Massachusetts Library Lecture – Sat, 4 Apr – Braintree, MA

Thayer Public Library, 798 Washington St., Braintree, Massachusetts.
For more information, call 781-848-0405 x4420 or visit www.thayerpubliclibrary.net

Program: Discovering Your Ancestry Using the Internet
Speaker: Michael Brophy
When: Saturday, April 4, from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Cost: Free and open to the public.

The most popular and useful features of www.newenglandancestors.org, www.familysearch.org, www.genealogybank.com and other Internet resources will be discussed.

New England Ancestors is the database of the 150+ year old New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Family search is the website of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT.

Cyndi’s list is the most powerful search engine on the Internet for high quality genealogy databases and subjects.

GenealogyBank is a fast growing website that contains the best newspaper collections on the planet.

On the road -

In the past few days I spoke to the Lakewood Ranch Genealogy Society and to the Manasota Genealogical Society – both in Florida.

Core Online Genealogy Resources – The Ones you will actually use and rely on!
Genealogists spend years researching their family history. This presentation introduces genealogists to the “new” core online resources that genealogists need to know about to be most effective in documenting and preserving their family tree information.

Follow the presentation here:
Core Online Genealogy Resources – The Ones you will actually use and rely on!

The other presentation was:

I’ve been researching for years … How do I Preserve and Pass Down my Research?

See that presentation here:

I’ve Been Researching for Years…

Chicago Marriage certificates 1871-1920 going online

It’s a great day for genealogy. There are only a small handful of Internet sites that are putting up sharp, clear digital images of genealogical records, the kind of resources that genealogists want to use and will rely on for their research.

FamilySearchLabs has been doing just that. They have just added Cook County (IL) Marriage Records from 1900 to 1920 and announced that they will expand these back further to 1871. Cook County – is more than just Chicago – it includes the townships of Barrington, Berwyn, Bloom, Bremen, Calumet, Cicero, Elk Grove, Evanston, Hanover, Lemont, Leyden, Lyons, Maine, New Trier, Niles, Northfield, Norwood Park, Oak Park, Orland, Palatine, Palos, Proviso, Rich, River Forest, Riverside, Schaumburg, Stickney, Thornton, Wheeling, Worth.

Here is a typical example: the marriage certificate of Wyatt Nelson Cronk (1877-1976) to Agnes Brunnell Garcelon (1876-1962). They were married in Oak Park, Cook County, Illinois on 28 March 1908.

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!

More about NY Genealogical & Biographical Society’s Library move to NYPL

Saturday we told you that the NY Genealogical & Biographical Society Library was being given to the NY Public Library.

The NYG&B has now issued a public statement giving more about the background and rationale for this decision. Since this news release is not on the G&B website – I am posting it here.

NEWS FROM THE NYG&B SOCIETY – July 21, 2008 – Special edition
The big question on the minds of NYG&B members for the past several months has been, “Where is the collection going and how soon will it be accessible again?” We are now able to share the good news with you. We are very pleased to announce it will be going to the New York Public Library to be incorporated with the wonderful genealogical and manuscripts collections already housed there.

Although the transfer of the collection will take some time—it will take up to two years for the G&B collection to be fully accessible at NYPL—the end result will benefit all genealogists. Our entire collection will be accessible on-line through NYPL’s database. Offering our catalog on-line had been a long-time goal of the G&B, but the resources necessary to carry out this project always seemed beyond reach. Now through our partnership with NYPL, this dream will finally be achieved. Having our catalog available, just a couple clicks away, through the web will be a boon to our out-of-area members who may not have been able to get to our library often, or at all, to discover what resources we had for them.

Additionally, our new offices will be in close proximity to the NYPL. Instead of a ride in a very slow elevator, the collection will now be just a short walk away. Several of our long-time staff members, all of whom have an excellent grasp of the collection and its value, will continue with the G&B, sharing their knowledge and experience with our membership.

We are committed to our extraordinary collection of books, manuscripts, microfilm, microfiche, maps, etc., and will continue to accept pertinent donations, so please remember the NYG&B when you want to make your unique research available to the wider genealogical community.

