Friday, September 7, 2018

Free Records on FindMyPast

Any free time this weekend?

6th September 2018 – Leading British & Irish family history website, Findmypast, has today announced that they will be opening up their archives and offering free access to billions of records from around the world. From 04:00 (EDT), on Friday September 7th until 18:59 (BST), on Monday September 10th more than 2.7 billion records ranging from censuses and parish registers to passenger lists and military service records will be completely free to search and explore.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

September Webinars

Visit to register or learn more about the content of the following selections.

Wednesday, September 5 - "What's Been Done: Using Someone Else's Research" by Thomas MacEntee.   Beginner

Friday, September 7 - "Legacy 9 Unlocked (part 6): Adding a Death Certificate" by Geoff Rasmussen.   Beginner, Intermediate

Wednesday, September 12 - "Examining Migration & Researching Migrants in the British Isles" by Julie Goucher.   Intermediate

Friday, September 14 - "Slave Narratives: Telling the Story of Slavery and Families" by Ann Staley.   Intermediate

Tuesday, September 18 - "Using Lists to Find Proof" by Cari Taplin.  Intermediate

Wednesday, September 19 - "25 Simple Research Hacks Every Genealogist Should Know" by Lisa Alzo.   Beginner, Intermediate

Tuesday, September 25 - "Importance of Newspapers for Family Research" by Daniel Horowitz.   Beginner

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Summer Magazines

Our genealogy magazines eventually reach us as we travel during the summer.

From the June/July issue of Internet Genealogy: An article called "Scottish Tax Rolls Online" might be of interest to those members with Scottish ancestors. Visit to check out their offerings.

Also in the same issue is a reminder that since February 2018, all digital collections at the Swedish National Archives are free to search and view. You can select "English" to view the instructions. Here's the link:

The July/August issue of Family Tree Magazine contains a comprehensive article by Lisa Alzo on overcoming obstacles for Eastern Europe research. She provides strategies for figuring out changes in spellings of names and also place names as borders "moved." A list of useful Eastern European genealogy websites is included.

Monday, July 30, 2018

August Webinars

Wednesday, August 1 - "Jewish Genealogy for the Non-Jew: History, Migration, DNA" by Schelly Talalay Dardashdi.    Beginner, Intermediate

Friday, August 3 - "Legacy 9 Unlocked (part 5): Adding an Obituary" by Geoff Rasmussen.  Intermediate

Wednesday, August 8 - "Genealogical Proof for the Novice Genealogist" by Annette Burke Lyttle.  Beginner, Intermediate

Friday, August 10 - "50 Websites To Find Vital Records" by Gena Philibert-Ortega.   Beginner

Wednesday, August 15 - "Untangle the Web of Germanic Websites" by Teresa Steinkamp McMillin.  Intermediate

Tuesday, August 21 - "GPS: Finding Your Way Through Tough Research Problems" by James Ison.  Intermediate

Wednesday, August 22 - "Researching Forces Ancestors (England and Wales)" by Kirsty Gray.  Intermediate

Tuesday, August 28 - "How Photos Enhance Genealogical Research" by Daniel Horowitz (MyHeritage Webinars).   Beginner

Wednesday, August 29 - "The YDNA Test Should Be Your Favorite" by Diahan Southard.  Intermediate

You can read more about the subject matter of these webinars at All webinars are free, can be watched in real time or for one week following each presentation.

Monday, July 16, 2018

New York Research

We spent several days in St. Lawrence County in upper New York with various levels of success.

Massena: At the local historical museum we read through the Hackett and Bailey files. It seems we were able to "prove a negative," as the Hackett family we were wondering about had been in Massachusetts and Vermont for generations and probably had no connection with John Hackett who arrived from Ireland in the 1840s. The volunteer was helpful but not very familiar with the museum holdings.

Bombay: We read online that the historical museum was open Wednesday mornings, but no one was there when we arrived. We called the number and one of the volunteers was willing to drive over to open the building. We visited with her briefly; that small museum didn't have research materials. She provided directions to two local cemeteries and we did find one grave marker linked to a family line.

