Wednesday, August 29, 2012

FGS announcement

The following announcement was written by and was announced today at the annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies:
Partnership makes records available to and creates a vital source of revenue for local societies

Image001LOS ANGELES, August 30, 2012 –, an international leader in online family history research, today announced a national partnership with Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) to preserve, digitize and provide access to local records from genealogical societies across the country.

The collaborative initiative will help preserve genealogical records and provide a vital revenue stream for the societies. Throughout the remainder of 2012, will release records from the following pilot partners:
  • New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, the most authoritative source for research on New York families
  • Illinois State Genealogical Society
  • Williamson County (Texas) Genealogical Society
“As we aggressively grow our business in the U.S., we are looking to form partnerships that benefit both the genealogical community and,” said Chris van der Kuyl, CEO of brightsolid, the parent company for findmypast. “This partnership will benefit our customers by giving them access to records that can’t be found anywhere else and participating societies will receive royalties for record images viewed.”

The records are a fantastic addition to a growing collection of US records on FGS members who participate will reach new audiences as each society and their collection will be promoted by

The society collection complements the new US and international records that will be made available on and could include:
  • Newspapers and obituaries
  • Bible records
  • Cemetery records
  • Birth, marriage and death records
  • Land records
  • Court records
 “Through its partnership with, the Federation of Genealogical Societies is pleased to offer a way for its member societies to engage with content providers and publishers,” said Pat Oxley, President of FGS. “Currently, one of the biggest challenges for societies is the pressure to provide online content, while also growing their membership and operating budgets. Through this partnership, societies will generate income and entice new audiences.”

About (owned by brightsolid) is the U.S. site of findmypast, an international leader in online family history with over 18 million registered members worldwide. Findmypast connects people to core and unique U.S., English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, Australian and New Zealand records dating back as far as 1200. 

About brightsolid is owned by brightsolid online publishing, a British-owned world leader in online genealogy, with over 45 years’ experience in family history and a record of online innovation in the field of family history nearly two decades long. With nearly 18 million registered users across its family of online genealogy brands, brightsolid hosts over a billion genealogical records from across the globe. The company reported a 75 percent growth in turnover and a 47 percent growth in gross profits in its most recent published accounts and was voted Best Genealogy Organization in the Online Gene Awards.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit

Join new indexing project at FamilySearch

North American Indexing Volunteers Invited to Join New US Immigration & Naturalization Community Project

More than 160,000 volunteer indexers made the 1940 U.S. Census available for searching in just five months. The project was an unprecedented success that dramatically illustrated what the genealogical community can accomplish when united in a common cause.

Now many volunteers are turning their attention to the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Community Project, an indexing effort to make passenger lists, naturalization records, and other immigration related records freely searchable online. Hundreds of thousands of North American volunteers are expected to contribute over the next 18-24 months, focusing initially on passenger lists from the major US ports.

Individuals, societies and other groups that want to participate should visit to learn more.

Current and Completed Projects

To view a list of currently available indexing projects, along with their record language and completion percentage, visit the FamilySearch indexing updates page. To learn more about individual projects, view the FamilySearch projects page.

 About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Update on 1940 Census from FamilySearch

This is the latest on the remaining States of 1940 Census:

Many of you have asked what the latest status is for posting the remaining states that make up the 1940 US Census project. Today we will be posting 9 more states to the FamilySearch website. These states include Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin, for a total of 37,575,945 additional records.
As it looks now, we will have one more release before the end of the month, at which time the entire census index will be posted as a searchable index. Next week we expect to publish the remaining states of Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Tennessee. At that time we will also post the territories of Guam, Panama Canal, and US Virgin Islands. After that, we will have only the two territories of American Samoa and Puerto Rico, which we hope to have posted by the end of the month.
Once again we want to thank the tens of thousands of you who have worked so hard to help create this valuable census index. Your efforts have been remarkable and the results are applauded by many throughout the entire country.
As we bring this project to a close, we hope that you will continue to visit the FamilySearch Indexing site and index some of the other collections we currently have available. Now that you have been trained and have such great experience indexing and arbitrating, we invite you to continue using your skills to make more records freely available to all who want to discover their ancestors and their history.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Changing directions on indexing

Portion of a post on FamilySearch blog concerning the new records to be indexed:

FamilySearch’s amazing volunteers have made short work of the 1940 US Census, and soon it will be time to bid this incredible project farewell. Who knew more than 140,000 people would show up and rally so diligently around the 1940 US Census Community Project? The speed of completion surpassed everyone’s expectations, and the result is simply incredible! Thank you for contributing your time and energy to such a monumental project!
Now we have the opportunity to turn our attention and energy to another monumental task—one that is even larger than the 1940 US Census. We call this new initiative the “US Immigration and Naturalization Community Project,” and we want YOU to join us in this new adventure.

