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The Humorous Underside of Genealogy

In a recent article titled “The Humorous Side of Genealogy,” I reviewed the book Collecting Dead Relatives. The book, a collection of humorous stories involving real event from years of the authors genealogy research, will touch the funny bone of any family historian. Laverne Galeener-Moore’s stories are so enlivening and were so well received, she wrote a second book, Further Undertakings of a Dead Relative Collector.

Like her first book, this second book of funny stories will have you in stitches. “With a swipe at foreigners, computer freaks, reluctant letter-writers, and certain best-forgotten ancestors—not to mention the hell on earth when the microfilm reader is on the fritz—” Moore takes the reader deep inside the struggles every genealogist faces and finds a way to see the bright side of life; though, she may not have thought these situations funny at the time. The more experience you have as a researcher the more you will appreciate the witty humor found in these stories.

Take another break from your research and have a laugh, reading Further Undertakings of a Dead Relative Collector.


Table of Contents


Catarrh of bile ducts Can Lay You Low

Oh, Granny, Where Can Your Ashes Be?

Scatter! It’s a Computer!

Will the D.O.O.D.O.O. Replace the D.A.R.?

Curses! An Unidentified Photograph!

So Your BODENSCHATZ Came from Rugenwaldermundenbergerfurt?

GAS Attacks Salt Lake City

Duck! It’s a Minié Ball!

How to Make Sure Your Goal is Showing

Sew Those So-and-Sos Into a Quilt

Librarians Runnin’ Wild

Cruising the Ohio 200 Years Later

Mail Monomania

Words to Set You Apart (Probably Far Apart)


Add this great stocking stuffer to your wish list, order Further Undertakings of a Dead Relative Collector from Family Roots Publishing Company; Item #: GPC2106.

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Finding Civil War Era Records for Soldiers and Civilians

There are so many fantastic books we would like to review for you on this blog. Many titles are new, so we want to let you know about them immediately, while others are older but worthy of examining in greater detail because their importance does not fade with time. So it is with Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era: Online and Published Military or Civilian Name Lists, 1861-1869, and Post-War Veteran Lists, by Dollarhide.

In this book, published in 2009, Dollarhide looks past the traditional soldier and regiment records and examines documents relating to the population as a whole. He helps readers identify where to look and how to find resources for anyone living during the decade of 1861–1869. This book is a guide to the various records which list names of both soldiers and civilians. Perhaps more than any other war in American history, did the Civil War touch the lives of every citizen, regardless of race, age, or location. For this reason has Dollarhide written this book to help locate individuals and families and not just the soldiers who fought in the war.

The book is broken into four parts. Part I is an introduction to the war. From there, this book takes a unique twist. Dollarhide categories records into 20 sets, or groups. Each “research group” covers a unique record set. There are 10 research groups for nationwide resources and 10 for statewide resources. Parts III and IV provide a bibliography as well as additional resources for county and local records. Adding to the book is a forward by this site’s own Leland Meitzler.


Table of Contents


Part 1 – Introduction to the Civil War Era

Free vs. Slave States, Jurisdiction


Part 2 – Descriptions and Examples of Resource Groups Available

Nationwide Resource Groups

RG 1 – Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (Online Database)

RG 2 – American Civil War Research

RG 3 – War of the Rebellion: Official Records

RG 4 – Indexes to Pension Files, 1861-1934

RG 5 – 1883 List of U.S. Pensioners on the Roll

RG 6 – 1890 Federal Census, Union Veterans

RG 7 – Roll of Honor & Veteran Burials

RG 8 – 1865-1867 Confederate Amnesty Papers – Presidential Pardons

RG 9 – Consolidated Lists of Confederate Soldiers & United Confederate Veterans

RG 10 – Index to Compiled Services Records Union Regulars, Vet. Reserves, Colored

Statewide Resource Groups:

RG 11 – Compiled Service Records (by state)

