Archives for December 2015

Genealogy New Year’s Resolutions for 2016

Since it’s that time of year, here are some ideas for New Year’s resolutions for your genealogy research.

  •  Join a local genealogy group.  There are many to pick from in our area.
  • Interview your oldest relative.
  • Scan photos and documents and store them in the cloud and/or on storage media devices such as an external hard drive, flash drive, etc.
  • Find a substitute genealogy software program if you were using Family Tree Maker.
  • Join an indexing project, either locally or nationally.
  • Upload photos of  family headstones on a site such as  FindAGrave or Billiongraves.
  • Share your genealogy findings with family members.
  • Attend the New York State Family History Conference in Syracuse in September.
  • Take advantage of your home library’s free databases such as Ancestry Library Edition, HeritageQuest, Fold3, Historical New York Times, etc.  Many databases can be accessed at home by using your library barcode. offers free access to popular records collections

This week, is opening up access to over 20 of its most searched collections during the past year.

This includes: the U.S. census (1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940), New York Passenger Lists, Pennsylvania Death Certificates, U.S. city directories and the U.S. Obituary Collection.

You will need to set up a free Ancestry account in order to access these records.

To get started, go to:

NYC Lutheran church record indexes available online

The Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society recently announced that it has completed the Geissenhainer Pastoral Records database.

The Rev. Frederick W. Geissenhainer Jr. documented his pastoral acts during his tenure at St. Matthew’s and St. Paul’s Lutheran Churches in New York City between 1827 and his death in 1879.

These were Lutheran Churches that primarily served the German population of New York City in the mid-1800s, during the height of German immigration.

All of the baptism, marriage, and confirmation entries from the Geissenhainer records have been transcribed. Entries for confirmations stopped in 1860, while those for marriages continued through 1870. Baptisms spanned the entire timeframe from 1827 through 1879. The database contains 1,180 confirmation records; 5,663 marriages; and 11,698 baptisms, for a total of over 18,000 records.

To access the database, you can go to the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Scoeity website at: In the search box, under record type, you can select either baptisms, confirmations or marriages.


Jewish Genealogy Society to meet this Sunday

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island will meet this Sunday, Dec. 20, from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Mid-Island Y-JCC, 45 Manetto Hill Road, in Plainview.

The topic will be “How Did Jews Get to Europe?” (Part 2) presented by Avraham Groll. Continuing the presentation he gave last April, Mr. Groll will tell us more about patterns of Jewish migration after the decline of Babylonian Jewry in the 9th and 10th centuries. He will use maps, pictures, and documents to illustrate why Jews chose (or were forced) to seek new homelands in Europe, the places they settled, and how they lived.

For more information, go to the club’s website at:

Genealogy software to be topic of Saturday meeting

The Irish Family History Forum will meet this Saturday, Dec. 19, from 10  a.m. – noon in the lower level of the Bethpage Public Library. There will be no coffee break.
Although the group does not usually meet in December, this meeting will take place due to the recent announcement that is going to stop selling the desktop software Family Tree Maker as of December 31, 2015.

Mike Carragher will present the details of the changes announced by, show alternate genealogy software, discuss transfer of data and the use of online trees.  All pertinent information will be posted to the  club website in the Members Section and a hand-out will be provided at the meeting.

Two free webinars to be offered Dec. 16

Two free webinars will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Legacy Family Tree webinars will present “Pointing Fingers at Ancestors’ Siblings” at 2 p.m. If your brick wall is giving you headaches and troubles, perhaps it’s time to take a fresh look at different people in your family tree. This webinar will focus on doing in-depth research on cousins and siblings in order to remove genealogy obstacles.

You must register for this free webinar. To register, go to:

The Southern California Genealogical Society will present “Developing the Genealogy of an Early 20th Century Community” at 9 p.m. Learn the details of a long-term project revolving around the collection of information on a group of African Americans in a specific community into a major database of integrated genealogical data, with the goal of constructing the genealogy of a community. Participants will see how building such a database can be a worthwhile endeavor for any serious researcher, and result in the written history of the community.

You must register for this free webinar. To register, go to:


Free webinar to take place on Tuesday

The Illinois State Genealogical Society will present a free webinar, tomorrow, Dec. 8 at 9 p.m. entitled “The U.S.  Federal Census: Good, Bad and Ugly.”

The US Federal Census has become a staple of genealogical research. Using the census most effectively, however, requires understanding that there are good, bad, and truly ugly aspects of this record. Most are related to the type, quality or quantity of information recorded, but there are also some major pros and cons of the existence of the record.

You must register for this free webinar. To register, go to:

Two free webinars scheduled for today

Two free webinars will take place today, December 2, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Legacy Family Tree webinars will present “Stories in Stone: Cemetery Research” at 2 p.m.

Ever wonder what different gravestone symbols mean? Is everything on headstones completely accurate? This webinar will walk you through cemeteries all over the country with tips on how to use cemetery and associated records in your genealogy quest.

You must register for this free webinar. To register, go to:

Minnesota Genealogy Society will present a webinar discussing the “The U.S. National Archives” at 8 p.m.

Sooner or later our research leads us to the treasures held in governmental archives. For federal government records in the United States that leads to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Researchers often use federal census, military and pension records, and passenger arrival records but these are only a fraction of the genealogically useful records in the custody of NARA. This webinar focuses on the Washington, DC area facilities, commonly called Archives I and II, finding aids, website, catalogs, access options and research tips. Some discussion covers the Regional branches of NARA, including the finding aids.

You must register for this free webinar. To register, go to: