Paul Milner Joining Sheila Benedict as a NGS Britain and Ireland Forum Co-Leader

“The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is very pleased to announce that Paul Milner is joining the NGS Britain and Ireland Forum as co-leader. Paul will join Sheila Benedict, CG, in leading the Britain and Ireland Forum, an NGS members-only Forum established to assist members with their research in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.”

Ancestry.com Posts Digitized Images of the 1850-1880 Mortality Schedules

At one time, the U.S. Federal Census included a mortality schedule enumerating the individuals who had died in the previous year. These documents exist for the years 1850 through 1880. Although many of the original documents reside in various archives, a good number have been microfilmed and are available through NARA – and now of course, the Family History Library.

Ancestry.com has digitized the documents that have previously just been available on microfilm, now making them available online at the Ancestry.com website. These documents are indexed, allowing you to search the entire database in one search.

Keep in mind that the “census year” began on June 1, so the mortality schedules which we can access dealt with deaths taking place during the 4 years of June 1 1849 through May 31, 1850; June 1, 1859 through May 31, 1860; June 1, 1869 through May 31, 1870, and June 1, 1879 through May 31, 1880. These documents are available to Ancestry.com subscribers.

Susan Kaufman is the New Manager at the Clayton Library

“The Houston Public Library is proud to announce the appointment of Susan Kaufman as the new manager for the Clayton Library, Center for Genealogical Research. Ms. Kaufman will be bringing twenty years of genealogical librarianship experience, including 6 years at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which is the nation’s largest public genealogical library.”

Young Carlinville, Illinois Genealogist Dies from Burns

“A teenager whose skill at genealogical research made him something of a local celebrity died Thursday of burns he suffered in a house explosion on Wednesday (August 3, 2006).

Coady Hatlen, 15, is being mourned not only by his natural family, but by a second family, the staff at the Carlinville Public Library.

“He was the third person to die as the result of the explosion on Wednesday morning that leveled a house at 203 Sue Street in Carlinville, caused a fire that destroyed a house next door and shattered windows as far as four blocks away…

”Coady spent hours each week at the library, doing his own research and responding – on a volunteer basis – to the requests the library gets for help in researching family histories.”

The Domesday Book Goes Online at the British National Archives

In the winter of 1085, William the Conqueror commissioned a great survey to discover the resources and taxable values of all the boroughs and manors in England. If he was going to do a thorough job of taxation, he needed to know what there was to be taxed, and who owned it. As King, he knew that to collect what he figured was owed him, he had to have a record. That record survives today in the form of the Domesday Book.

Acclaimed as the greatest British document of all time, the Domesday book has now been digitized, indexed, and even translated. It is available at the British National Archives Website. See: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ Searches may be done by place, people and folio.

Jamestowne Project Underway

My friend, Jim Petty, has teamed up with other Utah firms and taken on a massive project. That project is to link up Jamestowne Colony Descendents. No small undertaking…

This partnership combines genealogy, family history and DNA genetics to link nations and people in celebrating “America’s 400th Anniversary” There is a possibility of 145,000,000 descendants.

“Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) August 1, 2006 — Heirlines Family History & Genealogy is merging genealogy with modern science. It has teamed up with Relative Genetics and GenealogyFound to show that after 400 years millions of Americans can trace their family tree back to the Jamestowne colony and Colonial Virginia. DNA testing and genealogical research is combining to help Jamestown descendants jump the pond and find their immigrant origins from Europe and other nations.

“The year 2007 marks the 400th anniversary of the original Jamestown settlement — the first permanent English colony in what is now the United States of America. Heirlines, Relative Genetics, and GenealogyFound are using traditional genealogy along with genetic genealogy to link millions of living people to their roots in that 17th Century colony. They are building a public database of Jamestown and 17th Century Colonial Virginia descendants that will be available beginning in 2007.

