Thursday, December 31, 2009

Finding Ancestors' Naturalization Records

For an informative article on finding ancestors’ naturalization records, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


The article, “Now What?: It's Only Natural,” by Allison Stacy, appears in Family Tree Magazine's e-newsletter, Genealogy Insider.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Improved Online Access to WVa Vital Records

According to a December 17, 2009 article appearing in The Charleston Gazette, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History's Archives and History Section recently upgraded the server to its free, online searchable database. As a result, the more than 5 million birth, death and marriage certificates issued in West Virginia are now easier to access online.

To view the newspaper article, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


To access the West Virginia vital records database (including an informative article on the "West Virginia Vital Research Records Project"), copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Free Access to World War II Documents

In honor of the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor bombing (December 7th), is offering free access to its WWII records during the month of December. Records include first-hand accounts of submarine missions and reports of missing air crews.

Explore the USS Arizona Memorial. View over 80,000 photos from the US Army Air Force.

Other WWII records include:
  • Japanese Air Target Analysis
  • Army JAG Case Files
  • Navy JAG Case Files
  • Naval Press Clippings
  • Allied Military Conferences
  • Holocaust Records
To access Footnote’s WWII documents, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Friday, December 4, 2009

Free Access to the "Irish Times" Newspaper Digital Article Archives

You can access the Irish Times newspaper digital article archives free through December 14, 2009. The Irish Times is celebrating 150 years in publication.

For additional information, see Family Tree Magazine’s December 2nd “Genealogy Insider” blog by copying and pasting the following URL into your web browser:


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Free Access to’s U.S. Military Collection’s U.S. Military Collection, advertised as the largest online assortment of U.S. military records, covers more than three centuries of American wars and conflicts. It includes more than 100 million names and 700 titles and databases in military records from all 50 U.S. states.

Ancestry is offering free access through November 13th. To access these records, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Thursday, November 5, 2009

What happens to your email and social networking information when you die?

How many of us have given more than a passing thought concerning what will happen to our email or our information on social networking sites after our death ? Whether you have or have not, you might want to read an article on the subject written by Australian resident Andrew Ramadge, Technology Reporter for ""

The article points out that some email providers have policies of retaining data after someone passes away and allowing their next of kin or the executor of their estate to access it. It notes than one well-known email service provider refuses to supply emails to anyone after a user has died but will honor a user’s next of kin’s request for the account to be closed.

Included in the article are the policies of the popular email providers and social networking sites Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook and MySpace.

To read the article, copy and paste the following URL into you web browser:


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Genealogy Internet Web-Site Program at Surfside Beach Library

GSGC members, Kathryn Brannigan Walizer and Lois Butler, will present a program at the Surfside Beach Library on genealogy research using various Internet websites. Topics will include Ellis Island on the Web, HeritageQuest Online, RootsWeb, USGenWeb, Cyndi’s List and ShoeString Genealogy. Tips on accessing website information will be provided.

The 2-hour program will be held Monday, October 19, 2009 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The library is located at 410 Surfside Drive, Surfside Beach, SC.

Attendees are encouraged to bring laptops or share with a friend and follow along the websites in real-time.

No laptop? No problem. Just bring your questions and a notepad.

The public is invited.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ohio Historical Society’s Archives/Library to Reduce Hours of Operation

The Ohio Historical Center, located in Columbus, Ohio and part of the Ohio Historical Society (OHS), will undergo its first major overhaul in twenty years. Most of the current exhibits will be dismantled and removed – replaced by what officials are calling a "collections learning center." Thousands of items, many of which have not been publicly displayed before, will be moved from warehouse storage to the museum.

Researchers using OHS’s Archives/Library will feel the affects of the overhaul. As a result of the construction which will begin January 1, 2010, the Archives/Library (located on the third floor of the Ohio Historical Center) will reduce hours of operation from the current 3-days per week to 1-day per week during the fourteen month construction period (January 2010 through February 2011). Currently, the Archives/Library is open to researchers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday but beginning January 1, 2010 will be open only on Thursdays. Hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Free FOOTNOTE Webinar

Many (if not most) of you have likely heard of Footnote. You may be somewhat familiar with this website and its offerings of digitized historic documents, including military and census records, naturalizations, city directories, newspapers, photographs, etc. Membership is required but there is “basic free membership” available which offers limited benefits.

If you would like to know more about Footnote, you have the opportunity through a free webinar - which provides a tutorial of the site and a personalized tour. The webinar is available anytime you want to view it - requiring 30 minutes of your time. It addresses what records are available, a search demonstration, as well as explanations of how to use the Footnote viewer and how to create Footnote pages.

To view the webinar, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Recommendation: Prior to activating the webinar (accomplished by clicking on the white triangle in the center of the black viewing box), maximize and center the viewing box on your computer monitor. This will result in improved viewing capability.

To access Footnote, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Removal of USB Flash Drive

Care should be exercised when removing USB flash drives in order to minimize the chances of data loss or corruption. Prior to removal, all files located on the flash drive should be closed. Windows users can then disconnect the flash drive by executing the “Safely Remove Hardware” command while Mac users can drag the flash drive icon to the wastebasket.

