Month: February 2016

FindMyPast: 10 Million Irish Catholic Parish Records Free Forever To Search Online

  • Records span 200 years of Irish history (1670-1900), contain 40 million names, cover 1000 parishes across all 32 counties of Ireland
  • Collection forms the most important resource for Irish ancestors prior to the 1901 census, allowing researchers to trace their roots back to Pre-Famine Ireland
  • Reveal how Great Famine halved the number of Catholic baptisms
  • Findmypast makes entire Irish collection of over 110 million records free from Tuesday 1st of March until Tuesday 8th March

Dublin, 1 March 2016

Leading family history site, Findmypast, has announced today the online release of over 10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers as part of their ongoing commitment to making Irish family history easier and more accessible than ever before. Fully indexed for the first time, the registers form one of the most important record collections for Irish family history and are free to search forever.

Spanning over 200 years of Ireland’s history from 1671-1900, the Irish Catholic Parish Registers contain over 40 million names from over 1,000 parishes and cover 97% of the entire island of Ireland, both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

This is the first time that National Library of Ireland’s collection of Irish Catholic Registers has been fully indexed with images to the original documents linked online. The records can now be searched by name, year and place, allowing relatives and historians the opportunity to make all important links between generations with the baptism records and between families with the marriage registers.

The indexing of these important documents also allows researchers to witness the devastating effects of the Great Famine (1845-1852) first hand. Using the records to examine baptism rates in pre and post Famine Ireland has revealed that the number of children baptised across the whole of Ireland dropped by more 50% in the decade that followed. Across all 32 counties, 2,408,694 baptisms were recorded from 1835-1844, while 1,109,062 baptisms were recorded between 1851 and 1860, a difference of more than 1,299,000 baptisms.

The records also reveal the worst affected regions, with counties Limerick, Wexford, Roscommon and Kilkenny seeing the most dramatic drops in baptism rates.

To celebrate the release of this essential collection, Findmypast is also making its entire archive of over 110 million Irish records, the largest available anywhere online, FREE from 9am Tuesday 1st March to 9am on Tuesday 8th March. Findmypast is home to the most comprehensive online collection of Irish family history records with millions of exclusive records, published in partnership with The National Archives of Ireland, The National Archives UK, and a host of other local, county and national archives.

Brian Donovan, Irish records expert at Findmypast said:

“This important publication marks a further step in Findmypast’s commitment to making Irish family history more accessible. In less than 5 years, we have made over 110 million records (with 300 million names) available online for the first time. Irish research has been transformed from the select pursuit of the few, to a fun and relatively easy hobby for the many. The Irish story of hardship, migration and opportunity is a global story, and in partnership with the cultural institutions around the world we are bringing the fragments of their lives within reach”.

About Findmypast

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

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over eight billion family history records, ranging 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 conducting detailed historical research.

In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site 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 digitized records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. Findmypast, in association with The National Archives, recently launched the 1939 Register, a record of 41 million lives on the eve of World War II.

October 2016 – Genealogy Research Trip to Dublin, Ireland

October 2016 – Genealogy Research Trip to Dublin, Ireland Sarasota, FL — Donna Moughty, a professional genealogist and specialist in Irish research, will again be taking a group of researchers to Ireland from October 16–23, 2016. The repositories scheduled on this trip include the National Library of Ireland, National Archives, General Register Office, Valuation Office and Registry of Deeds; other repositories will be scheduled as needed. Dublin based professionals will also be available to assist participants at various locations.

The trip includes 7 nights accommodations (including breakfast) at Buswell’s Hotel, two hours of pre-trip consultation, orientation and assistance at the research facilities, two dinners and admission to the Back To Our Past Conference.

If there is enough interest, a research trip to Belfast will also be offered from October 9 – 15, 2016.

A limited number of spaces are available and a $100 discount will be applied to those who register prior to 31 March 2016. For further information visit www.moughty.com.

Click here for the Dublin 2016 Research Trip Brochure.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, February 26, 2016

This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of new UK burial and military records as well as substantial updates to our collection of historic Irish Newspapers.

Two sets of WW1 Military Tribunal records have just been released to coincide with the hundredth anniversary of the introduction of conscription in Britain on March 2nd 1916. Also available to search this week are Monumental Inscriptions from the English county of Middlesex and a Nationalistic Irish Newspaper that was banned by the British Government.


Over 1.5 million new articles have been added to our collection of historic Irish Newspapers including one brand new title, the United Irishman. The United Irishman was a staunchly nationalist title that ran weekly in 1848 until it’s suppression under the Treason Felony Act. Substantial updates have been made to 8 existing titles including the Dublin Daily Express with 1.4 million new articles, Dublin Daily Nation with over 124,000 new articles and The Ulsterman with almost 28,000 new articles.

Middlesex, Poplar Military Tribunals 1916-1918 contains the records of over 3,000 men who appealed their conscription into the British Army at military tribunal hearings in Poplar, East London, at the height of the First World War.

The Military Service Act came into force on 2 March 1916 and required all men between the ages of 18 and 41 who were single, childless and/or widowers could be conscripted into military service. Individuals had the opportunity to apply for an exemption from military service. A person could appeal on the grounds of ill health, serious economic hardship, or conscientious objection to the war, or if their education or employment was of national importance. In the later cases, the individual’s employer could appeal for exemption on their employee’s behalf. Each record consists of a transcript and image of the original document. Transcripts will reveal your ancestors name, occupation, age, the date of their application and hearing as well as their employers name, business and address.

Northamptonshire Military Tribunals 1916-1918 consists of over 12,000 indexed military tribunal case records. Each records consist of a transcript of the original case files which will provide information on the box number the case file is kept in at the Northamptonshire Archives. Transcripts will also reveal your ancestors appeal number, name, age, residence, occupation, reason for the appeal, outcome, date of the decision and additional information on the final decision. People using this index are welcome to visit Northamptonshire Archives to look through the case files themselves, or else can order copies of the documents to be made for them.

The original case files are packed with poignant stories. There are examples of mothers writing to the tribunal begging them not to take their last sons away to fight, of villages pleading for the last baker in the village not to be taken away, and even of sisters writing to the tribunals begging them to take their brothers away into the army because it will do them well. All these examples show the tensions the war created amongst communities and families, and the index created is a huge step forward in unlocking these personal stories.

Delve through over 20,000 transcripts of monumental inscriptions from nine burial sites across Middlesex to discover your ancestor’s birth year, death year, and place of burial. The collection was provided by West Middlesex Family History Society. The records cover the years from 1485 to 2014 and include transcripts for each entry. While the amount of available information will vary from transcript to transcript, most will include a combination of your ancestors name, birth year, death year, dedication, place, monument type and inscription.

Inscriptions may include the names of others buried in that plot as well as more specific details regarding age and birth and death dates. This can be incredibly helpful as it can provide you with the names and dates of your ancestor’s next of kin, including their relation to one another.

Links you to a PDF document that includes histories, images, and burial ground plans for the churches represented in this collection are also included.

Don’t forget to regularly check our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to keep up to date with all the latest 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.

FAMILY TREE UNIVERSITY PRESENTS; WINTER 2016 VIRTUAL GENEALOGY CONFERENCE SWEEPSTAKES

Family Tree University is giving away a free registration for the 2016 Winter Virtual Conference event, March 11-13, 2016. The Winter 2016 Virtual Conference Sweepstakes runs through 11:59pm Eastern time on Thursday, March 3, 2016. http://collectorsswe…

Legacy Tree Genealogists to Sponsor Extreme Genes Radio Show

Utah genealogists may remember listening to “Fisher and Todd in the mornings” on KISN 97 radio, which ran for 15 years beginning in 1986. Most Utah genealogists probably did not know that Fisher – actually Scott Fisher – is not only a well-known radio guy but an avid genealogist. So much so that he started the first ever syndicated radio show in 2013 and has been running with it ever since, and is now heard on 31 radio stations from Florida to Washington State, as well as by podcast.

“Extreme Genes – America’s Family History Show” is a one-hour weekly program that talks about anything genealogically related (get it?), from cracking murder cases with genealogy to discovering the genealogy of a house. Show sponsors add continuity and expertise to the show.

Extreme Genes is extremely pleased to add the experts of Legacy Tree Genealogists as regular guests on the show. Legacy Tree is a client research firm and MyHeritage.com’s (another sponsor) recommended research partner. Since 2004 Legacy Tree has been canvassing the globe searching for genealogies of clients as far reaching as China, Turkey, and South Africa.

After airing on radio, Extreme Genes is available as a podcast, with new shows released every Monday. Find it on iTunes, iHeartRadio’s Talk Channel, Stitcher, Tune-In, and ExtremeGenes.com. You can also follow the show on Facebook and Twitter.

