Page 1

FINALLY! Sync Your Ancestry Tree with RootsMagic Software






Trace European Emigrants in Departure Records

7 6

Cemetery Records to Find Right Now! Tips for Dead-End DNA Matches

Never Forget: Researching Vietnam Veterans


F Family Fun History H Projects P ffor Kids

contents feature articles


FINALLY! Sync Your Ancestry Tree with RootsMagic Software



cover photo: Marlenka/iStock/Getty Images; historical photo: g-stockstudio/iStock/Getty Images






Trace European Emigrants in Departure Records

Records 7Cemetery to Find Right Now! 62 6


september 2017 • volume 18, issue 5

Tips for Dead-End DNA Matches



42 Researching Vietnam War Veterans

David A. Fryxell

| By

Discover 101 of the best free genealogy websites to find vital records, censuses, maps and other tools of the family history trade.


Think of the Children | By Sunny Jane Morton


Fun Family History Projects for Kids

US $8.99 CAN $9 99


26 0

71658 02003


Display until October 2 2017


16 Free Trade

| By

Never Forget: Researching Vietnam Veterans


Diane Haddad

As Ken Burns’ gripping new documentary provides a personal look at the Vietnam War, here’s how you can start learning more about the experiences of your relatives who served.

Cheryl Felix McClellan

48 Setting Sail |

54 No Stone Unturned |

These seven tried-and-true family history activities let kids explore their heritage and build lasting memories with you.

When and where your European ancestors arrived in North America is only half the story. Now it’s time to learn why and how they left.

Tombstones aren’t the only records available in the graveyard. Bring your ancestors’ deaths (and lives) to light with these seven cemetery resources.


By Melody Amsel-Arieli


By Joy Neighbors



contents columns & departments

4 Out on a Limb | By Diane Haddad


A letter from our editor.

6 Tree Talk Readers respond to Family Tree Magazine.

10 History Matters | By David A. Fryxell Playing up the history of board games.

13 Research Roadmap | By Andrew Koch

8 Genealogy Insider

| By

Sunny Jane Morton

What’s new in discovering, preserving and celebrating your family history: 23andMe cleared to provide health reports Elephind tops 175 million news items Five questions with 23andMe’s product science manager

» » »

66 The Toolkit |

Edited by Diane Haddad

Reviews and roundups of the latest and greatest family history resources: Tutorial: Search the Library of Congress’ Sanborn maps Review: Epson FastFoto Scanner Tutorial: Sync RootsMagic with your Ancestry tree

» » »



33 Pennsylvania |

14 Family Archivist | By Denise May Levenick Tips to preserve heirloom military uniforms.

60 Now What? | By David A. Fryxell Answers to your questions on citing online newspapers, Italian baptismal records and Denmark places.

62 DNA Solutions | Diahan Southard Can no-tree DNA matches be helpful? Yes! We’ll tell you how.

64 Document Detective | By George G. Morgan

By James M. Beidler

Clues in English civil marriage records.

37 Arizona

| By

A look at the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

David A. Fryxell

72 Photo Finish Readers’ three-, four- and fivegeneration family photos.

Our collectible State Research Guides series shows you what you need to know to research your ancestors in every US state.

IN OUR NEXT ISSUE Family Tree Magazine (ISSN 1529-0298) is published seven times per year: January/February, March/April, May/June, July/ August, September, October/November and December by F+W, A Content + eCommerce Company, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Cincinnati, OH 45242; telephone (513) 531-2690. Copyright ©2017 F+W, A Content + eCommerce Company, Vol. 18, No. 5, September 2017. Subscription rates: one year, $36. Canadian subscriptions add $8 per year, other foreign subscriptions add $10 per year for surface mail or $35 per year for air mail and remit in US funds. Postmaster: Send all address changes to Family Tree Magazine, Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32141; return undeliverable Canadian addresses to Box 1632, Windsor, Ontario N9A 7C9. Periodicals postage paid at Cincinnati, Ohio and additional mailing offices. Produced and printed in the USA.


Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R


» Easy family history book ideas » Discover your Italian ancestors » Genealogy software guide

Available Oct. 3 on newsstands and from


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FREE DOWNLOAD HOW TO PRESERVE »YOUR OLD FAMILY PHOTOS Got boxes and albums of old photos? Want to save faded and torn images? Our free e-book helps you digitally fix damaged photos and organize your originals. Submit your email address at <ftu.