An alternative to the “Safely Remove Hardware” command for Windows users is USB Disk Ejector - a small, free program that allows for instant, quick 1-click ejection of a USB flash drive. It is a no-install program that can be run from anywhere, including the removable USB flash drive itself, and is compatible with Windows 2000, XP and Vista.

Copy and paste the following URL into your web browser for additional information about USB Disk Ejector and to download:


It may be necessary to scroll up a line or so in order to see the beginning of the section: “USB Disk Ejector.” To download, click on “[Download Latest]” following “Current Version: 1.1.2” - unless you want to download the beta version which includes additional features.

USB Disk Ejector will eject any USB or firewire device that windows sees as a disk (including flash drives and external hard drives). It can also eject flash cards from card readers.

When the software download is complete, the following icon will identify USB Disk Ejector:

Clicking on the icon, wherever it is stored (including a flash drive or external hard drive) opens a window on the desktop which shows all of the drives connected to the USB ports. Simply click on the drive to be removed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Free Genealogy Toolbar (from Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society)

The Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society (MLFHS) has issued the following announcement:

Manchester, United Kingdom, September 15, 2009 -- Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society (MLFHS), based in the U.K. is pleased to announce the release of its genealogy toolbar which integrates seamlessly with the users browser (IE, Firefox, Safari) to provide instant access to family history sites including online BMD, Archives, Societies, Pay to View and many more.

The toolbar is completely free to download and use and has been developed by Family Historians for use by Family Historians.

Changes to the toolbar are made centrally and can be instantly reflected in each user's personal copy. MLFHS keep track of the links so that users do not have to. The range of links provided is especially strong for GB and Irish research. There are currently over 170 links and these will be expanded in response to user comments and suggestions.

Users can turn individual menus on and off and can also choose to add items from a selection of non genealogy links.

The toolbar can be downloaded via the MLFHS home page or from or from
Note: It is suggested that prior to downloading the M&LFHS Toolbar potential users go to MLFHS's home page <> and press "CLICK HERE" under "
M&LFHS Toolbar" to learn about system requirements as well as other information about the toolbar. The new toolbar, if desired, can be downloaded from the screen that will appear.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Free Online Class: “Genealogy in Gotham: New York City Research” will offer another free webinar on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 beginning at 8:00 PM Eastern. "Genealogy in Gotham: New York City Research" will address how to trace persons who immigrated through New York City on their way elsewhere and those who made it their more permanent home.

For more details and to register, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chapin Memorial Library Adds To Its U. S. Census Collection

Chapin Memorial Library has added the following states to its 1850 U. S. Federal Census collection on microfilm:
  • New York (71 rolls; Call #: MFilm M432-0548)
  • North Carolina (31 rolls; Call #: MFilm M432-0619)
  • North Carolina Slave Schedules (7 rolls; Call #: MFilm M432-0650)
  • Ohio (85 rolls; Call #: MFilm M432-0657)
  • Oregon (1 roll; Call #: MFilm M432-0742)
  • Pennsylvania (98 rolls; Call #: MFilm M432-0743)
  • Rhode Island (7 rolls; Call #: MFilm M432-0841)
The 1850 census collection also includes South Carolina (46 rolls; Call #: MFilm M432-0854).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 adds to its historical newspaper collection

Billed as the largest online newspaper archive for family history research,, a subscription website, has “added and expanded 32 newspapers from 23 states.” For a complete listing of the recent additions, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


For a complete, state-by-state listing of’s newspaper collection, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Note: A 30-day trial subscription is available for $9.95.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New Look for’s “Record Search”

If you haven’t visited’s “RecordSearch” in the last few days, you’ll find a whole new look and feel. Version 2.0 was released September 1st and has different colors and screen layouts as well as other enhancements.

For a more complete description of the update, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


See the second item - “A New Release of Record Search” by Bryce Roper.

To visit the website itself, click on “ - Record Search” under Favorite Links.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

50 Most Popular Genealogy Websites for 2009

Please note that the listing under Favorite Links for ProGenealogists’ “50 Most Popular Genealogy Websites” has been updated. The link now connects to a listing of the most popular genealogy websites created during the first quarter of 2009. Rankings for 2008 are shown in parentheses.

New to the top 50 are numbers “35" (, “37” (, “45” (, “47” ( and “49” (

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

“Getting Started on” Webinar will offer a free webinar on the Internet for persons interested in learning about the subscription-based genealogy research website. The webinar, while geared to those who are new to as well as those who have never used, can serve as a refresher course for more experienced users. The one hour webinar will be presented on Thursday, August 20, 2009 beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

For more details about the webinar as well as registration, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:



Reminder: Ancestry Library Edition is available at Chapin Memorial Library.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Free Access to 1930 Federal Census

During the month of August, Footnote is making available free access to its interactive 1930 U.S. Census. Registration for a Basic Footnote Account is required. Registration is free.

To access the free trial, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Thursday, August 6, 2009 is a new website for genealogical research. It appears to include a collection of recent public records databases.

