Archives for December 2018

New Year’s Resolutions for 2019

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.
  • 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.
  • Join an indexing project, either locally or nationally.
  • Listen to a genealogy podcast.
  • Upload photos of family headstones on a site such as FindAGrave or Billiongraves.
  • Share your family history research with family members.
  • Take a DNA test.
  • Watch some of the free webinars posted on this blog.
  • Take advantage of your home library’s free databases such as Ancestry Library Edition, HeritageQuest, Historical New York Times, etc. Many databases can be accessed at home by using your library barcode.

Three free webinars set for this week

Three free webinars this week will cover the topics of Australian research, the ethics of DNA testing and researching the “black sheep” in your family.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars will present “Researching in Australian Archives” on Tuesday, January 1 at 8 p.m. There are many Australian archives for research. From local council, town, State, Commonwealth, religious, business, organizational and more. Jurisdictional responsibilities changed over time, so it is important to know when and where your ancestor was to determine which archive might contain the records you need.

To register for this webinar, go to:

Legacy Family Tree Webinars will present “DNA Rights and Wrongs: The Ethical Side of Testing” on Wednesday, January 2 at 2 p.m. Whose permission is needed to test a child or an adult unable to consent? Who owns our DNA? What can we disclose about a cousin who has tested? Learn the ethical rules that can guide us through many if not most of the situations in which we as genetic genealogists find ourselves.

To register for this webinar, go to:

Southern California Genealogical Society will present “Make Those Skeletons Dance: Exploring Your Family’s Dark Side” on Saturday, January 5 at 1 p.m. How well do you really know your ancestors? Most of us want to believe our ancestors were hard-working, noble, or “salt-of-the-earth” types. However, if we go back far enough, we all can dig up a few proverbial “skeletons in the closet.” This webinar will show you how to research and write about the black sheep in your family tree.

To register for this webinar, go to:

Two local groups highlighted in Family Tree Magazine article

In its December 2018 issue, Family Tree Magazine recognized two local genealogy groups in its “75 Best Free Websites” article.

Under the category for New York State, the Germany Genealogy Group and the Italian Genealogy Group were recognized for their indexes to church records, naturalization records and birth, marriage and death records. The indexes are for any nationality, not just Germans or Italians.

Other websites recognized for New York State were:
*New York Heritage – this site, run by the Empire State Library Network, includes digitized books, newspapers, photos, post cards, maps, etc. Our library has uploaded digitized photos and postcards to this website.
*Old Fulton NY Post Cards – this site, run by one individual, is noted for its outstanding collection of digitized newspapers from New York, a few other states and Canada.

Free genealogy webinar to discuss how to create a family video

The Georgia Genealogy Society will present “Why Video for Genealogy?” on Wednesday, December 26 at 8 p.m.

A short video about an ancestor’s story can help share genealogy research with family members who may not be “genealogically inclined.” Topics will include: how to quickly brainstorm ancestor story ideas, storyboarding a video using available images, sources of public domain images to augment your story, putting together a finished video using free or low-cost editing tools and ways to share videos with family members.

To register for the webinar, go to:

Ellis Island documentary now available on YouTube

Do you have ancestors that worked on Ellis Island? The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has produced a 29-minute documentary film, “USCIS and the Legacy of Ellis Island” that is now available on YouTube.

From 1892 to 1954, more than 12 million immigrants were processed at Ellis Island. The film tells the story of Ellis Island from the perspective of those who worked there highlighting the connections between USCIS and Ellis Island. The film uses oral histories of former employees, historical artifacts, photos and documents. Interviews with USCIS historians and National Park Service rangers are also included in the documentary.

To view the film, go the the USCIS YouTube channel at:

New church records added to German Genealogy Group website

The German Genealogy Group has recently added more records to its Diocese of Brooklyn baptism and marriage indexes.

Now users can search for records from St. Louis church which was located on Ellery Street, near Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn. There are over 9,000 records in the baptism index and over 9,000 records in the marriage index.

Note: Many of the first names in the databases are in French, not English.

For information on how to order a record from the diocese and to start searching the collection, go to: then on the left side of the page select Database Searches and then select Church Records. From there you can select baptisms or marriages.

Free webinars to discuss fraternal organizations, military research

Three free webinars will take place this week covering the topics of fraternal organizations, timeline tools and Spanish-American War veterans.

