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Archive for the ‘FamilySearch.org’ Category

Are even the computerized microfilm readers obsolete? If the LDS microfilm loan program is any indication, the answer is yes.

On September 1, 2017, FamilySearch will discontinue its microfilm distribution services.  (The last day to order microfilm will be on August 31, 2017.)

The change is the result of significant progress made in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of microfilm technology.

• Online access to digital images of records allows FamilySearch to reach many more people, faster and more efficiently.

• FamilySearch is a global leader in historic records preservation and access, with billions of the world’s genealogical records in its collections.

• Over 1.5 million microfilms (ca. 1.5 billion images) have been digitized by FamilySearch, including the most requested collections based on microfilm loan records worldwide.

• The remaining microfilms should be digitized by the end of 2020, and all new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment.

• Family history centers will continue to provide access to relevant technology, premium subscription services, and digital records, including restricted content not available at home.

Digital images of historical records can be accessed today in 3 places on FamilySearch.org under Search.

• Records include historical records indexed by name or organized with an image browse.

• Books include digital copies of books from the Family History Library and other libraries.

• Catalog includes a description of genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, etc.) in the FamilySearch collection.

When approved by priesthood leaders, centers may continue to maintain microfilm collections already on loan from FamilySearch after microfilm ordering ends. Centers have the option to return microfilm that is available online or otherwise not needed. As more images are published online, centers may reevaluate whether to retain microfilm holdings.

The above announcement comes directly from FamilySearch.

For additional information and explanation, see Amy Johnson Crow’s Posting: The End of FamilySearch Microfilm Loans: What It Means to You.

vea/26 June 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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I just saw the following posted on the FamilySearch site and am passing it along. “FamilySearch will be unavailable during a maintenance upgrade starting Monday, February 27th at 12:00 am MST (7:00 am UTC) and lasting about 4 hours. Thank you for your patience as we make these changes.”

Written by FamilySearch
Posted by vea/25 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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The following notice came from the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston. Ted Knowles will be speaking at Congregation Beth El-Arareth at 561 Ward Street in Newton on Sunday, September 25th from 1:30 to 4:30. I’ve heard from several people who have heard him before that he is excellent.   [Please note that this is not being held at Temple Emanuel. The meeting place has changed for this talk.]  For more information, provided by the JGSGB, read below. 

FamilySearch.org is the largest free genealogical website in the world. It contains the records of over four billion people worldwide and is sponsored by the Church of the Latter Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Todd Knowles will demonstrate how we can make the most ofphoto2-768x844 this vast resource as we search for our Jewish ancestors. In addition to the basic searches, we will learn some tricks to finding the records of our families, including the fast growing collection of online digital records . We will also be shown how to access the Knowles Collection of Jewish records, which includes over 1.4 million people.

W. Todd Knowles is a professional genealogist on the staff of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. After being introduced to family history at the age of 12, he soon discovered his Jewish roots. His journey to learn more about his Polish-Jewish great- great-grandfather led to the creation of the Knowles Collection (knowlescollection.blogspot.com). Knowles has spoken throughout the world and his articles have been widely published. He currently serves as President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Utah.

Admission is free for members, $5 for non-members. Refreshments will be served.  For more information check http://jgsgb.org/event/getting-the-most-out-of-familysearch-org.

vea/13 September 2016
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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Map that you see on the main wiki page at FamilySearch.org

Map from the main wiki page at FamilySearch.org

Our ancestors had a tendency to move around.  If they didn’t, we probably wouldn’t have so much trouble finding their records.  When you track people from state to state, you start noticing what holds true for finding records in one state is not necessarily true in another.  Different types of records were kept during different periods in different places.  For example, those who are used to the time frame of New England vital records, which can go back as far as the 1600s, are startled to find that New York state started saving birth, marriage, and death records at a far later date.  New York finally passed a law requiring the collection of vital records in the 1880s, but it was very slow to be implemented. You can still have difficulty finding them in a number of New York towns during the early part of the 20th century.

When you start to follow your ancestor into a new state, you need to do some homework or you may miss key information. Otherwise you could hit a brick wall that you’ve unwittingly constructed yourself. So how do you find out which records were kept when and where they are located? One very good source is Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources. You can check information on the various types of records available under each of the fifty states. This book is available in the Newton Free Library’s Special Collections Room for quick consultation or a more detailed read. But if you are working elsewhere and you don’t want to interrupt your work to look for a book, you have a simple alternative.  Red Book is available online at the following live link. Click on it and read away.  http://www.ancestry.com/wiki/index.php?title=Red_Book:_American_State,_County,_and_Town_Sources

But what about records outside the United States?  There are a very large number of books on family history research that deal with specific countries and even areas within a country. But for now you want to know how much trouble you are going to have tracking your line back to another country. You just want to get a general lay of the land. This is where FamilySearch’s wikis are invaluable.

If you have done much research in genealogy at all, you learn that, besides Ancestry, FamilySearch.org is one of the most extensive databases for genealogical records. The nice thing about FamilySearch is that, unlike Ancestry, it is free. Upon first discovering FamilySearch you will no doubt zero in on searching for records and thus might be likely to miss all its other resources. If you focus on the very top of its home page (as of July 2016) and run your cursor over the word “Search” you will see a dropdown menu. At the bottom of that menu you will see the word “wiki.”  Click on it and you see a map and an invitation to search the wiki by place or topic. For countries such as England that have a huge amount of literature written about researching ancestors, the topic is made manageable by the way FamilySearch sets up its main wiki page for each country.