“Doug Arnett, COB of GenealogyFound a non-profit foundation based in Salt Lake City, is promoting “Historic Event Genealogy” projects world-wide. Arnett said he thinks the Jamestown 2007 project will awaken the spirit of family history in many Americans as well as people in many foreign countries.
“We want to build an Internet research database for everyone, and spark a patriotic sense of ‘Maybe my ancestors came through Jamestowne’. People will be excited to tie into this historic time period and location,” Arnett remarked.

“Peggy Hayes, director of sales and marketing for Relative Genetics, commented that she expects this database to leave a lasting legacy.”

Salt Lake County, Utah, Vital Records Documents to Go Online in About a Year

According to a short article in the July 27, 2006 Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake County, Utah Death records 1847-1949, and births as early as 1890 have been digitized and will be online in about a year.

“…Salt Lake County has partnered with the Genealogical Society of Utah to make digital copies of more than 100,000 of the county’s oldest birth and death records.

“The information – it took two months to burn onto DVD – now is available for armchair historians through county offices. In about a year, it will be on the Web.

“…Death records from 1847-1949 were digitized along with birth records dating back to 1890.

Historic Beaver County, Pennsylvania Book Available on CD-ROM

The Research Center for Beaver County and Board of Commissioners of Beaver County announced that Caldwell’s Illustrated, Historical Centennial Atlas of Beaver County, Pennsylvania 1876, in now available on CD-ROM. Copies are for sale at the Research Center, 1301 Seventh Avenue, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania 15010. Telephone 724-847-9253. Monies realized will be used for the preservation of other important historic Beaver County material.

―From the Spring 2006 edition of Gleanings, a publication of the Beaver County Genealogical Society.

Multnomah County, Oregon Marriage Indexes Online

You can now check the marriage indexes for Multnomah County, Oregon – 1855 through 1904 – Online and order copies of the original documents (by mail). The docs are only $5!

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon Library is the home to many of the original Multnomah County marriage books & indexes. When the county microfilmed the books, the Forum was selected as the custodian of the ledgers. According to their website, the books and indexes are housed in the “Rare Book Room” and are available for inspection. Data from ten databases covering 1855―1910+ were recently posted online. They are all in alphabetical order with a link to each page, based on the first name on each page. You can browse the page to find your ancestor.

Once you’ve found your ancestor, of course, you’ll want a copy of the original record. For only $5.00, the Forum staff will photocopy the document and mail it to you. Send your requests with $5.00 to:

Genealogical Forum of Oregon
Multnomah Co. Marriage Record Lookup
PO Box 42567
Portland OR 97242-0567

For more information about these and other Multnomah County, Oregon indexes and records, go to the Multnomah County Marriage Records page at the Forum website.
www.gfo.org/multcomar.htm

Rochester, New York, Library Launches New Online Indexes

Larry Naukam, Head of Local History and Genealogy, at the Rochester Public Library just announced the launch of their new web site, which contains a link to the local history department.

A series of indexes, totaling over 130,000 names, in addition to another 800,000 in the Life Records Database is now available. The Life Records Database is made up of Births, marriages, deaths, etc.

See the new Monroe County Library System website at: www2.libraryweb.org/

Missouri Death Certificates 1910―1955

If you’ve got Missouri folks, you really need to check out the Missouri Death Certificate database, sponsored by the Missouri State Archives. The Death index is complete for 1910 to 1955 and you can actually download a digitized copy of the original death certificate for documents from 1910 through 1924. According to the website, 1925 will be up by the end of July with images up to 1930 online by sometime in September of 2006. By the time you read this in the Helper, these additional years may be posted! The Archives offered to send folks copies of the certificates that were not yet digitized at the cost of only $1.00. BIG MISTAKE! Somebody didn’t expect the overwhelming response that the offer evoked. Since the website went online in April, Archives has been inundated with requests for copies – plus e-mail queries regarding the database. All this has been more than the staff could handle and emergency measures had to be put in place.

This is directly from the website:

“Copies are still available at the cost of $1 for anyone that prefers to have their request completed by the Missouri State Archives staff. For those who would like faster service from the Friends of the Missouri State Archives, copies are available for $5 per name requested. There is also no limit to the number of requests that can be made through the Friends. Fees generated from this service will be dedicated exclusively to the death certificate project. As you search the database, you will find instructions on how to request copies from either the Missouri State Archives or the Friends.”

