Month: December 2014

Introducing Findmypast First, a unique new programme for our 12 month subscribers

  • Exclusive benefits including monthly webinars, free family history magazines, priority support and much more
  • The first rewards programme of its kind in the world of Family History
  • Exciting new offers every month

Here at Findmypast, we’re always looking for ways to ensure our customers get the most from their subscription. With this in mind we’re delighted to be able to introduce our brand new premium benefits programme for 12 month subscribers; Findmypast First.

Findmypast First is our way of saying thank you to those customers who have taken out 12 month subscriptions by offering exclusive benefits and offers that they can take advantage of for the duration of their subscription.

Benefits include:

  • Monthly webinars on record sets, hints and sneak previews. Click here to register for our next one on Friday January 23rd
  • Having your say about the record sets you’d like to see next
  • Being first to know about all things Findmypast
  • Monthly competitions – enter this month’s here to win an afternoon with one of our genealogists

That’s not all. We’ve partnered with some brilliant brands to bring members of Findmypast First great offers and goodies, including:

  • Exclusive discount to Lifebook autobiography project
  • Free download of Save Your Stuff
  • Complimentary access to digital memorial website, Lives of The First World War, worth £50
  • Buy one get one free with Family ChartMasters
  • Exclusive discount on Zap The Grandma Gap genealogy ebooks
  • Over 55% off with RootsMagic 7 genealogy software

New perks will be added each month, exclusively available to 12 month Findmypast subscribers. The programme is currently only available to our UK customers, but we will be extending it to our other regions over the next few months.

We hope you and your readers take advantage of this exciting new programme!

For more information contact press@dctfh.com

About Findmypast

Findmypast has been a leading family history website for more than 10 years. It’s a searchable online archive of over 1.8 billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For our members around the world, Findmypast is a crucial resource for building family trees and doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 the company was the first to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, Findmypast has digitised family history records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. In partnership with the British Library, Findmypast is part of a project to safeguard the future of the world’s greatest newspaper archive – allowing digital access to more than 40 million newspaper pages. Recently, The National Archives awarded the company the exclusive rights to put the 1939 Register for England and Wales online.

ProGen Study Group Names New Administrator



Laurel, Maryland: December 29, 2014: For the past six years Angela Packer McGhie has served as the administrator of the ProGen Study Program. She has encouraged genealogists to study Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills, by organizing online groups to work through the book, completing practical exercises and discussing each topic. At the end of 2014, Angela McGhie will transition to a position on the board of directors of the ProGen Study Group.

Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG has been named as the new administrator of the ProGen Study Program, and will begin her service on January 1, 2015. Rebecca has completed the ProGen program, served as a group coordinator, and is well prepared to take over leadership of the ProGen Study Program.

Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, is a board certified genealogist with special emphasis in Maryland and War of 1812 research. She was coordinator for the 4th and 14th ProGen groups and coordinator for the 16th Gen Proof online study group (peer-led group study of Dr. Thomas Jones’ book Mastering Genealogical Proof). She has spoken for the Maryland State Archives and for conferences and groups in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. She has taught beginning and advanced genealogy courses for Howard Community College.

Rebecca is a member of DAR, NGS, MGS, MDHS, NEHGS, and NYG&B. She was formerly assistant director of the Columbia Maryland Family History Center and was the treasurer for the National Capital Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She completed courses with NGS, NIGR, and SLIG (Advanced Methodology), and has recently authored articles for the Maryland Genealogical Society Journal. She now serves as a board member of the Maryland Genealogical Society and volunteers at the Family History Center in Frederick, Maryland. Rebecca has been taking clients and lecturing since 2004. Her current passion is for the Preserve the Pensions: War of 1812 project sponsored by FGS. She lives in Mt. Airy, Maryland, with three active teenagers and a very patient husband.

CG (SM) and Certified Genealogist (SM) are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists® and are used under license by Board-certified associates who meet program standards and periodic competency evaluations.

About the ProGen Study Program

The ProGen Study Groups are organized to encourage professional and aspiring genealogists to put into practice the principles found in Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. This program employs an innovative method of collaborative learning focused on developing genealogical research skills and business practices.

Each month group members study one or two chapters of Professional Genealogy and complete a practical assignment relating to the material. They meet online to discuss the topic in small group discussions. Members review each other’s assignments and offer constructive feedback. Participation in the program requires a time commitment, but provides a unique opportunity for constructive feedback from colleagues. Each ProGen study group has a board-certified genealogist mentoring the group. These volunteer mentors participate in the monthly discussions to answer questions and offer guidance.

There have been twenty-four ProGen study groups, with over 500 genealogists participating in the 18-month program. The list of ProGen alumni can be viewed at http://progenstudy.org/alumni/ For more information on the ProGen Study Program see http://progenstudy.org/

Findmypast’s Start Your Family Tree Week 2014/15 Begins Today

London, UK. 26th December, 2014. Today marks the beginning of Findmypast’s Start Your Family Tree Week and the release of over 7.6 million records.

This seven-day event will continue until 1st January 2015. Over the course of the week, Findmypast users can access a wide range of materials to help them build their family trees such as getting started guides, expert insights, useful print-outs, and a wealth of family history prizes.

Findmypast will also be launching its first ever Findmypast Tree Awards – a contest for the best family tree built or uploaded to Findmypast. Four winners across four categories will be selected by an expert panel of judges and will be awarded a selection of prizes.

Findmypast’s Start Your Family Tree Week will include something for everyone, from beginners to expert genealogists. We have also released millions of fascinating new records to explore during this festive season.

To find out more, visit our dedicated Start Your Family Tree Week page or visit our blog each day this week.

Record sets released today

To launch Start Your Family Tree Week, Findmypast will be releasing over 7.6 million records from around the world. These include:

Over 2.2 million New South Wales Births 1889-1914: a comprehensive index to the birth certificates from two distinct separate sets of records: the NSW Pioneers Index dating between 1788 and 1889; and the NSW Federation Index covering 1889 to 1918.

Over 1.6 million New South Wales Marriages 1788-1945.

Over 2.6 million New South Wales Deaths 1788-1945.

Over 60,000 Devon Social & Institutional Records, gathered from 127 separate sources covering daily life in the 18th and 19th centuries

Over 11,000 Yorkshire, Sheffield Quarter Sessions 1880-1912. The court of Quarter Sessions was established in 1880 and its initial function was to hear criminal cases. The court sat every quarter, usually in January, April, July and October and, after each session, a Calendar of Prisoners was published to record the personal details of people tried at the session and their offences.

Over 17,000 South Yorkshire Asylum admission records spanning the years between 1872 and 1910. Records can reveal not only when a patient was admitted to the asylum, but also the suspected cause of their insanity and whether or not they recovered.

Over 45,000 Yorkshire, Sheffield Cathedral Church of St Peter & St Paul burial Index 1767-1812 records covering the period from 1767 to 1812.

Over 41,000 Lanarkshire, the people of New Lanark 1785-1935 records. This collection was formed using all surviving Lanark church records (baptisms, marriages, communion lists, irregular marriages and cases of fornication), Sheriff Court and High Court records (small debt and minor and major crime) as well as the Lanark prison register.

Over 90,000 United States, Revolutionary War Pensions containing the details of Revolutionary War veterans and their families. Pension applications for veterans of the Barbary and Indian wars can also be found.

Visit our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to find out more.

About Findmypast

Findmypast has been a leading family history website for more than 10 years. It’s a searchable online archive of over 2 billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For our members around the world, Findmypast is a crucial resource for building family trees and doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 the company was the first to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, Findmypast has digitised family history records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. In partnership with the British Library, Findmypast is part of a project to safeguard the future of the world’s greatest newspaper archive – allowing digital access to more than 40 million newspaper pages. Recently, The National Archives awarded the company the exclusive rights to put the 1939 Register for England and Wales online.

