Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tips for Using Maps in Your Family History Research

Diane Haddad, writing in her Blog Genealogy Insider, gives us several tips on using maps in our research.

PGS has two classes on using various types of maps, some of which Diane mentions in her article. She also includes some great links to online map collections.

Check it out at:

Genealogy Insider – Six Tips for Mapping Your Family History

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Estray Book

Have you ever used an Estray Book in your research? Do you even know what one is?

Check it out in Michael John Neill’s Genealogy Tip of the Day at:

Genealogy Tip of the Day: The Estray Book

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Learning Center at

In case you have not visited it lately, here is the link to the Learning Center at

Note on the left of the screen that the courses have been categorized in several different ways, making it easy to zero in on what is most helpful to you. Of course, the classes are free.

Learning Center: Genealogy Courses |

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ethical Considerations in Family History

Here is a thoughtfully considered treatment of the issue of how to treat sensitive information we come across in our research.

Thanks to Crista Cowan of .

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The License Agreement

With the new format of the website and its apparent emphasis on the sharing of information found on the site, concern about what we are agreeing to when we past information to the site may arise.

Judy Russell, writing in The Legal Genealogist blog addresses this issue and gives us a plain-English explanation of the license agreement. This article is a “must” for anyone with concerns.

You can find Judy’s article at:

FamilySearch: sharing is forever | The Legal Genealogist

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Congratulations to The Genealogy Guys

Our congratulations to The Genealogy Guys who back in May completed their 250th podcast. George and Drew are personal friends of PGS so this note is heart-felt.

The link that follows will take you to their site and, if you nave not done so already, will allow you to subscribe to their podcast.

The Genealogy Guys Podcast

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Civil War Widow’s Pension Files Database on

In case you have not noticed, a database of approved pension case files of widows and other dependents of soldiers submitted between 1861 and 1934 and sailors between 1910 and 1934 is now available on

It is searchable by name, and linked to to view the actual documents. Be aware that Fold3 is a subscription site and fees are applicable. Still, the site proves to be a helpful index.

The following link will take you to the search page at

Collection Details —

Saturday, July 13, 2013

FGS Announces Two Free Webinars

This from the FGS:

The Federation of Genealogical Societies announces two new webinars focusing on the use of military records in genealogical research.  These webinars are FREE and open to the public!

  • Discovering Local & State Militia Records
    Presenter: J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA
    Date: Tuesday, 16 July 2013, 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central

    Take a closer look at the wide variety of records documenting our local militia companies. From annual muster to supplies and appointment of Officers, learn how these records may be used in your family research. Learn more about the military organization of citizens called for the purpose of local defense, who served this country from the Revolution through 1812 and on to the development of the National Guard.

    J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA a full-time professional researcher & educator, formerly APG President and FGS officer. You will find him researching for clients including Who Do You Think You Are?, African American Lives or Biography’s uneXplained. With his love for teaching, you will see him at SLIG, IGHR, numerous webinars or at your local society.
  • Researching in the Post War Records of 1812
    Presenter: Craig Scott, MA, CG
    Date: Wednesday, 7 August 2013, 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central

    This lecture will focus on the records created by the War Department after the War. It will include compiled military service records, pensions and pension payments.

    Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG is the President and CEO of Heritage Books, Inc., a genealogical publishing firm with over 4,900 titles in print. A professional genealogical and historical researcher for more than twenty-eight years, he specializes in the records of the National Archives, especially those that relate to the military. He is the Coordinator of the Advanced Military Track at IGHR and SLIG.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Search Engines and Indexes–Why They May Fail

We have all experienced doing a lookup using one search engine or another and failing to find the subject of the search. That failure doesn’t necessarily mean that the person searched for is not in the record. It simply means the search did not reveal him.

James Tanner, writing in his Genealogy’s Star Blog, provides a good explanation of why a search may not be successful. He explains the indexing process and its pitfalls as well as possible search engine short comings.

Understanding what James has to say can increase your searching effectiveness, and prompt you to look beyond what a search engine has to offer.

Read his article at:

Genealogy's Star: Why not to rely too heavily on search engines for genealogists

Monday, July 8, 2013

"Who Do You Think You Are?" Returns to TV

For those of you who enjoyed the TV show "Who Do You Think You Are?" that aired for a couple seasons on NBC, it' back on the air.

It is scheduled to show starting July 23  at 9 PM Eastern, 8 PM Central on the cable channel TLC.

Eight one-hour episodes will comprise the new season, and the celebrities featured this year include: Christina Applegate, Kelly Clarkson, Cindy Crawford, Chris O’Donnell and Zooey Deschanel.

Genealogy Karma at Mocavo

Mocavo, the genealogy search engine (and more) has announced a service they call Genealogy Karma. Essentially it is a follow-on to the old Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness.

You can ask for help (like getting a tombstone picture or a death certificate) and other users who are conveniently geographically located can respond. You can also volunteer to be helper.

You can read an article about the service as well as find a link to Mocavo Karma at:

GeneaPress: Mocavo Announces Genealogy Karma

Friday, July 5, 2013

Everything You Wanted to Know about The Draft

Did you know that men born from March 29, 1957 through December 31, 1959 were not required to register because registration was suspended for several years in the late 1970s?

Do you know the rules for requesting Selective Service records for registrants born before 1960? Those rules are different from those born 1960 and after.

You can discover this and other historical perspectives of the Selective Service System at the link below.

Selective Service System: History and Records

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Preserving and Protecting Photographs

Keeping those old photos safe and protected is a concern to many of us, and ensuring our new photos stand the ravages of time should be a concern too.

An article from The American Museum of Photography gives us some tips and rules to follow to protect those treasures. Among the topics addressed you will find explanations on the enemies of photos, how to deal with both albums and loose photos, and looking at special cases like daguerreotypes.

Read about those topics and more at:

Preserving and Protecting Photographs