Five dollars is about the most reasonable cost of a copied document that I know of.

Use this database with the Pre-1910 Missouri Birth and Death Database – also sponsored by the Archives.
See the website at: www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/deathcertificates/

1910 Every-name Index Posted at Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com has posted an every-name index to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. The posting of this index completes Ancestry.com’s every-name index project for all Federal censuses currently available to the public – 1790 through 1930.

Folks – this is really big news. The 1910 census microfilm from which the digital images were made was by far the worst census film of any year available to us. After the microfilming of the census schedules, they were destroyed – leaving us with this terrible and difficult to read microfilm. There was good reason for why the 1910 every-name index was done last. It’s because it was extremely hard to do. Every genealogist who has attempted to read much of the 1910 film will agree that to produce an index of this nature was a herculean task. Congratulations to Ancestry.com for finally getting the job done.

Now for the downside. Note that I just said that the film was hard to read. As you know, much of it is illegible! If you can’t read it, how can you produce an accurate index? You can’t. Also, keep in mind that Ancestry.com didn’t pull this off using scholars from Harvard in the transcription process. No. For many years now, the census indexes have been transcribed in places like India, and Bangladesh. No American company has been able to pay American workers the amount they require per hour to transcribe census – so the work goes “off-shore.” The AP is reporting that 6.6 million hours were spent on the project (1790-1930). I can assure you that most of those hours were not in the good old U.S. of A. Sure – the transcribers know English, but keep in mind that their mother-tongue and language is much different than ours. It’s just logical that error will be made because of language differences.

But don’t let me sit here and throw cold water on the project! I’m thrilled that we now have this data available to us – and will use the new index with glee! And if I don’t find what I’m looking for, I’ll get “inventive” as I use the index. No change there – we’ve always had to use indexes with caution and intellect. And if the index still doesn’t help, I may have to revert to the old method – searching page after page of difficult-to-read microfilm trying to find my family. I say “microfilm,” for I’ve found that the microfilm of the 1910 census is still easier to read than the digital images made there from. So it’s off to the Family History Library in those rare instances that I can’t read the digital images.

To check out the new 1910 every-name census index, visit, www.ancestry.com.

55,000 Massachusetts Burial Records Now Online

For the first time, anyone can perform Jewish Massachusetts genealogical searches online. So, if someone is looking for late Uncle Ben on their mother’s side of the family, chances are they can locate his burial records at any one of the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts’ 100+ cemeteries. Just go to www.jcam.org, click on “Services,” then click “Genealogy Search,” enter the name (or just the first four letters of the last name) and Voila! With just the click of a button, the burial location, name of cemetery and directions are displayed on the screen!

People are fascinated with their family histories making genealogy one of the fastest growing popular research endeavors. Now the Jewish community has access to JCAM’s 55,000 online burial database to fill in the blanks on family trees or simply for visitation purposes. This is another way of reconnecting Jewish families with their past and perpetuating the continuity of Jewish cemeteries well into the future.

Visit the website and try the genealogical search link. You may just find someone you’ve been looking for!

Contact Stanley Kaplan, Executive Director of the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts at 617-244-6509 or for more information on the work of JCAM, or visit their website at www.jcam.org.

ProQuest Cuts Service to Societies

ProQuest has announced that it’s cutting service to genealogical societies. Service to Everton Publishers and Godfrey Memorial Library was cut some time ago. It is recommended that you first check with your local library to find out if they offer the service. If not, encourage them to do so. In many cases, entire states have signed up for HeritageQuest Online.

Loretta “Lou” Szucs Receives Award

The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) announced at its Gala Awards Banquet that its first recipient of the new and prestigious Myra Vanderpool Gormley Award of Merit was to go to “Lou” Szucs, Executive Editor and Vice President of Community Relations at Ancestry.com. Lou has done so much for genealogy over the years… And she’s a dear friend. Congratulations, Lou.