Genealogy Gems Book Club: Q & A with Genealogist Nathan Dylan Goodwin, Author of The Sterling Affair

After a long day of genealogical research, what could be more satisfying than curling up with a good book about genealogical research?! Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s new book The Sterling Affair promises a satisfying return journey into the life of forensic genealogist Morton Farrier. 

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Click here to purchase your copy of The Sterling Affair

Genealogy Gems The Sterling Affair by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. Click image to order your copy.

The Sterling Affair by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

Goodwin sets the scene of his new book as follows:

“When an unannounced stranger comes calling at Morton Farrier’s front door, he finds himself faced with the most intriguing and confounding case of his career to-date as a forensic genealogist. He agrees to accept the contract to identify a man who had been secretly living under the name of his new client’s long-deceased brother.

Morton must use his range of resources and research skills to help him deconstruct this mysterious man’s life, ultimately leading him back into the murky world of 1950s international affairs of state.”

A Conversation with Author Nathan Dylan Goodwin

Don’t worry, we won’t be spoiling the exciting read you have ahead of you. Today I will be chatting with Nathan about his life as an author, his writing process, and how the main character, Morton Farrier, almost didn’t make it past the first book!

Lisa Louise Cooke: The Sterling Affair is your eighth novel in the Morton Farrier genealogical crime mystery series. When you first began writing the series did you imagine an eighth book?  And today can you imagine even more?

Nathan: I literally had no concept that there would be so many books in the series! At first, it was written as a one-off, then I started to have ideas for two or three more.

I think when I wrote book three, The Orange Lilies, I knew that the series had plenty more scope, especially as DNA-testing was just beginning for genealogists, opening up a whole new world of potential storylines! As to the future of the series, I’m currently plotting books nine and ten. I don’t see an end to the series just yet!

The Sterling Affair - a genealogical crime mystery

Click the book image to order your copy.

Lisa Louise Cooke: I heard you speak at THE Genealogy Show conference in Birmingham England in 2019. In that presentation you told the audience that you almost killed off Morton at the end of the first book. I imagine you’re glad now that he survived. What exactly happened back then? 

Nathan: Killing Morton would have been the most stupid thing I could have done!

I started writing Hiding the Past (the first book in the series) as part of my studies for a Master’s Degree in creative writing and I think I’d been reading a novel at the time, which went along the lines of ‘if you’re reading this then I’m dead’. I thought this angle might work for the first draft of my story but thankfully, as the book progressed, I was able to see several plotlines, which could continue into further stories.

I knew from the outset that I wanted the main character, Morton Farrier, to have been adopted and be totally unaware of his biological family, so there was plenty of scope there to continue that subplot in future books.

Lisa Louise Cooke: How has the advent of DNA testing changed the course of your writing?

Nathan: DNA-testing has completely changed the course of my writing—in a good way, I like to think! There are now so many more possibilities for Morton to solve his cases in different ways.

Morton took an Ancestry DNA test back in 2014 when it had not yet even become possible in the UK. He did what I had to do, which was to order one in the US and have a friend ship it over, then post it back to the US for testing and analysis!

From that point onwards, DNA has played an ever-increasing role in helping Morton to solve his cases. In the most recent book, The Sterling Affair, Morton uses a variety of real tools and websites which are familiar to genealogists.

Lisa Louise Cooke: When you start a book like The Sterling Affair, do you already have it well mapped out, or are there surprises even for you along the way as to the path it will take?

Nathan: I usually spend at least three months conducting research for the books. This involves reading, visiting record offices, libraries, churches, etc. Basically, anything which Morton does in the book, I do first.

 

Novel Research - photo courtesy of Nathan Dylan Goodwin

Photo courtesy of Nathan Dylan Goodwin

At the point when I actually start writing I probably have about 60% of the storyline mapped out. It’s a big cliché to say so, but for me the characters really do come to life and do things which I hadn’t anticipated. For the first few books I found it a little unnerving to be starting to write something that I didn’t know pretty well 100% what was going to happen, but now I trust myself and I know I’ll get to the end if I let the characters lead the way!

Lisa Louise Cooke: Where do you get your inspiration for the story lines in your books? 

