Month: February 2015

New UK, Irish and Australian records released this Findmypast Friday

Over 174,000 new UK, Irish and Australian records as well as 1.6 million Irish newspaper articles have been added to our collection of UK records as part of this week’s Findmypast Friday. This week’s new additions include fascinating UK Trade union records and medical records from the 1832 Manchester Cholera epidemic, new Irish National Roll of Honour records, Australian cemetery transcripts and a selection of Immigration records from the state of Queensland.

UK Records

Lancashire, Manchester Cholera Victims 1832, contains detailed notes relating to the first 200 cases of the 1832 Cholera epidemic in Manchester. The outbreak peaked in August, in which about half of the reported cases occurred, and then tailed off to end in January of 1833. The case studies are transcribed from ‘The origin and progress of the malignant cholera in Manchester’ by Henry Gaulter MD, published 1832. Each transcript lists the victim’s name, age, year of birth, place and Gaulter’s detailed notes. The notes include the victim’s address, descriptions of their constitution, lifestyle, natural susceptibility, and the condition of their dwellings. Gaulter also included detailed notes, the dates of the attack and any possible ‘predisposing causes’, which could include details of the victim’s last meal or ‘communication’ with other cases.

257 volumes of British Trade Union Membership Registers are now available to browse at Findmypast. The Trade Union Membership registers consist of digitised 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, profiles of leading members, directories of secretaries and details of Union activities and proceedings.

Containing over 61,000 records, Britain, Trade Union Members, Service and Casualties contains the details of members from 18 different unions. The records are a collection of union documents from the war years and do not solely feature individuals who participated in the First World War. The records include daily trade union news and business and frequently acknowledge members who have left for war or joined the services. Many include pages of the union’s Roll of Honour and some include photographs of the members or feature short profiles about specific members. The most extraordinary of the records is the Workers’ Union Record, which regularly features full pages of photographs of service men.

Irish Records

Over 1.6 million new articles have been added to our collection of historic Irish newspapers. The latest additions include updates to 36 existing titles and 5 brand new titles from all over Ireland – Belfast Protestant Journal, Current Prices of Grain at Dublin Corn Exchange, Newry Herald and Down, Armagh and Louth Journal, Tipperary Vindicator and Weekly Vindicator.

Over 9,000 new records have been added to the Ireland National Roll of Honour 1914-1921. Now containing over 24,000 records, the Ireland National Roll of Honour 1914-1921 is a collection of transcripts created from all known available references and collections for Irish casualties published before 1922. They include Soldiers Died in the Great War, Ireland’s Memorial Records, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, newspaper items, articles and books. The material has also been cross referenced with the 1901 and 1911 Census to provide a more precise list of Irish casualties than was previously available to family historians.

Australian Records

Containing over 72,000 records, New South Wales, Macquarie Park Cemetery Transcriptions, 1922-2001, is an index of headstone inscriptions. Macquarie Park Cemetery is located in North Ryde, in north-western Sydney and was originally known as the Northern Suburbs General Cemetery. In 2004 it was renamed as Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium. The records consist of transcriptions collated by volunteers from the Society of Australian Genealogists. In addition to transcribing headstones and plaques in the cemetery, volunteers sometimes supplemented details taken from the deceased person’s headstone with further information from relevant burial records.

Containing over 1,700 records, Queensland Immigrants nominated for passage 1884-1907 are free to search records that list the names of immigrants and nominators as recorded in registers for nominated passage kept by the Assistant Immigration Agent in Maryborough. Assistant Immigration Agents publicised ships’ arrivals in the local press, provided information and services to immigrants such as accommodation and rations at Immigration Depots, arranged employment, and also processed government statistical information and ships’ passenger lists and other immigrant records.

Containing over 800 records, the Queensland Register of Immigrants 1864-1878 lists the details of applications for passage certificates for immigration, registered in Toowoomba.

Originally entitled Passage certificates 1887-1906, Queensland Passage certificates 1887-1874 is an index taken from the Queensland State Archives and consists of transcripts of passenger certificates. These free to search records were taken from a register kept by the Sub-Immigration Agent at Warwick and lists applications by sponsors of immigrants.

Containing over 29,000 records, Queensland Land Orders 1861-1874 consists of transcripts taken from registers of land orders issued to immigrants on the completion of their obligations under the Immigration Act, 1864-1869. Land order claims could be made for the passage to Queensland by immigrants or others who provided passages for immigrants.

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 2 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.

National Genealogical Society Launches NGS Monthly – A New Digital Publcation

ARLINGTON, VA. 23 FEBRUARY 2015. The National Genealogical Society (NGS) today launched NGS Monthly, a new digital publication that, each month, will feature a selection of original articles on genealogicalethodology, research techniques, sources, and the latest news from NGS. Published mid-month starting after the February launch, NGS Monthly was created to replace the Society’s older newsletter, What’s Happening, with a new content and design strategy.

NGS Monthly has a cool, clean look with predominantly green and white graphics and a lean design strategy to avoid distractions. “What’s Happening was using an older delivery system that limited the Society in terms of layout, graphics, readability and enjoyment. We wanted to provide our members with a more pleasant experience that will include visuals and varying lengths of articles, plus social media access,” said Jordan Jones, President of the National Genealogical Society.

The new content strategy has at its core the decision to give readers two thoughtful, longer-length original articles each month. One article in NGS Monthly will be devoted to genealogical methods and tie back to a past article in the digital archive of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) to give the reader examples from case studies. The concept is to “deconstruct” scholarly work so that genealogists of all levels can benefit from analysis of the fine work in this premier journal.

“There are many media options on the genealogical landscape today. NGS wanted to provide something special, something that could bring new understanding to the components of really excellent work that many of us aspire to and look at how expert writers handle sources, information and evidence to build proof of relationships,” explained Terry Koch-Bostic, Chair of the NGS Communications and Marketing Committee.

NGS Monthly editor, Melissa Johnson, added, “The inaugural articles will set the stage for future content. The lead article in the launch issue, ‘What Is an NGSQ Case Study?’ will help NGS members understand the purpose, significance, and structure of the case studies that appear in NGSQ, and the second article, ‘Eight Tips For Deconstructing an NGSQ Case Study,’ provides a look at some individual elements of a case study.”

Articles that are reflective about methodology and others providing readers with new insights, combined with NGS updates and news stories, form the core content strategy for NGS Monthly. The new format also encourages members to share news items through social media and gives them easy access to the NGS homepage, Twitter feed and Facebook page. There are also useful links to the digital archives for NGS Magazine, NGSQ and Upfront with NGS.

A subscription to the digital publication, NGS Monthly, is provided as part of a paid membership in the National Genealogical Society along with subscriptions to the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, NGS Magazine and Upfront with NGS blog. Upfront is also available free to subscribers. For more information on NGS Monthly and these other fine publications, visit www.ngsgenealogy.org.

About the National Genealogical Society

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.

Missouri State Genealogical Association Sponsoring Speaker Kathleen Brandt for the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in St. Charles, Missouri

Kathleen Brandt to present 7 Tips to Researching Slaves and Slaveholders in Little Dixie – MissouriFor Immediate Release:Columbia, MO – February 23, 2015The Missouri State Genealogical Association (MoSGA) is sponsoring Kathleen Brandt for the NGS …

Family Tree Tours Announces Two New Genealogy Tours

For those who wish to journey to their ancestral hometowns and experience the lives their ancestors led before emigrating, Family Tree Tours can help that dream come true. They will help you plan a visit to your hometown and make a contact for you there. Whether you choose a privately escorted, small group, or independent tour, their heritage trips provide you the opportunity to experience the culture of your heritage and create memories for future generations.

WASHINGTON, MO—February 2015Family Tree Tours, a leading European genealogy tour provider for genealogy societies and individuals, announces its two newest additions to their heritage tour line-up.

