Friday, December 31, 2010

Legacy 7.5 receives FamilySearch certifications - to be released January 17, 2011

Legacy Family Tree 7.5 has now received official FamilySearch certification in four new categories and will be available as a free update for both Standard and Deluxe edition users on Monday, January 17, 2011.

For years, FamilySearch has worked on developing a web application for researchers to be able to interact with a very large, unified database of connected genealogical information. This new system is being released in phases - first for members of the LDS church while it is tested and perfected, and then to the public. This new database, commonly known as "New FamilySearch" is the database with which Legacy 7.5 will interact. All other databases, including the new Historical Records, Family Trees, and Library Catalog are currently open to everyone at

Who should install this update?

Everyone. Although the only major new feature in the 7.5 update will be the addition of more new FamilySearch integration tools, there will be dozens of minor additions and fixes for everyone. However, gaining access to the new FamilySearch databases requires an account. Currently, registering for a new account is restricted to members of the LDS church.

New FamilySearch Certifications

•Sync - ability to keep FamilySearch family tree current with Legacy's information for selected persons and information (optional - you do not have to share anything if you do not desire)

•Update - publish to family tree. Also includes request to combine matched individuals (also optional)

•Ordinance Reservation (LDS-specific) - identify persons needing ordinances, prepare for Ordinance Request, and check for duplicate ordinances

•Ordinance Request (LDS-specific) - request ordinances in order to print the ordinance cards

Previous FamilySearch Certifications

•Access - search and read family tree

•Print - print multiple reports and charts using online data from FamilySearch

•Ordinance Status (LDS-specific) - read and display ordinance status information

•PAF Import - PAF data can be imported into Legacy for use in the tree

We also expect to be certified in the "Helper" category for this update.

I want to remind the local genealogists here in western North Carolina that I will be teaching Legacy classes starting the second week of January 2011. I will be teaching both beginner and advanced Legacy Family Tree software classes at Tri-County Community College in Peachtree, NC, during this Spring semester. Seating is very limited and on a first paid registration, first seated basis only. Cost is only $55 for each of the 13 week courses. You don't want to miss this one, so after the New Years holiday, call the campus at 828-837-6810 and ask for Lisa Long to get on the list.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

FamilySearch Wraps Up Genealogical Gifts for the Holiday Season

FamilySearch Wraps Up Genealogical Gifts for the Holiday Season

Nearly 4 million images added from 7 countries
Nearly four million new digital images are now available on These collections include the first images from South Africa, as well as records from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Guatemala, the Netherlands, and the United States. About 1.7 million of these records are indexed.

See the chart below for the complete list of newly added or updated collections.

Project Digital Images Indexed Records Comments
Brazil, Catholic Church Records 100,110 0 New images added to existing collection
Canada, Quebec Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1900 85 79,936 New records linked to images; most images already published
Germany, Hessen, Darmstadt City Records, 1627-1939 55,528 0 New images
Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-1934 0 22,448 New records added to existing collection
Netherlands, Civil Registration, 1792-1952 1,505,610 0 Images added to existing collection
Netherlands, Zuid-Holland Province Civil Registration 6,349 0 New images
South Africa, Orange Free State, estate files, 1951-1973 79,466 15,879 New records linked to images; multiple images per record
U.S., Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1792-1983 62,763 0 New images
U.S., Minnesota Territorial Census, 1857 342 156,888 New records linked to images; most images already published
U.S., North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 39,836 45,204 New records linked to images; partial collection, with more images to come
U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 2,040,944 1,371,394
New records linked to images; includes the states of Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

200 Million More Historic Records See the Light of Day

As the nation’s genealogical societies gather in Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference this week to share tips and tricks for finding one’s elusive ancestors, there will certainly be some clamoring over an unexpected gift from FamilySearch, a world leader in historic records preservation and access. FamilySearch announced the addition of over 200 million new searchable historic records online representing 18 countries. The new records were added to the hundreds of millions FamilySearch published earlier this year at a similar event in Salt Lake City, Utah. The total number of records on the pilot site totals 700 million.

The latest deluge of records includes 53 new or updated collections from the United States, and over 100 million new records from Europe, Scandinavia, and Mexico. The United States collections include the 1910 U.S. Census, and states’ birth, marriage, and death records. There are 10 million new records for New Jersey and Michigan respectively, 4 million from Tennessee, an amazing 41 million from Massachusetts, and much more from other states.

“Some time ago, FamilySearch committed to creating access to the world’s genealogical records online in a big way. Today’s updates are part of an ongoing effort to make good on those commitments,” said Paul Nauta, FamilySearch public affairs manager. “We have only just begun,” Nauta concluded.

In the U.S., FamilySearch is focusing currently on digitizing and publishing online federal and state censuses, and state birth, marriage, and death records. When complete, the initiative will provide a definitive collection of U.S. genealogical resources for family history researchers.

In addition to the new U.S. collections, over 100 million records were added to FamilySearch’s international collections online—making it most likely the largest international genealogy collection online. The new international databases come from birth, marriage, and death records, and from municipal records. (Go to, then click Search Records, then click Records Search pilot) to see a full list of the free collections. The records will soon be available also at

“What makes today’s announcement even more impressive is that FamilySearch uses predominantly a growing corps of volunteers to accomplish the task of digitizing and indexing the records for online publication. That’s also in large part how we can do it for free, how it can be done at no cost to the patron,” said Nauta. Currently, 350,000 volunteers worldwide log on to and use FamilySearch’s proprietary software to view digital images of historic documents of personal interest and type in the desired information. FamilySearch then creates a free, searchable index of the historic collections online for the public to use.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Families Genealogy App for iPhone, iTouch, iPad

Telgen Ltd has released a fabulous new genealogy app for the iSeries of devices that interfaces directly with the Legacy Family Tree Software. The new software package is called Families.

