Complete 8-Class California Series Now Online

California

Got ancestors in The Golden State? With the final addition of two new webinars, the eight-class series on California research is now complete.  The two new classes include:

We're working hard to give our webinar subscribers the educational classes they need to maximize their genealogical research! Both of these new classes are bonus webinars in the webinar library. The webinar previews are always free.

Researching California Women

What resources are available for researching your California ancestress? California women received the  right to vote in 1911 which results in  records  nonexistent in some other states but other activities like club memberships, church activities, and work leave even more. Periodicals, directories, cookbooks, and organizational records leave a trail that should be explored. We’ll look at specific California examples and where to find information on your California female ancestor.

Researching California Women by Gena Philibert-Ortega
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California's Melting Pot

The story of California is the story of its diverse ethnic population. Rich records exist to trace the citizens of California in archival, library, museum, historical and genealogical collections. Learn more about these collections documenting the lives of the Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, African Americans, and Native Americans in California. We will start with familiar resources like censuses and expand our search to include specific manuscript and special collections housed in archives and libraries throughout the state.

California's Melting Pot by Gena Philibert-Ortega

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These join six California webinars already 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 this BONUS members-only webinar AND all of this:

  • All 433 classes in the library (605 hours of quality genealogy education)
  • 1,987 pages of instructors' handouts
  • Chat logs from the live webinars
  • Additional 5% off anything at FamilyTreeWebinars.com
  • Chance for a bonus subscribers-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Additional members-only webinars

It's just $49.95/year or $9.95/month.

Subscribe

Look at our lineup of speakers for 2016! All live webinars are free to watch.

2016speakers3

Print the 2016 webinar brochure here.


The Top 10 Genealogy Classes of October 2016

We've tallied the numbers and made a list of the Top 10 FamilyTreeWebinars.com classes for October 2016! Are your favorite topics or instructors among the list? Need something new to learn? Use the list to get inspired!

Top10

Each month thousands of Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscribers head for the library to learn new skills and techniques to help improve their genealogy research. Among the now-431 genealogy classes in the members-only library, these were the most frequently played during the month of October 2016.  They aren't necessarily the newest classes but rather the topics that were sought out by our members.

Have you seen any of these classes? Are these among your favorites too? Some of these classes (and topics) might be new to you! Get inspired to learn more and make your genealogy journey more fun!

The Top 10 for October 2016

1. FAN + GPS + DNA: The Problem-Solver's Great Trifecta by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL

2. Finding Your Ancestors' German Hometown by Ursula C. Krause

3. Watch Geoff Live - Using Legacy to Assemble a Family by Geoff Rasmussen

4. Enough is Enough. Or Is It? by Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

5. Social History Websites That Bring Your Ancestor's Story to Life by Gena Philibert-Ortega

6. When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicts in Genealogical Records by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

7. Time and Place - Using Genealogy's Cross-Hairs by James M. Beidler

8. Bringing Life to Our Ancestors: Manuscript Collections by Jeanne Bloom, CG

9. How to Use FamilySearch.org for Beginners by Devin Ashby

10. Black Sheep Ancestors and Their Records by Ann Staley, CG, CGL

The Runner-Ups

11. AHA! Analysis of Handwriting for Genealogical Research by Ron Arons

12. Adoption for the Forensic Genealogist by Michael S. Ramage, J.D., CG

13. Flip for Flickr - Share, Store and Save Your Family Photos by Maureen Taylor

14. Educational Preparation for Certification: Many Paths to the Same Goal by Angela Packer McGhie, CG

15. Beginning Polish Genealogy by Jonathan Shea, AG

16. Sources and Citations Made Simple, Standard, and Powerful by Geoff Rasmussen

17. Finding Evidence of Kinship in Military Records by Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

18. Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy by Diahan Southard

19. Clooz - A Document-Based Software Companion by Richard D Thomas

20. Scrivener Software 1 of 5: Getting Started with Scrivener by Lisa Alzo

Access to classes in the Legacy Family Tree Webinar library are available with an annual or monthly membership. Not a member? Become one! Or watch one of our free classes here.