Irish Genealogy Conference Tour – June 26 – July 5, 2015

What better way to find your Irish ancestors than to learn from the experts in Ireland? Join Family Tree Tours on a small group tour to attend a genealogy summer school conference at the University of Cork in Ireland. All aspects of the subject are covered by a series of presentations and “hands on” workshops given by a selection of Ireland’s leading genealogical lecturers and experts. The latest online and offline sources are described and explained in lectures which will be of great interest to the seeker of Irish roots and family history, whether beginner or expert. Plus lots of fun outings to some of Ireland’s most scenic tourist spots in southern Ireland. We can extend the tour to give you the opportunity to visit hometowns.

Swedish Heritage Tour – August 1 – 13, 2015

Join Family Tree Tours on our exciting exploration of Southern Sweden. Spend 12 days traveling back in time to see how early Vikings lived and learning more about your ancestors’ lives and why they left. Plus visits to ancestral home places.

“No family tree research is complete until you experience the place your family came from,” says Kathy Wurth, owner of Family Tree Tours. “There’s no feeling more exhilarating than walking the streets your ancestors walked. Even if you don’t know your hometown, our European Heritage professionals help you paint the picture of your ancestors’ lives. Our tours help you make your research come alive.”

Wurth notes, preplanned group tours for 2015 also include:

Salt Lake City Research Tour – March 16-22, 2015 Research in the largest genealogical library in the world with help from experts.

Northwest Germany Tour – May 23 – June 2, 2015 with 10 days of visiting towns around Osnabrück, touring castles, and exploring the Bremerhaven Emigrant Museum.

Southwest Germany Tour– September 15 -18, 2015 Join us for an enchanting journey through the Black Forest region of Germany with an opportunity to explore Baden, western Wuerttemberg and northern Switzerland for an 12 day/11 night tour. This will be a trip you will never forget.

No matter what stage you may be in your research, we have a trip perfect for you.

About Family Tree Tours

Family Tree Tours provides research assistance to genealogy enthusiasts and ancestry trips to German-speaking countries. Whether a group heritage tour, private genealogy tour, or independent heritage trip, owner Kathy Wurth and on-the-ground German expert Matthias Uthoff provide you the opportunity to learn more about your family roots, to connect with family, and to learn about your ancestors before they made their emigration journey. With a passion for both genealogical research and travel, Kathy and Matthias work closely with you to ensure your family research trip is a success.

To learn more about planning German heritage trips and genealogical research, please visit http://www.familytreetours.com.

Don’t forget to follow us facebook, twitter, pinterest or youtube for updates and news about genealogy research resources.

Contact:

Kathy Wurth
Family Tree Tours
Travel Back To Your Roots.
www.familytreetours.com
info@familytreetours.com
888-798-2208

National Genealogical Society Appoints New Executive Director

ARLINGTON, VA 19 February 2015. The Board of Directors of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) announced the appointment of Edward Grandi as the Society’s Executive Director. Grandi joins NGS to help further their mission to promote genealogical excellence by helping enthusiasts improve their skills. His work will focus on the NGS growing portfolio of specialized family history learning resources, many of which can be accessed from anywhere in the world. NGS offers a full spectrum of educational opportunities, including its conference, in-depth publications, digital media and cloud-based, online courses from leading experts. Researchers can select from tailored educational programs to learn how to work smarter at every level and search for the right records, which helps them discover more about their ancestors.

The interest in traditional and genetic genealogy continues to grow in popularity across the country and all over Europe. The PBS Genealogy Roadshow and Finding Your Roots, plus Who Do You Think You Are on TLC, raise the hopes of many who dream of finding their ancestors, especially to connect to family across the oceans. Grandi begins his tenure with NGS at this exciting time in the marketplace and just as NGS is about to implement strategic initiatives, that will guide the work and the development of new educational products and courses, over the next three years. He recently commented, “I care deeply about family history and I am excited to begin this new role. Not only do I want to foster new ways to advocate education and quality standards in family history, I want to make sure that access is maintained and records are preserved for future generations.”

Working with nonprofits allowed Grandi to hone skills critical to the NGS Executive Director role including communications, fundraising, advocacy, marketing, and in today’s world, social media planning. He had long experience in senior corporate roles specializing in insurance and risk management for nonprofits and most recently served as an Executive Director to a patient-interest association in Washington, D.C.

Jordan Jones, President of NGS said, “Edward Grandi brings a wealth of business and nonprofit expertise to our Society. As part of our recent strategic planning, we are refocusing some of our energies on staff development. Edward is part of that investment and he will help us take NGS in exciting new directions. We view his appointment as a sign of our commitment to leadership in the genealogical field.”

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.

National Genealogical Society Announces Official Media Registration For 2015 Family History Conference

Arlington, VA, 19 February 2015: The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announced today the opening of official media registration for the 2015 Family History Conference, which will be held 13–16 May 2015 in St. Charles, Missouri. NGS invites interested press, social media writers, bloggers, radio show hosts, and other media to register for official media credentials at http://goo.gl/kzoX8z. Registration is open through 16 March 2015. NGS will notify registrants of their acceptance by 23 March 2015.

NGS recognizes the importance of media who regularly draw attention to records, research methods, tools, software, events, and other genealogical topics. Individuals and organizations with official media designation play an important role in the success of the NGS Family History Conference by sharing in conference fun, spreading newfound knowledge, and increasing conference attendance and participation.

Official media will be permitted to use the official press and blogger logos, and will be granted use of the press table at the conference. The NGS Family History Conference blog will link to all official blogs, social media pages, and websites. NGS will award five $50 NGS 2016 Family History Conference registration credits to official media who provide the best coverage at this year’s conference. Read the NGS Social Media Policy at http://goo.gl/Sigp7P.

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.

NGS Announces Research Trip to Allen County Public Library

Arlington, VA, 18 February 2015: Registration is now open for the National Genealogical Society research trip to the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which will take place 18–22 August 2015. Under the guidance of research consultants Janet A. Alpert, fngs, and Patricia Walls Stamm, CGsm, CGLsm, participants will research for five days at one of the largest genealogical libraries in the Midwest. The trip is limited to 30 participants. For more information, or to register for the trip, visit www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/research_trips.

The Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center is the second largest genealogy collection in the United States. The NGS research trip will allow participants to access more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 microforms for family history research. The library is also home to the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), and the library has copies of the 11,000 periodicals indexed in PERSI. For additional information about the Genealogy Center, visit the website at www.genealogycenter.org/.

The research trip includes:

  • Guidance from experienced research leaders
  • Online orientation to prepare for the trip
  • Five days of research at the Allen County Public Library
  • Meet and greet at the hotel
  • Research consultations with group leaders throughout the trip
  • Four nights at the Courtyard by Marriott, including free internet in rooms, and free parking for one car or airport transfers
  • Fees, taxes, and gratuities

The package price, which does not include transportation to Fort Wayne, varies depending upon room occupancy and NGS membership status. Payment is required in full at the time of registration. Fees are as follows:

Member
Non-Member
Single Room
Before May 21
May 21 and later
$675
$825
$825
$975
Double/Shared Room
Before May 21
May 21 and later
$450
$600
$600
$750
Room shared with non-researching companion1
Before May 21
May 21 and later
$700
$850
$850
$1,000

1 Non-researching companion receives the benefits of the double room and any events planned.

The research consultants, Janet A. Alpert and Patricia Walls Stamm, are available throughout the trip to help guide participants.

Janet “Jan” served as president of the National Genealogical Society from 2006 to 2010 and on the Board of Directors from 2004 to 2010. In 2014, she became a Fellow of NGS. She was co-chair for the NGS Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia, May 7-10, 2014.

Jan serves as the chair of the Records Preservation and Access Committee, a national committee that educates state and federal legislators on the need for access to public records. She has been researching her ancestors since 1981, a heritage which is mostly English, German, and Dutch. She is familiar with research in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, and military and DNA records. Jan is also a member of the DAR.

Patricia “Pat” serves as Education Manager of the National Genealogical Society. She lectures on a wide variety of topics at National Genealogical Society and Federation of Genealogical Societies conferences. She is a graduate of the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). Pat is a course coordinator at Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) and teaches at St. Louis Community College in Missouri.