Deadline Approaching for NGS Awards and Competitions

Arlington, VA, 24 DECEMBER 2014: Each year, the National Genealogical Society recognizes excellence in genealogical scholarship through its various competitions and awards. The deadline for six of the competition entries and award nominations—December 31—is quickly approaching. NGS encourages its members, member societies, and other organizations to review the requirements and make entries and submissions. Winners will be recognized at the NGS Family History Conference, to be held May 13-16, 2015 in St. Charles, Missouri.

The following NGS awards and competitions have a deadline of December 31:

  • Family History Writing Contest: NGS recognizes the best genealogy covering 3 to 4 generations.
  • Award for Excellence—Genealogy and Family History: NGS presents this award to an individual or nonprofit organization for an outstanding genealogy or family history book published during the past three years.
  • Award for Excellence—Genealogical Methods and Sources: NGS presents this award to an individual or nonprofit organization for a book, article, or series of articles published during the past three years on genealogical methods and sources.
  • Newsletter Competition: NGS recognizes the best genealogical society, historical society, and/or family association newsletters. The competition has two categories: one for major societies (with distribution of 500 or more copies of each issue) and one for local societies (with distribution of less than 500 copies of each issue).
  • John T. Humphrey Scholarship: John T. Humphrey served NGS in a number of positions over the years, including education manager. The Society has renamed the Home Study Course Scholarship in his honor. The award is given annually to an individual who has demonstrated a serious interest in genealogy, and covers the entire cost of the NGS Home Study Course.
  • Rubincam Youth Award: NGS encourages young genealogists to explore their family histories with the Rubincam Youth Award. The senior category is open to students in grades 10 to 12 or between the ages of 16 and 18, and the junior category is open to students in grades 7 to 9 or between the ages of 13 and 15.

More specific details about each competition can be found at www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/competitions. Individuals and societies making nominations will receive an acknowledgement that their entry has been received. An additional seven competitions and award entries have a deadline of 31 January 2015. See the submissions calendar at www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/awards_competitions_calendar for more details. Questions about all awards and competitions may be directed to awards@ngsgenealogy.org.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

MyHeritage to digitize and add more than 120 million historical records from Denmark

MyHeritage, the leading destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, announces the availability of millions of Danish historical records.

Millions of records dating back to the 1600s will go online for the first time and enable anyone with Danish ancestors to discover their roots

TEL AVIV, Israel & COPENHAGEN, Denmark – December 22, 2014: MyHeritage, the leading destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, today announced that millions of Danish historical records will be made available to search on its website. The announcement follows an agreement between MyHeritage and the Danish National Archives to index Census and Parish records from 1646 to 1930, providing access to significant sources of family history information in Denmark. The move will enable MyHeritage users to learn more about their ancestors and the lives they led, using records that were never digitally available before.

The records, spanning almost 300 years, provide a window to the lives of Danish ancestors during fascinating periods in history including the Napoleonic wars, liberalism and nationalism of the 1800s, the Schleswig Wars and industrialization. Users will be able to search for records about their ancestors using names, dates, locations, relatives and other keywords via SuperSearch, MyHeritage’s search engine for historical records. MyHeritage users also enjoy powerful matching technologies that research their family trees automatically and notify them whenever Danish records relevant to their family are found. This makes discoveries easier and quicker than ever before. Once indexed, this will be one of the most comprehensive and valuable data collections for millions of Danes, and millions of people with Danish roots.

The records will illuminate the lives and times of noted Danish historical figures such as Kierkegaard and Niels Bohr. Celebrity fans will be able to look into the family history of Danish Americans such as Scarlett Johansson and Viggo Mortensen for clues on their success. Many of the records will be made available on MyHeritage as early as April 2015 and the rest will be added during the year.

MyHeritage will index Danish national censuses, including approximately 9 million images and 31 million records, covering the years of 1787 through to 1930.  One of the most enlightening sources of historical content, census records provide a glimpse into a family’s past listing information about each household including the names of occupants, information on residence, ages, places of birth and occupations.

In addition, MyHeritage will index 3.9 million images of Church records containing approximately 90 million names from 1646 to 1915. The Parish Register provides information regarding anyone who was born, baptized or confirmed (after 1737), married or died in a particular parish. The records include rich information about a person’s family: for example, for baptisms they list the date of birth, date of baptism, name of the child, parent’s names, occupations and residence, and often names of witnesses and godparents.

MyHeritage Chief Content Officer, Russ Wilding, said: “We’re very proud to partner with the Danish National Archives and add significant new content which will paint a more detailed and colorful picture of the family histories for hundreds of thousands of our users in Denmark and anyone with Danish ancestors. The move strengthens our leadership in the Nordic region – and we look forward to building on this in the coming months”.

MyHeritage is already the family history market leader in the Nordic region and is the only major company providing services in Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish. With more than 430,000 users in Denmark and an additional 600,000 registered users in Sweden, 500,000 in Norway, and 280,000 in Finland, MyHeritage has amassed the largest Nordic user base and family tree database in the market.

The records will be available on MyHeritage SuperSearch at whttp://www.myheritage.com/research.

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is the leading destination to discover, share and preserve your family history. As technology thought leaders and innovators in the space, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Trusted by millions of families, its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees and ground-breaking search and matching technologies. MyHeritage empowers families with an easy way to share their story, past and present, and treasure it for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 40 languages. www.myheritage.com

Celebrate 15 Years of Online Genealogy Education with The National Institute for Genealogical Studies

Seventeen years ago, The National Institute for Genealogical Studies was founded. On October 4, 1999 “Methodology-Part 1: Getting Started” was the first online course offered to students. Three weeks ago, on December 1st, 15 years later, it started for…

More than 22,000 new records released from headstone inscriptions

TheGenealogist have added over 22,000 records to their Headstone project with another 23 cemeteries from across the twelve parishes of the Island of Jersey (Covering all of the island’s historic cemeteries).Also released are a further 13 cemeteries fro…

Over 15 million new records released today at Findmypast

Every Friday, thousands of new records are released on our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to explore over the weekend. This week, we are pleased to announce the release of over 15.3 million UK and US records. This week’s new US records include Idaho births & christenings, Arizona death & burials and Utah Marriages. New UK additions include over 14 million England and Wales Death records, North Yorkshire Ryedale baptisms, a variety of fascinating Kent records and the 1871 Worldwide British Army Index.

US Records

Containing over 15,000 records Idaho births and christenings 1856-1965 can reveal vital biographical details on the first settlers of Idaho right up through the state’s 20th century residents. Idaho ordered counties to register births after 1911, but some counties and even individuals began recording this information much earlier.

Arizona deaths & burials 1910-1994 contains over 2,000 records. Arizona first began recording deaths in the state in 1909 and by the early 1920s compliance across the state had been achieved, although there are some significant gaps in the records after 1911.

Utah Marriages 1845-1935 contain over 781,000 records that date back to before the state wide registration of marriages became compulsory in 1887. Utah became the 45th state admitted to the Union on January 4, 1896 and is the most religiously homogeneous state. It is the only state with a Mormon majority and the only state with a majority population belonging to a single church.

UK Military Records

The 1871 Worldwide British Army Index – British Army Other Ranks & locations contains over 207,000 records compiled using data extracted from the War Office army pay lists held in The National Archives at Kew. As with the 1861 Worldwide Army Index the primary aim has been to identify the location of men serving in the British Army throughout the world as at the 1871 Census day – 2 April 1871. However, the index generally covers much of the June Quarter 1871. The Index contains the details of both officers and men of the Cavalry, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Guards, Infantry and Colonial units serving both in Britain and elsewhere in the British Empire. archives reference.

