Friday, December 18, 2009

A Bump in the Google Books Road

When you set out to digitize the world's books there are bound to be a few problems. First and foremost is that those books are under copyright. While we all benefit from Google Books, it's easy to understand the concerns of authors and publishers who want to protect the ownership of their work.

French publisher La Martiniere recently fought to protect those rights and won. BBC News is reporting that a Paris court has found Google guilty of copyright infringement and has ordered the online giant to pay 300,000 euros in damages and interest. Specifically, Google has been ordered to pay 10,000 euros a day until it removes the publishers books from it's database.

Last week I saw a television report on Google that said it has easily surpassed Microsoft in profits. It sounds like they are in a position to compensate those who's books they want to scan.

President Approves $470 Million Budget for National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has received a
Fiscal Year 2010 budget of $469,870,000 under the Consolidated
Appropriations Act signed by President Barack Obama on Wednesday,
December 16.

The overall appropriation of $469,870,000 is an increase of 2.31
percent over last year's funding of $459,277,000.

"Given these difficult economic times, we are extremely grateful to
the Congress and the President for the generous FY 2010 appropriations.
We will be able to continue to fund our core programs, offer the same
high standard of services to our researchers and the public, and
complete much-needed repairs and renovation of the Franklin Roosevelt
Library," said David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States.

"We are particularly pleased with the historic increase in the
allocation for the National Historical Publications and Records
Commission," he added. "This will allow us to further support the
nation's network of archives at a time when there is a critical need
to make the materials available to all Americans."

For NARA's Operating Expenses for FY 2010, the President and Congress
have provided $339,770,000, an increase from last year's appropriation
of $330,308,000. The increase will cover the costs of inflationary
increases in rent, energy, security and staff costs for NARA facilities
at 44 locations around the country.

The Operating Expenses account also includes funding for 12 new
entry-level archivists who will enter NARA's Archivist Development
Program, as well as for personnel for the new Office of Government
Information Services and the new Controlled Unclassified Information
Office, which is part of the Information Security Oversight Office.

For continued development of the Electronic Records Archives (ERA),
Congress appropriated $85,500,000, up from last year's appropriation
of $67,008,000. This will allow further progress toward providing public
access to the ERA, which eventually will allow anyone, anywhere, at any
time to access electronic records held by NARA. This budget will also
allow NARA to begin to establish the preservation framework for the

For repairs and renovations at NARA-owned facilities, the lawmakers
appropriated $27,500,000. This includes $17,500,000 as the last
installment for repairs and renovations at the Franklin D. Roosevelt
Presidential Library in Hyde Park, New York. The Roosevelt Library is
the oldest of the 13 Presidential libraries administered by NARA.

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC),
the grant-making arm of the Archives, will receive $13,000,000, up from
last year's $11,250,000. In the FY 2010 appropriation, $4,500,000 is
set aside for providing online access to the papers of the Founding
Fathers, as was requested in the President's budget.

The appropriations legislation also directs NARA to report to the House
and Senate appropriations committees within 30 days of enactment on
"information security improvements made or planned" and "to
promptly inform relevant committees of jurisdiction when any formal law
enforcement investigation is commenced into alleged theft of electronic
or other materials which may contain personally identifying

Thursday, December 17, 2009

D'oh! What a Family Tree!

One of America's favorite dysfunctional families made it's television debut on this day twenty years ago. The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom, as well as animated program. In 2009 it surpassed Gunsmoke as the longest running American primetime entertainment series.

Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie's family tree is impressive. Click here for a closeup look at this famous family.

Be in the Audience for the First Live Taping of The Genealogy Gems Podcast

We're breaking new ground here at The Genealogy Gems Podcast: Our first live broadcast! Here's the scoop:

Event: Mesa Arizona Family History Expo Banquet
Date: Friday, January 22, 2010
Location: Superstition Ballroom in the Mesa Convention Center
Time: 6:30 p.m.

It's not going to be like any banquet you've attended before! You'll start off by dining with some of the most well known genealogy bloggers writing today who'll be sharing ideas on "tech to trace your roots."

Then join me for a lively episode focusing on online genealogy social media featuring expert guests like Dick Eastman, audience participation, a very special Genealogy Gems gift for all attendees, and some bonus giveaways!

This is my first public announcement about the event and seating will definitely be limited so if you plan on attending the Expo visit the Family History Expo web site to sign up for the banquet right away! At just $28.50 it's a true bargain for a night of family history fun!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Coming in January

Genealogists and Family Historians will gather from throughout the United States for week long in-depth learning and research experience in 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy January 11-15, sponsored by Utah Genealogical Association.

Educational tracks cover topics include United States and European records and research to technology and professional accreditation. Each track provides participants one on one like experience to focus, explore, and discover needed insights in research that will dynamically progress opportunities to find and link generations.

Whether you are new to genealogy or seeking advanced insights, you will find opportunities to learn and explore important questions to further your research.

If you can’t attend during the day, there are 15 optional evening classes on dynamic topics ranging from maximizing Internet searching to solving research problems to organizing what you find.

Click on the following link to find out more about track descriptions, presenters, and registration for the in 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy January 11-15.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Not WDYTYA, but rather WDYTIWBO?

I promised I would update you on the NBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are? if I heard anything. Well, I've had my ear to the tracks and it's quiet. Really quiet.

In fact, I've been wondering if the question isn't really Who Do You Think You Are?, but rather When Do You Think It Will Be On?

The bad news: WDYTYA will not premiere in January 2010 as previously reported, according to my source at NBC.

The good news: It's still in the queue.

Remember what your grandma always said: "Good things come to those who wait." So WDYTYA must be REALLY good!

I'll keep you posted!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Public Invited to Discuss Changes at National Archives

National Archives Hosts Public Forum to Discuss Research Area Changes at AI
December 17 forum to address researcher ideas and concerns

Washington, DC. . . On Thursday, December 17, at 1:00 p.m., the
National Archives will hold an open public forum to discuss changes
under consideration for public research areas in the National Archives
Building in Washington, DC. Genealogists, scholars, Government agency
offices, and all other researchers who use the services and facilities
of the National Archives are invited to share their needs and concerns.
The meeting will take place in the Robert Warner Research Center of the
National Archives Building, located at 700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW,
Washington, DC. Attendees should use the Pennsylvania Ave. NW Research

In recent years, microfilm usage by researchers has dropped
significantly. Given this decreased demand for the numerous and bulky
microfilm reader machines, the National Archives now has an opportunity
to reallocate space in the building. By reducing the size of the
microfilm reading room to the number of stations actually in demand by
researchers, the National Archives can expand much-needed office space
for staff and public program spaces for visitors, while both maintaining
and strengthening researcher services.

