New Book Matching Technology at MyHeritage - free webinar by Mike Mansfield now online

2016-04-29-image500blog

Incredible webinar today by MyHeritage's Mike Mansfield! The recording of "New Book Matching Technology at MyHeritage" by MyHeritage's Mike Mansfield is now available to view for free for a limited time at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com. 

Webinar Description

This webinar presents newly invented technology that allows genealogists to discover amazing content in digitized books. ​Published books have always been an important source for family historians. A number of book digitization efforts have brought millions of books online and are a gold mine of information that can help us find unknown facts and events that colored the lives of our ancestors. However, searching these online book collections has been difficult and time-consuming. Until now, that is. Register for this free webinar to find out how this technology can boost your family history research.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 30 minute recording of "New Book Matching Technology at MyHeritage" is now available to view in our webinar library for free. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - book - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, May 2, 2016

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 342 classes, 492 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,457 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Google Drive for Genealogists by Thomas MacEntee. May 4.
  • Dirty Pictures - Save Your Family Photos from Ruin by Denise Levenick. May 11.
  • Messages from the Grave - Listening to Your Ancestor's Tombstone by Elissa Scalise Powell. May 13.
  • Mining the Über-sites for German Ancestors by Jim Beidler. May 18.
  • Discover American Ancestors (NEHGS) by Lindsay Fulton. May 25.
  • Get the Most from AmericanAncestors.org by Claire Vail. June 1.
  • Researching Your Washington State Ancestors by Mary Roddy. June 8.
  • Introduction to the Freedmen's Bureau by Angela Walton-Raji. June 10.
  • Ticked Off! Those Pesky Pre-1850 Census Tic Marks by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen. June 15.
  • Digging Deeper in German Parish Records by Gail Blankenau. June 22.
  • Circles or Triangles? What Shape is Your DNA? by Diahan Southard. June 29.
  • Navigating Naturalization Records by Lisa Alzo. July 6.
  • A Genealogist's Guide to Heraldry by Shannon Combs-Bennett. July 13.
  • Finding French Ancestors by Luana Darby. July 15.
  • Organize Your Online Life by Lisa Louise Cooke. July 20.
  • Researching Women - Community Cookbooks and What They Tell Us About Our Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega. July 27.
  • The Germanic French - Researching Alsatian and Lorrainian Families by John Philip Colletta. July 30.
  • Solutions for Missing and Scarce Records by Tom Jones. July 30.
  • Getting Started with Microsoft PowerPoint by Thomas MacEntee. August 3.
  • The Battle for Bounty Land - War of 1812 and Mexican-American Wars by Beth Foulk. August 10.
  • Homestead Act of 1862 - Following the Witnesses by Bernice Bennett. August 12.
  • Successfully Applying to a Lineage Society by Amy Johnson Crow. August 17.
  • Using Findmypast to Unlock Your Irish Ancestry by Brian Donovan. August 24.
  • The Treasure Trove in Legislative Petitions by Judy Russell. September 14.
  • Clooz - A Document-Based Software Companion by Richard Thomas. September 16.
  • How to Use FamilySearch.org for Beginners by Devin Ashby. September 21.
  • Beginning Polish Genealogy by Lisa Alzo and Jonathan Shea. September 28.
  • AHA! Analysis of Handwriting for Genealogical Research by Ron Arons. October 5.
  • Time and Place - Using Genealogy's Cross-Hairs by Jim Beidler. October 12.
  • Finding Your Ancestors' German Hometown by Ursula Krause. October 14.
  • Social History Websites That Bring Your Ancestor's Story to Life by Gena Philibert-Ortega. October 19.
  • Flip for Flickr - Share, Store and Save Your Family Photos by Maureen Taylor. October 26.
  • Analysis and Correlation - Two Keys to Sound Conclusions by Chris Staats. November 2.
  • Publishing a Genealogy E-Book by Thomas MacEntee. November 9.
  • Dating Family Photographs by Jane Neff Rollins. November 16.
  • Nature & Nurture - Family History for Adoptees by Janet Hovorka and Amy Slade. November 18.
  • Multi-Media Story Telling by Devin Ashby. November 30.
  • Becoming a Genealogy Detective by Sharon Atkins. December 7.
  • From the Heartland - Utilizing Online Resources in Midwest Research by Luana Darby. December 14.
  • Tracing Your European Ancestors by Julie Goucher. December 16.
  • An Introduction to BillionGraves by Garth Fitzner. December 21.

Click here to register.

Print the 2016 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


Was Great Grandpa's Name Changed at Ellis Island?

EllisIslandNameChanges

"My great-grandpa's name was changed at Ellis Island!" How often have we genealogists heard this statement? Sadly, this is a commonly held misconception. There is not one shred of evidence to support the claim that officials changed the names of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island.

Officials not only did not have the time to start assigning new names to incoming passengers they didn't have the authority to do so. 

Check how many ships were arriving daily and how many passengers on average were on each one, then think about the lineups of immigrants waiting to be cleared. Yes, it’s about the math, it’s about the sheer numbers of immigrants arriving in any one day, month or year. There was no time for officials to do more than process each immigrant as quickly as possible.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Ellis Island Arrivals. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division


Sometimes an arriving immigrant used an incorrect name such as the surname of a stepfather rather than the biological father, or a name the family had adopted for other reasons. It is also important to remember that names of passengers were taken at the port of departure. These were entered on the ship’s manifest (which we commonly refer to as a passenger list). How the name was entered when the immigrant left their country is how the name was received at the incoming arrival port.

Sometimes an immigrant deliberately falsified their name and arrived under the name of someone else. Often these falsified arrival names were changed by the immigrants themselves later in life, such as when they applied for naturalization papers, or some form of pension, or they wanted to vote in elections.

If an immigrant's new name did not match that shown on their official immigration record such as a ship's passenger list, he or she might face difficulties voting, in legal proceedings, or naturalization.

One of the most common reason that an ancestor's name on the manifest does not match the surname your father and grandfather have used, is that it was a name unfamiliar to English speaking clerks, and was entered phonetically in other documents, such as census records. For example the surname Przybyszewskl is not only challenging for North Americans to spell, but also to pronounce. It can easily be incorrectly recorded and eventually may become the standard and new name.

Sometimes an immigrant chose to "Americanize" their surname themselves and simply began using a new name a year or so after settling in America. Americanizing a surname usually meant making it more familiar to English speakers and spellers. Many of these Americanized names were simply shortened from their original version, for example Kohnovalsky could become Cohn.

First names can also be inadvertently or intentionally changed by the immigrant himself or by a clerk recording the name phonetically. My husband’s Belgium born great grandfather’s name was Archie. Or so we thought. But baptism records in Belgium proved it was Achilles, which is pronounced Aw-shee. That sounds like Archie and so he became Archie to his friends in his new land of Canada.

