Monday, September 28, 2015

Using Periodicals

Legacy's webinar this week is called "Using Periodicals to Find Your Ancestors." Gena Philibert-Ortega will be presenting the topic on Wednesday, September 30, directing it toward both beginner and intermediate research levels. If you haven't had a chance to use newsletters from state societies or local genealogy clubs, you might be missing some clues for ancestor research. We have had great success using them at the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which has one of the country's largest collections. Register or read more about it at Here's the description from Legacy:

Periodicals can fill in the pieces between the birth and death of your ancestor. Whether the information is biographical, a transcription, or reporting on an event, periodicals provide rich detail about your ancestor’s life. In this lecture we will discuss the types of periodicals that exist and what indexes (JSTOR, PERSI and others)  to use to find articles.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Canada 150

Canada will be celebrating its 150th year as a nation in 2017. Harry van Bommel, founder of the Canada 150 project, is appealing to Canadians everywhere to share their family and community histories to commemorate this anniversary. Our Canada, Our Stories is a collaborative project of organizations across the country.

Visit for details. You still have time to be part of Canada's largest history project and preserve your own stories.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Free Weekend on Find My Past

Find My Past is offering free access to its holdings during the coming weekend. You will need to register for this opportunity. Here's the announcement that arrived today:

This weekend we’re giving you the chance to bring your past to life by exploring our collection of over 4 billion records and 11 million newspaper pages, absolutely free
From 7 am on Friday, September 18th (EDT) to 7 am Monday, September 21st (EDT) our records from around the world will be viewable at no cost, meaning you can build your family tree, for a whole weekend, on us. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Legacy Webinars

Legacy is producing two location-specific webinars this month. Both presentations are geared toward beginning level researchers. If your ancestors were from the Netherlands, plan to watch Yvette Hoitink's topic "Researching Your Dutch Ancestors" on September 16. The following Wednesday, September 23, Kirsty Gray will talk about "Researching Your Ancestors in England and Wales." The descriptions of each webinar follow. Register to watch in real time at

Researching Your Dutch Ancestors
Do you have ancestors from the Netherlands? This webinar introduces you to the most important records and shows you what you can find online, even if you don't know any Dutch. Learn how naming traditions and emigration patterns can help you find your Dutch ancestors.

Researching Your Ancestors in England and Wales
With increased digitization of genealogical records in England and Wales, documents relating to your ancestors are far more readily available but how are the records structured? Where are they located? And what information can be gleaned from these primary sources? Taking you through the basics by examining record groups including censuses, civil registration, parish registers and probate, Kirsty Gray highlights the online and offline resources available to today’s genealogist researching in the last four centuries in England and Wales.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wisconsin's Area Research Centers

Anyone with ancestors who lived in Wisconsin have a unique resource available. You can visit an area research center in person or browse some of the indexes that have been put online. Google the phrase to reach the Wisconsin Historical Society's explanation of this resource and a map of the locations throughout the state. Part of the information follows:
The Wisconsin Historical Society and the University of Wisconsin cooperate in a group of research centers located at campus libraries throughout the state and at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland. Records from nearby counties are housed permanently at each center and circulate within the network. The state is divided into 14 regions that hold records from the counties in each area.
Archivists at each center can answer written and telephone requests; there may be charges for any copies requested. Before visiting, be sure to call the center to check on hours of operation. Two holdings of genealogical interest are tax and naturalization records.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 9 Webinar

Legacy's webinar this week is specifically for those researching Swedish ancestors. Kathy Meade will be demonstrating the use of ArkivDigital Online, the subscription website that provides access to Swedish historical records such as church records, passenger manifests, etc. The webinar is aimed at all levels of researchers. As usual, more information at

Friday, September 4, 2015

Free Weekend Websites

This week's edition of Family Tree Magazine's online newsletter contains news of free access to two subscription websites during the Labor Day weekend. According to the writer, the new wills collection on Ancestry does not include every state at this point but it is worth a look. It also seems that Ancestry now has two different ways to view records: a free basic account and a free trial. Since we subscribe, I am not sure what each entails. Note also that Ancestry has another "new version" for its users. I have copied the announcements below.

  • In celebration of its new collection of indexed wills from all 50 states, is opening up its US birth, marriage and death records (which include the new wills) for free through the end of Monday, Sept. 7. When you click to view the actual records, you'll be prompted to sign up for a free basic account, which is required to see the record. Note that a free basic account does not require credit card info, and is different from a free trial. (You'll also get offers to sign up for a free trial, but it's not required to view the record.) Another important note is that the wills collection is viewable only in the new version of If you're in the old site, look at the top right corner and click the arrow by your user name to switch to the new site.

  • And to commemorate the Labor Day holiday, the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is giving free access to databases in its Census, Tax, and Voter List category on This category has 40 databases mostly focusing on New England families between the 18th and 20th centuries, but it also includes databases such as Ohio: Tax Records 1800-1850 and Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States in 1830, and Germany: Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census, 1890.

    The free access runs through Wednesday, Sept. 9. You'll need to set up a free guest registration (or sign in if you already have a free guest account) to view the records.