Thursday, April 7, 2011 Post New NARA Civil War Records Online

Blog Editor Note: This digitization of Civil War records is part of a five-year deal with and NARA. The public will have free access starting April 6 for a week before a paid subscription is required to access the records.

WASHINGTON, DC and PROVO, UT — 04/06/11 — (NASDAQ: ACOM), the world’s largest online family history resource, and the National Archives, today launched millions of newly digitized Civil War records that are now available online for the first time. This effort is part of an ongoing partnership between and the National Archives to make important historical records more easily available to the American public.’s entire Civil War Collection of more than 42 million records, including 25 million records from the National Archives, will be free to access for the general public for one week beginning on April 7. Existing members will have immediate access beginning today.

Included are the entire U.S. Civil War Draft Registration Records, 1863-1865 and the complete 1860 and 1870 Censuses. These Civil War collections are in the National Archives and have been digitized by to help preserve the original records and provide convenient online access. They now serve as a vital source of information for an estimated 17 million Americans(1) who have an ancestor who fought in the conflict. The entire Civil War Collection can be accessed for free at

The highlight of the Civil War Collection is the newly digitized Civil War Draft Registration Records, 1863-1865. These records are among the most popular in the National Archives Civil War holdings and served as a virtual male census for the northern states during the war period. Famous 19th century Americans such as Andrew Carnegie, future President Grover Cleveland, Aaron Montgomery Ward and multiple Rockefellers are all found in these records. Previously only available by request in original form in the Research Room of the National Archives, the public will now be able to easily access these records on without having to travel to Washington, D.C.

“The significance of these records, which document one of the most important events in American history, cannot be overstated,” said Ken Burns, director and producer of the award-winning documentary THE CIVIL WAR and longtime board member of the Foundation for the National Archives. “I’ve been able to make multiple discoveries about my own great-great-grandfather Abraham Burns through these and other records from the National Archives. I’m excited that more people will now be able to have similar discoveries through” is providing another special experience in searching for Civil War and National Archive information through the new interactive Military Headstone Archives. Dynamic visuals and multimedia tools will enable users to ‘virtually’ explore the cemeteries of the Civil War’s most famous battlefields at Gettysburg, PA; Sharpsburg (Antietam), MD; Stones River (Murfreesboro), TN; Petersburg, VA; Shiloh, TN and Vicksburg, MS. Users can search for their family’s heroes in’s unique collection of headstone photographs from 33 national cemeteries in the North and South. The new Military Headstone Archives can also be accessed by visiting:

Since 2008, and the National Archives have worked as partners to make important historical records available to the public as part of a shared commitment to preserving America’s heritage. A key component of this collaboration includes digitizing as many of the original paper National Archives’ Civil War records as possible and publishing those records on

“The National Archives continues to be a model for preserving important U.S. history and making those records available to the public,” said Josh Hanna, Executive Vice President for “We’re honored that our partnership with the National Archives has made millions of records, including the new Civil War Collection, available to the many Americans who want to learn more about their family history.”

“We are pleased that our partnership with is making these important records available outside of our research rooms,” said Susan Cummings, National Archives Director of Access Programs. “This is just the first of many series of Civil War records that will be made available online that are scanned from original records, instead of from microfilm in the years to come.”

The expanded Civil War Collection now includes new National Archives records such as:

● U.S. Civil War Draft Registration Records, 1863-1865: This collection lists all Civil War Draft Registrations. There were four drafts between 1863 and 1865, which included 3,175,055 people in its rolls, although of those, just over 46,000 actually entered into service. Historically, the 1863 draft was one of the most tenuous moments in the Union outside of the battles fought on Northern soil. Most of the concern was due to the draft riots that took place in New York in 1863. These records include more than 630 volumes of registries and are lists of individuals who registered for the draft.

● U.S. Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865: This collection contains indices of compiled military service records for volunteer Union and Confederate soldiers who served with units organized in more than 20 states. The indices also include Confederate soldiers who later served with the Union Army, Union and Confederate soldiers, Generals and staff officers, and other enlisted men not associated with a regiment. Individual records contain both military and personal details useful for locating an ancestor in time and place by tracking his movements during the course of the Civil War.

