Monday, November 28, 2011

It's a Great Day for Genealogy

Thomas Jay Kemp is the Director of Genealogy Products at NewsBank. A well-known librarian and genealogist for more than 43 years, Kemp has authored more than two dozen books (most recently The International Vital Records Handbook, 5th ed., Genealogical Publishing, 2009) and hundreds of articles. He has also served in many international and national positions.

Thomas has recently started the blog "It's a Great Day for Genealogy". His posts offer excellent advice and information to help us with our research. Click on the photo above and check it out. It would be a good blog to "Follow". 

RootsMagic v.5 Released

If you're using RootsMagic for your genealogy database, you'll want to know that version 5 was released today. Click on the photo above to go to the page with news about the v. 5 features and the link to order/download your copy. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Training for Consultants

Emil Hansen, Director of the Ogden Regional Family History Center offers this updated article in the December, 2011 issue of the Family History Newsletter.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Why and How to Use an Archives

The Society of American Archivists has a helpful online guide: "Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research".  This small booklet describes how archives function, how to identify appropriate archives for your research, and how to access historical materials and research at an archives. You can download a copy of the book here:

Friday, November 18, 2011

How to Jumpstart your Family History

Sunny Morton has written a very good article in the MORMONlife blog that gives good suggestions for giving our family history research a "jumpstart". Click here and read her 5 point list for some helpful tips on capturing our heritage in a fun and interesting way. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

TechTips is an Exceptional Site

Lee Drew, who is known as the "Lineagekeeper", posted an excellent article about the Family Search Tech Tips site in his "Family History with the Lineagekeeper" blog today. Click on teh photo above to read his article. I highly recommend the web site and his good promotion and explanation of the wonderful resources provided to us by Family Search. Please check out FamilySearch TechTips!

Social Security Administration Extends FOIA Restriction to 100 Years

In this article on her "Roots World" blog, genealogist Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak explains a new change by the SSA and how it can impact our research. If you've ordered Social Security Applications hoping to find the names of parents of the applicant, you'll be interested to read about this change. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

At FamilySearch TechTips, Devin Ashby has posted a new and very informative video about Publishing Your Family History with tools provided by Google, including Google Sites, YouTube, and Blogger. Here's a link to the video:

Change Coming for FamilySearch CEO

My blogging and genealogy friend Sue Maxwell put a news release on her 'Granite Genealogy' blog that says Jay Verkler, CEO of FamilySearch will leave that position in January, 2012 as Dennis Brimhall assumes the title of CEO. You can read it here:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Search Tips for has been offering some very good instructional videos on YouTube. On Monday a video was uploaded that gives some excellent searching tips by one of the staff members who works in that department. I listened to the video shown above, titled "Secrets to Searching". Click on the photo to go to it. 
One interesting point that I learned that I didn't already know was that when you do an "Advanced Search" and enter a death date for an individual, the only results that will show up will include that death date. That means NO CENSUS records would appear in the search results, since census records don't give death dates. The search results don't show what you already know about the person, they only give records that have the information in them that you entered in the search form.
You can learn this and many other valuable searching techniques by watching this video.

Tracing Immigrant Origins

This Wiki page introduce the principles, search strategies, and record types you can use to identify an immigrant ancestor's original hometown. These principles apply to almost any country. Finding an immigrant ancestor's place of origin is the key to finding earlier generations of the family. It provides access to many family history resources in that home area. Once you know a former place of residence or a birthplace, you may be able to add more generations to your pedigree. Click on the photo above to go to this page on the FamilySearch Wiki.

Monday, November 7, 2011

1940 Census Info at

ON APRIL 2, 2012NARA will provide access to the images of the 1940 United States Federal Census for the first time. Unlike previous census years, images of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be made available as free digital images. Read all about the census here at Family

How to Start a Search for Ancestors at

My husband asked me recently "What's the first thing you do when you start to research a family?" I told him I start a new file on RootsMagic, enter the information I've been given by the person requesting my research, then I start my search at On their YouTube channel, offers 100 videos with instruction for genealogy research. At this link, you'll find a 20 minute video by "Ancestry Anne" explaining how to start and conduct complete research at

Searching for Death Records at

Crista Cowan of has prepared a 20 minute video explaining the best search methods for death records at in the video at this link on YouTube:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Virtual Voyage to Ellis Island

Here is a link to a video on YouTube that was created by a teacher to instruct students about Ellis Island. The soundtrack by The Irish Tenors is the song the story of Annie Moore's entrance to America. 

Changes to Death Index Listings

Changes to the Public Death Master File (DMF) and the Social Security Death Index (SSDI)

Effective today, 01 November 2011, the Social Security Administration (SSA) changed its policy on what records it will use as source material for adding new entries in the Public Death Master File (DMF) which, in turn, is used to create the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).
The Agency decided that it can no longer use state death records to add new entries to the DMF.  Furthermore, the SSA will remove approximately 4.2 million records currently on the SSDI because those entries were made based on information from state death records.  
The rest of the article and the fact sheet from the Social Security Administration can be found on Steve Danko's genealogy blog HERE.