Free Google Earth software lets you explore landscapes, compare modern maps to old ones, and save customized maps. See how Google Earth can solve research problems at <familytreemagazine. com/article/google-earth-genealogy-solutions-fromspace> and watch a video demo. Become a Plus member at <>. preserve-old-photos> and

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In our September podcast, host Lisa Louise Cooke and guests help you do online genealogy—for free! Listen in iTunes or at <familytree>.

The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide



The Fall 2017 Virtual Conference, Sept. 15-17, brings you three days of online classes, Q&As with experts, message board discussions and more—all from home. See the program and register today at < pages/virtual-conference>.

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outonalimb Making the Cut SEP TEMBER 2017 • VOLUME 18, ISSUE 5

3 I’M OLD ENOUGH to remember

going to the downtown library to work on English and history papers in high school. I’d crack open big volumes of The Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature, look up my topics in teeny tiny print (not a challenge for my teenage eyesight) and submit a request slip for a journal to be pulled from closed stacks. Sometimes, instead of a book, I’d get a roll of microfilm. By the time my kids are in high school, microfilm might be a bygone requiring explanation—the same way I’ve had to describe what a busy signal is (or was). Even though we all knew the day would eventually come, FamilySearch’s announcement as this issue went to press that its microfilm loan program would end as of Sept. 1 (see page 9) feels shocking. Microfilm demand is decreasing; costs are increasing. It’s the perfect recipe for deciding now is the time to say when. True, most FamilySearch films—some 1.5 million rolls, including those most often requested—are already digitized and available online. FamilySearch estimates its entire collection will be imaged by sometime in 2020. But the best brick-

Group Publisher » Allison Dolan Editor » Diane Haddad Art Director » Julie Barnett Editor/Content Producer » Andrew Koch Online Community Editor » Vanessa Wieland Contributing Editors » Lisa A. Alzo, Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, Rick Crume, David A. Fryxell, Nancy Hendrickson, Sunny Jane Morton, Maureen A. Taylor ••• F+W, A CONTENT + ECOMMERCE COMPANY CEO » Thomas F. X. Beusse CFO » Debra Delman

wall busting films are usually obscure ones from small-town courthouses and churches in European hamlets. The ones still waiting to be scanned. In the mean time, you can link from listings in the FamilySearch online catalog to WorldCat, where you’ll see other libraries that hold the record. The good news is that FamilySearch can now turn more of its resources to broadening online access to records. This also makes the internet more essential than ever to genealogy research. That’s why we bring you our annual list of 101 Best Genealogy Websites—and this year, the focus is on free. See page 16 and get started surfing. 

COO » Joe Seibert Chief Content Officer » Steve Madden Chief Technology Officer » Joe Romello SVP, General Manager, F+W Crafts Group » John Bolton SVP, General Manager, Fine Art, Writing and Design Group » David Pyle SVP, General Manager, F+W Outdoors and Small Business Groups » Ray Chelstowski VP, Manufacturing & Logistics » Phil Graham VP, Sales & Business Development » Chris Lambiase Newsstand Sales » Scott Hill, VP, Advertising Sales » Kevin D. Smith Advertising Sales Representative » Jill Ruesch Advertising Services Assistant » Connie Kostrzewa ••• Family Tree Magazine, published in the United States, is not affiliated with the British Family Tree Magazine, with Family Tree Maker software or with Family Tree DNA. EDITORIAL OFFICES: 10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash, OH 45242, ADVERTISING: Contact Jill Ruesch, (800) 726-9966 ext. 13223, SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: U.S.: 1 (888) 403-9002; international: (386) 246-3364; email: familytreemagazine@, <www.familytreemagazine. com/customerservice>.

DIANE’S TOP 3 TIPS from this issue 1 Once you’ve learned from where and when immigrant ancestors migrated, look for social history resources that shed light on their motivations for leaving.

2 You may be able to access subscription genealogy sites for free at your local library or FamilySearch Center.

3 To capture a young person’s family history focus, choose activities that align with her interests (not necessarily yours). 4

Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R



SINGLE COPIES, BACK ISSUES AND SHOPFAMILYTREE.COM: <> NEWSSTAND AND INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION: Curtis Circulation Co., (201) 634-7400 PRIVACY PROMISE: Occasionally we make portions of our customer list available to other companies so they may contact you about products and services that may be of interest to you. If you prefer we withhold your name, simply send a note with the magazine name to: List Manager, F+W, A Content + eCommerce Company, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash, OH 45242. Copyright © 2017 F+W Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Family Tree Magazine is a registered trademark of F+W Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Family Tree Magazine is a registered trademark of F+W, A Content + eCommerce Company.


