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Friday, June 17, 2016

Pre-order Genealogy Basics Today!

I am excited to announce that a project I have worked on for the past year is ready for release.  My new book on Genealogy Basics from In 30 Minutes is available for pre-ordering as a paperback or kindle.

From the website:

Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes is written in a friendly, easy-to-understand style that avoids complex jargon. There are lots of examples, case studies, and advice that can help would-be family historians quickly get up to speed.
In addition to listing best practices for conducting genealogical research, Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes also warns readers about the many pitfalls of family research, from “brick wall” mysteries to time-wasting online searches
This is a very exciting time, and I hope you will check it out! Think ahead to those people you know who are just getting started.  I know this book will be a great resource for beginner genealogists.  So pick one up for them today!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Summer Dreaming, Summer Exploring at Americas Footprints

My latest blog is up at Americas Footprints.  It is on activities you should try over the summer.  Below is a glimpse, but check the full article out here.

The summer travel season is upon us. Do you have plans yet? I know I made plans months ago and can't wait to get going, and doing, all the things I want to!

Whether you are planning a large trip or having a stay-cation make sure you take the time to explore your family roots too. Here are 5 ways to squeeze some family history fun into your summer time downtime.

1. Create a photo collage from summers past.

2. Take a virtual trip through your ancestral towns

3. Make ancestor trading cards for the younger (or young at heart) generations in your life

4. Take the time to write about your heirlooms so others will know where they came from

5. Document your life, since you are the absolute best person to do that

I hope you get out there and make the most of the next few months by trying a few!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Press Release: FindMyPast Family Tree Challenges


· From 23rd May until 30th May 2016 all records hinted against in Findmypast trees will be completely free

· This includes over 116 million United States Marriages and over 10 million Irish Catholic parish registers

· Findmypast challenges you to find at least one new ancestor through an FMP family tree

· Family historians will be supported with expert insights, help videos, how to guides and a dedicated “tree building” webinar at 11am EST on Wednesday 25th May.

London, UK. 23 May, 2016.

Is your family history leaving you stumped? Findmypast is here to help with their “Tree Challenge”, a seven day event to encourage people to branch out and discover ancestors they’ve never met. From 9am, 23rd May until 12pm 30th May 2016, all hints on Findmypast Family trees will be completely free to view and explore.

Findmypast is challenging family historians around the world to discover at least one new ancestor by building their family tree on the site, or uploading an existing GedCom file. Researchers will be provided with daily getting started guides, expert insights, useful how to videos and a special webinar hosted by expert genealogist, Debra Chatfield, dedicated to helping you get the most out of your Findmypast family tree.
#TreeChallenge week will have something for everyone, from seasoned experts to complete beginners. Keeping a tree on Findmypast is the first step towards exploring our archive of more than 8 billion records from around the world, more than 1 billion of which aren’t available anywhere else online. That’s over 1 billion family connections you won’t find anywhere else, so explore our collections today to ensure you don’t miss out.

Findmypast trees currently provide matches from birth, baptism, marriage, death, burial and census records across the UK, US, Ireland, and Australia. This includes Findmypast’s vast collections of more than 116 million United States marriages and over 10 million Irish Catholic baptisms, marriages and burials. Findmypast’s entire collection of 570 million UK BMDs - the largest available online - will also be free for the duration of #TreeChallenge, including over 78 million exclusive parish records you won’t find anywhere else. All UK and Irish parish records are hinted against.

Uploading a tree to Findmypast is quick, easy and secure. As you add information, Findmypast does all the hard work for you by sifting through millions of records to instantly identify potential matches. Once potential matches have been made, you can quickly and easily review possible leads before adding the relevant information to your tree.

To encourage you to make the most of this feature, we are running a special tree themed competition. Share any discoveries you make on your tree via social media with the hashtag - #TreeChallenge and you could be in with the chance of winning an expert bundle worth $1000. This includes a 64 GB Ipad mini4, a three TB hard drive and a 12 month subscription to Family Tree magazine. We will also be giving away a 12 month world sub on our social media channels daily. You can find out more here.

Hinting allows you uncover records for multiple ancestors at once with virtually zero effort. The larger your tree, the more potential matches you’ll be presented with so it’s well worth your while to add as many ancestors as possible.

As we release new records, our hinting system will continue to grow, providing you with even more opportunities to find unknown ancestors.

Friday, May 20, 2016

When family speaks after they are gone

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am in and out and trying to keep my life in order right now.  Unfortunately, you may not be seeing much of me until the end of the summer.  Family comes first, and right now I need to be present with my extended family.

I am slowly going through boxes of items I now have from my parents’ home.  Really, how many bud vases does one person need?

The best part are looking at the old photographs, reading letters, trying to put yourself into their place and figure out what were they thinking then and there.  Maybe I am a bit odd, but maybe you do that too?

I always knew that my mom was the salutatorian of her graduating class.  Beat out by less than 1 point for various reasons she would periodically bring up when she was especially bitter about something.  There is a picture in her high school year book giving her speech.  Shoulder length hair hanging on the shoulders of her slender frame wearing the too big glasses that were the style in the 1970s.  She looked so very, very young.