The annual membership subscription cost is $39.95. A free 7-day trial subscription is available but requires use of a credit card. You will NOT be billed if you cancel before the end of your trial.

To see the collection of databases currently offered, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


The Genealogy Archives Blog provides information on the website and collection updates, company announcements, perspectives on industry news and upcoming events. It can be accessed by copying and pasting the following URL into your web browser:


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

“Dust in the Attic - Hocking County Genealogy” Has Moved

Persons having genealogy interests in Ohio’s Hocking and Vinton Counties take note. Dust in the Attic - Hocking County Genealogy has relocated from Geocities to Rootsweb.

The new web address is:


Friday, July 31, 2009

Genealogical Organizations and Public Libraries Cutting Hours

If you are planning to visit historical/genealogical societies and public libraries, especially those requiring that you travel some distance, verify the hours of operation prior to your visit!

During these unsettled economic times, many such facilities are having to reduce hours of operation as part of their cost-cutting measures. Some have already adjusted their hours while others will be doing so in the coming days and months.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Webcasting a Family Reunion

In response to a radio listener’s inquiry, Computer/Digital Guru Kim Komando provides guidance on how to Webcast a family reunion for the benefit of family members unable to attend. Additionally the listener would like to record the reunion. The specific question, as well as Kim’s comprehensive response, can be found in her “Tip of the Day” for 7/28/2009.

To see Kim’s tip on Webcasting a family reunion, copy and paste the following URL into you web browser:


Suggestion: For ease of reading, click on “Printer-Friendly” located in the upper right-hand corner of the posting.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

GenealogyWise - New Social Networking Site Dedicated to Genealogists

If you’re into social networking (and even if you’re not), you might want to check out GenealogyWise. Launched by on July 14th, GenealogyWise is open to anyone to join.

An announcement by, Inc. advises:

“The service allows users to join surname groups, explore ancestral records, share photos, video, and family trees. Users can create a profile to tell others about their research interests, to receive and respond to emails from other users without publishing an email address, to create online family trees and personal research pages, and to collaborate with other users. The service is completely free.”

Groups currently participating in GenealogyWise include Ancestry Family Tree users, Legacy Family Tree fans, Family Tree Maker Fans, groups concerned with specific states and many more.

To visit GenealogyWise and/or sign up, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Legacy Family Tree 7.0 Update Available

Legacy Family Tree’s latest update,, is now available for downloading by users. For a discussion of what’s new, changed items and what’s been fixed, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Books in Chapin Memorial Library's South Carolina Room (July 2009)

Title: South Carolina’s Military Organizations During the War Between the States, Vol. I: The Lowcountry & Pee Dee
Author: Seigler, R. S.
Call Number: REF S.C. 973.7457 Seigle Vol. 1

Title: William McCullough, Southern Painter, in Conversation with William Baldwin, Southern Writer
Author: Baldwin, W. P., & McCullough, W.
Call Number: REF S.C. 759.13 Baldwi

Title: Those Who Remain: A Photographer's Memoir of South Carolina Indians
Author: Crediford, G. J.
Call Number: REF S.C. 975.7 Credif

Title: Ghosts of the Pee Dee
Author: Johnson, Talmadge
Call Number: REF S.C.133.109 Johnso

Title: Rice Planter and Sportsman: The Recollections of J. Motte Alston, 1821-1909
Author: Alston, J. M., & Childs, A. R.
Call Number: REF S.C. BIO Alston

Title: The Ancestor Roster : A Cameo of the Ancestors of the Members of the Colonial Dames Seventeenth Century, 1915-2005
Author: National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century
Call Number: REF S.C. 929.373 Ancest

Title: Proprietary Records of South Carolina, V.2: Abstracts of the Records of the Register of the Province, 1675-1696
Author: Bates, S. B., & Leland, H. C.
Call Number: REF S.C. 975.702 Bates Vol. II

Title: Proprietary Records of South Carolina, V.3: Abstracts of the Records of the Surveyor General of the Province, Charles Towne 1678-1698
Author: Bates, S. B., & Leland, H. C.
Call Number: REF S.C. 975.702 Bates Vol. III

Title: Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion
Author: Wood, P. H.
Call Number: REF S.C. 975.7 Wood

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

“Mountain Memories”

The Charleston (WV) Gazette periodically features a section dedicated to West Virginia history and genealogy. West Virginia writers, historians, genealogists and photographers are featured in this section: “Mountain Memories.

To view articles published to date, copy and paste the followng URL into your web browser:


Saturday, July 4, 2009

New Headstone Device for Military Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs is currently designing a medallion to be affixed to an existing, privately purchased headstone or marker to signify the deceased's status as a veteran.

If requested, this new product will be furnished in lieu of a traditional Government headstone or marker to those veterans that died on or after Nov. 1, 1990, and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker.

It is estimated that this new medallion will be available before the end of calendar year 2009. Claims will begin to be accepted at that time.

Note: This benefit is only applicable if the grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker. In these instances, eligible veterans are entitled to either a traditional Government- furnished headstone or marker, or the new medallion, but not both.

