Thursday, October 28, 2010

FamilySearch Records Update: No Halloween Trick, 2 Million New Records Provide Genealogical Treat

The following is from FamilySearch.

28 October 2010

No Halloween Trick, Just Genealogical Treats
Over 2 million records from 6 countries now available
People with ancestors from Ghana now have free online access to valuable census records, the first images from that African country to be published on FamilySearch. Other new collections include over two million indexed records from Germany, Norway, Puerto Rico, and three U.S. states: Arkansas, Idaho, and Minnesota. Search these records now at
See the chart below for the complete list of newly added or updated collections.
Indexed Records
Digital Images
Germany, Ludwigshafen Church
Record Extractions and Family

New indexed
Germany, 1890 -
Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census

Additional images
Ghana, 1982-1984 - Census

New indexed
Norway, 1875 - Census

Additional images
Puerto Rico, Civil Registration,

Additional images
U.S., Arkansas County Marriages,
Additional records
and images added
U.S., Idaho, County Marriages,
New indexed records
and images
U.S., Minnesota State Census, 1905
New indexed records
and images
U.S., Minnesota, State Census, 1865

New indexed records

Note: For a link to this news release, please visit:
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Anglo-Boer War records go online

The following is from FindMyPast.


o       Boer War Deaths 1899-1902 now available to search on

o       Details of over 260,000 names of the men and women who served the British Empire forces

o       Includes the most up to date casualty list of 59,000 casualties with more background than ever before

Leading family history website has published online the Register of the Second Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, recording individual servicemen, nurses and civilians who served with the British Imperial Forces during the Second Anglo-Boer War.

This register includes very rare and out of print documents, creating a single record for each participant in the war, making it the most unique database of its kind for amateur genealogists, military historians and medal collectors to research. The database includes 260,000 entries, including the casualty roll with details of over 59,000 individuals.

This is the first time that these records have come together in one place, making it easy to find ancestors who took part, with only a surname needed to begin the search. The published casualty records that previously existed were often imprecise, due to  lack of familiarity with the Afrikaans language, use of names that have passed out of usage and the location of the records.  For example, many of the casualties of the Battle of Biddulsphberg are shown in the casualty roll as Senekal; this is the place where the troops retired to and where the casualty roll was prepared rather than where they actually fought.

This new online version can help you:
.       Find the unit with which your ancestor served
.       Quickly research a medal before you buy or bid for it
.       Find the many units with which a soldier served
.       Learn about the place they became a casualty
.       Find the medal roll reference and for some records the clasp entitlement
.       Locate which war memorial they appear on
.       Learn about a mention in a book
.       Find what honours and awards they received

In the course of consulting various sources to compile this new register, many errors and conflicting information were discovered, demonstrating the need for a comprehensive database such as this Register. The database has a huge advantage over the printed source, as the information can be refined, corrected and represented to the researcher instantly.

About The Register
Boer War research can be confusing as there were two Boer Wars. The First Boer War was fought from 1880 to 1881, whereas the Second Boer War lasted longer, from 1899 to 1902*. The Register released today focuses on the second Boer War and brings together information from over 330 sources.

The main sources used to build the Register are the Official Casualty Rolls**, A Gazetteer of the Second Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, Medal Rolls, Anglo-Boer War Memorials Project, Winifred Scott's Anglo-Boer War Index and Kevin Asplin's rolls for the British cavalry, Imperial Yeomanry, Imperial Yeomanry Hospital, and the Lovat's Scouts and Scottish Horse records.

The Gazetteer is the biggest innovation in regard to the documents used. The location of many casualties is linked to the gazetteer entry that provides information on the geographical location and the military context to that casualty. The work on the revised casualty roll has introduced a further 300 entries and this now makes the gazetteer contained within this database the most comprehensive ever for the Anglo-Boer War.

Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at, said: "By hosting this unique Register of the Second Anglo-Boer War, is the only place where people can come and easily search these records online. A great amount of work has been put into creating this Register, by people who live and breathe the Boer War, so we are very pleased that they want to share it with us and our members, making it easier than ever before to find those who took part."