Register for Webinar Wednesday - Analysis and Correlation: Two Keys to Sound Conclusions by Chris Staats

Register

Careful analysis of individual records may reveal more evidence than we might think. Careful correlation combines all the evidence to solve difficult research problems.

Join us and Chris Staats for the live webinar Wednesday, November 2, 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.

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

ChrisStaats-144x144Chris Staats is a Cleveland, Ohio-based professional genealogical researcher, presenter, and writer. He has written articles for Family Tree Magazine, Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, and other publications. Chris has given presentations covering methodology, resources, technology, and other topics at genealogical societies and libraries across Ohio. He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, chapter representative for the Great Lakes APG chapter, and Seminar Chairperson for the Western Reserve Historical Society's Genealogical Committee.

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, November 2, 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!


Identifying Family Photographs: 5 Types of 19th Century Photos

Have you ever wished you had a photo of a long ago ancestor? Wouldn't it be great to find out what great-grandpa Bert or great-grandma Olive looked like?

If you are lucky enough to own such a photograph, you might want to know a bit more about it, and what clues there are to date it. There are five types of early photographs, and each was popular in certain periods. Knowing the type of photograph you own will help you date it.

1. Daguerreotypes (c. 1839)

A daguerreotype is a unique image on a silvered copper plate. They are very reflective and look like a mirror when turned at certain angles from the viewer. They were put into cases where they were sealed behind glass to prevent tarnishing. The easiest way to tell if your heirloom photo is a daguerreotype is to tilt it back and forth to see if it refects as a mirror would. Photography arrived in the United States in 1839 thanks to Samuel F. B. Morse, an American artist and inventor. Morse visited Daguerre in Paris in March 1839 and observed a demonstration of the daguerreotype process. He returned to the United States to spread the news, and by the end of 1839 some larger cities on the East Coast had very successful portrait studios. A fascinating look at the birth of the daguerreotype process can be found here http://www.photohistory-sussex.co.uk/dagprocess.htm

LFphoto-daguerreotype-6thplate18546th plate Daguerreotype from 1854. L. Massey Collection

2. Ambrotypes (c. 1854)

The ambrotype was a glass negative backed with black material, which enabled it to appear as a positive image. Patented in 1854, the ambrotype was made, packaged, and sold in portrait studios just as the daguerreotype had been, but at a lower cost. The ambrotype produced a single image on glass. Ambrotypes were usually put into cases just as daguerreotypes were.

LFphoto-ambrotype9thplate18589th plate Ambrotype from 1858. L. Massey Collection

LFT Cased Ambrotype 1861-1862Cased Ambrotype 1861-1862. L. Massey Collection

3. Tintypes (c. 1855)

The Ferrotype process (tintypes) was introduced in the United States in 1855. It substituted an iron plate for glass and was even cheaper than the ambrotype. Because tintypes were placed in albums along with CDVs, they were often trimmed at the sides and corners. Tintypes were produced in various sizes

  • Full plate 6 1/2" x 8 1/2"
  • Half plate 4 1/2" x 51/2"
  • 1/4 plate 3 1/8" x 4 1/8"
  • 1/6 plate 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"
  • 1/9 plate 2" x 2 ½"
  • Gem approximately 1/2" x 1"

LFT Tintype Young ChildTintype of a young child. L. Massey Collection

4. Carte de Visite or CDVs (c. 1859)

CDV stands for carte de visite, a photographic calling card. The CDV process, which began in France in 1854, involved a special camera that produced eight poses on one negative. The CDV quickly replaced the old glass images of the ambrotypes, producing a card the size of the then standard calling card, around 2.5 by 4".

The CDV’s albumen process produced a negative from which any number of prints could be made - and on early CDVs it was important for the photographer to note that more prints were always available.

