Sunday, November 30, 2014

Legacy Webinars

Legacy is presenting two webinars this week--one for anyone interested in getting kids involved in family research; the other for someone who might consider using voice recognition software for writing family history.

Family History for Kids will be presented Wednesday, December 3.
"Are you trying to figure out how to get kids involved and engaged in their family history? Come learn about new products and initiatives that are making a difference for younger audiences. We’ll discuss how you can create a life map, build a story book, tag and index photos and documents online, make a family video, and much more."

Can You Hear Me Now? Voice Recognition Software for Genealogists on Friday, December 5.
"Give your fingers a break. Learn how you can take advantage of voice recognition software to speed up your genealogical writing, enter information into your database, and convert those old personal interviews to words on a page. This webinar will teach you how to “talk” your way through writing that tough family history."
Visit to for more information or to register to view for free in real time.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Genealogy Club News

If you're avoiding the stores today, you'll have a chance to consider the Legacy deal that Dick has forwarded this morning. Also, Rick sent an email that included a free download of Thomas McEntee's book, 500 Best Genealogy and Family History Tips. It is for Kindle, but you can also get a free app to read it if you are interested.

Rick's email included a link to all kinds of genealogy (and other) deals for Black Friday. Visit the list at

We have had several donations recently besides the previously mentioned Alberta Genealogical Society's quarterly publications. Val Greenwood's book, The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy, (always recommended by conference speakers) is now part of our library.

Two other books were given to the club last week. Genealogy Online (even with its 2008 copyright date) is worth a look during a workshop. Another donation was Desmond Walls Allen's book, First Steps in Genealogy. We suggest reading bits and pieces of any of these books to increase your understanding of the hobby of chasing ancestors.

The club has also purchased a beginning genealogy book called The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy, by Christine Rose. We will add it to our library.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Genealogy Club News

Our weekly workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, November 25. We will meet as usual in the San Tan room at 7 PM. The router should be in place, so we will be able to use the internet and ask questions if necessary about genealogy websites. Beginners are welcome; we look forward to getting you started on family research.

One of our former members has donated 15-20 issues of the Alberta Genealogical Society's quarterly journal, "Relatively Speaking." I've read through most of them this week, and they are full of interesting articles. One feature of each issue, "Spinning Webs," describes a half dozen websites of interest to genealogists. The more recent issues have surname indexes. These journals will be available during workshops throughout this year.

Calling for volunteers: our genealogy table for the December 9 Craft Fair needs you to help the club gain new members by talking ancestor research. Let me know if you can spare an hour between 9 and 1 on that Tuesday.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pinal County Genealogy Workshop

The 2015 Pinal County Genealogy Workshop will be held on Saturday, January 24. This is the 12th year for the workshop, and it is a great bargain. You can choose from among 25 classes over five sessions, and lunch is included with the $20 registration fee.

The speakers, lecture descriptions and registration form have been posted on the website and lecture handouts will be added by January 1. Visit for all the details. There are two separate links: one to the speakers/lecture descriptions and the other to the registration form.

Many of our club members have attended in the past and we recommend this workshop to beginners and those who have been doing genealogy for many years. We can answer any questions about the workshop during our weekly meetings.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Family History Center

We are fortunate to have a Family History Center available here in Casa Grande, located at Sunset and Colorado. Park near the entrance facing Colorado and ring the buzzer to your left at the door. Current hours are Wednesdays 6:30-8:30, Thursdays 9-1 and Saturdays 9-1. The center will be closed the week of Thanksgiving. Also check for closings around the Christmas holidays. Volunteers are available to offer suggestions and assist in research.

The center has five computer stations, a large genealogy library and a room for viewing microfilm. The subscription websites available for free include:, Heritage Quest, Godfrey Memorial Library, Access Newspaper Archives, 19th Century British Library Newspapers archive, Find My Past, Origins, Fold3, Historic Map Work, World Vital Records and others.

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 18 Workshop

Tuesday's scheduled workshop will begin with a brief review of Find A Grave, one of the most useful free sites for genealogists.

Bring computers if you would like, as the router will be in place. Beginners will continue to receive assistance, and we will have time to explore our club's resources.

If you have a success story from summer research, we would love to hear about it!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Legacy Webinar

If you've been wondering whether Evernote might be helpful in your genealogy research, here's your chance to find out more about it. Lisa Louise Cooke will be presenting this topic for the November 19 Legacy webinar.  The webinar is appropriate for beginner and intermediate researchers. Below is the description of the class.

