Thursday, August 19, 2010

200 Million More Historic Records See the Light of Day

As the nation’s genealogical societies gather in Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference this week to share tips and tricks for finding one’s elusive ancestors, there will certainly be some clamoring over an unexpected gift from FamilySearch, a world leader in historic records preservation and access. FamilySearch announced the addition of over 200 million new searchable historic records online representing 18 countries. The new records were added to the hundreds of millions FamilySearch published earlier this year at a similar event in Salt Lake City, Utah. The total number of records on the pilot site totals 700 million.

The latest deluge of records includes 53 new or updated collections from the United States, and over 100 million new records from Europe, Scandinavia, and Mexico. The United States collections include the 1910 U.S. Census, and states’ birth, marriage, and death records. There are 10 million new records for New Jersey and Michigan respectively, 4 million from Tennessee, an amazing 41 million from Massachusetts, and much more from other states.

“Some time ago, FamilySearch committed to creating access to the world’s genealogical records online in a big way. Today’s updates are part of an ongoing effort to make good on those commitments,” said Paul Nauta, FamilySearch public affairs manager. “We have only just begun,” Nauta concluded.

In the U.S., FamilySearch is focusing currently on digitizing and publishing online federal and state censuses, and state birth, marriage, and death records. When complete, the initiative will provide a definitive collection of U.S. genealogical resources for family history researchers.

In addition to the new U.S. collections, over 100 million records were added to FamilySearch’s international collections online—making it most likely the largest international genealogy collection online. The new international databases come from birth, marriage, and death records, and from municipal records. (Go to, then click Search Records, then click Records Search pilot) to see a full list of the free collections. The records will soon be available also at

“What makes today’s announcement even more impressive is that FamilySearch uses predominantly a growing corps of volunteers to accomplish the task of digitizing and indexing the records for online publication. That’s also in large part how we can do it for free, how it can be done at no cost to the patron,” said Nauta. Currently, 350,000 volunteers worldwide log on to and use FamilySearch’s proprietary software to view digital images of historic documents of personal interest and type in the desired information. FamilySearch then creates a free, searchable index of the historic collections online for the public to use.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Families Genealogy App for iPhone, iTouch, iPad

Telgen Ltd has released a fabulous new genealogy app for the iSeries of devices that interfaces directly with the Legacy Family Tree Software. The new software package is called Families.

Using this new software package, Legacy family files can be easily transferred from a PC to your iPhone, iTouch or iPad, enabling them to be viewed and edited wherever you are. Families supports the following functionality:

• Multiple family files
• New family files can be created from scratch
• Family View and Pedigree View
• Index, searchable by Given Name, Surname or RIN
• Events
• To Do Lists
• Master and Detail Sources
• Locations and Addresses, with geolocation via Google Maps
• Alternate Names
• Pictures, including the ability to add pictures from camera or photo album
• Portrait and Landscape mode on all views
• Full screen support on the iPad
• Legacy file versions 6 and 7 are supported

Families uses a highly efficient database implementation, allowing very large family files to be supported. Users have successfully displayed and edited files containing over 300,000 individuals on an iPhone.

You can see some iPhone screens shots at

Legacy is the premier genealogy software package that I recommend to my genealogy students, and now if you have one of the iSeries of devices, you can take your genealogy with you literally in your pocket. The app sells for $14.99 through the iTunes store and has our highest recommendation if you are a Legacy / iPhone / iTouch / iPad user.

Tennessee Page on FamilySearch Research Wiki

The Tennessee page on the FamilySearch Research Wiki has recently been updated and now includes a wealth of new information and resources to help people find their ancestors in the Volunteer State. The link for this revised page is:

The FamilySearch Research Wiki is a free resource created by the genealogy community. The core content for the Tennessee page was contributed by the expert researchers at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. The page also includes tips and research advice from local experts.

The Wiki staff is currently working on updating all of the state pages; Tennessee is one of the first because the 2010 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference will be held in Knoxville August 18 to 21. For more information about the FGS conference, please visit:

Page Highlights

· A clickable county map on the main page
· Easy navigation at the bottom of each page
· How to find Tennessee sources in archives, libraries, in print, and online
· Information on substitute sources when records are lost
· Local lists of published family histories
· Links to published Tennessee county tax lists
· Audio files of locals pronouncing Tennessee county names
· Contact information for volunteers who will look up information in local resources