New TechZone Video - 1 Step to Faster Internet at Home by Geoff Rasmussen

New TechZone Video - 1 Step to Faster Internet at Home by Geoff Rasmussen

Every Friday we're pleased to offer Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscribers a new short ten minute or less TechZone video just for them! This Friday enjoy "1 Step to Faster Internet at Home" by Geoff Rasmussen.

1 Step to Faster Internet at Home

If your internet speeds fluctuate throughout your home. Like in the office next to the modem it's screaming fast, but head down to the basement or upstairs to the kid's bedroom and it crawls, then you need a wifi extender like Google Wifi.

_WatchVideo


About the Presenter

Geoff RasmussenGeoffrey D. Rasmussen is the father of four budding genealogists. He graduated with a degree in Genealogy and Family History from Brigham Young University and has served as director and vice-president of the Utah Genealogical Association. He is the founder and host of the Legacy Family Tree webinar series and develops the Legacy Family Tree genealogy software. Geoff enjoys playing the piano, organ, cello, basketball and bowling. His favorite places are cemeteries, the ocean, and hanging out with other genealogists. He met and proposed to his wife in a Family History Center. He is the author of Kindred Voices: Listening for our Ancestors, and the popular books Legacy Family Tree, Unlocked! and Digital Imaging Essentials.

See all the webinars and videos by Geoff Rasmussen in the Legacy library.
 
Not a member yet?

Legacy Family Tree Webinars provides genealogy education where-you-are through live and recorded online webinars and videos. Learn from the best instructors in genealogy including Thomas MacEntee, Judy Russell, J. Mark Lowe, Lisa Louise Cooke, Tom Jones, and many more. Learn at your convenience. On-demand classes are available 24 hours a day! All you need is a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection.

Subscribe today and get access to this members-only TechZone video AND all of this:

  • All 1,550 classes in the library
  • 5,913 pages of instructors' handouts
  • Chat logs from the live webinars
  • Additional 5% off anything at FamilyTreeWebinars.com
  • Chance for a bonus subscribers-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Additional members-only webinars

It's just $49.95/year.


Summer Research Trip: The Family History Library

Summer Research Trip: The Family History Library

You've probably read online that the Family History Library in Salt Lake City re-opened July 6th. During the last year I’d been promising that as soon as the Library was open I was going to travel to Utah to research. I didn’t make it to the Library on opening day but I was there a few days later.

Welcomeback

This isn’t just a re-opening after the COVID shutdown, FamilySearch used the closure to make improvements. They aren't quite done with some of the construction but that doesn’t affect your ability to research. As of this writing, the break room that you can use to buy vending machine food is not open (it will be back in August). In addition to that, my experience was that many nearby restaurants, within walking distance, were closed temporarily or permanently because of COVID. To avoid frustration, make sure to call and inquire if a restaurant is open and their hours of operation as well as if they are serving dine-in customers or to-go orders only. Some popular restaurants near the Family History Library are not open including those in the Joseph Smith Building.

Gena Philibert-Ortega at the newly opened Family History Library. Photo courtesy of Gena Philibert-Ortega.
Gena Philibert-Ortega at the newly opened Family History Library.
Photo courtesy of Gena Philibert-Ortega.

The Family History Library is currently in "stage 1" of their opening. Meaning that they are only open Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm. So if you’re in town on the weekend, you may want to make other plans. The Salt Lake City Public Library is open on the weekends and it is a beautiful building if you're a library fan like me. You can order a ride service or you can take Trax to get there. Stage 2 of the opening will include Wednesday evenings and Saturdays.

What’s New at the FHL?

So what’s new at the Family History Library? Much of the change is in the “look” and technology of the Library. New technological tools, brighter working areas, computer stations, and table space for researcher use are the most obvious changes. I visited the library months before the COVID shutdown and the changes are noticeable. Technology such as microfilm scanners, book scanners, and multiple screen workspaces are available. If you don’t like technology, that’s ok. There’s plenty of table space to use with electric outlets for your own computer or mobile devices. If you’re like me and would rather use an old microfilm reader, you still can in a special room, but for everyone else, individual computers with microfilm scanners are available. 

New Workstations at the FHL. Photo courtesy of Gena Philibert-Ortega
New workstations at the FHL. Photo courtesy of Gena Philibert-Ortega

The ground floor is still the discovery area where visitors can learn more about family history. As you can probably guess, this floor was the busiest during my time at the Library. It was filled with families and tourists looking to discover their ancestors. The 2nd floor holds the US/Canada Microform Collection. Floor 3 is where you will find US and Canada books (they’ve added even more books, 50,000 were added donated in 2020!).