Nathan: My ideas come from a variety of sources, but never by actively searching for the next story; I just seem to stumble on a nugget of an idea, which I think could make for an interesting genealogical crime mystery and make a note of it! It can be a news story involving history or genealogy in some way, something I’ve picked up from a family history publication, or a Facebook group where people share their own genealogical mysteries.

Increasingly, the books have more real-life characters, plotlines and locations. For example, The Spyglass File, which is set on the frontline of Kent during the Battle of Britain, was loosely based on my grandmother’s story, whereby she gave birth to an illegitimate child in 1943, whom she put up for adoption whilst my grandfather was a POW in Thailand.

Nathan Dylan Goodwin Genealogy Gems Podcast

Nathan’s Grandmother – Photo courtesy of Nathan Dylan Goodwin.

The Sterling Affair is based on nefarious goings-on during the 1950s and involves real undercover MI6 operations and real spies. The idea for this story came from the National Archives newsletter, which mentioned the release of some previously closed MI6 records. This got me thinking about someone trying to conceal their real identity and Morton having to use his skills to work out who he might be! 

Lisa Louise Cooke: For those new to your books, they will see that this is the eighth novel in the series and wonder if it’s too late to join in. Can the book be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone novel? 

Nathan: I always say that the books can be read as a stand-alone, but you would be missing out on Morton’s backstory. However, with The Sterling Affair there is not too much given away about his own past, so, of all of the stories, this is the most readable out of sequence!

Lisa Louise Cooke: When you’re not writing about Morton Farrier, what is your favorite way to spend free time? 

Nathan: I’m not sure what you mean by ‘free time’!? Obviously, I spend a lot of time on genealogy. I’ve been researching my own family for thirty years now and I feel very fortunate to be able to combine my two loves of writing and genealogy. Aside from that, I enjoy reading, running, skiing, theatre and spending time with my family, friends and dog.

Lisa Louise Cooke: You’re a man of many talents. Do you have other “wishlist” projects you yearn to do in addition to writing?

Nathan: I enjoy photography and would like to develop that at some point in the future and I really would like to take a watercolour painting class at some point. I just need some of that free time you mentioned!

Photography by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

A man of many talents – Photography by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

Lisa Louise Cooke: I’ll be at RootsTech again this year. Will we see you there?

Nathan: I shall have a booth at RootsTech SLC this year signing books and also at THE Genealogy Show in Birmingham once again. So people can come and say hello and let me know what they think of my stories. I love chatting with my readers!

Hear More from Nathan Dylan Goodwin

Read and hear more from genealogical author Nathan Dylan Goodwin in the following exclusive Genealogy Gems content:

  1. Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 180 features an Interview with Nathan Dylan Goodwin author of The Lost Ancestor.
  2. Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 179 features a discussion of The Lost Ancestor by Nathan Dylan Goodwin.
  3. Interview with Nathan Dylan Goodwin: Genealogy Gems Book Club – In this article from 2015 Nathan discusses the second book in the Morton Farrier series, The Lost Ancestor. 
  4. Listen to the full-length Genealogy Gems Book Club interview with Nathan Dylan Goodwin, as he discusses The Lost Ancestor (The Forensic Genealogist) in Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode 125 (exclusive for Genealogy Gems Premium Members.)
  5. Listen to our interview with Nathan Dylan Goodwin about his The Wicked Trade and The Suffragette’s Secret in Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode 159 (exclusive for Genealogy Gems Premium Members.

Catch up on the Morton Farrier

Learn more about the entire book series featuring Morton Farrier here in this Genealogy Gems Book Club article. 

The Story I Discovered in this Week’s New Online Genealogy Records!

Once again, this week’s newest genealogical records to come online don’t disappoint. As I compiled this list for you this week, I jumped with joy as I discovered records that confirm the stories of my youth.

find your story in new online genealogy records

Like many families, mine is complicated. After my paternal grandparents divorced in 1956, my grandmother married her ex-husband’s brother in 1958.

Pauline_&_Elzie_Moore

Uncle Elzie and Grandmother Pauline Moore

Elzie Moore was not only my great uncle, but my step-grandfather (if there is such a thing.) As a child all I knew was that I was lucky to have what amounted to three grandfathers, although we respectfully called him “Uncle Elzie”.

This photo very much represents how I remember him:

Pauline and Elzie Moore Thanksgiving 1974

Pauline and Elzie Moore Thanksgiving 1974

He was devoted to my grandmother and ready to help whenever needed.

