Friday, March 30, 2007

Proving Marriage Relationships

A common problem for researchers is the elusive marriage certificate. In her article, "You Know They Were Married, but . . .," Karan Pittman provides insights for canvasing records and locations for marriage records. She also offers alternative sources for proving the marriage relationship when the marriage record cannot be found.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Episode Eight: Podcast Available

Click to LISTENIf you missed our eighth episode, you can listen to the archived version, or feel free to download a copy to your desktop or mp3 player.

The quickest way to download is to right click on the "download a copy" link above and select "Save Link As" (Mozilla) or "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer). You will then be given options where on your computer to store the file. Our podcasts are 60 minutes long and average approximately 12mb in size.

If you use Apple iTunes (available for Mac and Windows) to listen to podcasts, click here to subscribe via iTunes to Family Roots Radio.

Genealogical Software on 29 March Show

With a genealogy techno-authority like Dick Eastman on the show, what better topic to explore than genealogy software. Many listeners have questions about the "best" software to use for genealogy, so we'll try to come up with some answers. In our "Interactive Website" section, we'll explore a couple of the major software sites, where you can learn more about the features, and even download free or test versions of the most popular software. Be ready to follow along as we explore Family Tree Maker, the number one software, as well as other full-featured software such as Legacy and PAF. Other important software to review includes RootsMagic and Ancestral Quest. Many professionals like The Master Genealogist for it's wide range of features.

Of course, that's not all. You'll want to learn about the free site of the week, and a software tip that could just save your computer when things go wrong. Plus, we'll reveal the sales ranking for the software we discuss, something you'll not find anywhere else! Our "Tip from the Pros" should help you get more out of those documents you've been gathering about your ancestors. So, tune in and enjoy!

Canadian early historical records online

Good news for Canadian researchers -- great new historical records go online, complimenting available census and vital records. and today announced a partnership to digitize and bring online nearly 300 years of's early historical records spanning from the 1600s to the 1900s. The new collection includes more than 6,200 publication titles and 1.6 million pages of family histories, local histories, biographies, civil service records and other early historical documents. is digitizing and making these records available online along with its existing and highly complementary collections such as the fully indexed 1851, 1901, 1906 and 1911 Censuses of Canada. The Genealogy and Local History Collection to 1900 is the largest family and local history collection of its kind in Canada. Such records go a long way toward helping researchers build the "story" of their ancestors.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dick Eastman to Guest on 29 March Show

Dick Eastman, what more do we need to say? The editor of the very popular "Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter" will be our guest on the next show. We'll discuss some of the leading edge technology being used in genealogy. He will also help us explore the wide open world of genealogical software. Come listen to his tips as to what to consider when you're thinking about trying new software.

Dick is also just back from a major genealogical computer conference, and I'm sure he'll have some new insights to share with you. Come on, you've been reading him for years; now's your chance to hear his advice, straight from his lips. Tune in and join us!

Genealogy in the Virginias

This year the state of Virigina celebrates its 400th Anniversary. In her article, "Genealogy of the Virginias," Melissa Slate explains the relationship between Viriginia and West Virgina and tips for locating records of your Virgina ancestors. In the early formation of our country, not only county, but state boundaries changed, as well. Understanding the geography of an area is important to help you make sure you are looking in the right place at the right time period in your quest for records.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

More Links from 22 March "Keeping Current" Show

Our "Keeping Current" show included a great interview with genealogical editor Leland Meitzler, and a few links came up in that interview and later in the show we wanted to share with you. Leland mentioned Liz Kersten's "Digital Genealogist" as a great example of an on-line, electronic magazine. We also talked about the many genealogy blogs, and noted Randy Seaver's blog, which also has a great list of other genealogy blogs you might want to check out.

For our "Research Tip from the Pros" we mentioned the many on-line dictionaries you can use to find meanings of obscure words. One of our favorites is, since it allows you to search many different dictionaries. You should also check out, another great reference website.

Our free data site of the week was Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, available at RootsWeb. Of course, there's a link on the Genealogy Sleuth page as well, under Court, Estate and Probate links.

