July 30, 2016

Findmypast Leads the Way for New Record Collections

dig these new record collections

 

Findmypast is leading the way for new and updated genealogical record collections this week. FamilySearch and local county archives are following suit with historical newspapers, city directories, biographies, and more! We are digging these record collections for New York, Indiana, Ontario, Canada, England, Wales, and Scotland.

UNITED KINGDOM – CRIMINALS

This just in! Findmypast has just announced over 2.5 million new records for the lives of our “felonious forebears!” For the first time, Findmypast is making these records available, giving us a look into the history of crime and punishment for the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries in England and Wales. These records span the years of 1779-1936 and are the final installment in the Crimes, Prisons, and Punishments collection. The total collection contains over 5.5 million records.

Just a few of the things you may learn from these records include: judges’ recommendations for or against pardons, grounds for mercy, licenses from previous convictions, and the overall state of the prisoner’s health. Better still, the collection contains mugshots!

UNITED KINGDOM – MILITARY

A collection titled British Army Service Records Image Browse is now available for Findmypast users. Notice, the title includes the words Image Browse. These records are digital images, but are not searchable by typing in a name like you would normally do. A browse search gives you the opportunity to explore pages of the National Archive’s military records by each piece. You may find forms including attestation papers, medical forms, discharge documents, pension claims, and proceedings of regimental boards. There are six series relating to just the Royal Hospital Chelsea. A very large database in its entirety, it includes records between the years of 1702-1916.

SCOTLAND – ELECTORAL REGISTERS

Linlithgowshire (West Lothian), Electoral Registers 1864-1931 Image Browse collection can be viewed at Findmypast as well. Linlithgowshire is known as West Lothian, today. This new and updated records collection includes electoral registers. Electoral registers are lists, created each year, of people who are eligible and registered to vote. These lists could include reasons for eligibility, including possible ownership or occupation of a property as a tenant. Until 1918, the right to vote was closely associated with property. Electoral registers record the individual’s name, occupation, and residence, as well as notations regarding whether a person was a proprietor or tenant, and descriptions of the property. Also, you may find the name of the place or village where the property was located. Though you cannot search by name, you can search by district and year.

NEW SOUTH WALES – CENSUS

The only surviving records for New South Wales is the 1901 census and you can search it at Findmypast. The New South Wales census for 1901 is searchable by name, county, and district. You may find your ancestors in these transcriptions and images of the original census document. Transcribed information may include:

  • First name(s)
  • Last name
  • Sex
  • Year
  • Location
  • District
  • Sub-district
  • County
  • State
  • Country
  • Series
  • Film number

By viewing the original images, you may be able to discover additional information, such as the number of individuals living in the same household, the number of residents who are Aboriginal or Chinese, and any remarks noted.

ENGLAND & WALES – CENSUS

If you don’t have a subscription to Findmypast, you can search the England and Wales Census 1851 for free at FamilySearch. The schedules are arranged by county and then divided by civil parish. There are some missing images of this 1851 census. For a list of the missing images, check out Ancestry.co.uk.

The 1851 England and Wales Census records usually contain the following information:

  • Date, place, district, parish, and county where census was taken
  • Given names and surnames for members in each household
  • Age, gender, and birthplace for each household member
  • Marital status and occupation for each household member
  • Relationship to the head of the household

STATEN ISLAND – NEWSPAPERS

The New York Public Library has more than 9,000 pages from The Richmond County Advance online. This newspaper collection covers the years between 1886 to 1910. You can search them for free at nypl.org/sinewspapers. You will want to keep a close eye on this website, as more papers will be coming online in the near future.

CANADA – CITY DIRECTORY

The city directory for Peterborough, Ontario, Canada is a collection of 115 Peterborough city and county directories dating back to 1858. These city directories for Peterborough have been fully digitized and are now available online to search for free. There are some years that are missing, but this is a really amazing collection. The City of Peterborough, the Peterborough Public Library, the Peterborough Museum and Archives, the Trent Valley Archives, and the Trent University Archives, have worked together to bring this collection to the public. You can find and search the records at https://archive.org/details/peterboroughcitydirectories&tab=collection.