Names in other countries and non-English languages are often changed to their English equivalent. My sister’s father-in-law was baptised as Waclaw in Poland. He is found under that name on his 1927 passenger list. But one year later he was recorded under the English equivalent of Walter as he crossed the border from America to Canada.

Another reason why an immigrant’s name can be different than his birth name is when a nickname was the name given by the immigrant himself. My grandmother’s original legal name was Ruth, but her family called her Dolly. She gave that name on official records but it was her decision, and was not arbitrarily assigned to her by immigration officials. My husband’s grandfather was Leon Thomas but he was always called Charlie and was the name he used on all official documents.

Below are some sample letters representing typical cases of immigrants who made their own decisions to change their surnames.

How Diamond became Cohen
How Kohnovalsky became Cohn
How Bahash became Amber
How Shukowsky became Zakotsky
How Asszony became Miazaroz
 
 An excellent article on this topic called "American Names / Declaring Independence" can be found at Immigrant Name Changes

 

 

Lorine McGinnis Schulze is a Canadian genealogist who has been involved with genealogy and history for more than thirty years. In 1996 Lorine created the Olive Tree Genealogy website and its companion blog. Lorine is the author of many published genealogical and historical articles and books.


Register for Webinar Friday - Brand New: Book Matching Technology at MyHeritage by Mike Mansfield

Register

This webinar presents newly invented technology that allows genealogists to discover amazing content in digitized books. ​Published books have always been an important source for family historians. A number of book digitization efforts have brought millions of books online and are a gold mine of information that can help us find unknown facts and events that colored the lives of our ancestors. However, searching these online book collections has been difficult and time-consuming. Until now, that is. Register for this free webinar to find out how this technology can boost your family history research.

Logotransparent

Join us and MyHeritage's Mike Mansfield for the live webinar Friday, April 29, 2016 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

Registerbut 

Or register for multiple webinars at once by clicking here.

Not sure if you already registered?

Login to view your registration status for this webinar (available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers).

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

MikeMansfield-144x144Mike Mansfield is ​Director of Content Operations at MyHeritage since 2013. In this role he is responsible for defining the company's strategy for growing its collection of 6.3 billion historical records, and supervising all operations of content acquisition. Previously, Mike held a Senior Product Manager role at FamilySearch. Mike’s professional career has been heavily focused in electronic publishing, search and retrieval, and content acquisition and strategy. After completing his B.S. in Computer Science at Brigham Young University in 1994 he worked for Folio Corporation, a Provo, Utah based technology company which developed cutting edge CD- ROM publication and search technology. Mike joined Ancestry in 1999 and held key rolls in its development of the search engine and publication platform still in use today. As the Senior Director of Search and Content he led the team that created the record Hinting system which helped to revolutionize the way in which users interact with online genealogical records. Mike continued to develop his expertise in his roles in FamilySearch and MyHeritage.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Friday, April 29, 2016 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. Check at www.java.com.
  6. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  7. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


England and Wales: Rummaging in the Parish Chests - free webinar by Kirsty Gray now online for limited time

2016-04-27-image500blog

The recording of today's webinar, "England and Wales: Rummaging in the Parish Chests" by Kirsty Gray is now available to view for free for a limited time at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com. 

Webinar Description

The parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials in England and Wales give many genealogical clues to help build a family tree. Kirsty Gray also highlights other documents kept by the parish, the diocese and the archdeaconry and the invaluable information which can be gleaned about the lives of our ancestors.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 57 minute recording of "England and Wales - Rummaging in the Parish Chests" PLUS the after-webinar party is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - parish - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, May 2, 2016

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 341 classes, 491 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,454 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Brand New - Book Matching Technology at MyHeritage by Mike Mansfield. April 29.
  • Google Drive for Genealogists by Thomas MacEntee. May 4.
  • Dirty Pictures - Save Your Family Photos from Ruin by Denise Levenick. May 11.
  • Messages from the Grave - Listening to Your Ancestor's Tombstone by Elissa Scalise Powell. May 13.
  • Mining the Über-sites for German Ancestors by Jim Beidler. May 18.
  • Discover American Ancestors (NEHGS) by Lindsay Fulton. May 25.
  • Get the Most from AmericanAncestors.org by Claire Vail. June 1.
  • Researching Your Washington State Ancestors by Mary Roddy. June 8.
  • Introduction to the Freedmen's Bureau by Angela Walton-Raji. June 10.
  • Ticked Off! Those Pesky Pre-1850 Census Tic Marks by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen. June 15.
  • Digging Deeper in German Parish Records by Gail Blankenau. June 22.
  • Circles or Triangles? What Shape is Your DNA? by Diahan Southard. June 29.
  • Navigating Naturalization Records by Lisa Alzo. July 6.
  • A Genealogist's Guide to Heraldry by Shannon Combs-Bennett. July 13.
  • Finding French Ancestors by Luana Darby. July 15.
  • Organize Your Online Life by Lisa Louise Cooke. July 20.
  • Researching Women - Community Cookbooks and What They Tell Us About Our Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega. July 27.
  • The Germanic French - Researching Alsatian and Lorrainian Families by John Philip Colletta. July 30.
  • Solutions for Missing and Scarce Records by Tom Jones. July 30.
  • Getting Started with Microsoft PowerPoint by Thomas MacEntee. August 3.
  • The Battle for Bounty Land - War of 1812 and Mexican-American Wars by Beth Foulk. August 10.
  • Homestead Act of 1862 - Following the Witnesses by Bernice Bennett. August 12.
  • Successfully Applying to a Lineage Society by Amy Johnson Crow. August 17.
  • Using Findmypast to Unlock Your Irish Ancestry by Brian Donovan. August 24.
  • The Treasure Trove in Legislative Petitions by Judy Russell. September 14.
  • Clooz - A Document-Based Software Companion by Richard Thomas. September 16.
  • How to Use FamilySearch.org for Beginners by Devin Ashby. September 21.
  • Beginning Polish Genealogy by Lisa Alzo and Jonathan Shea. September 28.
  • AHA! Analysis of Handwriting for Genealogical Research by Ron Arons. October 5.
  • Time and Place - Using Genealogy's Cross-Hairs by Jim Beidler. October 12.
  • Finding Your Ancestors' German Hometown by Ursula Krause. October 14.
  • Social History Websites That Bring Your Ancestor's Story to Life by Gena Philibert-Ortega. October 19.
  • Flip for Flickr - Share, Store and Save Your Family Photos by Maureen Taylor. October 26.
  • Analysis and Correlation - Two Keys to Sound Conclusions by Chris Staats. November 2.
  • Publishing a Genealogy E-Book by Thomas MacEntee. November 9.
  • Dating Family Photographs by Jane Neff Rollins. November 16.
  • Nature & Nurture - Family History for Adoptees by Janet Hovorka and Amy Slade. November 18.
  • Multi-Media Story Telling by Devin Ashby. November 30.
  • Becoming a Genealogy Detective by Sharon Atkins. December 7.
  • From the Heartland - Utilizing Online Resources in Midwest Research by Luana Darby. December 14.
  • Tracing Your European Ancestors by Julie Goucher. December 16.
  • An Introduction to BillionGraves by Garth Fitzner. December 21.