 

Family History Library Discovery Area
Family History Library Discovery Area.
Photo courtesy of Gena Philibert-Ortega

For those doing international research, B1 is the floor with the international microfilm collection as well as the map collection (check out the lighted map table and all those maps!). Although this floor is for international collections, all of the microfiche, no matter what country, is also located on this floor. B2 is the International book collection.

No matter what floor you are on you’ll find the technology that you need. But there’s also the old tried and true technology like photocopy machines. Gone is the photocopy area which you probably won't miss considering the other tools like book scanners. Even though there aren't a lot of photocopy machines, if you do need to make a copy, all photocopies are free! I overheard one volunteer state that if you still have a copy card with money on it, just exchange it with them for a flash drive.

 

Family History Library Discovery Area. Photo courtesy of Gena Philibert-Ortega
Book Scanner at the Family History Library.
Photo courtesy of Gena Philibert-Ortega

Now, what if you need help? That’s no problem. Use a Family History Library computer (there's a Help icon) or your cell phone to take a photo of a QR code that allows you to summon help. Help, when you need it, where you need it. They come to you and if they can't help they will find someone who can. Each floor also has a resource desk where you can ask for help with research, using the Library, or the technology.

Get Help at the Family History Library
QR Code to summon help at the Family History Library.
Photos courtesy of Gena Philibert-Oretga

Prepare Before You Go

I have a few suggestions for preparing for a trip to the Family History Library.

  • Like all library trips, consult the Catalog before you arrive.
  • Make sure you identify more than one family history research project to work on. That way if you run out of ideas or you become frustrated with one family line you can move on to the next.
  • Prioritize your research using materials only available at the Library (books, microforms, or record images that are restricted to viewing only at the Family History Library or an affiliate).
  • Spend some time at the computers using the subscription websites available at the Library. The Family History Library Portal (available on FamilySearch computers under the Genealogy Websites link) is different than the Family History Center Portal. While they do share some of the same genealogy subscription websites the Library has more subscriptions.
  • If you need a break from research you can take advantage of what the first floor offers such as private interview booths and large family history pedigree chart printing (you must have a tree on FamilySearch to use this service).

I do want to say something about research “success.” Researching at a large library doesn’t always mean you’ll find answers to your research questions. Yes, I did find some materials I needed. One of my favorite finds was a 70 page will, only available online at the Family History Library. But I also didn’t find quite a bit of what I was looking for. That’s ok. I spent time reading articles and books, I searched subscription websites I normally don’t have access to, and I studied records that I’m not as familiar with. No library visit is a waste if you are learning something that will help you in the future. At the very least, you now know what records your ancestor does not appear in. 

 

Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, instructor, and researcher. She blogs at Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. You can find her presentations on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.

 


That Scoundrel George - free webinar by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL now online for limited time

2021-07-21-image500blog

The recording of today's webinar by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, "That Scoundrel George" is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for free for a limited time.

Webinar Description

Tracking a rascally ancestor through the records can be great fun - and a great challenge. When every record he ever left appears to be a lie, where is the truth to be found?

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour and 14 minute recording of "That Scoundrel George" is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time. If you have a webinar membership, it is available anytime.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 1,549 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 5,913 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2021 webinar brochure here.


Register for Webinar Wednesday: That Scoundrel George by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

Register
 
Tracking a rascally ancestor through the records can be great fun - and a great challenge. When every record he ever left appears to be a lie, where is the truth to be found?
 
Registerbut 
 

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

JudyRussell-144x144A genealogist with a law degree, Judy G. Russell is a lecturer, educator and writer who enjoys helping others understand a wide variety of genealogical issues, including the interplay between genealogy and the law. She has a bachelor's degree in political science and journalism from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark, and holds Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer credentials from the Board for Certification of Genealogists where she serves as a member of the Board of Trustees. She has worked as a newspaper reporter, trade association writer, legal investigator, defense attorney, federal prosecutor, law editor and, until her retirement, was an adjunct member of the faculty at Rutgers Law School. Judy is a Colorado native with roots deep in the American south on her mother's side and entirely in Germany on her father's side. Visit her website at www.legalgenealogist.com.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  6. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  7. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!


The Time of Cholera: A Case Study about Historical Context - free webinar by Alison Hare, CG now online for limited time

2021-07-20-image500blog

The recording of today's BCG webinar by Alison Hare, CG, "The Time of Cholera: A Case Study about Historical Context" is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com/BCG for free for a limited time.

