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Using the Flip-Pal Scanner

I’ve been using the FlipPal Scanner for several months – and it’s made scanning a real pleasure. I got started because I kept watching Walt Grady, Diane Miller, and others demonstrate them at conferences I’ve attended over the last year or more. I bought a unit about 6 months ago. Dale and I then had a business trip in which we had to drive nearly 3000 miles. During the drive, Dale scanned thousands of my pictures – right there about 3 feet from me. We had a large box full of photos, many still in the envelopes from the processor – most 30 to 40 years old. Many I hadn’t seen since I took the pictures. In October, my brother, Steve, flew down from Washington State, bringing a suitcase full of the old family photos with him. We scanned many of them, and some we’ve still got to scan when he visits again in December.

As most of my readers know, I’ve been scanning my genealogy documents in an attempt to dispose of several dozen file boxes of full of them. I’ve been using a flatbed scanner, as well as a high-speed scanner with a feeder attached. I’ve now added my FlipPal to that mix.

The big advantage for me has been that I can scan my photos a lot faster then usual using the FlipPal. Large photos and documents can be scanned in several shots, and then stitched together perfectly using the software provided with every FlipPal. Do you want to scan photos in an album? No problem. I just scanned an album that belonged to my mother, with many of the photos glued into place. I just popped the lid off of the scanner, turned it over, laid the scanner on the picture on the album page – lined it up by looking right through the scanner – and pressed the scan button. The scanner has a little window on it where the user can check to see if the scan came out good – just like your digital camera. Scans can be made in both 300 dpi, and 600 dpi. The software supplied with the scanner is both Windows and Mac compatible.

The FlipPal is battery-operated, allowing full portability. When I made my first scans, I was using typical AA batteries that I bought in quantity at Costco. As I remember it, I was getting about 400 scans or so on a set of four batteries. I quickly realized that I was going to save huge quantities of money by purchasing an AC AA battery charger and a dozen batteries. That was a smart move. When I purchased my FlipPal, the only case available had no pockets for supplies. A deluxe case is now available – complete with pockets.

Another brand-new innovation is the FlipPal Sketch. You just lay the Sketch on photo that you wish to make notes on (like people’s names!), and scan the picture through the marked-up Sketch – thus identifying folks in the picture. I’ve been using a prototype – but the “real-thing” will shipping in late November.

Another terrific innovation is a great software collection put together on DVD for the FlipPal. I’ve been using this software on my PC running Windows 7 – and I’m very impressed. I’ve got Adobe Photoshop, as well as Photoshop Elements in my office. One program alone in this Creative Suite collection, now available packaged with the FlipPal, can do most everything that Elements does, but the entire Creative Suite adds only about half of the cost of Photoshop Elements alone – and the learning curve isn’t bad either!

By the way, the FlipPal has been approved for use not only in the Library of Congress, but in the National Archives. It’s gentle on documents, as it’s very light. And speaking of light, very little is used in the scanning process – thus protecting those precious old documents. Items that could not be photocopied, can be scanned with the FlipPal.

I was so impressed with the FlipPal that I signed up as an affiliate a couple months ago. So I now get small checks from Couragent each month. Since we sell at many conferences, and on the Internet, we recently signed up not only as a FlipPal affiliate, but as a dealer. Family Roots Publishing is now stocking FlipPals – and just in time for Christmas too! The FlipPal unit itself sells for under $150, while the FlipPal with the Creative Suite sells for under $200.

As a user myself, I highly recommend that you add on the following items when purchasing a FlipPal – either the basic unit – or with the Creative Suite (the Creative Suite software runs under Windows Vista 7, vista, or XP). Sorry, the Creative Suite software isn’t Mac compatible. Note that the FlipPal software itself is both Windows and Mac compatible.

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Learning by Example to Overcome Your Toughest Genealogy Problems

All genealogists face research obstacles. Recording errors may lead someone to check records based on middle names or unfamiliar nicknames. Sometimes locations seem to disappear off the map when churches and cemeteries move, or roads close and fall into disrepair. What happens when records are misread, or graves turn out to be empty, or when people change their name? These are just a few of the problems genealogists face everyday. Genealogists around the globe have made breakthroughs in resolving these types of difficult problems through creative research and a never-give-up attitude to overcoming obstacles.

