Archives for February 2017

Free webinars focus on new genealogy trends, FamilySearch

Free webinars this week will focus on illegitimacy, new genealogy trends and using

The Minnesota Genealogical Society will present “Tracing the Family Lines of the Illegitimate” on Wednesday, March 1 at 8 p.m. Nearly all families have children with seemingly missing fathers. Yet, there may be clues and resources to help us determine their ancestry. Treated with care and sensitivity, it is possible to use many available resources to help in our research.

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

The Ontario Genealogical Society will present “What’s New in Genealogy” on Thursday, March 2 at 7 p.m. Every year at RootsTech in Salt Lake City new innovations in genealogy are revealed – new innovations in tracking family medical history, sharing stories, saving and sharing photos, and more! Discover what’s new, and explore the features of the latest and greatest innovations in family history.

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

The Southern California Genealogical Society will present “Finding Unindexed Records on” on Saturday, March 4 at 1 p.m. New digitized images on FamilySearch appear continually, but many aren’t indexed. Learn to browse these images to find deeds, vital records, naturalization papers and understand record indexing schemes.

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

Who Do You Think You Are? returns March 5

The genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? returns on Sunday, March 5 on TLC at 9 p.m. with a new group of celebrities ready to delve into their lineage. The eight one-hour episodes will bring surprising discoveries of historical significance.

This season’s celebrity contributors include:

*Jessica Biel – who learns surprising discoveries that change what she thought knew about her heritage.

*Julie Bowen – uncovers the story of two relatives whose moral codes are from opposite ends of the spectrum.

*Courteney Cox – traces her maternal line back to the Medieval times to discover royalty in her lineage.

*Jennifer Grey – learns how her grandfather survived adversity to become a beacon of his community.

*Smokey Robinson – searches for answers behind the mystery of why his grandfather disappeared from his children’s lives.

*John Stamos – digs into the mystery of how his grandfather became an orphan, and learns of tensions between families that led to a horrible crime.

*Liv Tyler – learns that her family is tied into the complicated racial narrative of America.

*Noah Wyle – unravels the mystery of his maternal line, uncovering an ancestor who survived one of America’s bloodiest battles.

For more information, go to the show website at:

Three local genealogy groups to meet this weekend

Learn about preserving documents, using and doing research in Lithuania, Galicia and Ukraine at local genealogy meetings this weekend.

On Sat. Feb. 25, The Patchogue-Medford Public Library Genealogy Research Group will present “How to Preserve Your Family Documents and Photos” by Melanie Cardone.

There will be a getting stated session at 9:30 a.m. and the meeting will begin at 10 a.m. For more information, call 631-654-4700.

Also on Saturday, The Brentwood Genealogists will meet at the Brentwood Public Library at 10 a.m. This month’s program will be “Maximizing Your Research on” presented by Mary Ann Koferl. For more information, call 631-273-7883.

On Sunday, Feb. 16, The Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island will present “Research in Lithuania, Galicia and Ukraine” by Rhoda Miller, Renee Stern Steinig and Chuck Weinstein.

In addition to researching their own families in Lithuania, Galicia, and Ukraine, the speakers are active in Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and other projects for the regions. Rhoda is LitvakSIG’s Svencionys District Research Coordinator and manager of a Svencionys DNA group; Renee is a board member of Gesher Galicia, moderator of its JewishGen email discussion group, and its Family Finder editor; Chuck is a Ukraine SIG board member, its Towns and Districts Director, and a moderator of its discussion group.

There will be a help session at 1:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 2 p.m. Meetings take place at the Y-JCC in Plainview. For more information, visit the club website at:

Free webinars this week focus on DNA, organizing your files

Three free webinars this week will focus on caring for heirlooms. DNA testing and organizing your files.

The Wisconsin State Genealogy Society will present “Caring for Keepsakes” on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. This presentation highlights heirloom preservation tactics for anyone caring for family keepsakes, from digitizing to basic archival care for common family treasures. Dozens of photos illustrate best practices for digitizing artifacts, proper storage practices, and avoiding damage from poor storage and common hazards.

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

Legacy Family Tree Webinars will present “Finding Missing Persons with DNA Testing” on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. Do you have an adoption in your line, or are you adopted yourself? Do you have an ancestor who just refuses to be found? DNA testing can be a very powerful tool to help fill in the blanks in your family tree. With the right techniques and a careful search, your DNA might be able to tell you more than you think.

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

The Georgia Genealogical Society will present “Organizing Your Genealogy Files and Correspondence” on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. Overwhelmed with too many paper documents, digital files, and email messages? Learn to organize these so that you’ll quickly find just the one you need.

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

Registration now open for Albany research trip in September

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society will have its annual Research Trip to Albany on September 13-15, 2017. Research will take place at the New York State Library and the New York State Archives.