About Immigration and Naturalization Records
Immigration and naturalization records are important to everyone. As change occurred around the world, people moved and adjusted to their new situations. Many of these immigrants came to America because it offered the promise of a better situation than they could find in their native countries. Making these immigration and naturalization records accessible will help millions discover why and when their ancestors migrated and where they came from. As genealogy researchers, we have all had roadblocks that have stalled our ability to find out what happened to a great-grandparent or other extended family members. Working together as a community, we now have an awesome opportunity to finally unlock the information many people need to get past their roadblocks.

Immigration records

Here is a post from FamilySearch concerning immigration records and the Wiki resources:

U.S. Immigration Records are a powerful source of useful genealogical and family history records that can assist you in your search for your immigrant ancestors. Many of these records and indexes to these records are available in FamilySearch database. They can help you determine when an ancestor arrived in the United States, the port they left from in their home country and which port they arrived in when they arrived in the United States. They can also be used to identify other family and community members who traveled with them along with other personal information.
The FamilySearch Wiki provides some excellent instructional information about using these immigration records. To get to these articles, go to the FamilySearch Wiki and type the words Immigration records in the search field. Scroll down to see hundreds of valuable and useful articles on using Immigration records.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Stanley Thomas Wall

Stanley was born before 1920 and was married to Doris LeGate. They had two children and then were divorced. We are not finding any record of this man. He is not on Census records 1920-40, no marriage record or any other record. His name came from birth records for his two girls. The family lived in area around Louisville, Kentucky and across the river in Indiana. Any info on this man would be appreciated.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cyndi Howells - Cyndi's List


What is Cyndi's list you ask?

 A comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online. As of this morning (because it changes daily) there are 319,841 links on the site in 189 categories. What started out as a service project over 15 yrs ago, now consumes the life of this one woman show. It seems to be an impossible task for one person, but requires organization and dedication. There is not enough praise that can be bestowed on someone who so completely dedicates their life to such worthwhile endeavors. Those in the genealogy community should be eternally grateful to Cyndi and others like her that serve us so well. Her website points out that this is the starting point for anyone using web resources for genealogy, (which would be all of us). Think of what has happened to research since the introduction of the www and everything that entails. We also owe a debt of gratitude to those who contribute and thus are listed by Cyndi. If not for them, there would be nothing to list. So here is a "big shout out" to all those who contribute in any way to this great work! She also appreciates those who contribute financially to her site.

Following is copied from her website and explains what she is doing and why.

 Why do you do all this?
The short answer is because I have fun doing this and I'm really happy to hear the great success stories that have come to people through using the list. The list began as a project for my local genealogical society in order to help our members find resources online. I want to make it easy for all researchers to find online resources for their genealogical research. I once read that the Internet is like a library with its books strewn all over the floor. I guess I'd like my list to be the card-catalog for the genealogy section of that library. And after all these years, I honestly believe that this is what I was meant to do. I’m very lucky that something I love to do has become a vocation.