Family Chronicle magazine called these breakthroughs “Brickwall Solutions.” Recognizing the value the stories and the examples behind these solutions can have for the day to day genealogists, Family Chronicle collected hundreds of these stories from contributors around the world. The compiled result is 500 Brickwall Solutions to Genealogy Problems, the perfect lead by example book to solving unique research problems.

The book was not written by a single individual. Rather, this book is a collection of difficult problems solved by genealogist everywhere. The editor credits each story’s solution to inspiration and hard work as well as efficient and experienced research techniques. Contributing stories were selected for their inspiring, insightful, and professional resolution to difficult research problems. Each story inspires and gives ideas for new ways to overcome common, and sometimes less common, problems faced by family historians everywhere.

Here are some story titles taken from the book:

  • County Poorhouses
  • Nun Sense
  • Website As A Brickwall Solution
  • Funeral Sign-In Books
  • Searching Family Mysteries
  • Follow the Females
  • Glove Marks the Spot
  • The Many Wives of Cassidy
  • Microfilm Mistakes
  • Mapping Your Ancestors
  • Different Registered Name
  • Maternal Lines and Unusual Names
  • They Changed Their Name
  • The Mystery of the Non-Existent Grave

The list goes on and on. 500 times actually. I could not possibly list the entire table of contents in one blog. However, 500 Brickwall Solutions is an apt title. Each story runs from a few paragraphs to a couple of pages in length. Contributors are listed, sometime with contact information, at the end of each story. Many of the stories are funny and exciting, while all demonstrate what a little inspiration, creativity, and mostly perseverance can do in solving almost any problem.

Get a copy of 500 Brickwall Solutions to Genealogy Problems from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: MM002.

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Have You Seen’s Civil War Page?

If you haven’t yet had a chance to browse around FamilySearch’s Civil War page, then you should. The page is a portal to a whole world of Civil War records, histories, wikis, courses, and indexing projects.

From the top of the page you can immediately start searching Civil War records. You can also browse and link to specific repositories. For those looking to volunteer some time indexing records, the buttons on the right will get you started.

Scrolling down the page, you will find many other great tools and resources, covering war history, including major players in the war.

FamilySearch Wikis on the page link to articles about Civil War places, events, and regiments.

The site even comes complete with research courses. Learn the basics of Civil War related genealogical research, finding records, African-American and slave records, service records and more. Multimedia courses provide learning in a fun and easy way.

If you haven’t already had a chance to visit FamilySearch’s Civil War page, then head over soon. The page is well thought out, cleanly organized and even fun to use.

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10,000 Vital Records of Western New York: 1809–1850

About two months ago we reviewed 10,000 Vital Records of Eastern New York: 1777–1834. The book is actually part of a three book set covering Eastern, Central, and Western New York.

10,000 Vital Records of Western New York: 1809–1850, includes 5,275 marriage and 4,781 death (for an actual total of 10,056) records pulled from newspaper columns published before 1850 in Western New York. While births were not covered in these early newspapers, often birth dates and birthplaces and parents names were listed in other notices. Western New York covers 17 counties, with records pulled from publications in five towns; Batavia, Bath, Geneva, Jamestown, and Palmyra. Geneva lies on the border between central and western New York. Vital records from the Geneva Gazette, 1824–1850 appear in the Central New York volume.

Western New York, like Eastern New York, lists all records alphabetically, either by bridegroom or the deceased. Marriage officials are listed in the appendix; otherwise, all mentioned names appear in the index. Like any source of extracted information from published records, this book makes a great addition to all family history and genealogical society libraries, as well as for individuals researching the New York area prior to 1835.

Order a copy of 10,000 Vital Records of Western New York: 1809–1850 from Family Roots Publishing; Item #GPC643.

Leave a Comment & Acquired by

I’ve known for some time now that FamilyLink, and it’s subsidiary, had been sold. As a data provider, I was asked to sign paperwork allowing my data to transfer, and keep my mouth shut. However, I didn’t know who bought the company. I just got a call from one of my friends at FamilyLink who let me know that the acquisition announcement had just gone out on Techcrunch, and I could pass the word on to you folks.

