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August 2011
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October 2011

Bon Voyage - Legacy Genealogy Cruise begins

Tomorrow we leave to begin our 8th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise, this year to New England and eastern Canada. About 200 of us will cruise together, departing from Cape Liberty Cruise Port, New Jersey and visiting Portland, Maine; Bar Habor, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Boston, Massachusetts. We will sail on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas. We've also got 15 hours of personal Legacy and genealogy instruction from six different instructors, including webinar-favorite, Thomas MacEntee.

Speaking of Bar Habor, Maine - I've just realized that I have four generations of ancestors within an hour's drive of this port. Can you guess what I'll be doing here? I'm sure my wife is as excited as I am to visit these cemeteries on her vacation.

I'm still trying to decide if I will post daily updates to this blog - cruising is very hard work with so little time to relax and write. :) I'm leaning towards adding photos to our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/legacyfamilytree. I hope you'll follow us there.

Our sincere thanks go out to our entire technical support and sales staff who will continue to provide sales and support services while we are away. Thanks Jim, Sherry, Brian, Ron, and Sarah for keeping us going!

And for the first time, I can't wait for this cruise to end - because it means I'm that much closer to our November 2 webinar where Marian Pierre-Louis will announce the identity of and how she found the parents of my ancestor, Nathan Brown. That's right, this is the Brown family that you all know so well through this blog. And she won't even give me any clues until the webinar - you will find out at the same time I do. I hope you'll register for the webinar to enjoy the moment with me as one of my brick walls is solved. Visit www.LegacyFamilyTree.com/webinars.asp to register (free). And of course, I'm looking forward to our two other October webinars: Uncovering Your Irish Family History by Jennifer Geraghty-Gorman and Let Your Voice Be Heard in the Digital Conversation by Drusilla Pair.

We'll either see you here, on Facebook, or on the ship!

Thinking about next year's cruises already? From May 12-21, 2012 we will cruise Norway, France, Ireland, England, and Scotland. And from May 21-27 we will cruise the Norwegian fjords and Denmark. Visit https://www.legacyfamilytree.com/CruiseInfo_2012.asp for all the details.


FamilySearch Records update: New Collections for Brazil, Canada, Cote d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Ecuador, and U.S.

Among the 16 million records added to FamilySearch.org this week, over six million are from the United States, including new collections from California, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New York, Oregon, and Vermont. Additionally, five million new Civil Registration and Catholic Church records from Mexico are now available for free viewing at FamilySearch.org. Begin searching now!

