Month: November 2015

Hotel Reservations Open for FGS 2016 Conference

Book Your Room Today!

Two Springfield, Illinois hotels are now taking reservations for The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 2016 Conference, “Time Travel: Centuries of Memories,” which will be held August 31 – September 3, 2016 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center.

The Wyndham Springfield City Centre (formerly the Hilton Springfield) and The President Abraham Lincoln Springfield (a DoubleTree hotel by Hilton) will offer reduced rates to attendees of the FGS 2016 Conference. Each hotel is conveniently located near the Prairie Capital Convention Center and each hotel will offer a courtesy bus from the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport and Amtrak station.

Hotel Reservations Open for FGS 2016 Conference
Left: Wyndham Springfield City Center; Right: President Abraham Lincoln Springfield (a Doubletree Hotel by Hilton)

Wyndham Springfield City Centre
700 E Adams St, Springfield, IL 62701
(217) 789-1530

The conference rate is $129/night, available from August 27 to September 6, 2016. Reserve your room by August 6, 2016 to receive the discounted rate. Visit to reserve your room online. NOTE: For the Wyndham, phone reservations will be taken ONLY after January 1, 2016, while online reservations can be made now.

The President Abraham Lincoln Springfield
701 E Adams Street, Springfield, Illinois 62701
(217) 544-8800

The conference rate is $129/night, available from August 30 to September 4, 2016. Reserve your room by August 3, 2016 to receive the discounted rate. Visit to reserve your room online. NOTE: The President Abraham Lincoln Springfield has a connected walkway to the Prairie Capital Convention Center.

Book Your FGS 2016 Conference Hotel Room NOW!

Rooms will be in high demand. Reserve yours now through the FGS conference website at Registration for the FGS 2016 Conference will open in late January 2016. For additional information about the FGS conference visit

Call for Presentations OGS Conference 2017

Call for Presentations OGS Conference 2017

The annual Ontario Genealogical Society Conference 2017 will be held in Ottawa on June 16-18, 2017 at Algonquin College. The theme of the conference is Our Canada – Your Family: Building a Nation. As 2017 will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of Canada, Ottawa Branch OGS will host the annual OGS conference and give the Conference a national flair, bringing together genealogists and family historians from all over Canada. We are looking for speakers and talks of interest to genealogists from all provinces.

In keeping with this theme, we invite proposals for presentations on: family history from every region and territory of Canada (e.g. Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and British Columbia); migration to and from Canada and also within Canada and how this helped to not only build our families, but also Canada; pre- and post-1867 research in Upper Canada; religious associations; military connections; the latest updates on computer, social media and genealogy database technology; the ever growing use of DNA testing for genealogy; and skill-building for family historians (e.g. use of the genealogy proof standard, getting more out of online resources). Speakers from other related disciplines are welcome! Statisticians, demographers, archaeologists, researchers, archivists, librarians, geographers, cartographers, scientists, theologians, doctors, PhD candidates, software gurus, internet intellectuals, social media mavens, and historians of all kinds have information of interest to family historians and we would like to hear from you!

Most sessions will be one hour long. Sessions may be streamed in or out of the Conference venue. Topics for interactive, hands-on workshops are also welcome (typically half-day sessions). Speakers will receive an honorarium, plus appropriate expenses and complimentary Conference registration. In early 2017, speakers will submit content for inclusion in a syllabus.

Please submit your proposals by e-mail. Include your full name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, website address (if applicable) and biographical information including recent speaking credits. For each proposal, please provide a unique title, a summary of your presentation (250 words maximum), the intended audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and your A/V requirements. Multiple proposals are encouraged.


To submit proposals or ask questions, please contact the Conference 2017 Program Committee at: For more information about OGS or Ottawa Branch respectively, please visit: or

National Genealogical Society Announces Program for the 2016 Family History Conference

ARLINGTON, VA, 20 NOVEMBER 2015—The National Genealogical Society is pleased to announce the release of its 2016 Family History Conference program. The program, which includes more than 170 lectures, is now available online at and as a sixteen-page registration brochure, which can be downloaded at

Nationally known speakers and subject matter experts will address a broad array of topics, including records for Florida and its neighboring states; migration into and out of the region; military records; state and federal records. Other topics will discuss genealogical research on African Americans and women; methodology; analysis and problem solving; and the use of technology, including genetics, mobile devices, and apps useful in genealogical research.

