The Generations Network Launches Eighth International Site with Swedish Language

Ancestry____logo.bmpMore than 37 million names in Swedish Family History Records Allow Americans to Trace Their Swedish Ancestors

PROVO, UTAH – September 11, 2007 – The Generations Network, Inc., this week unveiled – a new family history Web site focused on Sweden. At launch, the Swedish-language site offers access to more than 37 million names of historical Swedish parish and emigration records, all of which are available for U.S. subscribers on

In 2007 alone, The Generations Network has introduced four international sites, bringing the tally of Ancestry sites to eight. The Ancestry suite of sites now includes in the United States, in the United Kingdom, in Canada, in Australia, in Germany, in Italy, in France and in Sweden. As with other sister-sites, offers Swedish-language tree building tools and lets users tap into the world-wide Ancestry community – the largest global community of individuals searching for their family roots – as well as an ever-expanding collection of local historical records.

 “Sweden’s site increases the strength of our global family history network to help people discover their roots as well as family living all over the world,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of The Generations Network. “When you combine the fact that Sweden is one of the most Internet friendly nations with the strong ancestral cultural connections that exist between the United States and Scandinavia, we believe there will be enormous opportunity for unprecedented family history collaboration.”

For almost 4 million Americans of Swedish descent, the new Swedish records also make an ideal location to discover their roots. Included in these records are more than 1.7 million names in Swedish emigration records, online for the first time. These various emigration records were created in Sweden and cover the major exodus between 1846 and 1930, when about 20 percent of the Swedish population immigrated to North America.   Continue reading

Weekly Planner: Create a Timeline of Your Life and Record Memories

With anniversaries of important events like the September 11th attacks, we recall where we were, and our thoughts at the time. Most of us have lived through many events that will be in the history books of future generations. Create a timeline of your life and then take some time each week to record your memories of these historical events. Don’t you wish your ancestors had taken the time to do the same?

Click here for a printer friendly version of this article.

Using Ancestry: Getting Closer to the Data, by Juliana Smith

Tobin Immigration Search 1841Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been reviewing the various search options at Ancestry. So far we’ve mainly focused on global searches–that is, searches of all Ancestry databases at once. For those of you who missed them, the article for Ranked Search and the one on Exact Search are both available on the blog. Today we’re going to get closer to the records we’re seeking and we’ll see some examples of how zeroing in on a particular collection or individual database can add more power to your searches.

Not All Created Equal
The trouble with global search is that records come in many shapes and sizes. A one size fits all search template isn’t going to give you as much power as one that is tailored to a particular collection or database. For example, you’re not going to find a ship name or arrival date on a census record, and likewise, you’re not likely to find a “relationship to head of household” on a passenger arrival record. So if you are particularly interested in a collection, it pays to go directly to that collection.

Let’s use the Immigration Collection as an example. It can be difficult to recognize ancestors in some arrival records, particularly in those where there aren’t images currently available to browse for family groups traveling together. When I first began my search for one of our family members in the collection, I didn’t have a lot to go on. I knew that the Tobins had started appearing in New York City directories and records in the 1840s, but beyond that, I didn’t have a lot to go on. I wasn’t sure of family structure because the only thing I had to go on at that time was a letter from an aunt that said my third great-grandfather, Thomas Tobin who was in the hat business had a brother named Peter who was also a hatter. Later census records for him filled in some other blanks, but other than being enumerated with a “Mary Tobin,” age eighty-six in 1860 living with him and his wife, I didn’t have much in the way of family structure. And since the 1860 census doesn’t state relationships to the head of household, I couldn’t be certain this was his mother.

A search of the Immigration Collection at Ancestry for Peter Tobin turned up a number of hits in various databases, but the New York Passenger Arrivals, 1820-50 caught my eye because of the time frame it covered. Images are not available for this database, but it was still well worth my time to search it.

There were three Peter Tobins in that database, but the last one, arriving 2 June 1841 on the ship “Robert Isaac” at age sixteen, seemed to be the closest in age to the man I was looking for. But beyond age, there wasn’t a lot of identifying information. How could I determine whether this was him? I removed his first name and narrowed my search of that database using the search box at the bottom of the page, adding the ship name and year of arrival in both fields (1841 to 1841). In the event that the Robert Isaac had made more than one voyage that year, I also added “jun” in the keyword field. Since the date was indexed, that would help me narrow my search to only the one trip. (Notice I used “Jun” as opposed to “June.” Since the month is abbreviated in the database, I need to follow that format in my search criteria or I’ll rule out the hits I want. I’m doing an exact search and the database will only return exact matches.) Here’s what I found. (Click on the image accompanying this post to see the results.) Continue reading

Were Your Ancestors Spenders or Just Window Shoppers? by Mary Penner

Blue Island, Illinois. Mrs. Senise shopping at the neighborhood grocery, 1943President Calvin Coolidge said, “The chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing, and prospering in the world.” That sentiment may be true, but Americans haven’t cornered the market where business is concerned. Ever since cavemen scratched on walls with rocks, people throughout the world have bartered, traded, bought, and sold goods and services.