We also touched on genealogical newsletters distributed on-line, but did not get a chance to identify many of them. In addition to the sites discussed in our "Interactive Website" segments (links in the show's description below), here's a starter list to check out. Go their webpages and subscribe, for free:
DearMYRTLE's Daily Genealogy Column
RootsWeb Review
The Global Gazette
Ancestry Weekly Journal
Branching Out
Family Tree Magazine Newsletter

Make it happen -- volunteer for the LDS Archive digitation poject

According to an article in the Deseret News, "Another revolution in genealogy," the LDS Archive digitation project is ahead of schedule, and by the end of the year, users will see interface changes on the web site. Derek Dobson is the family-search indexing-product manager for the LDS Church's Family History Department, said "Using the Internet, from their homes or laptops, people around the world are about to have access to more documents than they ever dreamed possible." More than 25,000 volunteers are currently at work indexing the records. It is predicted there will be 100,000 volunteers by the end of this year and many hundreds of thousands in the years to come.

Of course, the more volunteers the sooner these records will come online. It's easy to volunteer and the work can be done online, and there are built-in controls to ensuring accuracy. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, go to This is an opportunity for young people to get involved, as well. No longer is genealogy research limited to the older set. Advances in technology, not only make it more accessible and "do-able" for anyone with an interest, but also make it more engaging. As this mulititude of new records come online, it will be like opening windows to new worlds. Compelling at any age.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Genealogists Discover Descendants on Anti-Slave Trade Petition

The UK Parliamentary Archives web site at has seen a flurry of activity since it went live, March 19, 2007. The site features a digitised, transcribed version of the petition from Manchester 1806 which is the biggest surviving parliamentary anti slave trade petition. Already individuals are finding names believed to be ancestors. David Prior of the Parliamentary Archives said: "I am bowled over by the feedback we are receiving from people who have recognised names on the petition. Anyone whose ancestor signed the petition will have a unique insight into that person's opinion on this issue at that time."

The 1807 Act of Parliament to abolish the British Slave Trade was the culmination of one of the first, and most successful public campaigns in history. The petition supported the Foreign Slave Trade Abolition Bill of 1806 and was signed by inhabitants of Manchester. It was laid before the House of Lords on 14 May 1806. Also available online is part of the 1807 Act itself and a much smaller pro slave trade petition. These documents along with others will feature in a comprehensive web site being launched by the Parliamentary Archives in May. Both the Manchester abolition petition and the 1807 Act will be key exhibits in The British Slave Trade: Abolition, Parliament and People exhibition in Westminster Hall from 23 May to 23 September 2007. It will be open to the public, free of charge. For further information please contact Ruth Cobb, at 24 Hour Museum.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Ancestry withdraws free access

An article in BYU NewNet reports,, may no longer provide free access to its full range of services for the Family History Library and family history centers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as of April 1. According to a statement by the LDS church, they were informed two months ago about Ancestry's decision to discontinue free access. Since then, the two groups have tried to reach a consensus that would benefit both parties. Thus far, efforts to work out an agreement on licensing have been unsuccessful. Howard Bybee, family history librarian at BYU, said the change represents the end of a long-standing collaboration between the LDS Church and

Friday, March 23, 2007

Episode Seven: Podcast Available

Click to LISTENIf you missed our seventh episode, you can listen to the archived version, or feel free to download a copy to your desktop or mp3 player.

The quickest way to download is to right click on the "download a copy" link above and select "Save Link As" (Mozilla) or "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer). You will then be given options where on your computer to store the file. Our podcasts are 60 minutes long and average approximately 12mb in size.

If you use Apple iTunes (available for Mac and Windows) to listen to podcasts, click here to subscribe via iTunes to Family Roots Radio.


PERSI is a great resource, and yet, "PERSI, the Periodical Source Index, could perhaps be one of the least used resources by genealogists." One reason for this limited use may be that the articles are not immediately accessible, and it takes some effort to request them or otherwise dig them out. For those who take the time, however, the effort can be rewarding. In her article, "Using PERSI," Gena Philibert-Ortega reminds us how useful PERSI can be, gives a few tips for conducting successful searches, and provides a direct link to the PERSI ordering form, just to make it a little easier.

New book details "Cemeteries of San Diego"

According to an article in the SDSUniverse, "Tales from the Crypt," San Diego State University anthropology professor Seth Mallios unearthed the secrets buried in San Diego's cemeteries for his new book which reveals the results of the San Diego Gravestone Project. Mallios has spent the past five years directing the San Diego Gravestone Project surveying, inventorying and analyzing all of the region's historical grave markers. The findings are detailed in Mallios' new book "Cemeteries of San Diego" which went on sale Monday, March 19, part of Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series which celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns and cities across the country.