Click here to register.

Print the 2016 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


Tuesday's Tip - A gem "hidden" in the Help File

TT - A gem -hidden- in the Help File

Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.

A gem "hidden" in the Help File

Well, it really isn't hidden but most people wouldn't think to look for it. If you want to merge two files then you will want to read this first. Go to the Help File and type in the word Merging. You will see two entries.
Merging Family Files - Best Practices
Merging Family Files - Best Practices Summary

The summary list makes a great checklist and the regular best practices entry contain the step by step instructions.

When you get to the part where you need to actually merge individual people, you will want to go back to the Help File and type in the words How to. Now click on Merge Duplicate Individuals. There are a couple of links on this pages that you will want to read.
Merging
Merging Records (especially this one)

Now type the word Merge into the Help Index.
Merge Options
Additional Merge Options

Gem-merging1

Knowing what all of the options on the Merge screen actually do will give you better results.

It is VERY important that you understand how merging works before you try to do it because it can really mess up your file if you don't know what you are doing. That is why it is also VERY important you make a backup before you get started. Legacy will also make an automatic backup for you if you have this selected in the Options menu. This will give you an Undo Merge button on the main toolbar/ribbon if you make a mistake.

Options > Customize > 12. Other Settings
Option 12.5 Message Boxes
Turn on or off Optional Reminder Messages
Prompts/Reminders tab
Prompt to do an automatic backup before merging

Gem-merging2

 

Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.

For video tech tips checkout the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.

Michele Simmons Lewis is part of the technical support team at Millennia, the makers of the Legacy Family Tree software program. With over 20 years of research experience, Michele’s passion is helping new genealogists get started on the right foot through her writings, classes and lectures. She is the former staff genealogist and weekly columnist for the McDuffie Mirror and now authors Ancestoring, a blog geared toward the beginner/intermediate researcher.


Register for Webinar Wednesday - England and Wales: Rummaging in the Parish Chests by Kirsty Gray

Register

The parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials in England and Wales give many genealogical clues to help build a family tree. Kirsty Gray also highlights other documents kept by the parish, the diocese and the archdeaconry and the invaluable information which can be gleaned about the lives of our ancestors.

Logotransparent

Join us and Kirsty Gray for the live webinar Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

Download the syllabus

In preparation for the webinar, download the supplemental syllabus materials here. The syllabus is available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers. Log in here or subscribe here.

Registerbut 

Or register for multiple webinars at once by clicking here.

Not sure if you already registered?

Login to view your registration status for this webinar (available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers).

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

KirstyGray-144x144Kirsty is a professional genealogist and Heir Hunter who runs her own research company Family Wise Limited. As a freelance author, she has published articles in family, local and social history magazines and handbooks across the globe. She has been researching the story of her paternal West Country family for many years and, having realised in the late 1990s that her eccentric hobby was called a surname study, co-founded The Surname Society (registering the Sillifant surname) in 2014 to meet the needs of surname studiers in the 21st century. 

In 2011, Kirsty took over from Penny Christensen as Director of English Studies for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, updating previous courses and expanding the provision for online genealogical research courses about English records.

Having published Tracing Your West Country Ancestors in 2013, Kirsty is now working on Tracing Your Industrial Ancestors with Pen and Sword Books and is a founder member and was initially Chair (now Secretary) of the Society for One-Place Studies, an international society for family and local historians.

Although a relative youngster in the field of genealogy, Kirsty has been involved in family history for almost two decades and has lectured on various stages from local to international. Having traded in her day job as a teacher to follow her passion, Kirsty is widely sought after as a family history tutor, lecturer and motivational speaker in the UK.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. Check at www.java.com.
  6. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  7. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


What I learned from my first DNA experience, and what's next

I've been on an incredible genealogy high this week! And it has everything to do with my first DNA tests. If you missed it, the results of my DNA tests were unveiled, both to me and to a live webinar audience, this past Tuesday. Thousands of you have now tuned in and shared in the amazing discovery. I truly had no idea DNA testing could find what it did.

I'm finally starting to get the hype - this really is the hottest thing in genealogy. It's not that I've been in my own sheltered world trying to avoid DNA because I have been involved in it. In fact, I've now hosted nine full-length webinars (www.familytreewebinars.com/dna) teaching people about its value to our research. But it wasn't until I actually had my family tested that it has become so real. Finally.

Of those that attended the live webinar, 29% had not yet participated in a DNA test. To you I plead - find someone in your family - you, your parents, your grandparents - anyone! and get them tested yesterday! Another poll showed that most were still in the same boat as me:

  • 45% felt they were complete newbies to DNA genealogy
  • 44% have dabbled in DNA genealogy and know a little bit
  • 9% were pretty confident with DNA genealogy
  • 1% felt they were experts with DNA genealogy

So it seems that we still have a ways to go in this field, but it's incredible where we are now.

What I learned from my first test

Here's what I learned from my first test. To clarify, it was my mother's parents who were tested, and it was their autosomal DNA from AncestryDNA that was tested. The easiest part was getting them to spit into the container. The hardest part was waiting the one month and 14 days for the email that said the results were in, and then the additional 1 month and 9 days I waited to explore them with you.

I learned about Grandma's ethnicity - she was 100% from Europe.

Dna1

I learned that I have 15 DNA circles. Circles are created around a particular ancestor and everyone in a circle has DNA evidence that links them to Grandma or to someone else in the group. Here's what the William McCall DNA Circle looks like:

Dna3

I learned that I have 180 DNA Matches of 4th cousins or closer:

Dna4

It was by reviewing these matches that the answer to one of my longest-standing genealogy brick walls was discovered! My 4th great-grandfather, Asa Brown, had four children with his first wife. The identities of children #1 and #3 have been elusive...

Dna5

...yet I've always believed them to be John and Griffin:

Dna6

My theory has been that if Grandma's DNA matched the DNA of a descendant of either John or Griffin, then at least I know for sure that they are indeed related.

Dna7

Diahan, my on-air DNA consultant, suggested that I do a search in my DNA matches for any Brown surnames who were born in Pennsylvania.

Dna8

Of the 60 results, I clicked on the first match, who happened to be in the "4th Cousin" section. Then my heart rate jumped. I looked closely at the details of this John Nelson Brown...

Dna9

...and compared him with the details of my John Nelson Brown.

Dna10

Their names, dates, and places all seemed to match. Then Diahan suggested that I click on the Shared Matches button. This shows DNA matches that Grandma and John have in common. One match appeared. Reviewing it, my heart seemed to beat right out of my body, and I literally began to be light-headed.