For complete details and for updated information regarding the new medalion, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Requirements to Obtain Chapin Memorial Library Card Have Changed

The requirements to obtain a Chapin Memorial Library Card have changed -- effective July 1, 2009.

City of Myrtle Beach Residents

  • Free Library Card available

Horry County Residents

  • Annual Card for Primary Card Holder: $20.00
  • Additional Cards for *family members: no charge
Individuals who live outside of Horry County (NON-Resident Library Card)

  • 90 Day Card: Primary Card $8.00
  • Additional Card for *Family Members: $2.00 per card
  • Annual Card: Primary Card $20.00 annual fee
  • Additional Card for *Family Members: $8.00
* Family member defined as any person in the same household related by blood, marriage, or other legal means to the primary cardholder.

For complete details, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

DNA Testing will be presenting a free webinar that will explain:

  • How DNA testing works,
  • How the results can be used and applied to family trees and
  • Some of the benefits involved.

The webinar, “Genetic Genealogy Made Easy,” will be held Wednesday July 8th, 8:00 PM (EST).

In order to attend this webinar, you must first register. To learn more about the webinar and/or register, copy and paste the following URL into your browser:


Civil War Medals Still Available (for veterans' descendants)

In 1866, the state of West Virginia authorized the minting of over 26,000 medals to honor its Union Civil War soldiers. The medals were delivered in 1867. More than 4,000 medals remain unclaimed.

For information about:

  • The history of the unclaimed West Virginia Civil War Medals,
  • The list of unclaimed Civil War Medals,
  • How to apply for a Civil War Medal and
  • A claim application form,

copy and paste the following URL for the West Virginia State Archives into your web browser:


Note: In addition to West Virginia, several other states struck medals after the war. Descendants of Civil War veterans might benefit from searching other states for Civil War Medals.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Help for Hard-to-Read Handwriting

The following tip appeared in’s January 30, 2009 issue of “24/7 Family History Circle”:

"The challenge of blurred or just plain sloppy handwriting in old records is one that has plagued genealogists for centuries. One trick for deciphering a hard to read character or word is to retrace it. Enlarge the word and then print it. Then trace over it with a pencil. Sometimes by retracing the lines you’ll be able to figure out the letters."

To view the tip and some interesting reader comments, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Saturday, June 20, 2009

"West Virginia - A Film History" now available on two-disc DVD

The 1995 public television series, "West Virginia - A Film History," is now available for purchase on a two-disc DVD for $29.95 (plus sales tax and shipping). The six-and-a-half-hour series, narrated by actor Richard Thomas, tells the history of West Virginia from the pre-Revolutionary War period through the state’s birth on June 20, 1863 to the recent past.

Previously available on VHS videotape but sold out for several years, the 2-DVD set will be available in bookstores and locations across West Virginia or can be purchased at the West Virginia Humanities Council [<> or by calling (304) 346-8500].

To see a brief review of each of the four parts of the series, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Staying Abreast of New Content on GSGC Blogs

Do you have difficulty staying abreast of “GSGC Tips and Treasures” and “GSGC Blog” updates? Could you use some help?

Subscribe to a RSS Feed. RSS Feeds allow you to stay informed by retrieving the latest content from certain websites in which you have an interest. You save time by not needing to visit each site individually. RSS Feed capability is identified by display of the following orange and white icon:

The manner in which information is communicated by the RSS Feed can vary depending upon how the connection is made. Connections can be made through many web browsers (such as Internet Explorer and Firefox) and web-based feed readers (such as My Yahoo and Google Reader). You might want to try more than one connection in order to get one that is most useful to you.

If you use Internet Explorer 7 or 8 as your web browser, the following procedure can be used to make the RSS Feed connections for GSGC blogs.

Go to club blog websites:

GSGC Tips and Treasures



The Blog will open.

Click on the orange and white RSS Feed icon on the menu bar at the top of your browser window. The RSS Feed window will open.

Click on “
Subscribe to this feed.” A small window will open.

Click the “
Subscribe” button. Another window will open that says “You’ve successfully subscribed to this feed!

You can verify which feed you subscribed to by clicking the “
View my feeds” link included in the open window.

Once you have subscribed to a feed, your internet browser will gather new information from the BLOG on a regular basis.
To find out what’s new:
  • Open Internet Explorer
  • Click on the Favorites icon on the toolbar (There will be three tabs: Favorites, Feeds, and History.)
  • Click on the Feeds Tab (This will show you a list of the feeds to which you have subscribed.)
  • Click on one of them, e.g.: GSGC Tips and Treasures (A browser window will open with a list of the postings.)
You can determine how often your computer checks for updated BLOG information by using the “View feed properties...” link on the right side of the opened feeds window. These properties allow you to set a schedule for checking for information as well as deleting the information from your computer.