CDVs arrived in the United States around 1859, on the eve of the Civil War (1861-1865) during which demand skyrocketed as soldiers and their loved ones sought an affordable image remembrance. Many people began collecting portraits of political figures, actors and actresses, Civil War generals, as well as family and friends. Special photo albums were designed especially for cartes-de-visite.

In the United States, the carte-de-visite played second fiddle to cheaper variations on the daguerreotype theme. Thus the early CDVs are rather uncommon.

LFT CDV Mrs Joseph Curtis 1862

CDV Mrs Joseph Curtis 1862. L. Massey Collection

5. Cabinet Cards (c. 1870)

CDV’s were eventually replaced in the 1870s by the larger Cabinet Cards which used the same photographic process but were on a larger 4 by 6" card. Cabinet Cards continued in popularity well into the 20th Century.

  LFphoto-cabinetcard19002
Cabinet Card 1902. L. Massey Collection


Learn more about old photographs in Photo Detective Maureen Taylor's webinar "Preserving Family Photographs: 1839 to the Present" in the Legacy Library.

 

You may wish to watch my YouTube Video showing examples of the five different types of Early 19th. Century Photographs.

If you are looking for a photo of an ancestor you might want to try these sites:

Dead Fred http://www.deadfred.com/ A genealogy photo archive with thousands of identified images

Cyndi’s List http://www.cyndislist.com/lost/photos/ has an alphabetical list of sites with ancestor photos

Lost Faces http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/LostFaces/ has 69 Civil War era photo albums online with over 3,000 identified photographs.

 

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.


New Book - "Legacy Family Tree 9 Unlocked" by Geoff Rasmussen

BookPre-order the printed book by November 11, 2016 and get the electronic (PDF) version of the book FREE ($14.95 value, instant download delivery).

Click here to pre-order the printed book.

Click here to purchase the PDF book.

Anyone can use Legacy Family Tree. It is simple enough for the beginner and powerful enough for the experienced. Without this book, you will probably discover some of the more powerful Legacy tools on your own...eventually...but why wait? In Legacy Family Tree 9 - Unlocked! Techniques, Tips and Step-by-Steps for Using Legacy Family Tree to Record Your Genealogy you will learn how to better utilize some of Legacy’s best features by shadowing the research process of professional genealogist and Legacy Family Tree developer, Geoff Rasmussen.

Best of all, it will prepare you for the soon-to-be-released Legacy 9 upgrade but its principles can be used with any version of Legacy.

You will master: 

  • Shared Events
  • Sources, SourceWriter, and the Source Clipboard
  • To Do List
  • Family Mapping
  • Chronology View and the Chronology Comparison Report (new in v9!)
  • Why and how to add unlinked individuals
  • Brand new Find A Grave tool (new in v9!)
  • Quick Access Toolbar
  • Brand new Hashtag tool (new in v9!)
  • Media Relinker
  • The hidden FamilySearch Export button
  • Digital pictures and other media
  • Much more...
This book is for genealogists and Legacy Family Tree 9 users of all expertise. All levels of genealogists benefit from learning about how others do research. Long time Legacy users will enjoy the insights into the advanced features (especially the Chronology Comparison Tool!) and little tips and tricks along the way. Beginning Legacy users will not only begin to grasp what is possible in Legacy but they will learn to “do it right the first time.”
 
Not only will you learn how to use Legacy, but you will learn how to use it in the context of real genealogical research situations.This book is based on the more-popular-than-he-ever-dreamed-of “Watch Geoff Live” webinar series, meaning, it was written live and unscripted. Geoff explained, “As I researched my ancestor, John Williams, I wrote down every thought, decision and step-by-step procedure as I went. I included examples and screenshots of how I added: 
  • Online documents
  • Online databases
  • Census records
  • Probate records
  • Obituaries
  • Death certificates
  • Email correspondence
. . . to Legacy Family Tree. The instructions can serve as a template to guide genealogists and Legacy users through their own research and use of Legacy.”
 