I’m excited about the acquisition. The Israeli company, MyHeritage, has a huge following – especially in Europe – and the principles of the company are folks that I’ve grown to like and admire. Following is the news release:

Israeli company MyHeritage, which operates a huge family-based social network has acquired FamilyLink, the developer behind family history
content sites and

While financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, this is MyHeritage’s seventh and largest acquisition since 2007. Past acquisitions include Germany’s OSN, Poland’s, Dutch Family Network ZOOOF and most recently BackupMyTree.

MyHeritage has a simple goal: to help people discover who they are related to and help maintain these connections. The company’s Smart Matching technology takes data entered in and matches info with other family trees and data that people have entered in to the site to find relatives and explore their family history.

The site also offers a private home on the web for exploring family history and keeping in touch; allowing users to create their own family website, share pictures and videos, organize family events, create family trees and discover ancestors and long-lost relatives.

Backed by Accel and Index Ventures, boasts an international registered member base of 60 million users, offers its services in 38 languages, and is home to more than 900 million profiles and 21 million family trees. And the company is profitable.

For the company, Utah-based FamilyLink furthers MyHeritage’s presence in the US.>, and boosts MyHeritage’s offering to families with the addition of a database of more than 3 billion historical records.

Founded in 2006, both and are subscription services which provide access to a huge database of historical content, covering several billion individuals within census, birth, marriage and death records, as well as the web’s largest archive of historical newspapers.

With offices and staff in Europe, Australia and Israel; MyHeritage will now be adding its first US-based office in Utah, the home of

As MyHeritage founder and CEO Gilad Japhet says, “We’ll be able to find your mother’s yearbook, your great- grandfather’s will and your ancestor’s immigration record…We’ll do that on a massive, global scale, as we live in a world
that is smaller and more tightly connected than ever before”.

The CEO of, Paul Brockbank, previously CEO of Logoworks and GM of Hewlett Packard Web Print Solutions, will later join the MyHeritage advisory board. founder Paul Allen, previously a co-founder of, will not be part of the merger with MyHeritage.

MyHeritage faces competition from the less social, which is more US focused. But most people’s deep family trees span languages and borders. And while MyHeritage has a big global audience, FamilyLink should help the company broaden its user base in the U.S.

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The Civil War — One State at a Time

Like so many, my interest in Genealogy started with a story. We learn much about our ancestors through diaries, family stories and traditions, photographs, genealogical data and records, heirlooms, and more. One great way to understand your ancestors even better is to study history. From major events to local histories, we can learn about the political and economic environment in which our ancestors lived. We can learn about their occupations and how they would have performed those jobs at different times in history; using different tools, with or without electricity, long days and weekend work. How did war, crime, justice, and peace affect their daily lives? What happened in their corner of the world when these events took place?

For answers, we must sometimes look beyond our ancestors, past our own family history, and become students of history in general. This is one reason Family Roots Publishing carries more than just research guides and how-to books. Their collection extends to important volumes like maps, charts, histories and much more. One interesting set of histories they carry center around the Civil War. In this article I will review the first of many of these books, Civil War in Kansas.

This interesting volume, written by Roy Bird, looks at the role Kansas and Kansans played in the Civil War. Written in story book style, though entirely a non-fiction work based solely on fact, the book paints a picture of all aspects of the war and its affect upon the state. Take the following quote as example of the author’s style:

“Gunsmoke and the clouds of the men’s breath filled the air until the Missourians abandoned the field to the Federals. The victors of the Battle of Island Mound then collected a good share of booty, captured ‘a large amount of stock,’ and returned to Fort Scott in triumph.”

Kansas was born in the conflict of war. When seven southern states ceded from the Union, and no longer had representatives to cast a no vote in Congress, Kansas was quickly voted in as the newest state. Kansas officially became a “free” state when signed in being by President Buchanan on January 29, 1861. The population made in large of early settlers celebrated their reunion with the country, again becoming citizen of the United States. Little did they know that in just two short months they would be thrown into the full conflict of war.