There have been discussions this fall between researcher
representatives and National Archives staff on ways to design and equip
proposed new research areas. The National Archives now invites the
general public to participate in this discussion. National Archives
staff will explain the reasons for undertaking a space plan, its
objectives, and the planning process, and will invite comments and
answer questions. Alternative proposals will be described and
considered at this public forum. The goal is to reallocate space and
update equipment and systems so that researchers receive the most value
from every square foot of space.

Reservations are not required. Those who cannot attend are invited to
send written comments to:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

SECURITY ALERT: Family Tree Crashers

I pulled up my grandfather's pedigree chart today to print it for a relative and was shocked to find my tree had been crashed!

Be Careful - this could happen to you!

Monday, December 7, 2009

SCGS Family History Writing Contest Deadline Dec. 31, 2009

The Southern California Genealogical Society sponsors one of the very few writing contests designed specifically for family historians. The GENEii Family History Writers Contest, now in its tenth year, offers cash prizes in two categories:

Category 1: Family or local history articles of 1,000-2,000 words in length, published or unpublished. If previously published, entries must be accompanied by the written permission of the publisher allowing article to be reprinted by SCGS.


1st Place, $200

2nd Place, $100

3rd Place, $50

Honorable Mentions, certificate

Finalists, certificate

Category 2: Family or local history articles of 1,000 words or less, published or unpublished. If previously published, entries must be accompanied by the written permission of the publisher allowing article to be reprinted by SCGS.


1st Place, $100

2nd Place, $50

3rd Place, $25

Honorable Mentions, certificate

Finalists, certificate

The deadline for submissions for the 2009 contest is December 31, 2009.

All of the details and contest rules can be found on the SCGS Website at The FAQs can be found at

You can read examples of some of the entries on the website as well. Look on the left-hand side of the screen for "Writing Contest" and click on that link.

In November, 2005, Heritage Books, Inc. published an anthology of some of the most memorable entries to our contest in the contest’s first five years. The anthology is called Celebrating Family History, and is available for $25 plus shipping and handling through the SCGS website.

The Sounds of Yiddish Culture

The Library of Congress has just released a new webcast about Yiddish - American Radio giving viewers a tour of the sounds of Yiddish culture from 1925 - 1955.

"While all other aspects of Yiddish culture existed wherever Ashkenazic Jews lived, it was only in America that radio realized its greatest and most fulfilling use by and for Jews. Yiddish scholar Henry Sapoznik discusses and shares some of the most memorable and powerful moments in this nearly lost world of ethnic American broadcasting."

Broad categories of Yiddish radio shows are explored - from rabbinical advice programs to live Yiddish theater acts, from man-on-the-street interviews to the news of the day in verse.

Watch the Webcast which includes not only Henry Sapoznik's lecture but also images from the timeframe from the Library of Congress collection.'s WWII Collection Available Free During December 2009

Lindon, UT – December 7, 2009 – In honor of Pearl Harbor Day, announced today that they will make the largest interactive WWII collection on the web including the Interactive USS Arizona Memorial free to the public during December. Featuring over 10 million records, documents and photos from the National Archives, this collection helps family members and historians better understand the people and events of WWII.

Included in this exclusive collection is the Interactive USS Arizona Memorial. This online version allows people to view the actual wall of names and search for those they know. An interactive box for each name on the wall features additional information about each veteran and includes a place where anyone can contribute photos and stories. View the Captain of the USS Arizona, Franklin Van Valkenburgh, on the interactive wall.

It’s estimated that a little over 2 million WWII veterans are still alive in the United States today. However, thousands of veterans are passing away every month taking with them many of the stories from WWII. is making an effort to help preserve these stories by digitizing documents from the National Archives and providing interactive tools to help people connect with each other.

Christina Knoedler from Pennsylvania used the Missing Air Crew Reports on to discover information about her father-in-law, who is a WWII veteran. “The other night, I showed him what I had found,” explains Christina. “He couldn’t believe that these papers existed. They had not only his name but also his buddies’ names. He started to reminisce and it was quite an evening. This will allow me to go back and document many more events in our family’s history for the generations to come.”

The Missing Air Crew Reports are just one of the record collections found on Other WWII collections on include:
Pearl Harbor Muster Rolls
U.S. Air Force Photos
Submarine Patrol Reports
Japanese Air Target Analysis
Army JAG Case Files
Navy JAG Case Files
Naval Press Clippings
Allied Military Conferences
Holocaust Records

“People are making fascinating discoveries in these records,” says Russell Wilding, CEO of “Reading some of the first-hand accounts helps you develop a different view and appreciation of our WWII heroes and what they went through.”

To experience the Interactive USS Arizona Memorial and the World War II visit

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Many Thanks! And Some of The Bloggers I Enjoy

I'm honored that The Genealogy Gems News Blog has received the Kreativ Blogger award, and grateful to Katie at the You Are Where You Came From blog for nominating me! To earn my prize, I have to reveal 7 things you may not know about me:

1. I collect cartoon glasses - you know the kind that came from Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in the 1970s. I admit it - I have nearly every one ever made.

2. I'm about to become a grandma for the first time in about a week. I'm ecstatic! (OK, my podcast listeners probably already knew this!)

3. I love crafts - It started with making puppets when I was little (now you know I did the Socks to America video), and moved on to cross stitching, sewing, painting, knitting, crocheting...this all goes back to my great grandmother (and perhaps further back) and was inherited down the female line.

4. My television debut was on The Brakeman Bill Show in 1972 in Tacoma, WA.

5. I helped kill a rattlesnake that my daughter stumbled into.

6. I come from a long line of TV and movie "quoters." It's a gene I seemed to have passed on to my kids.

7. I don't eat my vegetable. :-(

And now for the 7 bloggers upon whom I bestow the Kreativ Blogger award. These are some of the bloggers who keep me informed, inspired, and moving forward in my own research.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Here's Why As A Genealogist You Should NEVER Give Up!

At the Family History Expo in St. George last year I did some "on the fly" interviews with participants who stopped by The Genealogy Gems Podcast booth. One of the questions I was asking was "what's your most precious heirloom?"

I got some wonderful answers: A flapper dress, a door knob from a honeymoon suite, a pocket watch...but there was one answer that stopped me in my tracks.

"I have no heirlooms" a tall, nicely dressed lady said flatly. "They're all gone. No one thought there were worth keeping, and the family photos were tossed - everything."

The eternal optimist in me hoped for her sake that this wasn't the case, and that perhaps someone out there still had a precious photo from her family.