Using this new software package, Legacy family files can be easily transferred from a PC to your iPhone, iTouch or iPad, enabling them to be viewed and edited wherever you are. Families supports the following functionality:

• Multiple family files
• New family files can be created from scratch
• Family View and Pedigree View
• Index, searchable by Given Name, Surname or RIN
• Events
• To Do Lists
• Master and Detail Sources
• Locations and Addresses, with geolocation via Google Maps
• Alternate Names
• Pictures, including the ability to add pictures from camera or photo album
• Portrait and Landscape mode on all views
• Full screen support on the iPad
• Legacy file versions 6 and 7 are supported

Families uses a highly efficient database implementation, allowing very large family files to be supported. Users have successfully displayed and edited files containing over 300,000 individuals on an iPhone.

You can see some iPhone screens shots at

Legacy is the premier genealogy software package that I recommend to my genealogy students, and now if you have one of the iSeries of devices, you can take your genealogy with you literally in your pocket. The app sells for $14.99 through the iTunes store and has our highest recommendation if you are a Legacy / iPhone / iTouch / iPad user.

Tennessee Page on FamilySearch Research Wiki

The Tennessee page on the FamilySearch Research Wiki has recently been updated and now includes a wealth of new information and resources to help people find their ancestors in the Volunteer State. The link for this revised page is:

The FamilySearch Research Wiki is a free resource created by the genealogy community. The core content for the Tennessee page was contributed by the expert researchers at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. The page also includes tips and research advice from local experts.

The Wiki staff is currently working on updating all of the state pages; Tennessee is one of the first because the 2010 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference will be held in Knoxville August 18 to 21. For more information about the FGS conference, please visit:

Page Highlights

· A clickable county map on the main page
· Easy navigation at the bottom of each page
· How to find Tennessee sources in archives, libraries, in print, and online
· Information on substitute sources when records are lost
· Local lists of published family histories
· Links to published Tennessee county tax lists
· Audio files of locals pronouncing Tennessee county names
· Contact information for volunteers who will look up information in local resources

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Newberry Library Announces the Digital Atlas of Historical County Boundaries

Courtesy of Dick Eastman's EOGN, the following announcement was written by the Newberry Library:

The Newberry Library is pleased to announce the completion and release of its Digital Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, a dataset that covers every day-to-day change in the size, shape, location, name, organization, and attachment of each U.S. county and state from the creation of the first county in 1634 through 2000.

Nearly every aspect of American life can be described, analyzed, and illuminated through data gathered and organized by county or available in county records, and knowing how and when boundaries changed is often the key to finding and understanding great quantities of historical data. For example, a farm may have been in one family for many generations, but over the decades changes in county lines may have effectively moved that farm from one county to another. When looking for old family records, how does the modern genealogist know which county seat will hold great-grandmother’s marriage certificate? How does an attorney know which county seat recorded the deed to great-great-grandfather’s farm?

In addition, population figures are commonly aggregated at the county level, but comparing statistics from one enumeration to the next may not accurately reveal actual change. Was a change in the figures from census to census due to population movement or to a change in the boundaries of the reporting counties, or to a combination of both?

With the Newberry’s Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, genealogists, geographers, historians, political scientists, attorneys, demographers, and many more now can find accurate county data that will greatly assist them in their research.

The data are organized by state and are available online in four versions:

Viewable, interactive maps (electronic analogues to printed maps) on which the historical lines have been plotted against a background of the modern county network

Downloadable shapefiles for use in geographic information systems (GIS)

Downloadable KMZ files for use with Google Earth

Downloadable and printable PDF files (each full-page frame shows a map of a different version of each county, with the historical boundaries displayed against a background of the modern county network)

Supplementing the polygons and maps for each state are chronologies, commentary on historical problems, long and short metadata documents, and a bibliography.

The project began in 1988, with principal funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency. Additional support came from the Newberry Library, which also served as headquarters, and from other foundations and individuals. The Newberry Library is the copyright holder; all files of the Digital Atlas of Historical County Boundaries are free for use under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Creative Commons License. Queries should be addressed to The Website for the Atlas is

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

NMDA Sponsors Yorktown Historical Dig

The board of directors of the Nicolas Martiau Descendant Association (NMDA) recently voted to fund a very special archaeological project that could have major significance to the descendants of the progenitor of their family association - Nicolas Martiau.

In 2003, the James River Institute for Archaeology, Inc., conducted a preliminary archaeological survey of Lots 110, 113, 114, and 115 in Yorktown, Virginia, that are owned by York County. These lots are located within the city of Yorktown between Buckner and Martiau Streets. The survey consisted of several hand excavated test pits and two machine-cut trenches. The survey discovered several potentially significant archaeological remains including British Redoubt No. 1, a dwelling and outbuildings from colonial Yorktown, evidence related to Nicolas Martiau's settlement, and intact layers dating from the Chiskiack Indian period through the 17th and 18th centuries.

As the article below indicates the NMDA funded the use of ground penetrating radar survey on the site recently in the hopes that artifacts of our early ancestor and his family may be found.

This is appear to be a first for any family lineage based organization, financially supporting an attempt to recover family artifacts that date back to nearly the first settlers of this country in the early 17th century in colonial Virginia/Jamestown/Yorktown.

So who is Nicolas Martiau and why is he so important in the history of this country?

You get a glimpse of him in an excerpt from the Daily Press, Newport News, VA., Thursday, September 27, 1973, Martiau: A Common Ancestor - Father of America's Fathers Studied

"First in peace, first in war, first in the hearts of his countrymen ... This accolade, describing George Washington - America's first president - surely must continue to strike a note of pride in his now ancestors.

"And there are quite a number, according to Robert Clay of Richmond. Clay is a descendant of Nicolas Martiau, first known forebear of Washington in this country. Clay, who is a staff member of the Virginia State Library in Richmond, says Martiau "is kin to half the people in the English-speaking world.

"John Baer Stoudt authored a book titled Nicolas Martiau - Adventurous Huguenot, in which he describes his subject as the earliest American ancestor of both General George Washington and Governor Thomas Nelson.

