Try Clooz 2.0 Final Beta

Clooz1.jpgClooz is a database for systematically organizing and storing all of the clues to your ancestry that you have been collecting over the years. This is not another genealogy program. It is an electronic filing cabinet that assists you with search and retrieval of important facts you have found during the ancestor hunt.

Clooz 2.0 is now in final beta testing. If you’d like to try the new version, visit This is a beta version, and therefore you should not do a lot of data entry that you don’t want to lose. It’s possible that as a result of the beta testing, the database structure may change and therefore you should just test the program rather than start doing your data entry. This beta version will expire on 15 April 2006 and you will not be able to use it after that. If you have purchased Clooz in advance of it’s release, you will be informed of where to download the final version when it’s ready. If you are trying Clooz for the first time and you like it, you can purchase from

Thanks… And a Bit More on Ranked Search

Lupines from Juliana's GardenWow! Thanks to everyone for the kind words about the new blog and newsletter! I’ve been overwhelmed by your amazing response. We’ve still got a few kinks to work out and it’s been interesting trying to adjust to the new schedule, but we’re getting there.

Since there’s been quite a bit of discussion about Ranked Search, I thought I’d post some observations from my experience. When Ranked Search first came out, I wasn’t very interested. I got on quite well with the Exact Search, so while I did play around with it a bit and made a few finds, I tended to stay with the Exact Search. Continue reading


by Megan SmolenyakMegan's website

The last time I wished I were an 11-year-old boy was — well, never.   But right now, I’d like to swap places with one.  Why?  Free DNA testing.  I’m not kidding.

In one of the more unusual arrangements I’ve heard of, free Y-DNA testing is being offered for active Boys Scouts of America.  To learn more, go to ScoutMedia ( and click on the “free DNA/genealogy test” link toward the upper, left-hand corner.  There you’ll be taken to a page explaining the SMGF/BSA Participation Special.  It’s a multi-step process, but will save the usual $100-$230 for a mid-range test (that is, one with 20-some-odd markers). Continue reading

Welcome to 24/7 Family History Circle!

ButterflyWelcome to 24/7 Family History Circle!  I hope you enjoy your visit. When I first learned about the plans for the new newsletter and blog, I wasn’t sure what to think. But I attacked it much like I tackle my research problems. I went to the bookstore and bought several books on blogging. My credit cards are still smoking. By the time I made my way through the first book I was truly excited about the prospect.

This online forum opens up possibilities for things that just weren’t possible with just the newsletter. Not only can we feature the same types of articles, tips and quotes that our readers have become accustomed to, but we can also include pictures and images of records. For example, the image in the section titled, The Year Was 1847, allows us to give you a peek into the Historical Maps collection at  As I gain proficiency with the tools, you will see more records and images from databases. I’ll even be sharing images of my own, like this one taken on one of my flower boxes last summer and the one featured in the Weekly Planner section. (BTW, I normally don’t keep these special heirlooms out in the open like that. They’re normally out of the sun and in a closed cabinet. They just came out for the photo op.) Continue reading

Weekly Planner: Record Heirloom Origins

JulianaAs you’re doing your spring cleaning, and dusting around all those family heirlooms, take photographs of them and take time to record the origins and any stories associated with them. Create an album with photographs and the histories of all your precious items. That way the stories won’t become lost as time goes by.

This image is one I took of some of my favorite heirlooms. The doll was my mother’s and bears the same name as my daughter. In front of it is my 2nd great-grandfather’s night stick and the teacup was my grandmother’s. Below the cup and saucer is my grandfather’s copy of Julius Caesar with his name and address handwritten on the inside cover.


Family History Spring Cleaning

As I write this, it is the first day of spring, but here in the Midwest, it feels like winter isn’t quite through with us. Normally at the first sign of spring, I would be cleaning out my garden. Mother Nature isn’t going to let me do that (at least not comfortably!), so I’m focusing my initial spring cleaning efforts on my office. Since I often hear from readers looking to organize their family history materials, I thought in the spirit of the season, we’d focus this newsletter on spring cleaning. Today I thought I’d share some ideas to get you started. Continue reading

Preservation Tip: Cleaning Framed Photos

From Maureen Taylor 

Got the spring cleaning bug? Here’s quick way to clean your framed pictures without subjecting them to chemical cleaners. Slightly dampen a cloth with water and wipe it across the surface of the glass and frame. No moisture should seep between the glass and the frame. It’s simple and cheap plus you’ll keep your valuables safe from the harsh cleaning solutions.

The Year Was 1847…

Map from Historical Map Collection

The year was 1847. James Polk was president of the United States and the U.S. was embroiled in the Mexican American War (1846-48). A Yellow Fever epidemic affected New Orleans, and an influenza outbreak spread worldwide. In Philadelphia, the American Medical Association (AMA) was founded with goals to establish a code of ethics and create minimum requirements for medical education and training. And on July 24, Brigham Young led the first group of Mormon pioneers into Salt Lake Valley.

Across the world, Ireland was in the midst of the Great Potato Famine and waves of immigrants left their homes for America and other countries, often in the so-called “coffin ships.” In addition to starvation, in 1847 diseases like cholera, typhus, fever, dysentery, tuberculosis and smallpox spread through the country.

AWJ Editor’s Note:  To see a larger image, click on the map. members with access to the Historical Map Collection can view the image using the advanced viewer here.