Friday, May 29, 2009

New Books in Chapin Memorial Library's South Carolina Room (May 2009)

Title: English Ancestral Names: The Evolution of the Surname from Medieval Occupations
Dolan, J.R.
Call Number:
REF SC 929.4 Dolan

Title: List of the Colonial Soldiers of Virginia: Special Report of the Department of Archives and History for 1913
Author: Eckenrode, H.J.
Call Number: REF SC 929.3755 Eckenr

Title: Social Networking for Genealogists
Author: Smith, Drew
Call Number: REF SC 929.1028 Smith (currently located on New Book display stand)

Title: Voices of the American Revolution in the Carolinas
Author: Ed Southern, editor
Call Number: REF SC 973.3 Voices

Title: The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (Vols. I-III)
Author: Anderson, Robert Charles
Call Number: REF SC 929.374 Anders (currently located on New Book display stand)

Title: The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635 (Vols. I-IV)
Author: Anderson, Robert Charles
Call Number: REF SC 929.374 Anders

Monday, May 25, 2009

Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Increasing Importance in Genealogy Research

If you have an interest in Ohio genealogy research, you need to be aware of the ever-increasing importance of the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) as an information source.

On April 19, 2007 the genealogy services at the State Library of Ohio ended and their entire genealogy collection was relocated to the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, where it was integrated with CML’s genealogy collection. Justification for the relocation was extended hours, more staff to assist researchers as well as a larger budget to add additional material to the collection.

In the Spring of this year, the Palatines to America - German Genealogy Society’s library collection was relocated to the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s main branch. As a result of the move, the Pal Am Library collection is available to the society’s members and the public.

The Franklin County Genealogical & Historical Society, a chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, has recently announced its decision to relocate its library collection to the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s main branch, where it will be merged with CML’s collection.

The main branch of CML is located at 96 South Grant Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215. CML’s web address is <>.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Genealogy Videos Available at Chapin Memorial Library

The genealogy videos listed below are available for loan from Chapin Memorial Library. They are located on the first floor in the room located to the far right-hand side of the library (after entering the library’s main entrance). When you enter the room where the videos are stored, you will see bookcases located slightly to the left with ends painted dark green and marked “Adult Biography.” The first bookcase contains the genealogy videos (stored on shelves located on the right-hand side as you face the "Adult Biography" sign).

Holders of Chapin Memorial Library cards may reserve videos online at:

If more than one video is to be reserved, it may be advisable to make the reservation by telephone (843- 918-1275).

Title: Ancestors
Publisher, Date: Alexandria, VA: PBS Home Video, 1996.
Description: 10 VHS videocassettes (300 min .)

Individual titles:
Ancestors - Episode 1 - Getting Started
Call Number: AVDEO 920 Ancest v.01
Ancestors - Episode 2 - Looking at Home
Call Number: AVDEO 920 Ancest v.02
Ancestors - Episode 3 - Gathering Family Stories
Call Number: AVDEO 920 Ancest v.03
Ancestors - Episode 4 - The Paper Trail
Call Number: AVDEO 920 Ancest v.04
Ancestors - Episode 5 - Libraries and Archives
Call Number: AVDEO 920 Ancest v.05
Ancestors - Episode 6 - Military and Census Records
Call Number: AVDEO 920 Ancest v.06
Ancestors - Episode 7 - African-American Families
Call Number: AVDEO 920 Ancest v.07
Ancestors - Episode 8 - Medical Heritage
Call Number: AVDEO 920 Ancest v.08
Ancestors - Episode 9 - High-Tech Help
Call Number: AVDEO 920 Ancest v.09
Ancestors - Episode 10 - Leaving A Legacy
Call Number: AVDEO 920 Ancest v.10

Title: Do Your Family Tree
Publisher, Date: Horizon Home Video, c1991
Description: 1 VHS videocassette (050 min.).
Call Number: AVDEO 929 Do

Title: Do Your Family Tree: Part II, Advanced Research
Publisher, Date: Horizon Home Video, c1992
Description: 1 VHS videocassette (075 min.).
Call Number: AVDEO 929 Do

Title: The Genealogist's Video Research Guide
Publisher, Date: New York, NY: VIPO Media Group, 1996.
Description: 7 VHS videocassettes.

Individual titles:
Part One: Home sources, Family Search, Published histories, Record Keeping
Call Number: AVDEO 929 Geneal v.01
Part Two: Census Records, Probate Records
Call Number: (Missing from video library)
Part Three: Land Records, Military Records, and Vital Records
Call Number: AVDEO 929 Geneal v.03
Part Four: Compiled Sources
Call Number: AVDEO 929 Geneal v.04
Part Five: Passenger Lists and Passports
Call Number: AVDEO 929 Geneal v.05
Part Six: Naturalization records
Call Number: AVDEO 929 Geneal v.06
Part Seven: Federal
Land Records and National Archives Maps
Call Number: AVDEO 929 Geneal v.07

Title: The Genealogist's Video Research Guide: Research in England and Wales
Publisher, Date: New York, NY: VIPO Media Group, 1994.
Description: 3 VHS videocassettes.

Individual titles:
Part I: Civil Registration
Call Number: AVDEO 929 Geneal v.01
Part II: Parish Registers
Call Number: AVDEO 929 Geneal v.02
Part III: Census and Probate Records
Call Number: AVDEO 929 Geneal v.03

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Ohio Genealogical Society will hold its Summer Workshop 2009

The Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS) will hold its Summer Workshop 2009 from Sunday June 21 through Friday 26 June at the OGS Headquarters and Library, 713 S. Main Street, Mansfield, OH 44907.