Collection Records Images Comments
Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900–1965 125,830 223,708 New index collection.
Nova Scotia, Queens County, Notes of Thomas Brenton Smith, 1700–1950 0 30,314 New browsable image collection.
Canada, Quebec Notarial Records, 1800–1900 0 29,368 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Canada, Saskatchewan Provincial Records, 1879–1987 0 31,848 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Cote d'Ivoire, Census, 1975 0 70,627 New browsable image collection.
Czech Republic, Censuses 1843–1921 0 90,710 New browsable image collection.
Dominican Republic Civil Registration, 1801–2006 0 17,634 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Ecuador, Catholic Church Records, 1565–1996 0 1,195,284 New browsable image collection.
Hungary Civil Registration, 1895–1980 0 45,046 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Italy, Catholic Church Records 0 21,584 Added browsable images to existing collection for Catania and L'Aquila.
Italy, Civil Registration, 1806–1940 0 212,843 Added browsable images to existing collection for Cuneo, Genova, and Treviso
Mexico, Chiapas, Civil Registration, 1861–1990 0 1,523,742 New browsable image collection.
Mexico, Coahuila, Civil Registration, 1861–1998 0 1,176,741 New browsable image collection.
Mexico, Jalisco, Catholic Church Records, 1590–1995 0 3,464 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Mexico, Nuevo León, Civil Registration, 1859–1962 0 700,788 New browsable image collection.
Mexico, Sonora, Civil Registration, 1861–1995 0 2,808 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Mexico, Zacatecas, Civil Registration, 1860–2000 0 1,371,091 New browsable image collection.
New Zealand, Probate Records, 1878–1960 0 8,535 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Peru, Catholic Church Records, 1687–1992 0 765,138 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Spain, Municipal Records, 1837–1903 0 1,428,443 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Sweden, Örebro Church Records, 1641–1860 36,464 2,048 Added index and links to Sweden for images to existing collection.
Switzerland, Church Records, 1277–1992 0 447,199 Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S. Social Security Death Index, 1875–2010 210,524 0 Added new records. Now current as of 31 Aug 2011.
California, San Francisco Passenger Lists, 1893–1953 0 356,671 New browsable image collection.
California, San Mateo County Records, 1856–1967 0 17,600 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Idaho, Cassia County Records, 1879–1960 0 25,161 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Idaho, Teton County Records, 1900–1988 0 2,138 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Illinois, Probate Records, 1819–1970 0 105,071 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Indiana, Marriages, 1811–1959 40,349 0 Added images and index to existing collection.
Louisiana, New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820–1945 0 217,181 New browsable image collection.
Louisiana, Orleans Parish Second District Judicial Court Case Files, 1846–1880 0 43,766 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Maine, Aroostook County Deed Books, 1865–1900 0 116,427 New browsable image collection.
Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1792–1983 0 43,782 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686–1881 0 38,707 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Mississippi State Archives, Various Records, 1820–1951 0 36,055 New browsable image collection.
Montana, Cascade County Records, 1888–1945 0 88,732 Added browsable images to existing collection.
New York State Census, 1865 0 55,023 New browsable image collection.
New York, New York City, Saint Peter's Lutheran Church Records, 1862–1955 0 3,561 New browsable image collection.
New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1925–1942 0 2,572,496 New browsable image collection.
New York, Orange County Probate Records, 1787–1938 0 59,021 Added browsable images to existing
New York, Queens County Probate Records, 1899–1921 0 61,695 Added browsable images to existing collection.
North Carolina, County Records, 1833–1970 0 55,317 Added browsable images to existing collection.
North Carolina, State Supreme Court Case Files, 1800–1909 0 148,125 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Ohio, Cuyahoga County Probate Files, 1813–1900 0 38,089 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Oregon, Baker County Records, 1862–1950 0 66,538 New browsable image collection.
Oregon, Benton County Records, 1856–1984 0 75,599 New browsable image collection.
Oregon, County Marriages, 1851–1975 55,959 5,466 New index collection.
Oregon, Polk County Records, 1857–1972 0 34,823 New browsable image collection.
Texas, Gonzalez de la Garza Genealogy Collection 0 24,113 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records, 1908–1949 2,138 589 Added images and index to existing collection for 1920 Death certificates.
Vermont, Town Records, 1850–2005 0 75,597 New browsable image collection.
Washington State, Army National Guard Records, 1880–1947 0 31,670 Added browsable images to existing collection.
United States, National Homes For Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866–1938 0 15,219 Added browsable images to existing collection.
United States, War of 1812 Index to Service Records, 1812–1815 0 622,984 New browsable image collection.
United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 1,104,972 2,990

Added index and images for new state (Pennsylvania) to existing collection. 

Searchable records on FamilySearch.org are made possible by thousands of volunteers from around the world who transcribe (index) the information from handwritten records to make it searchable by computer. More volunteers are needed to help accelerate this important work of preserving and freely publishing important genealogical records. To learn more about the FamilySearch indexing program, visit indexing.familysearch.org.

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 has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Researching Your Connecticut Ancestors by Marian Pierre-Louis - free webinar now online

MarianPL-100 Webinars like the one Marian Pierre-Louis presented today give me renewed hope that I can find my ancestors! Marian presented Researching Your Connecticut Ancestors to a live webinar audience today. Its recording is now available in our webinar archives.