Resource for Irish Genealogy

Before we leave the month of March behind, this article from the Cincinnati Post, "Directory of Irish Genealogy," suggests those who are researching their Irish ancestry or seeking to learn more about the island nation's culture and history might find the Centre for Irish Genealogical and Historical Studies' web site to be a useful resource. According to the article, this free online site is a non-commercial entity based in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. Sean J. Murphy, the director of the site, is also the editor of the "Directory of Irish Genealogy." Though Ireland has typically been somewhat behind on digitization efforts, researchers may access 1901 census record images for Counties Clare, Leitrim and Roscommon. While these records are often too late to be of assistance to genealogists whose ancestors emigrated before the late 19th century, they often contain valuable details on family members who remained in Ireland.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Keeping Current is Theme of 22 March Show

We've all got that problem--how do we keep up with all the new stuff going on in genealogy? Experienced researchers know that the next great source for their own research problem may be released next week--somewhere on some web site, but where, or when? Issues related to records access, such as increased fees or limitations on accessing a site change frequently.

"Keeping Current" is a great topic for our guest, Leland Meitzler to discuss, since he's been keeping us all current for 25 years. With dozens of genealogy blogs and e-zines, as well as the current paper magazines, how do you choose? Come and explore places such as Everton's Newsline as a news source, or's list of genealogy blogs. Our interactive web site discussion will focus on Genealogy Today as well as Eastman's Online Newsletter.

You won't want to miss the news segment, and our discussion of the recent decision to end free access to at Family History Centers. We've got a unique and different take on the topic that might just surprise you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Leland Meitzler to Guest on 22 March Show

This week we're happy to welcome Leland Meitzler to Family Roots Radio as our guest. Leland has been involved in family history as a publisher and instructor for more than 25 years, and is one of the most helpful and friendliest genealogists you'll ever meet. As one of genealogy's most popular magazine editors and regular bloggers, Leland has his pulse on what's happening in the world of family history. His insights into what's new, and even more importantly, how to keep current, will aid all listeners, regardless of one's level of experience.

Take a minute to review his blog at Genealogy Blog and then be prepared for an entertaining Q & A from your friend and mine.

Links from 15 March Show

We had a great show with Myra Gormley on March 15. Her insights into RootsWeb will make us all more successful as we continue to mine that great site for more data on our ancestors. Among other things, she mentioned some instructional guides to help researchers learn more. They are posted at RootsWeb as their "Guide to Tracing Family Trees." With 31 brief guides, you'll be certain to learn new things about your family history search.

We also discussed a couple of other important websites. At, they have a few free websites for St. Patrick's Day. Our news item featured a great collection of passenger lists from England at Meanwhile our free data site was the new site, Immigrant Servants, with it's growing list of colonial immigrants. Remember, that, and most of our free data sites are all listed on the Genealogy Sleuth page; maybe you'll want to make that your own homepage! Stay tuned for more great sites and research tips.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Life on the frontier

In her article, "Appalachia: Culture of the First Western Frontier," Melissa Slate provides insights into the day-to-day life of early settlers of the American West. "The culture of the new frontier was as varied as the people that settled it. This new American West comprised much of the land that we now call Appalachia." Understanding how people lived and the challenges they faced helps us appreciate our ancestors, their lives, and our own lives today.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Just a little Irish trivia to help you celebrate. Irish is the second most claimed ancestry in the U.S. (German being the first), according to the U. S. Census Bureau, Thirty-four million Americans claim Irish ancestry, almost nine times the population of Ireland.

Many of those, and others who wish they were Irish, will celebrate today.

In Massachusetts, nearly one in four residents claims some Irish ancestry. Census data show that Americans who claim Irish ancestry average more formal education and higher incomes and are more likely to be homeowners than the at-large population.