UK Deaths & Baptisms

England deaths and burials, 1538-1991 contain over 14 million International Genealogical Index (IGI) death and burial records for England have been added to our collection of UK birth, marriage and death records. Spanning the 453 years between 1538 and 1975, each record consists of a transcript of the original document.

Wales, deaths and burials, 1586-1885 contain over 1,200 International Genealogical Index (IGI) death and burial records for Wales have been added to our collection of UK birth, marriage and death. Most records are from the historic counties of Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire and each consists of a transcript of the original document.

The Ryedale baptisms contain over 12,000 records listing the details of Baptisms that took place in nine parishes across the Ryedale district in North Yorkshire.

Kent Records

Kent, Bexley Asylum Minute Books 1901-1939 contains over 11,000 records. Bexley Asylum opened in 1898 and was London’s 7th asylum. Built on 750 acres of land next to Dartford Heath, the so-called ‘Heath’ Asylum housed 2,544 patients at its occupancy peak in 1915. None were there on a voluntary basis. Records include details of release and temporary release of patients as well as the hiring and promotion of staff and tradesmen’s contracts.

Over 15,000 North West Kent Marriages 1562-1951 from the Parish of Westerham have been added to our collection of UK Marriage records. Spanning the 389 years between 1562 and 1951, the records consist of a transcript of the original burial registers.

Over 5,000 North West Kent Burials 1686-1983 Westerham have been added to our collection of UK Death and Burial records. Spanning the 418 years between 1563 and 1981, the records consist of a transcript of the original burial registers.

Over 7,000 North West Kent Baptisms 1560-1962 from the Parish of Westerham have been added to our collection of UK Death and Burial records. Spanning the 402 years between 1560 and 1962, the records consist of a transcript of the original burial registers.

UK Military Records

The 1871 Worldwide British Army Index – British Army Other Ranks & locations contains over 207,000 records compiled using data extracted from the War Office army pay lists held in The National Archives at Kew. As with the 1861 Worldwide Army Index the primary aim has been to identify the location of men serving in the British Army throughout the world as at the 1871 Census day – 2 April 1871. However, the index generally covers much of the June Quarter 1871. The Index contains the details of both officers and men of the Cavalry, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Guards, Infantry and Colonial units serving both in Britain and elsewhere in the British Empire. archives reference.

Remember to check our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page every week to keep up to date with the latest new additions.

About Findmypast

Leading family history website Findmypast was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Findmypast has subsequently digitized many more family history records and now offers access to over 1.8 billion records dating as far back as 875 AD. This allows family historians to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military, census, migration, parish, work and education records, newspapers as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records. The company runs the official 1911 census website for England & Wales in association with The National Archives and has digitized several other record sets from the national collection. Findmypast has also partnered with the British Library in a 10 year project to safeguard the future of the world’s greatest local newspaper archive

Findmypast Announces Start Your Family Tree Week 2014/15 & Inaugural Findmypast Tree Awards

  • The week is full of competitions, expert insights, useful print-outs and much more
  • Launch of inaugural Findmypast Tree Competition to award exciting prizes across multiple categories
  • Prizes include Findmypast subscriptions, magazine subscriptions, exclusive sessions with genealogists and much more
  • Findmypast Hints has been launched to help beginners get started with their family trees quickly and easily
  • Over 7.6 million new records released today, including over 90,000 Revolutionary War Pensions and many more records from across the world to be released to launch Start Your Family Tree Week on 26th December

London, UK. 19 December, 2014. Findmypast, the leading British family history site, has announced this year’s Start Your Family Tree Week will be held from 26th December 2014 to 1st January 2015.

The seven-day event will provide getting started guides, expert insights, useful print-outs and resources, and a wealth of family history prizes.

Findmypast will also be launching its first ever Findmypast Tree Awards – a contest for the best family tree built or uploaded to Findmypast. Four winners across four categories will be selected by an expert panel of judges and will be awarded a selection of prizes.

Findmypast’s Start Your Family Tree Week will include something for everyone, from beginners to expert genealogists.

New development: Findmypast’s Hints

In advance of Start Your Family Tree Week, Findmypast has just launched the beta version of Hints on family trees.

From now on, as users add to their family tree Hints will sift through millions of records to identify matches, instantly suggesting relevant historical records and potential new relations. This development not only helps users find new information, but has been carefully designed to make it easy for new users to start their trees, and to make it simple to review and add new facts.

Findmypast’s Hints currently provides matches from their birth, baptism, marriage, death, and burial records across the UK, US, Ireland, and Australia. In the near future, Hints will also be provided to the many other record sets within Findmypast. Hints for an individual are activated when their information is updated in your family tree.

Millions of record sets to be released

To launch Start Your Family Tree Week, Findmypast will be releasing millions of records from around the world. These include over 90,000 Revolutionary War pension records, 6.5 million of birth, marriage and death records from New South Wales, Australia, 60,000 Devon Social and Institutional Records from the 18th and 19th centuries, thousands of court, asylum and burial records from Yorkshire, fascinating Scottish records.

The United States, Revolutionary War Pensions date from the early 19th century when the United States began issuing pensions to military veterans from various early conflicts. Most pensions are for veterans of the Revolutionary War and their families although pension applications for veterans of the Barbary and Indian can be found.

Visit our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to find out more.

About Findmypast

Findmypast has been a leading family history website for more than 10 years. It’s a searchable online archive of over 2 billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For our members around the world, Findmypast is a crucial resource for building family trees and doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 the company was the first to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, Findmypast has digitised family history records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. In partnership with the British Library, Findmypast is part of a project to safeguard the future of the world’s greatest newspaper archive – allowing digital access to more than 40 million newspaper pages. Recently, The National Archives awarded the company the exclusive rights to put the 1939 Register for England and Wales online.

Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research Offers New Interactive Option for Courses

RALEIGH, North Carolina, 17 December 2014:

The Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research is evolving!

Student responses to our first course have reinforced our plans concerning the need for additional instructor interaction and feedback. Beginning in 2015 we will offer instructors and students this option.

Previously our courses came in a single format: four 90-minute lecture sessions with Q&A, extensive syllabus material, and at least one practical exercise.

Plus courses will consist of:

  • the same four 90-minute lecture sessions and syllabus material offered to standard students; plus
  • an additional one-hour Q&A/discussion session held on an evening either midweek or at the conclusion of the course;
  • individualized instructor feedback on practical exercises by email;
  • a Certificate of Completion for the course.

The Plus option for any course will cost $99.99, as compared to the $69.99 cost of standard courses.

J. Mark Lowe’s “Preparing the Field: Understanding the Agricultural Records of Our Ancestors” will be the first course to offer this new option. Beginning on Wednesday, 17 December 2014, buttons will appear on the website to purchase either the Standard or the Plus option for this course. Many of the Institute’s future courses will also offer this option.

For more information visit www.vigrgenealogy.com or email vigrgenealogy@gmail.com.

About the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research

The Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research offers virtual, year-round courses on a wide variety of genealogical subjects from top experts in the field. For more information visit www.vigrgenealogy.com or email vigrgenealogy@gmail.com.

The National Genealogical Society Introduces New Course: Researching Your Revolutionary War Ancestors

Arlington, VA, 16 DECEMBER 2014: The National Genealogical Society announced today the release of its newest Continuing Genealogical Studies (CGS) course: Researching YourRevolutionary War Ancestors. Developed by military records expert Craig Roberts Scott, CG, FUGA, the new course expands on NGS’s offerings for teaching military research strategies, and helps achieve NGS’s goal of providing quality educational opportunities to the genealogical community.

