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The season premieres this Sunday, March 5th at 10/9c on TLC.

TLC/Ancestry have announced the following list of people who are covered this season and hint at what they discover.

The show follows the emotional journey as they trace their lineage and find answers to long-standing questions.

  • Jessica Biel makes two shocking discoveries that shake everything she knows about her heritage to the core.

  • Julie Bowen uncovers the story of two relatives whose moral codes are from opposite ends of the spectrum.

  • Courteney Cox traces her maternal line back seven centuries to the Medieval times to discover royalty in her lineage and an unbelievable tale of family drama.

  • Jennifer Grey uncovers new information about the grandfather she thought she knew, learning how he survived adversity to become a beacon of his community.

  • Smokey Robinson searches for answers behind the mystery of why his grandfather disappeared from his children’s lives and finds a man tangled in a swirl of controversy.

  • John Stamos digs into the mystery of how his grandfather became an orphan, and learns of tensions between families that led to a horrible crime.

  • Liv Tyler learns that her family is tied into the complicated racial narrative of America.

  • Noah Wyle unravels the mystery of his maternal line, uncovering an ancestor who survived one of America’s bloodiest battles. via TLC

    Written by Ancestry/TLC
    Posted by vea/3 March 2017
    Newton Free Library
    Newton, Mass
    Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
    Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
    Genealogy LibGuide:  
    http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net

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Ancestry
COMING SOON – FREE ACCESS* TO UK RECORDS FEB 17‑20
Discover your British roots without paying a shilling.
This weekend only, we’re giving you free access to more than 1 billion UK records—so mark your calendars and get ready to uncover some amazing family gems.
Free Access to UK Records
*Access to the records in the featured collections will be free from February 17, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. ET to February 20, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET. After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using an Ancestry World Explorer or All Access paid membership. To see a full list of the records in the featured collections, please click here.

I received this in my email and am passing this along in case anyone following this blog wants to check it out.

Written by Ancestry
Posted by vea/15 February 2017
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  
http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net

 

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When I was looking at an email I received from Family Tree Magazine Gen last night, I discovered that Ancestry was discontinuing five services that they have previously offered. Below I list the five services. Each has a link provided by Ancestry where a company representative answers addition questions about each service — as FAQs and within the Comments section.

Genealogy.com

MyFamily

MyCanvas

LegacyDNA

Mundia – English

Note that if you have data or content that you have added to any of these sites, you have until 5 SEPTEMBER  2014 to download, print, or otherwise save it.  After that date, it is gone.  Genealogy.com is the only one that they are saving.  Message boards and Family Tree Maker home pages will be available in read only format.  (In other words, you can’t change anything.) This allows Ancestry to keep that URL.  Who in their right mind would make a web address  like Genealogy.com available to the competition.

I have a couple of questions myself:
Have people who subscribed to these services received personal notification of the cancellations?

Ancestry’s title to this notice on their blog is “Ancestry.com Focuses on Core Offerings.”  What exactly do they consider the core offerings they are referring to?  Several people in the comments section of this piece asked that question and to this point in time it has not been answered.

This underlines some of the points I made earlier this month in my post on “Buyer Beware.”  Please, always, always backup your work, all your work.  Do not store everything you do in only one place. This includes  an online service or otherwise “in the cloud.” Make sure you have backup in your computer and on a usb drive or other peripheral.  Then if the service you are using is “discontinued,” you will still have access to your work.

vea/6 June 2014
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy

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It's easy to find Ancestry's  Card Catalog once you know what you are looking for.

It’s easy to find Ancestry’s Card Catalog once you know it exists. Just click on the Search button and the Card Catalog is on the bottom of the menu.

If you are using Ancestry’s sign in page exclusively to do your searches, you are missing out on a lot and that includes some of your illusive ancestors.  You should be using Ancestry’s Card Catalog.  Card Catalog?   It is an option that allows you to narrow your searches.   It provides you with four specific filters:  By type of collection, by location, by date, and by language.  You can use one or more filters. To bring up the Card Catalog, check out the first illustration.