RG 12 – Index to Compiled Service Records

RG 13 – 1861-1869 & 1885-1945 State Censuses

RG 14 – 1861-1869 & 1890-1910 Name Lists

RG 15 – 1862-1869 Internal Revenue Assessments

RG 16 – Statewide Militia Lists

RG 17 – Confederate Pension Applications, Name Lists & Veteran Censuses

RG 18 – Indexes to Statewide Records

RG 19 – Statewide Lists of Veteran Burials

RG 20 – State Adjutant General Reports

Table 1 – Summary of Resource Groups Available for Each State


Part III – Statewide Name Lists, 1861-1869 & Post-War Veteran Lists

Online and Published Resources by State/Territory

[complete list of states and territories, listed alphabetically]


Part IV – The Best Civil War Resource Centers for Local & County Research

Inventory local & county name lists online

Inventory the top six Civil War resource centers

  • Family History Library, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Allen County Public Library, Ft. Wayne, IN
  • Library of Congress, Washington, DC
  • U.S. Army Unit Histories, Carlisle Barracks, PA
  • Confederate Unit Histories, Hill College, TX
  • Civil War Park & Historic Sites, National Parks Service


While we have reviewed many fantastic and widely popular books over the years, few authors have repeatedly and as prolifically caught the attention of genealogist like William Dollarhide. Add to your Dollarhide collection with Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era: Online and Published Military or Civilian Name Lists, 1861-1869, and Post-War Veteran Lists, from Family Roots Publishing; Item #:FR0113.

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The Emancipation Proclamation Leaves on Tour From the National Achieves

As part of the country’s sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War, the National archives has put together a traveling multimedia exhibit. The Tennessee State Museum will host this special exhibit from February 12 (Lincoln’s Birthday), 2013, until September 2, 2013. The highlight of the exhibit will be a six-day [exact dates to be determined] showing of the Emancipation Proclamation. This fragile document rarely leave the National Archives, and is limited to the amount of light exposure allowed. An article in The Murfreesboro Post outlines the details:

Tennessee State Museum to display Emancipation Proclamation

Posted: Monday, December 12, 2011 2:43 pm

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the Tennessee State Museum will be the only stop in the Southeast of an unprecedented tour and display of the Emancipation Proclamation, the document that altered the course of U.S. history and dramatically changed the lives of African-Americans by proclaiming freedom for millions of slaves.

The fragile manuscript signed by Pres. Abraham Lincoln in 1863 can only be exposed to light for 72 hours while in Tennessee. The document will be displayed at intervals during a to-be-determined six-day period in 2013 marking the 150th anniversary of its signing.

The tour of the historic decree, which rarely leaves the National Archives in Washington D.C., is taking place in conjunction with the acclaimed National Archives multimedia exhibit Discovering the Civil War, which will open at the state museum on Feb. 12, 2013 – Lincoln’s birthday – and continue through Sept. 2, 2013.

Click here to read the full article

The exhibit is currently on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science; running until April 29, 2012. The Houston Museum will also have six days in which to show the Emancipation Proclamation, which will happen from February 16 to February 21, 9 am – 9 pm. For more details about the Proclamation display and the entire exhibit, visit the Houston Museum’s website.

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Flip Books Help Researchers Decipher Gothic Records

Deciphering Gothic Records is a great little flip book designed to help those with German ancestry read and understand older German documents and handwriting. The books contents include information and words common to traditional vital records; including; birth, christenings, marriages, deaths, and burials.

Fay S. Dearden created Deciphering Gothic Records: Useful Hints for Helping You Read “Old German” Script to provide the researcher with common alphabet variations, German words, names, Latin terms, and abbreviations in Gothic records. Printed on cardstock and measuring in at 4.25″ x 9″ this little guide is small enough and tough enough to toss in bag or purse and take with you to the library. Spiral bound on the top also makes it easy to read and use while researching.


Contents include:

  • Complete alphabet, with both lower and uppercase, letter variations
  • Symbols
  • Common words in German and English, with handwritten examples for:
  • Birth records
  • Marriage records
  • Death records
  • Abbreviations in both Gothic and Latin (English)
  • Latin terms
  • Illness related terms
  • Titles and occupations
  • Common German names


Add this great guide as an added bonus to any order at Family Roots Publishing. Deciphering Gothic Records: Useful Hints for Helping You Read “Old German” Script, Item #:FTP3.