Curt Witcher and eight other genealogy experts will discuss a broad range of topics during the week-long event.

Witcher's presentations include the following:

  • Doing Effective Genealogical Research in Libraries;
  • Using PERSI;
  • Pain in the Access: Getting More from the Internet for Your Genealogy;
  • Using World Cat;
  • Using Government Documents for Genealogical Research; and
  • All That Other STUFF!: Other Census Records Beyond the Population Schedules.

The complete program is (or soon will be) available for download on the OGS website at

REGISTRATION NOTES: The society offers discounts to members on the week-long or day-only registration fees. Non-members are also welcome.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Search U.S. Census Population Estimates (2000-2008) and/or the 2000 Census Population

If you have an interest in U.S. Census population estimates for the years 2000 through 2008 (as of July 1 each year) and/or the 2000 Census population, you can search by state and/or county. Copy and paste the following URL into your web browser.


Information shown at the county level includes:

  • Gender Breakdown
  • Race Breakdown
  • Age Breakdown

NBC TV series "Who Do You Think You Are?" Rescheduled for Fall of 2009

According to the latest information, NBC's genealogy-reality TV series Who Do You Think You Are?, which was scheduled to premier on April 20th, will now begin airing sometime this fall. The exact date is not known. If you want to know more about the show, copy and paste the following URL into your browser:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Split and/or Merge PDF documents

When doing genealogy research on the Internet, records and information are frequently available for downloading as PDF files. These PDF files often consist of multiple pages – some of which are of little or no interest. In other cases, records and information to be downloaded are in groups of PDF files for which there may be a desire to end up with only a single PDF file.

For Windows users the solution is only a download away. The basic version of “PDF Split and Merge” allows the splitting of large PDF files into smaller parts and the merging of multiple PDF files into a single file. The basic version is free. Although there is an almost-free enhanced version that has more features, the basic version should cover most needs.

PDF Split and Merge” is available for downloading at the following URL:


Select “Win32 Installer” located under “Download, Basic, pdfsam basic 1.1.2." Click on "Save" at the bottom of the subsequent screen. The software will be downloaded automatically to your computer (to wherever your downloads are saved). Next you will need install the software.

A tutorial on how to use the software is included as part of the download.

Note: It may be necessary to uncheck the box “Compress output file/files” to successfully perform both separation and merge operations.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ancestry Revises Criteria Used for Searching

Responding to customer input, has revised the criteria that it uses with respect to searching based upon user specified birth and/or death years. The changes, implemented April 29, 2009, are intended to help reduce the listing of irrelevant search results.

If the user specifies both a birth and death year for an ancestor, Ancestry’s search will cover a range of 5 years before the specified birth year through 2 years after the specified death year. For example, if the specified birth year is 1850 and the death year is 1875, the search range will cover from 1845 through 1877.

If only the birth year is specified by the user, Ancestry’s search will cover a range of 5 years before the specified birth year through 102 years after the specified birth year. For example, if the specified birth year is 1850 and there is no death year specified, the search range will cover from 1845 through 1952.

If only the death year is specified by the user, Ancestry’s search will cover a range of 105 years before the specified death year through 2 years after the specified death year. For example, if the specified death year is 1875 and there is no birth year specified, the search range will cover from 1770 through 1877.

Obviously, better results should be achieved when both birth and death years are specified by the user.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Plan for Failure

With almost 100% certainty, anyone storing their genealogy files on a computer will have need to restore all or some of those files at one time or another. The worst case scenario is when the hard drive where the genealogy files are stored crashes or is somehow seriously damaged causing a loss of all files. A lesser crisis occurs when, for whatever reason, some files become corrupted or they are accidentally deleted. Even if one has paper copies of the lost or damaged files, the time and effort required to recreate the computer files can be significant.

One can take their chances and wait until a problem occurs before they take action or they can develop a plan for recovering files should the need arise. Anyone who has experienced lost or damaged files will almost certainly agree that pre-planning is a wise move.

The purpose of this posting is not to suggest a particular plan for backing up computer files – there are various ways to do so. For an excellent discussion of
Windows backup strategies, it is suggested that you copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Our intention is to stress the need to have a backup plan and, regardless of the plan adopted, the need to fully understand how the backup plan works and to have one that will produce the desired results!