Meurig Jones, creator of The Register commented:  "The Register adds real value to research by using powerful technology. For the researcher The Register will save time by combining information from many varied sources at the click of a button." was the first company in the world to put the complete Birth, Marriage and Death indexes (BMDs) for England and Wales online in 1 April 2003. Previously these were only available offline on microfiche or in registry books, at a selected number of locations. This landmark achievement was recognised in 2007, won the Queen's Award for Innovation.

For more information log on to

----------* The First Boer War began when farmers of the Transvaal Republic fired upon a British army garrison which they perceived to be invading their territory. The war escalated with further attacks being made on British credits stationed throughout the Transvaal.

Due to the stealth of the Boers and their unconventional rifles, combined with the easily identified bright red uniforms of the British soldiers, the Boers retained the upper hand throughout. William Gladstone, then Britain's prime minister, signed a treaty allowing the Boers to self-govern the Transvaal.

The Second Boer War followed a heavy influx of foreign gold prospectors to the Transvaal and the determination of Britain to gain control of the region.

The Boers in the Transvaal joined forces with the Orange Free State and the war lasted for two and a half years, leaving 75,000 casualties in its wake. The Transvaal and Orange Free State were both annexed into the British Empire and the Union of South Africa was formally created in 1910.

Of those killed in the Second Boer War, around 22,000 were British soldiers, either having perished in battle or died from disease.

** The Official Casualty Rolls are published in two sets: The Natal Field Force (NFF) (October 1899 to October 1900) and the South African Field Force (SAFF) (October 1899 to May 1902). Neither is easy to use, both are arranged by unit and SAFF is divided into six sections by date.

Leading UK family history website (formerly was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003.

Following the transcription, scanning and indexing of over two million images, the company launched the first website to allow the public easy and fast access to the complete indexes, which until then had only been available on microfiche film in specialist archives and libraries. The launch was instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy seen in the UK today. has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 750 million records dating as far back as 1538. This allows family historians and novice genealogists to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.

In November 2006 launched the microsite in association with The National Archives to publish outbound passenger lists for long-distance voyages departing all British ports between 1890 and 1960.

As well as providing access to historical records, is also developing a range of online tools to help people discover and share their family history more easily, beginning with the launch of Family Tree Explorer in July 2007.

In April 2007,'s then parent company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement. was acquired in December 2007 by brightsolid, the company who were awarded The National Archives' contract to publish online the 1911 census, which it launched in January 2009.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Church News: Happy 25th birthday, Family History Library!

A 'flagship facility' for FamilySearch
Published: Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010

As this Church News article appears, it has been a quarter-century to the day since President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the $8.2 million Family History Library at 35 N. West Temple in Salt Lake City, directly west of Temple Square, on Oct. 23, 1985.

Then a counselor in the First Presidency, he prayed "that this may be a day of rejoicing" beyond the veil of mortality and denoted the five-level, state-of-the-art facility as a companion structure to the temples of the Church (see Church News, Nov. 3, 1985; p. 6). (read more)

FamilySearch News: A Celebration of Family History Is Now Available on DVD!

The following is from FamilySearch.

October 26, 2010

A Celebration of Family History Is Now Available on DVD!

SALT LAKE CITY—A major 2010 highlight in Salt Lake City was definitely A Celebration of Family History—a once-in-a-lifetime event that will never be forgotten by those fortunate enough to have attended. Now, all can enjoy this remarkable, inspiring event on DVD. To purchase the video (which will sell for $4.50, includes shipping and handling) or watch video highlights, go to

The DVD features a celebration of family history through music, stories, and the captivating words of renowned author and historian David McCullough and President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The event includes moving musical numbers by the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square and inspiring video presentations showing the impact family history can have on individual lives.

The talks, music, and films can be played as a single program, or they can be viewed as individual segments for those wishing to use the video as a teaching or reference aid. The presentations are sure to inspire those looking for additional insights into family history.

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sunday, October 24, 2010 &

The following is from Footnote.

Several weeks ago (as part of iArchives) agreed to be acquired by and that transaction has officially closed today. As we join forces with there is a huge opportunity to leverage each other’s strengthsand move even faster toward our goals. You may be curious about how this deal effects members of The plan is to continue to run the way we have always run — continuing to do what we believe is best for our customers, our business and our brand.

