From the Editor
The big news this month is Ancestry's announcement that they are discontinuing sales of Family Tree Maker software at the end of the year. You can read my take below under Recent Posts.
CensusTools (Our Sponsor)
CensusTools genealogy spreadsheets were created by Gary Minder as a result of his inability to find a practical solution to keep track of the census data found in his research. CensusTools provides researchers with quality tools to electronically record, preserve and archive family history data. You can download the 1940 census spreadsheets for free at the below link. If you like it, I think you'll find the entire pack of 40 spreadsheets a welcome addition to your genealogy toolbox.
Download the 1940 Census Spreadsheet for FREE »
Family history is much more than facts and dates. To tell a story, we have to be able to place our ancestors into the proper historical and geographical context. eReferenceDesk has a collection of state timelines that can help you do just that with relevant events going back hundreds of years.
Surname Variations and How To Navigate Them
Q: What do Sean Gough, Jean Lefevre, Giovanni Ferrari, Juan Herrero, Ivan Kowalski, Hans Schmidt, Jan Kowalski and Janos Kovacs have in common? A: In Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, respectively, all are the equivalent of John Smith. LegacyFamilyTree.com offers 5 tips with case studies to help you navigate the confusion of surname variations.
The World Is Not Ending… or, Ancestry Is Discontinuing FTM
The genealogy world was rocked yesterday by Ancestry.com's announcement that they are discontinuing Family Tree Maker. First and foremost, understand that your version of Family Tree Maker is not going to turn into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. What are the implications of Ancestry's announcement, and what should FTM users (and Ancestry users who don't use desktop software) do now? Read More »
FAN Club: Friends, Associates, Neighbors
Have you actually hit a brick wall or have you just not checked the right places? There are times when all of us think we have hit a brick wall, but in many cases we just haven't exhausted our resources. I have at least 2 lines where I have hit what appears to be a dead end, but in reality there are records that I have not checked. Sometimes this involves in-person research to use resources not available online, but often we can further our knowledge using online resources before we have to visit a repository. Read More »
FREE Online Genealogy Workshops
As amateur genealogists, we often don't know what we don't know. Terms like GPS, conflicting evidence, exhaustive research, citation, triangulation, and others can leave the new genealogist overwhelmed and ready to head back to our favorite online service for the low-hanging fruit. If we are going to do this research thing, we need to education ourselves. You never know when it will pay off in a completely unexpected way, and no one wants a family tree with someone else's relatives in it because they just didn't know any better. Read More »