Dna11

And here's my Griffin Brown in my Legacy family file:

Dna12

If I understand correctly, here's what all of this means. John Nelson BROWN shares DNA with Griffin BROWN, both of whom also share DNA with my grandmother - Virginia BROWN. Therefore, somewhere, somehow, both John and Griffin fit into the family. And with all of the genealogy research I've already performed, it now looks more likely than ever before that they really are children #1 and #3 of Asa Brown's family. And I thought I'd never find the proof! While DNA will not tell me that "Griffin is the son of Asa" I'm now as excited and energized as ever to continue pursuing this family. I am on the right trail.

Why was this so successful?

Hundreds of you have personally written to me (thanks!) to congratulate me on these findings. Many of the messages have suggested that this discovery was somewhat unusual, even ideal. Maybe it was beginner's luck, but I feel there were some factors that contributed to this success.

  • First, I was fortunate to have my grandmother perform the DNA test. Had I only tested myself, and since I only have 25% of my grandmother's DNA, there's a 50% chance that the DNA which matched John and Griffin wouldn't have been passed to me, and I would not have made this discovery.
  • Second, not only did I have part of my tree at Ancestry, but both the descendant of John and the descendant of Griffin also had partial trees at Ancestry. With the combination of that and our DNA match, we discovered each other. I will continue to keep the master copy of my tree in Legacy for all of the advantages it gives me, but recognize the benefits of having parts of it online.
  • Third, my genealogical research of both John and Griffin was very thorough, which permitted me to recognize the potentially matching names, dates, places, and relationships. Never be satisfied with a partial family!
  • Fourth, not only did the descendant of John and Griffin have a tree at Ancestry, but they also participated in DNA testing.
  • Fifth, the guidance I received from Diahan was invaluable to understanding and filtering through the results. If you've tried interpreting your DNA results on your own, I'd strongly recommend that you visit with her through her consultation services or learn from her via her inexpensive DNA reference guides.
  • Sixth, I must have really good DNA. :)

Next steps

I'm still a little overwhelmed with the results, and this was just my first test! Here's what I plan to do next. If you have other suggestions, I'd love to hear from you.

  • I've ordered another DNA test, this time for my father's 93-year-old father. It should arrive in the next day or so, and then I've got another excuse to make the 3-hour drive to visit him.
  • I'll probably spend most of my time looking for more evidence of John and Griffin. I look forward to that day when I can, with full confidence, link them to their correct places in my tree.
  • I'm more confident with DNA testing now, but I will definitely review these two reference guides by Diahan: Autosomal DNA for the genealogist and Understanding AncestryDNA. I should probably also review Getting Started: Genetics for the Genealogist.
  • Re-watch the previous DNA webinars in the library (at www.familytreewebinars.com/dna):
    • The Power of DNA in Unlocking Family Relationships
    • DNA Research for Genealogists: Beyond the Basics
    • The New Frontier in Genetic Genealogy: Autosomal DNA Testing
    • Genealogy and Technology - State of the Union
    • I Had My DNA Tested - Now What?
    • Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy
    • Making YDNA and mtDNA Part of Your Family History
    • Confirming Enslaved Ancestors Utilizing DNA
    • Watch Geoff Live: DNA
  • Import my AncestralDNA results into FamilyTreeDNA. Transferring costs about $39 and from what I hear there are additional benefits by having the results there too.
  • Import the results into GEDMatch. This is free, and provides additional tools such as comparing my results with others who may not have had their tests done with AncestryDNA.
  • Against others' recommendations, I'm going to have myself tested sometime. I've got to prove to my parents that they didn't find me under a rock. And who knows what else I'll find?
  • I'd also like to have my wife's parents tested. I've done a little bit of research on my father-in-law's line, and feel this could help with some of the challenges.

So if you've read this far, and you haven't yet joined this new world of DNA testing for genealogy, I hope I've inspired you a little bit. At the very least, I've now got a summary of what I did and a checklist of where I'm heading - both good practices for genealogy research of any kind.


BONUS webinar available (FREE!) - History Lives at JSTOR by Sarah Kim

You've briefly learned about the 2000+ scholarly journals available at JSTOR in previous webinars by Gena Philibert-Ortega, Lisa Alzo, and Judy Wight, and you've asked us to provide a full-length webinar to learn more about this incredible resource. Just this morning we got together with the senior marketing director of JSTOR and recorded the class just for you! It's now available in the webinar library - for free for anyone to watch at their leisure.

Webinar Description

Need local history from colonial New England or Virginia? Need information about Scottish settlements in North Carolina? Need history of mining in Wales? Find remarkable research in JSTOR to place your family story in historical context. With 2,000+ scholarly journals, JSTOR is one of the most comprehensive and trusted research databases in the world. Learn how to navigate the rich JSTOR library—from peer-reviewed scholarly research to critical analyses of historical events to detailed book reviews. In addition to scholarly societies and academic presses, JSTOR works with more than 30 state and regional historical societies to archive the entire runs of their publications –from the very first issue published—to make available for searching, browsing, and reading.

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Click here to watch.

This webinar joins 2 other excellent webinars about using periodicals already available in the library: 

 Not a member yet?

Legacy Family Tree Webinars provides genealogy education where-you-are through live and recorded online webinars and videos. Learn from the best instructors in genealogy including Thomas MacEntee, Judy Russell, J. Mark Lowe, Lisa Louise Cooke, Megan Smolenyak, Tom Jones, and many more. Learn at your convenience. On-demand classes are available 24 hours a day! All you need is a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection.

Subscribe today and get access to all BONUS members-only webinars AND all of this:

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 We've got a brand new line up of speakers for 2016! All live webinars are free to watch.

2016speakers3

Print the 2016 webinar brochure here.


Adding Historical Context to Your Ancestor's Life

Nothing hits me in the gut more than knowing that a direct ancestor of mine spearheaded an Indian massacre. In January 1863, Colonel Patrick E. Connor and his regiment wreaked havoc at Bear Creek in southeastern Idaho, resulting in hundreds of casualties for the Shoshoni Indian Tribe and their families. Being descended from a decorated war hero, to whom I owe my middle name, does not generate the feelings of pride or excitement it once did. However, the relationship of Americans and indigenous tribes was complex to say the least. Without disregarding the atrocities committed by General Connor, Americans settling out west were victims of raids and brutality by the Western tribes as well. This article is not meant to debate the ethics of one side against the other, but rather to briefly demonstrate how research, thus adding historical context, gives us a fuller understanding of our ancestor’s lives and their actions.

Whether we're dealing with the more light-hearted fare of day-to-day life or events that taint our family history, adding historical context is an important process to bring us closer to our ancestors. The world of genealogy is catching on to this with great interest; more and more researchers are looking for ways to add “meat on the bones” and to bring to light the time-period of their ancestors and what their experiences were like. When we research the history around our ancestors, they become more than names on a branch, but people with a story to tell, that can captivate you, your family, and future generations. My experience in genealogy has proven repeatedly, that our history textbooks from grade school overlooked the amazing history retold through the stories of everyday people.

