Reviewer looking for your opinion of GenealogyBank.com

We received this note from Claudia Breland looking for the experiences and opinions of genealogists in using GenealogyBank.
Let her know what you think.

Here is her letter:

Hi all, I’m writing a review of GenealogyBank.
If you’ve been using it regularly for 6 months or longer and would like to express your opinion, please email me off list.

I’m especially interested to hear from anyone using their Spanish newspapers.

Thanks!

Claudia Breland
ccbreland@comcast.net
http://www.ccbreland.com

What do you have for my town?

Sometimes genealogists look at GenealogyBank‘s 3,700+ newspapers and only focus on newspapers published in their home town.

Beginning researchers often concentrate on their local newspaper or other newspapers published in their state and don’t think they need the rest of the content in GenealogyBank.

When I first began researching 43 years ago – I found an obituary about Edward Kemp (1863-1926) published in the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s Register (NEHGS Memoirs. January 1928. pp. 103-104).

The obituary said that he was born in County Cavan, Ireland. That would have been crucial information for my Kemp research at that time. But the article also said that he was born in New York City so I erroneously concluded this was not my relative. I thought our family was “only” from Stamford, Connecticut.

It would be years later that I would again find Edward’s obituary in the Register. The second time I recognized him immediately as my cousin. By then I knew that the family was from County Cavan – but I stared at that information and wondered – how was it I didn’t find this earlier? And, then I recalled that I had tossed it aside because he was from New York City.

Tip: Families move to other parts of the country. Use GenealogyBank to find your family obituaries; articles, and documents – no matter where in the country these items were published. Don’t assume you only want your hometown newspaper.

Let me give you an example – framed on the basic question researchers often ask – What do you have on Stamford, CT?

The question should be more precise. What do you have on Grace Stewart – who was born and married in Stamford, CT?

What was known?
Her name: Grace Toms
Approximate year/place of birth: born about 1896 in Stamford, CT
Spouse: She married “Charles Stewart”
Other: The rest of the “Toms” family lived/died in the Stamford area.

Problem:
Initial searches found nothing on them.
Charles Stewart and Grace Stewart are common names.

A search of GenealogyBank for Grace Stewart yielded 1,238 results – that is just too many to sort through to find her.

I narrowed the search to just the more recent America’s Obituaries section to see if I could locate her obituary notice.


That resulted in 143 hits – I could sift through those – but I first limited the search again by state – for just obituaries published in Connecticut newspapers. This time I got zero hits.

So I turned to search for her husband: Charles Stewart.

A search for him in the America’s Obituaries section for all newspapers produced 632 hits. When I limited the search to just CT newspapers I found one hit, but it was not him

I then repeated the America’s Obituaries section search for Grace Stewart but this time I added her middle name “Toms” to the extra search terms in “Include keywords” box.

Nothing.

One more try. I repeated the America’s Obituaries section search for Grace Stewart but this time I added “Stamford” to the extra search terms “Include keywords” box.

Success!

Grace Stewart
Washington Post, The (DC) – February 4, 1992
GRACE STEWART, LAWYER, ASSOCIATE JUDGE, DIES
Grace M. Stewart, 93, an associate judge of the Municipal Court in Washington in 1952 and 1953, died of pneumonia Feb. 1 at the Collingswood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rockville, where she was a patient for five years. She was a Washington resident off and on for 74 years.


Mrs. Stewart was appointed to the court after serving as executive assistant in the attorney general’s office. She worked for the Justice Department for 24 years.
After she left Municipal Court, she was on the staff of the Senate District Committee and later became administrative director of the Washington office of Executive Manpower Corp, a recruitment firm. She retired in 1973.


A native of Stamford, Conn., Mrs. Stewart attended American University and its law school. She was a typist with the Veterans Administration before she became a lawyer at Justice.

She belonged to the Federal and Women’s Bar associations and Phi Delta Delta legal fraternity.

Her husband, Charles Stewart, died in 1920. Survivors include two daughters, Barbara S. Eskey of Rockville and Patricia S. de Hoffman of La Jolla, Calif.; four grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Copyright (c) 1992 The Washington Post

Tip: Don’t only concentrate on your home town newspaper. You can find articles about your family published in out of state newspapers – in this case the Washington Post.

Tip: Be sure to be creative in adding/removing search terms to fine tune your search.
Tip: Search GenealogyBank now.
What will you find?

GenealogyBank – packed with veteran’s records

Today is Veteran’s Day – I have many ancestors and cousins that served – from the days of the Colonial militia, the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 right up to today. In fact my brother and I joined the Navy when we were 17 – but that was a long time ago.

With Veteran’s Day in mind I started looking at the many resources in GenealogyBank for researching our family members that served in the military.

