Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Freebies on Subscription Sites

The recent (March/April) issue of Family Tree Magazine has an article listing a large group of free databases that are available on subscription websites. While a few link to index-only collections, most connect you to digital record images. You will probably have to register or log in with a free account for access.

Subscription websites included in the article are Ancestry,, Findmypast, MyHeritage, WorldVitalRecords, Fold3 and American Ancestors.There is a sidebar with instructions for finding the free offerings on each of those websites, and you could also visit the individual website and search for them on your own. In looking through the article, however, I did not find much information that would be freely available on Findmypast.

Sample offerings: 1880 and 1940 census on Ancestry, U.S. Naturalization records on World Vital Records, War of 1812 Pension files on Fold3, 1851 Scotland Census Extract and Netherlands Burial Records on MyHeritage, and New York Wills on AmericanAncestors.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness

If you haven't visited RAOGK in a while, it's time to take another look. The site has been updated and now has many links to information about genealogy in general and each U. S. state. Volunteers are located all over the world, however, and there might be someone near your ancestor's birthplace.

You are asked to register (free) and read the guidelines for requesting information from volunteers. You could also register to be a volunteer in your area. Find RAOGK at

Here is the blurb from their home page:

"Our volunteers have agreed to do a free genealogy research task at least once per month in their local area as an act of kindness. While the volunteers of Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) have agreed to donate their time for free, you MUST PAY the volunteer for his/her expenses in fulfilling your request (copies, printing fees, postage, film or video tape, parking fees, etc.) if they ask for it."

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Brief Family History

This appeared in my daily calendar last week:

Maria Taft, daughter of William Howard Taft III, was asked by a teacher to write a brief family history. Her report read, "My great-grandfather was President of the United States. My grandfather was Senator from Ohio. My father is Ambassador to Ireland. I am a Brownie."

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Irish Websites

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Trish Kelly has done some research into Irish websites and recommends the following three as very helpful.     a “how to” website for guidance on Irish research.    Irish Origenes is Tyrone Bowe’s website. Try the surname map .. enter a last name and a distribution map shows.     the absolute best website for Irish Catholic parish records on the National Library of Ireland’s FREE website.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Last night Maureen Edwards gave an overview of the National Archives and Records Administration, located in Washington, D.C. We saw the process of entering the archives and learned about the records that are available and how to access them. The website is at However, if you are interested in the list of items that have been digitized, you can visit

Maureen suggested that if you are planning to visit the D. C. area, you spend time on the website so that you know exactly what records you plan to use, as many will be brought to the reading area for you at specific times during the day.

We also learned about the Library of Congress and the DAR building; two other sites of interest if you are planning a trip to Washington, D.C.

Thanks, Maureen!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Genealogy In Time Magazine

We have mentioned the "Genealogy in Time" newsletter in the past. You can subscribe and receive a (mostly) weekly magazine about genealogy-related subjects. Each year they produce a "Top 100 Websites" list, and this year most of the top ten were subscription sites. They added another top ten of all free sites, which I have reproduced below. Some of these are new to me and I will be checking them out in the near future.

If you would like to read the entire article or subscribe to the newsletter, visit

 top 10 free genealogy websites 2016

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Palm Creek Genealogy Club Officers

In February the officers for the 2016-2017 genealogy club season were selected. Since it was decided to begin two-year terms, there were no changes from the previous year.

Rick Wood - President
Maureen Salter - Vice President
Dick Rietz - Secretary
Ann Snyder - Treasurer
Annie Rietz - Program Director

Maureen, Annie & Rick

Ann & Dick

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Maps and Gazetteers

Howard Mathieson gave us an interesting presentation on using maps for genealogy last night. He talked about organizing your maps into a computer atlas, internet sources for finding maps and basic map concepts. He also stressed the importance of remembering that boundaries often change, meaning that your ancestors could be found in a different county without moving!

We also saw many examples of maps from England, Scotland, Ireland and the U. S. Researchers with ancestors from the British Isles should find the parish locators particularly useful.

The presentation's handout can be found by using the link called "Maps and Gazetteers" on our blog menu. From the handout you can access any of the websites that Howard demonstrated. Have fun practicing geo-genealogy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Free Irish Records on FindMyPast

Rick Wood has just sent a notice he received from FindMyPast. The website is allowing free access to their new collection of Irish Catholic Parish Registers from March 1-7.  Thanks, Rick.

Here's part of the announcement:

"We're excited to reveal the launch of 10 million new Irish Catholic Parish Registers on Findmypast today. Covering the majority of Ireland, this incredible record set includes 40 million names, 3,500 registers and over 1,000 parishes. To celebrate, we're making all 110 million Irish records free for everyone until 7th March."

They posted the following instructions:

1  Go to our dedicated search page
2   From here you can search across 10 million records by name, year and place, allowing you to make all important links between generations with the baptism records and between families with the marriage registers
3   Narrow down your results by entering the last or first name of your ancestor's spouse in the marriage records or the area your family was from in the baptisms

Good luck, everyone!