How do you do all this?
  • I have had helpers and one part time employee in the past. Today, Cyndi’s List is a one-woman show again. It is a full time job, 7 seven days a week.
  • "Work" on the list means that I do each of the following things daily. My priority is to take care of the first two points below before I do anything else, the remaining points are not necessarily in order of importance:
    • Answer each incoming e-mail message. I have an auto-reply message that helps to let everyone know what the status is with my latest load of work.
    • Take care of all broken links & problems first (after all, what is the point in putting up the list if I'm not going to stay on top of correcting broken and non-working links?).
    • Add new links as I find them.
    • Add new links as I receive requests from users of the list.
    • Organize and sub-categorize each page as new ideas come up.
    • Add new categories and links as I come up with new ideas.
  • I originally created each and every page on my site by hand, writing the HTML code myself and using NoteTabPro to do so.
  • With help from donations by users of Cyndi’s List, I was able to hire a web development company, fusionSpan, to help me upgrade the site to its current state.
  • I periodically run a program on my site that checks links to be sure they still work and are accessible.
How did you get started on this list?
The list began as a one page set of bookmarks that I shared with my fellow genealogical society members at the Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society. After that I expanded it to be a 6-page article for the society quarterly. On March 4, 1996 I published my personal web site and, as sort of an after-thought, I added my "list" of bookmarks. The original list was contained on one categorized web page with more than 1,025 links.
You must spend all your time online!
Regardless of how it may appear, I actually do have a life. A very busy life at the moment. The other things that fill my days are:
  • I have a wonderful son, Evan. Currently in the 9th grade, he is a terrific student.
  • We have three Boston Terriers that think the universe revolves around them.
  • I try to keep the house in some semblance of order and cleanliness, although I'm really starting to question what the term "clean" really means.
  • I also have many friends and family members that I'm very close to. I do spend as much time with them as I can.
  • I give classes & presentations to groups and societies regarding genealogical research on the Internet.
Where do you live?
No, I don't live in Utah or Australia. I live just outside Puyallup, Washington, 35 miles south of Seattle, right next door to Tacoma. Puyallup is famous for its eccentric founder, Ezra Meeker (hero or nut?), its strawberries, raspberries & daffodils and for its fair.
Are you a member of the LDS church?
No, I am not. I have loved spending time at my local LDS Family History Center in Puyallup and even filled in as librarian there in the past. I have many friends who are members of the LDS church. As a genealogist I’m eternally grateful for everything the church does to share genealogical research materials with the world.
When do you get any time for your own research?
I haven't been able to do anything serious with my own research since the web site went online in March 1996. I have several new, very patient cousins (online and offline) who are waiting to hear from me. And I have a very disorganized filing cabinet screaming at me to get it in shape. When I published my personal web site in 1996, I started to share my family names and some research. It is still online here: Cyndi's Family Tree.
Thank you for the kind words!
If there is one thing that keeps me working on this web site every day, besides my own obvious passion for genealogy and the Internet, it would be the tremendous notes of support and the compliments that I receive from each of you via e-mail every day. I appreciate every wonderful note and the thoughtfulness behind them more than you can know. It is very rewarding and fulfilling to know that the site is doing its work as an aid to my online friends. Thank you for taking the time to write and for letting me know how useful the site is and that Cyndi's List is helping you in your daily research online. I will keep working on it as long as you keep using it successfully!

Friday, August 3, 2012

1940 Census report

Here is the latest report from FamilySearch on 1940 Census:

Many of you have asked where we are with the indexing of the 1940 US Census project. Looking on the FamilySearch indexing page, you’ve seen that you can no longer find 1940 census batches to index or arbitrate on the indexing site. You’ve also seen that the interactive map has not changed for the past 2 weeks. Please be assured that progress is being made.
We have indeed finished all of the indexing and arbitration of the 1940 US Census. The remaining few weeks will be used to finish the processing tasks that have to be done to make the indexes  as accurate as possible and completely searchable. The folks at Church headquarters are hard at work getting these tasks done as quickly as possible.
On Monday, August 6, we will post 6 new states. These states include Arkansas, Washington DC, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.  As it looks now, we will have two more releases before the end of the month, at which time the entire census index will be posted as a searchable index.
Once again we want to thank the tens of thousands of you who have worked so hard to help create this valuable census index. Collectively, we’ve shattered dozens of records. If anyone would have said that we could have started and completed a project like this in just 5 months without outsourcing any part of this collection, no one would have believed it. But we did it, thanks to the help of people like you. We had more than 150,000 indexers take part, some of whom indexed more than 100,000 records by themselves. This truly was a remarkable experience.
As we bring this project to a close, we hope that you will continue to index some of the other collections we currently have available. Now that you have been trained and have such great experience indexing and arbitrating, we invite you to continue using your skills to make more records freely available to all who want to discover their ancestors and their history.