paris, France. Image: Édith Piaf / Nationaal Archief, CC0 She was born Édith Giovanna Gassion to Annetta Giovanna Maillard, a cafe singer, and Louis Alphonse Gassion, a street acrobat. Piaf was named after the World War I British nurse Edith Cavell, who was executed for helping soldiers escape from German captivity in Belgium. Piaf first rose to fame after she… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Édith Piaf first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Gustave Eiffel
    by Amanda on December 15, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    On this day 1832, French architect and engineer Gustave Eiffel was born in Dijon, France. He is perhaps best remembered for his work to build the Eiffel Tower, which bears his name. Originally constructed for the 1889 Universal Exposition, today the tower has become one of the most recognizable structures in the world and an iconic symbol of France. Image: Gustave Eiffel / Rijksmuseum, Wikimedia Commons Eiffel was born Alexandre-Gustave Bönickhausen on December 15, 1832 to Catherine-Mélanie Moneuse and… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Gustave Eiffel first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: George VI
    by Amanda on December 14, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    On this day in 1895, George VI was born at York Cottage on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk during the reign of his great grandmother, Queen Victoria. His birth date fell on the 34th anniversary of the death of his great grandfather, Prince Albert, and so, the new royal was named Albert in his honor. Image: George VI / Library of Congress As the second son of King George V, it was not expected for George to become king. However, this… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: George VI first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Dick Van Dyke
    by Amanda on December 13, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    Happy birthday, Dick Van Dyke! Today the lovable actor turns 97. Image: Dick Van Dyke / Wikimedia Commons He was born Richard Wayne Van Dyke on December 13, 1925 in West Plains, Missouri. During World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps where he became a radio announcer, and later, transferred to the Special Services to entertain the troops. Over the course of his long and impressive career, Van Dyke has starred in… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Dick Van Dyke first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Frank Sinatra
    by Amanda on December 12, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    Happy birthday, Frank Sinatra! Today marks what would have been the legendary crooner’s 107th birthday. Image: Frank Sinatra / Library of Congress Francis Albert Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915 in an upstairs tenement in Hoboken, New Jersey. At 13.5 pounds, Sinatra’s birth was not an easy one. He was delivered with the aid of forceps, which left him with severe scars on this left cheek, neck, and ear, and a perforated eardrum. After getting… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Frank Sinatra first appeared on About Geni.

  • Do you know how to view the frequency of last names on Geneanet?
    by Jean-Yves on December 11, 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.

  • Profile of the Day: Judi Dench
    by Amanda on December 9, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    Happy birthday to Judi Dench! Today the actress turns 88. A legend on the stage and screen, Dench has won accolades for her work in theater, film, and television. Image: Thore Siebrands / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0) Dench was born on December 9, 1934 in Heworth, York, England to Eleanora Olive Jones and Reginald Arthur Dench. Her father was a doctor for the Theatre Royal in York and so Dench was often in presence… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Judi Dench first appeared on About Geni.

  • Resources for Australian Genealogy
    by Sean Daly on December 9, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Researching your Australian roots? Our roundup of genealogy resources will help you go further!

  • How to Build a Family Tree in 5 Simple Steps
    by Family History Daily on December 8, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    If you’re a beginner to genealogy research and want to know how to find your ancestors you’re no doubt asking yourself, “where should I start?” This easy guide will show you just what you need to know in a few easy steps.

  • Profile of the Day: Mary, Queen of Scots
    by Amanda on December 8, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    On this day in 1542, Mary, Queen of Scots was born in Linlithgow, Scotland. Image: Mary, Queen of Scots / Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wikimedia Commons (CC0 1.0) The only legitimate child of King James V, Mary was named Queen of Scots just six days after her birth when her father died following the Battle of Solway Moss. While still an infant, her great uncle, King Henry VIII of England, took the opportunity to propose marriage… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Mary, Queen of Scots first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Willa Cather
    by Amanda on December 7, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    On this day in 1873, American author Willa Cather was born in Back Creek Valley, Virginia. She was best known for her novels O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, and My Ántonia, which vividly depicted frontier life on the Great Plains. Image: Willa Cather / Library of Congress She was born Wilella Sibert Cather on December 7, 1873 on her maternal grandmother’s farm in the Back Creek Valley near Winchester, Virginia. For six generations, her family had… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Willa Cather first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: William II of the Netherlands
    by Amanda on December 6, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    Have you found connection to royalty? Today we remember William II of the Netherlands, who was born on this day in 1792. Image: William II of the Netherlands / Amsterdam Museum, Wikimedia Commons William II was the eldest son of William I of the Netherlands and Wihelmine of Prussia, who was the daughter of King Frederick William of Prussia and William I’s first cousin. In 1795, his entire family went into exile in Britain. At the age… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: William II of the Netherlands first appeared on About Geni.