UNITED STATES – INDIANA

Indiana Biography Index at the Indiana State Library can be found online. You can search this database by surname. Remember, this is only an index and the results you receive will look like copies of index cards. Each of the 250,000 cards have at least one citation to a book, magazine, or other printed source. From there, you can locate these printed materials at the Indiana State Library or possibly in a library near you.

WILL YOU PASS THE WORD

Wow! What an amazing list of new and updated record collections for this week! I hope there is something you are anxious to check on for your own family history. Will you pass the word along to your friends about these new sources? Thanks, friends.

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Genealogy 4-H Project and Merit Badge Earn Special Recognition

Genealogy 4H Projects and Merit Badges Earn Special Recognition

From left to right: Emily Guinther, Amie Tennant, Braden Guinther, and Tove Russell

Wouldn’t you love to get your children or grandchildren more involved in family history work? Learn how to help them participate in the genealogy 4-H project program or earn their Boy Scout genealogy merit badge. You too can help in the work by becoming a genealogy merit badge counselor.

There are dozens of ways to encourage our youth to participate in genealogy. Some even include scholarships, ribbons, trophies, and badges. It’s always nice to be recognized for your hard work! Today, I’m sharing about genealogy 4-H projects and the Boy Scout genealogy merit badge.

The Genealogy 4-H Project Program

4-H is a organization or club made up of a group of five or more youngsters guided by one or more adult volunteer leader. In the U.S., each club helps their youth to complete a 4-H project for the annual county fair. Genealogy is one of hundreds of possible projects. Genealogy projects are broken down into three divisions or years. Each yearly division project builds on the one before so that at the end of three years, the youth will have compiled a very thorough genealogy.

This year, I followed along as Tove Russell of Shelby County, Ohio worked with her four grandchildren to accomplish their genealogy 4-H projects. Two of the teens were able to take their work to the county fair. Emily and Braden Guinther have just completed their second year. To complete the second year genealogy requirements, they did the following:

  • Began a personal journal,
  • Completed a family group sheet for each aunt and uncle, including an interview if able,
  • Visited a courthouse, library, or cemetery for the purpose of researching genealogy,
  • Learned to use a microfilm and/or micofiche reader,
  • Attended a genealogy workshop or genealogical society meeting,
  • Added new information to their pedigree chart,
  • Wrote a personal history essay, and
  • Copied and shared their family history findings with another family member.

Braden’s favorite part of his genealogy journey was writing the persoGenealogy 4H Projects and Merit Badges Earn Special Recognitionnal essay and learning to use the microfilm reader. Emily’s favorite part was learning her great-grandmother married her brother-in-law when her first husband passed away. Each of the kids had several fun stories to share! I particularly liked learning about their great-grandfather (who I remember as a child) working as a grave digger!

Both Emily and Braden won a ribbon for their genealogy 4-H projects. In addition, Emily won Honorable Mention.

The Genealogy Merit Badge

The Boy Scouts of America also has a genealogy and family history initiative. The organization has been particularly helpful in completing many cemetery projects for BillionGraves. Among their many merit badges, the genealogy merit badge is still rather unique. Requirements for this merit badge are extensive, but some of the requirements include:

  • Defining the words genealogy, ancestor, and descendant,
  • Keeping a journal for 6 weeks,
  • Interviewing a relative,
  • Naming three types of genealogical resources and how they can help a genealogist,
  • Visiting a genealogical library, society, or archive,
  • Completing at least a three generation pedigree chart, and
  • Completing a family group sheet.

I was very excited to learn that I could become involved as a local genealogy merit badge counselor. If you would like to do so, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old,
  • Be proficient in the merit badge subject by vocation, avocation, or special training,
  • Be able to work with Scout-age boys,
  • Be registered with the Boy Scouts of America,
  • Complete the Youth Protection training, and
  • Complete and submit the BSA Merit Badge Counselor Information Form.
Genealogy 4H Projects and Merit Badges Earn Special Recognition

Genealogy Merit Badge

You can turn in your form to any local Boy Scout troop or Scout Master. After your information form and application have been evaluated, you will be notified that you are now a genealogy merit badge counselor. You can work with one specific Boy Scout troop or many.

Historical and genealogical societies may also enjoy hosting an event for their local Boy Scout troop to learn all about genealogy in their area. What a great way to get involved in the community and support the youth!