Image source: Library of Congress

We often find clues in our sources that probe us to ask, “Why did they do that?” or “Why did this happen to them?” At our disposal are voluminous resources that we can use to answer, or at least come closer to answering, these questions.

NEWSPAPERS

Newspapers are a great primary source for investigating historical events and they help to demonstrate the character of a particular community. Not only do they provide primary accounts of important moments in our ancestors’ lives, but they also capture the opinions and sentiments your ancestor may have held towards particular social issues. The first place I’d look for links to online newspapers databases is FamilySearch Wiki’s article, "Digital Historical Newspapers” or Cyndi’s List. Also, visit Kenneth Mark's Ancestor Hunt website which provides tremendous resources for newspaper research. There are also over 15 "always free" classes on newspaper research by Tom Kemp inn the Legacy Family Tree Webinars library.

RESEARCH YOUR ANCESTOR’S TRADE/OCCUPATION

A lot of great study has been devoted to understanding life at the workplace. Try researching the history of a specific job like coal miner or a particular company, i.e. the Boston & Maine Railroad Company, to find collections and sources that provide insight into the day-to-day life of your ancestor at work.

MILITARY SERVICE

If your ancestor was a veteran, there are abundant websites and records documenting the activities of your ancestor’s company or regiment to help better understand their experience on the battlefield. I would start by searching your ancestor’s regiment or company because there is a very high chance somebody created a webpage on it, or you can go deeper using records of the National Archives. The document below shows Colonel Connor’s own account of the Massacre at Bear Creek, extracted from a large series of reports and correspondence published as The War of the Rebellion.

 

 

 

29 Jan 1863 – Engagement on the Bear River, Utah Ter. [1]   
29 Jan 1863 – Engagement on the Bear River, Utah Ter. [1]

 

ACADEMIC JOURNALS

Accessing the articles written by scholars and historians is a great way to add historical context. Less focused on genealogical research, scholarly articles can provide fuller understanding on a variety of historical subjects, i.e. the witchcraft hysteria in New England or social conditions of Irish-Americans in urban communities. These academics have gone to great lengths to pull together a variety of primary and secondary sources to give a more balanced view of history. Pertinent databases include JSTOR, Google Scholar, and Academic Search Complete by EBSCOhost. Some are free, while others require subscription access. Check your local library or university to inquire about what research databases are available within their network.

DIARIES AND LETTERS

Even if family treasures like diaries and letters do not exist in your family, consider reading those of other families that relate to your research. The farther back in time we are researching, the more important these primary sources become in determining what might have been our ancestor’s thoughts, feelings, and aspirations in their day to day lives. Many have been published and edited with commentary, like The Prendergast Letters: Correspondence from Famine-Era Ireland or One Colonial Women’s World: The Life and Writings of Mehetabel Chandler Coit, while others still lie in the stacks of archives. To track down some of these, try the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections or ArchiveGrid by WorldCat. These are excellent catalogs to begin archival research.

 VISIT A MUSEUM

Add some fun to your family history journey and enjoy a visit to a museum! Particularly in ones that offer living history settings, like Plimoth Plantation, the past surely does come alive. Museum guides, re-enactors, and collections on display provide a window into life as it once was. Something about experiencing history first hand cannot be recreated in any type of source or record. As a bonus, visiting a museum is a great field trip for the whole family to take, so everyone can better understand and appreciate the lives of our ancestors, but most importantly, all of the great work you as genealogists do in preserving the legacy!

Hear are a few examples of digital libraries and archives that could help with providing historical context, along with resources that provide links to some of these repositories.

"American Memory.Library of Congress.

Colonial North American Project.Harvard University Library.

Documenting the American South.University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

Digital Collections.Library of Congress.

Nancy E. Loe. “States on Sunday Archives.” Sassy Jane Genealogy. A growing collection of free digital archives by State.

Primary Source Sets.” Digital Public Library of America.

Staff Writers. “250 Plus Killer Digital Libraries and Archives.Open Education Database (oedb.org), posted 25 Mar 2013.

 

[1] United States. War Dept; et.al. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. (Washington, D.C.: Govt. Printing Office, 1900), 187.

---


Jake Fletcher is a genealogist and blogger. Jake has been researching and writing about genealogy since 2008 on his research blog Travelogues of a Genealogist. He currently volunteers as a research assistant at the National Archives in Waltham, Massachusetts and is Vice President of the New England Association of Professional Genealogists (NEAPG).


Fire Insurance Maps: The Google Maps of Their Day - free webinar by Jill Morelli now online for limited time

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The recording of today's webinar, "Fire Insurance Maps: The Google Maps of Their Day" by Jill Morelli is now available to view for free for a limited time at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com. 

Webinar Description

Fire insurance maps were developed in the late 19th century to assist insurance companies in managing their risk of coverage in areas where they did not have a physical presence. Over 54,000 maps were made of communities large and small and many communities had multiple maps created between 1895 and 1920. These maps today offer an incredible window into the past, illustrate the evolution of these communities and describe the physical environment of the lives of our ancestors. We will explore the history of the maps including the the Sanborn Map Company which had a virtual monopoly by the 1920s. We will also identify where to access these maps and, using four case studies, illustrate how these maps can solve our genealogical problems and add context to the lives of our ancestors. All is eventually tied to the genealogical proof standard.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 42 minute recording of "Fire Insurance Maps: The Google Maps of Their Day" PLUS the after-webinar party is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - maps16 - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, April 25, 2016

Using Maps in ResearchUsing Maps in Your Genealogy Research Legacy QuickGuide by Kathryn Lake Hogan - 2.95

Maps and atlases provide a visual depiction of not just a geographic location, but where our ancestors lived. These maps can also offer clues to how they lived, especially when data is plotted out: the location of workplaces and houses of worship in relation to homes, how far away other relatives lived, and more.
 
The Using Maps in Your Genealogy Research Legacy QuickGuide™ contains useful information to get you started including map and atlas terminology, research tips for using maps, map types and resources for accessing online maps from all over the world. This handy 4-page PDF guide can be used on your computer or mobile device for anytime access.