Other additions to the Civil War Collection include:

Union records

● Kansas Civil War Enlistment Papers
● New York Civil War Muster Rolls
● New York Civil War City Registers

Confederate records

● Alabama Census of Confederate Soldiers
● Confederate Pension Applications from AL, AR, TX and VA
● Georgia Civil War Correspondence
● Register of Officers of the Confederate States Navy

To begin searching The Civil War Collection, current subscribers can visit and new users can visit For further stories and updates related to Civil War family history research, please follow on Facebook and Twitter.

About Inc. (NASDAQ: ACOM) is the world’s largest online family history resource, with nearly 1.4 million paying subscribers. More than 6 billion records have been added to the site in the past 14 years. Ancestry users have created more than 20 million family trees containing over 2 billion profiles. has local Web sites directed at nine countries that help people discover, preserve and share their family history, including its flagship Web site at

About the National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration, an independent federal agency, is the nation’s record keeper. Founded in 1934, its mission is unique — to serve American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. It supports democracy, promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives meets a wide range of information needs, among them helping people to trace their families’ history, making it possible for veterans to prove their entitlement to medical and other benefits, and preserving original White House records. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blogger Disclosure Statements

I guess I'm the last genealogy blogger on this planet to discover the 2010 FTC regulation requiring bloggers to have a disclosure statements on their blogs.

This afternoon after Thomas MacEntee's live Legacy webinar, while looking at one of his blogs, I discovered to my horror, the new requirement by the FTC (that is the Federal Trade Commission for those of you who do not speak governmentese) to have a an FTC disclosure statement on your blog. If you mention any products, services, etc that charge real money for their stuff you have to have one of these statements posted somewhere on the blog. The fine for not doing so is $11,000 per post.

Now for some of you, including old Bill Gates, that may just be folding money. For the poor like us, that is food on the table. Now while I may not agree with the FTC and this ridiculous intrusion on free speech, I just can't afford that kind of cash to prove a point.

So that we are complaint with the imperial government's regulation, I have added a FTC Disclosure Statement to all of family of blogs that we maintain.

Bottom line, a big Family Roots and Branches "Tango Uniform" to Thomas MacEntee for the head's up. We poor mountain folk here in western NC do appreciate you looking out for us.

To learn more about blogger disclosure issues, go to Why You Need a Blogging Disclosure Statement at Geneabloggers. To get your own disclosure policy statement for your blog (yes, it is free), go to

Do You Recognize the Organization They Belong To?

I have a friend here in the Brasstown area of western North Carolina who passed along the picture above to me and is asking for some help. He (and me) would like to know what fraternal or religious organization these fellows could have belonged to.

My best guess is this photo was taken sometime between 1900-1910, may have been taken in northern Georgia (Towns or Union County) or in Delta County, Texas.

My best guess is that these fellows belong to a IOOF (Independent Order of Odd fellows) lodge, but I am not 100% sure of it.

So if you have some insight and can help ID the organization that they belonged to, contact me at our email address teakpub at brmemc dot com. I do appreciate any and all input on this blog post. Launches as World’s Largest Free Genealogy Search Engine

Industry breakthrough provides instant search results for billions of names, dates and places worldwide

BOULDER, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)™ (, a free search engine geared toward genealogists and people interested in learning more about their family history, launches today. enables the search of more than 50 billion words - including billions of names, dates and places, all within fractions of a second. fills an important industry need by providing the first large-scale, free search engine for family history research. Coupled with the speed and accuracy by which search results are produced, represents a major technological breakthrough within the genealogy world. has already been met with critical acclaim by several industry experts. Dick Eastman, writer of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and a top blogger in the field, wrote, “All my future genealogy searches will start on I've been using the site for a while during its testing and have been very impressed. I suspect you will always have better luck searching for your own surnames of interest on than on any other search engine.”

