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July 2014

10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Family History Narrative - free webinar by Lisa Alzo now online for limited time

LogowhiteIf you are thinking about writing your ancestor's narrative, or about writing anything for any reason - watch Lisa Alzo's presentation, "10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Family History Narrative." It was one of the best we've had! Inspiring! The recording is now online to view for free for a limited time at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com. A few comments from our viewers:

  • Excellent! Very motivational - I usually get stymied by wanting to come up with the perfect first sentence. Lisa's encouragement to just start was as important as the specific writing tips.
  • Got me excited about starting my mother's story. Thanks for the storytoolz, scrivener and voyzee suggestions!
  • Great webinar! Gave me the "kick in the pants" I need to finish a writing project I started a few weeks ago. Thanks to Lisa! and to Geoff for all you do for these webinars!

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 31 minute recording of "10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Family History Narrative" is now available to view in our webinar archives for free for a limited time. It is also available to our monthly or annual Webinar Members for the duration of your membership. Visit www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com to watch. The 9 pages of supplemental syllabus materials are also available for annual/monthly webinar subscribers to download/print/save. Login or subscribe.

Special Discount Coupon

The special discount coupon of jumpstart that was announced during the webinar is valid for 10% off anything at both www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com and www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com through Tuesday, June 17, 2014.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 250 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 650 pages)
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout, and yes, you can also use the 10% off webinar coupon above for a total of 15% off)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year (that's about the cost of 5 webinar CDs)
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Documenting Native American Families in 19th and 20th Century Records by Angela Walton-Raji. June 25.
  • Copyright Mythconceptions by Judy Russell. June 27.
  • Thinking About Becoming a Board-certified Genealogist? by Elissa Scalise Powell. July 9.
  • Legacy Family Tree - Virtual User's Group Meeting by Legacy Family Tree Panel. July 11.
  • When Freedom Came - Documenting the Family's Freedom Story by Angela Walton-Raji. July 16.
  • Researching Your Illinois Ancestors by Thomas MacEntee. July 23.
  • Researching Your Tennessee Ancestors by J. Mark Lowe. August 6.
  • Research Recharge - Turning Old Clues into New Leads by Lisa Alzo. August 8.
  • Find A Grave - The World's Largest Cemetery Database by Russ Worthington. August 20.
  • Researching Your Italian Ancestors by Ruth Merriman. August 27.
  • Researching Your Jewish Ancestors by Jennifer Alford. September 3.
  • Legacy Family Tree - Virtual User's Group Meeting by Legacy Family Tree Panel. September 5.
  • Success with Manuscript Sources by Barbara Renick. September 10.
  • A Library at Your Fingertips - the Internet Archive by Maureen Taylor. September 24.
  • The Fair Court: Records of Chancery Courts by Judy Russell. October 1.
  • Overcoming Destroyed or Missing Records by Karen Clifford. October 3.
  • Welcome to FamilySearch Indexing! by Devin Ashby. October 8.
  • Researching Your War of 1812 Ancestor by Thomas MacEntee. October 15.
  • Tracking Migration Using the Draper Manuscripts by Mary Hill. October 22.
  • Legacy Family Tree - Virtual User's Group Meeting by Legacy Family Tree Panel. November 14.
  • Using Evernote for Genealogy by Lisa Louise Cooke. November 19.
  • Family History for Kids by Devin Ashby. December 3.
  • Look Ma, No Hands! Using Dragon Naturally Speaking for Your Genealogy by Ivan Baugh. December 5.
  • Researching Your North Carolina Ancestors by J. Mark Lowe. December 10.
  • Bagging a Live One - Connecting with Cousins You Never Knew You Had by Mary Kircher Roddy. December 17.

Click here to register. Or click here register for multiple webinars at the same time.

Print the 2014 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


German Internet Research: A Launching Place for Your Research - free webinar now online for limited time

LogowhiteThe paradigm shift is definitely changing for German genealogy research! Thanks to Jim Beidler for the excellent webinar today, "German Internet Research: A Launching Place for Your Research". Its recording is now online to view for free for a limited time at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com. A few comments from our viewers:

  • Outstanding! I never thought I'd learn so much information in one session.
  • Been scared to death to start German research due to language difficulties, and not knowing where to search. James has taken most of the fear away. Anxious to find some time to browse around some of his website suggestions.
  • Excellent webinar. I would love to have more webinars with James on Germany. Hint Hint. Thanks Geoff and Legacy for these great webinars.

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 32 minute recording of "German Internet Research: A Launching Place for Your Research" is now available to view in our webinar archives for free for a limited time. It is also available to our monthly or annual Webinar Members for the duration of your membership. Visit www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com to watch. The 3 pages of supplemental syllabus materials are also available for annual/monthly webinar subscribers to download/print/save. Login or subscribe.