The good news for family history sleuths is this: where there are businesses, there are consumers, and where there are consumers, there are ancestors.

We tend to picture our hardworking and industrious ancestors living off the land, raising their own food, sewing their own clothes, and making their own soap and hand tools. Depending on the historical time frame, that’s often true to some extent.

In 1820, 86 percent of the American population lived on a farm, and many of them probably did fend for themselves for food, clothing, and the odd household gadget. But, by 1900 that number had dropped to 36 percent. So, even though some of your ancestors may have been self-sufficient holdouts well into the twentieth century, most of them ventured into town occasionally leaving a trail of clues in one store after another. Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: Tax Records, from George G. Morgan

Land and property records are among the most numerous of all documents in the U.S. and can provide genealogists with great information. Between censuses, tax rolls can confirm the presence of your land-owning ancestors at a particular place and time. The addition of an ancestor to the tax rolls indicates he or she arrived or purchased property in the area within the previous twelve to twenty-four months, while his or her disappearance from the rolls may indicate a property sale and/or a move from the area. In any event, tax records can point you toward other land and property records.

Click here for a printer friendly version of this article.

Your Quick Tips, 10 September 2007

Obituary Follow-Up
Always check all available newspapers for obituaries. I found a great-grandfather and great-grandmother from following up on an obituary that said, “New Orleans papers please copy.”

Charles Almstedt

Birth Record May Not Include Given Name
I have a deceased aunt and I was having difficulty locating her birth certificate in the Massachusetts archives. I did have a baptismal certificate with her birth date but when I searched the 1903 Massachusetts birth roster her name would not come up. In checking the birth date there was a female born in that year (no first name but correct last name). I ordered the birth certificate and it shows the very date my aunt was born. Apparently in those days when a baby was born and hadn’t been named yet it was just listed as female or male. Another aunt was found in the same manner. Hope this helps someone.
Ed Hickey

Skip the Apostrophe
I have found that when looking for Irish ancestors you need to leave the apostrophe out of the name. I found the O’Connor family listed as OConnor or O Connor. I am sure this is true of other Irish names also.
Beth Rasmussen

Click here for a printer friendly version of this article.

If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: . Thanks to all of this week’s contributors!

Quick Tips may be reprinted, with credit to the submitter, in other Ancestry publications, so if you do not want your tip included in a publication other than the “Ancestry Weekly Journal,” please state so clearly in your message.

The Year Was 1845

The year was 1845 and in Germany and other parts of Central Europe, floods brought death and devastation. The Alton Die Elbe, Hamburg, Deutschland (from LOC Photochrom Print Collection, Germany, Austria, & Switzerland, 1890-1910)Telegraph and Democratic Review (Alton, Illinois) of 31 May 1845  reported on the “Frightful Ravages by Flood Throughout Germany.”

“…The Elbe, the Weser, the Oder, the Danube and their tributaries have over flowed their banks and produced greater desolation than any flood since 1781.–When we bear in mind that the flood of that year was the greatest that had been experienced for a century, or since 1682, we may form some idea of the extent of the calamity….

“…The cause was not an unusual fall of rain, but the sudden melting of immense masses of snow, which the uncommon severity of the winter had caused to accumulate, especially on the mountains in which the rivers of Germany take their rise…

“In many places people had taken refuge in the second stories of their houses, and received supplies of ready-cooked victuals, furnished by their more fortunate fellow citizens, in boats. The Mannheim Journal states that nine milk-women, who were bringing their accustomed supplies to that city were drowned in the Necker. 

“The valley of the Danube, in Bavaria and Austria had suffered immensely, and that of the Moldau, in Bohemia. At Prague, the streets represented as impassable, and thousands of persons are in the most deplorable condition. In some spots the appearance of steamboats was hailed as that of a delivering angel….” Continue reading

Photo Corner

Solon Kile (1859-1934) and Ida (Sellers) Kile (1870-1972), Wellington, KansasContributed by Kendra Hoffman, Beatrice, Nebraska
Attached is a photo of my great-grandparents, Solon Kile (1859-1934) and Ida (Sellers) Kile (1870-1972). Yes, she lived to be 102! They met and married in Navarro Co., Texas, but later homesteaded in the Oklahoma panhandle, and eventually moved to Wellington, Kansas, where they lived out the remainder of their lives.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

 Anastacio Regino Barrera and Alfredo Benjamin Barrera, Laredo, Webb County, TexasContributed by Mirta Barrera
This is a photo of my father, Anastacio Regino Barrera (age twelve) with his brother Alfredo Benjamin Barrera (age ten). This photo was taken in Laredo, Webb County, Texas. My father and his brother were born in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States in 1921.