But where do you find information for other countries where the records may not be so easily accessible?  Anyone who saw America Ferrera’s segment on TLC’s cable program “Who Do You Think You Are?” understands how difficult such a search can be, even when you have help. She was searching for information on her father’s family in Honduras, a quest made especially challenging because of the problems of record preservation by both local as well as national governments.  Specifically, where do you find basic information on the existing records of countries whose history has been filled with internal conflict?  FamilySearch’s wiki is an excellent place to start. Check out Honduras, or any other country of interest, to see what FamilySearch has done with it.  There are a number of links to information, records, and online help. Just as you would consult maps before taking a trip, it’s a good idea to know something about where you are going before you get there.

 

vea/29 July 2016
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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FamilySearch.org WebsiteMany of you use FamilySearch.org as a key research site. You need to know that it is going to be unavailable this upcoming Monday.  I just learned from Thomas MacEntee’s Facebook feed that FamilySearch is going to be shutting down for a full day to do site maintenance and upgrades.  If you were planning on doing some work there on Monday, you need to reschedule.  And if you are teaching from it on the 27th, you had better get it on PowerPoint or make some screen shots ahead of time.

If you are not using FamilySearch to do your family history research, why not? This site is just as important as Ancestry with the added benefit that it is free.  It has a huge number of records. Remember that no two databases duplicate all the same material. You will definitely find records in FamilySearch that you will not find in Ancestry. Also remember that there is always at least one person standing between you and your record, the indexer. Ancestry and FamilySearch use different people for this task. Even when they do have the same record, using different indexers to read the names and enter them into the system increases your chances that one of them will enter the name you are looking for with the spelling you are using.  If you are curious, you can check it out at https://familysearch.org — just don’t do it on Monday!

vea/24 June 2016
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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DSC06280I just received the June/July issue of Internet Genealogy.  One of the first sections I go to in each issue is “Net Notes.” It’s a series of short pieces covering recent website activity that may be of interest to readers. The first entry describes some online releases from the Library and Archives Canada (LAC).  I have a special interest in Canadian genealogy so I took a closer look — and came to an unexpected halt. One of the entries cites LAC’s release of a database consisting entirely of immigrants from the Ukraine (1890-1930) arriving in Canadian and American ports. I had just put together a list on Ukrainian genealogical resources for several patrons who needed help on this topic. This entry gave me another resource to add to my list that might help break down some of their brick walls. If it hadn’t been for this article, I might never have found this little gem.

Flipping through genealogy magazines can not only help to keep you up to date, but can unearth treasure you’d never find otherwise. Perhaps some of the following might help you. Do you have ancestors in the American colonies during the Revolution or in the United States during the War of 1812? The Canadian piece also includes references to databases on the War of 1812, and to the Book of Negroes (with 3,000 names of Black Loyalists who fled the Port of New York at the end of the Revolutionary War). It concludes with another database consisting of the recently digitized list of Loyalists and British Soldiers (for the period 1772-1784) from the Carleton Papers.

Other articles in this issue center around saving family stories. One describes what can be done with FamilySearch.org’s Memories section, which is devoted to researching and preserving family stories. Then there are related pieces, “Stellar Storytelling Apps” and “Recording Family Interviews with Audacity.”

DSC06341British genealogy is represented with two articles.  One lists seven websites relating specifically to the Victorian era. The second highlights three free UK websites run by volunteers.

The magazine rounds off with articles on “Researching the Great Depression,” “Supreme Court Cases and Your Family History,” and a review of Yale’s Photogrammar Project that digitizes photographs of the 1930s and 1940s and makes them available online. There are also the monthly features “The Back Page,” “Genealogical Society Announcements,” and additional short pieces in the Net Notes already mentioned.

DSC06342Perhaps I now have you curious, but frustrated because you don’t subscribe to the magazine. Not to worry. The Newton Free Library does. Pay us a visit. You can find this and other genealogy magazines just to the right as you enter the Special Collections Room on the first floor.  Take a few minutes to see what’s there.  Here there be discoveries to be made, brick walls to be dismantled, and gold to be found.

 

 

vea/16 June 2016
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 annual New England Family History Conference will be held on Saturday, March 26th, 2011 at the Franklin LDS chapel at 91 Jordan Road, Franklin, MA.  Although I am not a member of the LDS (often referred to as Mormon) Church, I have been going to this conference for several years now. Everyone is welcome. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in genealogical research who lives within driving distance of Franklin.  Click here for the list of classes. Click here for an overview of the entire program. Each participant can sign up for four classes.  There is another bonus. The conference is free. It is an exciting selection and extremely difficult to choose. The only costs are a boxed lunch, if you choose to buy one, and the syllabus of the classes, if you would like a complete one printed up and given to you in your registration packet.  Both costs are minimal. It is a good idea to register as early as possible.  Classes can close up quickly. For more information click on the conference highlighted title in the first sentence above and Frequently Ask Questions here.

LDS has always been in the forefront of genealogical research.  It’s members are extremely generous with their time, helping everyone from beginners to the most experienced, LDS and non-LDS alike.  Their website is undergoing a major revision.  They have an ongoing indexing project that is huge, staffed entirely by volunteers. To check out their new site, click here.  To take full advantage of this new site, take a look at their instructions in pdf format here and their interactive online guide here.  If you like the old version and wish to use it again, click here.  When you read the pdf, you will discover that there is still a large amount of material that is only available  in the older version.  Explore, enjoy, learn, discover.

vea/24 January 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