Archives for September 2018

New genealogy podcast launched by Amy Johnson Crow

A new genealogy podcast, Generations Cafe, was recently started by certified genealogist Amy Johnson Crow. She has over 20 years experience helping people with their genealogy research.

Podcasts will be produced weekly and will be between 15-30 minutes long. The shows will be a mix of Amy by herself or with an expert guest.

There are three episodes so far:
Is Perfectionism Ruining Your Genealogy?
Finding All of the Daughters in the Family Tree
4 Things You Should Do with Every Genealogy Source

To listen to the podcasts, go to:

NYS Genealogical Research Death Index recently updated

The New York State Genealogical Research Death Index had been updated and now includes deaths up to August 31, 1968.

The index starts at 1957. However, the index does not includes deaths for the five boroughs of New York City.

The index provides the date of death, gender, age at death, New York State file number and residence code. In order to interpret the residence code number, you must go to the far right of the page and click on the red tab that says About. Scroll down to attachments and open either the third attachment for Out of State codes or the fourth attachment for New York State Gazetteer.

To search the index, go to:

Two free webinars scheduled for the end of September

The Georgia Genealogy Society will present “North Carolina Land Grants Overview” on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m.

Land records can provide useful genealogical information beyond just time and place, such as relationships, clues to wealth, occupations, neighbors, and more. Land Grants are of particular interest because they represent the first time a particular plot of land was allocated to settlers, and also because the grant process required a number of steps and often took several years. North Carolina has original documents going back to 1663, and the free website has searchable data on all the grants along with many original document images.

To register for this webinar, go to:

The U.S. Customs and Immigration Service will present “Introduction to Immigration and Naturalization Service Records at the National Archives” on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 1 p.m.

This webinar will be an overview of the historical immigration and naturalization records available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. These records begin in the early 1900s and continue until 1975. Participants will learn about research aids and learn how to request files from the National Archives.

To attend the webinar, go to: and select the appropriate date.

New York State Birth Index available online for free

The non-profit organization Reclaim the Records has recently uploaded the images for the New York State Birth Index, for the years 1881-1942, on the website Internet Archive.

This index was previously only available on microfiche at 10 public libraries in New York State and only went up to the year 1937.

There are several tips for using this index.
*There are no New York City births in the index except for births that occurred in Brooklyn, Queens or Staten Island before 1898.
*There are not births for the cities of Albany, Buffalo or Yonkers before 1914
*There are no records for surnames beginning with A to Bib for 1905. Reclaim the Records hopes to obtain copy of these missing records at a later date.

There is no index for the images at this time but you can browse them by year. To view the images, go to: and in the search box put “New York State Birth Index.” You can sort the results by year by clicking on the words “Date Published” and then selecting “Date Archived”.

Irish Family History Forum to meet this Saturday

Irish Family History Forum to meet this Saturday

The Irish Family History Forum will meet this Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Bethpage Public Library.

Genealogy Tips and Tricks with Kathleen McGee will tale place from 10-10:45 a.m., Ask the Experts will being at 10:45 a.m. and the featured speaker will begin at 11:15 a.m.

This month’s speaker will be Kate Feighery, director of the archives for the Archdiocese of New York. Are you looking for a baptism or marriage records? Do you wish to research an ancestor who was a priest? Kate will discuss the holdings of the archives, including the sacramental records available online. She has a master’s degree in Irish and Irish American Studies and previously worked with the Archives of Irish America at New York University.

For more information, go to the club website at:

Several genealogy webinars scheduled for this week

Several genealogy webinars scheduled for this week

The Wisconsin State Genealogy Society will present “The 24th Infantry, 1862-1865, Brothers Forever” on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. In 1862, Wisconsin got the 2nd call for volunteers for the Union Army in the Civil War. The 24th was comprised of many Germans, along with many long-time Milwaukee resident. The soldiers from this and other units made up part of the population of the state, contributing to it long after the War. But the veterans were forever connected because of their shared experience; find out why and how. Drawing from historical records, newspapers, military, and GAR documents, the regiment’s history will come to light for family, Civil War, and Wisconsin historians.

To register, go to:

The Southern California Genealogical Society will present “Preserving Family History in the Face of Disaster” on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 9 p.m. Protect your family heirlooms and genealogy research from fire, flood, or other disaster. Learn practical ways to protect your photos and artifacts, and first aid strategies to save wet photographs and damaged documents.

To register, go to:

Legacy Family Tree Webinars will present “25 Simple Research Hacks Every Genealogist Should Know” on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 2 p.m. Whether you are searching online databases, trying to obtain information from an uncooperative cousin, or need to streamline your research workflow, this webinar will outline 25 simple hacks you can use to get more genealogy done in less time!

To register, go to:
The Florida State Genealogical Society will present “But It’s All on the Internet” on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. The internet is a wonderful tool for researching our ancestors. But, it should not replace some of the tried-and-true methods for discovering our ancestors.

To register, go to:

Final day of New York State Family History Conference in Tarrytown

There were two morning conference sessions and I attended a second presentation by Blaine Bettinger on the topic of “Shared Matches and Genetic Networks.” Blaine discussed how you can use shared DNA matches and shared DNA segment matches to help you locate more family members. He pointed out that Ancestry DNA will only show you shared matches that are fourth cousin or closer in their results list. Other testing companies do not have this type of cut-off. You will received many more matches when you look at your shared matches as opposed to those with shared DNA segments. He mentioned two third-party tools to help analyze your results. One program called NodeXL works with Excel and can only use Ancestry DNA shared matches data. The second program, Rootsfinder, can only be used with DNA data from GEDmatch and only works with shared segment DNA data.