Did you participate in a genealogy 4-H program or earn a genealogy merit badge as a youth? If so, we would be delighted to hear about it in the comments below. If you have some pictures to share of your genealogy 4-H project or the project of your children or grandchildren, head on over to our Facebook page and share a photo. We love hearing from you, Gems!

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Meaningful Service Hours for High School Seniors

Meaningful Service Hours for High School Students

On July 30, 2016, in honor of the veterans of the Armed Forces, BillionGraves and the Boy Scouts of America will host a nationwide service project, Finding the Fallen. Here’s what you need to know to get involved.

Finding the Fallen is the perfect project for youth of all ages, especially your High School Seniors who need to complete service hours for graduation. By joining the project, you and your youth will serve these heroes by photographing and logging the GPS locations of the headstones in our local and national cemeteries and then uploading them to BillionGraves.com.

BillionGraves works with a community approach and they need everyone’s help to make this a successful event! Why not make it a day of friends, family, and service? To organize yourself and your friends, you will need to create a free account at BillionGraves.com and then visit https://billiongraves.com/finding-the-fallen. You can choose to participate as a Boy Scout group, a group of friends, or as an individual.

BillionGraves_Fallen_1

Once you have clicked SIGN UP, you will be sent an email with directions for the next steps. In the meantime, you will want to download the free BillionGraves.com app to your smartphone or mobile device. If you need a little help doing that, click here to follow step-by-step instructions.

THE DAY OF THE EVENT

The BillionGraves app helps volunteers to locate cemeteries in their area. When viewing the BillionGraves app home page, select the Cemeteries icon and then the Show Nearest option. This will provide a list of local and national cemeteries in the area. Though the national cemeteries are particularly encouraged for this event, there are always members of the military buried in our local cemeteries, too. If you do not have a national cemetery nearby, you are welcome to visit your local cemetery. Remember, many military graves are marked with bronze plaques next to the headstone, or some local cemeteries have a special plot for military burials.

BillionGraves_Fallen_2

When you visit the cemetery on July 30th, first click the Cemetery icon on the BillionGraves app. You can search for the cemetery by name or just click Show Nearest. When you choose Show Nearest, a list of nearby cemeteries will appear and you can choose the one you are in. You will notice a number indicating how many images have been taken of that particular cemetery. Select the small map icon on the bottom right corner of the screen and it will show you (in real time!) which headstones have already been photographed in that cemetery.

Now, return to the app homepage and click the camera icon and go! Point the camera at each individual headstone and avoid wide shots that include other graves. Just move from marker to marker and click as many as you want. You might want to go a step further and bring a rag or broom with you to clean off any overgrowth on the headstone or marker.

Remember, if images have already been taken in the cemetery, orange markers will reveal the location of those particular graves. Once you have completed taking pictures in the cemetery of your choice, return to the app homepage. Now, click on the Photos icon and upload your images by following the prompts. The BillionGraves app will immediately indicate the location of those grave photos. This will help others coming behind you to not duplicate the work.

With your time and the use of a cell phone, you can help preserve the memory of a soldier and have some very meaningful service hours for high school graduation requirements.

Be sure to shoot a couple selfies and group photos to commemorate your fun day! We would love to see them, so stop by our Genealogy Gems Facebook Page and upload them there.

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PERSI for Genealogy: the Periodical Source Index

PERSI for Genealogy Periodical Source Citation Index

Have you met PERSI? You should! PERSI is the Periodical Source Index. Use PERSI for genealogy and you may discover your ancestors in thousands of articles you never knew existed. 

You may have heard me talk in the past about PERSI. In case you haven’t…PERSI is not a person—it’s the acronym for the Periodical Source Index. PERSI is THE master index for periodicals with over 2.5 million entries. Thousands of magazines, newsletters, journals, and other periodicals from the U.S., Canada, Britain, Ireland, and Australia are indexed here.

PERSI is maintained by the Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They have the equivalent of 6 full-time staff who are dedicated to subject-indexing every issue of every known genealogy or historical periodical and even the tiniest society newsletter.

Curt Witcher, who runs the Genealogy Center at Allen County and who has been a guest on the podcast in the past, estimates that if you don’t consult periodicals in your research, you could be missing up to 30% of your research leads! That’s a lot of leads! PERSI has long been a staple resource for advanced and professional genealogists to help them break through brick walls. With its help, you can much more quickly locate articles like biographical sketches of ancestors (or people they knew), transcribed indexes to naturalization or probate records, church records, school records, and the like. There might be just-what-you-need histories of places or the organizations your ancestors belonged to.

