Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Tune in for the best information, innovation & inspiration to help you grow your family tree!

May 28, 2011

Published May 28, 2011

This week we did a 90 minute presentation of Google Earth for Genealogy for RootsMagic and the response has been fantastic.


I’ve had so many emails from those of you who attended, and I can just read the excitement in your words.


After the Google Search Tips and Tricks webinar Penny wrote: "Loved your last webinar for RootsMagic.  I had the reputation for being pretty sharp with Google searching, but you leave me in the dust."


And Eileen wrote: "Fantastic webinar! I can't wait to try it out!"


And after the Google Earth for Genealogy webinar Valerie wrote in saying : "Great show, learned a lot!!! Cant wait to get started  with Google Earth!!! Ordered your 2 disks right after the webinar!!!"


Mary says "Your Google Earth webinar this evening was golden!  Thank you for giving so much to the genealogy community."


Kim wrote: "GREAT Webinar....learned so much.....I'll never get any rest, tonight! Thanks Lisa!"


Click here to view recordings of the webinars  



Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast Episode 69 features an interview with Richard Gray


Deceased just added 175,000 Northamptonshire burial and cremation records to their website and they should be available online by early July. The first data release comprises burial records for seven towns in the English East Midlands area of north/northeast Northamptonshire: Broughton, Burton Latimer, Cransley, Desborough, Pytchley, Rothwell and Rushden. In all, there are approximately 24,000 records in the first batch of data, dating back to 1888, the largest of which is Rushden. The data comprises register scans and grave details for all 24,000 burials. Photos of all memorials in Broughton, Cransley and Pytchley cemeteries are also included and there are some photos for memorials in other cemeteries.


The remaining 151,000 records are from Kettering's two cemeteries, London Rd and Rothwell Rd, and the town's Crematorium which serves a large area stretching across much of north Northamptonshire and into the neighbouring west Cambridgeshire and south Leicestershire. These are expected to be added to the Deceased Online database in early July so put it on your calendar to check back on the website then.


FamilySearch just Completee the 1930 Mexico Census and have announced it is Now Available Online for Free! These are part of a total of  59 collections that were updated in this release, comprising 25 million new images and records for 19 U.S. states and 16 countries.  You can search all of these updated collections now for free at .


Updated Genealogy Gems App

The Genealogy Gems Podcast app has been updated and is now iPad compatible, in addition to other improvements.


Get the Genealogy Gems iPhone App


Get the Genealogy Gems Android App 


The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox at the Genealogy Gems Store


Google has abandoned their master-plan to archive the world's newspapers

Google announced this month that they have notified their partners in their News Archive project that they would stop accepting, scanning, and indexing microfilm and other archival material from newspapers, and was instead focusing its energies on "newer projects that help the industry, such as Google One Pass, a platform that enables publishers to sell content and subscriptions directly from their own sites."


Thanksfully, Google did say in a press release email that it would continue to support the existing archives it has scanned and indexed. It added, "We do not, however, plan to introduce any further features or functionality to the digitized news product."  So it’s not going away, it’s just not going to grow or be officially supported.


What we don’t know is whether Google will finish indexing the newspapers it has already scanned. I hope so, but many folks out there aren’t very optimistic about it...We may still see this content pop up in other places, and I will keep my eyes and ears open for that and let you know when I know more.  Seems like a GREAT opportunity for sites like Ancestry or Genealogy bank to step in don’t you think?




As we approach the memorial day holiday, Brandt from Washington wrote in with a question about Military Records.  He writes: "I recently found this Civil War pension application index record for one of my ancestors, Alexander B. Shute (and he sent me the card which you can see in the show notes). The index references two applications for pensions, one for an invalid, and one for his widow. Do you know how I could go about finding these applications? I'm very interested in seeing what they can tell me about Alexander. Thanks for the fantastic podcast, and keep the gems coming!"


Diana Chrisman Smith, an instructor for Family Tree University provides an answer:


"For Civil War veterans, the invalid file for the veteran and the widow's file are filed together at the National Archives (NARA) in Washington, DC.  If there was a file for a minor child, it would also end up in the same file. 


There is a project underway in partnership between NARA, Footnote and FamilySearch to index and digitize all of the Civil War widow's pension files --- however, at this time they are only about 2% complete.   The index card for your Alexander Shute indicates that he did receive the requested invalid pension and his widow received her requested pension (there are both application and certificate numbers for both).  These application files should indeed show you information about Alexander.  However, this widow's pension file is not among those yet completed when I checked. 


For those who ARE digitized in this project, the images of the complete file are available online at, by searching for the widow's name, the veteran's name, or the widow's certificate (WC) number. 


For those who are NOT yet completed in this project, the next option is to request the file directly from the National Archives (NARA).  This may be done in one of three ways:


1. Visit the National Archives in Washington, DC, where the originals are located and view the file, making whatever copies you wish personally - this is the least expensive option if it is in your "neighborhood," since you may be selective about which pages you may wish to copy.


2. Visit and obtain Form NATF-85 to request the document copies by mail.  The instructions indicate the price for the file (currently $75.00 fo the full file, up to 100 pages + $.65 for additional pages).  


3.  Complete and submit the form NATF-85 online (same prices apply, but service is faster). 


As the digitization project progresses, more files will be available online, making access easier - for now, NARA is about the only game in town for most pension files.


Note that this information is for UNION veteran files.  The access for Confederate files is different, and the subject for another day."


If you are interested in learning more about Military Records you can join one of Diana’s upcoming classes at Family Tree University:


Military Records for Genealogists


Barbara writes in about how to find proof.  She writes:

"I recently found a record for my gggrandmother at the St. John’s Almshouse.  The age is only a couple years off.  How can I verify that this record is indeed for her.  Even on my other side, the cemetery stone of my ggreatmother has the wrong date of death.  What alternatives do I have to prove this, other than hiring a professional genealogist?"


Lisa recommends:

1) Do some searching in the FamilySearch wiki to see if you can find any articles that give you more insight into poorhouse records and the St. John's Almshouse records specifically. 

2) Try contacting a reference librarian at a leading repository and posing a few specific questions to see if they can set you in the right direction.  I would recommend the National Archives UK and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  The latter you can contact by email.  But strive to be specific with you question and provide a digital copy of the records involved if possible.



GEM: Roger Kershaw on Britain's Home Children

Not long ago I got an email from Michelle who had a suggestion for a podcast gem.  A segment on British Home Children.  While I had heard that term before, I hadn’t come face to face with it in my own research.  Michelle explained in her email that these children were orphans or impoverished youth who were shipped to Canada from Great Britain through philanthropic agencies between 1869 and the 1930's. Michelle said he has an uncle whose grandmother and some of her siblings were British Home Children and she would be interested in learning more about them. 


In this episode you’ll hear an interview with Roger Kershaw who joined the National Archives in the UK in 1986 and is now the head of Military, Maritime, and Family records for the Advice and Records Knowledge Department. 


Canada designated 2010 as the year of the British Home Child and the journal spotlighted the subject with an article in each edition. The Journal is very well done, and these articles are particularly excellent as they shed so much light on this important part of history.


Get in touch with the Alberta Genealogical Society at