Other national sponsors include: MyHeritage.com, 23andMe.com, FamilySearch.org, and RootsMagic. Extreme Genes also partners with the New England Historic Genealogical Society and features their Chief Genealogist, David Allen Lambert, as a show regular.

For more information on Legacy Tree and Extreme Genes, visit:

Legacy Tree Genealogists: http://legacytree.com

Extreme Genes: http://extremegenes.com

Official Blogger and Social Media Press Registration Opens for National Genealogical Society’s 2016 Family History Conference

ARLINGTON, VA, 24 February 2016—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the launch of the Official Blogger and Social Media Press registration for the 2016 Family History Conference, which will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 4–7 May 2016.

NGS invites interested press, social media writers, bloggers, radio show hosts, and other media to register for official media credentials at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/social-media-press. Registration is open through 14 March 2016. NGS will notify registrants their acceptance by 21 March 2016. For more information on the NGS Social Media Policy, see http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/press/social-media-policy.

NGS recognizes the importance of media who regularly draw attention to records, research methods, tools, software, events, and other areas of genealogy. Individuals and organizations with official media designations play an essential role in the success of the NGS Family History Conference by spreading new found knowledge, sharing in conference fun, and increasing conference attendance and participation.

Official media will be:

  • permitted to use the official press and blogger logos
  • granted use of the press table at the conference
  • linked to the NGS Family History Conference blog

NGS will award five registration credits valued at $50 each towards attendance for the 2017 Family History Conference to official media who provide the best coverage at this year’s conference.

About NGS

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.

MyHeritage Launches Record Detective II

MyHeritage has just released Record Detective™ II, a powerful new technology that significantly builds on the original Record Detective™, adding over 2.2 billion new matches to historical records.

With the Record Detective™, records found in MyHeritage SuperSearch™ automatically point to additional records and family tree profiles relating to the same person. For example, if you’re viewing a birth certificate you found in SuperSearch™, Record Detective™ may point you to a census record containing information about the child’s grandmother, a marriage license for their parents, a family tree profile of a connected ancestor, and so on, giving you new leads for your research. However, the Record Detective™ was only able to find information when there was at least one family tree profile on MyHeritage matching the record.

The new Record Detective™ II adds direct record-to-record matches, even for records that have no matching family tree profiles on MyHeritage, and has yielded a staggering 2.2 billion additional highly-accurate matching documents.

Record Detective™ II provides new information and clues to take your family history research to newer heights.

For more information and examples, please read today’s blog post Introducing Record Detective II at the MyHeritage blog.

Gen-Fed Registration opens Sat, 27 Feb 2016

The Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed) has announced details on registration, scheduled to open on Saturday, February 27, at 11:00 AM EST. Reservations will be taken online, via 123SignUp, and tuition payment will be due by check within 15 days of making a reservation. Complete instructions are posted here. Read them over and mark your calendars!

Gen-Fed is for experienced genealogists, and for archivists, historians and librarians interested in using federal records for genealogical research. It is designed to instill a methodological framework and foster creative thinking about relevant records. To learn more about this year’s program, visit Gen-Fed 2016.

Malissa Ruffner, JD, CG
Director

2016 NGS Conference: Official Blogger and Social Media Press Registration

ARLINGTON, VA, 24 FEBRUARY 2016—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the launch of the Official Blogger and Social Media Press registration for the 2016 Family History Conference, which will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 4–7 May 2016.
NGS invites interested press, social media writers, bloggers, radio show hosts, and other media to register for official media credentials at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/social-media-press

Registration is open through 14 March 2016. NGS will notify registrants their acceptance by 21 March 2016. For more information on the NGS Social Media Policy, see http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/press/social-media-policy.

NGS recognizes the importance of media who regularly draw attention to records, research methods, tools, software, events, and other areas of genealogy. Individuals and organizations with official media designations play an essential role in the success of the NGS Family History Conference by spreading newfound knowledge, sharing in conference fun, and increasing conference attendance and participation.
Official media will be:

  • permitted to use the official press and blogger logos
  • granted use of the press table at the conference
  • linked to the NGS Family History Conference blog



NGS will award five registration credits valued at $50 each towards attendance for the 2017 Family History Conference to official media who provide the best coverage at this year’s conference. 

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.

ANNOUNCING THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE OF THE CALIFORNIA AFRICAN AMERICAN GENEALOGY SOCIETY (CAAGS)

CAAGS is pleased to present a 3 day conference for family history researchers – novice and professional, at the USC Radisson Hotel on March 17-19, 2016. In recognition of the long standing activity of the first Genealogical Society of its kind on the West Coast, there will be 24 sessions that will offer guidance for new researchers and display of the achievements of professional family historians from various ethnicities and generations. There will be a free exhibit hall, availability of supplies and materials needed for effective research and interaction with researchers of all levels. Field trips to several relevant points of interest in the greater Los Angeles area have also been scheduled.

The conference will begin with a reception at the California African American Museum on Thursday evening to include a meet and greet with the major presenters for this conference. Friday, entertainment will include a musical review of African American historical figures: 1940’s At Club Sweet Lorraines.

The conference theme: African American History is America’s History: Reaching In and Reaching Out will be addressed Friday and Saturday with sessions presented on how to do research, documentation and publishing, using the United States military pension files, accessing court records, breaking the brick walls that often hinder African American family history research, using slave records, the National Archives and DNA results to find family members of any ethnicity.

Luncheon and dinner speakers will include Paula Madison, who traced her Chinese and Jamaican heritage for several generations in her memoir, Finding Samuel Lowe; John W. Franklin, son of the late historian, John Hope Franklin, and assistant director of the soon to open Smithsonian National African American History and Culture Museum in Washington, DC. Additionally, Michael Sanborn, Director of the Banning Museum will share the story of Harriet Mason; Angela Walton-Raji, nationally recognized expert on Native American heritage and the Freedmen’s Bureau Records that are needed by family historians will present and Kenyatta Berry from the Genealogy Roadshow will close the conference.

On-line registration and additional information is available at www.CAAGS.org.

2016 Indiana Genealogical Society Annual Meeting and Conference

The 2016 Indiana Genealogical Society Annual Meeting and Conference will be held on Saturday, April 16th at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The conference will feature eight sessions on two tracks with speakers Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, and Jen Baldwin.


Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, is a full-time professional researcher specializing in Chicago and Cook County research, problem solving, and multi-generational family histories. She conducts research projects for government agencies, attorneys, authors, newspapers, heir-search firms, professional genealogists, and family researchers. Jeanne’s sessions will discuss online family trees, overcoming the challenges of identifying female ancestors, urban research, and using manuscript collections for genealogical research.

Jen Baldwin is is a blogger, writer, genealogist, family historian, wife, and mother with a passion for genealogy. She is the owner, genealogist and family historian at Ancestral Journeys, a genealogical research company located in Breckenridge, Colorado. Jen states that she is “telling the story of the Rockies, one person at a time.” Jen’s sessions, sponsored by the Allen County Genealogical Society and the Doug and Joni Lehman Charitable Foundation, include using social media to promote family history research, paperless research, digitizing your family collections, and using college and university resources in your research.

Registration for this all-day conference is $45 ($35 for IGS members before April 4th). For more information, or to register online, visit: http://www.IndianaAncestors.org

The Indiana Genealogical Society was established in 1989 to foster an interest in all peoples who have contributed to the establishment and perpetuation of the state of Indiana. It strives to help preserve and publish materials relating to those who settled the state. For more information visit http://www.IndianaAncestors.org/.

The South Bend Area Genealogical Society Presents 18th Annual Spring Conference

The South Bend Area Genealogical Society will hold the ​2016 Spring Conference on Saturday, March 19, 2016​ at the St. Joseph County Public Library, 304 S. Main Street, South Bend, IN. Doors open at 10​:00 a.m. A​dmission is $15.00 at the door, $12.00 if you pay online. ​

This year’s Genealogy Fair features two national speakers: ​

  • Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG: “Lost Children: Orphans, Vagrants, Delinquents, Half-Orphans, Dependents, Surrendered, Adopted.”
  • Katherine R. Willson: “Which Way Did She Go? Finding Those Elusive Maiden Names”

Exhibitors and research assistance will be available all day.

A light lunch, snacks, soft drinks, and coffee will be available for a nominal fee. Additionally, several restaurants are in close proximity. Parking is plentiful, free at the Library, surrounding parking lots, and city streets.

Information is also available on our web site at http://www.sbags.org/2016SBAGSSpringConference.htm or via email at sjcgensoc@gmail.com

New FamilySearch Collections Update: February 22, 2016

You will find new marriage records from Kansas and Maryland this week along with England Devon Bishop’s Transcripts 1558-1887, England Lancashire Oldham Cemetery Registers 1797-2004, and United States World War II Prisoners of War 1941-1945. Find these and more by following the links below.

