30 September 2010

FGS Voice: A free montly newsletter

The Federation of Genealogical Societies has a monthly newsletter, FGS Voice, that is free to anyone. It's a great way to keep up with general FGS news and with news from the FGS member societies. Please let your fellow genealogists, librarians, and others know about this great offer.

If your society is a member organization of FGS, be sure to send society news, activities, and events to the editor, Drew Smith, MLS at fgsvoice@fgs.org.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE VOICE: Send name and e-mail address to the FGS Voice editor at fgsvoice@fgs.org.

Update on databases at NARA locations

This press release was just received from the U.S. National Archives and gives us yet another reason to visit a NARA location. I use many of these in background, historical, and genealogical research. If you have any handouts from my various lectures you will note that I often recommend several of these.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      
September 30, 2010
National Archives and Records Administration Makes Available U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection
Washington, DC… The National Archives and Records Administration will make available  the LexisNexis® U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection of US Government publications to the public free of charge in all NARA research rooms nationwide. 
The U.S. Serial Set is a collection of U.S. Government publications compiled under directive of the Congress. It contains comprehensive and often detailed information on an extremely wide range of subjects. Its earliest

Federation of Genealogical Societies seeks editor

Can you imagine editing a popular genealogical publication for 25 years? And not just editing, but doing it well, convincing others to write for you, gathering a strong set of columnists, and so much more. Sandra Hargreaves Luebking has done just that for the Federation of Genealogical Societies. Sandra has announced her retirement. The upcoming winter issue of the FGS FORUM will be her last issue. I am not sure when I first subscribed but guess it has been close to 20 years ago. I have had the pleasure of reading the publication and also writing for Sandra. Both have been great experiences. If you would like to subscribe to the FGS Forum please visit www.fgs.org.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) today announces that it is accepting applications for the position of editor of its electronic quarterly magazine, the FGS FORUM.

27 September 2010

Genealogy Seminar: Portland, Oregon

If you live in the Portland, Oregon, area please come visit me on October 23rd, 2010. I will be presenting four lectures for the Genealogical Forum of Oregon at the Elks Lodge in Milwaukie, Oregon. I look forward to being in that beautiful area again and with the friendly members and friends of the GFO.

The lectures cover resources, finding aids, and methodology in many states.
  1. Research Rewards in County Courthouses and Town Hall Records
  2. Tho' They Were Poor, They May Have Been Rich in Records
  3. Lord Preserve Us! Church Records for Family History Research
  4. Midwestern & Plains State Level Census Records 
Click here for the seminar details, directions, cost, and more on the day. 

15 September 2010

FGS 2011 Conference Hotel: reservations now open

Starting today, you can book your room at the Springfield Hilton as you make plans to attend "Pathways to the Heartland" – the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2011 Annual Conference in Springfield, Illinois from September 7 – 10, 2011.
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Springfield Hilton for September 5, 2011 - September 12, 2011. Reservations at the special room rate will be available until August 15, 2011 or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first.

It takes time to finalize all program details, meal menus, special events and other aspects of these conferences. Gradually, details will be announced on the FGS Conference News Blog. The full details and day by day program will be on the FGS website in December. The 2011 local host is the Illinois State Genealogical Society.

Syllabus from Association of Professional Genealogists PMC is available

UPDATE: it is sold out!

This press release was sent by APG:

The 13th Annual APG Professional Management Conference took place 17 August 2010, in Knoxville, Tennessee. The syllabus is now for sale (while supplies last) for $20 plus shipping. Go to http://www.apgen.org/catalog/products.html to order with your credit card.

Topics included:
  • From the Trenches: How We Manage Clients, Time, and Projects by Laura G. Prescott

07 September 2010

Scotland: Three public record keeping entities might merge

Three entities that are charged with keeping public records in Scotland are being asked to merge. This includes "the General Register Office for Scotland, National Archives of Scotland and Registers of Scotland."

This is being suggested as a cost savings measure. "The General Registry Office is responsible for births, deaths and marriages as well as historic census data , making its ScotlandsPeople website an asset during the genealogy boom. The National Archives gather historical documents, while the Registers of Scotland compile property and other legal documents."