Special Discount Coupon

The special discount coupon of germany14 that was announced during the webinar is valid for 10% off anything at both www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com and www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com through Monday, June 2, 2014.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 248 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 650 pages)
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout, and yes, you can also use the 10% off webinar coupon above for a total of 15% off)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year (that's about the cost of 5 webinar CDs)
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • 10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Family History Narrative by Lisa Alzo. June 13.
  • Copyright Mythconceptions by Judy Russell. June 18.
  • Documenting Native American Families in 19th and 20th Century Records by Angela Walton-Raji. June 25.
  • Thinking About Becoming a Board-certified Genealogist? by Elissa Scalise Powell. July 9.
  • Legacy Family Tree - Virtual User's Group Meeting by Legacy Family Tree Panel. July 11.
  • When Freedom Came - Documenting the Family's Freedom Story by Angela Walton-Raji. July 16.
  • Researching Your Illinois Ancestors by Thomas MacEntee. July 23.
  • Researching Your Tennessee Ancestors by J. Mark Lowe. August 6.
  • Research Recharge - Turning Old Clues into New Leads by Lisa Alzo. August 8.
  • Find A Grave - The World's Largest Cemetery Database by Russ Worthington. August 20.
  • Researching Your Italian Ancestors by Ruth Merriman. August 27.
  • Researching Your Jewish Ancestors by Jennifer Alford. September 3.
  • Legacy Family Tree - Virtual User's Group Meeting by Legacy Family Tree Panel. September 5.
  • Success with Manuscript Sources by Barbara Renick. September 10.
  • A Library at Your Fingertips - the Internet Archive by Maureen Taylor. September 24.
  • The Fair Court: Records of Chancery Courts by Judy Russell. October 1.
  • Overcoming Destroyed or Missing Records by Karen Clifford. October 3.
  • Welcome to FamilySearch Indexing! by Devin Ashby. October 8.
  • Researching Your War of 1812 Ancestor by Thomas MacEntee. October 15.
  • Tracking Migration Using the Draper Manuscripts by Mary Hill. October 22.
  • Legacy Family Tree - Virtual User's Group Meeting by Legacy Family Tree Panel. November 14.
  • Using Evernote for Genealogy by Lisa Louise Cooke. November 19.
  • Family History for Kids by Devin Ashby. December 3.
  • Look Ma, No Hands! Using Dragon Naturally Speaking for Your Genealogy by Ivan Baugh. December 5.
  • Researching Your North Carolina Ancestors by J. Mark Lowe. December 10.
  • Bagging a Live One - Connecting with Cousins You Never Knew You Had by Mary Kircher Roddy. December 17.

Click here to register. Or click here register for multiple webinars at the same time.

Print the 2014 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


Register for 2 genealogy webinars this week: German Internet Research and Writing Your Narrative

LogowhiteJoin us this Wednesday AND Friday for two exciting genealogy webinars presented by James M. Beidler and Lisa Alzo. On Wednesday, Jim will present "German Internet Research: A Launching Place for Your Research" and on Friday Lisa will present "10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Family History Narrative."

Wednesday - German Internet Research: A Launching Place for Your Research by James M. Beidler

Beidler-100Internet research for German ancestors is not as fully developed as it is for North American or British ancestors, but don’t let that stop you! There is a significant subscription site, along with some important indexes, original and compiled, records online. Fortunately, the number of actual records online is growing at a significant rate. Other German genealogy sites provide important information about places or sources. Indeed, your research will suffer if you don’t use the Internet for your German research.

Click here to register.

Friday - 10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Family History Narrative by Lisa Alzo

Lalzo-100If writing your family history narrative is one of those tasks on your "to-do" list that you just can't seem to start, this webinar will help you get there. Learn ten simple ways to get those creative juices flowing so you can stop procrastinating and start writing yours!

Click here to register.

Webinar Reminder: Join us for the live webinars Wednesday, June 11, 2014 and Friday, June 13, 2014, both at 2:00pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

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 free for the first 7 days after the live event. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access for the duration of their membership.

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 webinars will be live on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 and Friday, June 13, 2014 at:

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

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. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. Check at www.java.com.
  6. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  7. 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.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


3 Easy Steps to Rescue Your Stalled Family History Narrative

Thanks to guest author, Lisa A. Alzo, for this terrific article!

Blank pages. Problematic text. Writer’s block. Does this sound familiar? You finally committed to writing your family's story, but instead of pages of flowing text chronicling the lives of your ancestors, all you have is an empty screen and blinking cursor. Maybe you have written a draft, but don't know where to go with it. You are feeling uninspired. You ask yourself, “Why would anyone care?” If you find yourself facing these issues, here are three steps to help you rescue your stalled family history narrative.

1. Think scenes, not words. When writing, it's natural to think about the words, but when trying to capture the lives of your ancestors, think cinematically – build your narrative scene by scene. You’ll make a more dramatic impact. One way to do this is through a Storyboard. Storyboarding is a process of planning out your writing in small scenes. The “old school” way is to get some index cards and write a synopsis on each one about what you are writing. Thanks to technology, you can now do this process virtually on your computer/laptop with project management tool such as Scrivener ($45 Mac; $40 Windows; free trial), or on your smartphone or tablet with apps such as Story Skeleton (iPhone/iPad, $8.99), or Cardboard Index Cards (Android). Once you have this visual outline prepared, you can get an overview of the project and easily move pieces of the story around until you find the perfect fit. See the sample storyboard (below) for a book about my father’s days as a basketball player. I created the storyboard with Scrivener’s “virtual corkboard” feature.