Civil War in Kansas portrays in vivid detail the wars direct affect on Kansas. The events, battles, and major players, that waged war in and around the people and towns in Kansas are told so as to appreciate what people must have felt and seen. Reading history in this style and format both helps to bring alive the events as they occurred, and also to better understand and appreciate, even draw closer to, one’s own ancestors.

Histories, such as Civil War in Kansas, make the study of genealogy more interesting through the details of life as lived by our ancestors. The details add meaning to the names and dates we readily collect. If your family comes from Kansas, then this book will help you better understand their lives. If your family comes from another part of the country, then you will still gain value in your expanded understanding 0f the Civil War as it played out in all parts of the country.


Table of Contents



Chapter 1 “From a Shanghai Rooster to the Durham Cow”: 1861–62

Chapter 2 “Overrun with Thieves and Highway Robbers”: 1862

Chapter 3 “Courage, Stubbornness, and Determination”: 1863

Chapter 4 “Every Man … 18 to 60, to Arms”: 1864–64

Selected Bibliography

Appendix: Index of Battles, Skirmishes, and Raids


Keep an eye for our reviews of similar volumes on the Civil War, coming soon.

Your own copy of Civil War in Kansas awaits at Family Roots Publishing; Item #:PP646.

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Salt Lake Christmas Tour Week Peek………. Last one for 2011!!

Yepper, the time has come, to quote some sage. I’m flying out on Tuesday, Nov 29th (gotta get there earlier and earlier to be there to greet you early-and-earlier comers!) so won’t have time on Monday to post…….besides, what more to say?

We don’t usually think of blue as a Christmas or holiday color and yet this is from the lighted display on Temple Square…………remember where?

I’ve prepared information and trivia for our daily news board but please feel free to bring anything you would like to post for the enjoyment of the group!

And where have you seen this picture before????????? You’ll be seeing it again soon!!

Long-time-tour-participant Shirley always comes prepared with a To-Do List and so she never runs out of things to do……… even after 20+ years. Ask her about her research secrets….. she’ll be there again this year.

Looks like about 1/3 of you will be there before the official Sunday arrival…….. I’ll be looking for you!

Donna, aka Mother Hen

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The War of 1812 — A Bicentennial Review of the War That Defined a Country

How much do you know about The War of 1812? Why was this war fought? What was gained or lost from this war? Many people remember that Francis Scott Key penned the Star Spangled Banner during an attack on Fort McHenry. However, how many also remember that the battle happened during The War of 1812 and not the Revolutionary War or other conflict. This two-and-a-half year war between the United States against Britain and Native American Indians has become little more than a side note in the classroom. Yet, this war significantly defined the United States as we know it today; especially, its geographic boundaries with Canada.

Acknowledging the Bicentennial of the war, a television documentary on The War of 1812 premiered on PBS on October 11, 2011. The documentary details the conflict from events leading up to the declaration of war by Congress and President Madison, through key battles, and the results which defined the country in ways most people don’t appreciate. As a companion to the documentary, a new book was published entitled, The War of 1812: A Guide to Battlefields and Historic Sites.

The book takes the reader to the battlefields and other key sites of great relevance in the war. Details are given to what happened at each site and why each location was so important in the overall outcome of the war. The full-color book is filled with photographs, illustrations, and paintings. Key leaders, generals and politicians, maps, weapons, battlefields, and more provide stunning imagery. Topped with eyewitness accounts and well-written descriptions, the reader will feel what it was like to be there. Taking a chronological approach, the reader can follow the war start to finish through seven amazing chapters. The War of 1812 is the perfect book to learn about an American conflict for which so many of us have very little knowledge. Whether you like to learn or had ancestors who were directly affected by the war, this book is a great read.

Table of Contents









The War of 1812: A Guide to Battlefields and Historic Sites is available from Family Root Publishing; Item #: PBS01.

Comments (1) Releases New Image Viewer Beta has released a beta version of their new image viewer. It has been several years now since they released the Advanced Image Viewer. While the Advanced Viewer provided faster download speeds and greater capabilities, its designed did not allow for adaptive growth with newer browsers. Many users were forced to revert to the basic image viewer. Now, Ancestry clients have something to look forward to, a new image viewer capable of running on most of the major web browsers while offering the extended capabilities of the Advanced Viewer.