"There was a distinct French Huguenot strain in the lineage of Governor Washington," he says. "It came to him from his first American ancestor, Nicolas Martiau, a Huguenot refugee who came to Virginia in 1620. This resulted in Washington's blend of Cavalier and Huguenot, Stoudt observes.

"Stoudt further states that Martiau, who was the personal representative of Henry, Fifth Earl of Huntington, was naturalized in England before coming to Virginia. In this country, he served in the House of Burgesses, and was appointed a justice. He was a member of the Virginia Company. With the rapid growth of "adventure," Stoudt says, "and with the great increase in the value of the trade with the mother country, it became evident of the need for fortifications in the colony."

"Henry sent Martiau and another to Virginia at his own expense. Stoudt opines that the Earl apparently obtained for Martiau, the special form of naturalization granted only by proclamation. This gave him the right to acquire property and privilege to vote and hold office.

"Martiau was 33 years old, when he came to Virginia in the sailing ship, Francis Bona Ventura - one of 153 passengers. He selected places for palisades and fortifications at Yorktown; at Fort Story; and at Old Point Comfort, Fort Monroe, one of the oldest forts in America.

"In 1632, Martiau took his seat in the House of Burgesses as a representative from Yorktown and Isle of Kent.

"The Martiau Plantation comprised 1300 acres including the site of Yorktown. For his dwelling, he selected the high bluff on the curve of the York River as it widens to the Chesapeake Bay. This patent is in the Land Office at Richmond, and contains his family's name. His will is on file in the State Library. In his will, he provides for, and sets free his two Negro servants. This gesture antedated similar actions by George Washington a century and a half later. Washington was one of the first slave owners – if not the first to do so.

"The Courts of Virginia," Stoudt says, were "much like county courts of England. The first court at which Martiau sat was July 12, 1633. His last appearance was on Sept. 24, 1655. Occasionally, the court met at Martiau's home.

"Martiau's wife was the widow of an army lieutenant, according to Stoudt. Nothing is known of her arrival, or of her maiden name, he says. "It seems that the family name of the earliest maternal ancestor in Virginia of George Washington, must remain unknown," he continues.

"Jane Martiau died before 1640, and was buried most likely in the family burial plot not far from the big house, Stoudt says. Also buried there are Captain Nicolas Martiau Sr., and his son, Nicolas Martiau Jr., who never attained majority. Other children were Elizabeth, (married to Col George Reade. Mary) married to Col. John Scarsbrook, leader in Bacon's Rebellion, Sarah was married to Capt. William Fuller, Puritan Governor of Maryland.

"The gravestones of Elizabeth Martiau, and her husband, Colonel George Read, are in Yorktown's Grace Episcopal Church graveyard. The ledgers were discovered during excavations on Buckner Street, Yorktown. They were restored and preserved in 1931 by another Martiau descendant - Letitia Pate Evans. The colonial town's Read Street is named for Colonel Read, according to a native Yorktownian.

You can learn more about the Nicolas Martiau Descendants Association on their website at

Genealogist who can prove descend from Nicolas Martiau are eligible for membership in the Nicolas Martiau Descendant Association (NMDA). A six generation descendants chart in pdf format is available at the URL below and if you can prove a connection to anyone on that chart, you would be eligible for membership in the NMDA.

Nicolas Martiau Six Generation Descendants Chart

Your blog reporter serves as the National Registrar of the NMDA and I will be happy to assist anyone with their membership application into the Association. You can contact me at the email in the masthead above.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

NARA Lists Microfilm Pubs and Orig Recs Digitized by Partners

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has posted a list of all the documents that have been digitized and placed online by its commercial partners and If you want to see what is available online go to

The list is arranged in alpha-numeric order by NARA microfilm publication number. Original records that have been digitized will have "Original records" listed in the microfilm publication number column. The list can be re-sorted by clicking on any of the column headings. Clicking on the titles in the list will direct you to the web sites of our partners.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Social Security Death Index and Ordering SS-5 Copies Online

This genealogy tip by Joan Young is courtesy of the Rootsweb Review 12 May 2010 Vol. 13 No. 5.

My August 2008 article covered using RootsWeb's Social Security Death Index (SSDI) database. As a follow-up to my article I want to share a little more about the SSDI.

The article explained the procedure for ordering copies of the original SS-5 by mail. While the form that generates a request letter is still available on RootsWeb's SSDI page, the Social Security Administration now has an online order process which promises a much faster turn-around time and greater ease of ordering via credit card.

The online order form is located on a secure server on the SSA Web site. Both a photocopy of the original SS-5 or a computer extract called a "numident" may be ordered. As a rule, genealogists use an SS-5 because they want to learn the place of birth and/or the parents' names of the deceased account holder. The computer extract would usually not provide parents' names, so it would be of little value for genealogists if this is the information you are seeking.

Information obtained from the Social Security Administration based upon the SSDI is subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which applies to deceased individuals. You can find the FOIA guidelines here. In some cases, the Privacy Act may also apply. Information covered under the Privacy Act is discussed here. The Privacy Act covers the living as well as those individuals who may be presumed by the SSA to still be living.

The individuals found in the SSDI at RootsWeb are deceased; however, the parents who are identified on the SS-5 copy may still be living. The SSA will not release the parents' names unless the parents are proven to be deceased (you would be required to submit proof of death) or, based upon the information included in the SS-5, it could be presumed that the parents would currently be one hundred and twenty (or more) years old. This is the cut-off age the SSA uses at present when processing FOIA requests when there is no actual proof that a named individual is deceased.

Keeping the above guidelines in mind will be helpful in deciding whether it would be worthwhile to request an SS-5 copy from the SSA. You will also be able to avoid needlessly paying for information that the SSA may not divulge under The Privacy Act. If the wage earner on the account would currently be under one hundred years of age the SSA is unlikely to release parental information where there is no proof of death on file for the parents.