The day commemorates St. Patrick, believed to have died on March 17, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century. In the U. S., March is Irish-American Heritage Month, first proclaimed in 1995 by Congress. Each year, the U.S. president also issues an Irish-American Heritage Month proclamation. Although not an "official" holiday, in the
U. S. the day is celebrated as something of a festival. You wonder at its mystique -- people of all backgrounds celebrate St. Patrick's Day, as far away as Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and Russia. In Ireland, it is a national holiday and traditionally a religious observance.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Researching the Kansas State Census

Not all states conducted what are referred to as "state" censuses. Only a handful did, but for those who have ancestors in a state with a state census, it can provide a goldmine of information. In her article, "The Kansas State Census," Gena Philibert-Ortega provides insights for using state census records, which may sometimes be more informative than their federal counterpart. The approach for searching the Kansas state census can certainly be applied to researching other states, as well.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sixth Episode: Podcast Available

Click to LISTENIf you missed our sixth episode, you can listen to the archived version, or feel free to download a copy to your desktop or mp3 player.

The quickest way to download is to right click on the "download a copy" link above and select "Save Link As" (Mozilla) or "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer). You will then be given options where on your computer to store the file. Our podcasts are 60 minutes long and average approximately 12mb in size.

If you use Apple iTunes (available for Mac and Windows) to listen to podcasts, click here to subscribe via iTunes to Family Roots Radio.

RootsWeb on 15 March Show

RootsWeb is rightly considered one of the most important and helpful websites for family historians. With all of the FREE data on the site, we all use it regularly, but there is much more to this site than most of us realize! It is a large and deep site with an estimated billion names or more on its thousands of pages. However, it's not easy to get the most out of this wonderful collection. Join our guest Myra Gormley as we explore this complex site, and help you find even more information there about your ancestors. Be sure to be logged onto RootsWeb as we explore it further in our interactive website segment.

Of course, that's not all of the show. Our question of the week deals with a thorny immigration issue, while the weekly news item reveals another subscription site offering FREE data for the next few days, as well as a new site with 30 million passengers. Our free data site of the week reveals an unhearlded site with information on colonial immigrants you'll want to check out.

Vital records in Northern Ireland

Speaking of things Irish, the Omagh branch of the Northern Ireland Family History Society has announced the release of, "Hatches, Matches and Dispatches,"recording the notices of births, marriages, and deaths of people in Omagh and surrounding districts in the 19th century. The record includes some 2,000 notices, with births from 1827-1873; marriages 1815-1873 and deaths from 1820-1873, plus . . . a number of notices from the late 16th century.

Iowa state census records online 1836-1926

Those with Iowa ancestry will be happy to hear, Iowa state census records from 1836 to 1925 are now "digitized and indexed all readily available ," according to an press release today. In total, the collection features more than 14 million Iowa State census records and more than 3 million images, making the first and only online source to provide access to all publicly released Iowa State census records. Ancestry is offering free access to this collection through March.

"Census records are the backbone of family history. They're more than just names and numbers. If you look closely, they tell stories," said Megan Smolenyak, Chief Family Historian for "The Iowa state census records, in particular, provide a wide range of snapshots into the lives and lifestyles of Iowan ancestors. With these records now available online, Iowans can dig deeper into their state and family histories."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Myra Gormley on 15 March Show

Few people have done as much to popularize Internet genealogy in recent years than Myra Vanderpool Gormley. She began her career working for newspapers, so when she started doing serious genealogy, she was a natural to start a newspaper column, "Shaking Your Family Tree" in the early 1980s. It was successfully syndicated into many major newspapers around the country. She was also an early Internet pioneer, starting in 1990 as a genealogy content provider for Prodigy, an early ISP. The growth of the Internet, and the popularity of RootsWeb led to the creation of RootsWeb Review in 1998, with Julia Case, one of the first and largest e-zines for genealogy.

Myra knows what's happening out there in genealogy, and she knows the kind of questions and problems family historians face. You can learn more about her in an article from Genealogical Computing. Come listen to Myra as we explore the world of RootsWeb, and the future of online genealogy!

All that glitters . . .

City officials in Logan, Utah are lamenting accepting the Everton Collection, indicating its use has not warranted its display. According to an article in the Provo Dailey Herald, "Logan's lonely genealogy library," the city reports less than 200 people visited the collection between its opening, Oct. 10, and the end of 2006. Oficials are wondering if the benefits were exaggerated when they initially agreed to accept and display the collection.

Long revered in the genealogy community, Everton Publishing Co. collection was one of the largest privately owned genealogical archives in the country when Logan acquired it two years ago.