The conference will take place at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 4–7 May 2016. Registration opens on 1 December 2015 at A number of special events have limited seating, so register on 1 December, or as soon as possible thereafter, if you plan to attend these events.

Up-to-date information about the availability, amenities, and rates for conference hotels can be found at

Sign up for the NGS Conference Blog at so you do not miss conference news or announcements.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, 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, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, November 20, 2015

This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of two fascinating UK collections, updates to our collection of historic British newspapers and the ability to browse Findmypast’s largest single collection.

Almost 10,000 volumes of England & Wales electoral registers are now available to browse, making it is now easier than ever before to uncover the history of your home and local area. Records available to search this weekend include social & institutional records covering daily life in 18th and 19th century Devon, a list of British WW1 volunteers from Argentina and millions of brand new British newspapers articles.

Browse through nearly 10,000 volumes of England & Wales electoral registers containing 5.4 million images and approximately 220 million names. The collection was recently made available online for the first time in association with the British Library and includes parliamentary registers, burgess rolls, parochial registers and county council registers. Electoral Registers are lists created annually of people who are eligible to vote and include their reason for eligibility, such as their residence or ownership of a property. Browsing the registers is a fantastic way to learn more about the history of your home or local area.

The period covered by The England and Wales Electoral Registers 1832-1932 includes some of the most important events in history of British democracy and demonstrates how the British electorate changed during the 19th and early 20th centuries: from the vote being extended to working class men and the reform of representation up until women’s suffrage.

British in Argentina 1914-1919 is a list of 4,852 members of Argentina’s British community who volunteered for service during the Frist World War. Argentina was a neutral country during World War I. However, one-third of its population was comprised of foreign citizens, including those of the countries currently at war. This general roll of volunteers forms a chronological account of events in Argentina just prior to and after Britain’s declaration of war on Germany up to the end of the hostilities. This includes details pertaining to war efforts made in Argentina by British residents, including the work of the British Women’s Patriotic Association. Later chapters include details pertaining to the war fund, women’s war efforts, work of societies and communities, the role of established institutions in the war effort, and the aftermath of the Armistice.

These records consist of both transcripts and images of the original publication, “Activities of the British Community in Argentina During the Great War 1914-1919”, published in 1920.

Over 49,000 records have been added to our collection of Devon Social & Institutional Records. This extraordinarily rich collection has been gathered by the Devon Family History Society from a wide range of local records covering daily life in the 18th and 19th centuries. There are 127 separate sources mainly covering working life, but also containing a fascinating collection of criminal and poor law records. There are also several very unusual record sets including smallpox vaccinations for Brixham, Exeter Heavitree and St Thomas and Exmouth, Christmas presents for Exmouth children whose fathers were away fighting in World War 1 and the Heavitree Nuisances, which covers insanitary premises that could be closed down by the police.

Each record contains a transcript of original records. Because of the range of material available, the type and amount of information varies considerably.

Over 3.7 million fully searchable articles have been added to our collection of historic British newspapers. This latest update includes 11 brand new titles covering major cities such as London and Dundee, as well as more regional and local titles like the Peterhead Sentinel and General Advertiser For Buchan District and Wisbech Chronicle, General Advertiser and Lynn News. The latest additions also include specialist publications with fascinating subject matters like the Anti-Slavery Advocate and Bright’s Intelligencer and Arrival List.

Substantial updates have also been made to 43 existing titles including the Morning Advertiser, The Era and Birmingham Daily Post.

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

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.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, November 13, 2015

This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 1.3 million military records from the UK, US and Australia. These latest additions include UK memorial rolls containing highly detailed biographies and photographic portraits, conscription tribunal records from the English county of Surrey, over 1 million US army pension cards and Australian soldier settlements from the State of Victoria.