Potsdam: We had called the museum the previous day and given them a list of surnames. Erin and Mary were particularly interested in our visit, as Mary was also researching a Bailey line. It turned out that she and Dick had a common ancestor! They had pulled the family files for our surnames and had several other helpful suggestions. These ladies knew their stuff!

Canton: The Silas Wright Museum here has a large collection of genealogical materials. We read family files, county histories, cemetery books, and the coordinator searched for our surnames in their computer system. Mary, Dick's cousin from Potsdam, also volunteers at this museum, so we had more opportunity to discuss research with her. We visited two more cemeteries in the area, also.

Success in New York seems to depend upon the knowledge of the museum directors and volunteers, and we had success in Potsdam and Canton for that reason. Calling ahead also saves time, as the volunteers can have the family files ready for you.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Another Local Knowledge Success

We spent the past few days in St. Ignace, MI near Mackinac Island where Dick's Ojibwa line originated. We visited the Museum of Ojibwa Culture and the Fort de Buade Museum. As we were ready to leave the museum's gift shop, I mentioned in passing to the woman who was volunteering at the cash register that Dick had traced one ancestral line to that area. She immediately asked about a surname--then told us to wait while she went next door to the Historical Society. She came back with a printout of a descendant chart of the Bourassa family to show where she and Dick both had connections. We were able to return the next day to pick up a copy for a small donation.

We also spent the next morning at the local library in its genealogy department: many local history books and a card file of "area genealogies." It was interesting to learn that Dick's Grignon family traveled from Green Bay (where there was no church at the time) across Lake Michigan to Mackinac Island for baptisms. Four children were baptized at the same time several years after their births.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Legacy's July Webinars

Visit to register for any of these free webinars. Or, watch for a week following the presentation on your own time.

Thursday, July 5 - "Adding a Will and Tombstone to Legacy" by Geoff Rasmussen.  Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Friday, July 6 - "Adding Estate/Probate Records to Legacy" by Geoff Rasmussen.  Intermediate

Wednesday, July 11 - "The Art of Negative-Space Research" by Jeanne Bloom. (Identifying women by using records of their family and friends.)   Intermediate

Friday, July 13 - "Freedmen's Bureau Records - Valuable to ALL Southern Research" by Diane L. Richards.  Intermediate

Tuesday, July 17 - "Special Tools That Can Take Your Research to the Next Level" by MyHeritage Webinars.  Beginner, Intermediate

Tuesday, July 17 - "It's a Numbers Game! Understanding Recognized Genealogical Formats" by Alice Hoyt Veen.  Intermediate

Wednesday, July 18 - "Trails of Daniel Boone and other Western Travelers" by J. Mark Lowe.  Intermediate

Wednesday, July 25 - "Photoshop: What You Need to Know as a Photographer" by Jared Hodges.  Intermediate

Tuesday, July 31 - "An Overview of Important Historical Record Collections" by MyHeritage Webinars.  (New MyHeritage collections)  Beginner

Monday, June 25, 2018

Research Reminder

One of Dick Eastman's recent blog posts was a good reminder about our research. Someone had written him about being frustrated that he could not find enough information online. Eastman's comment: "Doesn’t he realize that 95% of the information of interest to genealogists is not yet available on the Internet?"

Here's more of that post: 
"To be sure, many of the biggest and most valuable resources are now available online, including national census records, the Social Security Death Index, military pension applications, draft cards, many passenger lists, land patent databases, and more.
As the national databases became available to all, the online providers moved on to digitize regional and statewide information. State or provincial censuses, birth records, marriage records, death records, naturalization records (which originally were recorded in many local and state courts), county histories, and much, much more are still being placed online."
He then points out that most church parish records, local tax lists, school records, land records (other than Federal land grants), and many more records are not yet available online and probably won’t be available for many years. 

Because so many of us have returned "home" for the summer or are traveling around the country, we should keep in mind that visiting the area where our ancestors lived can be an invaluable way to further our research. Don't pass up an opportunity to visit a courthouse, library, or local history museum in your ancestor's original settlement.