Additional information in using the RootsWeb SSDI can also be found here:

Monday, May 3, 2010

FamilySearch - Over 300 Million New Names Added Online

There were over 150 new collections added or enhanced this week at FamilySearch volunteers indexed over 120 million records—over 300 million new names—from original source documents to accomplish this great feat. The massive release was announced this past week at the National Genealogical Society annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The records can be found at FamilySearch’s Record Search pilot (, click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot) or

See below for the complete list of all the newly added or improved collections.

Collection Name Time Frame Records Indexed

Argentina Baptisms, 1645—1930 4,209,653
Argentina Marriages, 1722—1911 150,895
Australia Deaths and Burials, 1816—1980 106,767
Austria Births and Baptisms, 1651—1940 88,885
Austria Burials, 1768 – 1918 31,756
Austria Marriages, 1722 — 1898 25,383
Bahamas Births, 1550—1891 53,476
Barbados Baptisms, 1739—1891 222,010
Barbados Burials, 1854—1885 92,226
Barbados Marriages, 1854—1879 15,666
Belgium Births and Baptisms, 1560—1890 354,038
Belgium Deaths and Burials, 1564—1900 67,182
Brazil Baptisms, 1688—1935 3,597,609
Brazil Deaths, 1750—1890 43,931
Brazil Marriages, 1730—1955 475,107
Canada Births and Baptisms, 1661—1959 2,160,243
Canada Deaths and Burials, 1664—1955 101,189
Canada Marriages, 1661—1949 262,982
- British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872—1986 928,851
- British Columbia Marriage Registrations, 1859—1932 124,593
- New Brunswick Births, 1819—1899 25,414
- Nova Scotia Births, 1702—1896 125,791
- Nova Scotia Marriages, 1711—1909 32,245
- Ontario Births, 1779—1899 455,469
- Ontario Marriages, 1800—1910 28,574
- Quebec Births, 1662—1898 27,212
Caribbean Births, 1590—1928 438,073
Caribbean Deaths, 1790—1906 13,088
Caribbean Marriages, 1591—1905 88,186
Costa Rica Baptisms, 1700—1915 176,574
Costa Rica Deaths, 1787—1900 31,505
Costa Rica Marriages, 1750—1920 57,849
Czech Republic Births, 1637—1889 33,062
Czech Republic Marriages, 1654—1889 12,698
Dominican Republic Baptisms, 1726—1924 114,209
Dominican Republic Deaths, 1666—1862 14,636
Dominican Republic Marriages, 1743—1929 31,992
Ecuador Baptisms, 1680—1930 593,710
Ecuador Deaths, 1800—1920 43,852
Ecuador Marriages, 1680—1930 271,061
El Salvador Baptisms, 1750—1940 218,500
El Salvador Marriages, 1810—1930 28,162
France Deaths and Burials, 1546—1960 347,368
France Marriages, 1546—1924 1,397,204
Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558—1898 33,749,332
Gibraltar Marriages, 1879—1918 2,201
Gibraltar Births and Baptisms, 1704—1876 30,515
Great Britain Deaths and Burials, 1778—1988 69,278
Great Britain Marriages, 1797—1988 22,036
- Channel Islands Births and Baptisms, 1820—1907 41,647
- Isle of Man Births and Baptisms, 1821—1911 224,489
- Isle of Man Deaths and Burials, 1844—1911 42,389
- Isle of Man Marriages, 1849—1911 42,662
- Wales, Births and Baptisms, 1586—1907 773,392
- Wales, Deaths and Burials, 1586—1885 15,109
- Wales, Marriages, 1541—1900 39,630
Grenada Births and Baptisms, 1866—1891 33,239
Guatemala Baptisms, 1730—1917 466,223
Guatemala Deaths, 1760—1880 20,921
Guatemala Marriages, 1750—1930 112,610
Honduras Baptisms, 1730—1930 220,317
Honduras Marriages, 1800—1910 31,686
Hungary Baptisms, 1734—1895 14,210
Iceland Marriages, 1770—1920 42,954
India Births and Baptisms, 1800—1945 887,579
India Deaths and Burials, 1800—1945 566,529
India Marriages, 1800—1945 203,970
Ireland Deaths, 1864—1870 51,249
Italy Births and Baptisms, 1806—1900 1,940,693
Italy Deaths and Burials, 1809—1900 438,494
Jamaica Births and Baptisms, 1752—1920 331,497
Luxembourg Births, 1662—1840 7,835
Luxembourg Deaths, 1702—1798 1,554
Luxembourg Marriages, 1700—1810 1471
Mexico Deaths, 1680—1940 362,067
Mexico Marriages, 1570—1950 6,232,176
Panama Baptisms, 1750—1938 269,054
Panama Deaths, 1840—1930 21,463
Panama Marriages, 1800—1950 39,839
Paraguay Baptisms, 1800—1930 101,337
Paraguay Marriages, 1800—1900 14,400
Peru Baptisms, 1556—1930 4,013,461
Peru Deaths, 1750—1930 101,257
Peru Marriages, 1600—1940 443,248
Philippines Births and Baptisms, 1642—1994 334,139
Philippines Deaths and Burials, 1726—1957 5,128,622
Philippines Marriages, 1723—1957 2,247,381
Portugal Baptisms, 1570—1910 424,354
Portugal Deaths, 1640—1910 100,234
Portugal Marriages, 1670—1910 59,735
Russia Births and Baptisms, 1755—1917 170,844
Russia Deaths and Burials, 1815—1917 100,647
Russia Marriages, 1793—1919 33,559
Samoa Baptisms, 1863—1940 28,013
Samoa Burials, 1895—1970 42,061
Spain Deaths, 1600—1920 186,259
Sweden Baptisms, 1611—1920 9,280,828
Sweden Burials, 1649-1920 1,207,501
Sweden Marriages, 1630-1920 2,243,064
Switzerland Baptisms, 1491-1940 1,001,685
Switzerland Burials, 1613-1875 138,011
Switzerland Marriages, 1532-1910 268,739
Switzerland, Basel City Church Books, 1380-1917 Images Only
Switzerland, Schaffhausen Genealogies and City Directories, 1460-1952 Images Only
Ukraine, Births and Baptisms 14,166
Uruguay Marriages, 1840—1900 19,810
United States 1910 Federal Census (AZ, CA, DE, FL) 4,078,117
United States Births, 1867—1931 20,946
United States Deaths, 1867—1961 3,705
United States Marriages, 1733—1990 7,176
- Arizona Births and Christenings, 1909—1917 27,483
- Arizona Deaths, 1910—1911; 1993—1994 10,168
- Arizona Marriages, 1888—1908 75,094
- Arkansas Births and Christenings, 1880—1893 11,724
- Arkansas Deaths and Burials, 1882—1929; 1945—1963 38,956
- Arkansas Marriages, 1837—1944 1,005,608
- Delaware Births and Christenings, 1710—1896 30,298
- Delaware Deaths and Burials, 1815—1955 209,592
- Delaware Marriages, 1713—1953 70,024
- District of Columbia Births and Christenings, 1830—1955 121,224
- District of Columbia Deaths and Burials, 1840—1964 372,173
- District of Columbia Marriages, 1830—1921 242,760
- Florida Births and Christenings, 1880—1935 28,301
- Florida Deaths and Burials, 1900—1921 24,800
- Florida Marriages, 1837—1974 860,110
- Hawaii Births and Christenings, 1852—1933 150,992
- Hawaii Deaths and Burials, 1862—1919 105,519
- Hawaii Marriages, 1826—1922 103,871
- Idaho Births and Christenings, 1856—1965 75,881
- Idaho Deaths and Burials, 1907—1965 31,253
- Idaho Marriages, 1878—1898/1903—1942 88,588
- Kansas Births and Christenings, 1818—1936 59,392
- Kansas Deaths and Burials, 1885—1930 39,907
- Kansas Marriages, 1840—1935 378,903
- Kentucky Births and Christenings, 1839—1960 547,119
- Kentucky Deaths and Burials, 1843—1970 1,971,681
- Kentucky Marriages, 1785—1979 1,532,718
- Louisiana Births, Christenings, 1811—1830; 1854—1934 16,890
- Louisiana Marriages, 1816—1906 129,641
- Maine Births and Christenings, 1739—1900 940,882
- Maine Deaths and Burials, 1841—1910 172,879
- Maine Marriages, 1771—1907 597,508
- Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650—1995 206,288
- Maryland Deaths and Burials, 1877—1992 11,686
- Maryland Marriages, 1666—1970 253,727
- Montana Marriages, 1889—1947 197,930
- New Mexico Births and Christenings, 1726—1918 435,411
- New Mexico Deaths, 1788—1798; 1838—1955 9,627
- New Mexico Marriages, 1751—1918 93,387
- New York Births and Christenings, 1640—1962 1,351,166
- New York Deaths and Burials, 1795—1952 701,396
- New York Marriages, 1686—1980 859,927
- North Carolina Births and Christenings, 1866—1964 156,156
- North Carolina Deaths and Burials, 1898—1994 2,742,609
- North Carolina Marriages, 1759—1979 2,128,391
- Ohio Deaths and Burials, 1854—1997 2,535,557
- Oregon Births and Christenings, 1868—1929 70,253
- Oregon Deaths and Burials, 1903—1947 29,035
- Oregon Marriages, 1853—1935 57,523
- South Dakota State Census+1921, 1935 673,322
- Tennessee County Marriages, 1790—1950 10,145
- Utah Births and Christenings, 1892—1941 48,049
- Utah Deaths, 1888—1946 148,933
- Utah Marriages, 1887—1966 308,854
- Vermont Births and Christenings, 1765—1908 402,329
- Vermont Deaths, 1871—1965 235,415
- Vermont Marriages, 1791—1974 185,433
- Virginia Deaths and Burials, 1853—1912 785,241
- West Virginia Births and Christenings, 1853—1928 544,589
- West Virginia Deaths and Burials, 1854—1932 56,688
- West Virginia Marriages, 1854—1932 203,378
- Wyoming Marriages, 1877—1920 14,070
World Misc Births, 1534—1983 616,742
World Misc Deaths, 1767—1950 15269
World Misc Marriages, 1662—1945 28668