When you start going into collections, you are going to find that a specific collection or database may have more or varied filters, than what is used on Ancestry’s sign in page.  On that page you can search all the collections within Ancestry, known as a global search.  That sounds pretty good, doesn’t it.  Well, not really.  A global search misses a lot. Think about it.  Ancestry is one very big database made up of over 31,o00 smaller databases.  That is a lot of territory to cover and the search is nowhere near as refined as when you search a smaller database.  In the card catalog you can look for a Civil War soldier by narrowing you search down to “Military” and then narrowing that down to “Draft, Enlistment and Service.”  Then you can narrow the search down to USA and 1860s.  You can also add “Civil War” as a Keyword search.  With all those limits, you should come up with a searchable number of individual databases.  If your original  information is correct, the more you narrow your search, the higher the chances are that you will find your ancestor.

Ancestry Card CatalogTo the left you see Ancestry’s Card Catalog.  The orange rectangle is the Search button.  Once you have chosen the parameters of your search, you hit it.  Above the search button are your Title and Keyword search boxes. The Keyword box is where you would type “Civil War” mentioned above. Directly below “Search” you find your four filters, starting with broad categories for Collections.  Once you pick a category, you will find sub-categories that will help you narrow your search still further.  Below categories you will find locations, then years, then language. You can keep using these to narrow your search until you get a reasonable number of databases you can search.  Once you complete the search for one person, don’t forget to hit the “Clear All” button to the right of “Search.”  Otherwise, when you start searching for a new person, the program will remember your old search and keep adding your new search filters to the older filters, leading to some very strange results.

The larger section to the right of your filters is a list of databases by popularity.  The list includes individual databases, what collection they belong to, how many records are included, and if there has been any updates and when the most recent update was added.  Useful information.  You can change how this section is sorted.  Instead of popularity, you can choose “Database Title” or “Date Updated” or “Date Added” or “Record Count.”  The Card Catalog give you a great deal of flexibility.

If you don’t have a personal subscription to Ancestry, check to see if your local library does.  If it doesn’t, perhaps another library in your network or system does.

vea/22 May 2014
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy

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The one place you can use Ancestry without paying for a private subscription is your local library. But to keep a copy of any document you found you would either have to print it out or save it to a USB drive.  Ancestry has just added another option. You can send it to yourself by email.  Here are the steps.  Click on it and check it out.

1. Emailing Records From Ancestry Library

 

vea/24 April 2014
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy

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Imagine visiting 315 city and town clerks and going through all their vital records.

The Story

Thanks to Jay and DeLene Holbrook, approximately 17 million birth, marriage and death records from Massachusetts are being digitized and made available online through Ancestry.com.   Over a period of thirty years these two people personally visited each of 315 (out of 351) cities and towns in the state  of Massachusetts.  They inventoried and, where necessary, organized the material.  Then they took the original records to a professional imaging service to have them filmed by a special flatbed camera.  Just this one detail tells me that the records were in good hands. The couple obviously understood the importance of the preservation of the original records.  All of this was done with the permission of each city and town clerk. The film became microfiche.  When the copying was done, the Holbrooks returned all the records, complete with a microfiche copy, to the town.

When you imagine all the dust these two people breathed in over the years, it is not surprising that they finally had to retire from their mammoth undertaking and move to a dryer clime in Utah.  It was at this point that they sold their collection of microfiche to Ancestry.com.  Ancestry has already digitized over 9 million of these records and placed them online as of Tuesday,  March 20th. They will continue to add records until all 17 million have been done.

As the Secretary of State has pointed out, all of these records are available free of charge from the individual cities and towns.  However, anyone who has tracked down vital records from various locations knows how the costs for gas, food, and sometimes lodging, can escalate quickly, not to mention the time involved. We are and have always been a nation of people on the move. As family researchers we often feel lucky if we have several generations who stay in the same state, let alone the same city or town.

How to Access the Records for Free

Although Ancestry does charge individuals for access to their records, did you know that you can access these and many other records at no cost at a local public library.  Although not all libraries subscribe to Ancestry, many do.  Check with your own public library.  If they do not have Ancestry, call other nearby libraries until you find one that does.

Libraries can only offer Ancestry to their patrons in house.  You will have to go to the library and use one of their public computers.  These computers will most likely require a library card to log in.  If you have a card from your local library, check with that library to see where else you can use it.  Your  library probably belongs to a network.  In the state of Massachusetts, if you go to a library outside your network, the library you are visiting should be able to configure your card to work in that library as well. If you are from out-of-state, many libraries provide guest passes.

Once you have settled into your computer, click on the Ancestry database.  If it’s not obvious where it is, don’t hesitate to ask the nearest librarian.  That’s one of the things we do–answer questions.