Using Evernote For Genealogy

"You can remember everything in your genealogy research with Evernote, because it puts all your notes at your fingertips. In addition to superfast and easy note taking and retrieval, you’ll learn how to clip items from the Internet (rather than saving bulky web pages!), use OCR technology to search your digitized documents like newspaper articles, and tap into the best apps that help Evernote work even harder for you. Evernote harnesses the power of the Cloud to allow you to work across all your platforms (including your iPad and smart phone)  Best of all, it’s free!"

Remember, these webinars are free to watch in real time (go to to learn more and to register). You can also watch the webinars at your leisure for about a week following the online presentation.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Genealogists' Declaration of Rights

Jean Turner shared an email from a fellow DAR member regarding the "Model Vital Statistics Act" that is being proposed for passage in all states. The act has been introduced in several states, although not all of them are following the complete directive.

The provision that would affect all genealogists would be to deny access to birth records for 125 years, marriage and divorce records for 100 years, and death records for 75 years. Imagine how difficult it would be to research ancestors with those restrictions.

The Records Preservation and Access Committee is a joint committee composed of the National Genealogical Society, Federation of Genealogists, etc. whose mission is to ensure proper access to historical records of genealogical value. This committee has developed a "Declaration of the Rights of Genealogists."

You can help by reading the Genealogists' Declaration of Rights at http://bit.loy/gen-declaration. After you read the page, check the box that you support it and add your name and city. Then click "submit."

It is important for everyone doing U. S. genealogy to get on record opposing what the various state legislatures are trying to do. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Free World War II Records

The subscription site Fold3 is offering access to their World War II collection for the rest of the month of November in honor of Veteran's Day. Find the website at The announcement follows:


Free Access to the World War II Collection

In honor of Veterans Day, Fold3 is offering free access to our World War II Collection November 10-30. Explore the records of the war that shaped America's "greatest generation"—and look for your family's own WWII heroes along the way.
Thanks to Maureen Salter for sharing this information.


November 11 Workshop

Our second workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, November 11. Since the meeting falls on Veteran's Day, we will have a brief presentation on military record research.

The remainder of the meeting will be used for beginner instruction and internet research with plenty of time for questions or assistance. Be sure to bring your computers: let's set a goal that everyone will find at least one ancestor online during the workshop!

The genealogy club table will be part of Tuesday's Craft Fair. Stop by and say hello.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Free Access to Findmypast and Ancestry

Good news posted in Family Tree Magazine's online newsletter. I have copied announcements from Findmypast and Ancestry that their collections or parts of them will be available for searching in honor of Veteran's Day.

Here's the scoop from Family Tree Magazine:

If you've been wanting to try the subscription genealogy website Findmypast, now is the time: In honor of Veterans Day (Nov. 11 in the United States), Findmypast will open up its collections for free access this weekend.

The free period will run from 7 a.m. ET Friday, Nov. 7 to 7 a.m. ET Monday, Nov. 10.

The free access includes global record sets such as censuses; vital records; newspapers; local English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish records; passenger lists; the Periodical Source Index and more. You'll need to set up a free registration to access the free records.

Subscription genealogy site announced that its top collections of old military records will be free to access in honor of Veterans Day. The free access period ends Nov. 11 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

The free records include all US wars and some global collections, though the focus is on World War I, which began 100 years ago this past July. Featured collections include:
  • WWI draft registration cards
  • WWI Mothers' Pilgrimage Lists
  • WWI, WWII and Korean War casualty lists
The "Start Free Trial" link at the top of the free military records landing page might be confusing. You don't have to actually start a free trial, which requires entering payment information, to access the free military records.

Instead, either log into the free basic account you already have, or scroll down on the landing page, run a search, click on a matching record you want to view, and create a free basic account when you're prompted.

November 4 Workshop

Twenty members attended the first workshop of the season, so we are off to a good start. There was a table of beginners and we hope to get them searching for ancestors by next week. The only glitch was with the router, as we had problems connecting to the Internet.

We had a brief look at California's Great Registers in honor of election day. If any of your ancestors were in California after 1866, you might find their names listed in those voting registers. The earliest lists (1866-1900) give their age, date of naturalization, a physical description, etc. This database is on the subscription site Ancestry, which you can use at the public library or the local family history center if you do not subscribe.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Craft Fair Genealogy Table

We will have a genealogy table at the first three craft fairs to publicize our club and encourage new members to join. Any club member who has an hour or two free next Tuesday (Nov. 11) between 9 and 1 can let me know at tonight's meeting--or call 6166 to volunteer. Thanks in advance to all who are willing to spend some time talking family research!