These key articles are often buried so deep in back issues of little local genealogy newsletters that you may never come across them on your own. Sometimes, they’re what we call “orphaned” content: articles we’d find in totally unexpected places.

HOW TO SEARCH PERSI ONLINE

PERSI used to be searchable on Ancestry, but it isn’t there anymore. You can use an older, archived version of PERSI on HeritageQuest Online at libraries that subscribe. The current version of PERSI is exclusively on Findmypast and they’re doing something really cool with it. They are adding digitized articles to the index. In fact, they added a total of 18,257 articles from 94 publications in their recent July update. They are doing this by signing contracts with each individual society or journal publisher, so it’s not a fast process. The vast majority of entries on PERSI do not have digitized articles linked to them yet. It’s a bonus when you do find them!

To search PERSI at Findmypast you do not actually need a subscription. They allow anyone to search and see the list of results. To see a image of a specific search result, you will need a subscription OR you will need to purchase their pay-per-view credits. You can also use Findmypast at Family History Centers and at many libraries that have institutional subscriptions.

Once you have located an article, it’s inexpensive to order a copy directly from the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. Simply download the order form PDF from their website, fill it out, and mail it in. You can request up to six articles for only $7.50, which you pre-pay and then they bill you separately for copies at 20 cents per page.

Sometime soon, why not take 15 minutes—or your next lunch break at work–and search PERSI for your top surnames and locations? Again, the database is PERSI, it is at Findmypast, and the chance to discover is all yours.

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New Record Collections Offer a Royal Treat

dig these new record collections

New record collections for the United Kingdom offer a royal treat for your week! You will find new collections for monumental inscriptions, British newspapers, and baptisms. And for the cherry on top, see the new and updated collections for the U.S. Military and the great state of Texas!

 

UNITED KINGDOM – WORCESTERSHIRE & OTHER COUNTY TOWNS

A new record collection at Findmypast entitled Worcestershire Monumental Inscriptions is now available. A monumental inscription is an etching carved into stone, wood, or on a plaque as a memorial to a person buried there. Monumental inscriptions are an important source for genealogical data. Many will include more than one name and help trace further family connections. Name, year of death, and a location are some of the things often carved into these monumental inscriptions. What is even better is if you find an ancestor in these Worcestershire Monumental Inscriptions, you can pop over and look for a baptismal record in the Worcestershire Baptisms collection.

Another new monumental inscription collection at Findmypast is entitled Aberdeenshire, Banffshire, & Kincardineshire Monumental Inscriptions. These records are going to include more data than the Worcestershire inscriptions. Name, date of death, denomination, graveyard name, special inscriptions, and even some notes may be included in these transcribed records. Many of these records will also hold multiple names.

UNITED KINGDOM – NEWSPAPERS

Findmypast has updated their British Newspapers 1710-1953 collection this week, too. There are literally thousands of local and regional publications across England, Wales, and Scotland. Each page has been digitized and indexed, which makes it super simple to find what you are looking for!

UNITED STATES – MILITARY

Fold3 now has WWI Draft Registration Cards as a searchable online database. In 1917 and 1918, about 24 million men living in the U.S. filled out a World War I draft registration card. These draft cards will contain a name, date of birth (if known), birthplace, citizenship status, and information on a relative or close associate. Even though this record collection is only about 14% complete, you may find the person you have been wondering about. Don’t forget to check back often as more records are made available.

UNITED STATES – TEXAS

FamilySearch helps the Lonestar State researchers with the Texas, Tax Rolls, 1837-1910 records. This collection has indexed records for only 231 out of the 254 counties in Texas, but you can still find records that have not been indexed by using the browse only feature. [Tip: Read step-by-step instructions for how to access the browse only databases here.]

Texas tax roll records include the first year for each county included prior to 1845, as well as 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1890, 1895, and 1905. There are some gaps in several years of some counties. Ellis County, 1886, images 114, 116, 118, 120, 122, 124, 126, 128, 130, 132, and 134 are cut off on the left side, so some of the beginning letters of the surnames are missing.