But well before I was born, he was ready to help his country when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941.

Genealogy Military Records Elzie Moore

Elzie Moore in 1941.

He didn’t talk much about it, but I remember the day I was sitting on his lap examining his face. I asked him about the prominent scar on the side of his chin. He laughingly told me a variety of wild hair-brained stories as to how he got it. He then simply and quietly told me he had been shot during the war. That was that.

The story was later confirmed by my dad, who went on to explain that was just one of several wounds Uncle Elzie sustained through a heroic career.

And now, so many decades later, the details from the records themselves appear on my screen. In the WWII Hospital Admission Card Files released this month by Ancestry, I discovered not one but three different admission records.

The first was the admission record for that chin injury. He was admitted to the hospital in July of 1944 for a facial wound by a “bullet, missile” sustained in battle. He was discharged in September 1944 and sent back to the front line.

WWI Hospital Admission Records at Ancestry.com

WWI Hospital Admission Records at Ancestry.com

The next record was an admission in November 1944 (although there appears to be a discrepancy in the transcription because the discharge date is listed as May 1944.) This time his injuries were shells and fragments to the thigh, buttock and hip in battle.

When working with these records it’s important to closely examine the service number listed. The third record had also matched “Elzie Moore” which you wouldn’t think was a common name. However, closer inspection revealed a different service number – he was not the same man.

Check the service number to confirm

Check the service number to confirm you have the right person.

Though the man himself rarely spoke of his service, the genealogy gems I found today in the records speak volumes. I’m grateful to have more of the story behind the “Purple Heart” inscription that appears on his grave marker.

Elzie Cecil Moore grave stone - genealogy military records

Elzie Cecil Moore grave marker

I hope this week’s list below brings you new genealogy gems!

New Records at Ancestry

Denmark
Denmark, Church Records, 1812-1918
Updated 1/15/2020

United States
U.S. WWII Hospital Admission Card Files, 1942-1954
NEW as of 1/6/2020

Washington State, U.S.
Washington, Death Index, 1940-2017
Updated 1/21/2020

New Records at FamilySearch

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 6 January 2020

United States

Georgia
Georgia, Chatham, Savannah, Laurel Grove Cemetery Record Keeper’s Book (colored), 1852-1942
129 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Georgia, Columbus, Linwood and Porterdale Colored Cemeteries, Interment Records, 1866-2000
114 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Hawaii
Hawaii, Board of Health, Marriage Record Indexes, 1909-1989
12,560 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Louisiana
Louisiana, New Orleans, Interment Registers, 1836-1972
868 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Louisiana, New Orleans, Slave Manifests of Coastwise Vessels, 1807-1860
115,098 New indexed records collection

Michigan
Michigan, Civil War Centennial Observance Commission, Committee on Civil War Grave Registration, Burial Records
2,957 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Mississippi
Mississippi, County Marriages, 1858-1979
2,419 Added indexed records to an existing collection

North Carolina
North Carolina, Center for Health Statistics, Vital Records Unit, County Birth Records, 1913-1922
239 Added indexed records to an existing collection

South Carolina
South Carolina, Charleston City Death Records, 1821-1926
37,437 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Tennessee
Tennessee, Shelby County, Memphis, Board of Health Death Records, 1848-1913
1,330 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Missouri
United States, Missouri, Recruitment Lists of Volunteers for the United States Colored Troops, 1863-1865
17,881 New indexed records collection

American Samoa 
American Samoa, Vital Records, 1850-1972
2,237 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Australia
Australia, South Australia, Immigrants Ship Papers, 1849-1940
145,165 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Brazil
Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Civil Registration, 1829-2012
75,768 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Brazil, Santa Catarina, Civil Registration, 1850-1999
3,314 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Canada
Nova Scotia Church Records, 1720-2001
4,881 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Chile
Chile, Catholic Church Records, 1710-1928
806 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Chile, Cemetery Records, 1821-2015
203,870 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Colombia
Colombia, Bogotá, Burial Permits, 1960-1991
6,371 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Ecuador
Ecuador, Catholic Church Records, 1565-2011
2,277,196 Added indexed records to an existing collection

England
England, Oxfordshire Parish Registers 1538-1904
43 Added indexed records to an existing collection

England, Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1613-1887
1,898 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Haiti
Haiti, Port-au-Prince, Civil Registration, 1794-2012
193,434 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Ireland
Ireland, Poverty Relief Funds, 1810-1887
691,210 New indexed records collection

Italy
Italy, Trieste, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1924-1944
1,305 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Netherlands
Netherlands, Noord-Holland, Civil Registration, 1811-1950
72,937 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru
Peru, Áncash, Civil Registration, 1888-2005
140,119 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru, Ayacucho, Civil Registration, 1903-1999
3,733 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru, Huánuco, Civil Registration, 1889-1997
10,307 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru, Prelature of Yauyos-Cañete-Huarochirí, Catholic Church Records, 1665-2018
550 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone, Civil Births, 1802-1969
1,200 Added indexed records to an existing collection

South Africa
South Africa, Civil Marriage Records, 1840-1973
425 Added indexed records to an existing collection

South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Vital Records, 1868-1976
4,543 Added indexed records to an existing collection

MyHeritage

Sweden
Sweden Household Examination Books, 1840-1947
Updated January 19, 2020
Total number of records in the collection: 125,672,188

“The Household Examination Books are the primary source for researching the lives of individuals and families throughout the Parishes of Sweden, from the late 1600’s until modern times. The books were created and kept by the Swedish Lutheran Church which was tasked with keeping the official records of the Swedish population until 1991.

Each book or series of books represents a 3-10 year period of time within a parish. Every year until 1894 the Parish Priest would visit each home and test each individual’s knowledge of the catechism. They would also collect information about birth dates, marriages, deaths, where people had moved to or from, etc. Each year the priest would come back and update the information of the previous year, noting changes within the population of the home. After 1894 the examinations were less focused on doctrinal knowledge and more focused on enumerating the Swedish population.”

The British Newspaper Archive

 “This week we are delighted to welcome 71,598 additional pages to The Archive, as well as five brand new titles. Two of these titles, the Wakefield Express and the South Notts Echo, originate in England, while the other three, the Leinster Reporter, the Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald, and the Times of India are spread out across Ireland, Wales and India respectively.”

Start searching the British Newspaper Archive here.

New historic newspaper titles added:

Leinster Reporter
Years added: 1897-1925, 1927-1928

Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald
Years added: 1850-1872, 1874-1877, 1897

Times of India
Years added: 1861-1865, 1867-1888

Wakefield Express
Years added: 1879, 1892, 1897-1898, 1902, 1911, 1918

South Notts Echo
Years added: 1919-1923, 1927-1939

What Have You Found this Week?

Did you find some genealogy gems in any of these new records? We’d love to hear your story. Please leave a comment below.

And if you enjoyed this article we’d be grateful if you shared it on Facebook and other social media to help other family historians. You’ll find convenient sharing buttons at the top of this article. Thank you!

England Wales electoral registers Be_A_Dear_Please_Share new records Ancestrycom

New Genealogy Records Online – January 23, 2020

New genealogical records continue to pour on line. This week we’re highlighting the latest from FamilySearch and MyHeritage. We’re crossing our fingers that the records you’ve been waiting for are among them. Happy searching!

new genealogy records

FamilySearch New Records

SALT LAKE CITY, UT—FamilySearch.org added over 8 million newfree, historical records from WWII Draft Registration Cards (1940-1947) and Lincolnshire, England, Parish Registers (1538-1990). The military records are from California, Kansas, Montana, Oregon and Texas.  More indexed records were added from Australia, Finland, France, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Sweden, and the United States. 

Australia        

Australia, Convict Tickets of Leave, 1824-1874
Indexed Records: 60,093 
New indexed records collection

Belgium

Belgium, Antwerp, Civil Registration, 1588-1913
Added 68,547 indexed records to an existing collection

Belgium, Hainaut, Civil Registration, 1600-1913
Added 8,767 indexed records to an existing collection

Belgium, Namur, Civil Registration, 1800-1912
Added 53,070 indexed records to an existing collection

Canada

Nova Scotia Church Records, 1720-2001
Added 565  indexed records to an existing collection

England         

England, Lincolnshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1990
Indexed Records: 3,947,025
New indexed records collection

England, Herefordshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1583-1898
Added 2, 263 indexed records to an existing collection

England, Herefordshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1583-1898
Added 1,369 indexed records to an existing collection