Webinar Description

London’s cholera epidemic of 1854 is best known as the story of Dr. John Snow, the Broad Street water pump and a map. But who were the people who died? This session describes the discoveries made when a genealogist whose ancestor died in the epidemic set out to identify the forgotten victims.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour and 13 minute recording of "The Time of Cholera: A Case Study about Historical Context" is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time. If you have a webinar membership, it is available anytime.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 1,548 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 5,913 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2021 webinar brochure here.


Register for Tuesday's BCG webinar - The Time of Cholera: A Case Study about Historical Context by Alison Hare, CG

Register-bcg
 
London’s cholera epidemic of 1854 is best known as the story of Dr. John Snow, the Broad Street water pump and a map. But who were the people who died? This session describes the discoveries made when a genealogist whose ancestor died in the epidemic set out to identify the forgotten victims.
 
Registerbut 
 

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

AlisonHare-144x144Alison Hare of Ottawa, Ontario, has spent 30 years researching her ancestry in Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland and the United States. She is a former trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, a recipient of the board’s Donn Devine award for exemplary service, and has held BCG’s Certified Genealogist credential since 1999. She has presented her always well-received cholera lecture in Ottawa and Toronto and at several National Genealogical Society conferences in the U.S.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at:

  • 8pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 7pm Central
  • 6pm Mountain
  • 5pm Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  6. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  7. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Using Irish newspapers and other printed material - free webinar by Natalie Bodle now online for limited time

2021-07-16-image500blog

The recording of today's webinar by Natalie Bodle, "Using Irish newspapers and other printed material" is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for free for a limited time.

Webinar Description

Newspapers are a great source of information about our ancestors, but how do we know what Irish newspapers are available and how can we access them? This webinar will include finding aids for newspapers to track down our Irish ancestors including the major repositories where they may be found. We'll also cover a range of printed journals, gazetteers and street directories where you may find your Irish ancestors recorded.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour and 23 minute recording of "Using Irish newspapers and other printed material" is now available to view in our webinar library for free. If you have a webinar membership, it is available anytime.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 1,547 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 5,905 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2021 webinar brochure here.


New TechZone Video - Should I worry if I don't see my surname listed in my DNA matches? by Diahan Southard

New TechZone Video - Should I worry if I don't see my surname listed in my DNA matches? by Diahan Southard

Every Friday we're pleased to offer Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscribers a new short ten minute or less TechZone video just for them! This Friday enjoy "Should I worry if I don't see my surname listed in my DNA matches?" by Diahan Southard.

Should I worry if I don't see my surname listed in my DNA matches?

If you've taken a Y-DNA test you'll be looking closely at the surnames in your DNA match list. What if the surname matches don't match your own surname? Diahan Southard explains why that happens and suggests three steps you should take.

_WatchVideo


About the Presenter

Diahan SouthardDiahan Southard is a leading voice for consumer DNA testing from her position as Founder of Your DNA Guide. Diahan teaches internationally, consults with leading testing companies and forensics experts. Southard's company, Your DNA Guide (YourDNAGuide.com), deploys a team of scientists who provide one-on-one genetic genealogy education and research services. She recently published Your DNA Guide-the Book, that takes you on a step-by-step journey with your DNA in order to find answers to your genealogy questions. You will walk away from an interaction wither her enlightened and motivated as she has a passion for genetic genealogy, a genuine love for people, and a gift for making the technical understandable.

See all the webinars and videos by Diahan Southard in the Legacy library.
 
Not a member yet?

Legacy Family Tree Webinars provides genealogy education where-you-are through live and recorded online webinars and videos. Learn from the best instructors in genealogy including Thomas MacEntee, Judy Russell, J. Mark Lowe, Lisa Louise Cooke, Tom Jones, and many more. Learn at your convenience. On-demand classes are available 24 hours a day! All you need is a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection.

Subscribe today and get access to this BONUS members-only webinar AND all of this:

  • All 1,546 classes in the library
  • 5,893 pages of instructors' handouts
  • Chat logs from the live webinars
  • Additional 5% off anything at FamilyTreeWebinars.com
  • Chance for a bonus subscribers-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Additional members-only webinars

It's just $49.95/year.


Jewish Resources on the Genealogy Giants - free webinar by Ellen Kowitt and Sunny Morton now online for limited time

2021-07-14-jewish-image500blog

The recording of today's webinar by Ellen Kowitt and Sunny Morton, "Jewish Resources on the Genealogy Giants" is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for free for a limited time.