The Historical Documents section of GenealogyBank now has over 226,000 documents – it is packed with military records.
For example – here is one page from the published list of all lieutenants serving in the US Navy – as of 1832. The list gives their names; dates of appointment; ships they served on etc.

(US Congress. American State Papers. List of lieutenants in the Navy in 1832, and the sea service performed by each since his promotion. Communicated to the House of Representatives, June 16, 1832. American State Papers. 026, Naval Affairs Vol. 4; 22nd Congress, 1st Session Publication No. 483).

I decided to pick a name at random from this list just to see what else I could find out about him.

I selected John P. Zantzinger.

I quickly found that he was listed in multiple documents – the ships he served on – his rejected pay increase request for serving off the coast of Brazil – and other interesting details of his career.
Turning to the Historical Newspapers I found even more.
I found his marriage to Susan R. Hipkins – recorded in the Massachusetts newspaper, the Columbia Centennial (21 March 1821) even though they were married in North Carolina!

This article also filled in another detail – that his middle name was: Paul.

Then I found the sad news that 25 years later his wife died at Fauquier White Sulpher Springs, VA – an area then well known for the “restorative” powers of its natural sulpher springs.

Note that her obituary was published in the New London (CT) Morning News 18 Sep 1846 – even though her death occurred in Virginia.

TIP: Remember – a newspaper from across the country might have printed your ancestor’s marriage announcement or obituary. Don’t limit your search to just the newspapers in one state.

In all I found more than 1,500 records for Zantzinger.

GenealogyBank – makes it easy to search over 243 million records and documents for our ancestors.

Give it a try right now.
Start your 30-day introductory trial on GenealogyBank.
Get unlimited access for 30 days!
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Discover Your Family Story.

GenealogyBank sheds new light on the daily lives and communities of millions of American families from 1690 to today. With more than 3,700 newspapers and other core documents from all 50 states, you’ll find not only your ancestor’s names, dates, places and events, but also learn about their everyday challenges and the events that defined their lives.

Special 30 day introductory offer only $9.95.

Pay just $9.95 for full access to GenealogyBank for 30 days.You may also choose one of two membership package options:
or
Change your mind and want to cancel simply call us at 800-243-7694 before your trial ends and you still only pay $9.95.

Hurry – this offer ends TODAY – Tuesday, November 11th!

Patsy Leaves Family History TV Show over Gangland Grandpa

Uncovering our family history can reveal saints and sinners as we dig through old newspapers. Genealogists using GenealogyBank become used to finding a scoundrel here and there on the branches of the family tree.

But British actress - Patsy Kensit was not prepared for what she discovered while filming a TV show for the BBC.

She was the featured star of an upcoming episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” a UK TV show that uses the family history of celebrities in a format reminiscent of Ralph Edward’s long running TV show This is Your Life.

Patsy Kensit became so upset when she found out that her Dad (who died when she was a teenager) and her grandfather were criminals – that she walked off the set while filming the show.

The show got her to come back and finish the filming after telling her that the segment would also highlight her praiseworthy ancestors – one who was an Anglican Priest, recognized by the Archbishop of Canterbury and another a respected local constable.

You can read the entire story in the UK newspaper the Daily Record (5 Aug 2008) - Patsy Kensit left in tears as BBC show reveals her family’s gangland links.
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How do I find an obituary in Newsday?

How do I find an obituary published in Newsday?
Simple: just click here to go to the obituary backfile at GenealogyBank and follow these steps:

Let’s say you are looking for the obituary of Elayne Singer who died in 2004.

1. Go to the obituary backfile at GenealogyBank.com
2. In the search box – type her name: Elayne Singer
3. Look just below the “Begin Search” button and click on Advanced Search
4. Under “Include Key Words” – type: Newsday
5. Click search.

Instantly your search brings up her obituary notice.

TIP: Use this same technique to narrow your search to any one of the 3,500+ newspapers in GenealogyBank – simply type the name of the newspaper in the “Include Key Words” box.

You may also limit your search by date, place of publication etc.

Elayne Singer sounds like a special woman – her grandson, Scott Resnik said of her: “She was the family matriarch and my best friend.”

It’s good that we have such easy access to the obituaries in Newsday and over 3,500 newspapers to remember what has been written about our ancestors. Click here to see a list of the more than 3,500 newspapers – that you can search.

Newsday (Melville, NY) – August 4, 2004
Elayne Singer, 80, bookkeeper, family matriarch
Agonizing that her older sister, Marion, had a matter of hours to live, Elayne Singer told her grandson, Scott Resnik, in a telephone conversation Saturday morning that she hoped her own death would be quick and painless.