Anyone with Connecticut ancestry should watch this recording. Marian taught about the importance of geography, boundaries, and borders in the region. She also introduced us to many records that we often overlook, such as the 1798 Direct Tax lists, the 1917 military census, and all the state-wide indexes produced by the Connecticut State Library. Finally, she taught where the best records can be located - both online and in person.

I cannot wait for her November 2 webinar....counting the days, hours, and minutes....

View the recording

If you could not make it to the live event, the 1 hour 29 minute recording of Researching Your Connecticut Ancestors is now available to view in our webinar archives. Visit www.LegacyFamilyTree.com/webinars.asp to watch. It is available for free until October 3, 2011.

2011-09-21-ctwebcd Pre-order the webinar-on-CD (includes 4 pages of handouts with clickable links)

Own your own copy of Researching Your Connecticut Ancestors by purchasing the webinar-on-CD for just $9.95. It includes the recording of the class, the complete Question/Answer session, and the 4-page handout with all the clickable links. Click here for more information or to purchase.

Special discount coupon

The special discount coupon of marian that was announced during the webinar is valid for 10% off anything in our online store through Monday, September 26, 2011.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Uncovering Your Irish Family History with Jennifer Geraghty-Gorman, October 19.
  • Let Your Voice be Heard in the Digital Conversation with Drusilla Pair, October 26.
  • Cracking the Case of Nathan Brown's Parents with Marian Pierre-Louis, November 2.
  • FamilyRoots Organizer System with Mary Hill, November 4.
  • It Is Well With My Soul: Finding Ancestors Amid the Rubble of Disaster and Misfortune with Thomas MacEntee, November 9.
  • Creating a Shareable CD with Legacy and Passage Express software with Jefferson Shupe, November 16.
  • Celebrate the Holidays and Share Family History with Heritage Collector software with Kathleen Bitter, November 18.
  • A Closer Look at Google+ with Dan Lynch, November 30.
  • Tracing Immigrant Ancestors with Lisa Alzo, December 7.
  • "Is My Pet Frog Part of My Family?" Children and Genealogy in the Classroom with Maureen Taylor, December 14.

Click here to register.

See you online!


Google+ Now Open to Everyone

Google+ is now open to everyone. In our Google+ the Next Big Thing webinar last month, we explained that to join Google+ you had to receive an invitation from someone who was already a member. We sent out hundreds of invitations. Now, visit https://plus.google.com to join.

Still not sure? Watch our preview of Google+ here.

Once you're signed in, click on the Circles button at the top, then click on Find People. Add as many people as you'd like to your circles. By the way, I'd love to be in your circle! But when you search for "Geoff Rasmussen", choose the one with "Legacy Family Tree" under his name. Funny, I didn't know there was another "me" out there.

See you online!


Exploring FamilyLink.com and WorldVitalRecords.com - free webinar now online

PaulAllen One of the genealogy industry giants - Paul Allen - just gave a terrific presentation on using WorldVitalRecords.com. WorldVitalRecords.com is a membership website with nearly 5 billion names in more than 50,000 databases. Its recording is now in our webinar archives.

I wanted to have Paul speak to us today because you hear a lot about different subscription sites and you never really know which ones are worth subscribing to. Paul gave an overview of everything you'd want to know about their site so you can decide it it will be of value to have in your personal genealogy toolbox. Their map collection alone is certainly worth adding to my list of resources. So if you've been on the fence about subscribing to WorldVitalRecords, take a look at Paul's presentation. Besides that, just listening to Paul's enthusiasm about genealogy makes it a good listen. Paul is the founder of Ancestry.com, FamilyLink.com, and WorldVitalRecords.com

View the Recording

If you could not make it to the live event, the 1 hour 15 minute recording is now available to view in our webinar archives. Visit www.LegacyFamilyTree.com/webinars.asp to watch.