I will have some additional details including some new FamilySearch links in my next Finding Your Roots syndicated genealogy column.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The End of the 3.5 Inch Floppy!

My good friend Dick Eastman on the EOGN blog is reporting this morning the following storey:

"Technology marches on. Sony has announced on its Japanese website that the company will be ending sales of the classic 3.5 inch floppy disk in the country in March of 2011. Whether you still have a 3.5 inch floppy drive in your computer or not will make little difference if you cannot purchase the disks."

You can read the rest of the article in Dick's blog at

Monday, April 5, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are?

Local Family Historian to Conduct Free Genealogy Seminar

A new prime time NBC network television program on Friday nights has sparked an amazing revolution in the world of genealogy research. The new program, Who Do You Think You Are?, has inspired many would-be genealogist to take up the mantle and research their family roots. While the program provides the viewer the motivation to research their family history, it is short on actual details of how to conduct the process.

First, there is no such thing as an ordinary family. Each one has its own stories: the black sheep, the Civil War hero, the ancestors who fled to the United States, or the lost family fortune. No matter how plain you think your background is, chances are there is a saga just waiting to be discovered by you and your family. So if you are interested in researching your family history, a special program will be presented in April in Hayesville, to help get you started in researching your family genealogy.

Larry Van Horn, noted local family historian and syndicated newspaper columnist, will conduct a free genealogy seminar for genealogy beginners on April 10 (Saturday morning) between 9:30-11:00 a.m. at the Moss Memorial Library, 26 Anderson Street in Hayesville.

Larry, who has been teaching genealogy classes at Tri-County Community College for the last 12 years, will present material that will aid the newcomer in discovering their family's past. The program will focus on the first steps you need to get started, Internet resources you can use in your research, and some genealogy tools you can use to document your family findings.

