Showing posts with label Records. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Records. Show all posts

Monday, April 16, 2012

All WWII Content FREE thru April 30, 2012 at Fold3

If you've got 1940 on your mind now that the census has been released, why not take advantage of free access to WWII content to find out more about your family history?  Here's what Fold3 has to offer:
From Fold3:
In 1940, Americans were recovering from the Great Depression and on the brink of entering a world war. The recently released 1940 U.S. Census gives us data snapshots of people and families poised between two of the most devastating world-wide events of the 20th century.
After you locate someone in the 1940 Census (on, use that information to find records on Fold3, especially within the World War II Collection. Then build their personal histories with images and other details you've discovered.
Examples of what you might find include:
  • "Old Man's Draft" Registration Cards. Any man between the ages of 43 and 62 in 1940 would be required to register in 1942. It's called the "Old Man's" draft because it was a registration of an older generation with skills that would be useful on the home front, not in military action. (Hint: You can also use the addresses on these cards to help you search for people on the census before the index has been created.)
  • Missing Air Crew Reports recount riveting tales of planes shot down with and without survivors. Some of these reports include names and addresses of family members back home, as in this example for the men in this crash report.
  • War Diaries are official Navy accounts of command units' strategies and actions in battles on land, sea, and air, as well as between engagements.
  • European Theater Army Records. Shortly after the 1940 census, millions of Americans were serving in Great Britain and Europe. These records include virtually all administrative and strategic documents relating to U.S. operations in the European Theater during World War II.
There are also many compelling records and images within WWII Photos, the Interactive USS Arizona Memorial, WWII Hero Pages, and Holocaust Records. Pair the people you find in the 1940 Census to their service in World War II through documents, pages, and photos in Fold3's World War II Collection.

Get started at

Monday, March 26, 2012

Live Webcast of 1940 Census Opening Event April 2

National Archives Launches 1940 Census April 2 Online at
Live webcast of Opening Event, 8:30 A.M. EDT
Follow the 1940 Census on Twitter (using hashtag #1940census), FacebookTumblrFlickr, and YouTube, and subscribe to our blogs: NARAtions and Prologue: Pieces of History. The launch event is open to the media and to a limited number of members of the public on a first come, first served basis, by emailing

This video provides a “behind-the-scenes” look at staff preparations and gives viewers tips on how to access the 1940 census data:

WHAT: Washington DC...Special ceremonial launch of the 1940 census. The National Archives' largest single release of digitized records will be online at For the genealogical community, the 1940 census is the most eagerly-anticipated records release in the past decade.  Following remarks, the Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero will launch the first search.
Beginning April 2, 2012, users will be able to search,m browse, and download the 1940 census schedules, free of charge, through the new 1940 census website:  National Archives partnered with to build and host the site.  The launch event will be webcast live online starting at 8L39 A.M.. Please visit, closer to April 2 for the link. 
WHEN:          Monday, April 2, 2012, 8:30 A.M.    

WHERE:       William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
Enter through Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue and 7th Streets, NW 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Brightsolid Enters US Genealogy Market With

Here's the latest from brightsolid. Stay tuned to the free Genealogy Gems Podcast and Genealogy Gems YouTube channel for my interview with Brightsolid's CEO Chris van der Kuyl:

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH. brightsolid, a leading online provider of historical and genealogical content, announces its entry into the US genealogy market with the launch of a ground-breaking, "pay-as-you-go" site:

The new site will let customers search all US census records from 1790 to 1930 and is the first dedicated to US genealogy by British-owned brightsolid. It will also house the 1940 US census records, when they are released later this year.

What makes it unique to the market, however, is it's the first genealogy site in the US to give customers access to census records on either a pay-as-you-go basis or via the subscription model that is currently the only choice offered by other sites.

The new site is being launched as an early beta version, with brightsolid inviting user feedback and suggestions.

Every visitor to will be able to search for free. Customers wanting to view documents, and download them to their computer to keep and access later, will then have the option of either buying a subscription in the conventional way or buying pay-as-you-go credits, starting at $7.95. Pay-as-you-go customers will be able to buy further credits at any time, giving them the freedom to spend as much or as little time and money on their research as they want.

"The launch of is just our first offering to the US market", says Chris van der Kuyl, CEO of brightsolid. "It will be followed later this year by the launch of, which will be our flagship American brand."

brightsolid is proud to be part of the 1940 US Census Community Project, a joint initiative with, FamilySearch and other leading genealogy organizations, which aims to make the census searchable as quickly as possible after its release this April. The completion of the project will allow anyone to search for their ancestors in the 1940 census for free online.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Genealogy RPAC Group Responds with Petition to Possible SSDI Removal

The following press release comes from RPAC c/o Federation of Genealogical Societies:

February 7, 2012
Genealogy Community Responds To Efforts To Remove Access to Social Security Death Index and Other Records

February 7, 2012– Austin, TX: The Records Preservation & Access Committee (RPAC) – a joint coalition of international genealogical societies representing millions of genealogists and family historians – announces the launch of its Stop ID Theft NOW! campaign with its We The People petition posted at

Call To Action For IRS To Do Its Job
Each year, fraudulent tax refund claims based upon identity theft from recently deceased infants and adults are filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The current target is the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) or Death Master File since this file, as found on numerous genealogy-oriented websites, could possibly be the source of identity thieves acquiring a deceased person’s Social Security number.

The IRS could close the door to this form of identity theft if, in fact, it were to use the Death Master File for the purpose for which it was created: to reduce fraud. If returns claiming a tax refund were screened against the Master Death File and matching cases identified for special processing, the thief should receive a rejection notice for the filing.