Information in Texas tax records include:

  • Name of owner
  • Assessment number
  • Original grantee
  • Number of acres of land
  • Value
  • Town plot description
  • Name of city or town
  • Kind, number, and value of livestock
  • Kind, quantity, and value of farm commodities
  • Amount of state taxes
  • Amount of county taxes

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How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers

Are you looking for some tips and tricks to find and research newspaper articles for your family history? Lisa shares all her valuable know-how and years of experience in her book How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers. Available in both a printed copy and digital version, this book provides you with a fool-proof research process and is stuffed with everything you need for genealogical success in newspaper research!

Emigration Records With an E: When Your Ancestors Left the Country

emigration records assist genealogists

Traveling ancestors created records when they left the country of their origin and when they arrived at their new residence. We often talk about immigration, with an I, but have you researched your ancestors emigration records with an E?

When our ancestors traveled from one place to another, they became two types of migrants. First, they were Emigrants with an E, and then, they were Immigrants with an I. Emigration with an E means someone exiting a country and immigration with an I means someone coming into it. Let’s learn more about emigration…with an E.

I live in a country that doesn’t have much in the way of historical emigration records, but other countries do. I have to remember these emigration records when I start looking overseas for my relatives who were crossing the pond to live here.

EXAMPLES OF EMIGRATION RECORDS

Swedish parishes kept emigration records which are now on Ancestry dating back to 1783. According to the database description, this record set is pretty complete, representing about 75% of those who actually left the country. These rich records can provide place of origin, destination, and the date and place of departure.

sweden emigration record

For a time, the U.K. also kept outward passenger lists of those leaving the U.K. ports for destinations outside of Europe. The lists include British citizens and those traveling through the U.K. These passenger lists no longer survive for the years before 1890, but they are on Ancestry for the years of 1890-1960. Of course, while writing this post I just had to take a moment to do a bit of searching myself, and that lead to this genealogy gem: my husband’s grandfather, and his parents embarking at Liverpool in 1912!

UK emigration record

I also spotted this interesting item in the database description. Quoted from the U.K. National Archives website:

“Between 1890 and 1920, among the highest tonnage of ships were leaving British ports bound for North America. Many passengers were emigrants from Britain, Ireland, and Europe. European emigrants bound for America entered the United Kingdom because traveling steerage was less expensive from a British port than from a port in Europe. The shipping companies imposed restrictions on passengers registering; passengers had to have British residency of six weeks to qualify. Many passengers too impatient to qualify for residency changed their names to avoid detection.”

A name change would certainly present a challenge, but it’s very good to know to be on a look out for that situation. This is another example of why it is so important to read the description of the databases you search.

MORE EMIGRATION RECORD COLLECTIONS

A quick search of Ancestry’s card catalog shows emigration collections for Prussia, Switzerland, a few parts of Germany, Jewish refugees from several nations in Europe, and an interesting collection of Dutch emigrants who came to North America with the help of the Canadian and Dutch governments.

Another excellent resource is the FamilySearch Wiki. You can search for the name of the country and the word emigration (with an e) to find out more about your targeted area. I typed in Hungary emigration and found the following information.

FamilySearch Wiki on emigration records

Did your emigrant (or immigrant) ancestor generate records in the country he or she left from as well as the country he or she entered? Remember to check!

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Illuminating Time-Lapse Videos Show Our Changing World

Visualize with time lapse videos for genealogy

Time-lapse videos first intrigued me as a child when I watched a little seed grow into a beautiful flower in a matter of seconds. Now, illuminating time-lapse videos and tools are helping genealogists visualize our changing world.

Last month, animator Max Galka published a time-lapse map of the history of urbanization over nearly 6,000 years in just three minutes.

Mr. Galka mentions on his blog that tracking urbanization occuring before the mid-20th century was a difficult task – until recently. A team of Yale researchers published a collection of urban population data dating back to ancient times which helped Galka create his video. Their collection was quoted to be a “clean, accessible dataset of cities, their locations, and their populations over time.”

I was surprised how quickly things changed and found it amazing still how many places in the world are yet to be “urbanized.”

 

Time-lapse Video Covering Immigration to the U.S. Since 1820

Again, Max Galka presented an amazing animation of immigration to the United States. This creation shows the countries that sent the most people to the U.S. since 1820.