Special Offer Ends September 30, 2011

Paul and his company have graciously offered Legacy webinar viewers a tremendous discount on their annual subscription. Normally priced at $149, you can purchase a year's subscription (plus 2 additional free months) for just $69.95. Visit https://www.worldvitalrecords.com/legacyoffer11 for the discount. The offer expires September 30, 2011.

Special discount coupon

The special discount coupon of paul that was announced during the webinar is valid for 10% off anything in our online store through Monday, September 19, 2011.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Researching Your Connecticut Ancestors with Marian Pierre-Louis, September 21.
  • Uncovering Your Irish Family History with Jennifer Geraghty-Gorman, October 19.
  • Let Your Voice be Heard in the Digital Conversation with Drusilla Pair, October 26.
  • FamilyRoots Organizer System with Mary Hill, November 4.
  • It Is Well With My Soul: Finding Ancestors Amid the Rubble of Disaster and Misfortune with Thomas MacEntee, November 9.
  • Creating a Shareable CD with Legacy and Passage Express software with Jefferson Shupe, November 16.
  • Celebrate the Holidays and Share Family History with Heritage Collector software with Kathleen Bitter, November 18.
  • A Closer Look at Google+ with Dan Lynch, November 30.
  • Tracing Immigrant Ancestors with Lisa Alzo, December 7.
  • "Is My Pet Frog Part of My Family?" Children and Genealogy in the Classroom with Maureen Taylor, December 14.

Click here to register.

See you online!


Register for our free webinar - Researching Your Connecticut Ancestors - September 21, 2011

MarianPL-100 I cannot wait for this webinar. New England research specialist, Marian Pierre-Louis, will be presenting Researching Your Connecticut Ancestors on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 in a free webinar. You all have Connecticut ancestors - at least if you have "adopted" my Asa Clark Brown family as your own. I'm looking forward to learning from Marian's expertise as she helps us discover what records are available, where they are located, and how to put them to the best use.

The live webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 2PM Eastern U.S., so register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day.

Registerbut

About the presenter

Marian Pierre-Louis, a native of Connecticut, grew up in a picturesque colonial town surrounded by historic houses and an ancient burial ground. During her childhood she was nurtured into the ways of genealogy by a mother who had spent a better part of every Saturday during the 1960s at the Connecticut State Library. A poster calendar on the kitchen wall recorded five generations of ancestors’ birthdays for every day celebration. Now Marian is a House Historian and Genealogical Lecturer who specializes in southern New England (CT, RI, MA) research. She frequently speaks on New England topics including house history research, social media, African American research and a broad range of genealogical topics. She is the author of several blogs including The New England House Historian and Marian's Roots & Rambles.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our brand new 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, September 21, 2011 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific/Arizona
  • 6pm GMT

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.LegacyFamilyTree.com/webinars.asp today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email during the week prior to the webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. 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.
  6. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


FamilySearch update - China, Hungary, Mexico and U.S. Collections Each Add Over a Million Records

FamilySearch.org added millions of records this week including 11 new records collections. More than six million Hungary Catholic Church records were added, as well as four million Mexico civil registration records. Looking for records from China? Over a million new Chinese genealogies from 1500–1900 are now available for viewing. Begin searching for free at FamilySearch.org.
 