In addition to his role as CEO and President of Heritage Books, Inc., Craig Scott has spent decades honing his military research expertise and teaching these skills within the genealogical community. He has coordinated military courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Birmingham, Alabama. His books include Understanding Revolutionary War and Invalid Pension Ledgers 1818‐1872 and Pension Payment Vouchers They Represent, and The “Lost” Pensions: Settled Accounts of the Act of 6 April 1838.

In this eight‐module cloud‐based course, Scott introduces numerous U.S. based records related to those who fought for independence, including compiled service records, prisoner of war records, and pension files. He will also teach strategies to identify and locate information about ancestors who lived at the time of the Revolution.

Researching YourRevolutionary War Ancestors is available to NGS members for $45.00 and to non-members for $70.00. For additional information or to purchase the course, visit the NGS website at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/researching_your_revolutionary_war_ancestors.

The NGS Continuing Genealogical Studies courses are designed for both beginners and established genealogists who wish to focus on a specific topic and put their ensuing knowledge to work quickly. The courses allow individuals to complete genealogical coursework at their own pace and from the convenience of their own homes.

Two other cloud-based CGS courses are also offered:

  • Introduction to Civil War Research
  • Genetic Genealogy, The Basics

In addition to the CGS courses, NGS also offers several courses from its American Genealogical Studies (AGS) series, including:

  • The Basics
  • Guide to Documentation and Source Citation

Advanced AGS courses in a new series called Beyond the Basics are currently in development. This cloud-based series is scheduled for release in 2015 and will complete American Genealogical Studies, which replaces the NGS Home Study Course, the standard in genealogical education for decades.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

“CG”, “Certified Genealogist”, “CGL”, and “Certified Genealogist Lecturer” are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and are used under license by authorized associates following periodic, peer‐reviewed competency evaluations. The board name is registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office.

AncestryDNA Reconstructs Partial Genome of Person Living 200 Years Ago

Genetic Networking Technology of DNA Circles(TM) Enables Advancements in Human Genome Reconstruction Methods

PROVO, Utah, Dec. 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AncestryDNA genetic scientists have pushed the boundaries of human genome reconstruction methods by using the DNA of many living people to reassemble an unprecedented proportion of the human genome attributed to a 19th Century American and his two successive spouses. This scientific feat is a step forward in the use of consumer genetics in family history, providing a glimpse into what a long ago ancestor may have looked like or which traits they may have passed down to descendants.

“Imagine if you could go back in time and see your ancestors. Would you see a part of yourself in one of them? Genetics is starting to answer questions about what an ancestor may have looked like and the specific traits they passed down to you. This is very exciting, not just for those exploring their family history, but in better understanding those who came before us,” said Catherine Ball, Vice President of Genomics and Bioinformatics who led the effort at AncestryDNA.

Human genome reconstruction methods involve using science and technology to marry the past with the present. By using genetic material of living people, AncestryDNA has reassembled pieces of the human genome from a man named David Speegle and his successive spouses Winifred Crawford and Nancy Garren who lived in the early 1800’s Alabama. With many children between the two marriages during his lifetime, David and his spouses Winifred and Nancy were excellent candidates for reconstruction given the number of living descendants that all potentially carry a piece of their DNA.

Ancestral Genome Reconstruction

The AncestryDNA team of scientists leveraged more than 500,000 DNA samples and 60 million family trees from Ancestry to form more than 150,000 DNA Circles. DNA Circles™ is a feature now available to AncestryDNA customers who subscribe to Ancestry that uses genetic information to connect people who are all likely descendants of a common ancestor. Most DNA Circles connect customers to an ancestor living four to six generations ago or about 150-200 years ago.

Leveraging the technology underlying DNA Circles, AncestryDNA scientists identified one of these shared ancestors as David Speegle. Using an approach similar to reassembling a document that has been shredded, the team was able to piece together fragments of genetic code from David Speegle and his spouses Winifred and Nancy for roughly 50 percent of the length of the human genome. In some cases, the team was even able to identify pieces of the genome that were unique to David Speegle because of the unique family tree structure. Six generations back, everyone has 64 great-great-great-great-grandparents from whom they have inherited their DNA — thus, attributing segments of DNA to any one or two of them is an impressive feat.

“We’ve already learned some interesting facts about David Speegle and his spouses Winifred and Nancy,” said Ball, “For example; we’ve identified pieces of the genome that indicate David Speegle or his spouses had a gene attributed to a higher likelihood of male pattern baldness. And David apparently passed along a gene needed for blue eyes.” DNA technology, involving genome reconstruction and other methods, has the ability to fill in the holes in family lineages where historical records may drop off – providing a new way to experience family history and gain a better understanding of one’s self.

“This is a significant achievement that will have implications in population genetics, genealogy, anthropology and health and offers a preview into future advancements that will be made possible by large databases of genetic and genealogical information,” said Dr. Kenneth Chahine, Senior Vice President and General Manager of AncestryDNA. “It feels like science fiction, but it is very much a reality and only the beginning. Future insights may come in the form of tracing the source of particular traits in a population, reaching a better understanding of recent population history and enabling more targeted genetic genealogy research.”

The new DNA Circles experience and the genome reconstruction project are part of the AncestryDNA science team’s ongoing efforts to explore the potential of genetic data, not only to improve the AncestryDNA service, but to bring the excitement around the possibilities of personal genomics to all. By leveraging AncestryDNA’s expanding database of DNA samples paired with Ancestry family tree data, the team will continue to innovate in order to provide unique insights to both consumers and the scientific community— potentially even elucidating the genetic makeup of many more distant ancestors.

For a more detailed description of the methods used by the AncestryDNA science team in the reconstruction of the Speegle genome, view this video.

For more information about AncestryDNA, or to join the more than 500,000 customers that have taken the test and made discoveries about themselves, visit www.ancestrydna.com.

About Ancestry.com DNA, LLC

AncestryDNA is owned and operated by Ancestry.com DNA, LLC, a subsidiary of Ancestry.com LLC. AncestryDNA uses a simple test to analyze an individual’s DNA. AncestryDNA offers the potential of identifying new insights into people’s ancient ancestry to help them collaborate with distant cousins and make even more discoveries in their family history. For more information visit www.ancestrydna.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include a variety of factors, some of which are beyond the company’s control. In particular, such risks and uncertainties include the company’s ability to add tools and features and provide value to satisfy customer demand. Information concerning additional factors that could cause events or results to differ materially is contained under the caption “Risk Factors” in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for our parent, Ancestry.com LLC, for the period ended September 30, 2014, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 3, 2014, and in discussions in other of Ancestry.com LLC’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date and we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements.

One terabyte of space for your family, for free, forever.


London, England (December 16th, 2014) To celebrate the move to new server facilities, Famberry, the popular collaborative family tree builder, is giving all users who sign up, a massive one terabyte of space to store their photos and memories. That’s enough space to store over 300,000 photos, so all your family’s memories can be shared for generations to come. All for free.

As part of the project to move onto new, physically secure, high-grade servers, Famberry has been completely re-written to work even more seamlessly on mobile phones, tablet devices and desktop computers, with no additional software or plug-ins; your family can always stay connected, wherever they are.

The move to the new server cluster means that you can finally keep your private family memories are safe & secure, with information replicated automatically to 3 different locations within the UK.

“This really has been a team achievement and the foundation for other exciting announcements that we plan to make over the next few months.” Steve Bardouille, co-founder, Famberry.