Veterans Administration Pension payment cards, 1907-1933, contains over 1.3 million records. Since the American Revolution, congress has been involved in offering pensions for disabled soldiers and in the 1800s the government expanded them to cover veterans’ widows and dependents.

The collection is compiled of records detailing payments from the US Veteran’s Administration (VA) to those receiving veterans’ pensions. It includes both transcripts and images of the original pension records for payments made between 1907 and 1933. This means that some of the veterans listed actually died prior to 1907. Details can include how much money was paid out, when it was paid out and two whom, allowing you to discover your ancestor’s next of kin as well as their date of death and details of their military service.

Surrey, military tribunals 1915-1918 contains the details of over 10,000 men. Comprised of registers and letter books, the records cover four military tribunals held at Woking, Dorking, Haslemere and Guildford in the English county of Surrey. Military service tribunals were bodies set up by local councils for men who wanted to appeal for an exemption from conscription. A person had the right to appeal conscription on a number of grounds. One such example would be if he were employed in a position of national interest, such as farming or industry. Other reasons for appeal included ill health, infirmity, exceptional financial or business obligations, or conscientious objections. Conscientious objectors were not always given an exemption, but they could be assigned to non-combatant positions. Each record includes and transcript and image of the original document.

The Lloyds of London Memorial Roll 1914-1918 contains the records and photographs of men company employees who died during the First World War. Over 2,000 men from the historic insurance firm served in the military during the conflict, many of whom joined London regiments such as the London rifle Brigade or the London Scottish.

The Roll is a tribute to those who lost their lives during the conflict and contains the records of 216 men. Each name has two records, an entry in the memorial role and a photographic portrait, and will display both an image and a transcript that may include details of their rank, regiment and any awards they received.

The Stock Exchange Memorial Roll 1914-1918 is a record of employees of the London Stock Exchange who gave their lives for King and Country during the Great War. The Roll contains both men and women. Each entry contains a biography and, in some cases, touching testimonies from fellow soldiers and commanding officers.

When war was first declared, the subsequent fear surrounding borrowed money being called in led to the Stock Exchange closing at the end of July 1914. As a result of the closure, the Stock Exchange (10th) Battalion of Fusiliers was formed for the 1,600 men who volunteered service. Many of the men listed in the Roll served with this regiment.

Victoria, World War One Soldier Settlers contains the details of veterans of the First World War who applied for a land lease under the State of Victoria’s Battle to Farm settlement scheme. The scheme allowed discharged soldiers to lease land to settle in an effort to provide work for the large number men returning home after years of fighting. Large rural plots were subdivided into smaller units for farming and were then leased to soldier settlers.

There are over 12,000 transcripts in this collection, each of which links to scanned images of the original soldier settler file. Transcripts can contain information the land that was leased and reveal significant biographical details about individual settlers such as family names, past occupations, and financial details.

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

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.

The In-Depth Genealogist Offers 25% Off All PDF’s

The In-Depth Genealogist Offers 25% Off All PDF's

November 9, 2015 | Utica, OH


The holidays are coming quick and we are excited to announce that ALL of our PDFs are on sale now! If you have been putting off the purchase of your favorite In-Depth Genealogist author’s book or In-Brief guide, now is the time to make that purchase and save 25%. Issues of Going In-Depth, our digital magazine, are at the low price of just $3.75 per digital download. Don’t miss out!

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The sale goes through the end of November, so please make sure to share this post with your friends. Just visit our shop at

FamilySearch Honors the Fallen

FamilySearch Honors the Fallen - Veterans Day 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (November 11, 2015)—As the nation pauses this Veteran’s Day to remember those who have fought in our country’s name, FamilySearch marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War by helping families piece together the stories of courage and sacrifice of veterans hidden from their family’s history. Two new online collections received from the National Archives and Records Administration account for all known casualties in the Southeast Asian combat zone during the Vietnam War era and beyond. Search these and over 100 free military collections brought together for Veteran’s Day to help families more easily locate and learn about their ancestor’s military service at

The US military sustained over 58,000 casualties in the Southeast Asian combat zone out of the roughly 8 million Americans who served there between 1956 and 1975. Those casualties include not only war dead but prisoners of war, soldiers missing in action, and soldiers with wounds severe enough to warrant being sent home (repatriated). Families can find records for each soldier counted as a casualty during this time in either or both of the collections maintained by FamilySearch.