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Salt Lake Christmas Tour……. post-2011 tour peek!

Despite all the hullaballo with RootsTech that Leland had to deal with, the 27th annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour was a huge and resounding success! First off, there was no snow and the days were sunny and bright (but cold). Of the 94 people attending most found new ancestors and certainly they found new cousins and new friends.

The 2011 tour was both the worst and the best tour ever. It was the worst ever because the husband of an elderly New Jersey couple suffered a heart attack in the mens’ room of the cafeteria and passed away. It was the best tour ever because of what I said above. Here are some of the comments gleaned from the tour critiques filled out at our Farewell Social….

Where both Alan N. from Iowa and Melonie L. from Washington won a free 2-night stay gifted by the Plaza Hotel!!

“The Christmas Tour is the best! I filled in gaps in many of my families! The professionals gave me insights to new roads of research. I loved the cheerfulness early in the morning. I finally learned FamilySearch and the WIKI. I loved all the choices at breakfast! The daily bulletin board (that Donna has in the hotel lobby) kept me on track. As a newbie, I was so impressed with the dedication of everyone who helped to make the week a blast for me. I made a 30-year breakthrough! My week’s highlight was having my sister with me. The classes introduced me to new sources. I’m related to Louis VII of France! I learned how to research in a whole new area. Thanks for all the organizing, enthusiasm and great ideas. I went to four of the expert helpers and got more homework that I had time for. I went back several generations on my mom’s side. My husband became interested in genealogy!! I loved Thomas’ classes and learned so much from him. I learned that FamilySearch is really a goldmine for research. The highlight of my week was finding my ancestor in Germany. I really enjoyed being able to use all the subscription databases there in the Family History Library. Thank you, Arlene Eakle, for your help!

Posted by a grateful Mother Hen, Donna

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German Churches in New York Help Descendents Find Links to the Old Country

For many genealogists researching their immigrant ancestors, one of the most difficult tasks may be in identifying in what city their ancestor lived in or was born in before coming to America. While many filed proper birth, marriage, and death certificates once in the U.S., these records usually did not provide birth places in the home country. For descendants of German ancestors, this can be particularly difficult problem since for the better part of history Germany lacked any type of national-level vital record keeping. Without a specific city or town name, tracing ancestors to their point of origin within Germany could be nearly impossible. One potential saving grace for researchers are church records.

During the mid-1800s, many cities saw growth amongst their German immigrant populations, and no city grew as quickly as New York. In fact, by the late 1800s,  Berlin and Vienna were the only cities in the world with larger populations of Germans than New York. With its large German population and strong Christian heritage, German churches popped up all over the city. The German Churches of Metropolitan New York: A Research Guide, by Richard Haberstroh, was written to help researchers make the connection between their immigrant ancestors and the cities from wince they came. Where traditional vital records fail to identify the immigrants point of origin, many church records provide the desired information.

The book is broken into two main sections. The first part examines the German-American religions and related communities; including, the various Christian denominations and aspects of German church records. Part II is a compendium of German churches in the Metropolitan New York area. In all Dr. Haberstroh has identified over 400 Protestant and Catholic churches which have served the German communities in the present five boroughs of New York City, as well as Jersey City and Hoboken, from the 1600s to the present.

For each church, the reader is provide with the year founded, location(s), whereabouts of records, and in the case of Protestant churches, names of pastors. There are illustrations of selected churches and church records. Maps assist the researcher in identifying churches in a particular neighborhood at given dates. Indexes to church names and Protestant pastors complete this indispensable guide.


Table of Contents


Part I: Aspects of German-American Religions and Communities

  • Christian Denominations in Germany
  • German-American Communities and Churches in Metropolitan New York
  • The Nature of German Church Records

Part II: Compendium of German Churches in Metropolitan New York

  • Description of the Compendium
  • Compendium of German Churches
  • Church Location Maps


Index to Churches

Index to Protestant Pastors


Order The German Churches of Metropolitan New York: A Research Guide from Family Root Publishing; Item #:NYGS02.