The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, says Galka. As each dot flies across the page, it represents 10,000 people who immigrated to the U.S. In the bottom left corner, Mr. Galka lists the three top countries where immigrants are coming from at any given time. I was stunned as the map lit up in Russia and Africa only fairly recently. It is clearly shown that the U.S. is indeed a nation of immigrants in this colorful time-lapse video.

 

Time-lapse Tools for Genealogy

As a genealogist, I am constantly in search of county records. So many times, county lines or boundaries changed. I even have one family that lived on the same farm, but technically resided in three different counties over a period of about 50 years. We can’t possibly know when each county of any given state was formed or created, until now that is.

One of my favorite tools for discovering county changes over time is the Map of US.org website. You can find a map of each of the 50 states and run the interactive formation sequence. For example, I can find the Ohio map.

Time lapse video

The Ohio map begins in 1788. It indicates the one county in the Northwest Territory (today’s Ohio) at that time. Washington County was formed as the original county of the Northwest Territory and was created from part of Illinois County, Virginia. That’s another reason I love these interactive maps. With the creation of each county, the map indicates from which parent county or counties it was formed. This is a great help for genealogy research. When I can’t find my targeted ancestor in the county I thought they should be in, I can determine when the county was formed and from what parent county or counties it was formed from. Then, I can quickly determine the other locations that may have records I need.

In addition to the interactive time-lapse maps, each state has a list of other helpful maps that may be of interest to you. For example, the map links for Oregon include the Historical Maps of Oregon, a set of beautiful old maps that can be viewed or downloaded.

Maps can give us a bigger picture of our county, our state, our country, and even the world. These tools help us picture our ever-changing world. What impacted you the most while watching these videos? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!

If you feel inspired to learn more about map visualization, you will enjoy Lisa’s Google Earth video. Lisa was an early pioneer of genealogical data visualization and has been teaching genealogists how to use the free software for the last several years. You can watch the free Google Earth for Genealogy video here or check out her revised and updated e-book, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox 2nd Edition to learn even more tips and tricks for Google genealogy research.

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Family Maps and Migration Routes Traced with New Tech Tools

family maps and migration routes are easyFamily maps and migration routes can sometimes uncover new record finds and answer brick wall questions. It’s fast and simple to use these free tech tools to map your family’s history! I used them to track my ancestors as they trekked from the eastern seaboard to the Midwestern United States and found some fantastic leads!

There are two online treasures I have just discovered. FamilySearch and MyHeritage family trees can now be mapped with some neat interactive tools. MyHeritage just launched their PedigreeMap saying it is an “innovative way to view your family history,” and I think they are right. I have used migration maps to help me overcome brick walls and questions in my research for years. Using these free online tools have made it really fun and not difficult at all.

Creating Family Maps and Migration Routes at MyHeritage

PedigreeMap is free for all MyHeritage users. To access it, log on or create a MyHeritage account. If you are new to MyHeritage, you will be prompted to begin creating your free family tree when you click Sign up at the top right corner of their homepage.

Once you have created your family tree, find it by clicking Family Tree and choosing Manage trees from the pull-down menu.

family maps at myheritage

To use the PedigreeMap feature, choose your family tree from the list and then click on Apps and choose PedigreeMap from the pull-down menu.

FamilyMaps_2

You will be able to see a map of the entire world in which your ancestors lives are plotted. From my map below, I can see the large concentration in the eastern half of the United States, but also the location of my ancestors from Europe.

Not only are genealogical events like births, marriages, and deaths plotted on your map, but if you put in a location of a picture, it will plot that too. You will notice, on the left-hand side there is a list of all the places that appear in your family tree. The numbers on the list match up to the number of each place in your family tree.

FamilyMaps_3

You can zoom in or zoom out, but my favorite part is clicking a location in the list to the left. For example, if I click on Marion, Linn, another list pops up on the right. This list shows me what events took place in Marion, Linn County, Iowa.

FamilyMaps_4

Additionally, I can see major roads, rivers, and hills. I can even click on the satellite view to see the street where my great-grandparents were married!

There are many more wonderful tools on PedigreeMap that you will want to check out. To learn more about all the unique features, read their article here.