Since both of the Vietnam records collections were taken from essentially the same original sources, researchers will most likely find the names they are seeking in both collections. But they should check both because additional details may be found on one or the other. In each collection you will find a link titled “Find More.” It will link to more sources and helps about Vietnam research on the Church Wiki.

The United States Casualties of the Vietnam War, 1956-1998 collection) was originally comprised of two files: the Combat Area Casualties Current File, 6/8/1956-1/21/1998 and the Combat Area Casualties Returned Alive File, 5/1/1962-3/22/1979. The first contains information on war dead, prisoners of war, and soldiers missing in action, while the second accounts for military personnel wounded and repatriated immediately before, during, and after the conflict. The collection as a whole includes approximately 58,959 records. The United States Military Personnel Who Died During the Vietnam War, 1956-2003 collection (counts for fatalities suffered in the Southeast Asian combat zone and includes approximately 58,230 records.

Records in the collections include names; dates of death or repatriation; military information such as branch of service, rank, and tour of duty; birth date; home residence; marital and citizenship status; and other facts. One record tells when the person entered the service and when that person died. John Foster Johnson is an example of the tragedy of this war. He was born in December 1945, and he entered the service when he was 23 years old on January 4, 1968. This young man never married, had been a member of the Baptist Church, and was killed on 10 March 1968, just a little more than two months after he entered boot camp. This experience was repeated thousands of times for families who lost their young sons, their brothers, and their friends. In this record is also found information about those missing in action who never returned home. These records can be used for further research into a deceased family member’s military career and civilian life before, during, and sometimes after the war, if they survived to go home and die there.

Regardless of the diverse opinions of the war, and the politics surrounding it, many families still seek a better understanding of those now deceased ancestors and relatives who fought. In a recent blog post, FamilySearch collection manager Ken Nelson noted, that “Those of us who grew up then remember hearing the casualties reported each night on the news…. It became a part of our lives back then and in many ways is still with us today.” FamilySearch hopes that the growing military record collections can help piece together the stories of those who sacrificed so much during times of conflict and provide a fuller picture of the lives of veterans who served to their descendants.

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 or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, November 6, 2015

This week’s Findmypast Friday also marks the release of new additions to our collection of Yorkshire burials, marriage licences from the ancient Anglican Diocese of Ely in Cambridgeshire and a fascinating index of merchant ships from a time when Britain was the world’s most powerful trading nation.

The Lloyd’s Register of Merchant Ships Index 1843 was created using the 1843 publication of Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping, provided by John Dagger. Lloyd’s register was completed annually and this register covers 1 July 1843 to 30 June 1844. During this time, Britain was a powerful trading nation and a leader of industry in the world. The names found within this index refer to the master of the ship. The master was responsible for the vessel’s daily operation including navigation, ensuring that the ship was fitted out correctly, repairs and overseeing all the cargo. The master also kept the daily logs for the ship and managed the ship’s budget.

It is important to note that ships often changed names when they changed owners. For example, in 1849, Cunard sold the Britannia to the German Confederation Navy who renamed the ship the SMS Barbarossa. The ship was then fitted with guns and became the flagship of the German Navy.

Cambridgeshire, Ely Diocese Marriage Licences 1684-1811 contains more than 8,000 records that allow you to discover the date your ancestors were issued their marriage licence, spouse’s name and the name of the bondsman for the licence. Many of the records also include the bride’s maiden name, an excellent find for family historians, however, although it is important to note that the existence of a marriage licence does not necessarily mean that a marriage occurred.