England, Northumberland, Parish Registers, 1538-1950 
Added 557,993 indexed records to an existing collection

England, Oxfordshire Parish Registers 1538-1904
Added 474 indexed records to an existing collection

England, Oxfordshire Parish Registers 1538-1904
Added 1,471  indexed records to an existing collection

England, Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1613-1887
Added 2,074 indexed records to an existing collection

England, Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1613-1887
Added 815 indexed records to an existing collection

 

Finland          

Finland, Tax Lists, 1809-1915
Indexed Records: 24,525
Added indexed records to an existing collection

France           

France, Vienne, Census, 1896  
Indexed Records: 6,635
Added indexed records to an existing collection

Netherlands  

Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Vital Records
Indexed Records: 6,684 
Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru               

Peru, Catholic Church Records, 1603-1992  
Indexed Records: 34 
Added indexed records to an existing collection

 

Poland           

Poland, Lublin Roman Catholic Church Books, 1784-1964
Indexed Records: 6,522
Added indexed records to an existing collection

Sweden         

Sweden, Stockholm City Archives, Index to Church Records, 1546-1927
Indexed Records: 98,780
Added indexed records to an existing collection

California

California, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945  
Indexed Records: 2,083,701
Digital Images: 2,112,990
New indexed records and images collection

Hawaii

Hawaii, Grantor and Grantee Index, 1845-1909
Indexed Records: 229,833
Added indexed records to an existing collection

Kansas

Kansas, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945
Indexed Records: 429,561
New indexed records collection

Montana

Montana, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945  
Indexed Records: 144,392 
New indexed records collection

Oregon

Oregon, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945
Indexed Records: 295,077 
New indexed records collection

Texas

Texas, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1947
Indexed Records: 1,794,395
Digital Images: 1,819,299
New indexed records and images collection

MyHeritage New Records

Here’s the latest from the folks at MyHeritage:

Historical Books – Index of Authors and People Mentioned, 1811–2003

Description: An index of persons mentioned in various English-language public domain books as well as the names of authors of these publications. This collection of 494 million records is an index of persons mentioned in various English-language public domain books as well as the names of authors of these publications. The number of digitized books is over 3 million. The following searchable information can be found in most records in the index: the title and the year of publication, name of the author(s), birth and death year of the author(s), the names of all the individuals mentioned in the publication, the publisher, and the subject(s) of the publication.

Number of Records: 494,096,291 records in 3,024,213 books

 

Authors of Scholarly Articles

Description: Names of authors of millions of scholarly articles. This collection of 272 million records includes the names of authors of millions of scholarly articles. Authors’ names are collected from over 50,000 journals and open-access repositories from all over the world. Records typically include the given name and surname of authors and co-authors, the article’s title and date, the name of the journal, and the name of its publisher. For some of the articles, a link is provided to view the article online.

Number of Records: 272,046,994 records

VITAL RECORDS

Texas Marriages and Divorces

Description: An index of marriage license applications from all counties in the state of Texas for the years 1966 to 2016. This collection was updated and now contains 26 million records.

Number of Records: 26,591,435 records

 

France, Military Death Index, 1914–1961

Description: An index of death records of individuals who died fighting in the French armed forces, members of foreign armed forces who died fighting in France, and civilians who were killed in France.

This free collection of 5 million records is an index of death records of individuals who died fighting in the French armed forces, members of foreign armed forces who died fighting in France, and civilians who were killed in France. The majority of the records pertain to the First World War, although there are also records from the Second World War, the Franco-Prussian War, and various other conflicts that occurred in France or that involved the French armed forces. Records may contain the following searchable information: first and last name of the individual, date and place of birth, date and place of death, burial place, and the first and last names of the individual’s parents and spouse.

The following information may also be found in most records: rank and regiment, company, conflict, military decorations, additional notes on locations, and the individual’s family situation.

Number of Records: 5,332,260 records

Germany, Hesse Marriage Index, 1849–1931

Description: An index of marriage records from several communities that are within the state of Hesse in Germany.

This collection of 4.77 million records includes marriage records from several communities within the state of Hesse in Germany. Marriages were usually recorded in the bride’s place of residence. When the information is available a record will include the groom’s given name and surname, age or birthdate, birthplace, residence, occupation, marriage date, and information about the groom’s parents. A record will also include the bride’s given name and surname or maiden name, age or birthdate, birthplace, residence, occupation, and information about the bride’s parents.