COLLECTION
INDEXED RECORDS
DIGITAL RECORDS
COMMENTS
375,314
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
256,201
93,511
New indexed records and images collection
481,340
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
17,094
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
148,676
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
96,638
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
31,701
11,788
New indexed records and images collection
143,374
0
New indexed records collection

Help Us Publish More Free Records Online

Searchable historical records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of online volunteers worldwide. These volunteers transcribe (or index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are always needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published weekly online on FamilySearch.org. Learn how you can volunteer to help provide free access to the world’s historical genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/Indexing.

About FamilySearch International

FamilySearch 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 for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Much Anticipated Historic Freedmen’s Bureau Project Reaches Halfway Point with More Than One Million Records Transcribed More Online Volunteers Needed to Hit Juneteenth Goal

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—As of February 9, 2016, the Freedmen’s Bureau Project reached a significant milestone with more than one million records transcribed. Nationwide efforts to make these historic records of African Americans and others from the Civil War-era searchable online represents 51 percent of the total records needed to complete the project. When complete, the Freedmen’s Bureau Project will be a virtual Rosetta stone for African Americans seeking to extend their family histories beyond the proverbial brick wall of the 1870 census.

“As we have worked with the African American Genealogical and Historical Society (AAHGS), other institutions, and countless volunteers, our goal has been to complete the indexing, arbitration, and online publication of these records one year from our launch date, or Juneteenth 2016,” reported Thom Reed, marketing manager for FamilySearch International, a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Indexing is the process and technology online volunteers use to make these highly sought after records easily searchable online. Nearly 16,000 volunteers have contributed to this effort, including JoAnn Gilbert Jeppsen of Mantua, Utah. Jeppsen has been working as an arbitrator (reviewer of indexed records) on the project since November 2015. She was recently informed that she had arbitrated the one-millionth record—a monumental milestone in this project. “Working on the Freedmen’s Bureau Project has been interesting work,” said Jeppsen, who has been indexing census records and other documents on a weekly basis for FamilySearch since 2006. “It gives African Americans an opportunity to find their records.”

“I was just amazed,” expressed Jeppsen. “I didn’t know the government had these programs for [Civil War-era African Americans]. I just think about what happened to them when they were freed.” She has worked on Freedmen Bureau documents that include labor contracts, pensions, and rations, as well as information about a murder trial.

Jeppsen encourages others to participate in indexing. “It really doesn’t take much time. It’s something they can do, regardless of their circumstances. If they’re hooked up to a computer, [they] can do it.”

Reed anticipates there will be more than two million names online for African Americans to search for their family when the Freedmen’s Bureau Project is complete. And although there has been a steady stream of new volunteers joining the project each week, more volunteers are needed to complete the project on time.

Once the project is finished, in addition to being freely searchable online at FamilySearch.org, the database will be shared with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. NMAAHC is also a sponsor of the Freedmen’s Bureau Project and will open on September 24, 2016.

“The genealogical community is fully embracing these records,” said Hollis Gentry, genealogy specialist at NMAAHC. “You’ll find African American genealogists are quite excited about the Freedmen’s Bureau Project. It offers a tremendous potential for them to find their ancestors in this large group of federal records that may bridge the gap between freedom and slavery in the records.”

“We greatly appreciate the contributions made by our partners, by national and international volunteers, and by Smithsonian volunteers,” added Gentry. “Each indexed document brings us closer to reclaiming our ancestral heritage and historical past. We look forward to the completion of the project in 2016 and invite everyone with an interest in American history and African American culture to support our efforts to index the records of the Freedmen’s Bureau.”

The Freedmen’s Bureau, formerly known as the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, was organized under an 1865 Congressional order at the conclusion of the Civil War. It offered assistance to refugees and freed slaves in many ways. Handwritten records of the Freedmen’s Bureau include marriage registers, hospital or patient registers, educational records, labor contracts, indenture or apprenticeship papers, and many more kinds of documents. The records were compiled in 15 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information on the project, visit DiscoverFreedmen.org.

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 4,813 family history centers in 130 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, February 19, 2016

An eclectic array of records from Ireland. England & Wales, and the English county of Devon are available to search this Findmypast Friday as well as substantial new additions to the PERiodical Source Index and our collection of historic British Newspapers.

The 1939 Register is now available to browse making it easier than ever before to discover your family’s friends and neighbours were and what they were up to on the eve of World War 2. A complement to the name searchable 1939 Register, browse offers you the ability to explore the register by County, Borough/District, Piece number and ED letter code. Compiled by 65,000 enumerators and sent to every household in England and Wales, the Register documents the lives of over 41 million people, recording the names, addresses, dates of birth, marital status and occupation.


Ireland Census Reports contains over 19,000 records compiled from census returns from the mid-1800s to early 1900s. The reports provide statistical details regarding the number of inhabitants in a given townland and cover all 32 counties of Ireland. The statistics are broken down by gender, age, or other similar categories and can help provide you with an invaluable snapshot of your ancestor’s community. Both transcripts and PDF images of the original reports are included in each records.

Ireland Statistical Surveys consists of fascinating statistical surveys produced by the Royal Dublin Society. The Society began to conduct such surveys in at the start of the 1800s with the aim of accurately portraying the realities of life in each county, particularly concerning its history, agricultural practices, politics, customs, and religion. The reports represented the first serious effort to capture and present such data and, having been conducted under direction from the Society itself, they offer solid and consistent information. Since they were created so early in the 19th century the survey are from any incredibly record of life in pre-Famine Ireland. This collection is comprised of PDF images of the surveys from 10 Irish counties; Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, King’s (Offaly), Leitrim, Mayo, Meath, Roscommon, and Tyrone.


The Plymouth & West Devon apprentice records list the details of over 5,000 apprentices and their masters. Each record includes a transcript and image of the original document. The amount of information recorded in transcripts may vary although most will include a combination an apprentice’s name, birth year, address, date of indenture, the name of their master, their master’s occupation and where they were based. Images can contain a wide range of additional details such as allegations brought against masters for mistreatment or neglect and the agreed terms surrounding the indenture of individual apprentices.

Containing over 434,000 records, the Plymouth & West Devon parish chest records consists of an eclectic mix of documents from the parish chests of Plymouth and West Devon. In the past, local parishes were responsible for far more than keeping the records of births, marriages and deaths. Collectively, the records kept by parishes of local and civic affairs are called the parish chest. The records cover an array of local matters such as the levying of taxes, selection of juries and pew rentals within the church.

The Plymouth borough records are a collection of over 109,000 administrative records from the borough of Plymouth. The nature of the records contained varies widely and the collection includes an array of assorted documents including orphan’s aid cash books, court examinations and freemen’s papers, to name a few. The collection is a fantastic way to explore the daily operations of Plymouth from the sixteenth to the twentieth century and contain people from all walks of life, from pauper children to Plymouth’s mayors to merchants and farmers.

Over 5,000 records from seven new Devonshire publications have been added to our collection of British trade directories, county guides, almanacs and general directories. The records list the details of prominent local people, tradesmen, officials, business owners and local civil servants.

Over 6.4 million new articles have been added to our collection of historic British newspapers. These latest additions include 26 brand new titles, and will be of particular interest to those with Welsh ancestors. PERSI Dating as far back as 1829, 19 of our newest titles come from Wales, allowing you an insight into local life during the 19th and early 20th centuries. These newspapers will be vital for anyone tracing their family history in Welsh cities, towns, villages and valleys. Substantial updates have also been made to 55 existing titles including the Aberdeen Free Press (378,457), Liverpool Evening Express (299,111) and Lincolnshire Standard and Boston Guardian (278,832).

Over 45,663 new images and dozens of new articles have been added to the The PERiodical Source Index (PERSI). The titles included in this most recent image update come from several states, including Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Utah. There is also a publication from New Zealand, The New Zealand Genealogist.

Don’t forget to regularly check our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to keep up to date with all the latest 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.