Creating Family Maps and Migration Routes with FamilySearch

RootsMapper has been around awhile and is an interactive mapping website that works with FamilySearch. As you know, FamilySearch allows users to create a family tree online and search all their records for free. Like PedigreeMap, you will need to create your free account and family tree at FamilySearch. Then, go to the FamilySearch Apps page and click on RootsMapper. Now, click Get Started.

Family maps at RootsMapper

When you are redirected to the RootsMapper homepage, click Login to begin mapping. You will use your FamilySearch username and password. By clicking Accept, you give permission for RootsMapper to use your FamilySearch tree data.

The interactive map has various features. I particularly like the lines showing both the migration of my paternal line and my maternal line.

FamilyMaps_6

Did you notice my paternal line goes right through modern day West Virginia? Several years ago, I had “lost” my Walls family line. By plotting their known whereabouts on a map and connecting the dots, I could see possible migration routes. In fact, during that time frame, they likely took nothing but trails into Monongalia, Virginia. I did a search for records along this path and was surprised to find my fifth great grandfather on a tax roll for Virginia in 1790!

You can play around with the settings and map just one generation, five generations, or even ten generations. The options allow for pins, migration lines, changing the root person you are charting and much, much more.

It really is amazing how innovative genealogy research is today. The Genealogy Gems team delights in sharing new tech tools and tips to help you in your genealogy goals. Why not try out one of these family map and migration route tools today and share with us your thoughts? Leave a comment below!

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New Genealogical Records for Immigrant Ancestors

dig these new record collections

Land ho! Your immigrant ancestors are waiting to be found in these new and updated record collections. Find naturalization petitions and passport applications first, then move on to the civil registration records to find the family members they left behind. Records for this week cover the United States, Italy, Peru, and Spain.

UNITED STATES – NATURALIZATION PETITIONS

Find My Past now offers more than 7.8 million digitized records for the U.S. Naturalization Petitions collection.  Records can be found as early as 1795, but may not hold much information other than a name and place of origin. Between the years of 1905-1950 however, the naturalization process asked many helpful questions for today’s genealogist. Not only will you likely find your ancestor’s arrival information and country of origin, but you will likely find a full name, birth date and place, name of spouse and their birth date and place, and names of children and their birth details. The best part is there may be a photograph included of your relative!

This collection includes the following publications from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA):

  • NARA microfilm publication M1545, Index to Petitions and Records of Naturalizations of the U.S. and District Courts for the District of Massachusetts, 1906-1966
  • NARA publication M1522, Naturalization Petitions for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • NARA publication M1248, Indexes to Naturalization Petitions to the U.S. Circuit and District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1795-1951
  • NARA microfilm publication M2081, Indexes to Naturalization Petitions for United States District Courts, Connecticut, 1851-1992
  • NARA microfilm publication M1164, Index to Naturalization Petitions of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 1865-1957
  • NARA microfilm publication M1675, Alphabetical Index to Declarations of Intention of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1917-1950
  • NARA microfilm publication M1676, Alphabetical Index to Petitions for Naturalization of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1824-1941

UNITED STATES – PASSPORT APPLICATIONS

The U.S. Passport Applications and Indexes can now be accessed on Find My Past. This collection currently covers records from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. Records from others states will be added to the collection as they are obtained. Some records go back to 1795, however the most valuable in genealogical data will likely be those created in the 20th century and beginning in December of 1914, you may find a photograph of your ancestor as well. These applications are loaded with valuable genealogy information. Find out where your ancestors were going and who they were setting out to see!

ITALY – CIVIL REGISTRATIONS

Benevento, Civil Registrations for the years of 1810-1942 have been updated on FamilySearch.org. These civil records include births, marriages, and deaths. Though the records are not yet indexed, you can browse the digital images. The records are in Italian of course, but don’t let that stop you! Just use the handy Google Translate tool for Italian to English.

PERU – CIVIL REGISTRATIONS

The Peru, La Libertad, Civil Registration, 1903-1998 is a collection of digital images at FamilySearch. Some have already been indexed, but you can browse through the entire collection as well. Included within these civil registrations are birth, marriage, and death records. You will be delighted to find extra genealogically significant pieces of information like names of witnesses and parents, and even the ages of parents. [TIP: When you find the age of the parent, you can calculated the estimated birth year which will come in handy as you continue to fill your family tree.]