Wisconsin State Genealogy Society will present “Finding Your Ancestors in Fraternal Organizations” on Tuesday, December 18 at 8 p.m. Were your ancestors Freemasons? Did your family have a connection with the I.O.O.F. or Daughters of Rebekah? Discover the history and genealogical material that await you with membership records, historical research, and photographs of your family who may have belonged to one or more of these secret societies or female auxiliaries.

To register for the webinar, go to:

The Southern California Genealogical Society will present “Solving One Name and Many Locations with a Location and Timeline Tool” on Wednesday, December 19 at 9 p.m. When an ancestor appears to be in several locations over a short period of time, it may be multiple individuals. With an exhaustive search resulting in negative evidence, the case can be proved of one person. This is a case study that introduces the Location and Timeline Analysis Chart (LoTAC).

To register for the webinar, go to:

Legacy Family Tree Webinars will present “Researching Your Spanish American War Ancestors” on Wednesday, December 19 at 2 p.m. The end of the 19th century witnessed the transformation of the United States from a developing nation into a global power. Discover your ancestors that served in the war with Spain along with records of the Boxer Rebellion (1900) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) in which U.S. troops participated on land and sea. This webinar focuses on records at the National Archives and other research facilities covering all three military conflicts.

To register for the webinar, go to:

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will present “Beyond the Image: Documenting the Immigration Stories behind Augustus Sherman’s Ellis Island Portraits” on Thursday, December 20 at 1 p.m. Between 1905 and 1925, immigration service employee Augustus Sherman photographed hundreds of immigrants as they passed through Ellis Island. However little is know about many of the immigrants Sherman photographed. The webinar will use historical records to document the stories behind some of Sherman’s photos. Participants will learn about INS records that may be useful to their own research projects. This webinar is not recorded.

To attend the webinar, go to:, scroll down and select December 20.

‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ concludes on Monday

The genealogy program Who Do You Think You Are? will conclude this Monday, December 17, at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

Matthew Morrison discovers his family’s ties to the Revolutionary War and Regina King uncovers an ancestor who was a civil rights activist in Alabama.

For more information, go to the show website at:

Lectures from MyHeritage Live event available free online

The genealogy company, MyHeritage has recently released videos of the main lectures from MyHeritage LIVE conference which took place from Nov. 2-4, 2018 in Oslo.

If you missed the conference or the live-streaming, you can now watch the recordings, hosted on Legacy Family Tree Webinars, for free. There were two conference tracks: DNA and Genealogy. the following is a list of the videos that are available.

DNA Track
*MyHeritage DNA 101
*MyHeritage DNA: Advanced Features
*Success Stories: How MyHeritage DNA Brings Families Together
*The Five Best MyHeritage DNA Tools
*PANEL: DNA, Genealogy, and Privacy
*Why Take a DNA Test for Genealogy Research?
*Genetic Insights from a Huge Collaborative Family Tree
*MyHeritage’s Improved DNA Matching
*Two Ways to Approach Your MyHeritage DNA Match List
*How to Find Unknown Family with MyHeritage DNA
*PANEL: What’s Next for Genetic Genealogy?

Genealogy Track
*Turning MyHeritage Clues into Genealogy To Do’s
*How I Use MyHeritage
*Researching with MyHeritage SuperSearch
*A Guide to Scandinavian Records on MyHeritage
*How to Find Your Family in Newspapers with MyHeritage SuperSearch
*What’s Next: The MyHeritage Genealogy and DNA Roadmap
*Newspaper Research Strategies Using MyHeritage
*Matching Technologies: How to Discover Relatives Without Searching
*An Introduction to Geni
*Using MyHeritage & Learning with
*An Overview of European Record Collections on MyHeritage
*The MyHeritage Mobile App: Exclusive Features

To access the videos, go to:

Two free genealogy webinars to be offered this week

Two genealogy webinars will take place this week covering the topics of the Great Migration and citation techniques.

The Illinois State Genealogical Society will present “Finding Ancestors of the Great Migration” on Tuesday, December 11 at 9 p.m. Hundreds of thousands of families left the south in the 1900s, headed north. Their destinations were Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and beyond. This webinar looks at communities in the urban north and illustrates what can be learned about the county of origin in the south, by studying the communities where they arrived.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars will present “Citation for Beginners” on Friday, December 14 at 2 p.m. Learning to write genealogical citations is part art, part science and potentially terrifying. Learn what important components to note while researching, and how to put them together while writing to produce quality work.