Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ancestors Television Series

Ancestors, the PBS family history and genealogy television series, is available to watch online at Roots Television. Each 30-minute episode features a story of someone researching their family and tips from expert genealogists. This series covers a wide variety of genealogical topics. Although the series was created in 2000, the information on genealogical records and research guidance is still relevant.

The Ancestors Channel on Roots Television  has all of the episodes from the series available to watch online.
You may also order copies of the Ancestors series on DVD.

The first Ancestors series, The Research Process, covers:
Getting Started
Looking at Home
Gathering Family Stories
The Paper Trail
Libraries and Archives
Census and Military Records
African American Research
Your Medical Heritage
High-Tech Help
Leaving a Legacy

The second Ancestors series, Discovering Your Heritage, features:
Records at Risk
Family Records
Compiled Records
Genealogy and Technology
Vital Records
Religious Records
Cemetery Records
Census Records
Military Records
Probate Records
Immigration Records
Writing a Family History

Friday, September 24, 2010

Free Genealogy Course for Beginners

Family Tree University is offering a new free course for beginning genealogists:
Discover Your Family Tree: Genealogy for the Absolute Beginner

I have do not have experience with any of the Family Tree University courses, but this may be a good overview for those new to genealogy. It is an online course where you download the lessons and complete them over two weeks. At the end of each lesson there is an exercise to complete, and then you receive feedback via email from the instructor. The first session of this course will begin on Monday, October 11, 2010.

Here is the course description from the Family Tree University Web site:

This course will start you on the fun and rewarding journey of discovering your roots. Learn how to begin, where to look for information to extend your family tree, what to do with what you find and how to put it all together. 

  • How to fill out a family tree chart
  • How to record and organize information
  • Where to find information to extend your family tree
  • How to search online and in repositories
  • Anyone new to genealogy and family history research
  • Genealogy "dabblers" who need additional direction in order to advance their research
  • Researchers who want a refresher course on core family history research principles
  • Library and archive staff who want to master basic genealogy principles in order to better assist patrons

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Genealogy Conference Lectures on CD

CDs of many sessions at the 2010 Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference are now available for purchase. Visit to see the list of CDs and for details on obtaining them. Click on "View Available Sessions Here" to get a listing of the topics and presenters. Click the "genealogy" category at the top of the page to see links to 14 other conferences since 2007 for which CDs are available. 
For several years I have been ordering genealogy lectures on CD. I use this method to learn about topics presented at conferences I have been unable to attend, or for lectures I really enjoyed and want to hear again. There is a wide selection of topics for everyone from beginners to advanced genealogists. The CDs are very reasonable at $12 each.
Here are a few of my favorites from the NGS Conference in Salt Lake City, April 2010:
S-424 – Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL
Finding & Using Birth, Marriage, & Death Records Prior to Vital Registration

T-253 – Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL
Organizing Evidence to Overcome Record Shortages

S-451 – Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG
Researching With Standards
I ordered the following CDs from the FGS Conference in Knoxville, August 2010.
F-316 -- Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG
Planning “Reasonably Exhaustive” Research

F-352 -- Patricia Walls Stamm, CG, CGL
The Timeline: Linking Historical Events to Our Family History

F-344 -- Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL
The Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Case When No Record Exists

T-207 -- Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL
Solving the Mystery of the Disappearing Ancestor

F-348 -- Christine Rose, CG, CGL
County Land Records: Digging Pays Off

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

APG Professional Management Conference syllabus

The Association of Professional Genealogists hosts a Professional Management Conference each year in conjunction with the FGS conference. They offer copies of the syllabus for sale after the conference is over. This is a great educational resource for professional and aspiring genealogists. If you are interested then I suggest you order quickly, as quantities are limited.

Announcement from the Association of Professional Genealogists:

The 13th Annual APG  Professional Management Conference took place 17 August 2010, in Knoxville, Tennessee. The syllabus is now for sale (while supplies last) for $20 plus shipping. Go to to order with your credit card.

Topics included:

From the Trenches: How We Manage Clients, Time, and Projects by Laura G. Prescott

A Key to Success: Your Online Presence by D. Joshua Taylor, MLS

Overcoming Obstacles that Interfere with Genealogical Research by Anne J. Miller, Ph.D.