So if you are interested in researching your past, and uncovering your family's great American story, be sure to mark April 10 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Moss Memorial Library on your calendar.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 - It is going to stay on the air

Just got an update from Megan and it is great news!

Dear Viewer,

OK, you convinced me! After getting inundated with emails, tweets, and Facebook postings and messages about the closing of (RTV), I've decided to keep it going. I honestly had no clue how valued it was by the genealogical community, and I agree with the many of you who pointed out that it serves a somewhat different purpose than the prime time programming that's on TV at present (much as I've been enjoying that!). At the same time, I think many had not realized that RTV is a one-person company, but one that's not inexpensive to provide.

Thanks very much to all you who reached out to share your thoughts and experiences. Although I haven't been able to respond to all of you, I hope you realize that your comments made all the difference in the world. Thanks also to the more than 20 individuals, organizations and companies that contacted me to explore the notion of adopting RTV. It's refreshing to know how many were willing to step in and help. I also need to thank Brightcove, the video platform used by RTV, for working with me to find viable solutions.

I should probably clarify one point of confusion. Many were under the impression that even if closed down, the video archive would remain. Quite a few also wrote asking me to send DVDs of the videos, but with more than 700 videos on the site, popping them on a DVD is not an alternative. Hosting and streaming this wide array of videos is one of the most costly aspects, and there are rights issues involved as well, so if RTV had gone, so would have all the videos.

That's why I surveyed genealogists on Twitter and Facebook, asking whether you would be willing to tolerate commercials if it would help preserve I was beyond relieved how lopsided the response was! So please be aware that I will be adding commercials to help pay the bills. Unfortunately, I don't have the resources to customize them, but I'll experiment with ways to make them as painless as possible. I'd also greatly appreciate it if you let me know of any people, companies or organizations that would be interested in running banners ads on RTV. Boston University and Family Tree DNA have both helped support RTV in the past by sponsoring ads, and more of the same would help ensure that the doors of RTV stay open in the future!

Og and I are going to do a little tinkering under the hood at RTV, so you'll see fewer new videos for a while, but please use that time to explore the hundreds of videos that are already there. Please also consider uploading your own videos (podcasters welcome!) through RootsTube ( and let us know of any great genealogical videos you come across in your online travels. If we see something we like, we'll do our best to secure permission to share the video on, so you can have the widest, high quality viewing selection possible all in one place.

And finally, I would ask that you spread the word to your friends, relatives, libraries, and genealogical societies that the lights are still on at! The more viewers, the better – so watch often!

Thanks again,

P.S. Be sure to follow us online for new videos, announcements and special events:

Megan on Twitter -
Megan on Facebook -
RTV on Twitter -
RTV on Facebook -

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Fond Farewell from Roots TV

Got this in the morning email. Let's hope that someone can pick up this valuable genealogical resource.

Dear Viewer,

It's with mixed feelings that I'm sharing the news that I will be closing (RTV) as of March 10th. Back in 2006, RTV was launched to fill a void. As I wrote at the time:

"We've been perplexed for a long time. These days, there's a horse channel, a wine channel, a sailing channel, a poker channel, a guitar channel, and even a shipwreck channel. So why, we wondered, isn't there a channel servicing the millions of people interested in genealogy and family history?"

The good news is that this yawning gap is now being filled. Genealogy is finally going mainstream. Some of you are probably already watching Faces of America on PBS and The Generations Project on BYU. And many, I'm sure, have heard of the imminent launch on NBC of Who Do You Think You Are? (a series I'm proud to be affiliated with, and for which, I wrote the companion book). The non-genealogical world is finally waking up to the long overlooked potential of what we roots-sleuths do on a daily basis, as you can read in this article:

Roots TV Becomes New Branch of Reality TV

I'm honored to have had the opportunity to fill this void for more than three years. I hope that you have enjoyed the hundreds of high quality videos that has produced or selected. From the viewing numbers and kind comments, I know that many of you have. It's been a privilege to give the genealogical community this resource, but this seems the appropriate time to move on.

We'll be featuring some of RTV's most popular videos during our final days, so please come on over and enjoy them. Thank you for your viewership and friendship. Og and I will miss you!


Megan Smolenyak

P.S. If any genealogical entities would be interested in "adopting", I would be open to that possibility, but would need to hear from you immediately (megan at

Everybody's Related to Royalty

This is an interesting article on how our ancestors fan out in the past and double every generation.

We all have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so on. To determine the number of ancestors you have, all you have to do is grab a calculator and determine how many generations you wish to go back. That should easy. Or is it?

Read more at:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Open House at Peachtree NC FHC on Feb 27

For your information. regarding an Open House of the Family History Center Saturday, February 27 from 2-4 PM. Marlene Bryan, FHC director, is adding Thursday evening to her schedule. We thought you would like to let your students and local community know of this event so they can become acquainted with the center and Marlene. She is available to assist anyone with their family search for free. Be assured that the center is a "no proselyting zone" and no one need fear being involved in any religious conversations that they don't start. If they ask questions about The Church of Jesus Christ, the questions will be briefly answered.

Marlene Bryan, experienced genealogist, is the director of the Family History Center at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 656 Highway 141 in the Peachtree area of Murphy. She offers free assistance to those who need help in finding lost ancestors.

Bryan says, "It is a thrill to find someone in your family tree. I just love it when individuals come to the center, and I help them use the tremendous resources we now have. Some find information about an unknown great grandfather who distinguished himself in the Civil War and was decorated for his courage and valor while under enemy fire. Others have been thrilled to find they could trace their ancestors through the Sons of the Revolution or find they descended from a family that sailed on the Mayflower or discover their line came through Scottish and Irish royalty."