"Maybe it's too early to tell, but it doesn't seem to be panning out from the projections," Councilwoman Tami Pyfer said. "I think it validates our initial concern with accepting this donation." announces partnership to bring French-Canadian records online

In a press release announced today,, the largest Canadian family history web site, announced a partnership with the Universite de Montreal to index the complete Drouin Collection, long considered by the genealogical community to be the best resource for French-Canadian family history records. The Drouin Collection contains nearly 12 million records from 1621 to the 1940s, and includes 37 million French-Canadian names and 3.6 million images. The collection represents all vital records from Quebec -- including baptism, marriage and burial -- as well as a compilation of church records from Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and various New England states in America. Records of the Drouin Collection are now digitized and available on and are expected to be fully indexed by the end of 2007.

"Providing Canadians with online access to the Drouin Collection will be a major milestone for family history research to help everyone from professionals to beginners research their French-Canadian roots," said Tim Sullivan, CEO, The Generations Network, parent company of "Examining a cross-section of's record collections, you can see the multicultural heritage and history of Canada, which includes people of English, French, Scottish, Irish and African heritage." is in the final stages of developing a French interface enabling native French speakers access to the more than 5 billion names found in its entire collection of historical records.

In reporting the story, the Montreal Gazette notes,"While some services are free, Canadian clients can expect to pay $9.95 a month or $47.40 a year for access to Canadian registry alone," but adds, given the right tools, "descendants of French Quebec will easily be able to trace their families back 10 or 12 generations."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Genealogical Education and So Much More

The March 8th show focused on where you can go to increase your genealogy know-how. Karen Clifford, our guest, discussed the many ways to continue learning about family history. She mentioned that genealogy conferences such as those sponsored by the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the National Genealogical Society (NGS) offer brief classes taught by experts in their fields. genealogy institutes are usually intense week long courses that focus on a specific area to help you solve a particular problem. Some colleges and universities offer genealogy courses through their departments for continuing education. Then of course, there are companies such as Karen’s own, GRA, which hosts on-line courses.

In answer to the listener question, we identified the three books Craig Scott mentioned in a previous show with which all genealogists should be familiar. The titles of those books are The Red Book and The Source, both published by Ancestry and The Handybook for Genealogists by Everton Publishers.

We also talked briefly about and their new online collections, and spotlighted the Cleveland Necrology File website from the Genealogy Sleuth page. Don’t forget to take a look at these important websites!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Civil War POW Records

For those with Civil War ancestry, Melissa Slate, in her article, “Civil War POW Records,” has pulled together a number of resources on Civil War POW prison camps. Some of the prisons mentioned in the article had a familiar ring. My second-great-grandfather, serving for Confederacy, was captured in Missouri and imprisoned at Rock Island, IL Not long before the end of the war, as part of a prisoner exchange, he was transferred to Point Lookout, MD and then on to Richmond, VA where he was furloughed in March 1865.

I first learned of this through his military service record, ordered many moons ago from the National Archives. Later, with the advent of the Internet, I was able to learn more about Rock Island Prison, his regiment, and maneuvers that brought about his capture. The military record -- more readily available today -- is a good place to find the regiment numbers Melissa mentions in her article, to help you in locating your POW ancestor and learning more about his place of imprisonment.

One resource mentioned is the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, which allows easy searching for those serving on either side of the battle. It’s a credible resource, drawing on reliable sources and credible volunteers.It's a facinating search, and we are always happy as more and more of these collective records become available.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Are Genealogy Bloggers Newsworthy?

After a couple of hours putting together a Genealogy Bloggers Roll (as I couldn't find any existing pages that made it easy to find the blog for a specific person, and I know many of the people, but often cannot remember their blog names), I began to wonder if the views and opinions of these folks are newsworthy? By newsworthy, I mean would people appreciate getting a consolidated recap of the most interesting items of the week.

A while back, Paul Allen's team (as part of his Provo Labs initiative) put together an interesting meta-blog called the Genealogy Blog Planet, which allows you to read the latest news from over 50 different genealogy blogs on one page. This approach uses technology to combine RSS feeds, and while that solves one problem (i.e. not having to visit 50 different blogs), it doesn't add any editorial value because it simply combines the blogs and doesn't filter out the most interesting items.

On our web site, we blog about items that we find in newspapers and sent to us as press releases, but we've not mentioned items from other genealogy bloggers. Are blog posts less credible because they aren't reviewed by editors and published in print?