Webinar Description

Learn about Jewish record collections across Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Findmypast and MyHeritage--and JewishGen! This comparative analysis tells you not only what records are where, but recommends best versions of similar record collections and additional tools on each site that are especially relevant to researching Jewish ancestors. Sunny Morton, expert on the "giant" genealogy websites, teams up with Ellen Kowitt, Jewish records expert, to bring two knowledgeable voices to this important topic.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour and 21 minute recording of "Jewish Resources on the Genealogy Giants" is now available to view in our webinar library for free. If you have a webinar membership, it is available anytime.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 1,545 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 5,893 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2021 webinar brochure here.


Free Legacy Family Tree update now available (version 9.0.0.393)

We have an important new update for our Legacy Family Tree 9 users (free) to download. It provides fixes to minor issues you have reported to us. So download the update to get the best Legacy ever!

See the download instructions below for step-by-step instructions on installing this update. 

What's Been Fixed

View the July 12, 2021 release notes here. 

How to Update

For our Deluxe Edition users, all you have to do is connect to the Internet, start Legacy 9, and click on the "Install and Download Now" link on the Legacy Home tab. (If you're reading this from within the Legacy Home tab inside of Legacy 9, you'll first need to click on the Home button in the top left of the Legacy Home tab which looks like the following picture:

12-2-2013 9-36-15 AM

If you are a Standard Edition Legacy user, you will need to visit our website. Go to http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/DownloadUpdate.asp and follow the instructions.


Register for Friday's webinar: Using Irish newspapers and other printed material by Natalie Bodle

Register-canada
 
Newspapers are a great source of information about our ancestors, but how do we know what Irish newspapers are available and how can we access them? This webinar will include finding aids for newspapers to track down our Irish ancestors including the major repositories where they may be found. We'll also cover a range of printed journals, gazetteers and street directories where you may find your Irish ancestors recorded.
 
Registerbut 
 

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

NatalieBodle-144x144Natalie is a full-time professional genealogist, educator and tour guide and am a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). A native of County Antrim, her company Roots Revealed is based in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. She has a Post Graduate Certificate in Genealogical Studies from the University of Strathclyde having built upon many years of Irish family history research experience. She undertakes Irish ancestry research throughout Ireland, specialising in Northern Ireland and Ulster. Her clients include individuals from the Irish diaspora as well as locals, small businesses, community organisations and large corporate organisations with a wide spectrum of ancestral, family history and historical research projects undertaken for them. Natalie is also a qualified tour guide who provides walking tours, historical tours and specialises in bespoke ancestral heritage tours that enable clients to walk in the footsteps of their ancestors, moving off the beaten track and having a unique experience during their visit. www.rootsrevealed.co.uk

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Friday, July 16, 2021 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  6. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  7. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Summer Travel and Research Vacation at the Clayton Library

Are you ready to get out of the house and do some research? I am and so I decided to make this a research summer. Fully vaccinated and with a stack of masks, I headed out on a road trip to see what I could learn about my ancestors.

My first stop was the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research in Houston, Texas. The Clayton began in the former home of William Lockhart Clayton and his family. Today its collections have expanded and reside in that home and a main building on the property.

Claytonfront

What does the Clayton have and why should you care if you’re not doing Texas research? Librarian Sue Kaufman, Clayton Library Senior Manager explains “Visiting the Clayton Library is a great place to springboard your research. Our international collection of materials includes books from all over the United States and beyond. You will find answers to your research at Clayton in our geographic collection, our published collection, or with our expert staff.”

Like most genealogical libraries, Clayton is not restricted to materials only about the area it serves (Clayton is a branch of the Houston Public Library system). Clayton curates a national and international collection. Its onsite collections of books and microforms include all 50 states and various countries. This collection consists of

  • 100,000 books
  • 3,000 periodical titles
  • 70,000 reels of microfilm (from National Archives and FamilySearch).

Bookshelves

They also have a digital collection that can be explored either from the Houston Public Library Digital Archives website or partially via the FamilySearch Digital Library. One highlight of that digital collection is the city of Houston death certificates from 1874 to 1900.

The library’s main building has two floors. On the first floor you will find U.S. and International book collections as well as computers to access various subscription websites, the library digital collection, and catalog. One the second floor you will find the library’s collection of family history books which includes a finding aid for the microfilm collection.