In addition to the award-winning family tree building features that users have grown to love, the new version has hundreds of improvements including:

  • New facilities for cropping and uploading multiple photos
  • Personal photo albums for each member of the family tree
  • Easier navigation for mobile devices
  • Centralised timeline for the whole Family

… and much more, in fact the site continues to be updated weekly with new features based on user feedback.

Famberry is only offering this unprecedented offer for a limited time – on a first come, first served basis, so sign up today at www.famberry.com to secure a space for your family’s history.

SCGS Announces 2015 Jamboree Extension Series of Webinars

Click here to view the schedule

The Southern California Genealogical Society proudly announces plans for the 2015 Jamboree Extension Webinar Series. Since 2011, SCGS has offered twice-monthly webinars for genealogists and family historians around the globe.

The goal of the Webinar Series is to fulfill an important element of the Society’s Mission Statement: The Southern California Genealogical Society exists to foster interest in family history and genealogy, preserve genealogical materials, and provide instruction in accepted and effective research techniques.

What does it cost?
The live webcasts are open to the public free of charge. Please tell your cousins, fellow genealogical society members and others about our program. We’d love to have them join us.

When are they held?
SCGS webinars are held the first Saturday and third Wednesday of each month. They are held at hours that most people are not working: Saturday 10am Pacific time and Wednesday 6pm Pacific time.

I’m sold. How do I sign up?
It’s really easy. Go to the SCGS website page with the Extension Series information. http://tinyurl.com/2015-SCGS-Webinars

You’ll see a list with all of the upcoming webinars and links to register. Click on the links to register for the live webcasts you want to attend. Fill out the registration information and you’re all set. You’ll get a confirmation email and will also get reminders before the webinar, as well as a link to a handout for every presentation.

On the day of the program, click the link that you received in those emails and you’ll be taken to GoToWebinar for your session. You can watch the webinars on your laptop or desktop, on your tablet or even your smartphone. If you don’t have an internet connection, you can even dial in by phone and listen to the presentation.

What if I can’t watch the live webcast?
As a benefit of membership, SCGS members may view any of the 125 or so archived sessions any time, day or night, on the SCGS website. Webinars are posted online about two weeks after the webcast. A list of the archived sessions can be found on the SCGS website. To learn more about the valuable membership benefits available for SCGS members, visit our membership webpage.

Download the 2015 Webinar flyer and post it on your office’s bulletin board.

Join us for the first session on Saturday, January 3!

Findmypast releases the 1890 US census, over 31 million England and Wales marriages, over 71,000 Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers and new additions to their collection of British Newspapers

Every Friday, thousands of new records are released on our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to explore over the weekend. This week’s new additions also include over 31 million English Marriages, over 131,000 Welsh Marriages, the final instalment of our collection of Irish Petty Session Court Registers, the 1890 US census and new additions to our collection of historic British Newspapers.

In 1921, a fire destroyed nearly all of the records and materials from the US 1890 census that were stored in the basement of the Commerce Building in Washington D.C. Almost all of the original data from the 1890 census is no longer available. About 1,000 pages and fragments survived the fire. These include some records from specific counties in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas. It is these pages and fragments that make up this collection.

The 1890 census forms provided information about every individual in the house including their name, age, gender, relationship to the head of the household, occupation, marital status, place of birth, parent’s place of birth, level of literacy, number of years spent in the US and whether or not they were a civil war veteran or widow.

Over 31 million International Genealogical Index (IGI) England Marriages 1538-1973 have been added to our collection of UK Marriage records. Spanning the 435 years between 1538 and 1975, each record consists of a transcript of the original document. Each record consists of a transcript of the original document. The amount of information contained varies although the records usually list the couple’s names, place of marriage, date of marriage and the names of the groom’s parents.

Over 131,000 International Genealogical Index (IGI) Wales, Marriages 1541-1900. Each record consists of a transcript of the original document. The amount of information contained varies although the records usually list the couple’s names, place of marriage, date of marriage and the names of the groom’s parents.

Over 710,000 records have been added to complete our collection of Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers 1828-1912. Petty Sessions handled the bulk of lesser criminal and civil legal proceedings. These were presided over by Justices of the Peace, who were unpaid and often lacked any formal legal training. Justices were usually prominent landowners or gentlemen. Justice was pronounced summarily at these courts – i.e. without a jury. Petty Sessions sat daily, weekly or monthly, depending on the volume of cases, and often saw controversial judgements. Every court had a clerk, whose job it was to record the details of each case in the registers.

Now the largest collection of Irish court & prison records available anywhere online, there over 22 million records in the collection. They include details of victims, witnesses and the accused, such as address, date in court, details of the offence, details of the verdict and the sentence.

Over 800,000 new articles have been added to our collection of British Newspapers. Two new titles have also been added, the Aberdeen Weekly Journal, County Chronicle and the Surrey Herald & Weekly Advertiser for Kent. Substantial updates to existing titles include over 112,000 additional articles from the Sheffield Independent and over 110,000 additional articles from the Western Daily Press. The full collection now stands at over 100 million articles.

About Findmypast

Leading family history website Findmypast was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Findmypast has subsequently digitized many more family history records and now offers access to over 1.8 billion records dating as far back as 875 AD. This allows family historians to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military, census, migration, parish, work and education records, newspapers as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records. The company runs the official 1911 census website for England & Wales in association with The National Archives and has digitized several other record sets from the national collection. Findmypast has also partnered with the British Library in a 10 year project to safeguard the future of the world’s greatest local newspaper archive

Laura Bush and Daughter Jenna to Keynote – RootsTech 2015

RootsTech 2015 attendees will get to hear firsthand how one of the nation’s most famous families celebrates their family across generations.  RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, announced today that former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna Bush Hager will be the keynote speakers during the Friday morning general session on February 13, 2015.

RootsTech 2015 attendees will get to hear firsthand how one of the nation’s most famous families celebrates their family across generations.  RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, announced today that former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna Bush Hager will be the keynote speakers during the Friday morning general session on February 13, 2015.

The former First Lady will talk about life in the White House and the importance of family during those eight years, as well as reflect on the difficult days following September 11th. Jenna Bush Hager will join her mother onstage for a fireside chat where they will share family stories as a new mother and grandmother.

FamilySearch CEO, Dennis Brimhall, is excited to welcome the Bush family. ”As we celebrate families across generations this year, I can’t think of more fitting guests to have join us.  This will be quite memorable.” FamilySearch is the host organization for RootsTech.

Hager currently works as a contributor for NBC’s The Today Show and editor-at-large for Southern Livingmagazine. She enjoys spending as much time as possible with her daughter, Margaret Laura “Mila” Hager.

In addition to being a loving mother and grandmother, Mrs. Bush is a best-selling author, founder of theNational Book Festival in Washington D.C. and Chair of the Women’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute.  Laura Bush served as First Lady while her husband, George W. Bush was President of the United States from 2001-2009.  Her father-in-law, George H.W. Bush was President of the United States from 1989-1993.

Visit RootsTech.org and reserve your seat to hear Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna Bush Hager.  Passes start at just $19.

MyHeritage launches instant experience for introducing family history to the mass market

With Instant Discoveries™ it takes only seconds to discover ancestors and create an online family tree populated with many relatives

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah – December 10, 2014: MyHeritage, the leading destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, today unveiled Instant Discoveries™, a revolutionary new experience for people interested in exploring their family’s past. Delivering information about one’s ancestors and relatives during the signup process, Instant Discoveries™ provides a free, fun and immediately gratifying introduction to the fascinating world of family history.

