Rhineland Map Guides Now Shipping

It’s taken a while to get back into production, but the Map Guide to German Parish Registers is again being authored by Kevan Hansen, with the three Rhineland volumes (11 through 13) coming off the press first.

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Family Roots Publishing is now shipping German Map Guide Volume 11 – which covers the Regierungsbezirks of Aachen and Düsseldorf – in both Soft cover and Hard cover.
Also shipping is German Map Guide Volume 12 – covering Regierungsbezirks Köln and Koblenz – in Soft cover. We will be shipping the Hard bound volumes on Wednesday, May 9.
The Rhineland III volume is in final edit and will be shipping soon.
Please note that this is a reconstructed post from May 6, 2007.

Ground-breaking for the New Mid-West Genealogy Center of the Mid-Continent Library

They broke ground for the new Mid-Continent Library’s Mid-West Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri, yesterday. The new 52,000 square foot facility may rival the famed Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, when finished. Congratulations to my friends, Janice Schulz, Debbie Strodtman and the staff at the Mid-Continent Library, as well as all those thousands of researchers who are waiting to do research in this new facility.
Please note that this is a reconstructed post from May 5, 2007.

United States Ports Passenger Lists Now Available at Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com has announced that it has added to its online service all readily available U.S. passenger lists from 1820 to 1960. Wow! This is a lot of data. I’m not surprised, as I spent days reviewing the immigration digital data sites at Ancestry.com for the Sept-Oct issue of the Net Family History section in the Genealogical Helper. I realized as I wrote the reviews that Ancestry.com had posted a lot more data than I previously knew about.

“More than 100 Million Names on All Readily Available U.S. Passenger Lists from 1820 – 1960; Includes the Complete Ellis Island Collection, as well as Records from Over 100 Other U.S. Ports of Arrival.

“PROVO, UTAH – November 9, 2006Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced that it has added to its online service all readily available U.S. passenger lists from 1820 to 1960. An estimated 85 percent of Americans have an immigrant ancestor included in the passenger list collection which covers the height of American immigration, making Ancestry.com the only source for the largest compilation of passenger list records available and fully searchable online. … The passenger list collection, which took more than three years to digitize and transcribe, celebrates the courage, hopes, fears and memories of more than 100 million passengers…

“Until the completion of this project, U.S. passenger list records could only be found on microfilm or in limited selections online at various dispersed locations such as libraries and museums across the nation. For the first time, people can look to a single centralized source online to find all readily available passenger list records. More than 100 American ports of arrival are represented in the compilation including the entire collection of passenger list records (1892-1957) from Ellis Island, a historic landmark and icon of immigration. The collection also accounts for popular ports in Boston, Baltimore, New Orleans and the Angel Island receiving station in San Francisco.

NGS Call For Papers for Kansas City 2008 National Conference

The following announcement was published in the November 2006 edition of Upfront with NGS.

“This conference will feature record types from across the country. Speakers interested in participating in the 2008 NGS conference are invited to submit lecture proposals for the event. Possible topics include:

• National, regional, and state government records
• Settlers and settlement of the Midwest and West: migration patterns, trails, and transportation methods
• Military records for the nineteenth and twentieth century
• Land topics: federal and bounty land records, early land grants, and homesteading
• Ethnic topics: African Americans, French, German, Native Americans, and Spanish
• Family history writing and publishing
• Methodology, problem solving, and technology, and other general subjects

Each speaker will be limited to a maximum of four presentations; however, an unlimited number of proposals may be submitted. First consideration for speaking opportunities will go to NGS members.

Speakers receive a complimentary conference registration, honorarium, and travel allowance. Hotel accommodations and per diem compensation are based on the number of lectures presented.

Most sessions will be one hour, which includes a brief question and answer period. Camera-ready syllabus material is required in early 2008.

Prospective speakers may submit proposals online at the NGS Web site at from 1 January to 1 March 2007.

Roots Television (on the Internet) is a Big Hit!

Roots Television is off and running on the Internet. It’s pretty impressive. Everything from short how-to segments to full lectures can be found on the site. And that’s not all… Following is a news release from Megan Smolenyak.

“When Roots Television™ debuted on September 29, 2006, it was a quiet launch in beta mode intended to draw enough traffic to test the site and work through the inevitable technical bugs that accompany new ventures into cyberspace. That “quiet” launch quickly became an international roar, as word spread lightening-fast and Roots Television™ drew viewers from five continents in the first 24 hours! Not surprising really, since family history commands one of the largest and fast-growing markets in the world.