Our partnership with NYPL does not end with the transfer of our collection from our library to theirs. We are also committed to join forces to provide top-notch educational programming, as the G&B has in the past, but now with the added benefit of the NYPL’s wonderful resources, personnel, and venues. This partnership marks a wonderful, and very exciting beginning for the “new” NYG&B.

Some of you may have seen the article The New York Times published regarding this arrangement on Saturday, July 19, 2008. It contained a factual error in that our Portrait Collection has not been offered to the New-York Historical Society, nor have there been any negotiations with them regarding this collection. Also, although the article did note that the G&B will focus on ” . . . grant-giving, tours, lectures, and other means of encouraging genealogical research . . . ,” it neglected to mention the commitment the G&B has made to providing first rate educational programs with the added support and input of the NYPL staff.

The following press release is being issued jointly today by the NYG&B and the NYPL:

New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Contributes Its 75,000-Volume Collection to the New York Public Library

Step to Create One of the World’s Largest, Most Accessible Genealogical Libraries: A Singular Resource for Researchers of New York Family History

NEW YORK, NY, July 21, 2008-The New York Public Library (NYPL) and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (the G&B) announced jointly today that the New York Public Library will become the new home of the G&B Society’s library of 75,000 published works, 30,000 manuscripts, 22,000 microforms, 1,300 periodicals and digital computer media. Among the materials are 16th and 17th century land records; transcriptions of New York baptismal and marriage records; personal diaries and letters; and census data from as early as the 18th century. Joining the Library’s rich and heavily used genealogical and manuscript collections, the merged materials of the NYPL and the G&B will create an unparalleled, publicly accessible resource for those conducting genealogical research. The NYPL and the G&B will co-sponsor educational programs, create links to each other’s websites, and collaborate in various ways to make this invaluable resource available to the public.”

Combining the two collections will result in an extraordinary resource for people nationwide seeking to learn about family members who were born in New York, lived in New York, or passed through New York on the way to becoming citizens,” said David Ferriero, the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries. “The G&B collection’s great strength lies in its holdings for the 17th to 18th centuries with emphasis on the Dutch and English. The NYPL genealogical collections are strongest for the 19th to 20th centuries and embrace many different ethnic groups.”

“New York is the historic center of U.S. immigration. Together, two venerable New York institutions will create one of the world’s largest and most accessible genealogical libraries. As a result of this contribution, the wealth of genealogical resources in the G&B’s unique collection, integrated with the NYPL’s incomparable holdings, will within two years be fully accessible to anyone conducting research in this area,” said G&B Chairman Waddell W. Stillman.

The G & B’s collections will become part of the Library’s Manuscripts and Archives Division and its Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History, and Genealogy. The Manuscripts and Archives Division holds approximately 29,000 linear feet of archival material, with its greatest strengths in the papers of individuals, families, and organizations, primarily in the New York region, from the 18th through 20th centuries.

The Milstein Division is one of the nation’s largest publicly accessible collections of genealogical materials and includes hundreds of thousands of books, serials, photographs, microforms, and ephemeral materials in addition to offering free access to a wide range of tools for electronic research.Last July, the G&B announced the sale of its East 58th Street building and reported that it would be moving its headquarters and library to new locations.

Simultaneously, the G&B announced preliminary plans for the restructuring and enhancement of its service offerings and its membership program. Its goal is to transform a 19th century members-only genealogical society founded in 1869 into a 21st century resource for education, research and scholarship serving increasingly Internet-reliant users interested in New York.” Once we decided to sell our building and move the library to a new location, ‘stewardship’ and ‘accessibility’ became the most important words in our vocabulary,” Mr. Stillman continued.

“We sought the strongest possible partner – an organization that would value the G&B collection highly because it significantly complements its own and that would make the G&B library broadly available to researchers worldwide. Equally important, it had to have the professional staff and resources to appropriately house, catalogue, and properly conserve the collection.

The NYPL has precisely those resources and a collection that fits extremely well with ours.” The G&B’s library on 58th Street closed June 1st, and its books, manuscripts, and other media are being readied to be moved to the NYPL starting in August.