A marriage licence could be requested instead of the traditional banns for various reasons, among them being a couple wanting to marry quickly or avoid the reading of the banns if, for example, the local community did not know them. In order to obtain a licence, the couple signed a marriage allegation. It stated that there was no legal or moral reason they could not be married. Additionally, a groom would pledge a bond, a monetary amount, to be forfeited in case he did not marry the intended bride. A bondsman, or a surety, would be named on the licence. Often the bondsman was a relative of the groom, but could also be a neighbour or friend. After 1823, marriage bonds were no longer required.

Each record includes a transcript created by Avril Symonds from the original records held in the Suffolk Record Office and the Cambridge University Library.

Over 62,000 new additions have been made to our collection of Yorkshire parish burials. These new additions span over 200 years, cover 18 different locations and can reveal your ancestors name, the age at death and burial place.

The full collection contains more than 1.8 million records covering over 400 years of the county’s history. Before the introduction of civil registration in 1837 Church of England parishes recorded the bulk of births, marriages and deaths. The Church of England mandated the keeping of records in all its parishes from 1537 with the earliest records generally starting in 1538.

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

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.

Association of Professional Genealogists Elects Billie Stone Fogarty President

Executive Committee, Board Members, and Nominating Committee Elected for the Next Term

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 5 November 2015−Today the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) announced election results for its 2016–17 executive committee, as well as for nine board members, and two nominating committee members. Billie Fogarty, M.Ed., of Oklahoma City was elected president. An APG Life Member, Fogarty has served in many different capacities within the organization. She recently completed her fourth year as president of the Genealogical Speakers Guild. A frequent speaker at national conferences, she is also active on the regional, state, and local levels in advancing genealogical research and open records access as a state liaison for the Records Preservation and Access Committee. She has worked diligently for the Oklahoma Genealogical Society, with seven terms as president.

“What an exciting time to be a professional genealogist!” said Billie Fogarty, APG President Elect. “Our chosen field continues to make significant strides with APG standing strong beside us. The talent of the elected board members plus the dedication of members working at all levels in the chapters and committees will ensure that we make positive contributions to the goal of promoting the highest ethical standards for genealogy.”

Fogarty will succeed Kimberly T. Powell of Oakdale, Pennsylvania, who will continue on the board as APG Past President.

“We thank Kimberly for her service,” said Kathleen W. Hinckley, CG, APG Executive Director. “Among her many contributions to the organization, Kimberly was instrumental in developing the APG webinar series, a successful educational program that showcases our members and furthers genealogical learning. She passes the baton to Billie Fogarty, a proven leader in the field and longtime advocate for APG. I look forward to working with her, the new executive committee, and the new board.”

APG Executive Committee

Catherine Desmarais, CG, of Vermont, was elected for a second term as APG Vice President. She is a professional genealogist and works on U.S. Army military repatriation cases. She serves on the board of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy and is an APG Quarterly Advisory Committee member.

Amy E. K. Arner, of Pennsylvania, will serve as APG Secretary. Arner specializes in Western Pennsylvania research and editing genealogical works. A current board member, she was previously president of the Great Lakes Chapter of APG. In 2015, she received APG’s Grahame T. Smallwood Jr. Award of Merit. She serves as chair of APG’s Publications Advisory Committee and proofreads the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.

Sandra Hildreth Ball, CPA, of Utah, was elected as APG Treasurer. She holds a Masters in Accountancy and spent most of her career in financial services at a large nonprofit. She also has served as treasurer for her local Red Cross, the Community Services Council, and more. A longtime genealogist, she has published three books and a journal article in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register.

APG members elected the following board members for two-year terms:

Region 1 West: Barbara Ball, CG, of Arizona, is a professional genealogist with a background in GIS (geographic information systems) analysis. She would like to serve as an advocate for the genealogists in areas where access to large archives is difficult and research opportunities scarce.

Region 2 Midwest: Cari Taplin, CG, of Texas, is a past president of the Boulder Genealogical Society and has also served as on board or committee positions with the Austin Genealogical Society, Colorado Council of Genealogical Societies, and the Federation of Genealogical Societies. She has had articles published in the Boulder Genealogical Society Quarterly, Digital Genealogist, and the NGS Magazine.