In considering a
backup plan, the following questions should be addressed:
  • Does the plan cover all of the genealogy files or only a portion? For example, does it cover genealogy photos and genealogy support documents as well as any genealogy software program (e.g., Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree, Personal Ancestral File, etc.) or does it backup only the genealogy software? What coverage is desired?
  • Will the backup be stored on another media (e.g., DVDs, CDs, flash drive, external hard drive, on the internet, etc.) separate from the original files? Where will that media be stored?
  • Is the capacity of the backup media sufficient to cover not only current files but handle future backup file growth?
  • If only a few files are lost or damaged, can they be recovered easily? Do you know how to implement their recovery?
  • What backup frequency will satisfy your needs? (Note: Unless backup occurs immediately after every addition or change, there is the potential for some files to be lost and not be recoverable. The longer the time lapse between backups, the bigger the potential loss.)
Considerations for backup of genealogy files also have application to other personal files.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Time For Some Genealogy Housecleaning’s monthly newsletter, in a recent “Tip of the Month,” suggests that some spring housecleaning of genealogy research files is probably in order. The tip suggests going through your files or research binders – purging extra copies, filing loose papers, making labels where appropriate, etc. Also recommended for cleanup is the computer desktop. The tip suggests reorganizing electronic files into folders for easy access, organizing browser bookmarks and favorites, deleting duplicates, etc. To sign up for's newsletter, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser: <>

Monday, April 6, 2009

Source for Cemetery Locations’s newsletter “The Weekly Discovery,” in its April 6, 2009 issue, points out that the U.S. Geological Survey’s “Geographic Name Information System (GNIS)” database is a good source for identifying cemeteries in an area.

To see a list of cemeteries for a specific area, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:


Select (1) the appropriate state and county for the cemetery you are seeking as well as (2) “cemetery” from the “Feature Class” listing. Then click on (3) “Send Query.”

To see a complete listing of cemeteries, click on “View and Print all” located at the lower left-hand portion of the resulting screen.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Your Ancestors’ Signatures

No doubt all involved in genealogy research seek to find photos of their relatives. But how many think to seek out copies of their signatures at the time periods corresponding with those photos. What is the purpose you ask? To see what might be learned about the ancestors from those signatures.

In an article “Understanding Your Ancestors’ Autographs,” Linda Jean Limes Ellis notes that she had not given much thought to her ancestors’ handwriting until she found a document showing her great-great-great grandfather’s signature in connection with his swearing in as Justice of the Peace in 1846 when he was nearly 55 years of age. When she compared this particular signature with one that she had on a copy of his Last Will and Testament signed one day prior to his death (when he was 69 years, 3 months and 15 days) as well as a signature that she had on a copy of a marriage document signed when he about 21 years of age, she realized that signatures can reveal a lot about someone. By the pitch of a particular letter, she could satisfy herself that he personally wrote each of the signatures but the scrawling of the letters allowed her to detect how weakness and illness had evolved during his life.

Her advice is “Whenever you look at a beloved ancestor’s photograph, ask yourself, ‘Do I have his or her signature from the same time period?’ If not, begin your search for it...An ancestor’s name, written by his or her own hand, is as unique as a fingerprint. Thus, understanding what your ancestors’ signatures are trying to tell you augments whatever else you already know about them. Autographs, and we can think of them as such, are among the many gifts our ancestors gave to us.”

Ms. Ellis’s article appeared in The Ohio Genealogical Society’s December 2007 edition of the “Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly,” Volume 47, Number 4.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wyoming Newspaper Project

The Wyoming State Library is making available online access to historical Wyoming newspapers. This project involves digitizing a statewide collection of Wyoming newspapers covering the period 1849 to 1922.

The first collection release covers selected years ranging from 1867 to 1922. Researchers can access the individual issues through keyword searching or browsing through the collection by title, year, city or county.

To access the website, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser: <>

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Exciting Announcement for Michigan Researchers

“Seeking Michigan” is a brand-new website for Michigan historical records. Featured on the free website will be nearly 1 million Michigan death certificates for the years 1897 to 1920. In addition to having the records digitized, they are indexed for easy searching by name, death date, location, age and more. Approximately 25 percent of the nearly 1 million death records have been added thus far with the remaining death records expected to be online within the next month. To visit the website, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser: <>

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Genealogical Codicil to My Last Will and Testament

Have you given thought about what should become of those genealogical records and materials that you have worked so tirelessly to accumulate? Will your family know what your wishes are? Don’t want to leave things to chance?

Consider a codicil to your will that will spell out your desires. A draft of such a codicil appears below. Note: There are several similar variations of this codicil found on the Internet, including, making it impossible to give the proper credit to the original source.

If you’re not inclined at this time to make an amendment to your will, consider copying the codicil into your word processing program and completing those italicized parts with your information. Then keep a copy in a prominent place among your genealogical records -- updating when appropriate. This may not be as good as formally amending your will but it can provide detailed guidance to family members at a stressful time when heads may not be thinking too clearly.

Genealogical Codicil to My Last Will and Testament

To my spouse, children, guardian, administrator and/or executor:

Upon my death it is requested that you DO NOT dispose of any or all of my genealogical records, both those prepared personally by me and those records prepared by others which may be in my possession, including but not limited to books, files, notebooks or computer programs for a period of two years.

During this time period, please attempt to identify one or more persons who would be willing to take custody of the said materials and the responsibility of maintaining and continuing the family histories.

[If you know whom within your family or friends are likely candidates to accept these materials, please add the following at this point:

"I suggest that the persons contacted regarding the assumption of the custody of these items include but not be limited to"

and then list the names of those individuals at this point, with their addresses and telephone numbers if known]

In the event you do not find anyone to accept these materials, please contact the various genealogical organizations that I have been a member of and determine if they will accept some parts or all of my genealogical materials.