Starting in 1874, the state mandated that new local civil registry offices be responsible for creating civil registers of birth, marriage, and death records in the former Prussian provinces, among them many communities in Hesse.

Number of Records: 4,770,560 records

Germany, Hesse Birth Index, 1874–1911

Description: An index of birth records from several communities that are within the state of Hesse in Germany.

This collection of 3.78 million records includes birth records from several communities within the state of Hesse in Germany. When the information is available a record will include the child’s given name, the date of a birth, and sex. Information about the mother includes given name, maiden name, last name, address, and spouse. Information is also provided about the informant. An informant was often the father of the child or a midwife.

Number of Records: 3,784,938 records

NEWSPAPERS

This is the next installment in our U.S. newspaper collections. We have added 14.6 million pages from nine states: Florida, Wisconsin, Kansas, Texas, Montana, Minnesota, Illinois, and Tennessee. The newspapers in this update range in date from the late 19th/early 20th century to 2009.

Newspapers are an important resource for genealogy and family history research as they contain obituaries and other vital record substitutes such as birth, marriage, and death notices. Additionally, society pages and stories of local interest contain rich information on activities and events in the community and often provide details about the persons involved.

Before vital records were recorded by city, county, or state governments, local newspapers often published articles listing or detailing these events. Obituaries contain vital and biographical information on the deceased as well as his or her family and relatives.

Society pages began as a way to entice readers with gossip and news about the wealthy and famous but soon evolved to cover the goings-on of “average” citizens. An incredible array of information can be discovered in these society pages or sections from seemingly mundane notices and reports on events such as parties, job changes, hospital stays, and social visits by friends or relatives. These pages are a source of historical events that are unlikely to exist in any other record.

Coverage and completeness in this collection varies by title.

Florida Newspapers

Description: This collection is a compendium of over 8 million newspaper pages from 25 newspaper titles published in various cities and towns in the state of Florida.
Time frame: 1901 to 2009.
Number of Records: 8,084,846 pages in 25 newspaper titles

Illinois Newspapers

Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Illinois.
Time frame:  1840 until 2009.
Number of Records: 83,452 pages in 14 newspaper titles

Kansas Newspapers

Description: This collection of 1.4 million newspaper pages is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Kansas.
Time frame: 1869 to 2009.
Number of Records: 1,473,037 pages in 39 newspaper titles

Minnesota Newspapers

Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Minnesota.
Time frame: 1902 until 2009.
Number of Records: 92,171 pages in 26 newspaper titles

Montana Newspapers

Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Montana.
Time frame: 1890 until 2009.
Number of Records: 155,210 pages in 94 newspaper titles

Oklahoma Newspapers

Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Oklahoma.
Time frame: 1927 to 2009.
Number of Records: 521,793 pages in 14 newspaper titles

Tennessee Newspapers

Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Tennessee.
Time frame: 1870 until 2009.
Number of Records: 66,994 pages in 8 newspaper titles

Texas Newspapers

Description: This collection of 1.2 million records is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Texas.
Time frame: 1848 to 2009.
Number of Records: 1,254,230 pages in 33 newspaper titles

Wisconsin Newspapers

Description: This collection of 2.8 million newspaper pages is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Wisconsin.
Time frame: 1884 to 2009.
Number of Records: 2,887,946 pages in 3 newspaper titles

Searching all of these collections in MyHeritage SuperSearch™ is free, but a Data or Complete subscription is required to view the full records, save them to your family tree, and fully access Record Matches. Our Record Matching technology will automatically find relevant historical records revealing new information about any ancestors who appear in these records.

 

 

 

 

Hotel Rervations Now Open for FGS 2020 Conference

The Federation of Genealogists annual conference will be held in Kansas City, Missouri on September 2 – 5, 2020. I’ll be there and I hope you will be too. Watch our #FGS2020 page here to learn more about my activities at #FGS2020. 

If you’re planning to attend, now is the time to book your hotel reservation. Rooms can fill up very quickly.

Here are all the details from the press release from the folks at the Federation of Genealogical Societies. 

FGS conference hotel reservations

HOTEL RESERVATIONS NOW OPEN FOR THE FGS 2020 CONFERENCE IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

*1/11/2020** – Austin, TX*.