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.

The Two Leading Nonprofits in the Family History Industry Announce a Historic Collaboration

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Announces a Multi-Year Collaboration with FamilySearch


  • New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Announces a Multi-Year Collaboration with FamilySearch
  • The Two Leading Nonprofits in the Family History Industry Announce a Sharing of Online Resources for the Benefit of Millions of Constituents
  • A New, Redesigned Website by NEHGS at AmericanAncestors.org Offers Millions of New Records and New Names—Giving NEHGS Members Access to More Records than Ever Before

February 17, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts—New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and FamilySearch, the family history arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, today announced a multi-year collaboration between the two nonprofit organizations
and a sharing of online genealogical resources, establishing a milestone in the growing international family history industry. In a database exchange program, the two leading non-profits in the global genealogy business will now make available millions of new records containing billions of new searchable names to their many constituents.

Under a multi-year agreement, FamilySearch will provide NEHGS with more than 2 billion records from its global historic record collections and its online Family Tree. These records will be added to the newly upgraded website of NEHGS—at AmericanAncestors.org—and a forthcoming online family tree experience. The searchable and browsable records to be added to the NEHGS website include U.S. federal census transcripts (1790–1930); civil registrations for Italy, Germany, Scotland, and the Netherlands; English birth, christening, marriage, and death record transcripts dating from the fifteenth century through the twentieth century; and a panoply of census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records for states across the U.S.

In turn, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will have access to hundreds of millions of records on AmericanAncestors.org through online affiliate accounts. In addition, NEHGS will provide millions of new records to FamilySearch from its holdings, including unique cemetery records from around the U.S. and Canada, historic tax records, early American military records, early New England marriage records, historic newspapers, and original scholarship from NEHGS published books.

“FamilySearch and New England Historic Genealogical Society keenly understand the importance of collaboration in family history,” said D. Brenton Simons, President and CEO of NEHGS and AmericanAncestors.org. “That is why our two organizations are teaming together to help provide high-quality solutions and experiences for the family history community.”

Founded in 1845, New England Historic Genealogical Society is America’s oldest and most respected resource for family history research and the largest genealogical society in America today. Although the institution’s name says “New England,” the organization is national in scope and provides expertise and research materials through AmericanAncestors.org in nearly all aspects of family history, from seventeenth-century colonial New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia through twenty-first century immigration research.

“Our founders recognized 170 years ago that family history would become important to all Americans,” added Simons. “For that reason, AmericanAncestors.org is a hub and treasure trove for family historians. We really do have something for everyone.”
Dennis Brimhall, FamilySearch CEO, said the collaboration will provide indispensable assistance to Latter-day Saint family historians by consolidating resources and providing a breadth of information unavailable elsewhere.

“By partnering with AmericanAncestors.org, we’re making an unprecedented scope of data available and accessible to some very eager consumers of historical materials,” said Brimhall. “We expect the ease of access to New England records will prove very encouraging to novice genealogists, and downright exciting to more seasoned enthusiasts.”

The NEHGS website, AmericanAncestors.org, is one of the world’s most visited family history websites and it is the most visited genealogical society website in the country—serving more than a million visitors a year. In addition to billions of searchable names, the site offers an online learning center with courses available for genealogists of all levels. The site features historical content from the vast library and archives of NEHGS and an online store offering the award-winning publications of NEHGS.

About American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society

The founding genealogical society in America, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) was established in 1845. Today it has a national collecting scope and serves more than 75,000 constituents through an award-winning website, www.AmericanAncestors.org. Since 1845, NEHGS has been the country’s leading comprehensive resource for genealogists and family historians of every skill level. Today NEHGS provides constituents with worldwide access to some of the most important and valuable research tools anywhere.

American Ancestors is the public brand and user experience of NEHGS, representing the expertise and resources available for family historians of all levels when researching their origins across the country and around the world. NEHGS’s resources, expertise, and service are unmatched in the field and their leading staff of on-site and online genealogists includes experts in early American, Irish, English, Scottish, Italian, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, Chinese, and Jewish research. Expert assistance is available to members and nonmembers in a variety of ways. The NEHGS library and archive, located at 99 – 101 Newbury Street in downtown Boston, is home to more than 28 million items, including artifacts, documents, records, journals, letters, books, manuscripts, and other items dating back hundreds of years.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 130 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

2016 FGS National ​C​onference Call for ​Presentation P​roposals​ – Deadline for Submissions is 10 April 2015

February 13, 2015 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces a Call for Presentation Proposals for the FGS 2016 Conference, “Time Travel: Centuries of Memories,” to be held in Springfield, Illinois, Aug 31 – Sept 3, 2016. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum are within walking distance of the Prairie Capital Convention Center, the conference venue. The conference will be held in cooperation with the Illinois State Genealogical Society as local host. The deadline for submission of presentation proposals is Friday, 10 April 2015.

“Time Travel: Centuries of Memories,” recognizes the vast array of people and resources whose paths into the United States brought them to, and through, the Midwest. Topics related to methodology and research skills are always welcomed, in addition to content-specific areas, such as:

  • Military: War of 1812, American Civil War, Indian Wars, World War I, World War II, European and Napoleonic Wars.
  • Migration: Europe to North America; naturalization records; passenger lists; ports of entry; to and through the Midwest; the Great Migration (northward from the sharecropping South); migration trails and routes (Mormon, Oregon, Santa Fe); refugee resettlement; modern economic migrants.
  • Ethnic Origins: The Baltic Basin (including Poland, Scandinavia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Denmark, Germany); Central Europe (including Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic/Bohemia, Hungary); Romance Europe (including France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the Papal States); the Mediterranean/Adriatic Basin (including Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Croatia, Cypress, Armenia); Latin American research.
  • Great Britain and the former British Empire​:​ (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India)​;​ the British diaspora; records (civil and ecclesiastical); churches (Anglican, Quaker, Catholic, dissenter, non-conformist, Presbyterians); military records; city directories; trade directories; guilds; poll books; valuations and tax records.
  • Occupations & Work: Farmers, carpenters, brewers/distillers, boatmen, firefighters/police, railroaders, canal builders, laborers and factory hands; women in the workforce; unions, guilds and apprenticeships; coal miners; slaughterhouse workers; doctors, midwives and pharmacists; clerks and lawyers; pressmen and printers; trade directories; smugglers, bootleggers and other illicit trades.
  • Religions, Adherents and Records: Jewish, Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant traditions and records; religious colonization’s and refugee movements; Pogrom and Holocaust survivors and research; the Underground Railroad; Mormon/LDS; utopian communities; peace churches, pacifists and conscientious objectors; convents, monasteries and cloistered communities.
  • Regional research: Research repositories in the Midwest; research in Illinois and nearby states—Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio; archival collections; college and university research collections; migration destinations from Illinois: the Great Plains, Texas, Oklahoma, and California; migration to Illinois from feeder states of the east and south.
  • Genetics & DNA: the basics of DNA research; autosomal studies and advanced analysis; testing procedures; ethical considerations; adoptions; forensic and expert work; case studies.
  • Skills, Abilities & General Knowledge: Beginning research techniques; evidence analysis; online resources and tools; wikis; collaboration techniques and etiquette; terminology; comparative analysis; units of measure, trade and currency; time, calendars and dates; writing a family history; publishing – print vs eBook; creating websites, blogs and vlogs; earning genealogical credentials.

The program committee specifically seeks new and dynamic proposals that will provide exceptional learning experiences for conference attendees. Proposals for workshops and sponsored talks are encouraged.

Multiple proposals (more than four) are welcome and encouraged, as most chosen to speak will be engaged for more than one presentation. There is no limit on the number of proposals a speaker may submit.

Submission Requirements

Speaker submissions and deadlines for the FGS 2016 Conference reflect the implementation of an online submission system. Interested parties must submit all presentation proposals using the online portal, which will open 20 February 2015. The Call for Presentation​ Proposals is now open and will close on Friday, 10 April 2015.