Get all the details about the new beta version on Ancestry’s Blog. Here is a summary of key features mentioned in the blog.

  • Faster image loading. We’ve invested in the backend services that power the image viewing experience. We’ll continue to optimize and improve performance, but this experience should be faster for most of our users.
  • Works on more platforms and with more browsers. Windows and Macintosh. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
  • New and improved features. Rotate, mirror, and better zoom controls are new for all users. Magnify, thumbnail view, and enhanced images are new for anyone who couldn’t use the previous Advanced Image Viewer.
  • Familiar interface. The basic user interface around the viewer is relatively unchanged. Some of the interactions have changed (such as zoom and pan controls).
  • Simplified installation experience. For most of you, the viewer will just work. Some of you will first need to install a more recent version of Adobe Flash.

Keep in mind
This is still a beta version of the new viewer. The full release won’t be available until sometime in the next year. The nice thing about the viewer is your ability to quickly switch between versions of the viewer. While an image is open, just click “Options” on the menu bar. From the menu that opens up you can select between the original basic views, the Advanced Viewer, and the beta version of the new viewer.

One advantage of’s release of the beta viewer to all customers, is it provides every user the opportunity to test the viewer and provide Ancestry with feedback. The more people who provide feedback on what they like and don’t like about the viewer, the more information Ancestry has to work with in creating a tool to meet the majority of their users’ requirements. You can email your suggestions to

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WWI British Army Service Records

First World War Army Service Records: A Guide for Family Historians is a British National Archives publication written by William Spencer. At the time he wrote this book, Spencer was the principal military specialist at the National Archives and was an adviser on family history. This book covers what any researcher needs to know about searching WWI military records held by the Archives. The additional background information provides an added bonus.

The National Archives’ records include over 10,000 individual unit war diaries cover all operational theatres of the British Army, while original trench maps illustrates areas from the Western Front to Salonica, Gallipoli to Mesopotamia, Palestine to Italy. Information in this book covers such topics as “details of campaign medals, gallantry and meritorious service records, prisoner of war debriefs, courts material and casualty lists.” Records held cover the RAF, the Royal Flying Corps, the WAAC, the Dominion Forces, the Indian Army, as well as auxiliary and nursing services. Added details, such as photographs and sample documents, help complete the book.

Note: The British National Archives are no longer in the “publishing” business. First World War Army Service Records and other books previously published by the National Archives are in limited supply and may not be available in the future.


Table of Contents

Using the National Archives


1 — Records of Those Who Served in the First World War

2 — Officers’ Records of Service

  • Types of Commissions
  • WO 338
  • WO 374
  • Royal Army Medical Corps (Temporary) Commissions
  • Other Record Series
  • The Army List
  • Other Printed Lists
  • Disability Pension Files (PIN 26)
  • The King’s African Rifles and West African Frontier Force

3 — Other Ranks’ Records of Service

  • The “Burnt Records” (WO 363)
  • The “Unburnt Records” (WO364)
  • Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WO 398)
  • Digital Access to WO 363, WO 364 and WO 398
  • Household Cavalry Records (WO 400)
  • The Ministry of Pensions Records (PIN 62)
  • Files of Dead Chelsea Pensioners (WO 324)
  • The King’s African Rifle and West African Frontier Force
  • The British West Indies Regiment
  • The Macedonian Mule Corps

4 — Nurses

  • Records of Service
  • Medals
  • Disability Pensions (PIN 26)
  • The Nursing Times

5 — Indian Army Records of Service

  • Officers
  • The Indian Army List
  • Other Ranks

6 — Records of Service of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force

  • RFC and RAF Officers
  • RFC Other Ranks
  • RAF Other Ranks
  • Women’s Royal Air Force

7 – Unit War Diaries and Operational Records

  • Army Structures
  • Unit War Diaries (WO 95)
  • War Diary Extracts in WO 154
  • Military Headquarters Papers and Correspndence (WO 158)
  • Intelligence Summaries (WO 157)
  • War Office Registered Files: General Series (WO 32)
  • War Office Directorate of Military Operations (WO 106)
  • The Official Historian’s Papers
  • Printed Sources
  • Embarkation and Disembarkation Records
  • Army Orders
  • Photographs