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Readers respond to Family Tree Magazine

No Place Like Home

After an initial gruff demeanor, the cousin’s face morphed to joy once he understood thehague/iStock/Getty Images Plus

“Tschüss!” Our driver yelled the German equivalent of “goodbye” out his window and disappeared down the narrow road. We stood in front of the towering duplex with stark white walls. A place that wasn’t home. A place so far from the tiny bubble of Iowa, where we had only each other for family. Moving 4,583 miles from the United States to Germany could best be compared to the sections of Autobahn that lack a speed limit. You feel slow and confused as people zoom by. As high school students texted, eyes glued to their phones, while biking on the cobblestone streets, I stumbled around our town, trying to remember how to say the midday greeting of “Guten Tag.” Even though my soccer teammates burst out laughing at my inability to pronounce any German word with R in it, I chuckled at their daily attempts to say my name: Grace (which they pronounced with a rolled R as “Ghrras”). And when I came home every day, the stone walls felt foreign and it remained like that for a long time. This country

my ancestors had abandoned for America had a vastly different culture from the one I had left. Instead of skyscrapers, Germany had castles, and rather than an “everyone’s a winner” attitude, they had a “tough luck” attitude. Getting accustomed to it took some time. A couple of years later, my uncle in Chicago announced he wanted to


who wait


doorstep. trace his German ancestry. After he and my aunt made the nine-hour flight to Frankfurt, I pushed for a road trip to the town of his ancestors. Three hours later, I was making conversation with a town historian in a graveyard by headstones with my uncle’s family name. After I translated for my relatives, our new acquaintance hopped in our car (at her insistence) and directed us to my uncle’s family home—the original one from the 1600s—to meet his cousin many times removed. Despite an initial gruff demeanor, the cousin’s face morphed to joy once he understood who waited on his doorstep. We were offered food, drink, a place to stay, and stories dating back hundreds of years. We accepted the food, drink and stories, but we had to decline the guest room. We piled into our car and waved with a feeling of satisfaction and wholeness. It’s a hopeful and heartwarming prospect when people are willing to offer up their homes to someone distantly related . And though the relatives we found weren’t mine by blood, the excitement of seeing the ancient family home, a remnant of old times, was as strong as if it were my family home. Grace Matera » via email

Editor Diane Haddad met her third cousin once removed Bob Volz and his wife, Nancy, when a road trip took them through Family Tree Magazine’s hometown of Cincinnati. The Volzes are long-time genealogists and readers of the magazine— even before realizing the family connection.


Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R


Gene Scene In regard to G. Rodger Crowe’s letter in the July/August 2017 Family Tree Magazine about not finding anything new in his DNA test: Mine solved



WHY DO YOU DO GENEALOGY? In a way, it’s like “MythBusters.” I do it to see what I can find and see if people’s stories are true. » Brad Beadel

Now it’s a passion, and any minute now it may become an obsession. » Janice Harshbarger

My birth mother found me by using genealogy. We’d do research together, me on both of my trees and her filling me in on family I didn’t grow up with. She passed away last December. I miss our talks, our trips to cemeteries, hours in the library, arguments over whether this John Herman was the right John Herman, and our embarrassed looks over family secrets that came out. » Kathy Herman

My mother told such interesting stories about her family and I wanted to find out more about them. » Janet Millward Godber

I asked my dad his grandparents’ names. He said “Grandma and Grandpa Vantine.” » Laura Travis-Meyer I’ve had a fine family life, but I have always felt that something was missing. ... At first it was mild curiosity: Who were my grandparents, and their parents? Then it became an interest.

My great-great-grandparents died in the sinking of the Empress of Ireland in 1914. I wanted to know about them and what happened to their 10 children. » Lorie Pierce I was an only child, raised by grandparents, with little interaction with my father or his family. I felt alone in the world when my parents and grandparents passed away. I started family history research to learn about my ancestors, but also to find family. I’m thrilled to say that I’ve found dozens of cousins. Finding family has truly been a joy to my soul. » Tina Renee

Join our community at <>.

family folklore of having an American Indian ancestor. We found no trace of any native American blood in my DNA test. Rumor finally put to rest. Ronald Robinson » Loganville , Ga.

DNA Dialogue I want to respond to the comments by Mr. G. Rodger Crowe in his letter on DNA testing (Tree Talk, July/ August). While he raises some valid points about the disparity of results between DNA testing companies, I believe he ignores or glosses over some of the benefits such testing can yield.