This deadline is for all proposal submissions including sponsored presentations.

Compensation

Selected speakers receive an honorarium, travel compensation, and conference registration as well as per diem and hotel nights based on the number of presentations given. (Sponsored speakers only receive conference registration and syllabus materials. See more about sponsorships below.) Non-sponsored speakers receive compensation according to the FGS Conference Speaker Policy at www.fgs.org/conferences/speakerpolicy.php.

Sponsored Presentations

Societies and businesses are encouraged to submit proposals for sponsored talks by the stated deadline for proposal submission. The sponsoring organization will cover its speaker’s costs to present the presentation. Sponsored speakers are expected to abide by all speaker deadlines and syllabus requirements. Sponsored speakers will receive complimentary FGS conference registration and electronic syllabus materials.

Additional Information

Invitations will be issued in October 2015. Syllabus format guidelines will be sent to speakers at that time. The deadline for acceptance and submission of signed speaker contracts is 1 November 2015.

Camera-ready handouts are required for each presentation or workshop presentation and will be compiled in a syllabus distributed to conference participants. The deadline for submissions of syllabus materials is Wednesday, 13 April 2016.

​For more information, please visit: ​ https://www.fgsconference.org/proposals/

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference — four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.

Follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy), Twitter (http://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy) and on our blog at (http://voice.fgs.org).

Findmypast releases over 101 million US, UK and Australian records

Findmypast is thrilled to be adding over 101 million UK, US and Australian records as part of this week’s Findmypast Friday.

Every Friday, thousands of new records are released on our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to explore over the weekend. This week’s new additions include Australian Will Books from New South Wales, English Parish Record Indexes from the county of Gloucestershire and substantial updates to the PERiodical Source Index.

Over 100 million new records have also been added to Findmypast’s collection of US records. Extensive additions have been made to our US Military, Census & Substitutes, Life Events and Immigration & Travel collections. Visit the Findmypast Friday page to find out more about our new US records and how to search them.

New South Wales Will Books

The New South Wales Will Books, 1800-1952, contain over 415,000 wills containing beautiful images of the original handwritten documents only available online at Findmypast. The records are copies of original Will Books held by the State Records Authority of New South Wales and include the wills of a number of individuals from other states and countries, typically in cases where the individual was a resident of New South Wales but their last place of residence was outside the state, or where they had originated from overseas and left legacies to family members back home.

The Will books can be used to discover more about your family tree or simply investigate how the rich and famous lived. Famous figures that can be found within the Will books include the first Prime Minister of Australia and Justice of the High Court, Edmund Barton; legendary soldier, engineer and administrator, Sir John Monash; and Ludwig Leichhardt, the Prussian explorer, who famously vanished during an expedition in 1848.

Gloucestershire Parish Record Indexes

Over 861,000 Baptism, Marriage and Burial records from the English county of Gloucestershire have been added to our collection of UK Parish records. The Gloucestershire, Bristol baptism index 1660-1914 contains over 411,000 records, the Gloucestershire, Bristol marriage index 1644-1939 contains over 273,000 records and Gloucestershire, Bristol burial index 1625-1950 contains over 176,000 records. Each record consists of a transcription of the original document.

PERSI update

The PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) has once again been updated with the addition of over 12,000 images. This update includes images from publications around the United States and beyond, including historical society yearbooks, genealogy magazines, State-specific collections and county registers to name but a few. New Images, only available to view at Findmypast, have been added to 32 existing titles that span 200 years of American history (1827-2012). Searching PERSI has never been easier as Findmypast’s powerful search tools allow you to find exactly what you’re looking for quickly and easily. You can filter your PERSI searches by name, location, subject, periodical title, publisher, year of publication and keywords.

US Records

Visit our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to see full lists of and learn more about the 100 million plus records that have just been added to our US collections.

About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Mocavo, Genes Reunited, The British Newspaper Archive amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 Findmypast 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, the company has digitised records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States.

Findmypast partners with StoryPress to bring family history to life through the power of storytelling

Genealogists can now record & share their family’s story easily and for free, using Findmypast Story Guides on StoryPress

Salt Lake City, Utah: February 13, 2015. Findmypast has today announced a partnership with Austin, Texas based StoryPress Inc, to make their market-leading storytelling platform available to Findmypast’s global audience of family historians. StoryPress’ dedicated technology makes it simple for anybody to create rich and powerful stories to enjoy themselves, or to share with the world.

Under the terms of the partnership, Findmypast and StoryPress have been working together to create Story Guides specifically aimed at helping genealogists to bring their family history to life using audio, images and video.

Service launched at FamilySearch’s RootsTech, with conference-themed story guides

The partnership is being announced at Rootstech, the world’s largest genealogy conference, where both companies will be supporting the launch of the partnership with a range of demonstrations, talks and panel discussions.

Additionally, two Story Guides have been created specifically for attendees of the event. The first lets them tell the story of their visit to RootsTech and the second lets them share their experience of visiting FamilySearch’s iconic Family History Library in Salt Lake City, the largest of its kind in the world.

Supporting Findmypast’s vision of bringing family history to life through storytelling

Findmypast has long been a pioneer in the genealogy market and has been exploring new ways for its customers to bring to life and share the amazing historical discoveries they make every week.

In 2014, they launched Who Do You Think You Are? Story with Shed Media, creators of the iconic TV series, a free service allowing people to create an online episode of the show, centred on their own family.

Ben Bennett, EVP of International Operations at Findmypast, said: “We were very impressed by the product that StoryPress has created. It makes it simple for anyone to create a rich & exciting story and share that with their families and the wider community. This is a perfect way for genealogists to move beyond collecting data in a family tree and really bring their family’s story to life.”

Mike Davis, CEO and Founder of StoryPress, said: “My team and I couldn’t be happier about this partnership with Findmypast. We believe with our storytelling platform and their global reach and world class family history research tools that together we can build the world’s largest repository of digital stories and memories and truly change the way people think of family history”.

The service, which can be found at https://storypress.com/findmypast is completely free to use and can also be used on smartphones and tablets via StoryPress’ dedicated iOS app, available free through Apple’s App Store.

Findmypast at RootsTech 2015 and will be making more exciting announcements throughout the week. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with the latest announcements. (facebook.com/findmypastus; @findmypastus)

Please visit Findmypast at stand 304 in the RootTech Exhibit hall from Thursday through Saturday.

About Findmypast

Findmypast is an international leader in online family history and genealogy research with customers and operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. Its searchable online archive includes over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers, the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and making family connections.

Findmypast has an unrivalled record of innovation in the field of family history, and works closely with the genealogy community, including local libraries, archives, societies, and other organizations from around the world, to preserve, digitize, and provide access to historical records. Findmypast’s historical records, advanced search tools and accurate data work together to help both professional and budding genealogists discover, explore and share their family stories.

About StoryPress

Based in Austin, Texas, StoryPress is changing the world of storytelling by making it fun and easy to create, save, and share personal memories and stories.

StoryPress focuses on the power of spoken word and the authenticity this brings to every story in a way unlike any other application. While telling your story, you are free to add pictures and videos along the way.

The finished product is a visually stunning, media-rich story including your audio narration. StoryPress stories live on our cloud and can be listened to and enjoyed on any internet connection in the world.

For more information please contact

Findmypast and BillionGraves announce partnership to make rich historical content accessible to everyone for free

Industry leaders are working together to make more than 12 million grave markers available to everyone, making it easier for families to discover their unique story for free.

Salt Lake City, Utah, 13 February 2015. Findmpast and BillionGraves announced today that they will partner to add more than 12 million grave marker indexes to family history websites mocavo.com and findmypast.com. With the shared goal of making family history more accessible to everyone, this unique content will be available on all three websites for free.

New records: 12 million grave marker indexes available for free

The partnership will offer all Findmypast and Mocavo subscribers free access to more than 12 million headstone records including GPS tagged headstone indexes and images that will link back to BillionGraves.com.