In one of these boxes I found my mother’s diploma, and tucked inside was the yellowing, neatly folded, two page typed speech she gave.  I had no idea, but I should have suspected, that she kept this.  Really, she kept everything else!

Let me put this in perspective.  My grandfather was dying of cancer for the last few years my mother was in high school.  She helped her mother care for him, and when they went away she was with family in the area.  A few weeks after she graduated he died and a few weeks after that she left college.  It was a tumultuous time and I occasionally wonder exactly how she got through it all.

So, when I read this speech, I was struck by the words she was able to put on paper.  I wanted to share them with you.


“Man’s flight though life is sustained by the power of his knowledge.” And knowledge is the Basis of all successful men.

The knowledge we have gained in our twelve years of study will be enough for some of us to be successful in the occupations that we have chosen.  But many of us have chosen occupations that require us to go on the higher institutions of learning for the ques of the needed knowledge.

Many men have devoted their whole life to the search for knowledge.  This is a worthwhile endeavor when it contains the element of wisdom.

Wisdom is a major factor in the use of knowledge.  Man people think wisdom and knowledge are the same, but take the case of the computer.  The computer can store thousands of bits of information and can return this information in less than a second.  But the computer is not wise because it can only use its knowledge when programmed by a human.  And it can never interpret or apply the information on its own.  So, knowledge without wisdom, is like trying to read a book without opening its cover.

How do we gain knowledge and wisdom? We can only gain wisdom though everyday experiences.  No one can teach you wisdom, they can only influence you.  Knowledge may be gained from books and people.  But, knowledge is also gained every day of your life, and when you stop learning, you stop living.

So, class of nineteen Hundred and Seventy-Four, go forward, Believe in Yourself, and learn the ways of the world.  And remember, learn all you can, for knowledge is the Basis of success.

Monday, May 9, 2016

There is only one day left to get your own copy of Evedentia Software?  Simply click my affiliate
link on the left side of this blog and enter the coupon code TNT2016 to take advantage of it.

I love this program, I should since I helped Beta test it!  It is a wonderful tool to show you the gaps in your research allowing you to make your family history projects that much better.  With built-in source citation tools, it also makes creating the perfect reference for your work easy.  No guessing or being unsure if you are creating one correctly.  Also, with the easy to follow users guide you are sure to be off and running on the first day.

Until midnight, May 10 Evedentia Software will offer free shipping in honor of the NGS Conference.  I mean really, conference attendees don't have to pay shipping why should you?!  In addition, Evidentia will offer a 16% coupon off everything in the store on May 1-10.  Use this coupon code (TNT2016) when you click on my affiliate link to take advantage of the sale.

I hope you are excited about the deep discounts offered usually only to conference attendees but now online. Check back here over the next few days to learn more about this great product!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New Records Release by Find My Past


  • ·         New records contain over 30 million names
  • ·         Includes significant additions from Indiana, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Maine
  • ·         Includes 1 million names published online for the first time and only found on Findmypast

Leading family history website, Findmypast , announced today at the 2016 conference of the National Genealogical Society the release of over 10 million new marriage records in the second instalment of their United States Marriages collection.

Released in partnership with FamilySearch International, the records contain more than 30 million names, nearly 1 million of which have never before been published online and can only be found at Findmypast.

The release marks the second stage of an ambitious project that will see Findmypast digitize and publish the single largest online archive of U.S. marriages in history. Covering 360 years of marriages from 1650-2010, when complete this landmark collection will contain at least 100 million records and more than 450 million names from 2,800 counties across America. 

While the United States Marriage collection includes marriages from nearly every state, this second instalment includes significant additions from Indiana, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Maine.

The records include marriage date, bride and groom names, birthplace, birth date, age, and residence as well as father’s and mother’s names. Customers with family trees on Findmypast will benefit from leads connecting relatives on their trees with the marriage records, thus generating a whole new source of research.

Commenting, Ben Bennett, Executive Vice-President North America and International for Findmypast said:

“We are very proud to be part of the 2016 conference of the National Genealogical Society.  NGS plays a leadership role in our industry providing world class education and standards enabling many more people to learn more about their past.  Having access to Findmypast as part of their membership ensures that NGS members have one of the best tools available to find their ancestors.” 

Findmypast will release millions of marriage records every quarter and aims to complete the entire digitization project by the end of 2017.

Monday, May 2, 2016

NGS choices are paper or digital

The choice to print the lecture materials or do everything digital is a personal one for conferences, but you should know that NGS is making thier conference app user friendly.  Even if you are at home!

First off, if you haven't downloaded the conference app make sure you visit this site and do so:

The NGS conference app for this year includes many items.  There is a daily schedule, a place to create a personal schedule, speaker and exhibitor information, floor plans so you don't get lost, direct link to the twitter feed (which is great for home too), and much more. Sessions that will be recorded have an (R) before the title of the lecture in the schedule. No (R) before the lecture title means it will not be recorded and you if you are at NGS decide how you are going to take notes.  An (LS) in the title lets those of you at home know the session will be live streamed.

If you decide to use the app while at home or on-site check out the NGS conference blog or go to the “News” section on the app for all of the daily announcements concerning the NGS conference.