  • Geneastar: New Famous Family Trees Added in November 2022
    by Jean-Yves on December 6, 2022 at 10:35 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 November 2022: Richard Adler, American lyricist, writer, composer and producer of several Broadway shows Sam Bankman-Fried, American entrepreneur, investor and former billionaire Travis Barker, American

  • Save our Graves: Cemeteries added to Geneanet in November 2022
    by Jean-Yves on December 6, 2022 at 9:27 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 November 2022: Australia Windellama Anglican Cemetery, Windellama, New South Wales, 53 graves (just3thoughts) Bungonia Cemetery,

  • Profile of the Day: Walt Disney
    by Amanda on December 5, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    What’s your favorite Disney film? On this day in 1901, Walt Disney was born. A pioneer in animation, Disney co-created the iconic cartoon character, Mickey Mouse. He produced several classic animated films and founded the Disney theme parks, which are still enjoyed by visitors from all around the world today. Image: Walt Disney / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Disney was born Walter Elias Disney on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the fourth of… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Walt Disney first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Pedro II of Brazil
    by Amanda on December 2, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    On this day in 1825, Pedro II of Brazil was born. The second and last monarch of the Empire of Brazil, Pedro II was nicknamed “the Magnanimous” and reigned for over 58 years. Image: Pedro II of Brazil / Library of Congress Pedro II was born on December 2, 1825 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was the seventh child of Pedro I of Brazil and Maria Leopoldina of Austria. His mother’s sister, Marie Louise,… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Pedro II of Brazil first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Bette Midler
    by Amanda on December 1, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    Today Bette Midler celebrates her 77th birthday! Image: Bette Midler / Alan Light, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0) The celebrated singer and actress was born on December 1, 1945 in Honolulu, Hawaii to Ruth Schindel and Fred Midler, who worked at a Navy base in Hawaii as a painter. She was named after actress Bette Davis, although she pronounces her name as one syllable. Her sisters, Susan and Judy, were also named after Hollywood stars, Susan Hayward and… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Bette Midler first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Winston Churchill
    by Amanda on November 30, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    Today we remember Winston Churchill, who was born on this day in 1874. Image: Winston Churchill / Library of Congress Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the prominent Spencer family. His father was a politician and his mother was an American socialite. Churchill was born two months premature in Blenheim Palace, a monumental country house that was rewarded to his ancestor, John Churchill, 1st… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Winston Churchill first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Louisa May Alcott
    by Amanda on November 29, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    On November 29, 1832, American author Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Image: Louisa May Alcott / Library of Congress Raised by transcendentalist parents, the Little Women author grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the day such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau. When the family fell on hard times, Alcott was forced to work various jobs at an early age, such as a teacher, domestic servant, and writer, to help support… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Louisa May Alcott first appeared on About Geni.

  • Are You Related To Hailee Steinfeld?
    by Jean-Yves on November 29, 2022 at 2:34 pm

    Hailee Steinfeld (born December 11, 1996) is an American actress and singer. She is the recipient of various accolades, including a Peabody Award, a Critics’ Choice Movie Award, a Billboard Music Award, and nominations for an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Golden Globe Award, three Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

  • Profile of the Day: Washington Irving
    by Amanda on November 28, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Remember reading the short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”? On this day in 1859, author Washington Irving died in his home at the age of 76. Image: Washington Irving / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Irving was the youngest of eleven children born to William Irving, Sr. and Sarah Sanders. He was born just as the American Revolution came to its end and was named after the hero of the revolution, George Washington. At… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Washington Irving first appeared on About Geni.

  • Offer a Beautiful Ancestry Chart To Your Family and Friends!
    by Jean-Yves on November 27, 2022 at 11:00 pm

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

  • New Finding Aid for the NYC Geographic Birth Index!
    by Sean Daly on November 26, 2022 at 3:17 pm

    A month ago, we announced a new collaborative indexing project at Geneanet: the New York City Geographic Birth Index, half a million index cards with every birth in NYC from 1880-1910 by street address. While awaiting the completion of the transcriptions, use our new finding aid to look up your ancestor’s birth!

  • Thanksgiving Recipes in Old Newspapers
    by Amanda on November 24, 2022 at 1:52 am