Ancestry.com LLC Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2015 Financial Results

— 2015 Revenues $683.1 million, Up 10.3% Year-Over-Year —
— 2015 Adjusted EBITDA $263.0 million, Up 16.7% Year-Over-Year(1) —
— Subscriber base grows by approximately 150,000 in 2015 —
— AncestryDNA sells approximately one million DNA kits in 2015; 
DNA kit sales more than double in Q4 year-over-year—

PROVO, Utah, Feb. 17, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ancestry.com LLC (the “Company”), the largest provider of family history and personal DNA testing, reported financial results today for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2015.
“Ancestry delivered a milestone year in 2015, including outstanding financial performance and key strategic achievements across the company,” said Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry.com.  “Our performance was highlighted by strong, profitable growth throughout the year, featuring double-digit increases in revenue and adjusted EBITDA.  On the strategic front, we delivered a greatly enhanced customer experience, launched major new content collections, grew AncestryDNA into the largest consumer genomic database and progressed on important growth initiatives internationally and in our emerging businesses.  We’re off to a great start in 2016, a year in which we will be focused on continuing to diversify and expand the growth profile of the company, executing well in our core businesses and investing in our future.”
Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2015 Financial Highlights
  • Total revenues for the fourth quarter 2015 were $177.6 million. Revenues increased 14.5% from $155.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, driven by growth in revenues from AncestryDNA and the Company’s core Ancestry websites. On a constant currency basis, total revenue would have increased 16.7% in the fourth quarter.  For the full year 2015, total revenues were $683.1 million, with an increase in revenues of 10.3% from $619.5 million for the full year of 2014. On a constant currency basis, total revenues for 2015 would have increased 12.0% year-over-year.
  • Net income (loss) for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $13.5 million compared to a net loss of $(7.5) million in the fourth quarter of 2014. For the full year 2015, net income was $29.4 million compared to a net loss of $(18.7) million for the full year of 2014.
  • Adjusted EBITDA(1), (2) for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $62.2 million, compared to $54.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.  For the full year 2015, adjusted EBITDA was $258.6 million, compared to $214.8 million for the full year 2014.
  • Free cash flow(3) totaled $16.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to $20.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2014. For the full year 2015, free cash flow totaled $124.8 million compared to $93.7 million for the full year 2014.
  • Cash and cash equivalents totaled $128.2 million as of December 31, 2015.
  • Obligations under long-term debt(4) totaled $1.0 billion as of December 31, 2015.
______________________________
(1) Adjusted EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2015 increased 16.7%, year-over-year, excluding the impact of one-time expenses to $263.0 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2015 includes $2.4 million and $4.4 million, respectively, of professional service fees related primarily to litigation, reimbursement for certain legal and accounting costs incurred by one of our Sponsors and costs associated with a return-of-capital distribution declared in August 2015 to our parent company, Ancestry.com Holdings LLC. For the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2014, adjusted EBITDA includes $6.3 million and $10.6 million, respectively, of accrued interest paid on restricted cash held pending resolution of the shareholder appraisal litigation, professional service fees related to litigation and costs associated with the return-of-capital distribution paid in February 2014 by our parent company.
(2) Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income (loss) plus interest expense, net; other (income) expense, net; income tax expense (benefit); and non-cash charges including depreciation, amortization and stock-based compensation expense.
(3) Free cash flow subtracts from adjusted EBITDA the capitalization of content databases, purchases of property and equipment and cash received (paid) for income taxes and interest.
(4) This amount does not include $390.2 million in senior unsecured PIK notes issued by our parent company, Ancestry.com Holdings LLC. While not required, Ancestry.com LLC has made and intends to pay future distributions or loans to its parent related to the PIK notes.
Ancestry Business Updates
  • Subscribers — Subscribers of Ancestry websites totaled approximately 2,264,000 as of December 31, 2015, compared to 2,115,000 as of December 31, 2014.
  • Content – The Company added over 1.7 billion new records during 2015. New collections added in the fourth quarter included:
    • Mexico Civil Registration records – over 200 million records
    • US, School Yearbooks, 1880-2012 – over 63 million records
    • US, City Directories, 1822-1989 – updated with over 40 million new records
    • 4 million new international records from the U.K., Germany and Romania
  • AncestryDNA – AncestryDNA sold approximately one million kits in 2015 and now has a database with DNA samples from 1.5 million people.
  • New Offerings – Ancestry Academy, New Ancestor Discoveries and a beta launch of Ancestry Health were introduced in 2015.
Conference Call & Webcast

Ancestry.com will host a conference call today at 3:00 p.m. MT (5:00 p.m. ET). Participants can access the conference call by dialing (844) 831-3026 (domestic toll-free) or (315) 625-6887 (international) approximately ten minutes prior to the start time.
Use of Non-GAAP Measures

The Company believes that adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow are useful measures of operating performance because they exclude items that the Company does not consider indicative of its core performance. In the case of adjusted EBITDA, net income (loss) is adjusted for interest expense, net; other (income) expense, net; income tax expense (benefit); and non-cash charges including depreciation, amortization and stock-based compensation expense. Free cash flow subtracts from adjusted EBITDA the capitalization of content databases, purchases of property and equipment and cash received (paid) for income taxes and interest. However, these non-GAAP measures should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for or superior to, net income (loss) and net cash provided by operating activities, or other financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation to net income (loss), the GAAP equivalent of these non-GAAP measures is contained in tabular form on the attached unaudited summary financial statements.
The Company uses adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow as measures of operating performance; for planning purposes, including the preparation of the annual operating budget; to allocate resources to enhance the financial performance of its business; to evaluate the effectiveness of its business strategies; and in communications with its operating committee concerning its financial performance. The Company also uses adjusted EBITDA as a factor when determining the incentive compensation pool.
About Ancestry

Ancestry is the largest provider of family history and personal DNA testing, harnessing the information found in family trees, historical records and genetics to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Ancestry has more than 2.2 million paying subscribers across its core Ancestry websites and approximately 1.5 million DNA samples in the AncestryDNA database. Since 1996, more than 17 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 70 million family trees on the Ancestry flagship site and its affiliated international websites. Ancestry offers a suite of family history products including Archives, Fold3, Newspapers.com and AncestryDNA sold by its subsidiary, Ancestry.com DNA, LLC, and the AncestryHealth product, offered by its subsidiary AncestryHealth.com, LLC. 
Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that relate to future events or to future financial performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company’s actual results to be materially different from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the use of words such as “appears,” “may,” “designed,” “expect,” “intend,” “focus,” “seek,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “should,” “continue” or “work” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. These statements include statements describing the Company’s subscriber base, future earnings, financial and operating performance, its leadership position and its opportunities and prospects for growth, including growth in revenues, adjusted EBITDA and number of subscribers. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. In particular, such risks and uncertainties include the Company’s continued ability to attract and retain subscribers; continued service outages or a significant disruption in service on its websites; its continued ability to acquire content and make it available online; and its ability to add tools and features and provide value to satisfy customer demand. Information concerning these and additional factors that could cause events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements is contained under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2015, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on October 30, 2015, and in discussions in other of our Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date and we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
       
ANCESTRY.COM LLC
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
       
(in thousands)
       
  December 31,
2015
  December 31,
2014
  (unaudited)    
ASSETS
Current assets:      
Cash and cash equivalents $ 128,157     $ 108,494  
Restricted cash 2,412     49,086  
Accounts receivable, net of allowances of $997 and $540 at December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014, respectively   13,624     11,241  
Prepaid expenses 12,228     9,830  
Other current assets 6,288     1,813  
Total current assets 162,709     180,464  
Property and equipment, net 54,795     37,106  
Content databases, net 282,281     282,815  
Intangible assets, net 159,736     269,054  
Goodwill 948,283     948,283  
Other assets 13,956     3,175  
Total assets $ 1,621,760     $ 1,720,897  
LIABILITIES AND MEMBER’S INTERESTS
Current liabilities:      
Accounts payable $ 13,120     $ 11,515  
Accrued expenses 50,459     47,029  
Acquisition-related liabilities 2,412     49,086  
Deferred revenues 171,822     145,010  
Current portion of long-term debt, net 7,087     46,537  
Total current liabilities 244,900     299,177  
Long-term debt, net 989,256     799,403  
Deferred income taxes 59,809     110,184  
Other long-term liabilities 46,877     16,406  
Total liabilities 1,340,842     1,225,170  
Commitments and contingencies      
Member’s interests:      
Member’s interests 422,603     666,830  
Accumulated deficit (141,685 )   (171,103 )
Total member’s interests 280,918     495,727  
Total liabilities and member’s interests $ 1,621,760     $ 1,720,897  
               
       
ANCESTRY.COM LLC
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
       
(in thousands)
       