With syndication technology (i.e. RSS aggregators) being adopted so rapidly, perhaps the traditional value added by publishers was overlooked. The news industry has the Associated Press, who pump out hundreds of stories everyday, and most (if not all) news organizations subscribe to their feed. BUT, the various news organizations pick up and use a subset of the articles that they feel would appeal most to their readers. The Internet doesn't have anything comparable for genealogy blogging.

So would it be considered "reporting", if Genealogy Today began highlighting the most interesting blog posts of the week?

Episode Five: Podcast Available

Click to LISTENIf you missed our fifth episode, you can listen to the archived version, or feel free to download a copy to your desktop or mp3 player.

The quickest way to download is to right click on the "download a copy" link above and select "Save Link As" (Mozilla) or "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer). You will then be given options where on your computer to store the file. Our podcasts are 60 minutes long and average approximately 12mb in size.

If you use Apple iTunes (available for Mac and Windows) to listen to podcasts, click here to subscribe via iTunes to Family Roots Radio.

Knowledge of State and County lines is key to research

In her article, "State and County Lines May Lead You to Your Ancestors," Karan Pittman points the importance of knowing state and county creation dates, as well as boundary changes. Not only can county boundaries change, as one new county is carved from two or more others, but state boundaries have also been known to change. A family could become residents of a new state or territory, without ever moving a stick. So it was with the "Western Lands" of North Carolina -- in 1784 settlers in the western lands created the small, independent State of Franklin, in an audacious move that did not set well with North Carolina and was dissolved just four years later. However, the writing was on the wall, and in 1790, North Carolina ceded her western lands to the U.S. Government, and the area, known as the "Territory of the U. S. South of the River Ohio," was later to become the state of Tennessee. As Karan points out, knowledge of these geographical divisions is key to directing your research and understanding the social, economic, and political dynamics surrounding your ancestor's lives.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Finding Answers through Education on 8 March Show

Family historians all know there's no shortage of research problems to pursue, but sometimes we feel like we don't know where to go next in our pursuit of those elusive ancestors. That's why the 8 March show is so important, since we'll be discussing, among other things, genealogical education. It's amazing how many avenues there are out there to learn about new sources and techniques. In addition to the excellent advice Karen Clifford will be giving us, there's two websites we'll want to explore.

The Ancestry Learning Center is free to all, and includes hundreds of articles by many noted genealogists that explore almost every topic under the sun. In addition, also has a Learning Center with additional articles and helpful guides. We'll walk through some of the ways to maximize your search of these helpful sites. By the way, at the complete list of articles is "hidden" on the How-To Articles page, which you can sort by topic or author, but there does not seem to be a link from the main page.

But, that's not all. We've got a hot tip in the "What's New" section about a subscription site that's made 100 new databases free for the next couple of days, but you'll have to act on it right away. Our research tip from the pros may just provide more answers than you thought were in that document the county sent you, and you'll want to learn about our free data site of the week. Listen live or to the archive, or download the webcast, just be sure to stop by and listen to the cool stuff we're talking about this week.

New online passenger lists reflect some 30 million passengers

As noted in the New Zealand Herald, "Boon for family tree buffs as shipping logs put online," the records of all long-haul ships leaving Britain and Ireland for Australia are now available online at

In cooperation with the UK National Archives, the site provides passenger lists for all vessels leaving the UK and Ireland between 1890 and 1909, with full lists reaching up to 1960 to be uploaded in the coming six months. "The site will be a resource not only for those of British and Irish ancestry but also those from continental Europe -- particularly post-war -- as many went through UK ports en route to Australia." The collection represents over 1.5 million pages and 30 million passengers, covering emigration to "long-haul destinations" such as North and South America, Africa, Asia Australia and New Zealand. According the site, "passengers include not only immigrants and emigrants, but also businessmen, diplomats and tourists."

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Researching female ancestors during the American Civil War

This month as we focus on women in history, Gena Philibert-Ortega provides information on researching women in the Civil War era. On both sides of the battle, with so many husbands, sons, and brothers at war, women "took over for the men on the home front." Seems this pattern repeats itself each time a nation goes to war. Researching the women on our family tree is always a challenge, as a woman's individual identity is absorbed in taking her husband's name. In her article, "Researching Women Ancestors in the American Civil War," Gina directs us to a variety of sources to help identify these courageous women and understand more about their life and times.

