Monday, January 15, 2007

Tracking Surname Updates with RSS/XML

Back in 2004, we launched our free Surname Tracker service to help visitors to Genealogy Today stay advised of new records added for the particular surnames they were researching. This service was based on the GenWatcher service Illya had developed for his personal web sites at D' Since then, over 80,000 genealogists have signed up for the Surname Tracker.

While delivery by e-mail continues to be the preference of a majority of our visitors, many have begun asking for an RSS feed so they can get the update news even faster. Currently, the e-mail version of Surname Tracker sends out about 2 to 3 updates a month. With the new RSS/XML feeder version, you can receive the updates instantly. We've added quick links for many of the popular RSS-based services, plus a generic XML button for adding the feed to any RSS-reader.

This new service will be busy for the next few days, as concurrently with this release we've published another 12,000 records to the databases at Genealogy Today. This update included two very interesting finds:

Nevada Indigent Insane 1879-1880 ReportNevada Indigent Insane 1879-1880 Report - Report of the Commissioners for the Care of the Indigent Insane of the State of Nevada For the Years 1879 and 1880. This incredible document lists the names of the Nevada residents that went mad and were cared for at Langdon and Clark's Asylum in California. Including in the listing is the "Cause of Insanity", which ranges from "religion", to "epilepsy", "hereditary", and even "jealousy" and "unrequited love".

History of the American Legion, 1919-1924 Virginia - History of The American Legion, Department of Virginia, 1919 - 1924. Including History of Individual Posts and Roster of Membership as of August 1, 1924. The roster includes thousands of names of people involved with the American Legion, and has pictures of the officers and executive committee members.

Many of the items were added to the Family Tree Connection database. For a list of the new resources, check out today's Genealogy and How blog post.

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