Click here to purchase for 2.95.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 339 classes, 488 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,448 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • England and Wales - Rummaging in the Parish Chests by Kirsty Gray. April 27.
  • Brand New - Book Matching Technology at MyHeritage by Mike Mansfield. April 29.
  • Google Drive for Genealogists by Thomas MacEntee. May 4.
  • Dirty Pictures - Save Your Family Photos from Ruin by Denise Levenick. May 11.
  • Messages from the Grave - Listening to Your Ancestor's Tombstone by Elissa Scalise Powell. May 13.
  • Mining the Über-sites for German Ancestors by Jim Beidler. May 18.
  • Discover American Ancestors (NEHGS) by Lindsay Fulton. May 25.
  • Get the Most from AmericanAncestors.org by Claire Vail. June 1.
  • Researching Your Washington State Ancestors by Mary Roddy. June 8.
  • Introduction to the Freedmen's Bureau by Angela Walton-Raji. June 10.
  • Ticked Off! Those Pesky Pre-1850 Census Tic Marks by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen. June 15.
  • Digging Deeper in German Parish Records by Gail Blankenau. June 22.
  • Circles or Triangles? What Shape is Your DNA? by Diahan Southard. June 29.
  • Navigating Naturalization Records by Lisa Alzo. July 6.
  • A Genealogist's Guide to Heraldry by Shannon Combs-Bennett. July 13.
  • Finding French Ancestors by Luana Darby. July 15.
  • Organize Your Online Life by Lisa Louise Cooke. July 20.
  • Researching Women - Community Cookbooks and What They Tell Us About Our Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega. July 27.
  • The Germanic French - Researching Alsatian and Lorrainian Families by John Philip Colletta. July 30.
  • Solutions for Missing and Scarce Records by Tom Jones. July 30.
  • Getting Started with Microsoft PowerPoint by Thomas MacEntee. August 3.
  • The Battle for Bounty Land - War of 1812 and Mexican-American Wars by Beth Foulk. August 10.
  • Homestead Act of 1862 - Following the Witnesses by Bernice Bennett. August 12.
  • Successfully Applying to a Lineage Society by Amy Johnson Crow. August 17.
  • Using Findmypast to Unlock Your Irish Ancestry by Brian Donovan. August 24.
  • The Treasure Trove in Legislative Petitions by Judy Russell. September 14.
  • Clooz - A Document-Based Software Companion by Richard Thomas. September 16.
  • How to Use FamilySearch.org for Beginners by Devin Ashby. September 21.
  • Beginning Polish Genealogy by Lisa Alzo and Jonathan Shea. September 28.
  • AHA! Analysis of Handwriting for Genealogical Research by Ron Arons. October 5.
  • Time and Place - Using Genealogy's Cross-Hairs by Jim Beidler. October 12.
  • Finding Your Ancestors' German Hometown by Ursula Krause. October 14.
  • Social History Websites That Bring Your Ancestor's Story to Life by Gena Philibert-Ortega. October 19.
  • Flip for Flickr - Share, Store and Save Your Family Photos by Maureen Taylor. October 26.
  • Analysis and Correlation - Two Keys to Sound Conclusions by Chris Staats. November 2.
  • Publishing a Genealogy E-Book by Thomas MacEntee. November 9.
  • Dating Family Photographs by Jane Neff Rollins. November 16.
  • Nature & Nurture - Family History for Adoptees by Janet Hovorka and Amy Slade. November 18.
  • Multi-Media Story Telling by Devin Ashby. November 30.
  • Becoming a Genealogy Detective by Sharon Atkins. December 7.
  • From the Heartland - Utilizing Online Resources in Midwest Research by Luana Darby. December 14.
  • Tracing Your European Ancestors by Julie Goucher. December 16.
  • An Introduction to BillionGraves by Garth Fitzner. December 21.

Click here to register.

Print the 2016 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


Watch Geoff Live: DNA - free webinar by Geoff Rasmussen and Diahan Southard now online for limited time

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Now that was one of the top highlights of my entire genealogy career! Thanks to Diahan Southard and to all of YOU for being there with me as DNA testing really came through for my genealogy brick wall! If you haven't participated in DNA testing for your ancestors, do it TODAY!

The recording of today's webinar, "Watch Geoff Live: DNA" by Geoff Rasmussen and Diahan Southard is now available to view for free for a limited time at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com. 

Webinar Description

Geoff finally did it! He took his first step into the world of DNA and had his two maternal grandparents tested (autosomal tests from AncestryDNA). He recently received the testing results and has waited to explore them – for the first time – in front of a LIVE webinar audience.

You are invited to watch live as his DNA results are revealed. He is hoping that somehow DNA will bring down one of his longest-standing brick walls.

On hand to interpret and explain what Geoff discovers will be DNA expert, webinar presenter, and yourDNAguide.com’s Diahan Southard. Geoff has kept the results hidden from her as well. The result will be a live and unscripted session giving DNA neophyte (like Geoff) viewers a first-hand look at what to expect from their first autosomal DNA test.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 42 minute recording of "Watch Geoff Live: DNA" is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - dnalive - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, April 25, 2016

AncestryDNAUnderstanding AncestryDNA - Quick Reference PDF Guide by Diahan Southard - 5.95

Thousands have purchased DNA testing through Ancestry.com. Most are left without a clear idea of what to do next. This guide provides answers to the following questions:
  • How can I find my best DNA matches at Ancestry.com?
  • What do the ethnicity results mean?
  • How can I link my pedigree chart to my DNA? Is that something I want to do?
  • What do the relationship ranges, like 2nd-4th cousin, really mean?
  • What are the DNA circles?
  • Can I trust the shaky leaf hints?
  • What are my next steps?

Click here to purchase for 5.95.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 338 classes, 486 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,448 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Fire Insurance Maps - The Google Maps of Their Day by Jill Morelli. April 20.
  • England and Wales - Rummaging in the Parish Chests by Kirsty Gray. April 27.
  • Brand New - Book Matching Technology at MyHeritage by Mike Mansfield. April 29.
  • Google Drive for Genealogists by Thomas MacEntee. May 4.
  • Dirty Pictures - Save Your Family Photos from Ruin by Denise Levenick. May 11.
  • Messages from the Grave - Listening to Your Ancestor's Tombstone by Elissa Scalise Powell. May 13.
  • Mining the Über-sites for German Ancestors by Jim Beidler. May 18.
  • Discover American Ancestors (NEHGS) by Lindsay Fulton. May 25.
  • Get the Most from AmericanAncestors.org by Claire Vail. June 1.
  • Researching Your Washington State Ancestors by Mary Roddy. June 8.
  • Introduction to the Freedmen's Bureau by Angela Walton-Raji. June 10.
  • Ticked Off! Those Pesky Pre-1850 Census Tic Marks by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen. June 15.
  • Digging Deeper in German Parish Records by Gail Blankenau. June 22.
  • Circles or Triangles? What Shape is Your DNA? by Diahan Southard. June 29.
  • Navigating Naturalization Records by Lisa Alzo. July 6.
  • A Genealogist's Guide to Heraldry by Shannon Combs-Bennett. July 13.
  • Finding French Ancestors by Luana Darby. July 15.
  • Organize Your Online Life by Lisa Louise Cooke. July 20.
  • Researching Women - Community Cookbooks and What They Tell Us About Our Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega. July 27.
  • The Germanic French - Researching Alsatian and Lorrainian Families by John Philip Colletta. July 30.
  • Solutions for Missing and Scarce Records by Tom Jones. July 30.
  • Getting Started with Microsoft PowerPoint by Thomas MacEntee. August 3.
  • The Battle for Bounty Land - War of 1812 and Mexican-American Wars by Beth Foulk. August 10.
  • Homestead Act of 1862 - Following the Witnesses by Bernice Bennett. August 12.
  • Successfully Applying to a Lineage Society by Amy Johnson Crow. August 17.
  • Using Findmypast to Unlock Your Irish Ancestry by Brian Donovan. August 24.
  • The Treasure Trove in Legislative Petitions by Judy Russell. September 14.
  • Clooz - A Document-Based Software Companion by Richard Thomas. September 16.
  • How to Use FamilySearch.org for Beginners by Devin Ashby. September 21.
  • Beginning Polish Genealogy by Lisa Alzo and Jonathan Shea. September 28.
  • AHA! Analysis of Handwriting for Genealogical Research by Ron Arons. October 5.
  • Time and Place - Using Genealogy's Cross-Hairs by Jim Beidler. October 12.
  • Finding Your Ancestors' German Hometown by Ursula Krause. October 14.
  • Social History Websites That Bring Your Ancestor's Story to Life by Gena Philibert-Ortega. October 19.
  • Flip for Flickr - Share, Store and Save Your Family Photos by Maureen Taylor. October 26.
  • Analysis and Correlation - Two Keys to Sound Conclusions by Chris Staats. November 2.
  • Publishing a Genealogy E-Book by Thomas MacEntee. November 9.
  • Dating Family Photographs by Jane Neff Rollins. November 16.
  • Nature & Nurture - Family History for Adoptees by Janet Hovorka and Amy Slade. November 18.
  • Multi-Media Story Telling by Devin Ashby. November 30.
  • Becoming a Genealogy Detective by Sharon Atkins. December 7.
  • From the Heartland - Utilizing Online Resources in Midwest Research by Luana Darby. December 14.
  • Tracing Your European Ancestors by Julie Goucher. December 16.
  • An Introduction to BillionGraves by Garth Fitzner. December 21.