Karen Clifford to Guest on 8 March Show

We are very pleased to have long-time genealogical educator, Karen Clifford as our guest on Family Roots Radio on 8 March. One thing all genealogists soon realize is that they need more information about how to pursue their ancestral hunt. It may be a need to learn about a new source, a new location, or a better strategy for solving a genealogical problem. Karen has been at the forefront of genealogical education for almost two decades. Not only has she taught at local, state and national conferences, she has also created college-level courses for both classroom and Internet use. She has also written several genealogical textbooks, such as The Complete Beginner's Guide to Genealogy, the Internet, and Your Genealogy Computer Program.

Karen is a past director of a Family History Center, served on the board of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and was the president of the Utah Genealogical Association. She is the owner and president of GRA Online. Come give a listen as we discuss the many ways you can learn just what you need to know to become more successful in your family history pursuit.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Plan now for upcoming Pennsylvania German Conference

Mark your calendar for September 15. The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center on the campus of Kutztown University, in response to a well-received genealogy conference in the fall of 2005, has announced another in the works. According to an article published in the Lebanon Daily News, "Plan ahead for fall Pa. German conference in Kutztown," it's an event "worth planning for in advance." The keynote speaker will be Roland Paul, a noted German genealogist and former Director of the Institute for Palatine history in Kaiserslatuern. Paul’s address will focus on letters sent home to Germany by 18th century immigrants in America, with insights into the "chain and cluster migrations" that helped bring additional settlers to the American colonies. Other well-known Pennsylvania German researchers include Corinne Earnest and John T. Humphrey.

Indiana naturalization records online

An item in the Terre Haute Tribune Star, "Genealogy: State Archives house all naturalization records up to 1951," advises the Indiana State Archives is the place where all naturalization records in Indiana, from its beginning to the year 1951, are to be housed and preserved. The Archives obtains these records from the individual counties, microfilms them, and then adds them to a searchable on-line database. This database is located at the Indiana Commission on Public Records web site. The article provides information on limitations of this database and sources for finding additional information in Indiana and the Great Lakes region.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Celebrating Women's History Month

In addition to celebrating the "luck of the Irish," March is Women's History Month. These special months are set aside to recognize and honor or create awareness of some significant aspect of our society. As Melissa Slate reminds us in her article, "Celebrating Women's History Month," what better time to learn more about and honor women in history, as well as women in our own lives and those to whom we own our heritage. Melissa offers some ideas for brushing up on your knowledge and honoring the women who have touched your life.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Logan, Utah Genealogy & Family Heritage Jamboree

Join us for "Pirates of the Pedigree, March 24, 2007, at the Logan, Utah Genealogy & Family Heritage Jamboree. Sponsored by the Logan Regional Family History Center and My Ancestors Found, the event will be held at the Eccles Conference Center, on the campus of Utah State University, Logan, Utah.

This one day event is drawing speakers and vendors from all over the U.S. It will feature 36-plus terrific classes to choose from, more than 20 vendors and exhibitors, and the latest genealogy products and technology. Drawings for prizes will take place all day long with grand prize drawings at the end of the conference! Admission to the exhibit hall and keynote address is FREE to the public, and classes will be offered for a minimal fee. Conference highlights include DearMYRTLE, "your friend in genealogy," as keynote speaker.

Pre-register for classes at the low admission price of $37, which includes box lunch ($42 at the door). Registration at the door begins Saturday at 7:30 am. Online registration and a complete class schedule and exhibit hall map are available at See you there!

Friday, March 2, 2007

We hope you enjoyed our discussion from yesterday’s show on genealogy books. While the Internet has become a great tool for genealogists in recent years, we still rely heavily on the printed word. On the show we mentioned a few more links to books and other important information that we want to make available to you.

In addition to many of the fine books that Heritage Books publishes, Craig Scott mentioned a few books, like Elizabeth Shown Mills’s Evidence, and Kenneth L. Smith’s Estate Inventories: How To Use Them, that every genealogist should know about and be familiar with (if not own their own copy).

Additionally, we discussed a few software options for cataloging our own ever expanding personal library of books (You know every genealogist has one). Software like Collectorz, Librarything, Books 3.0b6 (for Mac Users) and even freeware like BookDB make keeping track of our precious books easier than ever.