Microfilm

Online databases available at the Clayton include:

  • 19th Century US Newspaper Digital Archive
  • African American Heritage
  • Ancestry
  • Findmypast
  • Fold3
  • Genealogy Connect
  • Heritage Connect
  • HistoryGeo
  • MyHeritage
  • NewspaperArchive

For those with Texas roots, Texas specific databases can also be accessed. You can view the entire list of databases available through Houston Public Library online. Many of these additional databases are genealogically relevant but are not “genealogy websites” including the American Civil War Research Database and the Dallas Morning News Historical Archive. Probably the best kept secret is while the Houston Public Library My Link library card is free, non-residents can apply for one by paying a $40 yearly membership. Why would you do this? Remote access to many (not all) of the subscription websites available from Houston Public Library. To learn more, see their MyLink card web page.

In addition to everything that can be found in the main building, the original library, the Clayton houses a city directory collection and more microfilm.

Prior to traveling to the Clayton, I recommend that you peruse the online catalog to find what is of interest to your research. The online card catalog is found on the Houston Public Library website. Once you conduct a search, you can limit your results to the Clayton. This search includes all of Houston Public Library’s branches so to avoid frustration, limit your result’s list.

Claytonsign

Don’t forget to email the librarians for specific questions about the collection. A great way to plan your trip and make the most of your research time is to connect with a librarian and ask questions and get suggestions for your research. An introduction to the Clayton presented by Sue Kaufman in 2019 can be found on the BYU Family History Library website.

How was my trip to the Clayton? I had two major successes while I was there. I searched a microfilm of court records and found a lawsuit my 3rd great-grandmother lost. She was ordered to pay over $200 in the 1890s to the plaintiff. A hefty sum for a widow with young children. Now I need to keep searching to find out more about that lawsuit and what it was about. I also found a book about the city she lived in. That book was released in a limited printing and the copy originally at the Family History Library was lost years ago. Luckily for me, Clayton had a copy I could look at.

Libraries are important. Checking multiple libraries for information about your ancestor is vital. To continue my research vacation I will next stop at the newly re-opened Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. I’ll let you know what I find!

 

Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, instructor, and researcher. She blogs at Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. You can find her presentations on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.

 


Register for Webinar Wednesday: Comparing Jewish Resources on the Giant Genealogy Websites by Ellen Kowitt and Sunny Morton

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Learn about Jewish record collections across Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Findmypast and MyHeritage--and JewishGen! This comparative analysis tells you not only what records are where, but recommends best versions of similar record collections and additional tools on each site that are especially relevant to researching Jewish ancestors. Sunny Morton, expert on the "giant" genealogy websites, teams up with Ellen Kowitt, Jewish records expert, to bring two knowledgeable voices to this important topic.
 
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About the presenters

EllenKowitt-144x144Ellen Kowitt is National Vice Chair of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) Jewish Task Force and member of the Lineage Committee Specialty Research Team. She serves as Director of JewishGen's US Research Division, is a former Director-at-Large of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, and is currently participating in ProGen Cohort #46.

SunnyMorton-144x144Sunny Morton is a popular lecturer for the global genealogy community. She's a Contributing Editor at Family Tree Magazine and the author of hundreds of articles and blog posts, as well as the brand new book How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records, co-authored with Harold Henderson; Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy, and the quick reference guide, "Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites," She is an official FamilySearch blogger and past Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems Podcast.

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New TechZone Video - Become Symbol Savvy: 3 Easy Ways by Cheri Hudson Passey

New TechZone Video - Become Symbol Savvy: 3 Easy Ways by Cheri Hudson Passey

Every Friday we're pleased to offer Legacy Family Tree Webinar members a new short ten minute or less TechZone video just for them! This Friday enjoy "Become Symbol Savvy: 3 Easy Ways" by Cheri Hudson Passey.

Become Symbol Savvy: 3 Easy Ways

Learn how to insert special symbols or international characters using three different methods.

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About the Presenter

Cheri Hudson PasseyCheri Hudson Passey is a Professional Genealogist, Instructor, Writer, and Speaker and the owner of Carolina Girl Genealogy, LLC. Cheri is the host of the genealogy chat show GenFriends and is a genealogical researcher, subcontracted by Eagle Investigative Services, Inc., for the US Army Past Conflict Repatriations Branch. 

See all the webinars and videos by Cheri Hudson Passey in the Legacy library.
 
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A Deep Dive Into the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

Genealogists use a LOT of websites. And we all have assumptions about what certain websites can offer our research. However, researchers need to rethink their assumptions about the websites they use. That was brought home to me recently as I researched a Mexican American cookbook writer and found one of her books, fully digitized in a place I never expected. The Digital Public Library of Ameria (DPLA).