FGS is pleased to announce that hotel reservations are now open for the 2020 Conference to be held in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Kansas City Marriott Downtown is now taking reservations for the 2020 FGS Family History Conference, “Blazing Trails in the Heart of America” The conference will be held September 2-5, 2020. This hotel is set in the heart of the downtown district and connects via walkway to the Kansas City Convention Center where the conference will be held.

FGS 2020 Conference room rates are available Saturday August 29, 2020 until Tuesday September 8, 2020 (subject to availability). Reservations must be made by August 3, 2020 to secure the conference rate.

Kansas City Marriott Downtown

200 West 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64105

Full details and links for FGS discounted reservations can be found on the FGS website here.

FGS 2020

Screen shot of FGS conference website.

Conference hotels fill up quickly, so it is not too early to make reservations. We look forward to seeing you in Kansas City!

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and empowers the genealogical and family history community, especially its societies and organizations, by advocating for the preservation and access of records and providing resources that enable genealogical organizations to succeed in pursuing their missions.

FGS helps genealogical societies and family history enthusiasts alike to strengthen and grow through online resources, *FGS FORUM *magazine, and through its annual national conference which provides four days of excellent learning opportunities for both societies and family history enthusiasts.

FGS launched the Preserve the Pensions project in 2010 to raise more than $3 million to digitize and make freely available the pension files from the War of 1812. Fundraising was completed for that project in 2016 and the digitization continues. FGS was also the driving force behind the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors project alongside the National Parks Service.

 

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 237

The Genealogy Gems Podcast is the leading genealogy and family history show. Launched in 2007, the show is hosted by genealogy author, keynote presenter, and video producer Lisa Louise Cooke. The podcast can be found in all major podcasting directories, or download the exclusive Genealogy Gems Podcast app to listen to all the episodes and receive bonus content. 

Podcast host: Lisa Louise Cooke
January 2020
Download the episode mp3

Download the Show Notes PDF in the Genealogy Gems Podcast app. 

We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Genealogy Gems app. We blazed a new trail back in 2010 when we launched the app – apps were still really new back then.  I loved the idea of having a way to deliver exclusive bonus content to you as well as the audio, the show notes and best of all an easy way for you to contact me and the show.

genealogy gems podcast app 10th anniversary

It’s more popular than ever, and as far as I know we are still the only genealogy podcast app available. If you haven’t already downloaded it just search for Genealogy Gems in Google Play or Apple’s App Store, or get the right app for your phone or tablet here.

In this episode I have two interviews for you on very different subjects. First up will be a follow up to last month’s episode where we focused specifically on the New York Public Library Photographers’ Identities Catalog.

Well, in this episode we’re going to talk to the genealogy reference librarian at the New York Public Library, Andy McCarthy. And as you’ll hear, there are a massive amount of resource available there for genealogists everywhere.

Then we’ll switch gears to Scandinavian genealogy with David Fryxell, author of the new book The Family Tree Scandinavian Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Ancestors in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

The free podcast is sponsored by RootsMagic

Rootsmagic

GEM: The New York Public Library’s Milstein Division of United States

History, Local History & Genealogy with Reference Librarian Andy McCarthy.

The NYPL is one of the largest public genealogical collections in the country. They have a “wide-angle” approach to providing reference materials for local and US History.

The Top Resources at The New York Public Library

#1 The reference librarians.

Email them at history@nypl.org Ask questions, prepare for your visit.

#2 The online catalog:

Click here to visit the New York Public Library’s Online Catalog.

While they subscribe to many genealogy databases, they don’t host many. Use the catalog to determine what’s available, and what to ask for. See if what you’re looking for exists. Pay close attention to subject headings to identify resources.

#3 The Digital Collections

Click here to visit the Digital Collections at the New York Public Library. 

  • City Directory Collection up to 1933.
  • Manhattan is the largest and is coming soon. This collection was only available previously on microfilm. It is a browse-only collection (not keyword searchable)
  • The 1940 Phone Directory is online.
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Map collection is digitized and online.
  • The Map Wharper which is a crowd-sourcing project providing for historic map overlays, and super zooming in views. 

Offline Materials: 

They also have a massive collection available in house of books, pamphlets, newspapers, etc. There are research and photo copying services available.