“Perhaps what is surprising is that no one thought of launching a family history channel sooner. After all, there’s a golf channel, a wine channel, a sailing channel, a horse channel, and poker channel, and even a shipwreck channel. Why not a channel for what’s said to be the second most popular hobby?

“Today, roots fever is hotter than ever, with over 113 million Americans interested in their family history, and roots-sleuthing running at near-epidemic proportions in other countries, such as the U.K. Yet this audience has been largely neglected by television. Roots Television™ is uniquely positioned to be one of the first media outlets to take advantage of the inevitable merge between television and the Internet – and in so doing, serve this global and long-ignored audience.

GenealogyBank Launches with Thousands of New Resources

I had the privilege and opportunity to try out the new GenealogyBank.com just as it launched in mid-October. In the process I searched many early newspapers, historic books, documents, and other resources.

Along with numerous other items, I found a letter written by my third great grandfather, William Canfield – the first thing I’ve ever seen written by the man. This letter was published in the Albany (New York) Argus in February of 1819. Wonderful!!!

Most of the content found at GenealogyBank is unique, not found on other sites. You may search it for free to see how many records there are for your family. If it looks good, sign-up to see the full records. The cost is currently $19.95 per month for full access.

Honestly, folks, if you have colonial ancestry, you can’t afford not to use this new resource. For the first time ever, you will be able to access newspapers and documents not previously indexed or in many cases, accessible at all. What makes this collection unique is that much of the data is from the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts. This organization holds the earliest American printed materials, including newspapers – and now, for the first time, much of this material is accessible to you and I – all in digital format.

Available NOW, you will find the following resources at GenealogyBank:

Historical Newspapers 1690 – 1977
Over 1,300 historical newspapers from 1690 to 1977. This content is found no where else. Quickly find names and keywords in millions of articles, obituaries, marriage notices, birth announcements and other items published in more than 500,000 issues of over 1,300 historical U.S. newspapers.

America’s Obituaries 1977 to current
More than 22 million obituaries from 1977 to the present. More than any other site. Obituaries contain helpful information such as names, dates, places of birth, death, marriage and family information. Over 22 million obituaries make this the most complete collection from the 20th and 21st centuries – includes more than 800 U.S. newspapers.

Historical Books 1652 – 1900
A unique source that provides you with complete text of more than 17,000 books, pamphlets and printed items including: genealogies, biographies, funeral sermons, local histories, cards, charts and more – all published in the U.S. prior to 1900.

The complete American State Papers (1789-1838)
Find military records, casualty lists, Revolutionary and Civil War pension requests, widow’s claims, orphan petitions, land grants and much more including all of the American State Papers (1789-1838) and all genealogical content carefully selected from the U.S. Serial Set (1817-1930). More than 81,000 reports, lists and documents. All of the genealogical content in the US Serial Set from 1817-1930… more than 81,000 reports, lists and documents.

Social Security Death Index – 1937 to current
More than 78 million death records from the Social Security Death Index.

The Nanaimo Family History Society Passenger Lists Project

The manifests of ships arriving at Canadian Ports listing passengers have been preserved on microfilm at Library and Archives Canada. The goal of the Nanaimo Family History Society is to index arrivals at Halifax and Quebec (Montreal is included in the Port of Quebec) from 1900 to about 1921 when the passenger lists were discontinued for a time in favor of the form 30A.

Quebec Ports for the periods 2 Jul 1908 to 13 Oct 1910 has been completed and the index, made up of 284,365 listings from 586 ship arrivals, is shown at their website. The pages of the index are PDFs with a comprehensive “Names Starting With” page that allows quick access to all portions of the index.

Vermont Historical Society Receives Catholic Parish Histories

BARRE, Vt. (CNS) — The official newspaper of the Diocese of Burlington celebrated its 50th anniversary by giving a gift.

The Vermont Historical Society’s collection of Catholic materials increased significantly in September with a donation of 83 parish histories from the Vermont Catholic Tribune newspaper.

Pat Gore, editor of the newspaper, and Father Peter Routhier, vicar general of the statewide Diocese of Burlington, presented a dozen white binders filled with booklets or typewritten parish histories, as well as several hardcover histories, to Paul Carnahan, Vermont Historical Society librarian.

“This is a unique donation in that a denomination has pulled together for us histories of various parishes,” Carnahan said.