The Family History Center is open to the public and is equipped with microfilm and microfiche readers with many microfiche and a few microfilms on site; others may be ordered for the cost of shipping only. The center has three computers with internet access and programs that seem almost magical in what they can do; the computers are connected to a printer and copies of all data can be made for 10 cents a sheet. Bryan announced: "I am expanding my hours to include Tuesdays 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Thursdays 4 - 8 p.m. (Starting March 4), and Fridays 1- 5 p.m.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invites all to an Open House this Saturday, February 27 from 2-4 p.m.. Visitors are welcome to meet Marlene and see all that the center offers--remember, there is no cost either for use of the center or to have Marlene's expert assistance. At 2 p.m. Saturday, Mayor Bill Hughes and his wife Barbara, Mike and Karen Crubaugh, and Ron and Anne Cluff will be honored for their superb service to the community after which the Family History Center will be open to visitors.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What Are IGI Batch Numbers?

Entries in the Church of Latter Day Saints International Genealogy Index - IGI © - come from two major sources of information:

1. Individual Submissions - Members of the LDS church regularly submit information to the church about families or other specific records. These records are then processed by a computer and a Batch number assigned to them. Often the information has been submitted on an Individual Entry Form or a Family Group Sheet. The entries submitted may or may not tell you the sources the used for the information submitted and do not always include up-to-date addresses or information about the submitters themselves. Each batch number will often have an associated film number assigned to which is the LDS microfilm number containing the image of the original entry form(s).

2. The Name Extraction program - The Extraction Program of the Genealogical Department involves thousands of members of the LDS church, volunteering their time to extract names from parish records and other vital records around the world. The data extracted is then grouped together for processing by a computer. The computer assigns a BATCH NUMBER to each grouping of records submitted. As a result each group of parish records that have been extracted are assigned an overall number. Christening records from the parish are then assigned a "C" at the beginning of the parishes batch number. Marriage records are recorded with a batch number that starts with an "M".

If a batch number has leading letters that begin with an M or a C, it usually means they have been extracted from an original record. The information for that record will also provide you with a specific LDS microfilm number for the complete list of the records extracted for that particular "BATCH" of submissions.

What this means is that a Batch Number can lead you to extractions of your particular surname for specific parish or church records, for a specific type of vital event during particular time periods covered by the extraction. Most importantly, the Batch number will allow you to search the IGI to identify all entries for a specific parish that may be connected to your family names.


There a number of codes associated with IGI Batch numbers. The IGI Resource Guide written by the LDS gives the following meanings for letters used as codes in the IGI Events column:

A Adult Christening - An LDS Temple record of the sealing of a wife to her husband. Access to the temple sealing record is limited to the couple's direct descendants and their spouses.

B Birth

C Christening - An original or printed record of births or christenings extracted as part of the extraction programme.

D Death or Burial - Deceased members or 110 year suspended file

E Marriage records from the early marriage record extraction project - these were used by the LDS for proxy baptisms and endowments

F Birth or Christening of first known child (in lieu of marriage date)

J Extraction project

M Marriages - An original or printed record of marriages extracted as part of the Genealogical Department's extraction programme.

N Census

S Miscellaneous: A miscellaneous event may substitute for either a birth or a marriage.

W Will or probate record.

What are Ancestral File Numbers?

For my students in both of my Internet and Genealogy classes:

An Ancestral File number is a unique number allocated to an individual under the Personal Ancestral File or PAF software.

An Ancestral File Number (AFN) was intended to be a unique identifier for each individual who has a record in the Ancestral File format, but the number isn't always unique, since many individuals have been assigned multiple AFNs through the years, making it confusing for those doing research. AFNs are used as a genealogical indexing tool by the LDS Church. AFNs consist of four capital letters or digits, a dash, and then two or three more capital letters or digits. An AFN does not contain any vowels (A, E, I, O, U, or Y). An example is 1BS3-9X1. AFNs can be searched online at the LDS genealogy website, FamilySearch.

Using the Google search engine you can enter an AFN, sample below, to search all records for someone on Familysearch. 8XJF-4B

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Turn Web Pages Into PDFs

This one is courtesy of my genealogy and ham radio friend - Dick Eastman (Source URL: Will be adding this to my Internet and Genealogy Class resource guide/handout. I will also demonstrate the usage of this website in class this semester.

"One of the many problems I find when surfing the web is that there are many interesting web sites, almost too many. I'd like to save many of them. My bookmark list in my web browser already contains thousands of links and I can never find what I want. I have tried various bookmark organizers but have never found one that I really like. Besides, when I go back to the site in the future the information that caught my eye today might no longer be there. A perfect example would be this newsletter web site where things change several times daily. I want to save a particular article so bookmarking the web site doesn't do much good.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way for you to capture a web page in its entirety, either for future reference or for sharing it with your friends without having to start sending links back and forth? I'd like to capture the web page as it exists today. Luckily, there is an easy method of doing just that. is a web service that captures web sites and converts them to PDF files. You can save the PDF files on your own computer, preserving them as they appeared at the moment you told to make the copy. Best of all, even the links work properly. You simply cut and paste the URL you are interested in, and then a “download this page as PDF” link will be provided for you to retrieve the corresponding document.

A service such as this one also has the distinct advantage of letting your preserve pages forever. That is, even if the original page vanishes from the web you will still be able to access the information as it was, at the time you created a PDF of it. And you can also create PDFs of your own site in order to track its evolution.

Best of all, this is a free service.

Try it. Go to

Chicago, IL Key Genealogy Resources Online - Handy Guide

Chicago Genealogy Resources

Bookmark this page - so you may easily refer to it often. This is a super handy guide to Chicago genealogical sources you will actually use to build your family tree.

Source URL:

Friday, January 22, 2010 Tree to Go. Your tree goes mobile

In this last week, I have demonstrated to both of my Genealogy and Internet classes the power of having your genealogy in your hand using an iPod Touch or iPhone and the FamView app.

Now right on the heels of that there is a new way to tote around family and photos if you have an Ancestry account and have created a family tree. Meet the Tree to Go app.

Take pictures of people, places or things you discover and upload them to your family tree. Add missing dates you find in research libraries. Share your tree with family and friends on the fly. Your history is always handy with Tree to Go.