Less than two hours after that telephone conversation, Singer, a liver transplant survivor, died at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow from injuries sustained in an accident on Sunrise Highway. Singer, 80, and her husband, Irving, were on their way from the couple’s Uniondale senior complex to the Merrick Long Island Rail Road Station to pick up another of Singer’s sisters for a farewell visit to their dying sibling Marion when a car slammed broadside into their Honda Civic. Her husband was hospitalized with two fractured ribs.

“She was the family matriarch and my best friend,” Resnik said of his grandmother. “I called her my hero.”

Singer, the youngest of five children, all girls, was born and raised in Brooklyn. She graduated from Jefferson High School in 1942. A fan of the big band music of the day, the former Elayne Lieberman was at a Manhattan dance hall, her grandson said, when she met Irving Singer not long after his discharge from the military in 1946.

The couple married two years later and subsequently moved to Levittown, where they raised two children.

When the children had grown, she became a career bookkeeper, working until she was almost 70 for a variety of local companies.

His grandmother may have been diminutive in stature, but she had a giant heart, Resnik, of Mastic, said.

As relatives fussed over her at a recent family barbecue, tripping over each other to cater to her, she just waved them off, insisting that there must be some tasks to which she could be assigned, Resnik recalled. “She was very petite but she had enough love in her to feed an entire city and more. She constantly wore a smile.”

In addition to her husband and grandson, Singer is survived by two daughters, Hope Martinsen of Afton, N.Y., and Cindy Nadelbach, of Levittown; three sisters, Pat Eagen of Manhattan, Marion Seplow of New Hyde Park and Bea Krebs of Brooklyn; and two other grandchildren, Josh and Lauren Nadelbach.

The funeral was yesterday at Boulevard Riverside Chapel in Hewlett followed by burial at Wellwood Cemetery in Pinelawn. Family will be sitting shivah in Levittown until tomorrow, relatives said.

Donations may be made to the American Liver Foundation, P.O. Box 5218, Toms River, N.J. 08754-5218.
Copyright (c) 2004 Newsday, Inc.


GenealogyBank has more than 112 million obituaries and death records.

Search all of the more than 3,500 newspapers and other resources on GenealogyBank for your ancestors.

Click here and give it a try right now.
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GenealogyBank adds even more newspapers


Hot off the press!

I just received word that GenealogyBank began adding an additional 67 historical newspapers today.

(Image from Library of Congress – American Memory Project)

That jumps the total with yesterday’s announcement to 107 titles added this weekend!!

These titles will finish loading later this week.

These additional historical newspapers are from Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas and cover the dates 1855 to 1977.

That’s just too many titles for me to list here – but I will put the complete list on GenealogyBank Monday morning. Click here to see the 40 titles I announced yesterday.

It’s a great day for Genealogy ….

…and a great day for GenealogyBank too.
All of GenealogyBank may be searched for free.

In the free search you will see a preview snippet of the article showing the name of your ancestor that you are searching for.

These snippets let you confirm which articles and records GenealogyBank has on your ancestors before you join. Your membership helps us to make even more records available.

Your membership in GenealogyBank entitles you to read the complete text of over 230 million articles and records – search for more than 1 billion of your relatives.

Sign up now and ask your friends to join with us in bringing more records online – It’s only $9.95 – click here.

On the Road Again – Delaware Genealogical Society

I am on the road again.

Last night I had the opportunity to speak to the Delaware Genealogical Society about GenealogyBank.

Hat’s off to the Society and particularly to DGS President Phoebe Doherty, her husband Tom and to the incoming DGS President Fran Allmond and her husband Charles for their invitation and hospitality. The Union City Grille was a great place to eat.
What a terrific group. The hall was packed and they asked lot’s of questions ranging from the coverage of Delaware newspapers in GenealogyBank and a non-stop presentation of the variety of examples found in historical newspapers.

Newspapers are a terrific resource. They give us these details and more.

GenealogyBank has more than 1 billion names – and we’re adding more than 4 million articles every month.

Give it a try right now – only $9.95.

1st genealogy published in America – 7 May 1724

The first genealogy published in America appeared in a newspaper 284 years ago – today – May 7, 1724.

It appeared in the American Weekly Mercury. It was a genealogy of King Philip V of Spain. Genealogy articles routinely appeared in colonial newspapers.

The first genealogy published in book form was in 1771 – the Stebbins Genealogy and by 1876 and the nation’s first centennial there were less than 1,000 genealogies published.

With a push from President Ulysses S. Grant the idea really took off. It was 132 years ago on May 25th that he issued a “Proclamation” to the American people asking them to remember their history, write it down and distribute it widely.