BillionGraves preserves precious records found in cemeteries throughout the world, using modern technology to capture images of headstones with their GPS locations so users from across the world can access those records anywhere.

Findmypast is making it easier for everybody to discover their family history. The BillionGraves mission complements that goal, and along with Findmypast’s commitment to offer more free data and innovative search tools, the BillionGraves partnership will make it easier for everybody to explore their family’s story and bring their past to life.

The two organizations will also work together to provide other initiatives that will help make family history and preservation efforts more accessible to the entire community.

Findmypast Executive Vice President Ben Bennett said, “This new partnership will help our customers to make new connections in their research. It marks another step in Findmypast’s journey to make more data accessible for more people who want to connect with their family.”

Hudson Gunn, President of BillionGraves said, “We are delighted to work with Findmypast to make the BillionGraves collection accessible to their growing user base world-wide. At BillionGraves we are working to provide a comprehensive family history database for records and images of the world’s cemeteries-but it’s not something we can do alone. Collaborating with Findmypast in this and other initiatives in the future will provide incredible value for millions of families and preserve this valuable data for generations to come”.

About Findmypast

Findmypast is an international leader in online family history and genealogy research with customers and operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. Its searchable online archive includes over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers, the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and making family connections.

Findmypast has an unrivalled record of innovation in the field of family history, and works closely with the genealogy community, including local libraries, archives, societies, and other organizations from around the world, to preserve, digitize, and provide access to historical records. Findmypast’s historical records, advanced search tools and accurate data work together to help both professional and budding genealogists discover, explore and share their family stories.

About BillionGraves

With more than 12 million GPS headstone records created by more than 140,000 volunteers in just 3 short years, BIllionGraves is the largest resource for GPS gravestone and burial record data on the web. BillionGraves collection reaches every country and supports 25 languages for desktop, iOS, Android, and now Windows phones making it the most versatile application for genealogists all over the world. BillionGraves’ mobile GPS tracking technology in its mobile applications perpetuates this progress, bringing a wealth of genealogical information right to your fingertips.

Findmypast begins offering DNA testing to customers

The world’s fastest growing family history company announces new affiliation with DNA experts FamilyTreeDNA.

Salt Lake City, Utah, 12 February 2015. Leading family history site, findmypast.com has today announced its new partnership with FamilyTreeDNA.

An important frontier in family history, DNA testing complements Findmypast’s historical records and family trees, allowing researchers to connect with one another and solve long-standing research questions. As of today Findmypast will now be offering DNA testing services to all its members through FamilyTreeDNA.

FamilyTreeDNA is a trusted provider of DNA testing services. The company offers tests for those who are just getting started as well as advanced genealogists looking to get further with their research.

From today, Findmypast will also be offering a special rate on FamilyTreeDNA tests as part of their premium service for annual subscribers, Findmypast First. This new partnership is just the beginning of Findmypast’s journey into DNA testing for their customers.

D. Joshua Taylor, Findmypast’s Director of Family History said, “DNA testing has the potential to help everyone discover more about their family history, and to make even more connections in their research. We’re delighted to be partnering with industry experts FamilyTreeDNA, and are looking forward to making further steps into this exciting area of genealogy”

Taylor Trusty, Product Manager at FamilyTreeDNA said ‘We’re excited to be partnering with Findmypast, and to be able to help their growing membership base make new connections. Our comprehensive genetic genealogy service will complement online research and offer the ability to use DNA testing to reveal more about where families came from, to validate uncertain relationships and much more. We’re looking forward to working together with Findmypast to help everyone break down their genealogy brick walls.’

Findmypast at RootsTech 2015

Findmypast is at RootsTech from 12-14 February. Hosted by Findmypast’s Family History Director, D. Joshua Taylor, the Findmypast keynote presentation on Friday 13th February at 8.30am will reveal the new initiatives the company is taking on in 2015.

Findmypast will also be making more exciting announcements throughout the week. 

Follow them on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with the latest announcements. (facebook.com/findmypastus; @findmypastus)

Please visit Findmypast at stand 304 in the RootTech Exhibit hall from Thursday through Saturday.

About Findmypast

Findmypast is an international leader in online family history and genealogy research with customers and operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. Its searchable online archive includes over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers, the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and making family connections.

Findmypast has an unrivalled record of innovation in the field of family history, and works closely with the genealogy community, including local libraries, archives, societies, and other organizations from around the world, to preserve, digitize, and provide access to historical records. Findmypast’s historical records, advanced search tools and accurate data work together to help both professional and budding genealogists discover, explore and share their family stories.

GeneaPress 2015-02-11 17:38:00

Industry Leader Talks Innovation and New Collections at Annual RootsTech ConferencePROVO, UT–(Marketwired – February 11, 2015) – Ancestry, the world’s leading family history service, is ushering in the next generation of family history, with the debut…

Findmypast, one of the world’s fastest growing family history companies, partners with New York’s largest genealogical organization to bring wider access to New York records

Findmypast will be the new home of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society’s Digital Library, offering millions of records from across the United States.

Salt Lake City, Utah, 11 February 2015. Findmypast and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) announced today that Findmypast will host the newly expanded Digital Library of the NYG&B. The partnership will provide additional membership benefits for the one of the nation’s oldest genealogical organizations, while also offering a stream of new content to Findmypast’s growing collections.

When launched, the expanded Digital Library will bring millions of new records to members of the NYG&B, including the complete U.S. Census, 1790-1940; U.S. Passenger Lists, 1820s-1950s; birth, marriage, and death records from across the U.S.; the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI), and many more. NYG&B members will be able to create an online family tree at Findmypast, and use new features such as Findmypast’s recently launched Hints to accelerate their research.

The partnership will offer Findmypast’s customers access to new records from the state of New York, covering more than three centuries. Major collections that will be added to Findmypast include the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record which has been in publication for 145 years, vital records, bible extracts, cemetery transcriptions, and more.

The two organizations will also work together to bring new content online over the course of the partnership. “The partnership is a terrific step forward for anyone researching ancestors from New York – we are delighted to join forces with such a historic organization to enrich the family history experience for Findmypast and members of the NYG&B,” said D. Joshua Taylor, Director of Family History at Findmypast.

“Our agreement with Findmypast offers our members two very significant benefits—vastly more effective searching of the complete run of the NYG&B Record and other NYG&B online collections, and direct access to the growing United States collections on findmypast.com. Findmypast subscribers also benefit significantly which makes the partnership a strong two-way street and thus sustainable for the long term,” said McKelden Smith, the NYG&B’s president.

About Findmypast

Findmypast is an international leader in online family history and genealogy research with customers and operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. Its searchable online archive includes over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers, the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and making family connections.

Findmypast has an unrivalled record of innovation in the field of family history, and works closely with the genealogy community, including local libraries, archives, societies, and other organizations from around the world, to preserve, digitize, and provide access to historical records. Findmypast’s historical records, advanced search tools and accurate data work together to help both professional and budding genealogists discover, explore and share their family stories.

About the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society has been a primary resource for research on New York families since 1869. The Society’s mission is to help people of all backgrounds find their places in American history through family history and genealogy. The NYG&B offers educational programs, including a biennial, three-day statewide conference; two essential quarterly publications, including its scholarly journal, the NYG&B Record; and extensive resources online at NewYorkFamilyHistory.org. In January 2015, the NYG&B published its monumental, 856-page New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer, the first and only comprehensive guide of its kind in the United States.

Findmypast continues to grow as Ancestry loses subscribers

  • Thanks to loyal subscribers, innovative technology and an international team, Findmypast gains subscribers while Ancestry’s numbers fall
  • As one of the fastest growing family history companies, Findmypast is challenging the status quo of the industry by acting on their belief that genealogy should be accessible to everyone.
  • Findmypast will be making a series of exciting announcements each day at industry show RootsTech

Salt Lake City, Utah, 11 February 2015. In a highly competitive market, family history site findmypast.com continues to grow. According to Ancestry’s annual report, Ancestry’s subscriber numbers fell by 25K year on year in 2014, while Findmypast’s active subscribers rose by 34K year on year for the same period.