  Three months ended
December 31,
  Year ended
December 31,
  2015   2014   2015   2014
  (unaudited)   (unaudited)    
Revenues:              
Subscription revenues $ 149,396     $ 139,693     $ 584,075     $ 553,810  
Service and other revenues 28,214     15,469     99,030     65,734  
Total revenues 177,610     155,162     683,105     619,544  
Costs of revenues:              
Cost of subscription revenues 26,419     24,556     103,051     95,899  
Cost of service and other revenues 17,255     10,730     60,668     43,654  
Total cost of revenues 43,674     35,286     163,719     139,553  
Gross profit 133,936     119,876     519,386     479,991  
Operating expenses:              
Technology and development 24,971     21,677     97,105     94,221  
Marketing and advertising 46,461     40,195     171,094     168,536  
General and administrative 16,365     18,489     54,427     60,971  
Amortization of acquired intangible assets   27,017     36,636     109,318     147,681  
Total operating expenses 114,814     116,997     431,944     471,409  
Income from operations 19,122     2,879     87,442     8,582  
Interest expense, net (18,874 )   (17,298 )   (81,056 )   (69,680 )
Other expense, net (105 )   (512 )   (334 )   (368 )
Income (loss) before income taxes 143     (14,931 )   6,052     (61,466 )
Income tax benefit 13,369     7,416     23,366     42,738  
Net income (loss) $ 13,512     $ (7,515 )   $ 29,418     $ (18,728 )
                               
       
ANCESTRY.COM LLC
       
(in thousands)
       
  Three months endedDecember 31,   Year endedDecember 31,
  2015   2014   2015   2014
  (unaudited)   (unaudited)
Reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow to net income (loss): (1)                
Net income (loss) $ 13,512     $ (7,515 )   $ 29,418     $ (18,728 )
Interest expense, net 18,874     17,298     81,056     69,680  
Other expense, net 105     512     334     368  
Income tax benefit (13,369 )   (7,416 )   (23,366 )   (42,738 )
Depreciation 5,306     5,636     21,823     21,498  
Amortization 35,816     44,095     141,647     176,755  
Stock-based compensation expense 1,968     2,008     7,683     8,004  
Adjusted EBITDA $ 62,212     $ 54,618     $ 258,595     $ 214,839  
Capitalization of content databases (7,899 )   (8,358 )   (32,514 )   (37,566 )
Purchases of property and equipment (5,169 )   (2,712 )   (15,117 )   (21,821 )
Cash paid for interest (2) (26,028 )   (23,227 )   (62,831 )   (60,450 )
Cash paid for income taxes (6,462 )   (107 )   (23,333 )   (1,334 )
Free cash flow $ 16,654     $ 20,214     $ 124,800     $ 93,668  
                               
Footnotes:

(1) Net loss and therefore adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2015 include $2.4 million and $4.4 million, respectively, of professional service fees related primarily to litigation, reimbursement for certain legal and accounting costs incurred by one of our Sponsors and costs associated with a return-of-capital distribution declared in August 2015 to our parent company, Ancestry.com Holdings LLC. For the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2014, net loss and therefore adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow include $6.3 million and $10.6 million, respectively, of accrued interest paid on restricted cash held pending resolution of the shareholder appraisal litigation, professional service fees related to litigation and costs associated with the return-of-capital distribution paid in February 2014 by our parent company.
(2) Cash paid for interest for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2015 does not include $19.3 million and $38.4 million, respectively, payments made to our parent related to the interest obligations on its senior unsecured PIK notes. Cash for paid for interest for three and twelve months ended December 31, 2014 does not include $19.2 million and $37.6 million, respectively, of payments made to our parent related to the interest obligations on its senior unsecured PIK notes.
   
ANCESTRY.COM LLC
Total Subscribers and Net Subscriber Additions
   
(in thousands)
   
  Year ended December 31,
  2015   2014
  (unaudited)
Total subscribers 2,264     2,115  
Net subscriber additions                                   149     (25 )
         

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, February 12, 2016

This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of an assortment of valuable new collections from the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.


Over 2,000 records have been added to our collection of Irish Non-Conformist Births & Baptisms. The collection is comprised of several different registers of births and baptisms from Ireland’s non-conformist churches between 1701 and 1913. Each entry includes both a transcript and an image of the original document.

Just under 1,000 records have been added to Ireland, Non-Conformist Marriages. The collection consists of four separate collections of non-conformist marriage records; Ireland Down Anaghlone Presbyterian marriages 1845-1913, Ireland Down Ballyroney Presbyterian marriages 1831-1906, Registers of the French non-conformist churches Dublin 1702-1731 and Limerick non-conformist marriages, 1813-1946. Non-conformist marriages refer to those performed by Protestant churches not aligned with the Church of Ireland.

Over 10,000 records have been added to our collection of Ireland, Non-Conformist Congregational Records. There are three collections represented in these records; Ireland Down Anaghlone Presbyterian communicants 1868-1913, Ireland Down Ballyroney Presbyterian communicants 1861-1913 and Limerick non-conformist congregational records 1911-1945.


Over 240,000 records have been added to our Britain, Merchant Seamen, 1918-1941 records. The records include index cards that the Registrar General of Shipping and Seaman used between the two world wars to produce a centralised index to merchant seamen serving on British merchant navy vessels. Many records contain a photograph and/or the signature of the seamen.

Britain, Business Indexes 1892-1987 contains over 4,000 records created by the Society of Genealogists from books published in the 1890s by the London Printing and Engraving Company and the Brighton firm of Robinson, Son and Pike. It is an index of British shopkeepers, businessmen and women, “captains of industry” and their companies. The directories contain a minimum of a paragraph about each shop or company and often include a photograph of it or the proprietor.

Shropshire, Non-Conformist Membership Lists 1819-1906 contains over 4,200 records. The records record the names of non-conformist church members from the United Reformed Church and Congregational churches in Church Stretton, Madeley, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Whitchurch between 1819 and 1906. Each record contains an image of the original membership list held at the Shropshire Archives and a transcript.

New Zealand, Teachers’ Examinations 1906-1907 records the details of students who sat for the Junior National Scholarship examination between December 1906 and January 1907. The Junior National Scholarship examination was used by New Zealand’s education boards and by Victoria College for awarding junior scholarships. Exams were taken by both students who wished to further their education by attending secondary schools, and teachers who wished to gain higher teaching qualifications.

New Zealand Registered Teachers 1906 records the details of over 3,800 teachers. Each transcript will list an individual teacher’s name, gender, district position, school name and classification. Classifications usually refer to the individual’s certificate or level of qualification. You can view images of the original document by following the link in the Useful Links & Resources section of the search page. From images of the report, you can fascinating additional details such as learn what your ancestor’s salary and house allowance was.

Queensland, Reformatory School For Boys Admission Registers 1871-1906 records the details of over 1,700 pupils at the Westbrook Reformatory for Boys, formerly the Diamantina Reformatory School for Boys. The school was a government-run industrial and reformatory school situated in Westbrook dedicated to educating boys under the age of 18 who were deemed neglected or who were convicted of a crime. Each record contains a transcript of individual entries in the school’s admission registers.

Queensland, Toowoomba Girls Reformatory Admissions & Discharges 1881-1903 contains the records of pupils at the Industrial School for Girls in Toowoomba, formerly called the Industrial and Reformatory School for Girls until 1890. The government-run school, which was originally the Toowoomba jail, opened on 1 April 1881 and was dedicated to the care and education of ‘neglected’ girls under the age of 15. Each record consists of a transcript of individual admissions and discharges.

Don’t forget to regularly check our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to keep up to date with all the latest 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.

2016 Student Genealogy Grant Applications Invited

The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant Committee is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Student Genealogy award
Denise May Levenick (l) and Paul Woodbury (r)


February 10, 2016 – The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant Committee and the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree are pleased to announce the 2016 Student Grant and Jamboree Scholarship. Student genealogists between the ages of 18 and 23 are eligible to apply for the $500 cash award and full registration scholarship for the 2016 SCGS Jamboree to be held in Burbank, California June 3-5, 2016.

The Student Grant was established in 2010 by family and friends in memory of Suzanne Winsor Freeman, family historian and life-long volunteer, and an enthusiastic annual attendee at the SCGS Jamboree. The 2016 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society will provide a full conference registration to the SCGS Jamboree in June where the award will be presented. This is a unique opportunity for a young genealogist to attend a premiere regional conference and meet genealogists from throughout the nation.

Past recipients include Elyse Doerflinger (Lomita, California), A.C. Ivory (Salt Lake City, Utah), Anthony Ray (Palmdale, California), Michael Savoca (Toms River, New Jersey), and Paul Woodbury (Provo, Utah).

“The Student Genealogy Grant pays tribute to Suzanne Freeman’s dedication to youth volunteerism and family history by awarding the annual cash grant to a young genealogist attending the SCGS Annual Genealogy Jamboree, Southern California’s premiere regional genealogy conference,” notes Denise Levenick, committee chair and Freeman’s daughter.

“We are especially grateful to Jamboree for providing a three-day conference registration to the grant recipient,” she adds. “SCGS is truly a leader in conference organizations by encouraging youth involvement in genealogy through the student conference scholarship.”