Read the full story in today's Herald Scotland online. It will be interesting to see if and how this comes to fruition. When I win the lottery (if I ever remember to purchase a ticket) you will find me researching on-site in Scotland and visiting all the places my frequent moving ancestors resided. Among the places my Stuart, Grant, Edwards, Allardyce, and other forebears lived are Strathdon, Arbroath, Farnell, Kinnell, Lunan, and Brechin.

Association of Professional Genealogists has two new chapters

This press release was received earlier today from APG. I am proud to say I am a charter member of the Northland Chapter.

"The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) announced today that its board has approved two new chapters for the organization. The Northland Chapter will serve members from Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The board also approved the organization’s first virtual chapter, to be held in Second Life. Both chapters have commenced operations as of today.

04 September 2010

Next stop: Tulsa, Oklahoma

On September 18th, 2010 I will be appearing in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I am doing a day-long Genealogy Workshop (9:30 - 4:00) for the Tulsa City-County Library's Genealogy Center. The day is sponsored by the Tulsa Library Trust. It will be held at the Hardesty Regional Library, 8316 E. 93rd St., Tulsa, OK 74133, (918) 250-7307.

The four lectures I will be presenting are these that include examples for many states. Each lecture is accompanied by a four page handout filled with book, website, and database resources.

Family in Gates, New York?

If you ancestral roots are in the town of Gates in New York, which is near Rochester, you are in for a treat. The Gates Historical Society has just published abstracts of early records. The town was originally called Northampton.

"The Settlement of Western New York State With a Review of Early Records of the Town of Gates 1809–1837 is a transcription of a handwritten record of the minutes, finance reports and school district and town board meetings dating to April 4, 1809, when the town was still known as Northhampton. It also includes images from the original document, such as maps and diagrams of the early town of Gates

Read more about it in the Democrat and Chronicle online edition by clicking here.

02 September 2010

Ancestry.com: Free immigation databases Labor Day weekend

Ancestry.com provided this press release today. Check out the advertising in Times Square two postings below this one!


More than 1,700 first-hand audio recordings now available for free online.

PROVO, Utah, September 1, 2010—Ancestry.com announced today it has launched a collection of more than 1,700 recorded oral histories from immigrants who arrived in the United States through Ellis Island. This is the first time this collection of poignant recordings has been available online. To celebrate the new addition, Ancestry.com is making its entire U.S. Immigration Collection free through Labor Day.

UW River Falls -- free classes and new archivist

Kathryn Otto is the new Archivist at the Area Research Center (ARC) and University Archives housed in the Chalmer Davee Library at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. A news story in the New Richmond [WI] News tells about the free classes she is inviting people to attend. These are for those interested in "learning about the archives, doing historical research, or seeking ancestors." 

I got to know Kathie when she was Head of Reference at the Library and Archives of the Minnesota Historical Society. The folks across the border are lucky to have her. If you have family in the Wisconsin counties of Burnett, Polk, St. Croix, or Pierce be sure to schedule a research visit to the ARC. You may also find some connections to folks across the St. Croix River in Minnesota. It's been a while since I have researched there, but it is a great place to do so. Click here for more details.

Genealogy in Times Square!

A neat way to find out that Ancestry.com is offering free access to Immigration Records this Labor Day weekend!

Times Square in NYC is certainly showing how mainstream genealogy has become!

01 September 2010

300,000 Alien Files Find New Home at National Archives

This press release was just received from the U.S. National Archives:

September 1, 2010

Alien Files Find New Home at National Archives

Kansas City, (MO)… For the first time, more than 300,000 case files on alien residents of the United States who were born 1909 and prior are now open to the public at the National Archives at Kansas City.  These files, known as “Alien Files” (commonly referred to as “A-Files”) were transferred to the National Archives from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and are only a small part of the millions of case files that will eventually be transferred and opened to the public.

Family Tree Maker 2011 is now available

This press release just arrived from Ancestry.com.


No. 1 Selling Family Tree Software Offers Simplicity and Depth for Recording Family Histories

PROVO, Utah, August 31, 2010
– Ancestry.com today announced the release of Ancestry.com Family Tree Maker® 2011, an improved version of the world’s No. 1 selling family history software.

For the last 20 years, Family Tree Maker has provided tools that make it easy to build family trees, record memories and organize family photos. Family Tree Maker also enables users to capture stories, and attach videos and audio clips in a way that will help them easily capture and share the story of their ancestors both