SPAIN – MUNICIPAL RECORDS

FamilySearch also offers the Spain, Province of Cadiz, Municipal Records for 1784-1956. Some of these digital images have been indexed, but it would serve you well to browse through the 1.6 million records. Remember, they are broken down into smaller locations which make searching over 1 million records do-able. The municipal records include what is traditionally considered civil records like birth, marriage, and death items. However, they go one step further and contain some interesting record sets such as censuses, military records, and nobility records.

WHY WE’RE HERE

Each week, we share what’s new and updated in genealogical record collections. We hope you will feel inspired to dig with us as we flesh out our long, lost ancestors. For more helpful tips and tricks for your genealogy success, sign-up for our free weekly newsletter found at the top right of this page or by scrolling to the bottom if you are on your mobile device. Have a great weekend!

MORE GEMS ON RESEARCHING IMMIGRANT ANCESTORS

U.S. Passport Applications: Finding Immigrant & Traveling Ancestors

Beginning Irish Genealogy: Tip & Free Records
Google Drive and other tips

How to Use Google Earth for Genealogy

 

Bring Some Sunshine to Your Family Tree

SunChart_FeatureImage

Family tree charts come in all shapes and sizes. Fan charts, bowtie charts, and the popular portrait charts are just a few of the many options. Many of our favorite genealogy software and apps allow us to create a printed version of our family tree. Creating and printing a beautiful family tree chart can bring a little sunshine into your own family tree!

Free Family Tree Charts at FamilySearch

FamilySearch Family Tree is free and available to everyone. When you have created your free account and add your family tree data, you are given four family tree viewing options. These options include the landscape, the fan, the portrait, and the descendancy views. Each of these viewing options are available to download or print in chart form.

I really like the portrait chart. If you have many pictures of your ancestors, I think you will love this option. To see the portrait view, click on the second icon at the top left of the family tree screen.

family tree chart traditional view

Landscape view of family tree at FamilySearch

At the new screen,  you will see the look of your family tree has changed. This is the portrait view. If you would like to print or download the chart, simply click the print icon at the right of the screen. This will open a default screen where you have the option to rotate, print, and download the chart.

family tree chart in portrait view

Portrait view of family tree at FamilySearch

Some of my friends have downloaded their charts to a thumb drive and then taken them to Staples or Office Depot to print them in poster size. Isn’t that neat? What a great way to share the family history at your next family reunion!

Family Tree Charts at MyHeritage

MyHeritage has always had a nice assortment of family tree chart options. One of my favorites is the “bowtie chart.” This bowtie chart shows the main person in the center next to their spouse. Ancestors are on either side, and their children are below. With eighteen style options, you can be sure to find one that is perfect for you.

bowtie family tree chart

Bowtie Chart by MyHeritage

MyHeritage offers some free access and some things that require a subscription. Creating a free account allows you to create a family tree with 250 people. By upgrading to the PremiumPlus subscription level for $9.95, you are unlimited in the number of people in your family tree. To read more about the pricing and subscription level differences and access our digital MyHeritage Cheat Sheet, click here.

Recently, MyHeritage added a beautiful Sun Chart option. Like in all cases, you must first upload a GEDCOM or create a family tree file. A Sun Chart is a type of descendant fan chart, however, unlike other’s it supports photos. The main person or couple is displayed in the center and the descendants are shown in the outer rings.

To create your own Sun Chart, click Family Tree at the top and choose Print charts & books from the pull-down menu. At the new screen, choose whichever chart you are interested in printing. In this case, I chose the Sun Chart.

step one of family tree chart

By scrolling down, you can customize your Sun Chart with a title, specific facts for each individual, photo size, and number of generations.

I customized my settings to large pictures size and included only three generations.

family tree chart sun chart

Sun Chart by MyHeritage

It may take several minutes for your chart to be generated. I had to wait about twenty minutues. MyHeritage also allows you to download, print, and even order a poster size of your chart directly from their website.

Create a Family Chart Today!

Whether you decide to share your family tree chart creation via email or printed poster, it will be sure to be a big hit. We would love to hear about your own favorite family tree chart creations and how you have shared them. Please let us know about them in the comments below.

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Alternate Family Trees Offer Unique Perspective to Family History

3 Ways to Talk About DNA at Your Next Family Reunion

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