In my conference presentations I share techniques that I have used to find family heirlooms on Ebay, as well as through tracking down long lost cousins. After sharing some of these ideas on the podcast, listeners have written me in excitement to share their discoveries. (above is a matchbook that one listener found on Ebay that is from his great grandparents store!)

But a recent article in the Pekin Daily Times is a testimony for why we as genealogists should NEVER give up hope!

Read the article to learn how a box chock full of family photos and mementos that was sold at a garage sale made it's way five years later into the hands of a family descendant, John Engstrom. The Pekin Daily Times is a GENEALOGY GEM for assisting the purchasers in reuniting the box with John and his family!

Monday, November 30, 2009

CyberMonday Special Discounts

I just got word from my publisher that they are offering a 25% discount today only on my book Genealogy Gems: Ultimate Research Strategies.

You can get it here - just enter the coupon code:

(The online payment system is completely secure.)

Also, today is the last day for the lowest price of the year on Genealogy Gems Premium Annual Membership - 30% off

You can get it here - enter the coupon code: SPECIAL

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Would You Like to Find a Lost Cousin?

When I found my husband's long lost cousin, we were thrilled when the day came when she arrived at our home. We were excited to get caught up, and swap family stories.

We couldn't have imagined that along with her smiling face, she would arrive on our doorstep with a tattered old moving box in her arms full of 19th century photos, memorabilia, and even a family bible!

Would you like to find a lost cousin? It may be easier than you think.

In Episode 46 of the Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast Peter Calver, President & Founder of the Lost Cousins web site explains how his site can match you up with lost cousins in an incredibly accurate way. No more throwing your tree out there and seeing what sticks to it's branches!

Listen to Episode 46, and share your stories of lost cousins found:
  • Email me at genealogygemspodcast at gmail dot com
  • Call the Genealogy Gems Voice Mail line at 925-272-4021 to share your comments
  • Post a comment on this blog.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Here are the Latest Free Records at FamilySearch

More free online records for Brazil, Massachusetts, Mexico, Spain, and the U.S.

The states of Texas, Ohio, and Iowa were added to the U.S. 1920 Census at FamilySearch’s Record Search pilot. Spanish researchers will enjoy new civil registration images for the provinces of Cadiz, Granada, Malaga, Spain, from 1837–1870. Over 500,000 new digital images were added to the Brazil Catholic Church Records Collection. These birth, marriage, and death records are from the states of Bahia, Menas Gerais, Paraná, Pará, Pernambuco, and Sao Paolo. Over 400,000 Massachusetts marriage records were added for the period 1906 to 1915, and Catholic baptismal records were added for the Distrito Federal of Mexico.

These collections can be searched for free at the Record Search pilot (click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot).

Collection Name: Brazil Catholic Church Records 1805–1979
Digital Images: 587,053
Comments: Digital images only; update to ongoing project.

Collection Name: Massachusetts Marriage Records, 1842–1915
Indexed Records: 408,589
Digital Images: 24,485
Comments: New index and image collection. This update contains marriage records for the period 1906–1915.

Collection Name: Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records
Indexed Records: 17,001
Digital Images: 2,818
Comments: New index and images for baptismal records; part of an ongoing project.

Collection Name: Spain Municipal Records, 1837–1870
Digital Images: 168,653
Comments: New digital image collection; part of an ongoing project.

Colection Name: United States 1920 Federal Census
Indexed Records: 13,134,234
Comments: Added indexes for Texas, Ohio, and Iowa

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Interactive Native American Collection Launched announced today that they have released "the Native American Collection" of historical records. Footnote has been partnering with the National Archives and the Allen County Library on the project which includes:

  • Ratified Indian Treaties – dating back to 1722
  • Indian Census Rolls – featuring personal information including age, place of residence and degree of Indian blood
  • The Guion Miller Roll – perhaps the most important source of Cherokee genealogical research
  • Dawes Packets – containing original applications for tribal enrollments
  • And other documents relating to the Five Civilized Tribes
The new Native American "microsite" provides an interactive environment where members can search,

Footnote’s Native American microsite creates an interactive environment where members can search, annotate and add comments to the original documents. In addition there are pages for many of the Native American tribes that include historical events on a timeline and map, a photo gallery, stories and comments added by the community.

“Much like putting a puzzle together, brings pieces together in the form of historical documents to create a more vibrant picture of the events and people of the past,” says Justin Schroepfer, Marketing Director at “Together with the online community we are discovering a side of history that you cannot find in text books.” also provides a free service where visitors can create their own web pages for their Native American family.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New free desktop genealogy software announced

Here's some great news from the folks at RootsMagic. Tell all your friends that they can start building their family tree for free!

SPRINGVILLE, Utah. — November 18, 2009 — RootsMagic, Inc. announced the immediate availability of RootsMagic Essentials, free desktop genealogy software based on their award-winning RootsMagic 4 system. RootsMagic Essentials contains many core features found in its namesake that allow the public to easily start tracing their family trees.

Essential Features for Everyone

“Many of our users have told us that they have friends and family members who are interested in getting started in family history but aren’t ready to invest in a more comprehensive package like RootsMagic,” said Bruce Buzbee, president. “RootsMagic Essentials gives them the features they need to start researching and recording their family tree at a price that can’t be beat—free!”

RootsMagic Essentials shares many of the same features with the full RootsMagic software including clean and friendly screens, the ability to add an unlimited number of people and events, pictures and media management, the SourceWizard to write your source citations for you, powerful merging and clean-up tools, dozens of reports and charts, support for international character sets, FamilySearch integration, and the ability to share data with other people and software programs. The full version of RootsMagic is available for purchase and includes features not available in RootsMagic Essentials.

Free and Available Now

RootsMagic Essentials is available now for free at Users of other genealogy software products will find it easy to experiment with RootsMagic Essentials using their own data. RootsMagic Essentials can directly import data from PAF, Family Tree Maker (through 2006), Family Origins, and Legacy Family Tree. It can also read and write data using the popular GEDCOM format.

"We're excited to make RootsMagic Essentials available to the community," said Michael Booth, vice-president. "Our mission is to provide 'software to unite families' and our hope is that RootsMagic Essentials will encourage more people to record their family trees and connect with their family histories".

About RootsMagic, Inc.

For over 20 years, RootsMagic, Inc. has been creating computer software with a special purpose—to unite families. One of our earliest products- the popular "Family Origins" software, introduced thousands of people to the joy and excitement of family history.

That tradition continues today with "RootsMagic", our award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history fun and easy. "Personal Historian" will help you easily write and preserve your life stories. "Family Reunion Organizer" takes the headaches out of planning those important get-togethers. And "Family Atlas" creates beautiful and educational geographic maps of your family history.