Few of us have Mr. Crowe’s 35 years of experience in genealogy. I began looking into my family’s history only after my retirement in 2003, and hundreds of thousands of people have begun even more recently. DNA analysis can provide insights into unknown branches of one’s family tree even when [traditional research] remains difficult or impossible. The information may at the very least help confirm (or refute) family legends. DNA testing can connect families who’ve lost touch. People on both sides of my family became separated

geographically and lost contact with their siblings and cousins, and I’ve been delighted to discover several second cousins with whom I’ve exchanged emails and even met. In every instance, the experience has been enjoyable and informative. As more people submit their DNA for testing, testing companies will gain greater insights into the distribution of DNA snippets ethnically and geographically, and the results are likely to become more accurate. This has proven to be the case with Ancestry DNA and National Geographic’s Genographic programs. Finally, it is my hope that DNA testing will end once and for all the notion of racial purity or superiority, particularly among people like me, of Northern European ancestry, among whom such beliefs have sometimes led to dire consequences. Rather like Mr. Crowe, my own genealogical research left little doubt that I was Dutch on my father’s side and English, Irish and Scots on my mother’s, and I was well aware that among the many goods the Vikings traded around the shores of the North Sea was DNA. Nevertheless, it was intriguing to look at those smaller percentages of DNA from southern and Eastern Europe, Finland, and the Near East, and reflect on what vagaries of history had introduced those bits of DNA into my heritage. I don’t attach any significance to them as an explanation for why I look or behave as I do, nor do I expect ever to be able to discover how they entered my lineage, but I find them interesting and strangely reassuring. We are all members of the human family, and it’s good to be reminded occasionally that we’re all brothers and sisters (or at least seventh cousins thrice removed!) under the skin.  John Koot » Newton, Mass.


We’d love to hear your research stories, family memories and thoughts about this issue. Email ftmedit@ or leave us a note on Facebook <>. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.




genealogyinsider Behind the scenes of family history news and trends


23andMe Cleared to Provide Health Reports 3 PURCHASERS OF THE 23andMe

test now have access to genetic health risk reports for conditions including late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Celiac disease and seven others. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized 23andMe to offer these 10 reports and smoothed the way for similar reports. This is a big, if incremental, step forward for the company. Its DNA service initially provided ancestry information and genetic risk reports on about 250 conditions. In 2013, the FDA ordered 23andMe to stop providing healthrelated information to US customers because the company hadn’t proven

Gregory Adams/Moment Open/Getty Images.

<> Health + Ancestry DNA

its tests were “analytically or clinically validated.” After negotiations with the FDA, 23andMe began offering morelimited health-related reports in 2015.

Elephind Tops 175 Million News Items When you think of free digitized US newspapers, you likely think of the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America <> , home to nearly 12 million pages of old newsprint. But the curiously named website Elephind <> actually searches even more pages. Elephind offers free access to 175 million-plus digitized historical newspaper items from more than 3,300 papers for the United States and beyond. The items are all hosted on other websites— including Chronicling America—but Elephind offers “one-stop-searching” to find more mentions of your family in old newspapers. Several states’ digital newspaper collections are included in Elephind 8

Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R

searches: think California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, with Hawaii and Michigan coming soon at press time. Some US university newspaper collections are also included or scheduled to be. You even can search the National Library of Australia’s site Trove <> (the Australian version of Chronicling America) and a few smaller international collections are also searchable through Elephind. Veridian, a software company that powers digital newspaper sites, hosts Elephind to promote free online collections and push its own technological limits. And the website name? It combines the words elephant (fabled for its memory skills) and find. 2017

The FDA established a streamlined approval process for future genetic health risk reports developed by 23andMe or other companies. The new reports calculate genetic risk based on the presence (or absence) of specific markers in a person’s DNA. To obtain FDA authorization for them, 23andMe “conducted extensive validation studies for accuracy and user comprehension that met FDA standards,” according to its announcement. The FDA considered evidence tying each condition with the relevant genetic markers and whether 23andMe tests consistently and accurately identify the markers in customers’ DNA. The FDA also established a streamlined approval process for future genetic health risk reports from 23andMe or other companies. This process will help similar tests “enter the market as quickly as possible and in the least burdensome way,” according to an FDA statement. The new policy applies to genetic risk reports that are informational, not those used for medical diagnoses or to make health treatment decisions. Get a look at the new 23andMe reports at <blog.23andme. com/health-traits/learn-23andmes-newgenetic-health-risk-reports>.