    Are you looking forward to Thanksgiving? If you’re still looking for some interesting dish ideas, old newspapers are filled with recipe suggestions, with many submitted by their readers. We had some fun finding recipes that may give your Thanksgiving table a nice taste of the past. Several articles also offered a variety of menu suggestions for your Thanksgiving dinner. It’s interesting to see what was included in the holiday meal throughout time. In addition to… Read the full story The post Thanksgiving Recipes in Old Newspapers first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Harpo Marx
    by Amanda on November 23, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    On this day in 1888, comedian Harpo Marx was born in New York City, New York. Image: Harpo Marx / Wikimedia Commons He was born Adolph Arthur Marx to Samuel “Frenchie” Marx and Minnie Schoenberg on November 23, 1888. The second oldest of five boys, Harpo and his brothers took on a variety of odd jobs to help support the family. In 1910, Harpo and his brothers, Leonard (“Chico”), Julius (“Groucho”) and Milton (“Gummo”) formed… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Harpo Marx first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: John F. Kennedy
    by Amanda on November 22, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    Today we remember President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated on this day 59 years ago in Dallas, Texas. Image: John F. Kennedy / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was fatally shot by a sniper while traveling in an open motorcade with his wife, Jacqueline. Celebrated as one of the most beloved Presidents of the United States, Kennedy’s sudden death shocked the entire nation. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: John F. Kennedy first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Voltaire
    by Amanda on November 21, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    On November 21, 1694, French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire was born in Paris, France. Image: Voltaire / Wikimedia Commons He was born François-Marie Arouet and was the youngest of five children. He later adopted the name “Voltaire,” which is an anagram of “Arovet Li,” the Latinized spelling of his surname Arouet and the initial letters of “le jenue” (“the young”). As an outspoken advocate of freedom of religion, freedom of expression and separation of church and state,… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Voltaire first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Alan Shepard
    by Amanda on November 18, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    Astronaut Alan Shepard was born on November 18, 1923. Shepard made history in 1961 when he became the first American to travel into space. Image: Alan Shepard / NASA Shepard was born in East Derry, New Hampshire to Alan Shepard, Sr.and Pauline Renza Emerson. Shepard was fascinated with flying from an early age. He graduated from the U.S. Navel Academy and served onboard the destroyer Cogswell during World War II. After the war, he became a test pilot for the Navy…. Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Alan Shepard first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Nicolas Appert
    by Amanda on November 17, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    Do you or your family can and preserve fruits and vegetables? You can thank French chef Nicolas Appert, who was born on this day in 1749. Appert, also known as the “Father of Canning,” invented the airtight food preservation method in the early 19th century. Image: Nicolas Appert / Wikimedia Commons During the Napoleonic Wars, the French government offered a cash prize to an inventor who could develop a new method of preserving food. Appert experimented for 14 years until he… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Nicolas Appert first appeared on About Geni.

  • Profile of the Day: Clark Gable
    by Amanda on November 16, 2022 at 5:50 pm

    Do you have a favorite Clark Gable movie? Today we remember the legendary actor who died on this day in 1960. Image: Clark Gable / Wikimedia Commons William Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio. While he was an infant, his mother died, possibly from a brain tumor. From a young age, Gable aspired to become an actor. He found work with second-class theater companies and eventually made his way across… Read the full story The post Profile of the Day: Clark Gable first appeared on About Geni.

  • Is your DNA at Geneanet? Add your tree to find common ancestors with your matches!
    by Jean-Yves on November 13, 2022 at 11:00 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!

  • Celebrating Armistice/Remembrance/Veterans Day
    by Sean Daly on November 10, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    A century after the end of World War I, November 11 remains a holiday to remember war veterans. Learn about resources that can help you research your ancestors, or their brothers who never returned from the front. There are tens of thousands of war cemetery photos uploaded by the Geneanet community!

  • Save our Graves: Cemeteries added to Geneanet in October 2022
    by Jean-Yves on November 2, 2022 at 12:23 pm

    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 October 2022: Australia Goulburn Jewish Cemetery, Goulburn, New South Wales, 13 graves (just3thoughts) Myra Vale

  • Geneastar: New Famous Family Trees Added in October 2022
    by Jean-Yves on November 2, 2022 at 12:07 pm

    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 October 2022: Camren Bicondova, American actress and dancer Robin Lord Taylor, American film and television actor and director Cory Michael Smith, American actor John Dye,

  • Are You Related To Emma Stone?
    by Jean-Yves on November 2, 2022 at 8:10 am

    Emily Jean Stone (born November 6, 1988), known professionally as Emma Stone, is an American actress. She is the recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, and a Golden Globe Award. In 2017, she was the world’s highest-paid actress and named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

  • The New York City Geographic Birth Index
    by Sean Daly on October 30, 2022 at 10:43 am

    Did your immigrant ancestors have children in New York City? City clerks maintained a geographic card index of birth certificate numbers for every residential address in the city starting in 1880. There are over half a million cards and Geneanet volunteers have already begun indexing them — please help if you can!

  • Results of our 13th “Save our Graves” weekend
    by Jean-Yves on October 19, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    Many of you participated for our 13th edition of “Save or Graves” weekend, many thanks to all of you! Spotlight on this project and its participants around the world.

  • Are You Related To Katy Perry?
    by Jean-Yves on October 18, 2022 at 10:27 am

    Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter, and television personality. She is recognized for her influence on 2010s pop music.

  • Help us index the 1866-1900 US Navy Muster Rolls!
    by Sean Daly on October 14, 2022 at 4:59 pm

    At Geneanet, volunteers index documents which are useful to everyone in the genealogy community. We are pleased to announce a new collection from the US National Archives: the US Navy Muster Rolls from 1866-1900!

  • 921 million individuals added to Geneanet in 2022!
    by Jean-Yves on October 10, 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!

  • Resources for German Genealogy
    by Sean Daly on October 6, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    It’s German-American Day! To celebrate, here are some resources for German genealogy which will help you with your research. Many are free of charge!

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

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