As you contemplate, adapt, and apply the research and data entry procedures from this book, you will have more time to find your ancestors. With the new skills you gain about how to better use Legacy Family Tree, you will be more prepared, organized and better equipped to find those challenging ancestors.
 
Preview the book
Click here to preview the Table of Contents and the preface (26 pages).
 
Purchase
The printed edition is expected to begin shipping the end of November 2016. The PDF edition is available today. Pre-order the printed edition by November 11 and get the PDF edition free.
 What others have said about Geoff's Legacy Family Tree Unlocked! 1st edition
  • "I have to say that I have never in my life read a how to book so well written. I read it in one setting which as we know most how to books take forever because they are so dry. Your touches of humor and stories made the book enjoyable as well as a learning experience. When I started reading I was a newbie to Legacy Family Tree, now I feel like an expert." - D.
  • "I finished reading your latest book yesterday. You have done a great job - again - it is going to be my go-to book for sure." - Marian
  • I have been using Legacy Family Tree for at least six years and yet it seems I have not even touched the surface as far as the potential of this powerful programme. This became apparent as I read your book. Having cruised with you in 2008 and 2009 I was familiar with the ease with which you teach new concepts. You have used this same style in LFT Unlocked so well that I could just picture you in front of me using your computer as a projector to illustrate where you were going. And the humour .... priceless! I have always been in the dark when it came to quoting sources and you have made me more comfortable with this procedure although I haven’t ventured there yet. I have sourced facts but not as well as you have shown. - John
  • "Your new book has made it so easy. A big thank you for putting these instructions in book form. I am recommending this book to all my genealogy friends." - Cheryl
  • "Congratulations, a great, easy to follow manual. I just love your informal, hands on approach." - Philip
  • "Great book, thank you. It is so nice to read a ‘manual’ sort of thing that is combined with a great story, lots of lessons, and lots of grins/laugh-out-loud’s - thanks for including so much of your brilliant sense of humour. No wonder I couldn’t put it down!" - Anne
  • "Thank you Geoff so much for your book "Legacy unlocked". I am learning so much from it, especially ways of being more systematic in entering my data, and the value of the chronology. I can see that adopting your steps may help me break through some of my brick walls. You explain things so clearly it helps me make the most of Legacy's features and your webinars are great too." - Susan
  • "I have finished reading the electronic copy of Legacy Family Tree - Unlocked. Great work. Following along as an expert "does it" is a much easier way to learn than the typical instruction manual type presentation. Having both together is a great advantage as no specific demonstration can go into all of the detailed functions described in a good user manual." - Randy
  • "Legacy Family Tree - Unlocked came today, and I can hardly put it down. It makes me realize how much time and effort I have wasted over the years. Thank you for writing this book. I love the fact that it is informal and easy to understand." - Karen
  • "I love the way that the Geoff Live webinars and book are intuitive (and sometimes point out the not so obvious)." - Deb
  • "I ordered your new book the minute I read about it yesterday and got the ebook last night. I have read as much as I could this morning and LOVE it!!!! Everyone is going to be so pleased to have this at their fingertips when the Legacy 8 comes out. Now I can prepare ahead of time." - Janet
  • I have learned a lot from reading your step by step guides. And I have now sent myself the following (amongst others) reminders -
    • Make full use of the chronology view. It is an invaluable tool for helping with research.
    • Use the source clipboard more efficiently now you have seen it in action. (And save time too).
    • Add images to facts/events as well as to their sources. (I had only attached to the source but now see the advantage of adding twice).
    • When an event/fact has been recorded, immediately set up a to-do item to follow up new or unanswered research questions. (I always ask myself three questions when I start data entry for any document 1. What does this tell me? 2. What does this not tell me? 3. Where can I find more information? Plus, of course, is this a primary or secondary source?)
    • Add a source to the parent's name(s), using the parent button on the individual information box.
    • Make full use of useful tools like the soundex feature, date calculator etc.
    • Use the county date checker for historical accuracy.
    • Think about when I would use shared events.
    • Finally - buy Legacy V8 when it becomes available - after all it is the best genealogy software.
    • I loved the ending of the book when you described the visit to the cemetery. Visiting ancestral graves, old family homes, churches ancestors were married in etc is a favourite part of my research. - Anne
  • Could not put it down. Very informative book and can't wait for Legacy version 8. - Karen
  • Whoohoo, Geoff! This looks like your greatest idea yet! - Susan
  • I have so many new ideas of how to organize my data and use the various features of Legacy that up to now I have only haphazardly used. AND I am so excited about the new release. - Paula
  • Great job as always on making things simple to follow. - Rick
  • Your book and the way you proceed step-by-step is very helpful. I am working my way through the PDF and duplicating each step in Legacy Family Tree. - Jim
  • Great piece of work. Didn't realize how important sourcing is to quality genealogy. Now I have a cookbook for getting it right. - Terry
About the Author
Geoffrey 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 recently received the Distinguished Presenter Award at the prestigious RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City. 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 and basketball. 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.