Millions of new records – added faster than ever before

In the last year, Findmypast has added millions of records to help everyone discover their family’s story. Their collection now boasts over 2 billion records including thousands of unique records that cannot be found anywhere else.

Through their Findmypast Fridays project, the company continues to add thousands of new record sets every week. In addition to these new records, last year Findmypast’s sister site, Mocavo, added more than 1,000 databases every day, granting customers free access to more than 8 billion names. Altogether, Findmypast has more than 10 billion names and records available to help people everywhere find and connect their family.

New records and family history experiences to help everyone bring their past to life
Over the past year, Findmypast announced a partnership with FamilySearch, and the acquisition of Mocavo.com. In May, they launched Lives of The First World War, enabling everyone to build the stories of their World War 1 ancestors, and in June, they released Who Do You Think You Are? Story, an online family history storytelling platform.

In the past couple weeks, Findmypast site The British Newspaper Archive announced the publication of their 10 millionth historic newspaper page. This important archive, along with their ScotlandsPeople site, their rich Irish records collection, and the upcoming 1939 Register for England and Wales, makes Findmypast the best place to research your family history, wherever you’re from.
Findmypast is now announcing many new projects to build on their recent successes and expand the family history category even further.

Family history should be accessible to everyone

Findmypast is challenging the status quo of the genealogy industry by making family history accessible to everyone, through a combination of more free data, automated search tools, and ensuring that your data always remains your own.

  • Findmypast site Mocavo’s data is free, and will remain so forever.
  • Findmypast’s recently launched free Hints service moves research beyond the rigorous search process, and allows the site to discover connections for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • The ability to build or upload a tree to Findmypast for free, as well as the ability to export it freely anytime and anywhere ensures your data remains yours.
  • More partnerships to be announced this week.

Findmypast at RootsTech

At RootsTech, the world’s largest family history event, Findmypast will be showcasing new features and record sets to help genealogists make meaningful discoveries. They’re looking forward to meeting family history experts and enthusiasts and sharing more information about the exciting developments they’ll be announcing.

Findmypast Executive Vice President, Ben Bennett, said ‘This is a hugely exciting time for Findmypast. We are announcing exciting partnerships and projects at RootsTech which will make family history accessible to a new audience, and making it easier than ever to bring your past to life. We’re really looking forward to continuing to shake up the family history industry and help more people connect with their family’s story. This week we announce the first instalment of many exciting things to come for anyone who wants to discover and connect with their family’.

Findmypast keynote presentation on Friday, February 13th at 8:30am.

Hosted by Findmypast’s Family History Director, D. Joshua Taylor, the Findmypast keynote presentation will reveal the new initiatives the company is taking on in 2015.

Findmypast will also be making a series of exciting announcements throughout the week. 

Follow them on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with the latest announcements. (facebook.com/findmypastus; @findmypastus)

Please visit Findmypast at stand 304 in the RootTech Exhibit hall from Thursday through Saturday.

About Findmypast

Findmypast is an international leader in online family history and genealogy research with customers and operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. Its searchable online archive includes over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers, the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and making family connections.

Findmypast has an unrivalled record of innovation in the field of family history, and works closely with the genealogy community, including local libraries, archives, societies, and other organizations from around the world, to preserve, digitize, and provide access to historical records. Findmypast’s historical records, advanced search tools and accurate data work together to help both professional and budding genealogists discover, explore and share their family stories.

Registration for New York State Family History Conference Opens February 11, 2015


The second New York State Family History Conference will take place in Syracuse, NY, September 17–19, 2015 and bring together hundreds of researchers from across the country who want to learn about their New York roots.

NEW YORK, NY, February 11—The Central New York Genealogical Society and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society are cosponsoring the 2015 New York Family History Conference. This year’s event will also be a Federation of Genealogical Societies Regional Conference.

The three-day conference will be held September 17–19 at the Holiday Inn & Conference Center Liverpool, just outside Syracuse, New York. It will attract hundreds of researchers—both amateur and professional—and top experts in the field.

Nationally known speakers, Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL, The Legal Genealogist; Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, FASG; David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA, FamilySearch.org; Curt B. Witcher, Allen County Public Library; D. Joshua Taylor, Findmypast.com and President, Federation of Genealogical Societies; Dick Eastman, author and publisher; James D. Folts, Ph.D., New York State Archives; Henry B. Hoff, FGBS, editor of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register; Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., The Genetic Genealogist; Ed Donakey, FamilySearch.org, VP of FGS; Eric G. Grundset, Library Director, DAR Library; Jim Ison, CG, FamilySearch.org; Matt Knutzen, New York Public Library; Jen Baldwin, Findmypast.com; and, New York-specialist, professional genealogists Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, FGBS; Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS; Terry Koch-Bostic and Jane E. Wilcox will give lectures.

Registration opens on February 11 at the FGS2015 conference in Salt Lake City and online. The registration fee for the three-day conference (excluding meals and printed syllabus) is $140 for the first 75 registrants (available through March 31 or until sold out); members of the CNYGS or the NYG&B receive a $25 discount. Purchase tickets in the online store at www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org.

The conference responds to the rapid growth in interest in family history research and, in particular, the demand for information about families who lived in New York State.

Attendees will have an opportunity to advance their skills in researching New York families, to build general skills and through 30 lectures in three parallel tracks and learn ways to build their local genealogical and historical societies through the FGS Focus on Societies day. In addition there will be three luncheons and a dinner, all with riveting speakers; and open-to-the-public Society Showcase; and exhibits by vendors and societies. The conference program and exhibitor information may be found on the conference website, www.NYSFHC.org.

New York State poses numerous challenges for even the most experienced family history researcher. The New York State Family History Conference will break down research barriers and provide a forum that brings people together to share their research knowledge and problem-solving experiences and to collaborate on key research issues.

Sponsors of the conference include the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the Capital District Genealogical Society, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the New York Public Library, the New York State Archives and New York State Library, and the William G. Pomeroy Foundation.

About the CNYGS

The Central New York Genealogical Society was formed in 1961 for the purpose of preserving, publishing and sharing genealogical information and resources. Towards that end, it has published Tree Talks, a highly respected quarterly which contains abstracts of significant records from upstate New York counties and is fully indexed, annually. The CNYGS holds six meetings yearly, and members engage in record preservation projects to preserve and report information for the future. Its official website is located at rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nycnygs.

About the NYG&B

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society has been a primary resource for research on New York families since 1869. The Society’s mission is to help people of all backgrounds find their places in American history through family history and genealogy. The NYG&B offers educational programs, including a biennial, three-day statewide conference, of which the NYG&B is a co-founder; two essential quarterly publications, including its scholarly journal, the NYG&B Record; and extensive resources online at NewYorkFamilyHistory.org. In January 2015, the NYG&B published its monumental, 856-page New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer, the first and only comprehensive guide of its kind in the United States.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies across the United States and in other nations. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through a variety of online resources; through its FGS FORUM magazine published quarterly; and through its annual national conference which provides societies and family history enthusiasts four days of excellent learning opportunities including one full day devoted to society management — all delivered by nationally recognized speakers, educators, and regional experts. To learn more about FGS, its member societies, and its upcoming conferences, visit fgs.org. Find FGS on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy, on Twitter @FGSgenealogy and on the FGS Voice blog at http://voice.fgs.org.

ACCESS TO 400K+ NSW WILLS OBTAINED AND AVAILABLE NOW ONLINE ONLY AT FINDMYPAST.COM

One of Australia’s leading historical records provider now offering customers new information to further unlock their past, Australia’s history but also gain insight into how Australia’s richest families lived

09 February, 2015: Findmypast.com, one of Australia’s leading family history and genealogy websites, today announced that is has access to over 400,000 NSW wills dating between 1800 – 1952 for the first time.