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Book Venders Banned from the RootsTech Exhibit Hall

UPDATE – Monday, December 12; 7:30 am: I got a call from Gordon Clarke with RootsTech 2012 this morning. They are adding a few more booths to the exhibit hall. I’ve been offered three. The FRPC booth will be smaller than usual, but we will be allowed to be there – so it looks like you will see some books at RootsTech after all.

Original Blog Post:
After waiting patiently for confirmation that Family Roots Publishing Company would again be exhibiting at RootsTech 2012, I received the following message from the RootsTech Exhibit Hall Coordinator on Friday morning.


RootsTech exhibit hall is for technically related products and services. We are purposefully not accepting applications from genealogical studies, book publishers, book resellers or arts and crafts dealers.
Please call to discuss if you like.

Gordon Clarke
RootsTech Exhibit Hall Coordinator

The note came as a shock, since the Family Roots Publishing booth at RootsTech 2011 was one of the busiest in the exhibit hall. Now – with RootsTech on the horizon, and just a few weeks away, I find that we are no longer wanted. My first question was, why didn’t someone tell us this months ago? Why were we not told this before we made our investments, based upon the mistaken belief that our services were needed and appreciated? It’s my guess that the banning of publishers has been known for some time – but I may be wrong.

Ed Zapletel, with Moorshead Magazines Ltd, and the publisher of Internet Genealogy Magazine, shot me an email shortly after having received the same note from the RootsTech folks. He went so far as to make the phone call the the Exhibit Hall Coordinator, with seemingly no positive effect.

This issue certainly can’t be a matter of space. The Salt Palace is massive. Even with all the exhibits there last year, there was room in the building for many more.

I guess the upshot of all this is that books aren’t needed anymore. However, as a publisher for the last 29 years, I can testify that we’re selling more genealogy-related books now than any time in the last three decades. And speaking of technology, many of these books have a tech aspect to them. No new book is being written on the subject that doesn’t include hundreds of references to the Internet, and the new technologies that are emerging. And there’s a guidebook being published for all aspects of Internet genealogy research. We have books on Google, FamilySearch, RootsMagic, Legacy, etc. – and many more in production.

Most genealogy book publishers and venders sell tech products besides. Family Roots Publishing markets Flip-Pal scanners, and numerous softwares, DVDS, and CD-ROM products.

I have no idea how many book venders had applied for booths at RootsTech. I do know that my friend, Martha Mercer, with Maia’s Books, planned to come. The Salt Lake Plaza Hotel will have a booth at RootsTech 2012 however. They have free wireless Internet available throughout the hotel – and that’s pretty high-tech.

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Children’s Book Seeks the Heart of Family History

Evie Finds Her Family Tree

Overhearing “mom and dad” talk about the family tree, Evie sets out to discover just what tree is the family tree. From holly and magnolia to maple and oak, Evie searches for just the right tree.

Evie Finds Her Family Tree is a short children’s story about a young girl learning to identify the differences in her own unique family tree. The illustrated story book come complete with a 32” x 24” illustrated family tree chart that children can fill in using their own family information.

This book provides a great opportunity for mom and dad or grandma and grandpa to help get their children interested in family history. On your next movie night try something different. What better quality time can you spend with a young child then reading a book and learning about a few ancestors. Most children really just wants some personal attention from their parents and grandparents, and this is the ideal way to give it to them.


Give Evie Finds Her Family Tree as a gift this Christmas. Order today from Family Roots Publishing; Item #IHS010.

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Truth Teller Ads Used to Find Irish Immigrants

The introduction of Voice of the Irish Immigrant provides an excellent synopsis of Irish immigration to the United States. The earlier immigrants tended to be middle and upper class families, looking to maintain their standard of living. Later immigrants, especially after 1820, tended to come more from the working class. Often these immigrants could not afford to travel as a family. Instead, individuals often came alone to seek work and help raise the monies necessary for the remaining family members to immigrate.