Click here to register.

Print the 2016 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


Register for Webinar Wednesday - Fire Insurance Maps: The Google Maps of Their Day by Jill Morelli

Register1

Fire insurance maps were developed in the late 19th century to assist insurance companies in managing their risk of coverage in areas where they did not have a physical presence. Over 54,000 maps were made of communities large and small and many communities had multiple maps created between 1895 and 1920. These maps today offer an incredible window into the past, illustrate the evolution of these communities and describe the physical environment of the lives of our ancestors. We will explore the history of the maps including the the Sanborn Map Company which had a virtual monopoly by the 1920s. We will also identify where to access these maps and, using four case studies, illustrate how these maps can solve our genealogical problems and add context to the lives of our ancestors. All is eventually tied to the genealogical proof standard.

Logotransparent

Join us and Jill Morelli for the live webinar Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

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No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

JillMorelli-144x144Jill Morelli is a "Roots" genealogist, becoming interested in family history in the 1970's with the Alex Haley show. At that time, she just collected “stuff." After a hiatus during which she had a family and volunteered in her community, Jill came back to genealogy with a vengeance in February 2002 and a total commitment to "doing it right." She attended conferences, institutes and read articles that would improve her skills as a genealogist. Jill started lecturing on genealogy topics in 2013; however, her background includes extensive lecturing associated with her vocation of architecture to large (300+) and small groups for 40+ years. Jill is a lecturer, writer and professional genealogist and has a blog at http://genealogycertification.wordpress.com about her experiences of being "on the clock," house histories and other topics of interest.

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The webinar will be live on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at:

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We look forward to seeing you all there!


Register for Webinar TUESDAY - Watch Geoff Live: DNA

Register

Geoff finally did it! He took his first step into the world of DNA and had his two maternal grandparents tested (autosomal tests from AncestryDNA). He recently received the testing results and has waited to explore them – for the first time – in front of a LIVE webinar audience.

You are invited to watch live as his DNA results are revealed. He is hoping that somehow DNA will bring down one of his longest-standing brick walls.

On hand to interpret and explain what Geoff discovers will be DNA expert, webinar presenter, and yourDNAguide.com’s Diahan Southard. Geoff has kept the results hidden from her as well. The result will be a live and unscripted session giving DNA neophyte (like Geoff) viewers a first-hand look at what to expect from their first autosomal DNA test.

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Join us, Geoff Rasmussen, and Diahan Southard for the live webinar Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

 

Registerbut 

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About the presenters

GeoffRasmussen-144x144Geoffrey D. Rasmussen is the father of four budding genealogists. He graduated with a degree in Genealogy and Family History from Brigham Young University and has served as director and vice-president of the Utah Genealogical Association. He is a dynamic genealogy speaker on all forms of genealogy technology, and as host of the Legacy Family Tree webinar series, has spoken virtually to nearly 100 different countries. He has authored books, videos, articles, and websites, and develops the Legacy Family Tree software program. On a personal note, Geoff enjoys playing the piano, organ, cello, basketball and bowling. His favorite places are cemeteries, the ocean, and hanging out with other genealogists. He met and proposed to his wife in a Family History Center.

He is the author of the recently-released, Kindred Voices: Listening for our Ancestors, and the popular books Legacy Family Tree, Unlocked!and Digital Imaging Essentials.

DiahanSouthard-144x144A microbiology graduate, Diahan Southard worked before and after graduation for the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. Growing up with the budding genetic genealogy industry lead her to her current position as Your DNA Guide, where she provides personalized, interactive experiences to assist individuals and families in interpreting their genetic results in the context of their genealogical information. Diahan's lectures are always fun, upbeat, and full of energy. She has a passion for genetic genealogy, a genuine love for people, and a gift for making the technical understandable.

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Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. Check at www.java.com.
  6. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  7. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


My New Journey with MyHeritage, PLUS a new webinar on their new Book Matching

My explorations into the MyHeritage.com genealogy site have just begun, and after the discoveries it made in my tree today, I anticipate MyHeritage will soon become one of my top go-to resources.

I've heard of MyHeritage, have consistently seen it appear in the annual rankings as one of the top genealogy websites, and have seen their large presence at major genealogy conferences. But it wasn't until our recent webinar with MyHeritage's Mike Mansfield that I began to see that it deserves more of my attention. In "7 Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries at MyHeritage" Mike showed off some really cool technology and the genealogy challenges they solve.

This week, for the first time, I uploaded a small part of my tree and nearly immediately began to experience two of these technologies: Smart Matching and Record Matching. And just this morning I made another big discovery thanks to their newest innovation - Book Matching.

First, the smart matching and record matches. At www.MyHeritage.com, I clicked on the GEDCOM option in the Family Tree menu.

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It then imported the small GEDCOM file I created from my Legacy family file. (In Legacy, go to File > Export > GEDCOM.) I imported four generations of ancestors beginning with my great-grandfather, Kenneth BROWN. A few minutes later I received this email, notifying me that my tree is now ready to view:

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Sure enough it was. I've zoomed out here to show you the entire tree, plus I added my grandmother, mother, and myself so I would also be linked.

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Less than two hours later I received the next email with this subject line:

Geoff Rasmussen, you've got Record Matches!