Born in Olathe, Kansas, Suzanne Winsor (Brown) Freeman moved to Orange County, California with her family in the early 1930s where she attended school and lived most of her life. She developed a strong interest in family history sparked by the stories of her mother’s early life in Colorado and Kansas. After retirement Suzanne moved to Green Valley, Arizona where she was active in the local genealogy society. She enjoyed returning to Southern California each year in June to attend the SCGS Jamboree. Suzanne passed away after a brief illness in Tucson, Arizona August 28, 2010.

The $500 cash award pays tribute to these interests by awarding the annual cash grant to a young genealogist attending the Jamboree. In addition, a student scholarship for conference registration to the Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree will be provided by the Jamboree conference.

Any genealogist who is between the ages of 18 and 23 as of June 2, 2016 and a current student (full-time or part-time) is eligible to apply. The award will be presented at the Jamboree Scholarship Breakfast Sunday, June 5, 2016; the recipient must be present to receive the award. See the Grant Application for eligibility details.

Funding for the cash award is provided by the family grant program; Jamboree registration is provided by the conference. Individual contributions to the grant program are welcome at the Student Grant Webpage.

Application deadline is March 20, 2016 midnight Pacific Daylight Time.

Application details and forms are available at the Student Grant Webpage http://www.thefamilycurator.com/swf-grant. Suzanne Winsor Freeman’s Obituary is available here.

ANCESTRY TO LAUNCH IRISH CATHOLIC REGISTERS ONLINE

  • Ireland Catholic Parish Registers to launch in March
  • 10 million records will help create the largest collection of Irish registers available online
  • Collection covers the period 1740 – 1900
  • Baptism, Marriage and Burial records available

More than 10 million Catholic Parish records from Ireland are to be published online by Ancestry, the world’s largest family history resource. The collection means that Ancestry will have over 55 million Irish records and will provide the largest collection of Irish Catholic parish records available online.

The collection is made up of Baptism, Marriage and Burial records from over 1,000 Catholic parishes across the whole of the island of Ireland – both in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Baptism and Marriage records make up the majority of the collection and Burial records can be found primarily for parishes in the northern regions.

Ancestry has indexed records from over 3,500 parish registers. This is the first time that the collection has been indexed with the images linked online.

John Slyne, VP, International Operations at Ancestry comments: “The Ireland Catholic Parish Registers is the single most important collection needed to trace Roman Catholic ancestors in Ireland in the 1800s and we are delighted to make it available through Ancestry. Providing the very best Irish records to our members is important to us and this collection helps us do that, taking the total number of Irish records to over 44 million. It also means we continue to provide the largest online collection of Irish Catholic parish records available anywhere which is good for those in Ireland and also those across the World with Irish roots.

The collection is set to go live on Ancestry in March 2016.

ABOUT ANCESTRY

Ancestry is the world’s largest online family history resource with more than 2 million paying subscribers across all its websites. More than 16 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 70 million family trees to the core Ancestry websites, including its flagship site www.ancestry.com and its affiliated international websites.

Ancestry operates a suite of online family history brands, including Archives.com, Fold3.com, Newspapers.com, and offers the AncestryDNA product, sold by its subsidiary, Ancestry International DNA, LLC, all of which are designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

FINDMYPAST ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC INVESTMENT IN TWILE WINNER OF TWO INNOVATION AWARDS AT ROOTSTECH 2016

London: February 11, 2016

Leading family history site, Findmypast, has announced a strategic investment in Twile, creators of the visual family history timeline and winner of two innovation awards at the recent RootsTech 2016, the world’s largest family history event.

The investment in Twile reflects Findmypast’s drive to put innovation at the centre of its development programme. It follows on the announcement of a raft of global partnerships with leading technology providers, such as RootsMagic and Puzzilla, which are designed to offer customers an easy and engaging family history experience.

Annelies van den Belt, CEO of Findmypast, said:

“We are delighted with this partnership with such an innovative company as Twile. The RootsTech awards speak to the creativity of Twile and to win the People’s Choice award shows clearly that this is a product that the public wants. We believe that our partnership offers great value to both companies’ customers. At Findmypast we are committed to enhancing family history stories not just through new records but also through new technologies. Our aim is to make family history as easy and as rewarding as possible.”

Twile was voted “People’s Choice” by the RootsTech audience, as well as finishing on the podium in the judges’ competition. The most popular innovation at the event, Twile enables customers to create amazing family history timelines complete with photos and milestones and all of it totally private. With Twile, you can tell the story of the whole family from the earliest ancestors to the most recent additions bridging the gap between the past, the present and the future.

The agreement will offer Twile’s fast growing customer base access to Findmypast’s rich bank of eight billion records. Leads generated by Findmypast will link Twile customers directly to relevant records enabling them to easily expand their family trees. Together Findmypast and Twile will develop a tool that will allow Findmypast’s customers to automatically display their family tree in a media-rich Twile timeline.

Paul Brooks of Twile said:

“This is a huge opportunity for Twile and we are really pleased to be working with Findmypast. From our earliest conversations with them, it’s been clear that they share our mission of making family history more engaging for the wider family, especially the younger generations. Our customers will see this relationship makes Twile better in every sense, while also adding a whole set of features that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.”

About Findmypast

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

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over eight billion family history records, ranging 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 conducting detailed historical research.

In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site 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 digitized records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. Findmypast, in association with The National Archives, recently launched the 1939 Register, a record of 41 million lives on the eve of World War II.

About Twile

Twile is an interactive timeline made up of photos and milestones – such as births, marriages and deaths – which tells the story of your family from your earliest known ancestor to the youngest member of your family. Genealogists can import a family tree from their existing research tool (eg Findmypast) to automatically generate their Twile timeline.

Based in Doncaster, Twile was started in 2013 by Paul Brooks and Kelly Marsden. Both with young families they were looking to give their children a record of their early years and a knowledge of their ancestors. While the website is aimed primarily at family historians, it is also designed to encourage the rest of the family to add their own, more recent content.

Since its beginnings, Twile has been backed by Creative England (who bring capital through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund) and a number of UK angel investors, including Lee Strafford, one of the original co-founders of Plusnet, which sold to BT Group in 2007.

National Genealogical Society Opens Registration for Research Trip to Fort Wayne, IN 15 to 19 August 2016


ARLINGTON, VA, 10 FEB 2016—Registration is now open for the National Genealogical Society’s guided research trip to the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, from 15–19 August 2016. Under the guidance of research consultants Pamela S. Eagleson, CGSM and Patricia Walls Stamm, CGSM, CGLSM, participants have five days to conduct personal research at one of the largest genealogical libraries in the Midwest. For more information or to register for the trip, visit http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/ft_wayne_research_trip.

One of the noteworthy research repositories, the Allen County Public Library houses the Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Collection; PERSI, the Periodical Source Index, and in a joint venture with the Indiana State Museum, the Abraham Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection. The library’s collection contains more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 microforms.

The trip includes:

  • Guidance from leading experts
  • Online orientation
  • Meet and greet for participants
  • Four genealogical presentations
  • Personal research consultations with group leaders
  • Tour of the Abraham Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
  • Five nights at the Courtyard by Marriott, including free internet in rooms and parking for one car or airport transfers
  • Fees and taxes for all planned events

For more information or to register for the trip visit http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/ft_wayne_research_trip. Payment is required in full at the time of registration. The package price does not include transportation to Fort Wayne.

Eagleson is a researcher, writer, and teacher who conducts client and personal research nationwide with an emphasis on New England, the mid-Atlantic, and the Midwest. A member of NGS since 1981, she currently serves as a director at large. She lectures at NGS national conferences as well as regional and local conferences. She has attended the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR), the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). Winner of the 2004 NGS Family History Writing Contest, she is co-administrator of the Stone Surname DNA project and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and many regional genealogical societies.

Stamm serves as NGS Education Manager. She lectures on a wide variety of topics at many of NGS and the Federation of Genealogical Societies national conferences. She is a graduate of the NIGR and IGHR. Stamm is a course coordinator at Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research and teaches at St. Louis Community College.

About NGS

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.

Advanced Supplier of Family and Organization Image Protection at RootsTech Conference

A great example of saving family, business and organizational memories is being shown to the 26,000 visitors to the Salt Lake City RootsTech Conference February 4-6. Founder and owner of Memorable, Eugene Gekhter is demonstrating the advanced restoration and cloud saving work of Memorable. Memorable’s more than decade long work with photos including post 2000 dated digital images, original “snapshots” and slides before 2000, all forms of video and 8 mm and 16 mm film from the 1950’s and earlier. Memorable which has been in business for 15 years is demonstrating how can families and organizations truly protect their visual records from disaster including floods, fire and other natural and human disasters.