#4 Research Guides online

Click here to view the New York Public Library’s research guides. 

Before you go:

  • Definitely reach out before you go.
  • Provide them with specific questions and they can help you identify what to focus on while you’re there.
  • Visit the Milstein home page. They also have many public classes. Check to see what will be available during your visit.

One of Andy’s Favorites Collections

The Photographic Views of NYC Collection. Arranged by cross streets

The free podcast is sponsored by MyHeritage

MyHeritage

GEM: Scandinavian Research with Author David Fryxell

David Fryxell’s book on Scandinavian Genealogy

David A. Fryxell is the author of the book The Family Tree Scandinavian Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Ancestors in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

David is an award-winning author, editor, speaker and publishing consultant. He founded Family Tree Magazine, the nation’s leading genealogy publication. As a writing expert, he wrote the Nonfiction column for Writer’s Digest magazine for more than a decade and served as director of the famous Maui Writer’s Retreat. He has authored countless articles for Family Tree Magazine, and is also the author of additional books including Good Old Days, My Ass and MicroHistory: Ideas and inventions that made the modern world.

David Fryxell Scandinavian Genealogy Author

Author David Fryxell

Here’s a brief outline of my Q&A with David Fryxell on his new book and Scandinavian genealogy research:

Question:

To understand the ties between the Scandinavian countries, and why countries like Finland and Iceland aren’t included, we have to learn about the cultures and languages, right?

Answer:

Scandinavian countries are really tied by language. And at one point all the countries were united. Borders change. The records reflect these various changes.

Question:

What’s the timeline of Scandinavian immigration?

Answer:

The First Wave, 1825–1860

The Second Wave, 1865–1880

The Third Wave, 1880–1924

Question:

What value do you think DNA testing provides, and what should we keep in mind if we do test?

Answer:

DNA results are most helpful to find other relatives who may be able to assist in your research.

Question:

Let’s say we know we’ve identified the ancestor who immigrated. What else do we need to know before we can jump the pond and start digging into Scandinavian records?

Answer:

In the case of Scandinavian ancestors, you may not have to find the U.S. passenger records. They have excellent passenger departure records.

Question:

Tell us about the census in Scandinavia. Is it consistent among all three countries?

Answer:

Norway and Denmark have good census records. You can find them at:

They are increasingly searchable, and much like our census records in the U.S.

Sweden doesn’t really have useful census records. But they have Household Inventory records in church books. They were recorded every year. Turn to websites such as ArchivDigital, and Ancestry.com.

Question:

Let’s dig into the records. Where do you recommend we start?

Answer:

Church records are key. (Vital Records, census, vaccination, etc.) Also Military, Land and Tax.

Question:

I love that chapter 16 is called What to do when you get stuck! Give us an example of a common area where researchers get stuck and one of your favorite strategies for unsticking them.

Answer:

  • Get familiar with and pay close attention to patronymic naming conventions where a man’s name is typically based on the given name of their father.
  • Look closely!
  • Challenge your assumptions!

More Resources from David Fryxell: https://vikinggenealogy.com

Protect Your Precious Genealogy Data

Don’t wait another day. Get the computer backup that I use www.backblaze.com/Lisa.

Backblaze lisa louise cooke

Profile America: First Radio Broadcast

Monday, January 13th. Today is the anniversary of the first radio broadcast to the public. It took place 110 years ago in New York City, engineered by Lee deForest, a radio pioneer and inventor of the electron tube.

Lee de Forest First Radio Broadcast

The 1910 broadcast wasn’t made from a purpose-built radio studio, but from the Metropolitan Opera house. DeForest broadcast the voices of Enrico Caruso and other opera singers. A small but impressed audience throughout the city gathered around special receivers to listen with headphones.

Today, 95 percent of American households have at least one radio.

One-hundred ten years after deForest’s lonely effort, some 5,400 radio stations employ about 92,000 people.

Sources:

Courtesy of Census.gov.

MyHeritage LIVE conference

I’ll be speaking at this conference in Tel Aviv, Israel on October 25 & 26, 2020. Read more here.

RootsTech 2020

I’ll be presenting 4 sessions and look forward to visiting with you at the Genealogy Gems booth at the front of the exhibit hall. Get all the details here.

Read our latest articles at Genealogy Gems:

 

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