5 Questions With

Legacy 9 Adds New Features The latest update to Legacy Family Tree software adds important new features. Users now can back up tree files to secure cloud-based storage called Legacy Cloud. The software includes automated record hinting for FamilySearch <www.familysearch. org>, <www.>, GenealogyBank <> and MyHeritage <>, and one-click access to memorials at Find A Grave <>. New charts provide at-a-glance views of an ancestor’s cause of death and the path of your x-chromosome DNA. You also can compare two people on a tree, document stories, add custom hashtags and even create a bingo game. Upgrades and purchases start at $26.95, or download a free standard version at <www.>.

FamilySearch Ends Microfilm Rental FamilySearch <>

is ending its microfilm rental service through FamilySearch Centers as of Aug. 31. A June announcement cited declining demand for film, increased cost of the service, and the difficulty of supporting aging microfilm technology. Most FamilySearch microfilm—including the most popular records—is already digitized online. Digitization should be completed in 2020.

ROBIN SMITH Meet Canada native Robin Smith, a 23andMe <> product science manager, who helps develop new features for the genetic testing company’s Ancestry Service.


Why did you choose to work in consumer genetics?

Before 23andMe, my research at the University of California—San Francisco was rewarding [but] it also removed me from the people who would eventually benefit. 23andMe provided me an opportunity to … interact with consumers by creating engaging content and features.

2 3

What do you enjoy about your job?

I really enjoy brainstorming with a small group of designers and engineers. I also enjoy releasing a new feature after many months of development work—and hopefully watching customers enjoy it.

What’s a 23andMe feature you helped to develop?

The “Ancestry Timeline” update to the Ancestry Composition report. [Editor’s note: This feature approximates when a particular ethnic ancestry entered your family tree.] We’re currently working on a new report called "Your DNA Family" that will be released soon.


What do you wish more people understood about what DNA can tell them?

It’s still early in our understanding of how genes, lifestyle, environment and ancestry all come together. It’s still also quite hard, from a genetics perspective, to tell the difference between someone originating from the UK and someone originating from France or Germany, which is surprising to a lot of people.


What have you learned from your own DNA?

I have one copy of the MC1R R160W allele, another way of saying I’m a carrier for red hair (you need two red hair variants to have red hair). My variant comes from my Dad, who is half Irish on his mother’s side. As another scientist at 23andMe found, my variant is actually most common in Eastern Europe, which is harder to explain based on my family tree. 


of our interviews with influential family historians at <>.




historymatters { B Y D AV I D A . F R Y X E L L }

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZC4-14319

Innovations and trends that shaped your ancestors’ lives

Fun and Games 3 IF YOU’RE UPSET about the retirement of three tradi-

Every early culture had its own games. Originating in tional Monopoly pieces (farewell, thimble, boot and wheel- China at least 2,500 years ago, Go is the oldest game still barrow), keep in mind that board games are always evolving. played in its original form. The Vikings played Tafl, dating Otherwise we’d still be using sticks for dice and playto about 400. Played on a checkered board similar to ing for preferential treatment in the afterlife, as chess, Tafl started with the king in the center. The The oldest our ancient Egyptian forebears did—and only the attacking side, with twice as many pieces, would dice found in elite would get to play at all. They played Senet, try to capture the king before it reached the a 5,000-year-old the oldest known board game, starting about board’s edges. Viking raiders took Tafl across game resembling 3500 BCE. Queen Nefertiti was portrayed in Europe and may even have introduced it to Backgammon her tomb playing Senet, and King Tut was burIndia, which in turn developed the ancestor of in Iran. ied with a board. Senet is even mentioned in the modern chess, Chaturanga, in the sixth century. Book of the Dead. Chaturanga, India’s Gupta Empire, is the earliThe rules are lost to history, but archaeologists est known game to have pieces with different powers know Senet was played on a board three squares wide by (unlike Go or Backgammon): infantry, cavalry, elephant cav10 long, with five to seven pieces per player. Reflecting the alry and chariot troops—precursors of pawns, knights, bishgame’s religious overtones, the squares were marked with ops and rooks, respectively. Like modern chess, it was played symbols for Egyptian gods. on a board of eight squares per side (albeit un-checkered). The oldest game whose rules survive is the Royal Game of The game soon made its way to Persia, where it became Ur, a dice-based racing game discovered in Iraq in the 1920s part of the education of nobles in the Sassanid Empire. and believed to date from about 5,000 years ago. The game is Persian players would call out “Shāh!” (“king”) when attackthought to be a forerunner of Backgammon, which became ing their opponent’s king, and “Shāh Mand!” (“the king wildly popular during the Roman Empire. is helpless”) when they’d trapped the enemy king. When 10

Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R



The object of the ancient game Go, being played here in 1877, is to surround more territory of the board than your opponent.