8 — Trench and Other Maps

  • Trench Maps
  • How to Use Trench Maps
  • Military Headquarters Maps (WO 153)
  • Other Maps

9 — Campaign Medals

  • Medals and Silver War Badge
  • Medal Index Cards
  • Medal Rolls
  • How to Use the Medal Records
  • Operational Theatres of War 1914–20: Alphanumeric Codes
  • Regimental Order of Precedures

10 — Awards for Gallantry and Meritorious Service

  • The Process
  • Recommendations
  • Citations
  • The London Gazette
  • Colonial and Dominion Gazettes
  • The Victoria Cross
  • The Distinguished Service Order
  • The Military Cross
  • The Distinguished Conduct Medal
  • The Military Medal
  • The Meritorious Service Medal
  • Mentioned in Despatches
  • The Royal Red Cross
  • Indian Army Awards
  • Orders of Chivalry
  • Foreign Awards

11 — Court Martial

  • Courts Martial Proceedings (WO 71)
  • Registers of Courts Martial
  • Other Courts Martial Records
  • Published Sources

12 — Prisoners of War

  • WO 161
  • Repatriation Reports
  • Other Sources

13 — Casualties and War Dead

  • Hospital Records
  • Disability Pensions
  • War Dead
  • Decreased Soldiers’ Effects
  • Widows’ and Dependents’ Pensions
  • The Memorial Plaque and Scroll
  • Death Certificates

14 — Records of the Dominion Forces

  • Operational Records
  • Records of Service at the National Archives
  • Records of Service held Abroad

15 — Records Held Outside the National Archives

  • Absent Voters Lists
  • Newspapers
  • Other Archives

16 — Research Techniques

  • How to Begin
  • Joining the Army and Changing Units
  • Researching Other Ranks
  • Regimental Numbers
  • Researching an Officer
  • RFC and RAF
  • Finding Unit War Diaries
  • Ranks
  • Medal Index Card Remarks Box

Appendix 1 Regimental Order of Precedence

Appendix 2 Regional Record Offices

Appendix 3 Post-First World War Records of Service

Further Reading and Websites



Order a copy, while supplies are still available, of First World War Army Service Records: A Guide for Family Historians from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: TNA10.

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The following announcement was received from Julie Hill at Parent Company Inflection Awarded Project to Make 1940 Census Records Free to the Public

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Nov. 17, 2011 —, the website that makes discovering your family history simple and affordable, has joined in partnership with the National Archives of the United States to provide the public with free digital access to the 1940 Federal Population Census beginning on April 2, 2012. In close collaboration with the National Archives, will build a website for researchers to browse, view, and download images from the 1940 Census, the most important collection of newly released U.S. genealogy records in a decade. is pleased to contribute to this momentous project, allowing researchers to digitally access the latest release of the U.S. Federal Population Census, the ultimate resource for family historians, at no cost. Census day occurred April 1, 1940 and due to the 72-year privacy restriction these records will be available to the public for the first time in 2012.

CEO Matthew Monahan said, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in this historic moment and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the advancement of online genealogy research. Access to 1940 Census records will allow researchers to discover new family members and previously unknown connections to the past. We’re happy to have the opportunity to facilitate the discovery of these records, which document over 130 million U.S. residents, more than any previous U.S. Census.”

The 1940 Census will be available to the public April 2, 2012 at 9:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Time) on a new website created in collaboration between and the National Archives. The collection will consist of 3.8 million images that the National Archives scanned from over four thousand rolls of microfilm. Public access to the images will not require payment or registration, and will be available to any person with internet access. The name and web address of the website will be announced at a later date.

Chief Digital Access Strategist for the National Archives Pamela Wright notes, “The importance of the 1940 Census cannot be underestimated. At the National Archives, we have been preparing for the launch of these records for years. We are working closely with Inflection to ensure researchers will be able to search the 1940 Census when it opens next year.” At launch, researchers will be able to search the 1940 Census by address, Enumeration District (ED), and geographic location. Researchers will be able to browse images by ED number directly, or use address or geographic information to locate the appropriate census schedule.