Ideal for people who know little about their family history, MyHeritage asks first-time users to provide very basic information about 7 family members: themselves, their parents and grandparents, as they sign up for the service. Powerful technology then automatically searches for information about their family in MyHeritage’s vast databases containing billions of records. Within seconds, users are then presented with an Instant Discovery™, showing a person likely to be their ancestor, together with a wealth of related information including the entire family branch, names, facts, photos and documents. Users can then apply it all to their family tree in a click.

“We’re very excited about Instant Discoveries™”, said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Indulging first-time users with immediate information about their family fulfills our vision to make family history accessible and enjoyable to the mass market. We are firmly committed to creating disruptive technologies that reinvent the way people explore their family history.”

To demonstrate its mainstream appeal, the Instant Discoveries™ experience was successfully tested by passers-by throughout various locations in New York City, such as Times Square and Grand Central Terminal. The reactions of the people who participated, as captured on video prove that family history can be an emotionally rewarding experience for complete beginners.

Instant Discoveries™ are powered by new technology that builds on and enhances MyHeritage’s acclaimed Smart Matching™ and Record Matching technologies, providing highly accurate results. It respects the privacy of other users and excludes information about living people.

Mike Mallin, Chief Product Officer at MyHeritage added: “Millions of people want to better understand themselves and their roots, and we’re committed to making that a magical and easy process. Until now, family exploration has been burdensome and time consuming. Through our new Instant Discoveries ™, users can meet the generations who made them within moments of signing up.”

The success rate of Instant Discoveries™ depends on several factors, such as countries of origin and the level of detail of initial information entered. In some countries it is as high as 35%. With approximately 1 million new family tree profiles and 5 million historical records added to MyHeritage every day, the hit rate for discoveries will constantly rise over time. In the next few months, this new technology will be made available also to existing users of MyHeritage, who will be able to take advantage of it to enhance their family trees with new branches and new information in one click.

With the launch of Instant Discoveries™ and the recent news announcing integration of MyHeritage’s technologies by leading companies such as 23andMe and FamilySearch and other partners around the world, MyHeritage is securing its position as the technology leader in the family history market.

To experience Instant Discoveries™ for yourself, go to www.myheritage.com and sign up for free.

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is the leading destination for discovering, sharing and preserving family history. As technology thought leaders and innovators, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive database of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees, and ground-breaking search and matching technologies. MyHeritage is trusted by millions of families and provides them an easy way to share their story, past and present, and treasure it for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 40 languages. www.myheritage.com.

PBS “Genealogy Roadshow” Season Two Uncovers Family Secrets Across the U.S.

PBS’ GENEALOGY ROADSHOW uncovers family secrets in the series’ 2nd season, premiering Tuesday, January 13, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. ET and airs every Tuesday thru February 24

ARLINGTON, VA;DECEMBER 9, 2014 –From descendants of the infamous pirate Blackbeard to heroes of the Holocaust, PBS’ GENEALOGY ROADSHOW uncovers family secrets in the series’ second season, which premieres Tuesday, January 13, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. ETand airs every Tuesdaythrough February 24 (check local listings). Part detective story, part emotional journey, GENEALOGY ROADSHOW combines history and science to uncover fascinating stories of diverse Americans in and around St. Louis, Philadelphia and New Orleans.  Each individual’s story links to a larger community (and in some cases, national) history, to become part of America’s rich cultural tapestry.

PBS’ GENEALOGY ROADSHOW uncovers family secrets in the series’ 2nd season, premiering Tuesday, January 13, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. ET and airs every Tuesday thru February 24

GENEALOGY ROADSHOW stars genealogists Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco  and features participants with unique claims and storylines, including a woman seeking to find out if she is descended from the infamous pirate Blackbeard; a pair of sisters exploring connections to a survivor of the legendary Donner party; a man hoping to recover essential family history that washed away in Hurricane Katrina; and a man learns that the event that drove his family to the City of Brotherly Love changed the course of history.

Over the course of the series, Berry, Taylor and Tedesco work with participants’ anecdotal clues, documents and family heirlooms to unite them with histories and people they never knew existed, as well as to reveal surprising turns and incredible histories.

“In three great and complex American cities we find engaging stories, dark mysteries, emotional reveals and more” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming for PBS.  “In each episode, GENEALOGY ROADSHOWreaches out to help Americans who are interested in their family heritage and their community history. It proves that no matter one’s culture and background, everyone is part of the American story.”

St. Louis, Philadelphia and New Orleans were chosen as representative of America’s fascinating crossroads of culture, diversity, industry and history, as well as for their deep pools of riveting stories. GENEALOGY ROADSHOW’s hosts and experts add color and context to the investigations, ensuring every artifact and every name becomes part of solving the mystery.

Below are episode descriptions for each of GENEALOGY ROADSHOW’s six episodes: 

New Orleans – Cabildo
Premieres, January 13, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.

A team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories at the famous Cabildo, home of the Louisiana State Museum. A couple whose ancestors hail from the same small Italian town explore the chance they may be related; a woman is desperate to find out who committed a gruesome murder in her ancestor’s past; a home held by one family for more than a century renders a fascinating story; and a woman discovers the difficult journey her ancestor took on the path to freedom from slavery.

St. Louis – Central Library
Premieres, January 20, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.

At Saint Louis’ historic central library, a team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories from Missouri’s famous gateway city. A mystery writer discovers her mother has hidden a life-changing secret; a woman finds out if she is descended from the infamous pirate Blackbeard; a mother and daughter seek connections to a famous author; and a young man seeks connection to the Mali tribe in Africa.

Philadelphia – Franklin Institute
Premieres, January 27, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.

At Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute, a team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family histories. A man learns that the event that drove his family to the City of Brotherly Love changed the course of history; a man may be a Viking descendant; another’s family could have part of one of history’s biggest scams; a young man hopes to confirm his relation to a signer of the Declaration of Independence; and two sisters learn their ancestors were part of the great Irish migration.

New Orleans – Board of Trade
Premieres, February 3, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.

A team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories at the New Orleans Board of Trade. A local man seeks to recover essential history washed away in Hurricane Katrina; a woman discovers she has links to both sides of the Civil War; another unravels the mystery behind her grandfather’s adoption; and one man explores a link to the famous New Orleans Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau.

St. Louis – Union Station
Premieres, February 10, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.

At St. Louis’ historic Union Station, a team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories from Missouri. A musician hopes to find connections to a famous St. Louis jazz composer; two sisters explore links to a survivor of the legendary Donner party; an Italian-American woman finds out if she is related to Italian royalty; and a schoolteacher who has all the answers for her students has very few about her own past.

Philadelphia Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Premieres, February 17, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.

A team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family histories at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. One woman’s ancestor may have sparked historic labor laws; a pastor may have an outlaw in her family tree; a woman learns about slave genealogy and, with the help of DNA testing, gets the answer she has waited for; and another woman learns her ancestor may have helped others escape the Holocaust.

PBS LearningMedia, PBS’ destination for educators and students, offers a range of curriculum-targeted resources that support lessons on genealogy, immigration, and identity and delve into the personal histories of well-known icons and everyday Americans. Through discussion questions, worksheets, and videos, PBS LearningMedia helps teachers to promote inquiry in their classrooms and strengthen their student’s personal connection to history.  For more information on the latest digital resources for GENEALOGY ROADSHOW classroom instruction, please visit pbslearningmedia.org.

GENEALOGY ROADSHOW is produced by Krasnow Productions. President and owner Stuart Krasnow is a longtime television industry veteran, having worked for all of the country’s top broadcasters in news and entertainment, as well as at numerous cable networks as a creator and executive producer. The series is also executive produced by TV veteran Carlos Ortiz, who has produced mega-hits for almost every major network on television. He brings 20 years of development and producing experience to the table and returns to PBS for his second season on the series.