The digitised wills, sourced from originals held by the State Records Authority of NSW are now available online only at findmypast.com.au. Covering the years 1800 to 1952 they include handwritten copies of the original wills from 1800 to 1924, and typed copies of wills from 1924 to 1952, allowing people to discover more about their own family tree or simply, have a sticky beak into how the rich and famous lived. The wills cover anyone in NSW who had probate granted in the NSW Supreme Court in this time period, meaning people can also explore anything from who previously owned their house to any notable figures that lived in their neighborhood.

The records also reveal some weird and wonderful requests that were made during these times. With examples ranging from one gentlemen who was extremely preoccupied about how his alcohol supplies would be cared for after his death to a parent who excluded his son from his will due to his ‘rapacious, ungrateful, unnatural and cruel conduct’; these wills will prove to be a treasure trove of historical information.

“We are very excited to be able to offer these new records to the public for the first time,” said Vicki Dawson, Country Manager of Findmypast. “We are seeing people use this information for a range of things. Since providing access to this new set of information, we have heard of people who found land that they didn’t know their ancestors owned as well as people finally piecing together gaps in their family trees that has been a mystery for years. It’s incredible how the puzzle comes together after gaining access to a few more pieces of information.”

Consumers cannot only read up on their own family history, but can also discover more about some of Australia’s wealthy and most recognised families. The wills include fascinating details such as the deceased’s address, occupation, beneficiaries, the contents of their estate and their date of death as well as additional and anecdotal notes.

The Will Books are an invaluable resource to Australians and will only strengthen the already large and diverse collection of records available at findmypast.com.au. Through findmypast.com.au’s access to the new set of Wills and its other 2 billion records, the following information has been found:

Celebrity spotting:

  • James Packer’s great grandfather – Robert Clyde Packer was a successful journalist who was the founder of the Packer dynasty. Has a detailed will and estate value was £54,306 or $5,658,000
  • Mel Gibson’s paternal grandmother – Eva Gibson was a well-known opera singer and protégé of Dame Nelly Melba who died intestate (without a will). She was living in the US when she died and even though no will was lodged, she is still recorded as her estate had to be distributed.
  • Malcom Fraser’s grandfather – Sir Simon Fraser, was also an Australian politician and member of senate. His estate was valued at £83,975 or $8,698,000

Famous featured historical figures:

  • Edmund Barton, the first Prime Minister of Australia and Justice of the High Court. Barton bequeathed all of his law books to his eldest son who also went on to become a NSW judge, however he had to pay a sum of £40 per annum to his wife until the agreed value was reached.
  • Sir John Monash, legendary soldier, engineer and administrator, widely considered to have been one of the best allied commanders of the First World War. Monash was very generous with his bequeaths and included money to cousins, siblings and friends. His will shows he was particularly fond of his son-in-law, noting: “To my son-in-law the sum of £1000 as a special mark of my esteem and affection.”
  • Sir Charles Edward Kingsford Smith, the aviator who completed the first non-stop flight across Australia (and namesake of Sydney’s international airport). He disappeared and his will was finally distributed 6 months afterward. Will states ‘testator presumed deceased on or after 7th day of November 1935’ (the day he supposedly disappeared)
  • Elizabeth Macarthur, the early colonial pastoralist and merchant, who effectively laid the foundations of the Australian Wool industry between 1801 and 1805. Macarthur left her entire estate and belongings equally to her three sons.
  • Ludwig Leichhardt, the Prussian explorer who famously vanished during his 1848 expedition and whose fate remains one of Australia’s greatest mysteries. Leichhardt’s estate was left to his nephew, however it was 20 years later before it was distributed! More than likely due to not knowing whether he was alive still.

“These Will Books are incredibly useful to family historians,” said Carole Riley, Vice President of the Society of Australian Genealogists. “Not only do the wills give insight into the family relationships and economic success of our ancestors, but their new accessibility can help us determine whether we have found the right ancestor in the first place. We can see what they owned that they considered worthy of passing on, and which of their relatives they considered worthy of the inheritance. I am so pleased that they have been made available online for the first time.”

Geoff Hinchcliffe , Director of State Records NSW added, ‘’The will books are one of the most vital sets of records held by State Records and provide a unique insight into the past lives of people in New South Wales. This agreement with Findmypast is really important as it makes one of State Records most valuable resources more easily accessible to more people online than it is today.”

To get access to the newly released wills and Findmypast’s millions of other records, visit http://www.findmypast.com/new-south-wales-wills, Findmypast has a special for the launch of these new wills; offering customers $5 for one month’s access to their entire record collection.

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 UK 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 digitized 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.

New British Merchant Navy WW1 Medal Index Cards and Dorset Births, Marriages and Deaths available to search at Findmypast

Every Friday, thousands of new records are released on our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to explore over the weekend. This week’s new additions include over 157,000 British Merchant Navy, First World War Medal Index Cards 1914-1925, over 165,000 Dorset baptisms, over 105,000 Dorset marriages and over 176,000 Dorset Burials.

The British Merchant Navy First World War Medal Index Cards, 1914-1925, contain over 157,000 records. During the First World War, Merchant Navy seamen, who had served at sea for at least six months and who had served on at least one voyage through a danger zone, were entitled to the Mercantile Marine Medal. The Medal was awarded by the Board of Trade, a committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. Recipients of the Mercantile Marine Medal were automatically entitled to the British War Medal and those who were invalided out of the navy during the war were entitled to receive the Silver War Badge.

Each record is a transcript of the original medal card and contains a link to purchase and download an image of the original record card from The National Archives. Medal cards tell you which medals were awarded, details of the seaman’s career in the Merchant Navy and their discharge number.

The Dorset Marriage Index, 1541-1937, contains over 105,000 records spanning nearly 400 years of the county’s history. 150 parishes and 105,248 names are recorded in the Dorset Marriage Index. The index begins after 1538 because in that year the Church of England mandated that all parishes keep records of baptisms, marriages and burials. Each record includes a transcript of the original document. The amount of information in each can vary but most will list the couple’s names, marital status, age, marriage date and place of marriage.

The Dorset Burial Index, 1538-1986, contains over 176,000 records spanning almost 450 years of Dorset history. The records list the details of burials conducted in 128 different cemeteries and churchyards across the county.

The Dorset Baptism Index, 1538-1912, contains over 165,000 records dating from the 16th century. Parish records are a great resource for tracing your family before civil registration started in 1837 as they can contain important information such as the names of the child’s parents. Each record contains a transcript of the original source material. The amount of information listed may vary but generally records will include the child’s name, date of birth, place of birth, mother’s name, father’s name and the father’s occupation.

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 2 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

Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society (MAGS) – Spring Meeting & Workshop

Press Release – For Immediate Release

The Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society (MAGS) will host a workshop and meeting on Friday and Saturday, March 20th and 21st, 2015.

Angela Packer McGhie will be leading participants in a “Creating an Effective Research Plan Workshop.” It will be held at the Holiday Inn – Laurel West on Friday, March 20th from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Efficient research takes planning and this workshop will highlight a process for focusing your research objectives and identifying sources most likely to answer your research question. The cost prior to March 10th is $35 for members and $40 for non-members. After March 10th the price increases by $5 for both categories. For registration, see http://www.magsgen.com.

On Saturday, March 21st, MAGS is hosting their Spring Meeting, entitled “Bringing Your Family’s World to Life.” Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, will be presenting four lectures designed to help you uncover your ancestors’ lives. Topics include cemetery and funeral home research, newspaper research, researching female ancestors and writing the family narrative. The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn – Laurel West. The cost prior to March 10th is $45 for members and $50 for non-members. After March 10th, the price increases by $5 for both categories. For additional details on the topics and to register, see http://www.magsgen.com.

Seats are limited, so register now for this two-day genealogical event!

Ontario Genealogical Society 2015 Conference Registration Now Open

Online registration is now open for this year's Ontario Genealogical Society annual conference, "Tracks through Time" from 29-31 May 2015 at Georgian College Campus, Barrie, ON, Canada.

