Friday, May 25, 2007

New Family Search and affiliates

The announcement of the 'New' FamilySearch website is stirring a lot of interest throughout the world.

I have been a beta tester of the new design for a long time and am excited to see it be revealed to the rest of the world. It provides a unique forum and repository for the lineage of anyone who wants to participate. I've always found that my family history research intellect is dramatically increased when I am part of a cousins group who are all trying to find the same ancestors.

Each cousin in the team brings a unique research skill set to the table often along with local research resources. As the group 'meets' via e-mail, chat rooms and in video conferences, the sum of their ability to knock down ancestral 'brick walls' truly is greater than the 'whole' of their individual skills.

The New FamilySearch website is based on that principle and it works! In future months and years, you will read of many repositories, websites, etc. partnering with the LDS FamilyHistory Society in an effort to post links and images online via the site. The potential is staggering.. Click here to read the Deseret News article about the recent affiliate announcement.

Here are some examples:

Two more large family history entities have announced that they are partnering with the New FamilySearch...

The World Vital Records site (created by the original Ancestry creators) and the Ellis Island records site will both be available at branch family history libraries..... including all images on them ... at no cost... Can't wait for the New FamilySearch (NFS) to come live in our area...

The Ellis Island site has received 10 billion hits since it came live in 2001... Obviously there is a lot of interest in the immigration information for many ancestors of U. S. citizens. You can review the indexes on the site for free right now, but will have to either pay to see the images today or wait until NFS rolls out to see them at no cost..

We've talked about making postings on Genforum as you look for information on your ancestors. World Vital Records has created a social network for family history website called FamilyLink that identifies researchers by geographic areas in the world, country, etc.

The idea behind the site is a type of the 'Pay It Forward' activity that I've discussed in my earlier messages. In this case, the payment comes from site users who are willing to do local family history related 'look ups' for someone else. Thus, if you need someone to look for record in Australia, you'd contact one of the FamilyLink members who live in Australia in the area where the record is located. If someone needs something from a record, etc. near you, you may receive a request from another site user who lives somewhere else in the world. The common currency is the willingness to .... 'Pay It Forward'... You can't be hurt by spending a little of your time helping someone else even if you never request or receive any help in return... The currency involved in this type of work always retains its full value (with interest).. You already know the concept and the 'rest of the story'.

You may want to sign up. Listen to CEO Paul Allen's comments on the home page of the World Vital Records site for further detail.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Links and great finds

We've talked about the vast family history resources on the web. Here are more sites that are worth visiting and bookmarking. Be sure to try the BYU Relationship Finder site..

Do you need a genealogy form including just the census records headers? You'll find them here BYU Genealogical Resource Forms

Have you ever wanted to print a large family chart? Just upload your gedcom file to BYU One Page Genealogy Printing and they will create one for you at a reasonable cost.

Ever wonder if you are related to Kings, Queens, Prophets and Apostles? Just create a free account on the BYU Relationship Finder site and it will calculate your relationship based on records in the Ancestral File, etc.

Would you like colored family history charts printed by a professional? Even the Mary Hill colors are supported by the Generation Map site.

A fellow researcher has created a good family history links site that has a great section related to involving children in family history. See it here...

Another researcher, Sandra Jarvis, has posted a very good links page that shows FREE records web sites. Take a look. You'll probably find a link that you've always hoped to find...

Are you looking for ancestors in the UK / Scotland / Ireland but need help? Create a free login to RootsChat... They are almost always quick to respond and offer usable suggestions..

An alternative site to has been created by three of the founders / early employees of Ancestry. The site now contains over 100 million records and currently costs $48 for a two year subscription. The World Vital Records site is worth a quick review / evaluation.

Did you have a family member on the Titanic? The ships records are found free here.

Are you struggling to find your Norwegian ancestors as they made the 'hop' across the pond? You'll probably find them or some good suggestions in your quest on the Norwegian Heritage website.

Are you having a hard time finding your Jewish ancestry? JewishGen may be the answer.

Many of us have Danish ancestry. Here are three of sites that will help in your Danish ancestral Quest... Danish Roots, Danish State Archives and our old favorite, Danish Census, Emigrants and Probate Records.

And lastly, the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors site by the National Park Service. Here's a hint.. After you click on the home page, look to the titles on the right side of the title bar on the new page. Click on the category you want... soldiers, sailors, cemeteries, etc. The links are a bit hidden in the site design.