About Big Mountain Productions

Big Mountain originated the GENEALOGY ROADSHOW format, and recently aired its second hit season in Ireland on RTE Television. Run by husband-and-wife team Jane Kelly and Philip McGovern — who are former BBC/RTE executive producers — Big Mountain originates and produces television shows for national broadcasters, specializing in hybrid shows that combine great content and entertainment value, including The Tenements, Life in the Big House, Craftmaster, Living the Eviction and the music-mentoring show Jam. For more information:bigmountainproductions.com.

About Krasnow Productions

Krasnow Productions is named for its founder and president, Stuart Krasnow, a 30-year veteran television producer. Under his banner, Krasnow has developed and produced series in almost every genre of unscripted television for broadcast and cable networks, including The Weakest Link, Average Joe, Dog Eat Dog and The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. Krasnow Productions also sold and produced Searching For…, one of the first original series to be produced for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. Additionally, Krasnow Productions has sold and produced original projects for NBC, A&E, TBS, GSN, MTV, HGTV, E! and Fremantlemedia.

About PBS

PBS, with its more than 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 109 million people through television and over 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available atwww.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter,Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

Deadline for 50% Scholarship to FGI Is Friday, December 12, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Dallas, Texas – December 7, 2014 – The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) is making advanced genealogical education more affordable with holiday gift certificates and a 50% scholarship to the 4th Annual Forensic Genealogy Institute (FGI), being held March 26-28, 2015, at the Wyndham Love Field Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

$50 and $100 Gift Certificates to FGI 2015

Add FGI’s advanced forensic- and genetic-genealogy training to your holiday wish list. CAFG is offering $50 and $100 gift certificates for the 2015 FGI. Just let your friends and family members know that they can purchase gift certificates online at www.forensicgenealogists.org/institute. They will receive a special gift-certificate code, which you can use when registering for FGI. It’s easy, it’s simple, and it’s a great gift.

“We are excited to offer holiday gift certificates to the 2015 Forensic Genealogy Institute,” said CAFG President Leslie Lawson. “For the genealogist interested in hands-on, advanced training, an FGI gift certificate makes an easy, affordable holiday gift. Just send your friends and family to www.forensicgenealogists.org/institute, and let them know you’re interested in attending FGI 2015.”

FGI Scholarship — Application Deadline December 12, 2014

CAFG is accepting applications for a $225 scholarship to FGI. Tuition for each course is $445, and the scholarship covers more than 50% of that fee. The FGI scholarship is open to all FGI 2015 registrants. Registrants interested in financial assistance should send a request of not more than 400 words to institute@forensicgenealogists.org explaining how receiving the FGI Scholarship might best help them and the field of forensic genealogy. Applications are due Friday, December 12, 2014. The scholarship recipient will receive a partial tuition refund of $225.

Those wanting to apply for the scholarship but who have not yet registered for FGI can do so online at https://fgi2015.eventbrite.com before submitting their application.

FGI Offers Brand-New, Advanced Training

Registration for FGI 2015 is already 75% full. FGI features the following two brand-new, concurrent courses designed for intermediate and advanced forensic genealogists:

Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Unknown-Parentage Cases, taught by renowned genetic genealogists CeCe Moore and Angie Bush, applies DNA and traditional genealogical research to uncovering the genetic heritage of individuals with unknown parentage. This area of forensic research is expanding rapidly, and genealogists who can use DNA to successfully address unknown-parentage cases are in great demand. Full course details are available at www.forensicgenealogists.org/institute/courses.

Forensic Genealogy Master Practicum (only 5 seats remaining) offers practical, real-life experience. Students will leave the course having written 3 forensic reports and participated in a mock trial. Course Coordinator Wanda Smith, JD, offers “6 Ways the Forensic Genealogy Master Practicum Will Advance Your Career” in a blog post at www.forensicgenealogists.org/institute/6-ways-the-forensic-genealogy-master-practicum-will-advance-your-career.

Courses are expected to fill. Register today at https://fgi2015.eventbrite.com.

About CAFG

Established in 2011, the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) is a business league with a professional membership dedicated to the advancement of forensic genealogy, which is research, analysis, and reporting in cases with legal implications. CAFG promotes high standards of professional and ethical conduct, provides education and training opportunities, and assists in professional development though mentorship, full membership, credentialing, and awarding of fellowships. Learn more at www.forensicgenealogists.org.

Findmypast releases over 3.4 million British Trade Union registers along with millions of new UK, US, Australian and Irish records

Findmypast is pleased to announce the release of over 3.4 million British Trade Union Membership registers as part of this week’s Findmypast Friday.

Every Friday, leading family history website Findmypast reveals thousands of new records to explore over the weekend on its dedicated Findmypast Friday page. This week’s additions also include over 60 million England and Wales Births and Baptisms, 3.6 million new Irish Dog Licenses, new Peninsular War records, over 1.7 million South Australian records and over 28,000 new PERSI articles.

Containing over 3.4 million records, the Trade Union Membership registers consist of digitized images of original records books from 9 different unions. The documents include details about individual members such as payments made, benefits received, names of spouses, and a number of unions published profiles of their members or those who held offices. Many unions kept detailed records for when a member joined, paid their subscription, applied for funeral benefits or superannuation (retirement). These records allow you to follow your ancestor’s progress within the union and perhaps uncover previously unknown details of their working lives and careers. The documents can also include details about the trade unions themselves, such as directories of secretaries, meeting dates and times and items of trade union business. Many trade unions also included international branches from Ireland to Australia to Spain and Belgium.

Over 3.6 million records have been added to our collection of Irish Dog Licence registers. Now containing over 6 million records, the Irish Dog Licences list not only the name, breed, colour and sex of your ancestor’s four legged friend, but also the owner’s address and the date the licence was issued, making them a valuable census substitute.

Indexes to over 28,000 new articles have just been added to over 2,000 PERSI periodicals. These include magazines, newsletters and journals, according to location, topic, surname, ethnicity and methodology.

The new Peninsular War, British Army Officers 1808-1814 were compiled by Captain Lionel S. Challis of the Queen’s Westminster Rifles shortly after WW1. Using Army lists, Gazettes, despatches, official records and regimental histories, Challis gathered information on more than 9,600 officers who fought for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars and recorded them on index cards. Each record contains an image of the original handwritten index cards and a transcript.

Over 60 million International Genealogical Index (IGI) English birth and baptism records have been added to our collection of UK births and baptisms. Spanning the 437 years between 1538 and 1975, these new additions bring the total number of records in the collection to over 237 million.

A further 700,000 IGI Welsh birth and baptism records spanning the 366 years between 1541 and 1907 have also been added to the collection.

South Australia Births 1842-1928 contain over 727,000 records and date back to when the compulsory registration of births first began in 1842. Sourced from an index transcribed by volunteers from the South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society Inc., each records consists of a transcript that usually includes the child’s full name, gender, date of birth, place of birth and registration number. The names of both parents will also be included and in some cases the mother’s maiden name will also be present. South Australia’s colonial origins are unique in Australia as a freely settled, planned British province.

South Australia Marriages 1842-1937 contain over 457,000 records. Each record includes a transcript that can contain a variety of information such as the first and last names of the bride and groom, their ages, birth years, marital status, the date and place of their marriage as well as their fathers’ first and last names.

South Australia Deaths 1842-1972 contain over 605,000 records and span 130 years of the state’s history. Each record consists of a transcript that usually lists the deceased’s full name, gender, status, birth year, date of death, place of death, residence, the name of the informant who notified authorities of their death and their relationship to the informant.