Region 3 Southeast: Clarise (Fleck) Soper, CG, of Mississippi, specializes in Mississippi and Alabama genealogy and is the corresponding secretary for the Mississippi Genealogical Society. She, with others in 2012, founded the Jasper County (Mississippi) Genealogical and Historical Society and served as its first president. She is also a volunteer coordinator for the ProGen Study Group Program.

Region 4 Northeast: Vicki Wright, J.D., of New York, is a genealogist and family historian who grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. She holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from the Boston University Center for Professional Education. She is an alumna of ProGen Study Group 11 and is a member of several societies, including the Minisink Valley Historical Society, the Orange County (New York) Genealogical Society, and the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society.

Region 5 Canada: Christine Woodcock, of Ontario, is the Scottish-born, Canadian-raised owner of Genealogy Tours of Scotland. She blogs, lectures, edits several newsletters, and is a past editor of British Connections. She chairs the Scottish Special Interest Group of the Ontario Genealogical Society and is responsible for planning the annual Symposium on Scottish Genealogy as well as a webinar series promoting the skills of experts in Scottish research.

Region 6 Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales: Fiona Fitzsimons is a genealogist and a director for Eneclann, a Trinity College Campus company, and findmypast Ireland. She was invited by the White House to present to First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters the Irish roots of President Barack Obama. Her research credits include more than 20 television episodes, including Who Do You Think You Are? and PBS’s Faces of America and Finding Our Roots. Her goal for APG is to promote the study of Irish family history worldwide.

Region 7 International: Benjamin Hollister of Australia specializes in German research, as well as specialist services such as digital photo restoration and collection management. He has a background in training and corporate management and has served on the board of the South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society. Committed to ongoing professional development, Benjamin has completed several graduate certificates in leadership, management, and applied history and heritage studies.

APG members elected three at-large board members:

Sharon Atkins of Arizona is a genealogist with a background in marketing and sales. She is a cofounder of GenBiz Solutions and the author of several books and guides on genealogy and other topics. She is immediate past president of the Arizona Council of Professional Genealogists.

Valerie Elkins of Utah manages a successful genealogy research company and serves as an International Research Specialist for the Family History Library. For the Utah Genealogical Association, she has served on the board of directors, as publicity chair, and on the executive board. For APG, she has a particular interest in encouraging more involvement and representation for more countries, ethnic groups, and cultures.

Eric Stroschein of Washington runs a genealogical research firm with his wife, Karen Stroschein, and is a 26-year veteran of the Seattle Fire Department. Eric is the current chair of APG’s Advocacy Committee. He serves as an APG representative on the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) for the Federation of Genealogical Societies and is also a state representative for the RPAC. He is past –resident of the Puget Sound Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Elected to one-year terms on the nominations committee are: J. H. (Jay) Fonkert, CG, of Minnesota, a professional genealogist and lecturer who has served on the APG board since 2010, and Darcie M. Hind Posz, CG, of the District of Columbia, a professional genealogist and writer who serves as president of the National Capital Area Chapter of APG.

“Congratulations to our new and returning board members,” said APG President, Kimberly T. Powell. “It has been an honor to serve the members of APG, and to work with such an outstanding, passionate group of board members. Please join me in thanking Kathy Hinckley, my fellow executive committee members, and our retiring board members, for the time and talent they have gifted to all of us in the genealogy community. I’m proud of what the board has and continues to accomplish, and look forward to APG’s continued commitment to increasing public awareness of and trust in professional genealogists, and advancing the genealogical profession. I’m excited to see where the new board takes us under Billie’s leadership.”