All you need is an family tree, an iPhone or iPod Touch and an adventurous spirit, and you’re ready to download the free app and hit the road in search of your story.

Start with a family tree, then branch out. Already created a family tree on You can access and add to it anywhere with Tree to Go. Don’t have a tree yet? Start building it here first, then grow it wherever and whenever inspiration (or information) strikes. And no matter how many trees you have, they’ll all be at your fingertips from your iPhone.

Capture your history wherever you find it. Imagine locating that old family homestead on a trip to Amish country. Or tracking down that missing gravestone of your great-great-great-grandmother. Or meeting a distant relative for the first time. With Tree to Go, you can take a photo and upload it to your tree right away, then add facts or notes on the fly. Your incredible discoveries will never be lost again.

Capture your history wherever you find it. Imagine locating that old family homestead on a trip to Amish country. Or tracking down that missing gravestone of your great-great-great-grandmother. Or meeting a distant relative for the first time. With Tree to Go, you can take a photo and upload it to your tree right away, then add facts or notes on the fly. Your incredible discoveries will never be lost again.

Oh and the best part of this whole thing (yea, you guys in my class know what I'm about to say) -- it's FREE!

So click here to download the Tre to Go.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Spelling and Your Ancestors

Courtesy of the Genealogy Pointers newsletter:

[The following article is excerpted from Val Greenwood's acclaimed textbook, The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. 3rd Edition, pp. 32-35, which is described at the end of this excerpt.]

The lack of standardized spellings and the use of phonetic spellings can be very sticky problems. If you go back just 100 years you will find that a large percentage of the population could not read, more still could not write (and many people were able to write only their own names), and even more could not spell. Most persons who did write did not concern themselves particularly with so-called standard spellings, but rather spelled words just as they sounded--phonetically--with local accents. Also realize that the early settlers of America were emigrants from many foreign lands. There were many accents, and when records were made the scribe wrote what he heard, accent and all.

What is the significance of these facts? It means that you will oftentimes be called upon to decipher scripts in which you will puzzle over simple words just because they are misspelled and written in an unfamiliar hand.

However, the main problem is in the spellings of names (especially surnames) and places. In the will which he made in 1754 in Pasquotank County, North Carolina, Jeremiah Wilcox's surname is spelled two different ways--Willcox and Willcocks. In other documents it is spelled still other ways--Wilcox, Wilcocks, Welcox, Wellcocks, Welcocks, etc.--but Jeremiah could not write himself (he made a mark for his signature) so he probably had no idea as to what the correct spelling was or if it was ever being spelled correctly. The name and its spelling were entirely at the mercy of the person who chanced to make the record.

This highlights the fallacy of a practice common in many modern families--that of assuming that if the name is not spelled in a certain way it cannot belong to the same family. Persons with such ideas will pass over important genealogical records because the name happens to be spelled with an "a" rather than an "e," with an "ie" rather than a "y," or with one "n" rather than with two. Be especially careful of this when the two related spellings of a name are found in the same geographic area. The connection, of course, is not guaranteed, as it is not guaranteed even when the spellings are exactly the same, but it is worth investigating the possibility.

Also, because of this spelling problem, we must be extremely careful in our use of indexes. We must consider every possible spelling of the name sought. It is very easy to overlook some of the less logical (to us) possibilities and thus many valuable records. Local dialects and foreign accents often make a significant difference. The pronunciation of a name may be quite different in Massachusetts than it is in Georgia, and so might its spelling.

In law this is called the Rule of "Idem Sonans." This means that in order to establish legal proof of relationship from documentary evidence it is not necessary for the name to be spelled absolutely accurately if, as spelled, it conveys to the ear, when pronounced in the accepted ways, a sound practically identical to the correctly spelled name as properly pronounced.

A few years ago I worked for some time on a problem where the same surname was found spelled twenty-four different ways in the very same locality, some of them even beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. The correct spelling of the name (supposedly) was "Ingold," but the following variations were found: Ingle, Ingell, Ingles, Ingells, Ingel, Ingels, Ingeld, Inkle, Inkles, Inkell, Ingolde, Engold, Engolde, Engle, Engell, Engles, Engells, Engel, Engels, Engeld, Angold, Angle, and Ankold. These several variations were all found in the same family at the same time. Would you have considered all of them, or would you have stopped with those that began with "I"?

Other less likely possibilities for this name are Jugold and Jugle. Such errors could easily occur in an index because of the similarities between the capital I's and J's and the small n's and u's.

Another family changed the spelling of its name from Beatty to Baitey when moving from one location to another. In still another instance the surname Kerr was found interchanged with Carr. Whether these spelling changes were intentional is unknown, but the intention makes little difference. In one family three brothers deliberately spelled their surname in different ways--Matlock, Matlack, and Matlick. In his history of the Zabriskie family, George 0. Zabriskie reports having dealt with 123 variations of that name, though certainly not all in the same locality or the same time period. [END of excerpt]

The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. 3rd Edition
If you found this excerpt fascinating--and helpful--you might want to take a closer look at Val Greenwood's handy textbook. Among other things, The Researcher's Guide contains an in-depth discussion of death and other vital records in the U.S., including where and how to find them. This third edition incorporates the latest thinking on genealogy and computers, specifically the relationship between computer technology (the Internet and CD-ROM) and the timeless principles of good genealogical research. It also includes a new chapter on the property rights of women, a revised chapter on the evaluation of genealogical evidence, and updated information on the 1920 census. Arguably the best book ever written on American genealogy, it is the text of choice in colleges and universities or wherever courses in American genealogy are taught.

This is my favorite classroom textbook that I use to teach two of my advanced genealogy courses. It is a reference you should have on your genealogy library shelf -- Larry.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Census "view maps" links no good,

I came across an interesting piece of information on the census map view and some of the issues you will encounter if you use it. It comes from the damed Dear Myrtle Blog at this link

If you plan on using the "view map" option on the census summary page, take a peak at the link above before you do it.