For more information, visit

Source: RootsMagic, Inc.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Get Your Needles Ready! Eisenhower Heritage Behind Veterans Day Quilts of Valor Challenge

Because I'm a lucky recipient of heritage quilts handed down in my family, this announcement from the folks at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum immediately caught my eye. It's about a wonderful opportunity to lovingly piece together a tribute to the service of our brave men and women that they can pass down to future generations.

"The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum is pleased to announce its first ever Annual Veterans Day Quilts of Valor Challenge. Participants will have nearly a year to work on their quilts for submission. Quilts will be collected and put on display in time for Veterans Day 2010.

In partnership with the Quilts of Valor Foundation and the Kansas Quilts of Valor, the quilts will be distributed to wounded service men and women. Distribution points will include military and VA hospitals, CVN-69 USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and other veteran organizations.

This challenge is being organized by Jan Hottman, staff member at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. "Not only were quilts and blankets made on the homefront for troops during WWII, but support and concern for the troops was paramount to Eisenhower. This is one more way for us to carry on the legacy of the 5-star General and 34th President of the United States," states Hottman. "The Eisenhower boys helped their mother, Ida Stover Eisenhower, make quilts for the family while growing up in Abilene. He would understand the comfort and love of something made by hand."

The Quilts of Valor organization provides heirloom quality quilts for men and women who have been injured serving our country. They deserve to have a quilt that will be handed down in their families. Think of the quilt as a special hug from you to them. The quilts may be pieced, quilted, and labeled by a single person, group, or school. If you are not able to complete the quilting, you may submit the top with backing and label to be completed by volunteers.

Quilt entries should be a minimum size of 50" x 60" and include matching binding and backing. The backing should be a surplus of 4" on all four sides of the top. Standard/twin size pillowcases made from extra material should also be included. These pillowcases can later be used for storing the QOV."

Quilts of Valor Quilts of Valor

What: A quilt challenge to make an heirloom quilt with pillowcase for every injured military personnel. A journal started by the quilter, to be completed by the person receiving the quilt, may also be included. The quilts can be made by individuals or groups, and you can make as many as you wish.

When: Starting November 11, 2009. Quilts, with pillowcases, and optional journals can be brought or mailed to the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum by October 22, 2010. The quilts will be on display from November 8-29, 2010. They will then be distributed to military and VA hospitals.

Where: The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum
200 SE Fourth Street
Abilene, KS 67410
Phone: 785-263-6700

Visit the website for more information.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Imagine getting opportunity to move into the home your spouse had grown up in only to discover that your ancestors had roamed its halls centuries before! That's what happened to Lori Colby, and her intriguing story unfolds in the article "This Old House: Ancestral Home Gives Sense of History" on the Wicked Local Bolton, Massachusetts news web site.

You can't help but envision the children over the decades playing hide and seek in the secret nooks and crannies in the home that Lori describes. And I found myself envious of the gloriously large brick fireplace featured in the photo that accompanies the article. (be sure to click on it to get the full view!)

Have you or do you live an an old house? Or better yet, and ancestral home? Tell us about your trap doors, and special findings in the Comments section.

I'll start: We once owned a large old Victorian home in Washington State. Down in the basement was a wall of very unusual book shelves...too shallow and small for average size books. On them remained one small book with the handwritten name "Andrus" inside the front cover. A bit of research at the public library revealed the house had once been owned by Colonel Andrus famous for his involvement in the Nuremberg trials. And soon the mystery was solved: the bookshelves had been custom built by the Colonel to house his personal collection of small diary books in which he took copious notes on the trials.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Amazing Finds at DeadFred

In Episode 74 of The Genealogy Gems Podcast the founder of the hugely popular DeadFred web site Joe Bott shares behind the scenes stories that will amaze you.

In fact I was so inspired by one story that I tracked down the lucky genealogist who found a photograph of an ancestor (you gotta hear this story for yourself to believe it!) to get the full scoop.

All of these tales of genealogical serendipity are not confined to "other genealogists." With a bit of patience and a dose of luck you too could find a gem on the DeadFred web site.

(BTW - you'll hear from a surprise "guest" on this episode as well!)

Listen now to Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 74 and check out the show notes for photos and more information.

And be sure and sign up for the free Genealogy Gems e-Newsletter to stay on top of all the new episodes and extra research gems.

Thursday, October 29, 2009 Will Add Interactive Census

Here's the latest from Footnote announcing their plans to add the census to their offerings with an "interactive" twist...

Lindon, UT – October 29, 2009 – Today announced it will digitize and create a searchable database for all publicly available U.S. Federal Censuses ranging from the first U.S. Census taken in 1790 to the most current public census from 1930.

Through its partnership with The National Archives, will add more than 9.5 million images featuring over a half a billion names to its extensive online record collection.

“The census is the most heavily used body of records from the National Archives,” explains Cynthia Fox, Deputy Director at the National Archives. “In addition to names and ages, they are used to obtain dates for naturalizations and the year of immigration. This information can then be used to locate additional records.”

With over 60 million historical records already online, will use the U.S. Census records to tie content together, creating a pathway to discover additional records that previously have been difficult to find.

“We see the census as a highway leading back to the 18th century,” explains Russ Wilding, CEO of “This Census Highway provides off-ramps leading to additional records on the site such as naturalization records, historical newspapers, military records and more. Going forward, will continue to add valuable and unique collections that will enhance the census collection.”

To date, has already completed census collections from two key decades: 1930 and 1860. As more census decades are added to the site, visitors to can view the status for each decade and sign up for an email notification when more records are added to the site for a particular year.

View the Census Progress Page on

In addition to making these records more accessible, is advancing the way people use the census by creating an interactive experience. Footnote Members can enrich the census records by adding their own contributions. For any person found in the census, users can:
  • Add comments and insights about that person
  • Upload and attach scanned photos or documents related to that person
  • Generate a Footnote Page for any individual that features stories, a photo gallery, timeline and map
  • Identify relatives found in the census by clicking the I’m Related button
See the 1930 Interactive Census record for Jimmy Stewart.

“The most popular feature of our Interactive Census is the I’m Related button,” states Roger Bell, Senior Vice President of Product Development at “This provides an easy way for people to show relations and actually use the census records to make connections with others that may be related to the same person.”

“We will continue to move aggressively to add records to the site, specifically those that are requested by our members and others that are not otherwise available on the Internet,” said Wilding.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Free Tool for Genealogy Gems Listeners

Bring Genealogy Gems with you wherever you surf on the Web with the brand new Genealogy Gems Toolbar!