Collection Records Images Comments
Canada, Quebec Notarial Records, 1800–1900 0 1,448 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Canada, Saskatchewan Judicial District Court Records, 1891–1942 0 76,779 New browsable image collection.
Chinese Genealogies, 1500–1900 0 1,361,018 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Colombia, Catholic Church Records, 1600–2008 0 139,324 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Hungary Catholic Church Records, 1636–1895 6,680,010 0 Added index records to existing collection.
Mexico, Colima, Civil Registration, 1860–1997 0 225,991 New browsable image collection.
Mexico, Durango, Civil Registration, 1861–1995 0 1,042,146 New browsable image collection.
Mexico, Michoacán, Civil Registration, 1859–1940 0 1,324,849 New browsable image collection.
Mexico, Nayarit, Civil Registration, 1868–2001 0 422,997 New browsable image collection.
Mexico, Querétaro, Civil Registration, 1864–2005 0 620,745 New browsable image collection.
Mexico, Sonora, Civil Registration, 1861–1995 0 742,272 New browsable image collection.
Poland, Roman Catholic Church Books, 1600–1950 0 61,104 Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., California, San Mateo County Records, 1856–1967 0 25,561 Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., Illinois State Census, 1865 380,262 12,090 New index collection.
U.S., Illinois, Northern District Naturalization Index, 1840–1950 1,491,586 0 New index collection.
U.S., Louisiana, First Registration Draft Cards, compiled 1940–1945 0 82,873 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Louisiana, Second Registration Draft Cards, compiled 1948–1959 0 77,817 Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796–1940 0 457,444 Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S.,Minnesota, County Birth Records, 1863–1983 0 27,372 New browsable image collection.
Montana, Cascade County Records, 1888–1945 0 17,734 Added browsable images to existing collection.
New York, County Marriages, 1908–1935 217,649 63,376 Added images and index to existing collection.
Washington State County Records, 1885–1950 0 88,487 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Washington, Seattle, Passenger Lists, 1890–1957 0 366,615 New browsable image collection.
United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 814,130 1,598,076 Added browsable images to existing collection
Virgin Islands US, Church Records, 1849–1950 0 5,018 Added browsable images to existing collection. 

Searchable records on FamilySearch.org are made possible by thousands of volunteers from around the world who transcribe (index) the information from handwritten records to make it searchable by computer. More volunteers are needed to help accelerate this important work of preserving and freely publishing important genealogical records. To learn more about the FamilySearch indexing program, visit indexing.familysearch.org.

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 has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.


New Cemetery App for your iPhone or Android phone - RestingSpot

This looks quite interesting. I haven't given it a try yet on my Droid X smartphone, but intend to soon.

A new smartphone app is connecting families with previous generations like never before.

Earlier this month, the free RestingSpot smartphone application became available to the public. Designed for the iPhone and Android platforms, RestingSpot uses GPS technology to locate and preserve a loved one’s final resting place on earth.

No longer will family members and friends waste time wandering about cemeteries, relying upon outdated and confusing maps. Their family history can now be documented and shared with ease from their smartphones or computers.

The app was designed by Omaha residents Brett Atlas and Scott Kroeger. After spending 45 minutes searching for his grandfather’s final resting place in a Chicago cemetery, Atlas contacted Kroeger to discuss the idea. The pair set out to eliminate the frustration for families, and create a platform that preserves and cherishes the memories of loved ones for generations to come.

Once a location is added via the mobile app, a linked profile is instantly created on the RestingSpot website (www.restingspot.com). Each RestingSpot webpage contains the person’s exact location, down to the precise GPS coordinates within the cemetery, and becomes a virtual home where family and friends can connect and share on birthdays, anniversaries and other meaningful holidays and events.

The RestingSpot goal is to map every location in the United States by Memorial Day, 2013.

Atlas holds degrees from the University of Kansas and John Marshall Law School. Kroeger is a graduate of DePauw University.

To learn more about RestingSpot, visit: www.restingspot.com, Twitter and Facebook


Webcam 101 for Seniors

I love my webcam. I use it with Skype and Google+ to video chat with my friends, family, and coworkers for free. Webcams are not just for the tech-savy anymore. Bruce (age 86) and his wife Esther (age 79) Huffman of Beaverton, Oregon are Internet newbies, whose grandchild helped them get going. As this story points out, late last month the couple sat down together and tried to figure out how to make a video with their webcam. What they didn't know was that their first experience would turn them into instant YouTube celebrities. It's only three minutes, but it is hilarious. Watch it below.

Now I wish someone would figure out how we could video chat with our ancestors.