You may find you really need to invest in one of these programs, especially if you joined in our exploration of and found the many resources available there in Book and CD format that will aid you in your pursuit of your ancestors. They have books for research in so many areas of the world in addition to the US that cover a wide variety of topics

The WWII Ration Books were mentioned in GenWeekly. You can read the article at Genealogy Today, and feel free to read more about and join in the discussion on the National Archives’s proposed rate hikes over at Eastman's Online Genealogical Newsletter. Find out where to voice your opinion on the increase of rates at our National Archives.

And, finally, don’t forget to check out the link to free Massachusetts vital records over at the Genealogy Sleuth Page.

Where in the world is Grandpa Jones?

Wonder no more. With the aid of modern GPS technology, you may be able to pinpoint Granpa's location down to a hair's breadth. In his article, "GSP and Genealogy," Alan Smith provides a little background and information on Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and gives researchers some idea of how this very cool satellite technology can be applied to genealogy. An important point Smith brings into the discussion is documenting, suggesting there may come a time when "GPS location" becomes a standard notation in our genealogical records — one more bit of key information to pass on down the line.

BYU 10th Annual Computerized Family History & Genealogy Conference

It's spring once more (well, almost), and time for BYU's 10th Annual Computerized Family History and Genealogy Conference, March 16-17. The aim of he conference is help participants integrate computers and genealogy. The theme this year is,"Strengthening Ties that Bind Families Forever"

"The conference is to help people improve their skills and using the computer to trace their family tree," said Kip Sperry, professor of family history and doctrine and co-director of the conference. "For many years computers have made family history research much easier, especially with the introduction of the Internet," as quoted in a recent BYU NewsNet article.

This conference is designed for general computer users, teaching at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. To register, see the Conference web site.

Heads -up . . .

This heads-up from the Lebanon Daily News, "Cities in Midwest, South to host ’07’s national conferences." For the last three decades, there have been two annual conferences that bring together just about the entire genealogical community — one sponsored by the National Genealogical Society and the other by the Federation of Genealogical Societies. These conferences rotate around the country, and this year brings the NGS event to Richmond, Va., and the FGS gathering to Fort Wayne, Ind.

The Richmond conference will be held May 16 through 19 in the Greater Richmond Convention Center. More information about the conference is available at the NGS Web site. Richmond was picked for the conference because this year is the 400th anniversary of the founding of nearby Jamestown. The choice by FGS of Fort Wayne [August 15 -18] as its conference site might seem less obvious unless one knows about the genealogical riches of the city's Allen County Public Library. The genealogy and local history collection of this library is probably second only to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. For more information, see the FGS Conference Web site.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Episode Four: Podcast Available

Click to LISTENIf you missed our fourth episode, you can listen to the archived version, or feel free to download a copy to your desktop or mp3 player.

The quickest way to download is to right click on the "download a copy" link above and select "Save Link As" (Mozilla) or "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer). You will then be given options where on your computer to store the file. Our podcasts are 60 minutes long and average approximately 12mb in size.

If you use Apple iTunes (available for Mac and Windows) to listen to podcasts, click here to subscribe via iTunes to Family Roots Radio.

Best Books is Topic of 1 March Show

With a guest as exciting as Craig Scott, you just knew we'd have to talk about genealogy books for our show this week. Good researchers know it's not all on the Internet and that libraries are full of books that can help us with our research. In addition to Heritage Books, Craig's company, genealogists always find helpful books from Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore, Maryland. They have a very helpful website, which we'll explore in our Interactive Website segment.

Of course, you don't need to always be buying a book. Libraries are full of the books genealogists need, so we'll also explore the world's largest library catalog during the show. Get ready to learn about WorldCat and the marvelous tool this is in finding books of interest, as well as where those books are.

And there's more! The Research Tip from the Pros will discuss some efficient ways to use the notes function in your database program, while the Software segment will help bibliophiles learn about some software that can help them manage their own personal book collection. In addition, you won't want to miss What's New and the free Data Site of the Week will introduce a time-saving way of getting to important books that are already online.

Wanted: Liverpool's oldest family family tree

In a recent news item, "Wanted: Liverpool's oldest family tree," the Liverpool City Council announced a competition to "root out Liverpool's longest established family," with the winners becoming special VIPs on the city's 800th birthday, August 28. To assist families in their research, a special Liverpool 800 family history pack has been produced, which can be picked up at any of the city's libraries or downloaded for free at the Liverpool Record Office web site.