FamilySearch Records Update: New records from Benin, Czech Republic, Ghana, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, and United States

image from news.legacyfamilytree.com

This week, enjoy census records from Ghana, The Czech Republic, and New Jersey along with other valuable indexed historic records from Sweden, Netherlands, Russia, and the United states including almost 2 million indexed land allotment records for five Native American tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole) in Oklahoma. See the interactive table below for these and more historic records added this week at FamilySearch.org

Collection

Indexed Records

Digital Images

Comments

Maine World War I Draft Registration Index 1917-1919

162,613

167,344

New indexed records and images collection

Missouri Reports of Separation Notices 1941-1946

0

378,579

Added images to an existing collection

Benin Civil Registration of Deaths 1891-2014

0

21,173

New browsable image collection.

Netherlands Noord-Holland Civil Registration 1811-1950

522,065

0

Added indexed records to an existing collection

Czech Republic Censuses and Inhabitant Registers 1800-1990

0

1,646,966

Added images to an existing collection

Florida Confederate Veterans and Widows Pension Applications 1885-1955

497

0

Added indexed records to an existing collection

Sweden Kopparberg Church Records 1604-1900; index 1628-1860

0

612

Added images to an existing collection

Sweden Västernorrland Church Records 1501-1940; index 1650-1860

0

657

Added images to an existing collection

Sweden Kalmar Church Records 1577-1907; index 1625-1860

0

838

Added images to an existing collection

Sweden Halland Church Records 1615-1904; index 1615-1860

756,493

0

Added indexed records to an existing collection

Ghana Census 1984

1,027,048

0

Added indexed records to an existing collection

New Jersey State Census 1865

212,731

0

Added indexed records to an existing collection

Russia Lutheran Church Book Duplicates 1833-1885

78,912

0

Added indexed records to an existing collection

Oklahoma Applications for Allotment, Five Civilized Tribes 1899-1907

1,846,931

0

Added indexed records to an existing collection

 
Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world's historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/indexing.

Flip for Flickr: Share, Store and Save Your Family Photos - free webinar by Maureen Taylor now online for limited time

2016-10-26-image500blog

The recording of today's webinar, "Flip for Flickr: Share, Store and Save Your Family Photos" by Maureen Taylor is now available to view for free for a limited time at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com/BCG. 

Webinar Description

Flickr offers users free storage and a way to protect your digital images with privacy settings. It's got everything a genealogist needs to collaborate with relatives on photo mysteries or to share family photos. It's an under-utilized resource.

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 45 minute recording of "Flip for Flickr: Share, Store and Save Your Family Photos" 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.