A very interesting presentation was given on “Underutilized New York Records: Towns, Taxes and Much More” by Eric G. Grundset, former Library Director of the DAR Library in Washington, D.C. Eric discussed the importance of locating and using town records and tax records in New York State even if they may be hard to find for some locations. He also talked about the New York Daughters of the American Revolution Genealogical Records Committee Reports. These documents are not limited to the American Revolution time period. The actual books can be found in Washington, D.C., Albany and Manhattan. Some of the information you can find are family bible records, cemetery and church records. There is a free online index for these reports on the DAR national website.

There were also two conference sessions in the afternoon. The final program I attended was “Writing Your Family History” presented by Kyle Hurst with the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Kyle went over the different parts of the writing process from planning, adding narrative, writing and revising and putting it together. Examples were given from published family histories to show the different ways you can incorporate family trees with narrative text. The NEHGS offers free templates and a sample stylesheet to help with family history writing and as well as a free subject guide on writing a family history.

I learned something new from all of the lectures I attended. I look forward to the next conference that is scheduled for Sept. 10-12, 2020 in Albany.

Day 2 of the New York State Family History Conference in Tarrytown

Day 2 of the New York State Family History Conference in Tarrytown

The second day of the conference featured five conference sessions with a wide variety of topics.
In the morning there were two sessions before the lunch break. A presentation by a representative of Living DNA, a DNA testing group based in England, discussed how invasions and battles over the course of history led to many ethnic groups in what is now considered the British Isles. Living DNA can match a person to 21 different areas of England with their DNA test. They are also working on an Irish One Family project that will be able to identify about 14 genetic areas in Ireland.

The second morning program I attended was “Using Geo-Tech Tools to Answer New York Research Questions” presented by Frederick Wertz of the New York G & B. Frederick mentioned Google Earth as a great free tool to use when researching locations. It is easy to use and data layers can easily be used with Google Earth and you can import third-party sources as well. Other websites to look at when doing location research include: the Geographic Names Information System, The National Map, Newberry Atlas of Historical County Boundaries and the New York Public Library Map Warper. There is a good handout included in the syllabus.

There were three programs after the lunch break. The programs I attended covered identifying DNA matches, New York State Archives collections on and tips for searching on

Blaine T. Bettinger, author of “The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy,” discussed several strategies that can be used to identify people who are identified as DNA matches. Some of his tips were: determine if the person has a family tree online, use your known DNA matches to help identify unknown matches, use the match’s member profile to look for clues and use the match’s username to search for their identity. He used many examples to illustrate his tips.

Two employees from the New York State Archives went over the different collections from the Archives that are available for free through New York. They also discussed which collections were scheduled to be digitized by in the future. The handout in the syllabus has a list of all the collections discussed in the presentation.

D. Joshua Taylor, president of the New York G & B, gave many advanced searching tips that can be used on databases. Some of his search strategies included: keep a research log for your online searches, select specific collections to search using the card catalog instead of always defaulting to the opening search screen, remember that first names are not always spelled out in collections, location names in collections may be current names, not the name used at the time of the event, and read the source information of collections so you understand the origin of the original data. The handout in the syllabus is very useful.

Jewish Genealogy Society to meet this Sunday

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island will meet on Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Mid-Islan Y-JCC in Plainview.

The presenter will be Chuck Weinstein and his topic will be “DNA for Adoptees or How Instead of a Bicycle, I Got a Sister for My Birthday.”

Adopted at birth, Chuck found much more than he expected when he turned to DNA testing to connect with his biological family. The surprises he found culminated in meeting a previously unknown half sister and a cousin with whom he attended high school.

Chuck has been researching his family for over 25 years and has been involved in the genealogy world almost as long. A past president of the JGSLI, Chuck also served as co-chair of the 36th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Seattle in 2016. He is currently on the board of JewishGen’s Ukraine Special Interest Group and has conducted extensive research on the Holocaust and Eastern European history and genealogy. He is currently writing a book on the impact of the Holocaust on a small town in Moravia.

For more information, go to the club website at:

First day of New York State Family History Conference in Tarrytown

First day of New York State Family History Conference in Tarrytown

This afternoon kicked off the opening of the Exhibit Hall and conference sessions for the 2018 New York State Family History Conference in Tarrytown.

The photo above is from the table of the Genealogy Federation of Long Island. The groups meet in either Nassau or Suffolk counties and include a DNA group, different ethnic specific groups as well as three public library groups.

There were two program time slots this afternoon. In the first time slot I attended a very interesting program presented by Judy G. Russell known as The Legal Genealogist. Her talk about was Advanced U.S. Census Research. She went decade by decade through the U.S. federal census records and explained the unique information that could be found in each census. She also discussed the specialized federal census schedules such as the agricultural schedule, mortality schedule and manufacturing schedule. A very detailed handout of the talk was included in the syllabus.

The second presentation I attended was an interview with Jackie Graziano of the Westchester Archives. It was a very informative session and very helpful to anyone wanting to pursue research in Westchester County. Jackie discussed the types of collections held at the archives and pointed out that the Westchester County Historical Society is also located in the same building. She talked about some of the highlights of the collections, some items which go back to the 1600s. The archives website was discussed and she mentioned indexes that are available online as well as the digital collections available through the website. A brochure detailing collections at the archive was handed out before the program.

Friday will be a full day with conference sessions running from 9:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.