In one free, quick & easy download you will get:

  • Google Search Box: search Google or the Genealogy Gems website
  • Highlighter Pen: highlight text on any web page
  • Podcast Player: listen to any episode of Genealogy Gems, Family History, or The Family Tree Magazine Podcast as you surf
  • Gem Sites: Lisa's top picks for free research
  • Genealogy Gems News
  • Genealogy Gems Video Channel
  • Follow Lisa's Tweets on Twitter right from your browser
  • Friend Lisa on Facebook
  • Genealogy Insider Blog
  • Instant Alerts from Genealogy Gems

Download your free Genealogy Gems Toolbar today!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Drew and George Turn the Microphone on Lisa

Last June at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree I had the tables turned on me. When I attend conferences I always conduct interviews with genealogy experts that I can share on The Genealogy Gems Podcast. But at the Jamboree, It was The Genealogy Guys, George Morgan and Drew Smith who whisked me off to a conference room and put me in the hot seat!

And here are the results...

Painless and a lot of fun! Thanks Genealogy Guys!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Latest On Who Do You Think You Are? In The U.S.

It looks like Lisa Kudrow of Friends fame is starting to promote the U.S. version of the hit British TV series Who Do You Think You Are? which she's producing.

The website reports on one of the major differences between Kudrow's show and the BBC titan: "One big difference between the UK and the US versions is that in the UK the show runs for one hour with no breaks. In the states there are commercial breaks, meaning that the total running time is down to 42 minutes."

Who Do You Think You Are? is now slated for launch in January 2010, but that remains to be seen.

Read the whole story and stay tuned for continuing updates..

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Latest Genealogy Records at FamilySearch

Here's the latest from the folks at FamilySearch on the status of new genealogy records being added to

New indexing projects added this week are:
· Argentina, Buenos Aires—1855 Censo [Parte 2]
· Canada, Ontario, Toronto—Trust Cemeteries, 1826–1935
· U.S., Maine—1920 Federal Census
· U.S., New York—1920 Federal Census

Volunteers can help with these projects at

Recently Completed Projects

(Note: Recently completed projects have been removed from the available online indexing batches and will now go through a final completion check process in preparation for future publication.)

· Argentina, Mendoza, San Juan—Censo 1869
· Guatemala, Guatemala—Censo de 1877
· U.S., Kentucky—1920 Federal Census
· U.S., Indiana—1920 Federal Census
· U.S., Vermont—Militia Records, 1861–1867

Current FamilySearch Indexing Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion
Argentina, Buenos Aires—1855 Censo [Parte 2] Spanish (New)
Argentina, Cordoba—Matrimonios, 1642–1931 Spanish 7%
Argentina, Santiago, Santa Fe—1869 Censo, Spanish, 94%
Belgium, Antwerp—Foreigners Index, 1840–1930, English, 61%
Canada, British Columbia—Deaths, 1872–1986, English, 56%
Canada, British Columbia—Marriages, 1859–1932, English,90%
Canada, Québec, Montreal—Régistres Paroissiaux, 1800–1900, French, 4%
Chile, Concepción—Registros Civiles, 1885–1903 [Parte 1], Spanish, 43%
Deutschland, Brandenburg—Kirchenbücher, 1789–1875, German, 82%*
Deutschland, Mecklenburg—Volkszählung, 1890 [Div 24–38], German, 95%
Deutschland, Mecklenburg—Volkszählung, 1890 [Div 39–69], German, 1%
España, Avila, Madrigal y Garganta—Registros Parroquiales, 1530–1935, Spanish, 4%
España, Avila, Navalmoral—Registros Parroquiales, 1530–1935, Spanish, 16%
España, Lugo—Registros Parroquiales, 1530–1930 [Parte 1], Spanish, 23%
France, Cherbourg—Registres Paroissiaux, 1802–1907, French, 4%
France, Coutances—Registres Paroissiaux 1802–1907, French, 3%
France, Coutances, Paroisses de la Manche, 1792–1906, French, 90%
France, Paris—Registres Protestants, 1612–1906 [Partie 2], French, 50%
France, Saint-Lo—Registres Paroissiaux, 1802–1907, French, 11%
Guatemala, Guatemala—Bautismos de Sagrario, 1898–1920, Spanish, 48%
Italy, Trento—Baptisms, 1784–1924 [Part 1], Italian, 95%
Italy, Trento—Baptisms, 1784–1924 [Part 2], Italian, 49%
Mexico, DF—Registros Parroquiales, 1898–1933 [Parte 2], Spanish, 48%
Mexico, Hidalgo—1930 Federal Censo, Spanish, 22%
Mexico, Jalisco—1930 Federal Censo, Spanish, 12%
Mexico, Mexico—1930 Federal Censo, Spanish, 72%
New Zealand—Passenger Lists, 1871–1915, English, 43%
Nicaragua, Managua—Registros Civiles, 1879–1984 [Parte 1], Spanish, 14%
Perú, Lima—Registros Civiles, 1910–1930 [Parte 3], Spanish, 36%
Philippines, Lingayen, Dagupan—Registros Parroquiales, 1615–1982, Spanish, 1%
Russland, Sankt Petersburg—Kirchenbuchduplikat, 1833–1885, German, 1%
South Africa, Cape Province—Church Records, 1660–1970, English, 12%
Sverige, Södermanland—Kyrkoböcker, till 1860 [Del 1], Swedish, 3%
Sverige, Uppsala—Kyrkoböcker, till 1860 [Del 1], Swedish, 10%
Sverige, Örebro—Kyrkoböcker, till 1860 [Del 1], Swedish, 1%
Tschechien, Litomerice—Kirchenbücher, 1552–1905 [Teil 1], German, 13%
U.K., Cheshire—Parish Records, 1538–1850 [Part 2], English/Old English, 47%
U.K., Warwickshire—Parish Registers, 1754-1900 [Part 2], English, 13%
U.S., Arkansas—County Marriages, 1837–1957 [VII], English, 59%
U.S., Georgia—1920 Federal Census, English, 59%
U.S., Illinois, Cook—Birth Certificates, 1916–1922 [Part 2], English, 90%
U.S., Indiana, Allen County—Marriages, 1811–1959, English, 71%
U.S., Indiana, Benton County—Marriages, 1811–1959, English, 50%
U.S., Indiana, Boone County—Marriages, 1811–1959, English, 22%
U.S., Indiana, Brown County—Marriages, 1811–1959, English, 33%
U.S., Indiana, Harrison County—Marriages, 1811–1959, English, 17%
U.S., Kansas—1920 Federal Census, English, 73%
U.S., Maine—1920 Federal Census, English, (New)
U.S., New York—1905 State Census, English,74%
U.S., New York—1920 Federal CensusEnglish, (New)
U.S., Rhode Island—1905 State Census [Part 1],English, 20%
U.S., Rhode Island—1935 State Census, English, 39%
Venezuela, Mérida—Registros Parroquiales, 1654–1992 [Parte 1], Spanish, 75%
Österreich, Wiener Meldezettel, 1890–1925, German, 3%
Украина, Киев—Метрические Книги, 1840–1842, Russian, 40%

(*Percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.)

