Thursday, December 31, 2015

Legacy's January Webinars

Legacy provides free webinars almost every Wednesday. You can register to watch in real time or plan to access the webinar for the week following the presentation. Use to register or to learn more about each topic.

January 6: "Tap Into Your Inner Private Eye--9 Strategies for Finding Living Relatives." Lisa Louise Cooke will discuss techniques used by private investigators to locate missing people. This may help you to track down a living relative who might have the answer to a brick wall. Level: beginner to intermediate.

January 13: "Technology and Techniques for Differentiating Two People with the Same Name." Geoff Rasmussen will tell you how to organize your research when you are unsure that you have found the right person. Level: beginner to intermediate.

January 20: "The Basics of Virginia Research." Shannon Combs-Bennett will give you a basic understanding of Virginia history and the records and archives available in that state. Level: beginner.

January 27: "The Paper-Less Genealogist." Denise Levenick will provide strategies to break the paper habit (and organize what you keep) by demonstrating scanner techniques, file naming, etc. Level: beginner to intermediate.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Northern Ireland Research

The latest issue of Internet Genealogy has an article about "Eddies Extracts," a free online site with information for those searching for Northern Irish ancestors.The site began with excerpts from newspaper articles the owner had transcribed, including birth, marriage and death announcements.
The site has five tabs: News Extracts, Roll of Honour (Presbyterian soldiers), Mariner Extracts, Book Extracts and "Other."

Anyone with Northern Irish roots, particularly in the Belfast area, should check out If you are interested in reading the entire article, let me know and I will bring it to a meeting for you.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ancestry Blog

The Ancestry blog has been interesting this past week, as comments are piling up regarding the "new" Ancestry and the decision to retire Family Tree Maker.

The response to the Family Tree Maker issue has generated almost 9000 comments--almost entirely negative. No one seems hopeful that their unhappiness will make any difference in the decision, however. It is probably time to weigh options and consider other genealogy software.

Almost 900 users have posted complaints about the "new" Ancestry. Most of the comments involve changes made in the family tree section of Ancestry, where they have added a "familystory" as well as changes in the look of the database.

It is an interesting read, if you have some spare time. The blog can be reached at the very bottom of Ancestry's home page.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December Workshops

We reviewed several topics this month, including tips for using Familysearch, Ancestry and the census. Members picked up handouts from previous presentations and the census help sheets to use for research. This past week we looked at one of the new databases that Ancestry has acquired. The wills and probate information from U. S. records seems to be extremely useful. Several members provided names of ancestors from various states and there seemed to be information for each person. Be sure to check this out when you can.

This week we conducted a interesting roundtable. Each attendee was asked to choose an ancestor they would invite to a holiday dinner and relate a question they would like answered by that ancestor. Responses varied, but many chose one of their brick wall folks in order to solve that elusive mystery.  

Thanks to Ray, Trish, Rick, and Deenie who helped at the craft fair genealogy table. Each time we are able to gain new members through this effort. We will have our final table in January and will be asking for volunteers to spend an hour talking with residents about our club.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Family Tree Maker News

Copied below is the announcement we received yesterday from Ancestry. They will no longer be selling Family Tree Maker software after this year and will only support existing owners through January 1, 2017. Club members who have been using Family Tree Maker (some of us since the early 1990s!) will have to find another way to maintain our records.

Here is part of the email received from Ancestry:

"As we strive to provide our customers with the best experience possible, we are constantly evaluating our services and product offerings. True to this focus, we’ve taken a hard look at the declining desktop software market and the impact this has on being able to continue to provide new content, product enhancements and support that our users need. With that, we’ve made the tough decision to stop selling Family Tree Maker as of December 31, 2015.

We will continue to support existing Family Tree Maker owners at least through January 1, 2017. During this time, all features of the software, including TreeSync™ will continue to work. Our Member Services team will also remain available to assist with questions or issues you may have."

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Genealogy Club Library

Mentioned at the workshop last week, here is a list of the Legacy Webinar CDs available for checkout during the season. (Rick has generously shared his collection for our library). Just sign them out on our "magazine" checkout sheet.

Organizing and Sharing Digital Images

Plan Your Way to Success

Ten Brick Wall Tips for Beginners

Brick Walls: Cracking the Case of Nathan Brown's Parents

Tracing Immigrant Ancestors

Chasing Women: Finding Your Female Ancestors

Researching Your Canadian Ancestors

Researching Your Scottish Ancestors

Researching Your German Ancestors

The 3 C's of Irish Research

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Genealogy Club Notes

Our workshops the past two weeks have been very productive. We have several new members who seem to be getting a good start with their research. Other members have paired up to assist each other with software programs, internet searches, etc. This past week we had a review of tips and tricks for using Ancestry and FamilySearch before everyone continued with their research.

Rick reminded members of the weekly Legacy Webinars--free at These 90-minute webinars cover all facets of genealogy research and can be viewed in real time after registering or at one's leisure for about a week following the presentation. Most webinars are scheduled for Wednesdays, although they occasionally add a Friday topic. I try to post titles and brief descriptions of the subject matter each week. Rick has a collection of CDs of many past webinars and has lent them to our library for members to use during the season.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pinal County Genealogy Workshop

Saturday, January 23, 2016 is the date for the 13th annual genealogy workshop organized by the Pinal County Genealogists. This all-day workshop is held at the local LDS church and features speakers from many areas of the valley. The registration form and complete information regarding speakers and topics is now available at

Topics for this year include beginning genealogy, English research, writing a family history, DNA, newspapers, U. S. migration, Civil War genealogy, Irish research, the Canadian National Archives and much more. Mark your calendars and plan to attend!