Economics, travel variations, and other events led to many immigrants losing touch with their various family members. With no Google or other easy way to find people, some turned to posting personals in the newspaper in an attempt to find their relatives. The full title for this book is Voices of the Irish Immigrant: Information Wanted Ads In Truth Teller New York City 1825-1844.

The Truth Teller was New York’s first Catholic newspaper, established in 1825. As many of the working class Irish were Catholic, it was reasonable for them to use the local Catholic newspaper to publish their “information wanted” ads. Collectively these ads mention the names of thousands of immigrants living all over North America. In addition, the ads name over 1,000 places of origin in Ireland. All ads are organized by date with indexes for individual names, place names in the U.S., place name in Ireland, and place names outside of the U.S. or Ireland.

Genealogists will delight in the information this book can offer about Irish immigrants. Here are a couple of examples randomly selected from the book:

“Of Patrick and Timothy Foley sons of Daniel Foley, of BALLEYVALLEY [BALLYVELLY], COUNTY KERRY, IRELAND, who came to the UNITED STATES in the year 1834. Any information respecting them will be thankfully acknowledged by their cousins James, Daniel, and John Foley, who live in GALENA, DAVIES COUNTY, ILLINOIS.”

“Of Margaret Dowlan, a native of the city of NEW YORK, who [married] in the year 1817, Patrick Dowlan, a native of Ireland then residing in NEW YORK. The maiden name of said Margaret Dowlan was Coyle. Should this meet her eye, or that of any person who knew her, or can give any information respecting her, and whether she is dead or alive, they will serve the cause of humanity and gratify the anxious feelings of her aged father by addressing a Letter to Mr. [Peter] Coyle, Post Master, VAN BUREN, GRANT COUNTY, WISCONSIN TERRITORY.”

I found these fun to read just to see the difference in writing style and manner of expression used back then compared to today.

Order a copy of Voices of the Irish Immigrant: Information Wanted Ads In Truth Teller New York City 1825-1844 from Family Roots Publishing; Item #:NYGS01.

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A Great Idea – Society Members Sharing Their Family History Stories

Next week the members of the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society will feature a member’s favorite at their monthly meeting. They will host a “Members Share” segment in their meeting. See this article posted by Glenn Avolio in the Noozhawk:

…Three members will share stories of interest found in their research.

Jim Wilson will present “Aha! – Uh-oh,” which deals with the times when the thrill of an aha! moment may not turn out to be quite what is expected. Bruce McIver will share a fascinating story of one of his ancestors in “Agnes McIver: The Story of a Quarrier’s Orphan” and Robert Lynn will give a history of Castle Garden, the precursor of Ellis Island…

Click here to read the full article

Like a proud parent who cannot wait to share the latest adventures and successes of their children, many genealogists are just aching to share stories of their ancestors and of their research successes. Setting aside time in the occasional genealogical society meeting to share these stories seems a great way to bring people closer together while providing renewed motivation to research.

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Learning About Georgia Land Lottery Research

Between 1805 and 1833 Georgia distributed three fourths of its public land through lotteries. Georgia Land Lottery Research is the genealogist’s guide to understanding and researching these lotteries. This book provides an education to the lottery process, the grid survey system, using land lot numbers, land grants, and other related records. The book is also a guide to researching the land lotteries on site at the Georgia Archives.

Chapters in this book build on each other. Early chapters provide an introduction and basic understanding of the lottery process. Research strategies are then provided for common research goals. Later chapters discuss major elements in greater detail. Ultimately, topics center around records for participants, lottery winners, grants, and plats. The final chapter is broken out by lottery and includes key facts, maps, and records for each original land lottery county.

Author Paul K. Graham is an award winning author and expert in Georgia land history. He works as  a genealogist at ProGenealogists, a division of and has spent nearly 10 years studying the subject; including, earning a Master of Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University.