Current FamilySearch Partner Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion
Australia, Victoria—Probate Records, 1853–1989, English, 76%
België, Mechelen—Overlijdens Registers, 1851-1900, Dutch, Flemish, 48%
Belgique—Registres Des Décès—En Français, 1796–1910, French, 36%
*Canada, Ontario, Toronto—Trust Cemeteries, 1826–1935, English, (New)
Deutschland, Bremen—Schifflisten, 1904–1914, German, 76%
Norway—1875 Census [Part 1], Norwegian, 73%
U.S., Ohio—Tax Records, Post 1825 [Part 2], English, 87%
U.S., Ohio—Tax Records, Post 1825 [Part 3], English, 1%
U.S., Utah, Salt Lake County—Birth Registers, 1890–1908, English, 1%
U.S., Utah, Salt Lake County—Death Registers, 1848–1940, English, 22%

(*Percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's Never Too Late to Find Someone or Be Found

In episode 44 of Family History: Genealogy Made Easy we discuss broken branches of the family tree and the healing power of genealogy.

Here's another example that it is never too late to find someone, or be found. Read the story of how Arnold Nikolaisen found his older adopted sister Traudy in the article At age 75, Kearns man finds sister in Michigan at the Salt Lake Tribune online.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Do You Have Broken Branches In Your Family Tree?

I have yet to meet anyone who has not had sad and painful stories surface during their research...relatives who committed crimes, were institutionalized, or ended their own lives.

In the case of one of my listener's, the broken branch was very close to home - her parents. And more specifically the mother who left her and her sister on a street corner one day, never to return.

Listen to episode 44 of Family History: Genealogy Made Easy to hear her incredible story. She shares the pain of her childhood, her search for her mother, and the healing and freedom that can come from exploring your family tree.

I promise you, it's a podcast episode like you've never heard before.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Rare Savings This Weekend Only!

This weekend celebrate Columbus Day by getting 14.92% off your order at the Genealogy Gems store at featuring...

- My book Genealogy Gems: Ultimate Research Strategies

- Archived Premium Episodes 2 through 7
(audio podcast download and pdf show notes documents)

Use the Coupon Code PINTA

Sale ends Oct. 12, 2009

Click Here to Start Saving

Friday, October 9, 2009

Free Archiving Class by Phone on Mon. Oct. 12, 2009

On Monday, October 12, 2009 you can attend a free class by telephone. Sally Jacobs, The Practical Archivist will try to get you to think like an archivist in under an hour in the class. To which you might ask: One hour? Is that even possible? Sally says "Only one way to find out, my friend! "

3 Secrets Every Archivist Should Know
Date: Monday, October 12, 2009
Start Time: 02:00 PM Central Daylight Time
End Time: 03:30 PM Central Daylight Time
Dial-in Number: 1-605-475-6333 (Midwest)
Participant Access Code: 451092

Check out Sally's web site for more information.

An Ancestor Is Known By His Pets?

Back in 1905 The New York Tribune ran an article entitle "A Man Is Known By His Pets Some People Say."   Could this concept be the next addition to genealogy databases - should we be adding Fido to our ancestor's Pedigree chart?  Or would that just be barking up the wrong tree?  (I know, ouch!)

To learn more about how pets provide insights to their owners, check out the Library of Congress' Flickr photostream.  They have added another year's worth of historic illustrated newspaper pages.   The New-York Tribune Illustrated Supplement section of 1905, printed on Sundays, includes published images of signature events of 1905, including: Russian peasants in revolt, dog shows, balloon animals, sculpted shrubbery, and more....In Flickr, you can tag it, add a note, share it....and even read more about it!  Chronicling America Illustrated Newspaper Pages from 1905 Added to LC Flickr Photostream

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tomorrow is last day for Webinar discount - Get the scoop on Vital Records


Hurry! Early Bird Pricing Ends Tomorrow, October 8th.

Get the vitals on your ancestors!

Vital Records:Researching Your Ancestors' Births, Marriages and Deaths Online

When: Wednesday, October 21st at 7:00 PM EST(6:00 CST, 5:00 MST, 4:00 PST

Duration: 1 Hour

Cost: $49.99 $39.99 through October 8th

Presenter: Lisa Louise Cooke, host of the Family Tree Magazine Podcast

Do you have all of the vital information for your ancestors? Or, are you missing key pieces of information that would unlock the rest of your research?

Find out how to obtain those essential pieces of your genealogy search with our informative live webinar.

You'll learn:

  • an overview of US birth, marriage and death records
  • why coverage and access varies from state to state
  • types of vital records Web sites
  • major sites with vital records and indexes
  • how to get offline records with the help of online resources
Your registration includes:

  • Participation in the live presentation and Q&A session
  • Online access to the workshop recording after the session concludes
  • PDF of the presentation slides for future reference
Mark your calendars for this one hour webinar!

How Does This Live Event Work?

An online workshop - also called a "webinar" - is a lot like a live workshop or seminar you'd attend at a genealogy society meeting or conference, only it takes place over the Internet. That means you can "attend" the workshop from the comfort of home. All you need is a computer and a broadband Internet connection no special computer skills are required.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

National Archives and Announce New Digital Holocaust Collection

Washington DC and Lindon, UT -September 29, 2009
The National Archives and Records Administration and today announced the release of the internet's largest Interactive Holocaust Collection. For the first time ever, over one million Holocaust-related records - including millions of names and 26,000 photos from the National Archives- will be available online. The collection can be viewed at:

"We cannot afford to forget this period in our history," said Dr. Michael Kurtz, Assistant Archivist of the United States and author of America and the Return of Nazi Contraband: The Recovery of Europe's Cultural Treasures. "Working with Footnote, these records will become more widely accessible, and will help people now and in the future learn more about the events and impact of the Holocaust."

Included among the National Archives records available online at are:

* Concentration camp registers and documents from Dachau, Mauthausen, Auschwitz, and Flossenburg
* The "Ardelia Hall Collection" of records relating to the Nazi looting of Jewish possessions, including looted art
* Captured German records including deportation and death lists from concentration camps
* Nuremberg War Crimes Trial proceedings

Access to the collection will be available for free on through the month of October.