Alzo-FamilyNarrative-01

2. Stop sweating over the small stuff. Are you searching for the perfect descriptive word, or that first sentence that will draw your reader in? Not done with your research? Missing source citations? If you find yourself getting hung up over commas, or dashes, or other issues and this holds you back from writing, such issues may just be excuses in disguise. So, stop worrying, and start writing! You can always go back to attend to these matters during the revision process. Focus on the story itself first, and worry about polishing your prose later on.

3. Write a bad first draft. I realize this sounds a bit odd coming from someone who earns a living as a freelance writer, over the years I have learned that this approach works well. A first draft is just that: a draft. Don’t aim for perfection out of the gate. Simply just sit down and write something—anything. Sure, you may toss most of it out later on, but there may be a sentence, a paragraph, or a scene you can develop into a great narrative. When I have a working draft I feel a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small. Each scene is a building block and each draft means I am making progress on my project. Even if it isn’t my best work, it is much better than the alternative of having nothing written at all.

Alzo-FamilyNarrative-02

The thing about family histories is that they are personal, and no two people will produce the exact same narrative. So your goal should be to write your family history, your way. The first step to achieving that goal is to break out of your writing rut—right now!

Want more tips on how to put more power behind your family stories? Click here to register for my upcoming Legacy Family Tree Webinar on June 13th: “10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Family History Narrative.” In this webinar you will learn ten simple ways to get those creative juices flowing so you can stop procrastinating and start writing.

Lisa A. Alzo is a freelance writer, instructor, and lecturer, and has been tracking her ancestors for 25 years. She is a frequent presenter for the Legacy Family Tree Webinars series and can be contacted via http://www.lisaalzo.com.


New book and webinar for your German ancestors: The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide by James Beidler

Got German roots? Then you'll enjoy this brand new book and webinar from James M. Beidler. He is also the author of our Legacy QuickGuide on German Genealogy.

GermanBook: The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide - $24.99 $19.95

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Explore Your German Ancestry!

Follow your family tree back to its roots in Bavaria, Baden, Prussia, Hesse, Saxony, Wurttemburg and beyond. This in-depth genealogy guide will walk you step by step through the exciting journey of researching your German heritage, whether your ancestors came from lands now in modern-day Germany or other German-speaking areas of Europe, including Austria, Switzerland, and enclaves across Eastern Europe.

In this book, you'll learn how to:

  • Retrace your German immigrant ancestors' voyage from Europe to America.
  • Pinpoint the precise place in Europe your ancestors came from.
  • Uncover birth, marriage, death, church, census, court, military, and other records documenting your ancestors' lives.
  • Access German records of your family from your own hometown.
  • Decipher German-language records, including unfamiliar German script.
  • Understand German names and naming patterns that offer research clues.

You'll also find maps, timelines, sample records and resource lists throughout the book for quick and easy reference. Whether you're just beginning your family tree or a longtime genealogy researcher, the Family Tree German Genealogy Guide will help you conquer the unique challenges of German research and uncover your ancestors' stories.

Paperback: 240 pages, 9" x 7"

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Webinar: German Internet Research - A Launching Place for Your Research

Beidler-100Join FamilyTreeWebinars.com and first-time webinar speaker, James M. Beidler, for a free webinar on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. Here's the webinar description:

Internet research for German ancestors is not as fully developed as it is for North American or British ancestors, but don’t let that stop you! There is a significant subscription site, along with some important indexes, original and compiled, records online. Fortunately, the number of actual records online is growing at a significant rate. Other German genealogy sites provide important information about places or sources. Indeed, your research will suffer if you don’t use the Internet for your German research.

Registerbut

Legacy QuickGuide: German Genealogy - $2.95

Jim is also the author of the 6-page PDF guide. Here's the guide's description:

More Americans have German-speaking ancestry than any other ethnicity. While German research has challenges involving historical disunity and shifting boundaries – as well as older records handwritten in a chicken-scratchy version of cursive – the flip side is that many documents have survived wars and social disorder. As a group, Germans have a reputation for “Teutonic thoroughness” in producing and retaining many types of documents that other ethnics lack.

The German Genealogy Legacy QuickGuide™ contains useful information including a timeline of important events, terminology, migration patterns, record types and how to access those records. This handy 6-page PDF guide can be used on your computer or mobile device for anytime access.

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Legacy Family Tree in German

Did you know Legacy Family Tree is also available in the German language - all the screens, reports, help file and more are in German. Best of all, it's already included in your copy of Legacy. Just go to Options > Select Language and select Deutsch. To visit the German version of our website visit http://www.legacydeutsch.com

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