Tax Fraud and Identity Theft: Genealogists Are Not To Blame
The House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Social Security is proposing to completely shut down use of the SSDI by genealogists as well as other industries such as banking and insurance that rely upon its information. Such an attempt is short-sighted and runs counter to the original purpose of the SSDI: to actually combat fraud.

Loss of Access to SSDI Affects More Than Genealogists
The SSDI is accessed by many different companies, non-profits and other entities besides individuals researching their family history. Forensic specialists utilize the SSDI when reuniting remains of military veterans with their next-of-kin and descendants. Law offices, banks and insurance companies utilize the SSDI to resolve probate cases and to locate heirs.

All of these entities would be required to spend more money and more time leveraging other resources of information when the SSDI has served this purpose, uninterrupted, for over a decade.

RPAC Petitions Obama Administration
The We the People petition, now posted at and accepting signatures, has a simple yet effective mission:

Take immediate steps that would curtail the filing of fraudulent tax refund claims based upon identity theft from recently deceased infants and adults.

No need for lengthy hearings in front of a Congressional committee. No need for filing statements for or against any House action. No need to waste time and effort which could be directed to more pressing national issues. In fact, the National Taxpayer Advocate in 2011 issued suggestions which do not require additional legislation but can be implemented collaboratively between the IRS and Social Security Administration (SSA) almost immediately in time to impact the current tax filing season.

About Records Preservation & Access Committee (RPAC)
The Records Preservation & Access Committee (RPAC) was formed to advise the genealogical community on ensuring proper access to historical records of genealogical value in whatever media they are recorded, on means to affect legislation, and on supporting strong records preservation policies and practices.

The genealogical community works together through The Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), which today includes The National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) as voting members. The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), the American Society of Genealogists (ASG), ProQuest and serve as participating members.
To learn more visit

Monday, November 21, 2011

MyHeritage Acquires Genealogy Sites and

MyHeritage has made a big move in an effort to significantly enter the U.S. Genealogy Market by acquiring long standing family history websites and MyHeritage is one of the most popular family networks globally on the web  providing a place for millions of families to have a private and free place for their families to keep in touch and to showcase their roots. They offer a feature called Smart Matching™ technology which allows users an innovative way to find relatives and explore their family history. They boast a secure site for the storage of family photos, and history preservation. The company is backed by Accel Partners and Index Ventures, the investors of Facebook and Skype, and now with this most recent acquisition they add a tremendous amount of genealogical content - 3 billion + historical records -  to their offerings. 

This is MyHeritage's seventh and largest acquisition since 2007. With offices and staff in Europe, Australia and Israel, MyHeritage will also now be adding its first US-based office in Utah, the home of and often cited as the family history capital of the world.

MyHeritage CEO and Founder Gilad Japhet characterizes the move this way, “Combining close to one billion family tree profiles on MyHeritage with FamilyLink's massive library of historical data delivers a perfect one-stop-shop for families looking to discover and share their family history".

Founded in 2006, both and are subscription services to a huge database of several billion individuals within census, birth, marriage and death records, as well as the web’s largest archive of historical newspapers. When brought together under the MyHeritage umbrella, the company’s Smart Matching technology will automatically match any of the new historical data to the relevant users' ancestors and relatives within the family trees.

It's clear that the genealogy market is still very much up for grabs, even though on the surface it can often appear that Ancestry and FamilySearch are the only major players.  With on the move, and this latest in a series of strategic purchases by MyHeritage since 2007 genealogists stand to gain from a competitive marketplace.  MyHeritage's recent purchases include Pearl Street Software, makers of and the Family Tree Legends software; free family tree backup service; European family social network market leader OSN (Verwandt) GmbH; Dutch family network ZOOOF; British family network and Polish family network

According to their recent press release, "the majority of the employees will join MyHeritage, based out of the company’s new US office in Provo, Utah: bringing the benefit of their collective expertise within the family history and North American genealogy market. The CEO of, Paul Brockbank, previously CEO of Logoworks and GM of Hewlett Packard Web Print Solutions, will play a key role in supporting the transition over the coming months and will later join the MyHeritage advisory board. founder Paul Allen, previously a co-founder of, and's "We're Related" Facebook application, will not be part of the merger with MyHeritage."

What does the acquisition mean for customers? In the short-term, MyHeritage will continue to operate the two sites and, with the intention of achieving full integration within MyHeritage in 2012. "With immediate effect and for an introductory period, loyal subscribers and users of MyHeritage will be entitled to discounts of up to 50% on and subscriptions, and vice versa."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Records Previously Only Viewable on Microfilm Just Released by UK National Archives

News from the UK National Archives:

"More than 600,000 records of births, baptisms, marriages and burials have been added to the searchable online service at BMDRegisters. These records were previously only viewable on microfilm as the RG 8 series.

Among the extensive collections you can find:

Maternity records from the British Lying-in Hospital, Holborn, 1749-1868

Registers of burials in the Victoria Park Cemetery, Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, Bethnal Green Protestant Dissenters Burying Ground and many more

The archive of the Russian Orthodox Church in London, 1721-1927: these records include births, marriages, deaths and conversions, as well as comprehensive general records on the day-to-day running of the church."

If this information was helpful to I hope you'll share it with your friends and genealogy society. Society Newsletters are welcome to reprint Genealogy Gems News Blog articles with the attribution "by Lisa L. Cooke, The Genealogy Gems New Blog at"