IN TIME ca. 3500 BC |

Chaturanga spread through the Arab world, players kept “shah” (which eventually became “check”) and substituted a more final (though technically less accurate) “mat,” meaning “is dead”: “shah mat” became “checkmate.” Our word “chess” comes from the Old French “echecs,” plural of “check.” Some pieces evolved as well, especially as chess reached Europe by at least three different routes. Late in the 10th century, the original vizier or general became the queen. Only in England and Denmark is the diagonal-moving piece a “bishop,” whose first recorded mention was not until 1640. Originally an elephant, in other cultures it is a priest, a camel or even a fool. Chess as we know it today was largely codified by 1475. By the time of the Enlightenment, the game was seen as not only an intellectual but also a self-improvement exercise. In 1750, Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay on “The Morals of Chess.” Checkers resembles an earlier Egyptian board game, Alquerque, played on a five-by-five grid. But the game as we know it—called “draughts” in England—had to wait for Chess to popularize the basic eight-by-eight board. Known as fierges or ferses in France, Checkers was standardized about 1100 to 12 men per side and jumps became mandatory. India also gave us the game of Vaikuntapaali (also called Leela), introduced in the 16th century as a tool for teaching ethics and spirituality. As players performed “good deeds,” they ascended a ladder toward enlightenment, while downward chutes (snakes in some variations) awaited those tempted by vice. Sound familiar? In 1943, games maker Milton Bradley brought it to America as Chutes and Ladders. (It’s known as Snakes and Ladders in England, where the game was introduced in the late 1800s.) American board game development, though, was initially slow. In 1822, New York bookseller F&R Lockwood produced two early games, Travelers’ Tour Through the United States and Travelers’ Tour Through Europe. But more than two decades would pass Akbar I, before America’s next new game, the third Mughal another morality-themed race to emperor, played the Royal the afterlife called The Mansion of Game of Ur on a giant Happiness, was published. board using slave Parker Brothers revived The girls instead Mansion of Happiness in 1894, of pieces. claiming it had been the nation’s first native board game. It bore the leaden When playing chess in Tibet, the queen is a tiger. In Mongolia, it’s a dog, which guards the king.

Egyptians play senet

ca. 500 BC | Chinese invent Go

ca. 400 | Vikings play Tafl

ca. 600 | Chaturanga, a precursor to Chess, is introduced to Persia

Get more out of your DNA results.

1100 | Checkers is developed in France

1475 | Modern rules of chess are established 1822 | Travelers’ Tour games are published in America 1843 | The Mansion of Happiness makes is debut 1904 | Lizzie Magie patents The Landlord’s Game

1935 | Parker Brothers introduces Monopoly

1982 | Trivial Pursuit is introduced




historymatters The Roman Emperor Claudius had a Backgammon board built on the back of his chariot to play during long journeys.

subtitle, “An Instructive Moral and Entertaining Amusement.” As if that weren’t Puritanical enough, the game included a whipping post for Sabbath breakers and the punishment of poverty for the “vice of idleness.” Players were sometimes required to wait “till his turn comes to spin again, and not even think of happiness, much less partake of it.” The famous modern American board game, Monopoly, also began with a moral purpose: dramatizing income inequality and the harms of monopolistic capitalism. This theme— pretty much the opposite of today’s game—motivated Lizzie Magie, an all-but-forgotten secretary in the Washington, DC, Dead Letter Office, to create what she called the Landlord’s Game. Patented in 1904, Magie’s invention included a square board with nine landing spaces on each side and corners labeled “Go to Jail” and “Public Park.” Players moved around the board buying properties and railroads, paying rent when they landed on someone else’s square. Magie, who was also a poet and actress, patented the game in 1904. She expressed her hope that the game would lead “men and women [to] discover that they are poor because