Memorable was founded by Eugene Gekhter, who fell in love with preserving memories while attending the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 15 years ago. He recognized early that so few families and organizations took the time to protect their photos. Eventually he discovered that as few as 4% of American families have taken precautions to scan, backup and protect their still and moving images of their families and lives. At the age of 19 Eugene bought the domain filmtransfer.com which would become the leading company in the United States for high definition film transfer services.

Education did not stop after graduation; Eugene grew to learn as much about every aspect of photo and video technology as possible. To connect every family memory seamlessly together into a unified archive, he developed the expertise for working with every imaginable format used by consumers in the last hundred years.

To tackle such an enormous task, he had to master movie film, video, and still image technologies. To improve quality of originals he developed proprietary restoration processes which could color correct faded movies, remove dust, dirt, and reduce grain from old film and slides, as well as remove noise from analog video. 250,000 lines of code later, Eugene and his Memorable team have achieved what it had set out to do, Memorable has developed a solution that would unite and automatically create clear chronologies for over a century of family photos and videos that any family can afford and especially all family members can use. He has worked with Harvard University and other institutions as well as thousands of families.

FINDMYPAST ANNOUNCES A RAFT OF NEW PARTNERSHIPS AS PART OF ITS U.S. GROWTH STRATEGY

Leading family history site, Findmypast announced today at RootsTech a range of new global partnerships with leading technology providers. This will further strengthen its reach in the U. S. as well as U.K. markets.

The raft of new partnerships include deals with RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, FamilySearch, Family-Historian, Puzzilla, Billion Graves and RootsCity. Findmypast will make its vast record collection of more than 8 billion records available to customers via these partners. The rollout of these partnerships will begin in 2016, with exact dates to be detailed later.

Customers using these various family history products will benefit from having Findmypast’s record collection embedded within the actual product in ways that each partner determines will benefit their customers most. Adding to the excitement, Findmypast also announced that in 2016 it will build on its extensive British and Irish data base by adding hundreds of millions of new U.S. records including the most comprehensive collection of US marriage records available anywhere.

Commenting Ben Bennett, Executive Vice-President North America and International for Findmypast said:

“2016 is going to see us expanding our partnerships across the U.S. Our aim is to provide our customers with more and more records and family history resources to aid them in their family history research. Regardless of where the customer is doing the research, Findmypast will bring the full benefit of the more than 8 billion records that Findmypast has in order to help them discover more about their family.”

Taking these essential steps to creating a healthy ecosystem of partnerships will help ensure that those searching for ancestors who have lived in the UK and/or the US can take full advantage of Findmypast’s world class record collections.

About Findmypast

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

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over eight billion family history records, ranging 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 conducting detailed historical research.

In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site 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 digitized records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. Findmypast, in association with The National Archives, recently launched the 1939 Register, a record of 41 million lives on the eve of World War II.

TapGenes Wins First Place of 2016 Innovator Showdown

TapGenes Wins First Place of 2016 Innovator Showdown
SALT LAKE CITY, UT—Today at RootsTech, the world’s largest Family History technology conference, TapGenes, won the Innovator Showdown and walked away with $45,000 in cash and prizes.  The Chicago, Illinois-based, firm helps families identify and benefit from key health traits that exist between generations.
In front of a crowd of close to 10,000 live and online viewers, the six RootsTech Innovator Showdown finalists battled for $100,000 in cash and prizes and bragging rights in the rapidly-growing, multi-billion dollar family history industry.  TapGenes was awarded $20,000 in cash and $25,000 in-kind prizes.
TapGenes provides the tools to identify the genetic thread that ties a family together.  Founder, Heather Holmes, got the idea for TapGenes after her father became very ill and the family struggled with multiple roadblocks to share his family medical history that impacted his treatment, care, and recovery.  Heather made it her mission, if her father got well, to make sure this kind of frightening and desperate episode would not be faced by other families.
Holmes has a background in healthcare marketing. In fact, her entire team comes from various fields of the healthcare profession, including computational genetics.
TapGenes uses the idea of “crowdsourcing” to help families create a more complete and accurate family medical history, online, together. The TapGenes platform identifies medical conditions that may run in their family and helps family members understand what steps they can take to live healthier together.
The six finalists were whittled down from 46 applicants from around the world. They had two minutes to win over the panel of five judges and the audience that their product was the most worthy of support from sponsors.
After each moving presentation, there was a four-minute question and answer period between each contestant and the judges.  After all six presentations, the judges selected the top three winners, and the viewing audience selected the People’s Choice Award winner.
With $50,000 in cash and another $50K+ of in-kind prizes and services from sponsors at stake, the pressure, tension, and energy of this event was tremendous.
2016 RootsTech Showdown Winners
  • First Place Judges Choice ($20,000 cash, $25,000 in-kind), Heather Holmes of TapGenes.
  • Second Place Judges Choice ($14,000 cash, $15,000 in-kind), Studio (by Legacy Republic), Technology hardware and software for digitizing hard copy photo albums.
  • Third Place Judges Choice Award ($6,000 cash, $10,000 in-kind), Twile, a web app that populates a visual family timeline with data and media.
  • People’s Choice ($10,000 cash), Twile
This is TapGenes’ second year as an Innovator Showdown contestant.  Holmes credits the great exposure from its RootsTech 2015 booth which focused on FamilySearch data sharing integration, and listening to user feedback as key differentiates in advancing from semi-finalist in 2015 to first place in 2016. Holmes said they plan to use the prize winnings to expand TapGenes worldwide to save lives by making family medical history more available internationally.
 “It’s surreal,” said Holmes.  “When you have a vision of something and you don’t know if it’s going to really happen and it does, it’s like a dream. You hope people are going to love it as much as you do. It’s great to get that confirmation that it resonates with them.”
Holmes says they will use the award money and support to help create TapGenes’ mobile app and to expand locally through additional languages.
Other Finalists

The other finalists included Ancestor Cloud, an online marketplace where those with family history needs connect with those who can fill those needs; JRNL, a journaling app for recording memories as they happen; and The History Project , a fun app forcreating mixed media digital time capsules of a life.
The judges for the final round includedAmy Rees Anderson, Managing Partner, REES Capital; David Bradford, Chairman of the Board ofFluentWorlds; Dennis Brimhall, former CEO, FamilySearch International; Judy G. Russell, JD , certified genealogist, The Legal Genealogist, and D. Joshua Taylor, accredited genealogist and host of the Genealogy Roadshow (PBS)
The major sponsors of the Innovator Showdown this year include Sorenson Legacy Foundation, Lenovo, IPOP.org., Grow Utah, Utah Technology Council, David Bradford, Woodbury Corporation, Hero Club, and others.
The Innovator Showdown, only in its second year, was designed to foster innovation in the family history industry.
###
About RootsTech
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.
About TapGenes
TapGenes is a platform for families to crowd source their family health information and receive personalized health risk assessments and recommendations to get the right care and services.

FINDMYPAST ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF 10 MILLION IRISH PARISH REGISTERS

Leading family history site, Findmypast, announced today at Rootstech that it will launch 10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers, one of the most important Irish record collections, in March 2016.

Covering over 200 years from 1671-1900 and over 1,000 parishes, Findmypast has worked to transcribe the National Library of Ireland’s online image collection of 3,500 baptism and marriage registers. This is the first time that the collection has been indexed with the images linked online, making the search much easier and the records more accessible. As a result, family historians will now be able to make all important links between generations with the baptism records and between families with the marriage registers. These essential records cover the entire island of Ireland, both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Ben Bennett, Executive Vice-President North America and International for Findmypast said:

“The Irish Parish Registers will be a gold mine for anyone with Irish heritage. The 10 million baptism and marriage records will help even more people to trace their Irish ancestors. In addition to being able to search this valuable collection, customers with family trees on Findmypast will benefit from leads that automatically connect the records related to their family directly to their trees. The Catholic Parish Registers are a hugely important addition to Findmypast’s Irish collection, the largest and most comprehensive source for online Irish family history research.”

About Findmypast

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

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over eight billion family history records, ranging 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 conducting detailed historical research.

In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site 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 digitized records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. Findmypast, in association with The National Archives, recently launched the 1939 Register, a record of 41 million lives on the eve of World War II.

FINDMYPAST ANNOUNCES LARGEST ONLINE COLLECTION OF U.S. MARRIAGES FROM 1650-2010

100 MILLION RECORDS, 450 MILLION+ NAMES

Leading family history company, Findmypast, announced today at RootsTech that, in partnership with FamilySearch International, it will launch the single largest online collection of U.S. marriages in history.