The Digital Public Library of America is a website that I know well. I use it quite often, looking for images, community cookbooks, and other records. I was looking for a photo of my research subject, Elena Zelayeta recently and thought there might be one on DPLA. But then I came across the unexpected, a digital copy of two of her books. Having access to those books helped me enormously as I was preparing for a presentation about her life. 

What is DPLA?

According to their About page: "The Digital Public Library of America empowers people to learn, grow, and contribute to a diverse and better-functioning society by maximizing access to our shared history, culture, and knowledge." They do this by working with partners to make millions of materials from libraries, archives, museums, and cultural institutions available to the public in one catalog. You can read more about DPLA and their partners at their About page.

So what is DPLA not? It's a resource that brings together digital items from U.S. repositories. Now that doesn't mean there aren't materials for other countries. It just means that the repositories are U.S.-based. For genealogists, this means access to repositories with genealogy relevant information like the National Archives (NARA).

DPLA Partners

One last thing, DPLA doesn't "own" the items in the catalog. It's a collaborative catalog that makes searching easier. You search, look at a results list, click on the item of interest, and from that page, you can then go to the page of the repository that owns the item.

Why do you need DPLA?

I'm a big believer in "you don't know what you don't know." And I think that's especially true in genealogy when you can be surprised by records you didn't know existed or in places you didn't know to look. Because DPLA brings together partner institutions and their collections, you can find material from repositories you may not have expected to hold items you need. In addition to that, "digitized items" found on DPLA can span documents, ephemera, books, periodicals, photographs, maps, and even photos of material items.

Searching DPLA

As genealogists, we tend to search websites for an ancestor's name, but in all likelihood, unless your ancestor was well known, you probably won't receive results from a name search on DPLA. (I realize that I did find an item based on a name search, Elena Zelayeta, but I was also searching for someone who had written six books.) Expand your search to include:

  • Where your ancestor lived
  • An occupation
  • Organizations they were apart of
  • Their church or religion
  • A historical event

DPLA SP Results

For example, I searched on the keywords "Southern Pacific," which is where my grandfather worked. I received over 16,000 results. That's way too many to look at! I can use the tools found on the left-hand side of the screen to refine my search (remember that most library and archive catalogs feature that "refine" box). Because my grandfather would have been working for the Southern Pacific after 1945 and before 1990, I narrowed the date and place (California), which brings me down to a manageable 97 results. Now, I can use other options to narrow the search even more, but this seems like a reasonable number of hits to peruse.

Now I'm not expecting to find something specifically for my grandfather. This isn't a genealogy website that has databases with indexed content. My grandfather wasn't "famous," so I doubt there is anything in DPLA listing him. However, it's always a good idea to do an exhaustive search and to make sure there was nothing.

In this search, I'm looking for images that I can use to tell his story so that his descendants get a better sense of his life.

DPLA SP image

Once I find an image I'm interested in, I can click on it to learn more and then click the blue button "View Full Item" to see the item on the partner organization's website. This will provide more information about the item and any copyright restrictions. Because something appears on DPLA doesn't mean it is not under copyright protection and can be used in a publication online or off.

DPLA CSL Image

Lastly, I want to point out my favorite feature visible in this screenshot at the top right. I can add items I find to lists I create for the subjects I am researching. This provides me an opportunity to curate a list of items I'm interested in and to save it to the "cloud."

DPLA List button

There are limitations to these lists. Unlike other types of online lists that require you to sign into a website (think Google Books, MyLibrary, or WorldCat), this one recognizes your browser. So the limitation is that you cannot retrieve your lists if you use DPLA from another computer. About the feature, DPLA writes:

Revisit, revise, and add to your lists anytime by visiting https://dp.la/lists in the same browser you used to create them. To protect your privacy and avoid collecting personal information like names and emails, we designed this tool to work in conjunction with your device's internet browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) rather than requiring a DPLA account. Your lists are private because they only exist in the browser you use to create them. To use and add to your lists, just be sure to use the same device and browser each time you visit DPLA.[1]

 

Are you Using DPLA for your Genealogy?

There's a real benefit to family historians as more digital collections become available. DPLA makes it so easy to search numerous partner institutions in one place. And you never know what you're going to find.

 

[1] "Save your Favorite DPLA with New List Feature," DPLA (https://dp.la/news/save-your-favorite-dpla-items-with-new-list-feature: accessed 28 June 2021).

 

Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, instructor, and researcher. She blogs at Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. You can find her presentations on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.