To learn more about and the National Archives bringing the 1940 Census online, please visit The National Archives also has published a number of helpful resources available to researchers on their website, which can help you to prepare to most effectively search the 1940 Census on April 2nd. As the project progresses, updates and additional information will be posted at Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #1940Census.

About is the website that makes family history simple and affordable. is owned and operated by Inflection a data commerce company headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley. It has proven its leadership in the family history industry through its commitment to building powerful, easy to use tools, and helping researchers discover new family connections with its growing database of over 1.5 billion records. parent company Inflection was chosen by the National Archives to host the 1940 Census. Learn more about the project at

About the National Archives
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives is a public trust upon which our democracy depends, ensuring access to essential evidence that protects the rights of American citizens, documents the actions of the government, and reveals the evolving national experience. Visit

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Newcastle Library Offers Complete Set of GRO Records for Genealogy Research

Newcastle becomes one of only seven locations throughout all of England and Wales to offer a full set of records from the General Register Office (GRO). An article posted on provides details:

by Tom Mullen, Evening Chronicle

FAMILY history buffs can take advantage of an exciting new scheme on Tyneside.

Long-lost family members can be traced for the first time as a new genealogy system is unveiled in Newcastle.

The city is to become one of only seven sites across England and Wales to offer a full set of records from the General Register Office (GRO).

Previously, the nearest location for tracing family trees was more than 150 miles away in Manchester.

Now – as the trend for tracing long-lost relatives and genealogy soars – history enthusiasts can access the files on Tyneside.

READ the FULL ARTICLE (click here)

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Getting the Most, and Then a Little More, from Google Earth

Earlier in the week, we looked at a DVD from Lisa Louise Cook entitled Google Earth for Genealogy, Volume I. As mentioned, the DVD is part of a set. Here, we look at Volume II.

One of the many great tools, beside web searches, provided by Google is Google Earth. But how can Google Earth help you as a genealogist. Lisa Louise Cooke, producer and host of the popular Genealogy Gems Podcast, has a developed a tutorial video series called Google Earth for Genealogy. The video series is a two volume DVD set.

Volume II provides step-by-step instructions to the following:

  • Pinpoint Property
  • Locate Original Land Surveys
  • Customize Place Marks
  • Create and Share Family History Tours
  • Ad Video to Maps
  • Incorporate 3D Models
  • Ad Focus with Polygons and Paths

The DVD also includes:

  • Introduction Video
  • Website Links
  • Access to Bonus Podcast Interview
  • Downloadable Images

Anyone interested in expanding their use of Google Earth in a fun way while adding a new level of interest to their genealogy research should watch these great instructional videos.

Get your copy from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: LU03.

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The NYGBS Elects Two New Fellows: Suzanne McVetty & Meldon J. Wolfgang III

The following News Release was received from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. This is exciting news. I can’t think of two more deserving people… Cool.

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society announces the election of two leading New York genealogists as Fellows of the Genealogical and Biographical Society (FGBS).

The designation of Fellow of the Genealogical and Biographical Society, the oldest such designation in the genealogical field in the nation, is reserved for people who have contributed to New York genealogical research, writing, speaking, and advocacy at the highest level of proficiency. There are currently fourteen Fellows.

Suzanne McVetty, who became a Certified Genealogist in 1987, has been researching and writing family histories for over twenty-five years. She specializes in New York City and Long Island subjects. She also has experience searching for missing heirs in partnership with trusts and estates attorneys. She has written articles for leading genealogical publications, has written research guides for the New York Researcher and the Society’s website, and has spoken at many regional and national genealogical conferences. Her topics include Using Land Records in Genealogical Research, Using Probate Records in Genealogical Research; Bright Lights- Urban Research; and Vital Records: Building Blocks of Genealogical Research.

She has served as president of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, treasurer of the Association of Professional Genealogists, a volunteer at the National Archives Northeast Region, and for over twenty years was chairperson of the Nassau Genealogy Workshop. For 16 years she has served on the Education Committee of the NYG&B and regularly serves as an expert consultant at Society programs, including the biennial “Research in Albany” program.