About Findmypast

Findmypast has been a leading family history website for more than 10 years. It’s a searchable online archive of billions family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For our members around the world, Findmypast is a crucial resource for building family trees and doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 the company was the first to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, Findmypast has digitised family history records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. In partnership with the British Library, Findmypast is part of a project to safeguard the future of the world’s greatest newspaper archive – allowing digital access to more than 40 million newspaper pages. Recently, The National Archives awarded the company the exclusive rights to put the 1939 Register for England and Wales online.

The British Newspaper Archive celebrates its 3rd birthday

The British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) has come a long way since the website launched on 29 November 2011 with 4 million historic newspaper pages.

9 million newspaper pages now online

The collection is now more than twice the size, with over 9 million fully searchable pages available from 300 British and Irish titles. The newspapers cover 1710 – 1954, a much broader time period than at launch.

If you weren’t able to find a particular person, event or place when The British Newspaper Archive launched, it’s well worth looking again now. Visit www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk to try a search for free.

Revealed: the 5 most popular searches

As a birthday celebration, The British Newspaper Archive has used website analytics to work out the five most popular newspaper titles and search terms.

Based on search volume, the most popular titles are:

1. Hull Daily Mail

2. Aberdeen Journal

3. Dundee Courier

4. Bath Chronicle & Weekly Gazette

5. Nottingham Evening Post

While some of the more unusual examples include ‘mouth is worn slightly open’ and ‘eyes with red hot needles’, the five most common search terms are:

1. Football

2. Murder

3. Death

4. Jack the Ripper

5. Railway

You’ll find more information about The British Newspaper Archive and how the website is being used at http://blog.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/2014/11/28/the-british-newspaper-archive-is-3-years-old/

About The British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership project between the British Library and Findmypast. From November 2011 to 2021, up to 40 million pages from historical newspapers across the UK and Ireland (spanning the period 1700 to 1954) will be uploaded to www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk.

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection.

Unlock the Past Cruises schedule 2015–16

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Adelaide, South Australia, 1 December 2014 – Unlock the Past Cruises announces its 2015-16 program of seven history and genealogy cruises – all now booking. Discover more about your family history in great company while visiting great destinations. All who book a cruise during the remainder of 2014 and 2015 are in a draw for $6000 worth of prizes. In addition there are more great prize opportunities on each cruise!

From Fremantle, Western Australia on the Astor, 19-24 January 2015, a cruise commemorating the departure of the convoys carrying the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and New Zealand Expeditionary Force (later to be known collectively as the ANZACs) in late 1914. Noted Irish and military historian, Richard Reid, will be the lead presenter.

Baltic cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse, 11-25 July 2015, visiting northern Europe, St Petersburg and Scandinavia – departing Southampton and visiting Bruges (Belgium), Berlin (Germany), Tallinn (Estonia), St Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), Stockholm (Sweden), and Copenhagen (Denmark). Apart from fantastic ports of call learn from a great team of presenters including Cyndi Ingle and Paul Milner (United States), Chris Paton and Janet Few (UK), Shauna Hicks and Carol Baxter (Australia) and many more.

A Transatlantic cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse, 1-16 November 2015 – one way from Southampton to Miami visiting Boston, New York, Bermuda and Port Canaveral. Many of our ancestors made a similar trip when they migrated – here is your chance to do the same and learn from Dick Eastman (USA), Else Churchill, Alec Tritton and Kirsty Gray (UK), Shauna Hicks (Australia) and more.
Our cheapest ever cruise! A short two night cruise from Brisbane 8-10 December 2015, on the Legend of the Seas. Lead presenter is Stephanie Ryan (State Library of Queensland).

New Zealand to Australia on the Celebrity Solstice, 14 February – 3 March 2016. The cruise commences in Auckland (New Zealand) and finishes in Fremantle (Perth, Western Australia), visiting many New Zealand and Australian ports. Among the stunning sights are the Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sounds. The cruise will have an international team of presenters with Judy G Russell (USA), the Legal Genealogist, as the lead presenter.

Coming a long way? Team the previous cruise up with a seven night cruise to the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland 6-13 March 2016 departing Brisbane on the Legend of the Seas. Carol Baxter (Australia) will present her highly acclaimed eight lecture series on researching and writing history and genealogy; other presenters include Helen Smith, Judy Webster, and Eric and Rosemary Kopittke.

And the European river cruise – a romantic seven night cruise on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel 31 July – 7 August 2016 on Tranquility II. Enjoy fantastic scenery and a unique opportunity to network with other genealogists in the group.

A genealogy conference on the high seas? Not only do you get all the fun of a regular cruise, you have the opportunity to network with other family historians from all over the world. The best part: the lectures and educational presentations are offered by some of the leading speakers in the genealogy industry. And Unlock the Past Cruises has the best selection of destinations and speakers hands down! – Thomas MacEntee, United States, 4th cruise presenter

With over thirty years of genealogy conferences behind me, I had long ago decided that the best conferences were those that were ‘live-in’—with on-site accommodation—you can really feel you are in Genealogy Heaven!! Now I know better! Now I know real Genealogy Heaven is an UTP cruise! Cocooned in another world; with friends—new and old; eating, drinking, sleeping, learning, absorbing genealogy!! 24/7!! Sea days; shore days; EVERY day a gem!! – Jan Gow, New Zealand, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 11th cruise presenter

Visit the Unlock the Past cruises website: www.unlockthepastcruises.com. Download our 16 page catalogue giving details of each of all 2015-16 cruises at www.unlockthepastcruises.com/catalogue

About Unlock the Past

Australian based Unlock the Past was established in 2009. It is the event and publishing division of Gould Genealogy & History which has served family and local historians since 1976. It is a collaborative venture involving an international team of expert speakers, writers, organisations and commercial partners to promote history and genealogy through innovative major events and a new publishing brand. It also maintains general and events directories online.

Further information

Alan Phillips
p: +61 8 8263 2055
e: alan@unlockthepast.com.au
w: www.unlockthepastcruises.com

Registration Open for the National Genealogical Society’s 2015 Family History Conference

Registration Open for the National Genealogical Society’s
2015 Family History Conference
St. Charles, Missouri, 13–16 May 2015


Crossroads of America

Arlington, VA, 1 DECEMBER 2014: Registration is now open for the National Genealogical Society’s thirty-seventh annual family history conference, Crossroads of America, which will be held 13–16 May 2015 at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. Conference highlights include a choice of more than 150 lectures, given by nationally known speakers and subject matter experts on a broad array of topics. The conference will open with The Tales of Pioneer Paths: Rivers, Roads & Rails given by J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, a full-time professional researcher and educator, and former APG president.

Continuing NGS’s goal of providing quality educational opportunities to its participants, the conference will feature a variety of lectures for all skill levels from beginner to advanced. Lecture topics covered at the conference will include: researching in many Midwestern states; national and regional migration paths; land, military, immigration, and naturalization records; ethnic and religious groups including African American, German, Irish, Jewish, Native American, Polish, and Scots-Irish; methodology, analysis, and problem solving; and the use of technology including genetics, mobile devices, and websites useful in genealogical research. The Board for Certification of Genealogists’ Skillbuilding track will again be an integral part of the conference and presented over the four days of the event.

Registration is currently open. To register online, visit the NGS website at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/event-registration/ and complete the registration form.

The online searchable program is available at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/agenda/ and the PDF brochure is available at http://goo.gl/x92kAg. The brochure includes an overview of the sessions, tours, pre-conference events, registration times, and rates, as well as general conference and hotel details. Attendees are urged to visit the conference blog, which will feature tips on local and regional research facilities as well as things to do in and around St. Charles and updated information on hotel availability and local restaurants.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.