Cool! And while the most of the initial record matches were census records I had already located elsewhere, it did have a few nuggets like a tombstone image and a newspaper article I didn't previously have.

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The next day I received an email notifying me of my first set of Smart Matches.

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These are potential matches in other researchers' trees that appear to overlap someone in my tree. In the olden days of Internet genealogy, we had to seek out our relatives and living cousins - now they get emailed to me while I'm sleeping. :) Today, just three days after importing my tree, I now have 2,470 smart matches and 159 record matches to review. All this from my tree of just 159 individuals.

Book Matching

But it's what showed up as a record match for my Hezekiah Bond this morning that I'm really excited about! 

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This didn't take me to a list of hundreds of books with the names Hezekiah and Bond on the same page. Rather, it located the one book with my Hezekiah Bond.

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My previous experience with searching for my ancestors in digital books has usually returned hundreds, if not thousands, of results, and most of the time the books do have a Hezekiah and a Bond on the same page, or if the two names were back-to-back, they don't usually refer to the right guy. This is what makes MyHeritage's new Book Matching technology so unique. In fact, MyHeritage described Book Matching as this:

"...perhaps our best technology yet."

Further, they explained,

"Book Matching automatically researches individuals found in family trees on MyHeritage in our vast collection of digitized historical books. Unique to MyHeritage, the innovative new technology uses semantic analysis to understand every sentence in every page in the digitized books, in order to find matches with very high accuracy. Book Matching has already produced over 80 million new matches for our users! Every match is a paragraph from a book specifically about the person in the family tree, providing direct access to that paragraph and the ability to browse through the rest of the book.

MyHeritage located the right Hezekiah Bond married to my 4th great-grandaunt, Ann Hough in the book Bond Genealogy: A History of the Descendants of Joseph Bond, told of his service in the Civil War, and gave me the names of two children I had previously overlooked:

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New Webinar

So...what do I usually do when I get really excited about something? I turn it into a webinar. I've invited Mike Mansfield of MyHeritage to demonstrate their new Book Matching technology to a live webinar audience. Mark your calendar for Friday, April 29, 2016 at 2pm eastern U.S. time for the free class.

Registerbut 

My first experience with using MyHeritage certainly won't be my last. And while I'll continue to keep my main tree in my Legacy Family Tree software, I'm happy to have discovered this new tool for my genealogy toolbox.


U.S. Land Records - State Land States - free webinar by Mary Hill now online for limited time

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The recording of last night's webinar, "U.S. Land Records - State Land States" by Mary Hill is now available to view for free for a limited time at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com. 

People recorded evidence of their property, paid taxes on property, gave away property, bought and sold property, fought over property, and willed property to heirs in the 20 state lands states. When understood and used properly, metes and bounds land records comprise one of the most important sources for research in America.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 31 minute recording of "U.S. Land Records - State Land States" is now available to view in our webinar library for free. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - land16 - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, April 18, 2016.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 337 classes, 483 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,444 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Watch Geoff Live: DNA by Geoff Rasmussen and Diahan Southard. April 19.
  • Fire Insurance Maps - The Google Maps of Their Day by Jill Morelli. April 20.
  • England and Wales - Rummaging in the Parish Chests by Kirsty Gray. April 27.
  • Brand New - Book Matching Technology at MyHeritage by Mike Mansfield. April 29.
  • Google Drive for Genealogists by Thomas MacEntee. May 4.
  • Dirty Pictures - Save Your Family Photos from Ruin by Denise Levenick. May 11.
  • Messages from the Grave - Listening to Your Ancestor's Tombstone by Elissa Scalise Powell. May 13.
  • Mining the Über-sites for German Ancestors by Jim Beidler. May 18.
  • Discover American Ancestors (NEHGS) by Lindsay Fulton. May 25.
  • Get the Most from AmericanAncestors.org by Claire Vail. June 1.
  • Researching Your Washington State Ancestors by Mary Roddy. June 8.
  • Introduction to the Freedmen's Bureau by Angela Walton-Raji. June 10.
  • Ticked Off! Those Pesky Pre-1850 Census Tic Marks by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen. June 15.
  • Digging Deeper in German Parish Records by Gail Blankenau. June 22.
  • Circles or Triangles? What Shape is Your DNA? by Diahan Southard. June 29.
  • Navigating Naturalization Records by Lisa Alzo. July 6.
  • A Genealogist's Guide to Heraldry by Shannon Combs-Bennett. July 13.
  • Finding French Ancestors by Luana Darby. July 15.
  • Organize Your Online Life by Lisa Louise Cooke. July 20.
  • Researching Women - Community Cookbooks and What They Tell Us About Our Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega. July 27.
  • The Germanic French - Researching Alsatian and Lorrainian Families by John Philip Colletta. July 30.
  • Solutions for Missing and Scarce Records by Tom Jones. July 30.
  • Getting Started with Microsoft PowerPoint by Thomas MacEntee. August 3.
  • The Battle for Bounty Land - War of 1812 and Mexican-American Wars by Beth Foulk. August 10.
  • Homestead Act of 1862 - Following the Witnesses by Bernice Bennett. August 12.
  • Successfully Applying to a Lineage Society by Amy Johnson Crow. August 17.
  • Using Findmypast to Unlock Your Irish Ancestry by Brian Donovan. August 24.
  • The Treasure Trove in Legislative Petitions by Judy Russell. September 14.
  • Clooz - A Document-Based Software Companion by Richard Thomas. September 16.
  • How to Use FamilySearch.org for Beginners by Devin Ashby. September 21.
  • Beginning Polish Genealogy by Lisa Alzo and Jonathan Shea. September 28.
  • AHA! Analysis of Handwriting for Genealogical Research by Ron Arons. October 5.
  • Time and Place - Using Genealogy's Cross-Hairs by Jim Beidler. October 12.
  • Finding Your Ancestors' German Hometown by Ursula Krause. October 14.
  • Social History Websites That Bring Your Ancestor's Story to Life by Gena Philibert-Ortega. October 19.
  • Flip for Flickr - Share, Store and Save Your Family Photos by Maureen Taylor. October 26.
  • Analysis and Correlation - Two Keys to Sound Conclusions by Chris Staats. November 2.
  • Publishing a Genealogy E-Book by Thomas MacEntee. November 9.
  • Dating Family Photographs by Jane Neff Rollins. November 16.
  • Nature & Nurture - Family History for Adoptees by Janet Hovorka and Amy Slade. November 18.
  • Multi-Media Story Telling by Devin Ashby. November 30.
  • Becoming a Genealogy Detective by Sharon Atkins. December 7.
  • From the Heartland - Utilizing Online Resources in Midwest Research by Luana Darby. December 14.
  • Tracing Your European Ancestors by Julie Goucher. December 16.
  • An Introduction to BillionGraves by Garth Fitzner. December 21.

Click here to register.

Print the 2016 webinar brochure here.

See you online!