Meldon J. Wolfgang III is a native of Albany, NY, and the founder-owner of Jonathan Sheppard Books. Mr. Wolfgang has been a genealogist since the 1960s and has a national reputation as a scholar and speaker on a wide range of genealogical topics. He has published articles on family history in national publications, and since 2005 he has written the genealogy column for New York Archives, the quarterly publication of the New York State Archives Partnership Trust. His wide-range of speaking topics includes Uncommon Research Tools; Deconstructing City Directories; Using Archival Collections in the 21st Century; Beyond the Basics for Using Newspapers in Genealogical Research; Prosopography, Cluster Studies, and Record Linkage Techniques; Tracing German Ancestors in Europe; Germans and German-Americans in 19th Century America; and Using Maps in Genealogical Research.

He served as Commissioner of Human Resources for the city of Albany, a member of the Albany Historic Sites Commission and a Trustee of the Albany County Historical Society. He also served as a trustee of the Albany Public Library, was president of the Upper Hudson Library System and was one of the original appointed trustees of the joint Albany City-County Archives.

Mr. Wolfgang received his undergraduate degree from McGill University in Montreal and completed further graduate study at Columbia University. He serves on the Education Committee of the NYG&B and on the Advisory Board of the New York Family History School.

About the NYG&B
The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society has been the authoritative source for research on New York families and families with New York connections since 1869. By offering educational programs, scholarly and informational publications, and online resources, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society helps people of all backgrounds build connections with their families and their communities, ¬ especially those linked to New York City, State, and region ¬ and to appreciate their families’ experience in the broader context of American history. The NYG&B maintains an eLibrary of digital material, including the entire run of its quarterly scholarly journal The NYG&B Record, for its members at

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Dennis C. Brimhall will Succeed Jay L. Verkler as CEO of FamilySearch

SALT LAKE CITY —November 15, 2011: FamilySearch International announced today a change in its chief executive officer. Effective January 2, 2012, Dennis C. Brimhall will succeed Jay L. Verkler as CEO of FamilySearch. Mr. Verkler will continue in a consulting capacity for a few months to ensure a smooth transition.

It is the business culture and practice of FamilySearch, as an organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to regularly rotate its senior leaders. This pattern assures the forward momentum of its core programs.

Over the past decade under Mr. Verkler’s leadership, FamilySearch has shifted its vast stores of genealogical records and resources to a digital, worldwide, internet-based focus. FamilySearch has developed partnerships with many genealogy and technology industry organizations, helping form a broad and deep industry community including companies, societies, and archives.

FamilySearch has helped make the world’s historic records easier to access online, publishing over 2.4 billion names in historic records at, including 870 collections from over 50 countries indexed by over 250,000 volunteers. During this period, FamilySearch has also created an unprecedented, free global service organization that engages over 70,000 volunteers who provide needed local and online support to research patrons and the genealogical community. FamilySearch has pioneered genealogical search, record linkage, imaging, crowd-sourcing, and digital preservation technologies.

“It has been a career highlight for me to work in such a significant and meaningful effort,” said Jay L. Verkler regarding his time at FamilySearch’s helm. “I have had the privilege to work with countless great individuals, organizations, and companies, all striving to provide the best of user experiences.”

Mr. Brimhall comes to FamilySearch with a deep background in management. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He recently served for 17 years as president and CEO of the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver from 1988 until 2005. Since then Mr. Brimhall has held positions of increasing responsibility in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“I am very excited to help lead the work of FamilySearch, to continue the great things that have been done and move forward in new directions as appropriate,” said Brimhall. “FamilySearch provides services to millions of people worldwide. We really need to understand our customers’ needs and satisfy them. Our focus will be to ensure that FamilySearch’s customer experiences are really first rate.”

FamilySearch looks forward to further strengthening its commitment to the global genealogical community, to publishing and digitizing the world’s records, and encouraging all people to discover, preserve, and share their family histories.

About FamilySearch
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer–driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessor organizations have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The above news release was received from

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