Thursday, April 30, 2009

Immigration History & the U.S, Part IV: Immigration after 1820

The recording of immigrants into the United State is of a relatively recent history. Awareness of this history, the dates for which records were kept, and the ports active during specific periods can help genealogists narrow their research. In this last of four articles, "Immigration after 1820," Alan Smith delineates this history.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Simple High=Tech Solution for Genealogists

Although "simple" and "high-tech" might sound like a contradiction in terms, in her latest article, "A Simple High-Tech Solution for Genealogists," Judy Rosella Edwards suggests an "innovative and earth-friendly way of using computerized gadgets you already have" for extracting information from various sources.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Manuscript Collections and Your Genealogy

Manuscript collections are one of those less utilized but valuable resource materials. Often buried in archives and libraries, manuscript collections may go unnoticed. In her article, "Manuscript Collections and Your Genealogy," Gena Philbert Ortega explores the wealth of information available and suggests methods for surfacing relevant material.

Monday, April 27, 2009

New FamilySearch, a sneak peek

FamilySearch is a free online genealogy database that has been around for a number of years. It is undergoing a major overhaul. The new database is not yet available to everyone, but Judy Rosella Edwards, in her article, "New FamilySearch: Depending Upon the Kindness of Strangers," shares her experience as one of the early users and offers advice on how to prepare for using the new system.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

MacFamilyTree 5.5 Public Beta now available

As reported this week on prMAC, Synium Software has launched a public beta of MacFamilyTree 5.5, adding a History Database and a rewritten database engine to the genealogy software. Ever wanted to know who governed a country at the time of your great great grandmother? MacFamilyTree's brand new History Database allows you to view every person or family event in a greater historical context: Browse hundreds of predefined entries; or add your own data of global and regional relevance.

Version 5.5 also delivers a redesigned search feature, an enhanced user interface, a customizable auto-save function and an improved GEDCOM importer. The History Database allows users to cross-reference historical figures, events and dates with a personal family tree, as well as add personally significant historical data. The rewritten engine speeds performance for Leopard and especially Tiger users; the improvements in GEDCOM import also offer increased speed, alongside sharing genealogical data across platforms.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 Releases U.S. to Canada Border Crossings, 1908-1935

Canada’s leading family history website,, today launched online the indexed and fully searchable Border Crossings: From U.S. to Canada, 1908-1935, which contains more than 1.6 million names from border crossing documents captured at almost 200 entry points over a 27-year period. 

The release of this collection is of great significance to many Canadians whose ancestors immigrated to Canada through the U.S. in the early 20th century. Border crossing records are the official and only immigration records for those individuals who crossed from the U.S.
Along with the Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935, which were launched in September 2008 and contain more than 7.2 million names, the Border Crossings: from U.S. to Canada, 1908-1935 represent the most comprehensive collection of Canadian immigration records ever assembled online.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Live Roots Available on Facebook

This week, I released a version of as a Facebook application. The Live Roots for Facebook application includes all of the same features as the website, PLUS it allows you to easily share your discoveries with friends and family. If you're a Facebook member, you've got to give this a try.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lexicons of Lost Lifestyles: Get Me To the Church on Time

In her latest article, "Lexicons of Lost Lifestyles: Get Me To the Church on Time," Jean Hibbens examines the language of religion and the everyday phrases we take for granted. One I think might be of particular interest to genealogists is the significance behind one's illiterate ancestors signing legal documents with an "X". Why and X and not Y or Z? According the author, the signers "mark" is a representation of the Cross and "the belief that the "X" is sacred: the one who signs in that manner does so in honesty; it is considered a 'sign' that the document to which he affixes his name is true and binding." Regardless of religious affiliation, we can respect the meaning of symbol in our lives.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Logan Family History Expo, May 9

The Logan Family History Expo is Saturday May 9, 2009 at the Eccles Conference Center in Logan, UT. With the theme, “Learn the Tech to Trace Your Roots,” the conference will feature national speakers and vendors promoting the latest techniques and technology, with hundreds of door prizes, and opportunities to network with experienced professionals. Keynote speaker Barry J. Ewell is a Senior Marketing Manager for IBM and founder of  For more information, see the schedule of events on the conference web site.  Pre-registration cost is $45 and ends May 1, 2009. At-the-Door Cost will be $50 . The Eccles Conference Center is located at 5005 Old Main Hill, on the campus of Utah State University.

Another great message board added to Live Roots search

The CousinConnect genealogy query and surname database is now integrated into the Live Roots search system. Online since 2002, CousinConnect now hosts close to 200,000 queries. Within the Live Roots search, you'll be able to browse all of the query posts for a specific surname, and then click on them to see the message detail.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Gathering Family Data": Tips for beginning researchers

For beginning researchers, one of the first questions for is where to begin, and the first answer is to begin with yourself and home records. The information you draw from your immediate and extended family will be of greatest value in setting a foundation for further research. In her article, "Gathering Family Data," Melissa Slate offer a few tips and hints to set you on your path. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

2009 National Genealogical Society Conference, May 13-16

The 2009 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference will be held 13–16 May 2009 at the Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina. Join NGS and local host, the North Carolina Genealogical Society. Registration is now open. Be sure to check out the conference blog.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

PRO TALK -- Marketing Auxiliary Genealogy Services

"Smaller genealogy budgets can inspire us to focus on smaller, more affordable projects. Genealogy research is rife with tedious tasks we'd all like to pay someone to do!" In her latest PRO TALK article, "Marketing Auxiliary Genealogy Services," Judy Rosella Edwards offers some new approaches for professional researchers.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The wonderful world of Wiki... Genealogy Style

The FamilySearch Research Wiki may now be browsed from within Live Roots, giving our visitors easy access to this on-line library of articles and how-to instructions about doing family history. A full text search of the Wiki is expected in the near future and will be added to Live Roots as well.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

History of Early American Ports

In his article, "Immigration History & the U.S., Part III: History of Early American Ports,"Alan Smith provides a background on various U.S. ports, their establishment and role in U.S. immigration. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants set foot on American soil before any attempt was made to document the fact. Understanding more about the formation of these early ports may provide researchers greater insight into the immigration of their own ancestors.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

PRO TALK: Virtual Genealogy Presentations

Professional genealogists understand the many challenges of presenting live at conferences; issues of traveling and setup, to say nothing of the expense. In her latest PRO TALK article, "Virtual Genealogy Presentations,"Judy Rosella Edwards offers a viable alternative "without ever leaving home." The discussion covers the various technologies available and how they can be used.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Using Business Cards for Your Genealogy

We are familiar with the convenience and effectiveness of business cards as way of communicating and networking. Business cards, however, are not limited to business community. In her article, "Using Business Cards for Your Genealogy," Gena Philibert-Ortega suggests printing and distributing business cards as a way of networking in genealogy. There's something about the material quality of a business card that people tend to hang onto them, especially those that may have some relevance down the road. Not only can they be used to help people remember who you and know how to get in touch with you, but also to communicate your research interests. The article discusses the benefits of using business cards for genealogy and suggests various methods for having them printed.