BPHOTO-2Preserving Your Family Photographs by Maureen Taylor

Maureen A. Taylor, author of Uncovering Your Ancestry Through Family Photographs, provides all the information you need to care for your family photograph collection. She outlines in straightforward steps how to add value to your home collection by using the methods that conservators and photo curators use every day! 208 pages, 8"x10".
 
You'll learn how to:
  • Identify the types of damage already done to the photos in your collection.
  • Take care of all your photos going forward, so that damage is a thing of the past.
  • Preserve your digital images - for you and future generations.
  • Select a conservator to repair damaged photos and protect them from more deterioration.
  • Select a restoration expert to restore damaged photos using airbrushing, digital manipulation, or photographic enhancements.
  • Create a stunning scrapbook that will endure, using archival quality guidelines.
  • Properly handle cased images such as daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes.
  • Explore techniques to share your images.
  • Take advantage of low-cost alternatives to traditional photo preservation techniques.

Click here to purchase for $24.99.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 431 classes, 603 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,963 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)

  • Analysis and Correlation - Two Keys to Sound Conclusions by Chris Staats. November 2.
  • Publishing a Genealogy E-Book by Thomas MacEntee. November 9.
  • Civil Law Notaries - Using Notarial Records to Build a Family History by Melanie D. Holtz, CG. November 15. Hosted by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
  • 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.
  • No, no, Nanette! What negative evidence is... and isn't by Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL. December 20. Hosted by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
  • 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 - Flip for Flickr: Share, Store and Save Your Family Photos by Maureen Taylor

Register

Flickr offers users free storage and a way to protect your digital images with privacy settings. It's got everything a genealogist needs to collaborate with relatives on photo mysteries or to share family photos. It's an under-utilized resource.

Join us and Maureen Taylor for the live webinar Wednesday, October 26, 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

MaureenTaylor-144x144Maureen Taylor is an internationally recognized expert on the intersection of history, genealogy, and photography. She has been featured in top media outlets, including The View, Better Homes & Gardens, the Boston Globe, Martha Stewart Living, MSNBC, DIY: Scrapbooking, PBS Ancestors, Creative Memories' Lasting Moments, Dear Myrtle, and Satisfaction Magazine. Maureen is the author of a number of books and magazine articles, as well as a contributing editor at Family Tree Magazine. The Wall Street Journal calls Maureen "the nation's foremost historical photo detective." Before she was the Photo Detective, Maureen was known for her expertise researching families in her home state of Rhode Island.

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Using Yearbooks For Genealogical Research

Looking through our school yearbooks evoke for many of us cherished memories of youth. They may almost present laughable (for me personally, cringe-worthy) moments when we see awkward photos of ourselves. However, for genealogical research, yearbooks are an important resource for several reasons. Consider that when we research our ancestors, most of the records begin in their adult life, when they are legally able to marry, vote, and own property. The formative childhood years are often lost to time, but researching in yearbooks and other types of school records are an important avenue for genealogists.

This post focuses on the importance of yearbooks because in many cases, other types of school records such as transcripts and student files are lost or difficult to access. There may exist a variety of records pertaining to schools and students. However, a discussion about those will be for another post. Yearbooks are the best place to start for tracking ancestors as students or teachers, because they are the most available and complete source to date of those who attended or worked in the school.

There’s not a whole lot of history on why and when yearbooks were created, but beginning in the 1600s, students compiled their own yearbooks with newspaper clippings, dried flowers, and personal musings. The first published yearbooks were created in the 19th century, which were traditionally called annuals or class books. Soon after the daguerreotype was invented, a few schools had photographers come into take pictures of graduating students, but the yearbook photograph did not become mainstream until the invention of the Kodak Camera in 1888. Around this time is when yearbook publication in schools begins to greatly increase in popularity and most collections date back to at least the early 20th century. With that in mind, yearbooks may only be useful for genealogy in the more recent generations of our family trees.

Photographs of Graduates, Lebanon Valley College Bizarre (1914). Image source: Internet Archive.
Photographs of Graduates, Lebanon Valley College Bizarre (1914). Image source: Internet Archive.