The collection also includes nearly 600 interactive personal accounts of those who survived or perished in the Holocaust provided by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The project incorporates social networking tools that enable visitors to search for names and add photos, comments and stories, share their insights, and create pages to highlight their discoveries. There will be no charge to access and contribute to these personal pages.

"These pages tell a personal story that is not included in the history text books," said Russ Wilding, CEO of "They give visitors a first-hand glimpse into the tragic events of the Holocaust and allow users to engage with content such as maps, photos, timelines and personal accounts of victims and survivors through over 1 million documents."

So that visitors may more easily access and engage the content, has created a special Holocaust site featuring:

* Stories of Holocaust victims and survivors
* Place where visitors can create their own pages to memorialize their Holocaust ancestors
* Pages on the concentration camps - includes descriptions, photos, maps, timelines and accounts from those who survived the camps
* Descriptions and samples of the original records from the National Archives

The Holocaust collection is the latest in a continuing partnership between and the National Archives to scan, digitize, and make historical records available online. The goal is to give more people access to these and other historical records that have previously only been available through the research room of the National Archives. This partnership brings these priceless resources to an even greater number of people and enables the National Archives to provide ever-greater access to these critical holdings.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Who Do You Think You Are? Update

While the U.S. version of the hit British television series Who Do You Think You Are? hasn't made it to the airwaves yet, it has been sold down under. Australia's Nine Network has purchased the broadcast rights to the show being produced by Lisa Kudrow and her production company.

An article at not only confirms the sale, but also reports that the U.S. version will now premiere in January 2010. Lisa Kudrow has recently been on the road promoting the show and also told Bonnie Hunt on her daytime show that it's on the way, so it may happen after all.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Video Interview with the Ancestry Insider

At the Family History Expo in Salt Lake City, UT last month I had the opportunity to interview the mystery man of genealogy - the Ancestry Insider.  See it, and him, for yourself!

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Again.

Do you remember the first time you saw Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?  Or how you felt during the scene where Jefferson Smith visits the Lincoln Memorial?  

The 70th anniversary of this American Classic is being celebrated by the National Archives with a very special screening of the film.

Washington, DC. . .The National Archives celebrates the 70th anniversary of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with a screening of the film on Thursday, October 15, at 7 p.m. The screening will be introduced by special guest Robert Osborne, film historian and host of Turner Classic Movies. This event is free and open to the public, and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building, located at Constitution and 7th St., NW.  Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station.

The program is presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in partnership with The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film and the Foundation for the National Archives.

Frank Capra's classic film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, premiered on October 17, 1939, at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. The event was sponsored by the National Press Club, who invited over 4000 guests including 45 U.S. Senators.

Starring James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, and Thomas Mitchell, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was nominated for 11 Academy Awards ®, and won for Writing - Original Story. Through a quirk of fate, Jefferson Smith (James Stewart), the idealistic head of the "Boy Rangers," is appointed a U.S. Senator from an unnamed state.  He soon learns the harsh realities of Washington politics, and his patriotism and belief in democracy are tested. A pristine 35mm print courtesy of the Academy will be shown. (129 minutes.)

Special Note: Mr. Osborne is available for phone interviews in advance of his appearance at the National Archives. Please contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at: (202) 357-5300.

For more information, the public should call the Public Programs Line at: (202) 357-5000, or view the Calendar of Events on the web at:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Early Bird Discount Available For Short Time for Mesa AZ Genealogy Conference

The Early Bird Registration for the 2nd Annual Mesa Family History Expo being held January 22-23, 2010 is about to expire. Special discount pricing is good only through Friday September 25, 2009.

Take advantage of this special pricing: only $55.00 for the full 2 day registration (last year it was $95.00 at the door).

I will be at the Mesa Family History Expo with my Genealogy Gems booth in the exhibit hall and teaching several classes. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Google Books Revolutionary Next Step

In the beginning...
there were books.

And the books were printed and placed in libraries.

And then Google went to the libraries and said 'They are good...but they would be BETTER digitized on'

And then Google digitized the out-of-print and out-of-copyright (and actually more than that - don't get me started!) and put them on the Web and Google said "It is good." In fact, a lot of genealogists said that too.

And now, Google has a revolutionary it comes...wait for it...hold on to your're not going to see this one it comes....PRINT BOOKS!

Yes, Google takes the next revolutionary step of partnering to print (also read "sell") the books it worked so hard to digitize.

Google is partnering with On Demand Books to put the new Espresso Book Machine in bookstores and libraries around the world. Watch as they demonstrate how a book can be printed, bound, and delivered from digitized books on Google Books in just about 3 1/2 minutes. Watch the video below...

Who would have thunk it? Books bound in paper? Leave it to Google!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Event That Is Part of Every Family's History

In late August of 2001 Bill and I took our girls across the country to visit our nation's capitol, New York City, and Lancaster County Pennsylvania. We had an amazing time, and one of the highlights for me was two days of research at the Library of Congress.

I've been thinking a lot about that trip recently.

First because I just interviewed the head of the Genealogy Room at the Library of Congress for the September episode of the Family Tree Magazine Podcast. James Sweany, the Head of the department is incredibly knowledgeable. I asked if he would give my Genealogy Gems Premium Members an audio tour of the the Library and he graciously agreed. That tour will be available this month in Premium Episode 31. James says that visible changes include stricter security measures and non-existent parking. However, his tour will help us navigate those changes to ensure a pleasant and rewarding visit.

Second, this week marks the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Our visit to Washington DC and New York City occurred just two weeks prior to the attacks. They have since been changed in profound ways.

In a recent column entitled "Tragedy, Heros Connected to Family History by PA Land" author Rhonda Whetstone shares her memories of that fateful day - how with each news flash the events grew closer and closer to her own family and family history.

Here on the West Coast, home safely from a wonderful family vacation, we counted our blessings that our family was safe. And then we painfully watched with the rest of our small town as we discovered that one of our own citizens, Thomas Burnett, had worked alongside the other passengers on Flight 93, and lost his life trying to prevent an even greater tragedy.

Everyone's family was in some way touched that day.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Historic Arkansas Marriage Records Online at FamilySearch

Here's the latest news from FamilySearch...

LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS—Where genealogists gather, records are uncovered. The adage is certainly true this week as hundreds of genealogists descend on the Little Rock Statehouse Convention Center in Arkansas as part of the 2009 Federation of Genealogical Societies annual conference. In anticipation of this conference, many volunteers have donated thousands of hours online to create a free online database to hundreds of thousands of historic Arkansas marriage records. The records date from 1837 to 1957. The online database includes a searchable index linked to digital images of the original marriage certificates. The volunteer project is 26 percent complete. The first fruits of the effort can be searched at (click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot).