This is how you find the records collected by the Holbrooks. Once Ancestry’s home page comes up, you will see two large boxes, one above the other.  Under the words “MORE COLLECTIONS” in the lower box, you will see the words “recent” and “all databases.”  The name of the collection you are looking for is “Massachusetts, Town Vital Collections, 1620 – 1988.”  If you click on “recent” you look by the  date, which will be  3/15/2012.  If you click on “all databases”, you look alphabetically by the name of the collection.  Once you get to the collection, click the browse drop down menu in the upper right to see which towns are included. (Remember, only 315 out of 351 had their records copied by the Holbrooks.)  Happy hunting.

Two Other Links You Might Want to Investigate

If you would like to see what one person has already accomplished using these records, click here for “What I Found in the New Massachusetts Town Records.”  It’s from the One Rhode Island Family blog done by Diane MacLean Boumenot. It’s a good blog, well worth checking out.

You can find more details about the Holbrooks by clicking on the  Boston Globe article  “A New Window on Bay State’s Vital Records.”

vea/22 March 2012
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com

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I just caught the following announcement at Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. You can look at Ancestry’s immigration and naturalization material at no cost from your home computer through Labor Day.  Ancestry is usually a paid subscription for home use.  The only way you can usually access it for free is by going to your local library – if your local library subscribes to it.  So read below or check out the entire article at Dick Eastman’s Newsletter.

If you’re not aware of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, you are probably new to genealogy.  It is the best way to keep up with what is happening in our field. Take a look at it. You’ll be amazed at what you find.

The following is the main body of the announcement from Ancestry via Dick Eastman’s Newsletter.

PROVO, UTAH – (August 29, 2011) – Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced an entire week of free access to its popular U.S. and International Immigration and Naturalization records. The free access week begins August 29th and runs through the Labor Day holiday ending September 5th. During this time, all visitors to Ancestry.com will be able to search for free the indices and images of new and updated U.S. immigration records as well as selected international immigration records from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Mexico. Millions of Americans can trace their family history to other countries, and these collections provide valuable information about the travels and journeys that brought them to America or other countries around the world.

Ancestry.com’s extensive collection of immigration, naturalization and travel records offer an important resource for discovering and celebrating family history. As part of this promotion, the company is adding to its collection of U.S. and international records for tracing relatives from their homeland to other countries around the world. These records include ships passenger and crew lists, declarations of intent, petitions for naturalization, witness affidavits, border crossings, certificates and other records generated by the naturalization process, which is the act and procedure of becoming a new citizen of a country. Because the process has changed significantly over time and varies from country to country, different records are available from a wide variety of state, federal and international sources.

Newly added U.S. collections include Florida Petitions for Naturalization, 1913-1991; Delaware Naturalization Records, 1796-1959 and Utah Naturalization and Citizenship Records, 1850-1960. Noteworthy updated U.S. and international collections include U.S. Naturalization and Passport applications, 1795-1972; UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960; Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1956; New South Wales, Australia, Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1826-1922; Border Crossings: From Mexico to U.S., 1895-1957; New York State, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1917-1973; Atlantic Ports Passenger Lists, 1820-1873 and 1893-1959.

“One of the most common elements of the American experience is our respect and interest in our native heritage.  Almost all Americans have international roots, and many take great pride and even feel patriotic toward the countries from which their ancestors originated,” said Josh Hanna, Ancestry.com Executive Vice President. “That’s why we continue to build and enrich our collection of immigration and naturalization records and why we are providing free access to anyone who wants to search these records to discover their family’s international history.”

Many families have already made important discoveries in Ancestry.com’s immigration and naturalization collection. Each of the following stories offers an example of the exciting and often emotional discoveries made by some Ancestry.com users.

To start researching the immigration and naturalization records for free, please visit www.ancestry.com/immigration.

vea/1 September 2011
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com

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A Genealogist In The Archives

FINDING ANSWERS AT THE NEWTON FREE LIBRARY http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net Newton, Massachusetts

Boston 1775

FINDING ANSWERS AT THE NEWTON FREE LIBRARY http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net Newton, Massachusetts

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

The Daily Online Genealogy Newsletter

The Legal Genealogist

FINDING ANSWERS AT THE NEWTON FREE LIBRARY http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net Newton, Massachusetts

Nutfield Genealogy

FINDING ANSWERS AT THE NEWTON FREE LIBRARY http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net Newton, Massachusetts

One Rhode Island Family

My Genealogical Adventures through 400 Years of Family History