First and foremost, yearbooks are able to put our ancestors in a time and place. Beyond that, they offer a variety of detail we couldn’t glean from traditional genealogical sources. In yearbook listings, particularly from colleges, they offer a detailed record of a student’s experience at the school. They include any student clubs or organizations they belonged to and sometimes provide insight into what they might have been like in terms of personality, academic performance, and other personal qualities. I have seen some which include date and place of birth, but this is less common. The military and its academies have published annuals for a long time, which could facilitate in a genealogist’s search for military records of their ancestor. If an ancestor were absent altogether from a particular school’s yearbooks even when they had been known to attend, it would provide a strong clue they either dropped out or transferred to another institution.

Amherst College Classbook (1903). Image Source: Digital Commonwealth. 
Amherst College Classbook (1903). Image Source: Digital Commonwealth. 

 

When you are using yearbooks for genealogical research, examine the entirety of it’s contents. They are never indexed, so take your time with them to find useful pieces of information. I would suggest surveying the entire listing for each class because these are people your ancestor interacted with directly, thus belonging to the “FAN” club and could prove significant in further research.

There are often pages that include personal musings, class histories, photographs of student life and all the student-run organizations. They do provide faculty information and perhaps even photographs of the faculty, so it’s important to think of yearbooks as more useful than just for researching students. Many yearbooks also included advertisements from businesses that sponsored the publication of the yearbook or were closely affiliated with the school, so in some cases, yearbooks have information on ancestors who didn’t attend school at all.

Almeida' Bus Service Advertisement in New Bedford Textile School's Yearbook The Fabricator (1961). Image Source: Internet Archive. 
Almeida' Bus Service Advertisement in New Bedford Textile School's Yearbook The Fabricator (1961). Image Source: Internet Archive. 

 

Finding yearbooks is relatively easy because they don’t contain sensitive information like other school records and survive in much greater numbers. They could exist in physical, digital, or both forms of publication. It’s best to start by contacting the school directly or library for the town in which your ancestor attended school for the whereabouts of physical copies. In many cases, other local repositories such as historical and genealogical societies have copies of yearbooks as well. If you can’t make an in-person visit, they should be able to do a lookup if you know the school and years of attendance/graduation.

Thousands of volumes of old yearbooks are available online too. Many yearbook sites were created to help facilitate class reunions, but they help genealogists too. Relatively Curious has a great post on yearbook research, listing important sites and databases. Here are a few sites to start with:

Internet Archive

Ancestry.com

Cyndi’s List

Classmates.com

Yearbooks provide us with a fascinating perspective on our ancestors' lives and serve as an important document of social history. What have you learned about your ancestors through yearbooks?

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Jake Fletcher is a professional genealogist, educator and blogger. Jake has been researching and writing about his ancestors since 2008 on his research blog. 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).


Social History Websites That Bring Your Ancestor's Story to Life - free webinar by Gena Philibert-Ortega now online for limited time

2016-10-19-image500blog

The recording of today's webinar, "Social History Websites That Bring Your Ancestor's Story to Life" by Gena Philibert-Ortega is now available to view for free for a limited time at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com/BCG. 

Webinar Description

Social history is an important part of genealogical research. In this presentation we will go over 25 websites that will help you better understand your ancestor's life which will then lead you to more resources.

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If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 23 minute recording of "Social History Websites That Bring Your Ancestor's Story to Life" 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.

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  • 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.
  • Civil Law Notaries - Using Notarial Records to Build a Family History by Melanie D. Holtz, CG. November 15. Hosted by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
  • Dating Family Photographs by Jane Neff Rollins. November 16.
  • Nature & Nurture - Family History for Adoptees by Janet Hovorka and Amy Slade. November 18.
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  • 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.
  • No, no, Nanette! What negative evidence is... and isn't by Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL. December 20. Hosted by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
  • An Introduction to BillionGraves by Garth Fitzner. December 21.

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