Historical Prints Now Available in Ancestry Store

The Ancestry Store now has historic prints available for sale. Images include panoramic and other historical maps, war images, and people, places, and things. Some of the prints available include the San Francisco Earthquake, Pearl Harbor, the raising of the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima, New York City skyline, mill workers, Ellis Island immigrants, and the Cubs vs. White Sox game in 1909.

The prints are for sale unframed or custom framed. The store allows you to choose a frame and mat and as you choose, it shows the print framed, so you can see how it looks before you purchase it. I had some fun with this feature and am thinking that a few framed prints may go on my Christmas wish list!

Click here to view the gallery of images available.

New York Birth and Baptisms Databases Removed

The relationship of Ancestry.com with the content provider of the New York Birth and Baptism databases has ended, and Ancestry is sorry to say that it can therefore no longer provide these databases to its subscribers. 

Ancestry does have a growing collection of vital records from New York still available to members. Click here to view the entire list.

NARA Announces New Hours

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, D.C.The following press release discusses the new hours for the National Archives in Washington, D.C. 

Washington, DC. . . A final rule published in the Federal Register today amends the hours at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and at the National Archives facility in College Park, MD.  The new hours affect both the museum side of the National Archives Building and the research side of both facilities.  This rule will become effective on Monday, October 2, 2006. 

The new research hours are:  Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Once a month, the National Archives will have extended hours to accommodate researchers who seek evening and Saturday hours.  The monthly extended hours are:  Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 8:45 p.m., and Saturday, 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.  The first extended hours will be held October 19 through 21.  New signs have been posted in the research rooms at the Washington, DC and College Park, MD facilities.  The new hours are posted online at:  www.archives.gov/research/, including the specific dates for extended hours in FY 2007.  Continue reading

Weekly Planner: Make Time to Read

If you’re like me, you have a stack of books and magazines waiting to be read. I try to keep materials in the car for when I’m waiting to pick up my daughter, and I have some scattered around the house, but lately it’s been tough to gather enough time to really get into a book or read a magazine cover to cover. This week, let’s make some time to catch up on our reading. If the weather’s nice enough, take it outside. Find a nice quiet place where you can avoid distractions and really get a good read in!

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Timelining Your Ancestor

by George G. Morgan

Placing your ancestor into historical context is one of the most important means of understanding him or her better. Like you, your ancestors and their families did not live in a void. They were attentive to the news and events of their times. Information they received influenced their opinions and attitudes and helped them make important decisions. Hearing an announcement about a new tax was liable to cause them to become angry and to worry about how they would make financial ends meet. News of political or religious unrest or about the approach of a foreign army might cause tremendous stress and fear. Economic downturns, drought, famine, and disease all meant potential disaster for the people. Such news could also cause your ancestors to make the crucial decision to migrate elsewhere or immigrate to another country.

Genealogy involves the active study of history and geography, among other subjects. Some of us proactively seek written histories to read and gain insights into historical periods in specific places. We may seek to locate old maps, atlases, and gazetteers so that we can see and study the geopolitical boundaries of the places our ancestors lived so that we can better understand the governments and political forces that influenced their lives. Continue reading

Taking Stock of the Past

by Maureen Taylor

A few years ago, one of my maternal aunts gave me a doily. Made from cotton thread, these beautiful handmade creations once adorned bureaus and tables, but they aren’t as popular as in previous generations. Turns out the table scarf from my aunt once belonged to my maternal grandmother who died when I was one. I’ve heard a lot of stories about her but never knew she did handiwork. It’s a genealogical artifact that I’ll always treasure! If my aunt hadn’t told me who made it, the history of the piece would be lost.

In museum terms, the history of ownership is known as provenance. It’s a big deal. You’ve probably read about efforts to establish the record of ownership of pieces in museums around the world especially those items thought to be looted from museums during World War II. You can read more about these issues on the website of the Museum of Modern Art.

Regardless of whether or not the family artifacts in your hands are museum quality pieces, it’s time to take stock of what you own and where it came from. It’s an easy thing to do and you might learn something you didn’t already know about your family. Create a worksheet to record data and include the following… Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: Saved Notes and Cornish Treasure

from Sherry Irvine, CG, FSA Scot

I have mentioned in the past keeping the lid on the list of favorites stored in your browser. (See the article online for more on this.) I try to live by this advice too.

That means when I happen on something online of passing interest I grab a scrap of paper, make a note, and pop this in a large envelope I call “Website Notes.” From time to time it is fun to dip into this grab bag and pull out a few slips. Sometimes links are broken, and some sites I wonder why I made the note, but others are real gems.

Here is one of the gems: The note was about the “Silly Names List” and told me I found it in “What’s New” section of the Cornwall County Council website. I had made a mistake by not dating this note. When was “new” actually new?

The Silly Names List had disappeared from “What’s New” so I used the “search this site” box and found it at the Cornwall Record Office page.  It is a great collection of unusual names, which should not only make you smile, but make you think about pitfalls with names. If the name is just about unbelievable to begin with, think how you or anyone else could go wrong.

Don’t go away just yet though. Do what I did and click on the box on the right called “Internal Links, Heritage and History.” You’ll find great resource material for anyone searching for Cornish roots. I hope you enjoy this.

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Your Quick Tips

Do It Yourself Copies
Many states are looking into or have already increased the price of birth, marriage, and death certificates. The days of getting a “for genealogical purposes only” copy for $.50 are long gone around here. This gets hard on the budget but the information is vital so I came up with a plan.
I took a certificate I had already purchased in my state and made a copy of the format of information on my computer. Then, when I go to the vital records department, I print out a bunch of copies and just fill in the blanks myself. I check the information I have filled in–and check it one more time to be sure it is correct. This allows me to get records of those “possible connections, but not sure” people than I would if I had to pay $5 or $10 for a certified copy. Some of the “possibilities” have turned out to have a connection!
Barbara Stevens
East Hartford, CT Continue reading