The idea for the donation was generated by the staff of the Catholic Tribune, as a way to commemorate the diocesan newspaper’s 50th anniversary.

Google to Digitize Wisconsin Historical Society Books

It has just been announced that the Wisconsin Historical Society Library will be one of the libraries in which Google will scan and digitize books and “genealogy materials.” This is important to genealogists, because this library has one of the premier genealogy collections in the country.

Nearly 20 Acres of Downtown Salt Lake to Come Down

According to plans released October 3, 2006, downtown Salt Lake City is about to turn back the clock – and at the same time, vault into the future. Instead of massive blocks just south of Temple Square, it is proposed that a new upscale City Creek Center be built, complete with the historic streets, buried decades ago by the ZCMI and Crossroads Mall. Richards Street, Regent Street and Social Hall Avenue will again take their place in downtown Salt Lake City. The Key Bank Tower will come down, as well as many historic buildings.

“The conceptual drawings show an unrecognizable Main Street, with open-air pedestrian paths through the two mall blocks, fountains, a glass-roof arcade over some of the project and six acres of green space. Water would flow through the two blocks in a series of ponds, falls and a streambed; there would be a 47-foot drop in the water from the current ZCMI Center block to Crossroads Plaza.”

ProQuest Releases New PERSI

My former employer, ProQuest, just posted the latest version of PERSI. If you haven’t checked out PERSI lately, now would be a good time to do it.

ANN ARBOR, Mich., September 29, 2006 — ProQuest Information and Learning and Allen County Public Library (Ft. Wayne, IN) add another persimilestone in their longstanding alliance with the release of a significant amount of new data in the Periodical Source Index (PERSI). With this update, PERSI now contains nearly 2 million citations from over 6,500 periodicals published in the United States, Canada, and abroad. The new release includes indexing for over 235,000 articles from 2004 and 2005. No other index covers periodical research in local history and genealogy as extensively as PERSI.

The Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc. Announces its 20th Annual Literary Awards Contest

The Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc. announces its 20th annual Literary Awards Contest.
Categories are Genealogy, Family History and Genealogical Resource Publication. Books published in or after 1999 are eligible. All must have a connection to New England. The Fledgling Essay Contest must also be connected to New England.
Grand prize: $1,000
First prize: $500
Fledgling Winner: $250

Contact the CSG office at 860-569-0002 or csginc@csginc.org for more details and an entry form.

The Washington State Genealogist

WA state mag Washington State Genealogical Society (WSGS) has published the first issue of a new research journal, The Washington State Genealogist. The premier issue is fully indexed and contains 36 pages of family stories and research information. This annual journal is a benefit of WSGS membership, designed to provide researchers a statewide outlet for stories about Washington families and extracts from newspapers, private and public records from Washington territorial or state sources. To contribute an article for the next journal issue, contact Bob Witherspoon, rgwspoon@aol.com or write to WSGS Journal Editor, PO Box 1422, Olympia, WA 98507-1422.

The table of contents for this first issue of the journal includes the following articles:

  • About the Society
  • Blakely, Bradway, Hickox: Who Are These People?
  • Congregational Church of Shaw Island, Washington: Part 1 – “Records”
  • Miss Gladys Taylor Captured by WWI German Raider
  • Charles H. Davis: Double Murder and Suicide
  • Jefferson County Oyster Claims, 1890
  • The Family of Robert Herman Sheedy and How They Came West
  • LaClair – Cornell Bible Record
  • News from Wahkiakum County – December 7, 1905
  • Wahkiakum Marriages Announced – December 21, 1905
  • The Armstrong Family – Always To the West
  • Index of Personal Names
  • Index of Names of Places, Business, Ships & Other Groups

—From: Bob Witherspoon, Bellingham, WA

Michigan Death Records, 1897-1920, Now Available at the Library of Michigan

“The 1897-1920 Michigan Death Records, a brand-new resource that is available at the Library of Michigan, will benefit family history researchers across the state. The Library of Michigan is able to provide these records thanks to a generous gift from the Michigan Genealogical Council and the Abrams Foundation.

“This records set supplements the Library’s existing vital records collection, which also includes Michigan death records from 1867 to 1897, and fills a gap in Michigan genealogical research,” said Randy Riley, Special Collections Manager at the Library of Michigan. “These statewide records were not previously available outside of the Michigan Department of Community Health, so this is a real boost for genealogists here, and for those who travel from other states to use the Library.”