The free online collection currently includes 442,058 records linked to 199,431 digital images of the original marriage certificates. The records represent the counties of Ashley, Baxter, Boone, Chicot, Clay, Crittenden, Desha, Drew, Fulton, Jackson, Johnson, Lee, Logan, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Nevada, Perry, and Pike.

FamilySearch partnered with the Arkansas Genealogical Society (AGS) to create indexes to county marriages registered in Arkansas between 1837 and 1957. Jan Davenport, 1st vice president of AGS, worked closely with FamilySearch to create the project and help solicit volunteers to index the digital images using FamilySearch’s online indexing program. To date, 20,559 volunteers have helped produce the first sets of indexed data and images now available online.

FamilySearch is the global leader of online indexing. It launched its online indexing program in 2008, and tens of thousands of volunteers donate time online helping to index historic records like the Arkansas marriages collection. FamilySearch currently has 65 online indexing projects underway.

For this project, FamilySearch is creating digital images of the county marriage records and online volunteers worldwide then use FamilySearch’s Web-based indexing tool to view the digital images and extract the desired information from the image. That data is then processed and published online in free searchable indexes linked to the digital images.

Volunteers need only Internet access to contribute to this historic effort. A unique quality-control process ensures a highly accurate, finished index. Each document is transcribed by two different online indexers. Any discrepancies in their two extractions are then forwarded to a third volunteer—an arbitrator—who makes any needed corrections between the two interpretations. A typical downloaded “batch” (group of records) will take a volunteer about 30 to 40 minutes to complete. The indexing utility has built-in tutorials and helps. Anyone interested in volunteering to help complete the Arkansas project can do so at

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Part 2: How to Blog Your Family History and Genealogy

It's finally here...Episode 42 of the Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast featuring Part 2 of How to Blog Your Family History.

I have had a blast receiving emails from listeners literally around the world about the family history blogs they are creating by following these step-by-step instructions.

In fact I'm so impressed I'm planning a future episode dedicated to highlighting these new gems of the blogosphere.

If you haven't created your own family history blog, now is the time. It's free and easy! I even have a companion video series for you that will show you how - literally - at the Genealogy Gems TV Channel at YouTube. There are 3 videos currently in the series with the 4th soon to come.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Divorce Records Might Be Found At The New Divorce Centre

Did your ancestors divorce in the early 20th century? The records that could help your genealogy research might by in Nevada, as Reno became the divorce capitol of the country. This article from the Library of Congress is a fascinating look at "The New Divorce Centre" and divorce became a big business for the western town.

My family has a marital family history connection with Reno. Fortunately my grandparents didn't divorce there, but rather married there in the 1930s.

From the Library of Congress:
The Citizen (Berea, KY) noted a new cultural development taking place in the "frontier post of civilization" that was Reno, Nevada in 1909. A recent decrease in the length of time necessary for state residency, easy access by railroad, and a proximity to the cosmopolitan cities of the West Coast were transforming a mining community into the nation's leading divorce colony. The Nevada divorce statutes, requiring a residency of only six months, were known for their "length, breadth, height, elasticity, and all other qualities that lend themselves to the seeker after easy matrimonial freedom"....Read more about it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Emmy Nomintation for Family History TV Series

I just got a note from Ken Marks who I interviewed in episode 22 of the Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast, and he had some very exciting news to share.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has nominated the The Lively Family Massacre – a pilot for Ken's documentary TV series titled Legend Seekers – for an EMMY in the documentary category.

The program is scheduled to air in the Chicago area on WTTW-TV Channel 11 as follows:
Legend Seekers -- The Lively Family Massacre

11.1 HD: Sunday, August 30 at 12:30pm and Monday, August 31 at 3:30am
11.2 Prime: Monday, August 31 at 9:30pm; Tuesday, September 1 at 4:30am and 9:30am

Visit the Legend Seekers website for more on the show, and how to contact your local PBS station to request that it be shown.

Congratulations to Ken, Frank Haney & Madonna Davis! Good luck!

Last Day for Early Bird Registration Salt Lake Family History Expo

The Family History Expo is just days away and today is the last day for you to register at early bird prices!

The expo will take place Aug. 28 and 29, 2009 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
At the door registration begins at 7 a.m. on Friday and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday

Location: South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 South State Street, Sandy, Utah 84070. (plenty of free parking available!)

The Expo offers tons of genealogy courses that will help you learn the techniques and technology to trace your roots. Technology will make your family history research:
· Faster
· Easier
· More accurate
· Exciting

Don't miss the early bird discounted rate and register today. For just $68 (a $10 savings!), those who register before the end of the day, will have access to two days worth of intense learning and research help. New techniques Register online right now and you will save money and have immediate access to your class syllabi.

If you’re unable to, you can still register at the door for $78. If you can only make it for a single day, pay just $48 or $12.00 for a single class.

Your paid registration includes:
· All the great classes from leading genealogy speakers
· Concessions and tables available in the Exhibit Hall for lunch
· Printed Event Program
· Name Tag
· CD syllabus (to print your syllabus in advance, register online now and get immediate access!)
(Note: Family History Expos will print your syllabus for an additional $25.00. Printed syllabi will be available at the event and can be shipped after the event. Purchaser pays shipping. To purchase your syllabus in book format, go to
· Goody Bag stuffed full of coupons, discount offers, information and free trials
· Opportunity to have a FREE research consultation with a professional researcher at the Family History Expos Ask-the-Pros booth. E-mail to set up an appointment (you may also bring your research questions and sign up at the booth for available times)

Be sure to visit the Twitter Café and Blogging Bistro to learn fun new ways to connect with and communicate with your new “favorite” family members!

Go online right now and register ( or call 801-829-3295 for your seat at the Salt Lake City, Utah Family History Expo.

I'll be there teaching three classes:

Google: A Goldmine of Genealogy Gems Part I
Fri. 8/28/09 at 10:00 am in room 200D

Google: A Goldmine of Genealogy Gems Part II
Fri. 8/28/09 at 11:30 am in room 200D

Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101
Sat. 8/29/09 at 1:00 pm in room 200C

Be sure and stop by the Genealogy Gems Podcast booth in the exhibit hall. You'll find discount prices on:
  • Genealogy Gems Premium Membership
  • my book Genealogy Gems: Ultimate Research Strategies
  • and the brand new Genealogy Gem rhinestone pin!

Be sure and ask for your free "I Listen to Genealogy Gems" nametag ribbon too.

See you at the Expo!