National Archives, Library of Congress Documents Go Online

The National Archives and the Library of Congress announced today that they have begun loading digital copies of their materials on a new site called the World Digital Library.

Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced today that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has become a founding partner in the World Digital Library (WDL).

NARA will contribute digital versions of important documents from its collections to the WDL, which will be launched for the international public in early 2009.

These documents include Civil War photographs, naturalization and immigration records of famous Americans, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation, and photographs by Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Lewis Hine. Examples of the images that NARA is contributing to the World Digital Library are now available online.

Example of a naturalization document – Declaration of Intent of Maria von Trapp, 01/21/1944 – that was put online by NARA. NARA ARC Identifier 596198.

The WDL will include representative examples from these document categories – not the complete backfiles of these documents.

The complete run of the American State Papers is already available on GenealogyBank. See GenealogyBank’s Historical Documents collection where you will find military records, casualty lists, Revolutionary and Civil War pension requests, widow’s claims, orphan petitions, land grants and much more including the complete American State Papers (1789-1838) and all genealogical content carefully selected from the U.S. Serial Set (1817-1980). More than 146,000 reports, lists and documents. GenealogyBank has the most comprehensive collection of these US Government reports and documents available to genealogists online. GenealogyBank is adding more documents to this collection every month.

Proposed in 2005 by the Library of Congress in cooperation with UNESCO, the WDL will make available on the Internet significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world. The project’s goal is to promote international understanding and to provide a resource for use by students, teachers, and general audiences.

“We are pleased that our fellow Federal cultural institution, the National Archives, is joining the Library of Congress in the early stages of this project,” said Billington.

“NARA’s participation not only will ensure that the World Digital Library contains a full record of the American experience, but it also will encourage archives around the world to join with their counterparts from the library world in this important initiative.”

“The mission of the National Archives is to make U.S. Government records widely accessible,” said Weinstein. “The World Digital Library will be a valuable conduit for us to share some of our nation’s treasures with others around the world. We look forward to working with the Library of Congress on this important project.”

In addition to NARA and the Library of Congress, the WDL project partners include cultural institutions from Brazil, China, Egypt, Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia and many other countries. Click here for more Information about the WDL.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest Federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Founded in 1800, the Library seeks to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections. The Library seeks to spark the public’s imagination and celebrate human achievement through its programs and exhibits. In doing so, the institution helps foster the informed and involved citizenry upon which American democracy depends. The Library serves the public, scholars, members of Congress and their staffs through its 22 reading rooms on Capitol Hill. Many of the rich resources and treasures of the Library may also be accessed through its
award-winning web site and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized web site.
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FamilySearch Indexing now available in Spanish

FamilySearch’s indexing system is now available in the Spanish language, giving Spanish speakers easier access to an enormous collection of family history resources.

Familysearch, a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, contains the world’s largest repository of genealogical records.

For longtime family history buffs, making the indexing process accessible in Spanish will make more of the Spanish language microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City available to genealogists.

Having the indexing system available in Spanish also gives volunteers who speak Spanish the opportunity to add indexing information to the Internet, opening up this opportunity to genealogists in Spanish-speaking countries.

Even a novice genealogist can register at familysearch.org and, after completing a simple tutorial, participate in the indexing process.

Designed for ease and efficiency, the indexing software allows indexing to be processed on a personal computer at home or any other location. Indexing projects are downloaded on the computer, and the significant data is entered in a tabbed format.

And because all of the information and instructions are now in Spanish, users are not required to speak English.

Numerous Spanish projects, including the 1930 Mexican Census, the 1869 Argentina Census and some church records from Spain and Venezuela, are currently available for online indexing.



Illustration: A page from the 1869 census of Argentina being indexed by Spanish-speaking volunteers at FamilySearch indexing. © 2008 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

According to Paul Nauta, manager of public affairs for FamilySearch, the time commitment to work on indexing is not significant. “A seasoned indexer could complete a census page in about 15 minutes, while a newcomer may take twice that long,” Nauta explained. “Volunteers may also work in short segments, saving their work online as they go. If they are unable to finish, the work is automatically assigned to another indexer, so not even 10 minutes of work would be wasted. We’ll take any and every effort,” he concluded.