The Library and the Archives are both rich in material available nowhere else that pertains to people who have lived throughout New York State. The Library has open stacks and holds extensive collections that include: Family genealogies and Local histories; DAR records; Church records; Census records; City directories and archives and manuscripts

The holdings of the Archives include: State records relating to military service (War of 1812 through World War I); Land records; Court records; Records of some correctional and custodial institutions
and Indexes to New York state vital records (excluding New York City).

The research trip includes:
*Orientation to the New York State Archives and the New York State Library by staff experts
*A private consultation with a professional genealogist and follow up as needed
*Access to professional genealogists for all three days of the program
*Welcome dinner on Tuesday evening, September 12
*Wine and cheese reception on Wednesday evening

The program fee is $390 for members and $455 for nonmembers. To register for the program, go to: offers free access to UK and Irish records

Do you have ancestors from the United Kingdom or Ireland?

This weekend will provide free access to the records in the featured UK and Irish collections starting today through February 20, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

To see a list of the databases available for free, go to:

Irish Family History Forum to meet this Saturday

The Irish Family History Forum will meet this Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Bethpage Public Library.

This month the program will be Member Show and Tell. Members will share a research success they have had, tell a tale about one of their ancestors or bring in a photo or family heirloom. After the Show and Tell, there will be an “Ask the Experts” session where the audience can address questions to a panel of genealogists.

For information, go to the club website at:

Free webinars this week cover digital files, Freedmen’s Bureau Records

The Illinois State Genealogical Society will present “Freedmen’s Bureau Records” tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 9 p.m. The impact of the Civil War was keenly felt by most of those living from Delaware to Texas regardless of race or original circumstances. A common misunderstanding is that this record group only encompasses records of freed slaves. While it does contain records of freedmen, it includes a lot information about ALL impoverished North Carolinians, regardless of race. If a family tree contains confederate soldiers who were wounded or killed in action, their surviving parents, spouses or children might be found listed in these documents as they requested or received rations, were declared destitute, etc.

To register for this free program go to:

The Southern California Genealogical Society will present “Seven Simple Steps to Manage Digital Image Files” on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. Learn how Digital Asset Management (DAM) can help you organize and manage digital photos and images across computers, cloud services, and mobile devices with practical strategies for backup, adding metadata, file naming, captioning, and sharing.

To register for this free program, go to:

Legacy Family Tree Webinars will present “Be Your Own Digital Archivist” on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. Are you doing everything you can to safeguard your genealogical research? Your documents? Your data? Your scanned images? This webinar will cover the importance of taking charge of your own materials and making sure they aren’t going to disappear.

To register for this free program, go to:

The Florida State Genealogical Society will present “Slave Tags: Researching a Southern Legal System” on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. This webinar will discuss the southern 1767 to 1867 governmental system of mandating the licensing and labeling of humans.

To register for this free program, go to:

Family History Library to offer a series of webinars

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City will present a series of webinars in February.

All of the times listed are Eastern Standard Time. Some of the upcoming webinars include:

Tuesday, Feb. 14 – 1 p.m. – Figure Out Place Names for Swedish Genealogy
Wednesday, Feb. 15 – 1 p.m. – Kartenmeister
Wednesday, Feb. 15 – 3 p.m. – Will Power! Tracing England Ancestry in its Rich Probate Records
Thursday, Feb. 16 – 1 p.m. – Meyers German Gazetteer
Thursday, Feb. 16 – 4 p.m. – Exploring Norwegian Parish Registers
Tuesday, Feb. 21 – 4 p.m. Finding Ancestors in the Norwegian Farm Books
Monday, Feb. 27 – Noon – Using the FamilySearch Catalog Effectively
Tuesday, Feb. 28 – 3 p.m. – Tips and Tricks for Using FamilySearch’s Historical Records

To attend any of these webinars, or to see the full listing, go to: and click on the calendar for February.

Several Rootstech sessions to be streamed live

Not able to attend Rootstech 2017 in person? You can watch several sessions streamed live today and tomorrow on the home page of After the conference, recordings of these sessions will be posted on the website for a limited time.

Times are all Eastern Standard Time.

10:30 a.m.– 12:00 p.m. – RootsTech General Session – Speakers: Levar Burton, Special Guest Panel
1:30–2:30 a.m. – RootsTech Innovator Showdown Finals
2:15–3:15 p.m. – Mothers, Daughters, Wives: tracing Female Lines – Speaker: Judy Russell
3:30–4:30 p.m. – Censational Census Strategies – Speaker: Mary Kircher Roddy
5–6:00 p.m. – Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, Findmypast, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage – Speaker: Sunny Morton
6:30–7:30 p.m. – Cross the Atlantic with Religious Records – Speaker: Jen Baldwin

10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – RootsTech General Session – Speakers: Cece Moore, Buddy Valastro
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. – Journaling Principles That Work – Speaker: Steve Reed
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m. – Don’t Just Be a Searcher, Be a Researcher – Speaker: Crista Cowan
5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. – Creating Google Alerts for Your Genealogy – Speaker: Katherine R. Wilson