Now that the deal is officially closed we are excited to leverage some of’s resources and expertise to take to the next level. It has been exciting to see grow over the past 4 years. started with only 5 million historical documents and today we have nearly 70 million searchable documents, over 1 million members, nearly 100,000 Footnote Pages, and over half million annotations added. We couldn’t have done it without our members and the great team at and we are excited for’s support in the next chapter.

RootsMagic Classes at Riverton FamilySearch Library

Sue Maxwell's series of RootsMagic Classes will be starting up again at the Riverton FamilySearch Library.  Classes will be held every Monday afternoon from 1-3pm in November.   The first class is November 1st.

There is no need to sign up in advance for the class.  If you are interested just show up at the library - there's plenty of room. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

FamilySearch Information and Updates

October 19, 2010
Celebration DVD Now Available

Dear Family History Consultant,

One of the highlights of the NGS 2010 Family History Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, was the much talked about Thursday evening spectacular, A Celebration of Family History, hosted by FamilySearch. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event that will not be forgotten by those in attendance.

The event took place on April 29, 2010, at the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City. During this event, award-winning author and historian David McCullough and President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke to an audience of thousands interested in family history. The program included musical numbers by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square and several inspiring video presentations showing the impact that family history can have on individual lives.

Due to the positive response to A Celebration of Family History, FamilySearch has made a DVD of the event available. The talks, music, and films can be played as a single program, or the segments can be viewed individually. These presentations will inspire those looking for additional insights into family history.

To learn more and to get your own copy of the DVD, click on the link below.

Whether or not you attended the conference, we know you will enjoy this DVD!

Family History Online Training Resources for Members

FamilySearch has over 100 online courses available to help you, and the members whom you serve, learn basic methods and resources to start your family history. These courses provide training on:
·         Researching records in various countries
·         Reading handwritten records
·         Using research principles and tools
These courses can be accessed directly from the beta FamilySearch website at You can also access these courses in the Help Center from the Training and Resources tab of the new FamilySearch.

New FamilySearch Reference Manual

The New FamilySearch Reference Manual has been created to use with the new.familysearch.orgwebsite. The reference manual is a training resource that can be used to teach members, either through one-on-one training or in a classroom, how to use the new FamilySearch .

This manual provides:
·         Step-by-step instructions for using the new FamilySearch.
·         Learning activities.
·         A chart to mark a person’s progress in completing the training.
You can access the manual from the Help Center of the new FamilySearch by clicking the Training and Resources tab. After reviewing the manual, we encourage you to give us your feedback using the link provided in the manual.

FamilySearch Interactive Guide

The FamilySearch website will change to a new version by the end of 2010. The new version of the FamilySearch website still contains most of the features that you used on the previous site. However, for many of the features, how you access them has changed.

This interactive guide can be used as a resource to help you and others learn the following about the new site:
  • Where features are found on the new site
  • How functionality has changed for some features
  • Which features are no longer available
  • What features will be added in the future

You will find the interactive guide in the Help Center of the new FamilySearch, on the Training and Resources tab.

Recent FamilySearch-Certified Products
Various companies and organizations develop products with features that support FamilySearch’s key offerings. Certification indicates the company’s declaration of compliance with FamilySearch requirements. Note, however, that these products and services are independently developed and supported by their respective organizations (not by FamilySearch).

Since (FamilySearch Family Tree) is currently available only to LDS Church members, products certified to be compatible with it are also available only to LDS Church members.
Current details of all FamilySearch-certified products can be found at or by clicking on the More Great Products link found near the bottom right of the home page. Some of these certified products are highlighted below: (Web): FamilySearch Family Tree Access Certified.
 Gaia Family Tree (Windows): FamilySearch Family Tree Access Certified.
 Mac Family Tree (Mac): FamilySearch Family Tree AccessPrint, Sync, and Update Certified. (Web): FamilySearch Family Tree Access Certified. (Web): FamilySearch Family Tree Access and Update Certified. (Web): FamilySearch Family Tree Access Certified.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thomas MacEntee Joins 2010 Salt Lake Christmas Tour

The following is from Leland Meitzler, Family Roots Publishing Co.

Featured Speaker To Offer Technology Education for Genealogists

October 13, 2010 – Bountiful, Utah: The 2010 Salt Lake Christmas Tour – an annual genealogy event in its 26th year and celebrating its 25th anniversary – is pleased to announce that noted genealogist and technology educator Thomas MacEntee will be joining in the holiday fun as its featured speaker. The Tour takes place beginning Sunday, December 5, 2010 and runs through Saturday, December 11, 2010 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Over a five-day period, MacEntee will offer eight different presentations covering various aspects of genealogy and how technology and social media can be used to expand the genealogy experience. Topics include “Building a Research Toolbox,” “Facebook for Genealogists,” “Build a Genealogy Blog,” and “Twitter: It Isn’t Just ‘What I Had For Breakfast’ Anymore.”

The Salt Lake Christmas Tour ( ) is an annual event attracting genealogists and family historians and is renowned for the genealogy research success of its attendees, many of whom come back year after year. The Tour provides the highest ratio of professional researchers to attendees of any genealogy research tour utilizing the Family History Library located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Throughout 2010, Thomas MacEntee has been covering the United States and Canada presenting technology education to genealogists and family historians in an easy-to-learn format. All presentations demonstrate applications such as Facebook and Twitter in real time and include cheat sheets and other handy reference materials.

Leland Meitzler, of Family Roots Publishing Company and owner/organizer of the Salt Lake Christmas Tour, says “we think that this year’s Tour not only offers an excellent research opportunity at the Family History Library but also provides a way to increase your technology knowledge especially as it pertains to genealogy. Thomas has a way of making technology approachable no matter what your computer skills.”

Register before October 31, 2010 to take advantage of special savings and to reserve your space on the Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Not only will you be amazed at the progress you can make in your genealogy research, but you’ll do so in good company and be able to witness the sights and sounds of Christmas in Salt Lake City.

About Thomas MacEntee

As a genealogist specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and to interact with others in the family history community, Thomas MacEntee relies upon his 25 years of experience in the information technology field. And as the creator of, he has organized and engaged a community of over 1,300 bloggers to document their own journeys in the search for ancestors.
Thomas shares his knowledge of technology and experience as a genealogist with others through various forms of social media and speaking engagements. Through his business High-Definition Genealogy, he provides consulting services in the genealogy industry covering such areas as market research, education, technology and more.
Thomas MacEntee is available nationwide for presentations and classes focusing on social media and technology as a way to assist genealogists and genealogical societies.

About the Salt Lake Christmas Tour

The Salt Lake Christmas Tour specializes in professionally assisted genealogy research at the world-famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Now in its 26th year and celebrating its 25th anniversary, the tour is renowned for the high success-rate of its attendees, due in part to the outstanding professional to attendee ratio. Hosted by Leland K. Meitzler, Patty Meitzler, Donna Potter Phillips, and Bill Balter, the 2010 tour promises to be one of the best ever! For more information and registration, see:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NGS Video Productions at the National Archives

The following is from The National Genealogical Society.

NGS is proud to present two new features in the NGS Online Video Series
·         Finding Your Ancestors at the National Archives
·         NGS & NARA
In celebration of Columbus Day join us at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., as archivist Reginald Washington takes us into the stacks to see how our forebears’ Civil War pension files are stored. Wonder with John Humphrey, CG, over German language documents from a New York City Church in his ancestor’s file. Appreciate viewing the Declaration of Independence with John as he contemplates his ancestor’s public reading of that great document in Easton, Pennsylvania on 8 July 1776.

Also showing at NGS
·         Thomas Adams, 2009 Rubincam Youth Award Winner
·         Helen F. M. Leary, CG (EMERITUS), FASG, FNGS
·         Paths to Your Past
·         American Genealogy: Home Study Course
·         NGS Conferences: What to Expect

Also showing for members only

Log in, click on the Members Only tab, and then click on NGS Videos in the sidebar menu.
·         Leslie Anderson, MSLS
·         Elizabeth Shown Mills, cg, cgl, fasg, fngs, fuga
·         David E Rencher, ag, cg, figrs, fuga
·         Willis H. Whitecg 

Wishing you a pleasant holiday weekend – and enjoy the show!