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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Even more Genealogy Blogs …

Earlier this week I wrote: A genealogy blog? What’s that?

I told you about key genealogy blogs that you read daily. But wait, there’s more.
Here are even more genealogy blog sites that are must reading:
Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog – knowledgeable blogger Schelly Talalay Dardashti has one foot planted in her home in Israel and another with her relatives and family here in the States. Her articles go beyond resources focused on Jewish research and cover technology and opportunities that will help genealogists researching other lines as well. Schelly will be speaking on genealogy blogs at the Southern California Genealogical Jamboree next weekend in Burbank.
The Genealogue: Genealogy News You Can’t Possibly Use is one of the funniest and informative sites out there. Written much in the spirit of TV’s Colbert Report this is must reading for genealogists. Here is his official portrait on his blog … and be sure to click here and read his About Me page.
Another must read site is: Roots Television Megan’s Roots World written by Megan Smolenyak – the prolific lecturer and author. Her brief blog posts are tech savvy – often speak to DNA research – or to her break through research findings. She is a key leader in genealogy today.
Click here to learn more about her presentations at the Southern California Genealogical Jamboree next weekend.

It was Megan’s Roots Television that arranged for Dick Eastman’s interview with me about GenealogyBank. This short upbeat interview gives a good look at the “Wow” value of GenealogyBank - and that was a year ago at the 2007 FGS Conference. We’ve added more than 30 million items to GenealogyBank since then. Click here to watch the video.
Everyone reads Genea-Musings by Randy Seaver – his daily posts focus on his research on the Seaver family, new technology and items he has spotted on other blogs – in the news and beyond – all of it useful.
GenWeekly has been published since 2004 by Steve Johns, Kristin Bradt and Illya D’Addezio. Illya is also the publisher of Genealogy Today which has regular columns; articles; a newsletter and databases that genealogists read, use and rely on.
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A genealogy blog? What’s that?

A “blog” is one of those made up words coined by the Internet. Click here to see the Wikipedia definition.

Think of a genealogy blog as a telegram service keeping you up to date on all possible aspects of genealogy.

These could be brief postcard size updates on what the writer has been researching; breaking news in the field; or a mini-lecture – giving you a quick lesson on some genealogical record source.

Blogs are a quick and painless way to stay informed and to upgrade your family history research skills.

I have been posting news stories and tips (blogging) since the 1990s and use my blog to share breaking news and research tips. In many ways I feel like a genealogy news reporter and I really love it when my blog is the first to report on a new resource – which we’ve done many times.

GenealogyBank – the Official Blog
Usually one posting per day, written by yours truly – the focus is on breaking news in genealogy that you will actually use and rely on; genealogy tips as well as targeted news & insights about new content added to GenealogyBank.

Here are just some of the blogs that I highly recommend.
They are each must read sites.

Ancestry Insider
This well informed blogger’s daily posts are focused on Ancestry.com and familysearch.org Knowledgeable and on target it is a must read blog written by an Ancestry employee – BUT it is not an “official” corporate blog.

DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog
DearMYRTLE has been working in genealogy for decades. Her blog is essential reading and can be counted on for breaking news and insight. Count on her to make new resources easy to use and understand.

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter
Dick Eastman’s blog is essential reading. Dick is up to date and knows the field. His blog comes in two flavors – free and a paid version. You’ll want to pay the nominal fee and subscribe to his blog – it’s worth it.

Everton Publisher’s Genealogy Blog
Leland Meitzler posts 3-4 times a week and puts his decades of experience to work in reporting what is happening in genealogy. Leland has the pulse of the field and hey, he’s a heck of a nice guy too.

The Footnote Blog
This blogger usually posts 2-3 times a month. The articles are usually brief and focus on the latest developments at Footnote.com – you’ll want to read it to keep up with what’s new on that site.

Genealogy Insider
Diane Haddad, Editor of Family Tree Magazine is a great blogger. Well informed and with an upbeat writing style. Haddad is essential reading. Don’t miss this blog – its terrific.