Randy Seaver, writer of the popular Genea-Musings blog, said, “ promises to be a genealogist's dream - a search engine focused on free online genealogy resources." Mr. Eastman’s and Mr. Seaver’s full reviews can be found at and, respectively.

Starting today, the general public can use for free. Visitors to are simply required to type in the names of interest and click on Search. All related results from industry sources such as genealogy message boards, family trees, state and local historical societies, the Library of Congress, National Archives, Ellis Island, Find A Grave, the Internet Archive, various U.S. state archives, and many tens of thousands of genealogy sites built by individuals will be displayed. Similar to other search engines, honors site owners by linking directly to their content.

Cliff Shaw, founder and CEO of Mocavo Inc., identifies the current trouble for genealogists and the solution that provides, “Genealogy has always had the problem of information and potential clues being spread across thousands of disparate web sites and sources. Imagine a world where you have all of the Web’s free genealogy content at your fingertips within seconds. That is”

“ has the capacity to index every single piece of free genealogy content found anywhere on the web, and will be growing by leaps and bounds in the coming months,” said Mr. Shaw. “We expect to shortly offer all of the web’s free genealogy information, searchable and accessible to all – something that has never been done before. It’s set to become the go-to search engine for every family history enthusiast.”

Mocavo Inc. is the brainchild of Cliff Shaw. Mr. Shaw is well known in the industry, having created four successful companies and many innovative technologies, including Smart Matching™, the most successful ancestor-matching algorithm. He created GenForum 14 years ago and it quickly grew to become the number one community for genealogists (now owned by® (NASDAQ:ACOM)). In the early 2000’s, Mr. Shaw launched GenCircles and Family Tree Legends, becoming the number two family tree publishing site and number two family tree software package respectively (both are now owned by More recently, Mr. Shaw launched the well-received, the industry’s only automatic tree backup solution.

About Mocavo Inc.

Mocavo Inc. operates the world’s largest free genealogy search engine,, giving genealogists access to the best free genealogy content on the web including billions of names, dates and places. Founded by industry veteran Cliff Shaw, and backed by prominent angel investor, David Cohen, (founder and CEO of TechStars), seeks to index and make searchable all of the world’s free genealogy information. While discovers new sites every day, some of the existing sites searchable on include genealogy message boards, family trees, state and local historical societies, the Library of Congress, National Archives, Ellis Island, Find A Grave, the Internet Archive, various U.S. state archives, and many tens of thousands of genealogy sites built by individuals. For further information, visit

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Scan and Share

by Dawne Slater-Putt and courtesy of the Genealogy gems newsletter published by the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center.

Perhaps the best way to preserve photographs is to ensure that the ones you have are not the only copies in existence – scan and share!

With improved scanning technology, it takes very little time to scan a photograph. Some libraries, including The Genealogy Center, have a scanner that patrons can use. The Genealogy Center’s scanner allows patrons to choose a file format (tif, jpg, etc.), scan their photos and send the digital copies to their own email addresses.

Once photos are scanned, the possibilities for sharing them are endless, ensuring that the images are preserved for future generations. Consider the possibilities:

*Email them to relatives
*Upload them to an album in Facebook or to another social media or photo sharing location
*Use a different ancestral photo as your Facebook profile picture each month
*Post them on a blog
*Upload them to a family website
*Print them and mail to relatives
*Include them in a print or online family newsletter
*Include them in a print or online local or state genealogical society newsletter
*Mass produce mugs, tee shirts, calendars, mouse pads … with ancestral photos and give as gifts or give away/sell at family reunions
*Include them in a family history book
*Insert them into your genealogy computer program
*Upload them to’s family tree area
*Create a photobook using computer scrapbooking software

Scanning photos can seem like an overwhelming task. Prioritize!

Perhaps handle your oldest photos first, or those of your direct ancestors. Or tackle one side of the family, then the other. By scanning just a few photos at a time on a regular basis, you can make significant progress in a short period of time.