Retiring from the board:
Kenyatta D. Berry
J. H. (Jay) Fonkert, CG
Michael Goldstein
Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, CG
Valerie Eichler Lair
Joan Peake
Darcie M. Hind Posz, CG
Janice Prater
Tina Sansone
Louise St Denis

About the Association of Professional Genealogists

The Association of Professional Genealogists (, established in 1979, represents more than 2,700 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers, and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy and history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada, and thirty other countries. APG is active on LinkedIn, Twitter (, and Facebook (

Illinois State Genealogical Society Announces 2015/2016 Election Results

Illinois State Genealogical Society Announces 2015/2016 Election Results
ISGS 2015/2016 Executive Committee Members: (l to r) Howard Manthei, Susan Scoville Pope, Dawn Carey Henry, Laura Kovarik, Margaret Truax and Angela McGhee

November 4, 2015 – Springfield, IL: The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) announces results of its recent election for Officers and new Directors. The election was conducted during the Annual Meeting during the recent ISGS Fall 2015 Conference in Oak Lawn, Illinois on Saturday October 24, 2015. The following Officers were elected:

  • President: Dawn Carey Henry
  • 1st Vice President: Howard Manthei
  • 2nd Vice President: Susan Scoville Pope
  • Recording Secretary: Laura Kovarik
  • Treasurer: Margaret Truax

In addition, the following 2018 Directors were elected:

  • 2018 Director: Kristy Gravlin
  • 2018 Director: Angela McGhee
  • 2018 Director: Barbara McKean

On Sunday, November 1, 2015, during a virtual meeting of the ISGS Executive Committee, 2015/2016 appointments were made for various Standing Committee and Non-Voting Committee positions. The complete list of ISGS board members and representatives can be found on the ISGS website at

© 2015, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society

MyHeritage Adds New Collaboration Technology to its Search Engine for Family History Breakthroughs

MyHeritage Adds New Collaboration Technology to its Search Engine for Family History Breakthroughs

Search Connect™ converts users’ searches into results for other users, connecting people who are looking for the same ancestors and fostering collaboration

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, November 4, 2015MyHeritage, the fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, unveiled today an innovation that fosters collaboration in family history research. Search Connect™ enables users to easily find others who are looking for the same ancestors or relatives, and get in touch with them.

Search Connect™ includes millions of searches made by MyHeritage members. Each search is indexed along with the full metadata (dates, places, relatives and more) included in the user’s query. When another user searches for similar information, previous searches are included within the results, along with the means to get in touch with the users who conducted them.

MyHeritage conceived the Search Connect™ innovation in April 2012 when it launched SuperSearch™ its search engine for historical records. SuperSearch™ has since grown at a phenomenal pace to include 6.2 billion historical records, and Search Connect™ has amassed more than 30 million entries from searches for rare names. The size of the collection will continue to increase as users conduct new searches. Users can easily opt out and turn off the feature if they do not want MyHeritage to record their searches.

Search Connect™ is complemented by MyHeritage’s new Global Name Translation™ technology, which allows users to find other people who searched for the same name in another language. For example, a user from the USA whose last name is Mogilevsky who queries Search Connect™ to find potential relatives, will successfully find people who searched for the same last name in English, Russian, Hebrew or other languages and see who they were searching for. This maximizes the chances of locating previously unknown family members anywhere in the world.

View an example of SearchConnect™ with translation.

“MyHeritage specializes in developing innovative technologies for family history discoveries”, said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “We are particularly excited about Search Connect™ because it enables users to benefit from the knowledge of others. When searching for an elusive ancestor who had left no trace behind, Search Connect™ reveals other people who are searching for the same person, which is the next best thing. We anticipate that many of our users will discover long-lost family members thanks to this unique addition.”

Viewing Search Connect™ results is free. A MyHeritage subscription is required to contact other users.

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is the world’s fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees and ground­breaking search and matching technologies. Trusted by millions of families, MyHeritage provides an easy way to share family stories, past and present, and treasure them for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 42 languages.

CAFG Announces Scholarship Covering 50% of Tuition to the 2016 Forensic Genealogy Institute

CAFG Announces Scholarship Covering 50% of Tuition to the
2016 Forensic Genealogy Institute

Hand-on Forensic Genealogy Event More than 65% Filled;
Seats at FGI Expected to Sell Out Soon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Dallas, Texas – November 4, 2015 – The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) is now accepting applications for a $225 scholarship to the 5th Annual Forensic Genealogy Institute (FGI), to be held March 10-12, 2016, at The Menger Hotel at the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas. Registration is now open at Tuition for each course is $445, and the scholarship covers more than 50% of that fee.