Covering 360 years of marriages from 1650-2010, when complete this landmark collection will contain at least 100 million records and more than 450 million names from 2,800 counties across America. More than 60 per cent of these marriage records have never before been published online. When complete, this collection will only be found in its entirety exclusively on Findmypast.

To kick start the collection, Findmypast has launched the first 33 million records of this ambitious project today and is offering them to the public for free from now until 15 February. The records include marriage date, bride and groom names, birthplace, birth date, age, residence as well as fathers’ and mothers’ names. Customers with family trees on Findmypast will benefit from leads connecting relatives on their trees with the marriage records, thus generating a whole new source of research.

Those seeking a bit of star dust will find the marriage records for actors from Bette Davis to Jimmy Stewart, actor turned President, Ronald Reagan, founding father Samuel Adams, writers including F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck, jazz great Duke Ellington and baseball legend Babe Ruth to name but a few among the hundreds of millions of names.

Commenting, Annelies van den Belt, CEO, Findmypast said:

“We are delighted to be working with FamilySearch to bring this hugely important collection online. The launch of the U.S. marriages project is central to our growth strategy in the U.S. The millions of new U.S. records will complement Findmypast’s massive collection of British and Irish data allowing us to provide many more connections and a more comprehensive experience to family historians in the US and all over the world.

Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch said:

“We greatly value our close working relationships with our partners and record archives. They enable us as a community to get important records available to family history researchers online much, much faster. The US marriage records agreement with Findmypast is an excellent example. We are delighted to assist making these records available.”

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.

Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) Offers Free Webinar Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) Offers Free Webinar Tuesday, 16 February 2016  “The Importance of Context in Record Analysis” by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS

News Release 2 February 2016

Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) Offers Free Webinar Tuesday, 16 February 2016

“The Importance of Context in Record Analysis” by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS

Source citations provide context for the information we gather. The details provide background context that helps us evaluate the validity of the information and suggests other avenues for research. But this information only scratches the surface. A full evaluation of any record’s context requires that we explore the complete content of the document. We want to know the reason for the document’s existence; the social, legal, and geographical context behind its creation; and what ancillary documents were produced both before and after its creation.

BCG will present “The Importance of Context in Record Analysis” a webinar by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS, free to the public at 8:00 PM EST on 16 February 2016.

Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS, is a professional genealogist whose primary interests are Virginia research and brick wall problems. A former president of both the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Virginia Genealogical Society, she coordinated the Virginia track for Samford University’s Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research from 2007–2012. She has served as editor of the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy since 1996. She currently edits NGS’s Research in the States series and authored the West Virginia volume. She has published three volumes of Virginia court records and edited others for publication. She has lectured for the past twenty-five years on research methodology, Virginia and West Virginia resources, and writing and publishing.

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. To register for Barbara Vines Little, “The Importance of Context in Record Analysis” on 16 February 2016, 8:00 p.m. EST (7:00 CST, 6:00 MST, 5:00 PST), go to:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3474700108047285762

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Attendance is limited for this free webinar. Once registered, please sign in early to avoid disappointment.

** The words Certified Genealogist are a registered certification mark, and the designations CG, CGL and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation, and the board name is registered in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

New African American Resource Portal Created by NEHGS

New African American Resource Portal Created by NEHGS



New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Creates a New Portal to Its Resources for Researching African American Ancestors at AmericanAncestors.org/AfricanAmerican

During Black History Month, NEHGS Offers Free Access to Databases Featuring African American Content to Guest Users on AmericanAncestors.org

February 1, 2016—Boston, Massachusetts—To commemorate Black History Month in February, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has assembled a wealth of information in a single portal on its data rich website, offering important resources to the researcher of African American ancestry. The portal, located at AmericanAncestors.org/AfricanAmerican, features a NEHGS webinar and study guide about African American genealogy, and hints concerning researching African American and other minorities in online databases, as well as beautifully illustrated articles on several important African American historical figures, culled from the vast manuscript collection at NEHGS.

Starting February 1, 2016 through this new portal Guests Users on AmericanAncestors.org may access several African American databases free in order to get a sample of the variety of information to be found in the collection of African American resources at NEHGS. Among them is a large database Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States in 1830, a list compiled from the 1830 census and published in 1925. It contains the name, age range, family size, and county and state residence of 47,300 individuals in 27 states and one territory—a valuable source of records on free African Americans in that period.

Researching African American ancestors can be one of the most challenging tasks in the field of American genealogy. Creative searching methods must be utilized, requiring a thorough understanding of slave and freeman record keeping and notations in the earliest years of the settlement of America, and of name registration and documentation of vital statistics after emancipation in 1863.

There are hundreds of resources available at NEHGS to assist family historians with researching African American ancestors: from published genealogies to local histories, Bible, cemetery, and court records, original manuscripts and rare documents to many online databases on AmericanAncestors.org.

NEHGS’s collection of guides and how-to books concerning African American genealogy hold important clues to solving family mysteries in research. And NEHGS, the oldest and largest family history organization in America, has an expert staff of genealogists available for private consultations, research assistance, and guidance for members and the public through its online webinars and study guides.

The five free databases offered by NEHGS to Guest Users from the new online portal during Black History Month include:

Hampden County, MA: Black Families in Hampden County, 1650-1865

Black Families in Hampden County, Massachusetts, 1650-1865 (2nd Edition) by Joseph Carvalho III was published by NEHGS in 2011.

From the introduction: “Hampden County, Massachusetts, was a significant center of African American life between the years 1650 and 1865. Its location at the ‘crossroads of New England,’ close over the border from Connecticut to the south and across the wide Hudson River and a mountain range away from slavery in New York to the west, made Hampden County a haven for escaped slaves. The establishment in Springfield of the U.S. Armory in 1794 placed the town at the very epicenter of America’s Industrial Revolution… The main body of the work consists of genealogical and biographical information in alphabetical order by surname. Following this section, there is a separate alphabetical list of individuals only known by their slave names.”

This volume is available at the NEHGS Boston research library. The full introduction to this volume is also available for download as a pdf file on AmericanAncestors.org.

People of Color in the Massachusetts State Census, 1855-1865

Massachusetts took state censuses every ten years from 1855 to 1925, but only the enumerations for 1855 and 1865 still exist. Ann S. Lainhart has extracted the names of every person of color from these censuses for this database. The original censuses are available at the Massachusetts State Archives and microfilm copies are available at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Boston Public Library, and through the LDS Church libraries.

Massachusetts: 1855 State Census and Massachusetts: 1865 State Census

The 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts state censuses provide a complementary resource to the United States federal censuses, allowing researchers to trace a family every five years between 1850 and 1870. The state census can also occasionally provide additional information not present in the federal census, such as town or county of birth. For the 1855 census, an individual’s town of birth was recorded for most residents in the towns of Abington, Andover, Brimfield, Brookline, Carlisle, Dennis, Enfield, Harwich, Holland, Ipswich, Marshfield, New Ashford, North Attleboro, Pembroke, Provincetown, Shutesbury, Wayland, Wellfleet, Westport, Wilmington, and Yarmouth. This database holds more than 1.1 million records.

There are three important features that make this state census different from the Federal censuses. First is a column that asks whether the person is married, single, or widowed. This can help determine relationships in a household. Secondly, it asks whether a person is a ratable poll (‘p’), ratable poll and legal voter (‘p1’), or ratable poll and naturalized voter (‘pn’). This can help to determine when someone became a citizen. The third feature is that 96 towns in 1865 give specific town of birth rather than just state and some give town or county of birth for those of foreign birth.

Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States in 1830

This 192-page list of free Negro heads of families was compiled from the 1830 census under the direction of Carter G. Woodson, Ph.D., and published in 1925. It contains the name, age range, family size, and county and state residence of 47,300 individuals in 27 states and one territory.

The original volume is available for viewing at the NEHGS Research Library. And visitors can download the 58-page “Brief Treatment of the Free Negro” introduction as a searchable pdf file.

* * *

These databases from NEHGS will be open with FREE access to the public beginning Monday, February 1, and extending through Monday, February 29. Registration is required at AmericanAncestors.org as a FREE Guest User to gain access to these valuable resources. Guest User accounts allow web visitors to use a limited suite of AmericanAncestors.org databases and access web content such as making purchases from the online store. Unlimited access to all 450+ million records and to other benefits is available through membership at NEHGS.

The new portal open on AmericanAncestors.org commemorates the nation’s Black History Month and also offers Guest Users and members a variety of other African American resources available through NEHGS to the researcher. NEHGS invites family historians to utilize the portal and all the resources and services of the Society and of its AmericanAncestors.org website to uncover the stories of fascinating African American lives hidden in the archives of NEHGS. Visit: AmericanAncestors.org/AfricanAmerican.

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 130,000 constituents through an award-winning website, AmericanAncestors.org.

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. 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.