Expand Your Revenue: Produce and Sell Your Lectures in Video Format by Donna M. Moughty

Niche Planning and Marketing by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG

Learning As You Go: Choosing the Best Continuing Education Opportunities by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG

Get Published in Magazines! by Leslie Albrecht Huber

Kathleen W. Hinckley, CG
APG Executive Director

Monday, September 13, 2010

FamilySearch Expands Online Learning Opportunities

The press release below was issued by I have enjoyed these online classes and am excited to see them expand this wonderful educational program. I hope you will take time to view one of them today.

SALT LAKE CITY–As students all over the country head back to school, family historians also have the opportunity to learn - but they can do it from home at their convenience.

FamilySearch now offers 81 free lessons on, enabling people anywhere in the world to access family history expertise any time. The topics range from basic research to training on specific record types and can be beneficial to both beginners and experienced researchers. Most of the classes come from research consultants in the world-famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, but FamilySearch is also now working with partners to broaden the pool of expertise.

For example, FamilySearch worked with the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, Missouri to record and post 12 classes. These classes are available on both and the Midwest Genealogy Center’s site. Such collaboration benefits everyone involved, according to Darin Hakes with FamilySearch Community Services.

“We see partnering as a mutually beneficial situation for FamilySearch, our partners, and the patrons,” Hakes said. “We realize that FamilySearch does not have expertise in every area, nor do we have the bandwidth to create all the training that is needed. However, there are many excellent individuals and organizations that have created training that can benefit the genealogical community. They may not have the resources to record and publish their classes, so working together is the perfect solution.”

Midwest Genealogy Center librarian Janice Schultz agrees that partnering with FamilySearch increases their reach. “The online classes allow people to attend no matter where they live,” Schultz said. “It helps us achieve our mission of educating genealogists. We have received many positive comments about these classes.”
In addition to the Mid-Continent Public Library, FamilySearch is working with the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Board of Certified Genealogists, and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists. Individual genealogists may also use FamilySearch’s free services to record and share their presentations. One result of an individual partnering with FamilySearch is a class called “Inferential Genealogy” by prominent researcher and teacher Tom Jones.

“Tom’s class is excellent, but may be too complex for some patrons,” Hakes said. “We tried to provide a different instructional approach, to make the presentation of the content more visual and provide opportunities for practice. We added value by presenting his content in a different way, taking something fairly complex and making it more easily digestible.”

Upcoming FamilySearch classes will focus on U.S. courthouse research and a series of courses for those just getting started in family history research. There are also more interactive classes planned on reading handwritten records in different languages, a list that now includes Dutch, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

All of the classes can be accessed on by clicking on Free Online Classes on the home page.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mapping Software - Free Webinar

Legacy Family Tree will host their first ever webinar on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 2:00PM EDT. The webinar, Mapping Software for Genealogists will cover essential software tools: AniMap (U.S. & Canada), Centennia (Europe & Middle East), and Map My Family Tree (entire world), and maybe even a Legacy Family Tree tip or two.
Registration is free but space is limited.

See Legacy news for registration information.

Join Legacy Family Tree's Geoff Rasmussen as he demonstrates these powerful software programs:

1) AniMap software (U.S. & Canada): learn how to find the correct county for the time period, and perform radius searches (list all cemeteries/churches within 10 miles of a place). For 30 years a researcher looked in the records of Woodstock, Windham County, Connecticut for their ancestor who was born there in 1720. AniMap easily shows that in 1720, Woodstock would have been in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Now we know the correct location to find the records for that time period. Brick wall problem solved.
2) Centennia software (Europe and Middle East): Have you ever wondered about the changing country borders in Europe? Have ancestors in Germany, Poland, or Prussia? Which is it? The Centennia Historical Atlas software shows the changing country borders from the 11th century to the present in Europe and the Middle East.
3) Map My Family Tree software (entire world): plot your ancestors on a map of the world, track family migrations, plot to Google Earth, use the time scroll bar to dynamically select which time period you want displayed on your map and more.