He wrote that he wanted to see “a complete record” of our history … be kept and placed in each county and in the Library of Congress”. If the Internet were available then I am sure he would have suggested that they be put online too.


According to the 16 Mar 1912 issue of the San Jose Mercury “Genealogy Study Rapidly Growing. In Recent Years Americans Have Been Making Great Study of the Family Tree”. By the year 1920 there were 2,000 published genealogies and by 1972 there were 50,000 family histories in print.

With the publication of Roots in 1976 genealogy really took off.

By the late 90s the Internet was becoming a common tool for genealogists. By 1998 there were over 90,000 published genealogies. Today, just ten years later that number has jumped to over 150,000 published genealogies.

GenealogyBank was launched in 2005 and is also growing at a rapid pace. Now we are adding over 4 million items per month.

This month we added 4.3 million records; included 78 newspapers from 23 States. Click here for the complete list.
Amazing.
What a great day for genealogy!

Halvor Moorshead Retires

For more than two decades Halvor Moorshead has been in the forefront of genealogy.

Consistently on target his four publications Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, History Magazine and his newest title Discovering Family History are the best in the field. Readable and useful, you save each issue, mark them up and act on the suggestions, tips and ideas. I wish we could say that about every genealogy magazine.

Halvor has the pulse of genealogy. He knows where we need to be researching, the tools of the trade and the “next big thing” – and he knows how to present it. As publisher we all could see his hand in framing each issue so that it would be up to date and on target.

I personally have been grateful to know him and benefited from his candor, knowledge of the field and smiling good humor.
And hey, he’s a heck of a nice guy too.

Halvor is not leaving the stage just yet – he will be a consultant for the new publishers and he will be at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Kansas City in May. I am organizing an event there in Halvor’s honor and will post the details to this blog. Be sure to be there to wish him well.

Here is the official announcement from Halvor Moorshead:

I am retiring on Friday, 29 February 2008I wish I had the capacity to e-mail everyone with whom I do business – and my friends –individually about the following but this is not practical so I am sending out this general announcement about important changes affecting our publishing company.

I have sold Moorshead Magazines – which includes Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, History Magazine and the new Discovering Family History and will be retiring. The sale finalizes on Friday 29 February 2008.

This is not quite as radical as it first sounds. I am selling the company to two of the staff – Ed Zapletal and Rick Cree. They have made it clear that their main reason for buying the company is that they do NOT want any changes. There will obviously be some differences as I will be out of the picture, but there will be no staff changes. Victoria, Marc and Jeannette will be continuing in the same roles.I turned 65 in November and want time to travel and do other things with Marian (my wife) while we are still capable (I also plan on spending a lot of time researching my own genealogy!). I also want to do more lecturing.

I am intensely proud of what we have done with Moorshead Magazines – we have dedicated loyal and highly experienced staff. Ed and Rick have both been with me for 24 years – way, way before we published Family Chronicle. We work very well together and we have been pretty successful. Things are going well – Discovering Family History looks as though it will become another success story and this is important to me; I very much want to retire on a high note. Part of the sale agreement is that I will act as a consultant related to the magazines for three years so I am not entirely cut off. In addition, I plan to be at the NGS Annual Convention in Kansas City in May, largely to say good bye personally to the many friends I have made in the genealogy field over the years.

Halvor

It’s February and Valentine’s Day is almost here.

GenealogyBank is off to a great start this month. It added 2.9 Million new records and documents – bringing the collection to well over 216 Million documents – that’s an estimated 1.5 Billion names.

GenealogyBank added content for 41 newspapers from 20 States including titles like:

Springfield (MA) Republican 1861-1909
Boston Journal (1870-1899)Philadelphia
North American (1841-1877) and another 38 titles.


It’s February and Valentine’s Day is almost here.

I found an early Valentine’s story about the second wedding of Amos Broadwater (1804-1901). It was published in the Baltimore Sun 28 Jan 1895.

Amos also lived in Garrett County, MD family – but he was more prosperous than Wooly Bittinger. He was born in Loudon County, VA and died in New Germany, Garrett County, Maryland.

His wife of more than 60 years, Sarah (Sigler) Broadwater (1809-1893) died in 1893. By that time their family had grown to 12 children; 99 grandchildren and 102 great-grandchildren.

In January of 1895 at age 91 Amos, who was “hale and hearty and looks much younger,” fell in love again and married Eliza Warwick a blushing bride of 51 years. The article went on to say “Mr. Broadwater is the oldest man in Garrett County and is quite well to do.” The new couple had no children.

GenealogyBank is packed with historical documents and vital records. With more than 2 Million records added this month it is easy to document your family tree.

Give it a try at our special low introductory rate – only $9.95 – give it a try right now.