Online registration is now open for this year’s Ontario Genealogical Society annual conference, “Tracks through Time” from 29-31 May 2015 at Georgian College Campus, Barrie, ON, Canada.

The conference theme “Tracks through Time” originates from the 130th Anniversary of the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway across Canada. Many family historians have their roots in the immigrant laborers who built this railway across our vast country. Other ancestors were tempted by the transportation routes and migration opportunities allowed by its completion. Still others worked for the railway company itself over the years to follow. As researchers, we “track” our family history through time in many ways, always attempting to ensure we are “tracking” the right people from the right line. The variations on “Tracks through Time” are endless.

View program and registration details at http://www.ogs.on.ca/conference/ to join hundreds of other family historians seeking new methods and record groups for “Tracking their Families though Time”.

Follow updates on the OGS web page http://www.ogs.on.ca , Facebook and Twitter and watch for video interviews with some of the Conference Speakers on the OGS YouTube channel.

Interested in genealogy and family history? Get involved!

MyHeritage adds 900 million records to its global digital archive

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah – February 2, 2015: MyHeritage, the leading destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, today announced that 900 million global historical records have been added to its searchable digital archive, bringing the total to more than 6 billion. By combining its huge and rapidly expanding digital repository of historical records with its matching technologies and newly-released Instant Discoveries™ experience, MyHeritage is helping families unlock their past faster and on a larger scale than ever before.

The additional content announced today is among the fruits of MyHeritage’s strategic partnership with FamilySearch, the world’s largest genealogy organization. The records consist primarily of family tree profiles that have been submitted by more than 22 million users on FamilySearch. Integration ensures that this data is refreshed on MyHeritage on a daily basis as it is updated on FamilySearch. Adding this data to MyHeritage alongside the 27 million global family trees submitted by users of MyHeritage, brings together for the very first time 2 of the world’s 3 largest family tree collections. The beneficiaries are the users of the two organizations that will receive matches whenever MyHeritage technologies locate overlaps between the trees. Millions of users will make new discoveries and find new, previously unknown ancestors and relatives thanks to this partnership.

Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage said: “Unraveling the family history of the people of the world requires two primary ingredients – advanced technologies and massive amounts of data. MyHeritage is constantly pushing the limits in developing big data technology for family history discoveries, and today’s announcement marks a substantial advancement in our accumulation of data. We’re proud to work closely with FamilySearch to empower families across the globe to learn about their past and, through it, about themselves. Today’s big step helps make the world a little smaller and bring people closer together.”

Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch said: “Partnerships are a major focus in FamilySearch’s strategy to increase family history discoveries for more people. We value our strategic partnership with MyHeritage and appreciate their global reach and contribution to technology in the family history space. We believe this integration is paramount to the greater good of the community and look forward to a fruitful 2015 and beyond.”

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is the leading destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history. As technology thought leaders and innovators, 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, matching and Instant Discovery 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

Announcing Minnesota Genealogical Society’s 2015 Webinar Series

Minnesota Genealogical Society announces its 2015 Webinar Series:

  • February 4th – Genealogy Do-Over™: A Year of Learning from Research Mistakes – Thomas MacEntee. It isn’t often that we get a “do-over” when it comes to stuff that matters in life. When you first got started researching your family history, did you do some things that now are just plain “embarrassing” such as name collecting, not citing sources and more? Well, now there’s hope since genealogists from beginner to advanced are employing new research methodologies and documentation practices. Follow genealogist Thomas MacEntee as he basically starts his genealogy research from scratch but includes sound research practices and methodologies as well as new templates, tools and the latest technology to create a better body of family history research.
  • March 4th – Midwestern & Plains State Level Census Records – Paula Stuart-Warren. Many Midwestern and Plains states have superb state census records. Learn about the indexes, the many personal details these censuses include, locating the censuses, and alternate sources. The lecture includes many specific examples from these enumerations, provides an overview of state censuses for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, and indicates where they may be found. The personal details vary but may include names of children, maiden names, military service, religious denomination, mother of how many children, occupation, value of real estate, and other helpful details.
  • April 1st – Find Your American Ancestor Using Canadian Records – Kathryn Lake Hogan. When you can’t find your ancestor’s birth, marriage or death registration, or their name on a ship list or immigration record at Ellis Island, then it’s time to consider your ancestor may have been in Canada. Whether your ancestor was here for a day or for many years, he/she left behind records. When you hit a brick wall in your research, it’s time to consider Canada. Even if you think your American or immigrant ancestors were never in Canada, discover eight reasons why they actually may have been there. Learn how and where to find the Canadian or provincial records that will help you fill in the missing pieces of your ancestors’ lives.
  • May 6th – Researching Your Swedish Ancestry in the 21st Century – Ginny Sharp Sommarstrom. Researching your Swedish-American ancestors has become much easier in the last ten years, thanks to the availability of numerous Swedish and American resources in digital format, all accessible from the comforts of your home. This presentation will provide a framework for tracing Swedish- American ancestry that is based on four essential questions that must be answered. Resources for answering those questions are illustrated and discussed. With answers to those four questions in hand, we will delve into U.S. immigration, Swedish emigration, and Swedish church records. Clear step-by-step examples will help the listener find their own ancestors in these records.
  • June 3rd – Genealogy and GIS: A Beginner’s How-To – Jennifer Alford. When you dig into genealogy, a repeated lesson is to know your location. We’ll uncover how using GIS can connect geospatial history with your family history research. In this session, we’ll cover the exciting historical geospatial information that is now available for use in Google Earth and the many other tools available online. I’ll present the many options and databases that could be an invaluable tool in your research. We’ll discuss the importance of historical context and the kinds of data that can be used to further your genealogical research.
  • August 5th – A Guided Tour to Cyndi’s List 2.0 – Cyndi Ingle. This begins with a brief history of Cyndi’s List, followed by an overview of how to navigate the site and how to tell when the site is updated. Learn how to effectively use this valuable resource tool as your jumping-off point onto the Internet.
  • September 2nd – Genealogical Research Using Facebook’s 4,000+ Genealogical Pages & Groups – Katherine R. Willson. Facebook is quickly becoming a favorite resource among genealogical researchers for its vast networking capabilities. With many thousands of regional and surname-specific genealogy groups, researchers are discovering relatives, sharing photos, finding obituaries and breaking down brick walls that have blocked them for years – often within 24 hours of posting a query! This presentation introduces members to Facebook as a genealogical research tool and guides them through the process of efficiently utilizing Facebook for specific genealogical needs. Participants are also given the link to the 120-page PDF file listing 4,000+ genealogical pages & groups on Facebook.
  • October 7th – Engaging the Next Generation – Shannon Combs-Bennett. The youth are our future is stated many times through different organizations. Genealogy is no different. Today there are children and young adults you know who want to learn more. Most people, however, do not know how to do it. In this presentation, I will go through ways to engage, interact, and teach the youth in your life about family history. Not all of them may grow up to be professionals but through education they will develop an appreciation for what their ancestors did and where research can take them.
  • November 4th – Research Logs and Plans for Every Genealogist – Lisa Alzo. Whether you’re a beginner, or an experienced genealogist, learn how create and maintain research plans and logs to maximize your research time and increase success. Through examples, you will discover how simple it is to develop easy-to-use research plans and logs you can access no matter where you are. Session will demonstrate key steps such as deciding on a format (Excel spreadsheet, Google Drive, or Evernote), creating the columns you’ll need, designing the document, entering information, and using and maintaining the database.
  • December 2nd – Passenger Lists: A Boat-Load of Records, 1565–1954 – Valerie Eichler Lair. There truly is a “boat-load” of records on passenger lists! Learn what you need to know before searching, how to find these valuable records and available resources, and really cool information you’ll get about the ancestors who took the journey across the “Big Pond.” In addition to researching for passenger lists, we’ll cover a bit about immigration records.
All webinars are held at 7:00 pm Central. Visit the Minnesota Genealogical Society website at http://mngs.org/ for more information.