Saturday, August 30, 2008

The First Labor Day

Our Ancestors saw the first Labor Day celebrated in September of 1882 in New York City. (pictured left) The idea behind it was to create "a day off for the working citizens".

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The first celebration of Labor Day was outlined in a proposal of the holiday, and included a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations," followed by a festival for the workers and their families.

Jerry's Roots vs. Liverpool Football Club, and the winner is...

It was quite a match-up TV's shock show host versus Liverpool's football (soccer) club.

But after the fans dispersed, the stadium was swept, and the pedigree charts
were rolled back up the winner was clear: Jerry Springer's Roots had taken the match.

6.5 million British viewers watched TV host Jerry Springer appearance on the BBC1 genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? beating ITV1's coverage of Liverpool's much anticipated Champions League qualifier on August 27.

Genealogy 1 --- The World's Favorite Sport 0


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Family Tree Magazine Unveils New Website

Fall is just around the corner. And with Fall comes a new school year and that often means new school clothes. Well, the folks at Family Tree Magazine are sporting some "new duds": The new and improved Family Tree Magazine website. The new site is designed to make it easier for visitors to find the how-to articles they want. And the new website's architecture makes it easier for the folks at Family Tree to put more articles and goodies on the site.

Start your virtual visit by clicking the Welcome tab in the center of the home page (above the changing picture). You'll link to a page with tips on using the new site and accessing your favorite features.

With this new website, Family Tree Magazine is making an exciting commitment to the future of genealogy information delivery. By serving up a vast array of online resources including the new free monthly Family Tree Magazine Podcast, the new Genealogy 101 section, and Online Videos, they are truly a genealogical multimedia provider. It's been a joy for me to be part of the podcasting team, and I'm really excited about what we will be bringing to the "online heirwaves" in the months ahead.

To read more about the site visit the Genealogy Insider blog.

And I hope to see many of you at the FGS Conference. You'll find me at The Family Tree Magazine booth with editors Allison Stacy and Diane Haddad. We'll be interviewing conference attendees getting their comments and ideas about everything under the genealogical sun.

Won't you join us?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Would you like some spam with that genealogy sandwich?

Poor Paul Matthews...he's in such a pickle! I just got his email today, and he's sandwiched between the government and a probate claim.

Paul says he's a freelance researcher with a notable Genealogists and International Probate Researching firm. (He must be legit!) And no wonder he emailed me yesterday to help him take a bite out of this spam sandwich - after all I am a genealogist.

Paul dishes to me that he "is specialized in probate research, locating heirs and verifying relationships of heirs to decedents by researching their genealogy and proving heirship." (Is he referring to the Hindenberg? Now I'm getting confused.)

Paul continues to spread it on..."In addition to locating missing heirs for probate research I also conduct probate estate investigation and settlement of unclaimed assets and properties! As a probate researcher with many years of experience in genealogical research I have a good track record for locating heirs."

While I am obviously impressed by Paul's credentials, I couldn't imagine why he was contacting little 'ole me! But Paul wouldn't leave me hanging, and soon he served up the main course. "The reason I am contacting you is to make a direct proposal to you. I have discovered a file to which no claim has been made over the years. I have personally made sure I put this file in my personal vault until I found someone to work with. This claim is ready to be processed by my humble self and payment affected promptly."

I can understand his desire to be efficient, but why was Paul acting like the kitchen is on fire? He continues on with the answer to that burning question: "This is very important as the Government of the United Kingdom is on the verge of confiscating it." Oh, those pesky British again! Back to their old historical tricks. First it's tea, then it's poor Paul's claim. Will they never learn?

I didn't reply to Paul's email right away. I had a podcast episode to get out and a couple of hot games of Scramble on Facebook to finish. I could certainly help Paul thwart the governmental confiscation tomorrow, right?

After sleeping on it, I got up this morning and did a little research. Over 141 million cans of SPAM are sold worldwide each year. They're probably making more money than the oil companies. And I thought to myself, do I really need to buy this one?

Nah, so I shelved it with the rest of the Spam.

Grow Your Family Tree at the LOC

Genealogy is prominently featured in the July 2008 issue of the Library of Congress' Wise Guide. The impressive genealogy collection of 50,000 genealogies and 100,000 local histories can trace it's beginning to 1815 and the acquistion of Thomas Jefferson's personal library.

Rising fuel costs keeping you from visiting the library in person? No problem: The website is loaded with interactive exhibits including Exploring the Americas (loaded with 3,000 rare maps, documents, paintings, prints, and artifacts) and Creating the United States. You'll also find webcasts, and the extensive online catalogue.

Monday, August 11, 2008

What you need to know about your ancestor's immigration records

Genealogy requests will no longer be processed by the National Records Center FOIA office. Beginning August 13, 2008 researchers must go to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website's Genealogy page for fee based service.

While this has been in the works for some quite a while, the time is drawing near and I knew you'd want the scoop on how to submit your Freedom of Information Requests. Read on for everything you need to know...

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Have iPhone, Will Research

Got a new iPhone? Synium Software has a research tool for you. On August 6 they released MobileFamilyTree, a genealogy application for the iPhone (2.0 update) and iPod Touch, available for download at the App Store for $4.99. It's designed to complement the Synium's MacFamilyTree Software and by allowing users to view, add and edit information on the go. Users who have MacFamilyTree 5.2.3 installed on their Mac can keep their data in sync with MacFamilyTree.