Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Genealogy News Summary for October 2008

Here is the Genealogy News Summary for late September and early October. We discussed this at the CVGS Research Group meeting today.


* -- Washington State Digital Archives contain about 74 million records, all online. People can look up marriage licenses, birth and death certificates, census data, military service, election data, property deeds and even old pictures.
* -- The Rochester (NY) Newspaper Index is online - an 85 volume, 500,000 page searchable index to the Rochester newspapers from 1818-1897.
* -- (Irbo Corp.) connects you to a genealogist, researcher, translator and other genealogy specialists in any country of your ancestral roots. These pros are all freelancers, not employees of Genealogy Freelancers, and can bid on work projects submitted by anyone and everyone.
* -- Federation of Eastern European Family History societies (FEEFHS) has links to many European countries with excellent resources. -- out-of-copyright maps from around the world.
* -- provides lists by state and city of city directories that are available at major repositories, like the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City, the National Archives, the Library of Congress in Washington DC, and several other repositories.
* -- Virginia Heritage Manuscripts and Archival Collections. Search 27 Virginia repositories.


a) at - subscription site (US = $155.40, World = $299.40) - now available for FREE at San Diego FHC (Institution with World databases) or San Diego City or County Public Libraries (Ancestry Library Edition). Ancestry has over 7 billion names in over 26,500 databases. See new content at New databases this month include:

* Washington Deaths, 1891-1907
* Updated Missouri birth Records (1851-1910) and Death Records (1834-1931)
* Many more Canadian books and manuscripts
* Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935
* Many German city directories and books

b) - subscription site (US = $49.95 for 2 years, World = $149.95) -- now available for FREE at the San Diego FHC. Over 11,000 databases, over 1.2 billion names. Recently added content is at New items are FREE at WVR for 10 days. New databases include:

* Yearbooks from the United States Military Academy West Point -Howitzer , (1921 - 1935, 1937 - 1960); United States Coast Guard Academy - Tide Rips Yearbook (1925, 1930, 1932 - 1933, 1935 - 1940, 1943 - 1956); United States Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point - Midships Yearbook (1945 - 1947, 1949 - 1950, 1952 - 1954, 1959); and the United States Air Force Academy Colorado Springs - Polaris Yearbook (1959 - 1960).
* 400 Canadian titles from the Dundurn Group collection
* More than 60 Canadian newspapers representing every province and territory except Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

c) - subscription site ($69.96 annual retail, $11.95 monthly) - now available for FREE at San Diego FHC. They offer 7-day FREE trial. 418 Titles, over 43.8 million images, over 1 million free. Content list at Information added this month includes:
* Confederate Compiled Service Records for AZ, CSA and MD, Union Compiled Service Records for NE, NV, OR and Colored Troops.
* Created Footnote Pages for over 80 million in Social Security Death Index. Anyone can add or update Footnote Pages for free.

d) - subscription site (trial $9.95 for one month, $69.95 for 12 months). It has archives for over 23,700 U.S. newspapers in all 50 states, from the 1600s to the present day, with over 224 million family history records, over 28 million obituaries, more than 122 million historical newspaper articles, and more than 11,700 historical books.

* Added content from 115 newspapers in 29 states.

e) - the LDS FREE site for indexed and browsable databases -- new content includes:
* Vermont Probate Index, 1791-1919 (14% complete)
* Quebec Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1900 (unindexed)
* German Baptisms and Marriages, 1700-1900 (no images)
* Russia Lutheran Church Book Duplicates, 1833-1885 (unindexed)

From an interview with Paul Nauta of FamilySearch:
* LDS has over 2.5 million microfilms in the Granite Mountain "vault"
* The microfilm images will be converted to digital images over the next 8 to 10 years.
* They have digitized 3% of the records to date
* There are 15 high speed scanners working in the "vault" digitizing microfilms
* There are 200 digital camera teams in 45 countries creating new digital images
* 40 million digital images are being added per year.
* FamilySearch Indexing has been successful, but they need more volunteers to index records
* The FamilySearch Pilot site has 500 million records online now - indexed images and non-indexed images.

Researchers can view unindexed images on the Pilot site - just like using a microfilm reader, but you don't have to go to an FHC.


a) ISHFWE Writing Contest - The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors is sponsoring its annual "Excellence in Writing" competition to recognize excellence in genealogical columns and articles. The contest is open to all members of ISFHWE, both published and unpublished authors. The contest is judged by professionals in the fields of genealogy and journalism.Winners in each category will be awarded a cash prize and a certificate. Information, rules, and the entry form may be found at: The contest will begin 1 October 2008. There is a discount on the entry fee for submission before 30 November 2008. Entries must be received by the coordinator NO later than 31 December 2008.

b) Saving Family Treasures - Free Webinar with Maureen Taylor on 15 October 2008 at 5 pm PT. Her presentation will teach you how to preserve clothing, jewelry, photographs, paper based family history documents, and more. Participants in the webinar will be able to submit questions to Maureen and we’ll be answering as many as we can through the webinar. Once you register, you will receive an email confirmation of the registration with a link to join the webinar, and a 24-hour reminder for the event as well. Click here to register now.

c) Family History Expos (formerly My Ancestors Found) announced a regular podcast hosted by DearMYRTLE - see


a) FamilyTreeMaker 2009 -- has been mailed to registered users of FamilyTreeMaker 2008 who responded to the email.

b) allows users of genealogy software to rate and review the programs they've used or tried. This will allow others who are looking for programs to better compare and select software that will help them.

c) is a blog dedicated to using Family Tree Maker. Russ Worthington is the author of this new service and his first five articles show how to use Family Tree Maker 2009's menus to create new data entries.


a) Godfrey Library publishes the American Genealogical Biographical Index (AGBI). The AGBI is a 226 volume every name index of hundreds of genealogies, including unindexed and partially indexed genealogies. The only online addition appears on That is about to change. Beginning in January 2009 the AGBI will no longer be part of Instead the AGBI will be part of Godfrey Library's paid subscription service, Godfrey Scholar, and will also be part of World Vital Record's database offerings.

b) MyHeritage, one of the world's most popular family Web sites, announced the acquisition of family social network Kindo. MyHeritage has more than 25 million members worldwide and is known for its powerful technology that helps families research their history and stay connected, including Smart Matching and automatic photo tagging. The Kindo team's experience in social networking will help MyHeritage realize its vision to be the Facebook for families. As part of this acquisition, MyHeritage will also establish new commercial operations in London.

c) along with several partners announced a project to make available hundreds of thousands of original Homestead Records on the Internet. This project involved the efforts of organizations including The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the National Parks Service, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and FamilySearch.

That's the news - enjoy!

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