Table of Contents




The Land Lotteries

Land Lottery Surveys

Research Strategies


Fortunate Drawers


Plats and Maps

Beyond the Basics

  • 1805 Land Lottery
  • 1807 Land Lottery
  • 1820 Land Lottery
  • 1821 Land Lottery
  • 1827 Land Lottery
  • 1832 Land Lottery
  • 1832 Gold Lottery
  • 1833 Fractions Lottery



Order a copy of Georgia Land Lottery Research from Family Roots Publishing; Item #:GAGS04.

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New at

New records were added to this week from Canada, Estonia, Jamaica, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, and the U.S. Begin searching for your ancestors now at .

Searchable records on are made possible by thousands of volunteers from around the world who transcribe (index) the information from handwritten records to make them easily searchable by computer. More volunteers are needed—particularly those who can read foreign languages—to help accelerate this great initiative to preserve and provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records. To learn more about the FamilySearch indexing program, visit

Collection – Records – Images – Comments






South Korea


United States

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 predecessors 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


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Give “Google Your Family Tree” for Christmas and Get a Free Upgrade to the 2nd Edition

Family Roots Publishing is offering a great Christmas promotional for Google Your Family Tree. The book has been previously reviewed on this sites (click here to read) and continues to be a popular title. Author Daniel M. Lynch is working diligently on a second edition of the book due out next year. However FRP doesn’t think you should have to wait. Instead, they are offering the following great deal now:

Buy Google Your Family Tree for Christmas and get $5 off, free shipping, AND a coupon for a FREE copy of the second edition when released during the first quarter of 2012.

The upgrade will be provided directly by the author and requires a $6.95 shipping and handling fee. You are saving more than that by purchasing the book now at a discount and taking advantage of FRP’s free shipping for Christmas.

To order Google Your Family Tree on FRP’s special Christmas promotion, just click here. Item #: DL01.

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The RootsTech 2012 Developer Challenge

The following announcement was received from RootsTech 2012.

Solve a Family History Challege and Win $5,000!

Have you recently been doing something family or genealogy-related and thought, “There should be an app for that!”? Now is your chance. Solving that problem and entering the RootsTech 2012 Developer Challenge could earn you $5,000.

Tens of millions of people around the world are interested in some facet of family history. These people need software solutions—whether on the desktop, online, or through mobile delivery—that help them engage and succeed in their efforts to discover, preserve, and share their family history. RootsTech will reward developers who introduce the most innovative new concepts to family history with $10,000 in cash rewards and increased visibility.

Visit the Developer Challenge page on to find out more about rules, prizes and deadlines. Developers wishing to enter the challenge must register by January 1, 2012 but actual submissions are not due until January 15. Spread the word and register today!

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Job Opening for a Customer Service Representative at Family Tree DNA

The following job opening was received from APG:

Customer Service Representative, Family Tree DNA

Work in the exciting and dynamic field of genetic genealogy! Family Tree DNA provides people with innovative ways to discover their past through genetic testing. Family Tree DNA was the first to offer genetic testing for genealogy and has been at the forefront of this field for over 11 years.

Qualifications: Several years of customer service experience required. Experience with genealogy is a plus! Applicants should be computer savvy, detail-oriented, and organized. Applicants should also have strong communication skills, an interest in learning new things, and the capacity for multitasking and problem-solving in a fast-paced environment. We will provide on-the-job training.

Primary duties will include: answering phone calls and e-mails, explaining DNA tests for genealogy and ancestry, interpreting test results.

Benefits include: health insurance, dental insurance, paid vacation.

Pay: Starting at $28,000/yr
Job Function: Communication
Employer: Family Tree DNA
Requisition #: IS04/11
Position Title: Customer Service Representative
Number of Openings: 1
Salary Range: Starting at $28,000 per year
Work Type: Full Time, 8am-5pm M-F
Duration: Permanent Position
Approximate Hours Per Week: 40
Desired Start Date: Immediate
Travel Percentage: No Travel
Job Location(s): Houston, Texas United States
Resume Receipt: Email resume and cover letter to

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