Carnegie and Rockefeller, maybe, have more than they know what to do with.” Charles Darrow—later credited as the “down on his luck family man” inventor of Monopoly— copied the Landlord’s Game and sold it to Parker Brothers in 1935. Darrow’s game featured a new design by a friend, political cartoonist F.O. Alexander, and an enduring typo: “Marvin Gardens” for Atlantic City’s Marven Gardens neighborhood. Parker Brothers paid Magie $500 to avoid any patent fights, and she was initially happy her antiwealth lesson would finally reach the masses. Reach the masses, at least, it did. Monopoly sold 278,000 copies in the first year and more than 1.75 million the next. It helped pave the way for a board-game craze that would include Scrabble (1948), Candy Land (1949) and Risk (1959). Though sidelined by the video game boom, board games are making a comeback, with sales jumping as much as 40 percent. “Star Trek: The Next Generation” star Wil Wheaton even hosts the popular YouTube series “Table Top,” in which celebrities compete playing board games new and old. Maybe there’s hope for a Senet comeback yet. 

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researchroadma Maps to point your research in the right direction


“ C o l t o n ’s A u s t r i a ,” 1 8 6 6 , G .W. & C . B . C o l t o n & C o . , D a v i d R u m s e y H i s t o r i c a l M a p C o l l e c t i o n , < w w w . d a v i d r u m s e y . c o m / l u n a /s e r v l e t /s / b 6 3 4 t 7 >

Empire States

3 IF US RECORDS label your Prague-

born ancestor “Austrian” or your Romanian ancestor “Hungarian,” you can blame your confusion on politics. The powerful nation-state of Austria-Hungary was formed in 1867 by the union of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary, and dissolved in 1918 after World War I. This 1866 map shows the empire on the eve of its creation. Each power

maintained civic control over its own territory. For Austria, that included what’s now Austria plus the Czech Republic, Slovenia and northeastern sections of Italy. The multi-ethnic Kingdom of Hungary oversaw what’s now Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, and parts of Poland (Galicia), central and western Romania (including the Banat and Transylvania), Ukraine (Carpathian Ruthenia) and Serbia (Vojvodina).


The empire later annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina to the south. Between 1867 and 1918, immigrants from Austro-Hungarian territories might be called Austrian or Hungarian. Depending when and where your ancestor was born, his pre-migration records may still be in the former governing country’s archives. This map’s boundaries within the empire can help you learn which area a town was part of. 



f mil archivist Tools for taking care of your family’s legacy

{ B Y D E N I S E M AY L E V E N I C K }

Military Uniforms 3 IS THERE A Doughboy or GI in your family tree? If your relative served in the military, you may have inherited a uniform that’s getting old and musty. Each soldier wore a cotton or wool uniform, depending on the season, and carried a hefty pack of supplies provided by Uncle Sam. The materials were a far cry from modern high-tech fabrics and call for a different kind of care and preservation.


Clean, then store.


Consult the experts.

Never attempt amateur textile conservation with a valuable item. The modern stain removers you use on coffee spills may do more harm than good. Locate a textile conservator in your area by searching the online directory of the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works <>.


Give it the white glove treatment.

Thoroughly wash and dry your hands before handling the garment or medals, or wear white cotton gloves. Moisture and acid from perspiration can leave fingerprints, cause 14

HKPNC/E+/Getty Images

Old uniforms’ heavy woolen fabric is an attractive meal for home pests. Household Pest No. 1, the clothes moth, loves old wool and cotton with the faintest hint of body oils, dirt and perspiration. If you wear the uniform occasionally for a military display or re-enactment, wear an undershirt to protect the fabric. Before storing the uniform, have it cleaned by a dry cleaner who specializes in vintage clothing.

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metal components to oxidize and soil textiles. Avoid using hand lotion, too.

on acid-free paper identifying the item, and store that box with the uniform.



Prepare to preserve.

Remove medals, metal decorations, buttons and leather elements from the uniform prior to cleaning and storage. The sulfur content in woolen fabric can cause metal to oxidize and damage fabric. Clean each item with a soft, dry cloth, wrap it in acidfree tissue, and place it inside a small acid-free, lignin-free box. Add a note


Hang in there.

Clothing benefits from creasefree storage. If someone will periodically wear Grandpa’s old uniform, it’s fine to store it on a wellpadded hanger between wearings. To relieve stress on the shoulder seams, make your own super-padded hanger by covering a wooden suit hanger with a thick layer of polyester quilt batting.


Use cotton muslin to fashion a simple cover for the padding. Fold trousers once over a hanger’s padded crossbar to minimize creases at the knees. Lightly stuff jacket sleeves with acidfree, lignin-free tissue paper and cover the entire outfit with a clean cotton sheet or Tyvek garment bag to protect from light and dust.