“The scholarship to CAFG’s Forensic Genealogy Institute is intended to ease the financial burden of advanced, professional education,” says Leslie Lawson, CAFG President. “The scholarship gives up-and-coming forensic/genetic genealogists the opportunity to advance their career and increase their skills.”

FGI 2016 will be the first ever hands-on seminar offering of forensic genealogy for intermediate and advanced genealogists. Each FGI course offers 20 hours of instruction by expert forensic and genetic genealogists in just three days, minimizing travel costs and time away from family and work. Seats are limited at FGI, and registration is already more than 65% full, so early registration is encouraged.

Scholarship Application Process

The FGI scholarship is open to all FGI 2016 registrants. Individuals interested in financial assistance to attend the institute should send a request of not more than 400 words to explaining how they feel receiving the FGI Scholarship might best help them and the field of forensic genealogy. Applications are due Friday, December 4, 2015. The scholarship recipient will receive a partial tuition refund of $225.

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

Brand-New, Advanced Training

FGI 2016 features two brand-new, concurrent courses designed for intermediate and advanced forensic genealogists:

Thursday all attendees will participate in Marketing Workshop: Taking Charge, Blogging, and Connecting with Influencers with Marian Pierre-Louis; Professional Forensic Business Workshop with Michael S. Ramage, JD, CGSM

Friday and Saturday attendees will be in their chosen classes:

  • Forensic Genealogy Practicum
  • Advanced DNA Practicum

Advanced DNA Practicum will be taught by renowned genetic genealogists CeCe Moore and Bethany Waterbury, DVM, the “Advanced DNA Practicum” course allows attendees to have the opportunity to work through real-life case studies. (Prerequisites for this class can be found at Full course details are available at

The “Forensic Genealogy Practicum” offers practical, real-life experience. Students will leave the course having written a marketing plan and a contract for their business. They will work a real forensic case from start to finish and be introduced to genetic genealogy.

Courses are expected to fill, so early registration is encouraged at

About CAFG

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

BCG OFFERS FREE WEBINAR Tuesday, November 17

“Do You Have the Reflexes You Need to Become Certified?”

Like all professionals, good genealogists learn to take certain approaches and attitudes toward our work. For example, citing sources – and questioning them – are among the many skills and practices we slowly and painfully learn. But once learned, they become automatic. And then it’s easy to forget that reflexes even exist, and that not everyone has developed them. This talk attempts to describe some of these reflexes and help newcomers find their way.

Learn about these reflexes during the webinar presentation from The Board for Certification of Genealogists (“BCG”): “Do You Have the Reflexes You Need to Become Certified?” by Harold Henderson, CG. This webinar is free to the public and will take place at 8:00 PM EDT 17 November 2015. In this webinar, Harold will discuss several important reflexes genealogists need to cultivate for successful research using the standards set forth in the book Genealogy Standards, and will help audience members answer the question “Am I ready to try for certification?” His answer might surprise you.

Seating is limited for this webinar. Please register early, and sign in early, to avoid disappointment.

The BCG is an independent certifying body and author of the 2014 Genealogy Standards.

Harold Henderson, CG has been a professional writer since 1979, a professional genealogist since 2009, and a board-certified genealogist since June 2012. He lives and works in northwest Indiana and at, and serves as a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. He has published articles in American Ancestors Journal (annual supplement to the New England Historical and Genealogical Register), the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and several state publications. At any given time he would probably rather be reading a grantor index.

President Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG says “The Board for Certification of Genealogists is proud to offer this new webinar as part of an ongoing series that supports our mission to provide education for family historians. This webinar will address questions regarding the genealogy standards for research. By promoting a uniform standard of competence and ethics the BCG endeavors to foster public confidence in genealogy.”

There is no charge, but space is limited. Please register for Harold Henderson, CG, “Do You Have the Reflexes You Need to Become Certified?” before 17 November 2015 at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. For more information contact:

Please visit to learn about BCG’s previous webinars.

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluations. The board name is a trademark registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.