[List organizations, addresses and phone numbers at bottom; include local chapters, with their addresses, phone numbers and contact persons if available as well as state/national contact information and addresses]

Please remember that my genealogical endeavors consumed a great deal of time, travel, and money. Therefore it is my desire that the products of these endeavors be allowed to continue in a manner that will make them available to others in the future.

Signature ______________________ Date ______________

Witness _______________________ Date ______________

Witness _______________________ Date ______________

Monday, March 9, 2009

Deciphering Old Handwriting

If you want to enhance your ability to interpret old census, courthouse, archive, Bible and church records, check out this on-line tutorial: “Deciphering Old Handwriting - From a genealogy course taught by Sabina J. Murray.” Not only will you learn but you will have an opportunity to try your hand at deciphering. Copy and paste the following URL into your web browser: <>.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Problems with reading old records

Having success in locating an old record is an exciting event for anyone doing genealogical research. But one must guard against letting their exuberance cloud their use of good judgment in utilizing the information found in the document. Old records are not always easy to understand and interpret.

For example, a county marriage register included the following language for a specific marriage record:

“I do hereby certify that I have solemnized the bonds of Matrimony between xxxxx and xxxxx, agreeable to license issued from the office of said County.

Given under my hand this 15th day of April 1828.”

For years the date of 15 April 1828 has been interpreted as the date of marriage for the particular individuals involved. It is identified as such in materials available from Family Search and books publishing county marriage records.

In reality, the couple was married 31 January 1828 -- as noted in the Family Bible. The above certification is believed to be only a statement that the marriage was performed by the individual signing the certification and the date, 15 April 1828, is the date when he made the certification. Giving further credence to this belief is the fact that the same individual made similar statements in a series of adjacent entries - all dated 15 April 1828.

For a fairly comprehensive treatment of problems to watch out for when examining old records, look at’s “Problems with reading old records: what to watch for.” You can access by copying and pasting the following URL into your web browser: <>.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Immigration to the United States

Want to know more about immigration to the United States? Harvard University makes available on the web a collection of materials from its libraries, archives, and museums. “Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930” can be accessed by copying and pasting the following URL into your web browser: <>. Be sure to click on “Timeline” to view key dates in U. S. immigration history.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Looking Beyond the U.S. Federal Census

The U.S. Federal Census may not be your only census source. For additional sources at the state level, see Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies’ “Helpful Census Information.” To view, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser: <>

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Where to Write for Vital Records

Need to know where to write for vital records (births, deaths, marriages, and divorces) for individual states and territories? An excellent source is CDC/National Center for Health Statistics' "Where to Write for Vital Records." See "Favorite Links" for a quick connection.

Genealogy To-Do List

When you are doing family research in one particular area, do you think of things that might need to be done in another? Do you then jump from the task at hand to the one that you just thought about – maybe because it appears to be more interesting than the one you are currently doing? Or do you say to yourself, I’ll do that later and then forget about it?

Getting the most out of your genealogy research requires organization. Failure to organize can result in poor use of your time as well as missed opportunities. Having a Genealogy To-Do List can enhance your genealogy research efforts and should be part of your genealogy research toolkit.

For an interesting article on this subject, check out Darlene Vaillancourt’s article “Managing Genealogy Research – Keep a To-Do List to Organize Your Family Tree Studies.” You can find the article by copying and pasting the following URL into your web browser: <>

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Web Browser Alternative

Do you find that your current web browser is frequently not as responsive to your genealogy research efforts as you would like? Would you like to speed things up? Don't want pages you visit to show up in your web history? Want a new way to browse the web?

You might do well to check out “Google Chrome” -- a relatively new web browser for computers using the Windows operating system (Windows Vista and Windows XP SP2). Release of a Mac version is under development.

For complete information (including a video on the story behind Google Chrome) and “free” download capability, go to <>.

You can still continue use of your current browser(s). If you do download Google Chrome as an alternative (not your primary) browser, you might want to consider making its home page your favorite genealogy website. Just a thought!

“Portable Google Chrome” is available if you want to install on a USB stick.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Might there be more?

When you have success finding an obituary or death notice, do you simply make a copy and then proceed to the next task? Do you stop to consider that what you have found may not be be the complete story?

An obituary appearing in an Ohio newspaper on January 15, 2009 serves as an excellent example of why it can pay dividends to look beyond your initial find. In this particular case, the deceased's daughter arranged for publication of a revised obituary for her mother two weeks later, on January 29. It included eleven (11) names that had been overlooked in the preparation of the January 15 obituary.

Other examples of why you might want to continue your search efforts in the same publication - even on the same date:
  • Publication of both a death notice and a special tribute (as might be done for a public official, local celebrity, etc.)
  • Publication of both a death notice and an obituary
  • Publication of both a death notice and a news item in a "locals" section
  • Publication of a followup notice covering the funeral service and burial
  • Expression of appreciation by the family for assistance provided following the death
Each of these could contain information not found in the initial find.

There may also be benefits in searching for obituaries and death notices in competing publications. Years ago it was not uncommon to have slightly different content in each publication. That is not so much the case today.