Hold the folds.

You also can store heirloom garments flat in a drawer or archival box. Choose a large, deep drawer or acid-free textile box that can hold the uniform with minimal folding. Seal a wooden drawer first with polyurethane sealant. Line the drawer with acid-free paper or board, available at picture framing and craft stores. Carefully arrange the uniform inside the box or drawer with as little folding as possible. Lightly stuff the sleeves and cushion folds with crumpled acid-free tissue paper or polyester quilt batting.


Store the uniform away from light,

(available from <>) or in a protective cotton bag on a closet shelf away from light, heat and moisture. Place lightly crumpled acid-free paper inside fabric hats to help retain the shape. Don’t use oil or polish to shine helmets. Instead, lightly dust with a soft dry cloth.


Put it on display.

Light and air can cause artifacts on display, such as medals and insignia framed in a shadow box, to fade and deteriorate. Protect your treasures behind UV filtering glass and place the case away from light and heat sources. Seal wooden frames with polyurethane or choose a metal frame with acid-free backing and mat board.


Pick paper.

You may be tempted to store the military uniform in a plastic storage tub, but remember: Plastic doesn’t breathe. Trapped moisture may cause mold and mildew to grow on the garment. Instead, store in an acid-free, archival box. Archival boxes are made from water-resistant paperboard, lightweight corrugated polypropylene, or a new corrugated board known as Blue

E-flute (see the box, below). Don’t store heirloom clothing in the plastic drycleaning bags intended for temporary protection between the cleaners and your closet.


Banish bugs.

If you discover clothes moths, beetles or their larvae in your heirloom clothing, isolate the garments from other items by putting it in a large plastic garbage bag. Thoroughly clean the storage space and have everything stored there dry cleaned to remove all infestation. You may want to have the storage area professionally fumigated.


Determine its worth.

Most military uniforms were manufactured in large quantity and have little monetary value. But if your ancestor was a person of note or belonged to a specialty force, the uniform might appraise for a higher value. Collectors prize military items in excellent condition, as well as rare and limited artifacts. Check completed listings at eBay <> to get an idea of value and interest in your item, and consult a professional appraiser for insurance purposes. ■

heat, moisture and

area of the house (but not in a basement). Check regularly for pests or other storage problems.


Don your hat.

Helmets and caps are best stored separately from the folded uniform to avoid adding creases to the uniform fabric. Place the headgear in an acid-free archival hat box

Total Package Get everything you need to preserve and store a military uniform, wedding gown or other special vintage garment. Gaylord Archival’s new Blue E-flute Deep Lid Uniform Preservation Kit includes an extra large acid-free, lignin-free box, unbuffered tissue paper, white cotton gloves, labels and preservation instructions. Learn more at < Kits-2>.


Courtesy of Gaylord Archival

smoke, preferably in a cool



FREE Trade Discover 101 of the best free genealogy websites to find vital records, censuses, maps and other tools of the family history trade. B Y D AV I D A . F R Y X E L L

3 IS THERE ANY sweeter word in the English language than “free”? Marketers and spammers, robocallers and politicians all understand the appeal of “free,” while scolds ranging from science fiction author Robert Heinlein to economist Milton Friedman have long warned, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” But in the world of genealogy, “free lunches” abound. To prove it, we’ve assembled a list of 101 of the best family history websites that don’t charge a subscription or pay-per-view fee. That’s right—exploring this year’s annual 101 best won’t cost you anything except electricity and internet access. (True cheapskates even can go to the library and log on for free from there.) Just because these sites are free, however, doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable. You’ll find vital records and census data, maps and history lessons, hightech tools and expert advice—all while keeping your credit cards tucked in your wallet. 16

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UMBRELLA OFFERINGS Access Genealogy <>

This grab-bag of free genealogy records keeps growing. Click the Databases tab to search data from Southern states, military records, small-town newspapers and the Guion Miller Roll index to Cherokee tribal members. The latter supplements what was already a must-bookmark site if you have Native American roots.


largest home to free genealogy data, with recent updates spotlighting Italy, South America and US vital records. You can share and record your finds in family trees and a “Memories Gallery,” and get research help from the wiki.

HeritageQuest Online <>

Free to your home computer courtesy of your library card via participating institutions, HeritageQuest is now “powered by” (but not owned by) This partnership has dramatically expanded its half-dozen collections to a sort of “ lite,” including the complete US census, military and immigration records, and city directories. Click Search and scroll all the way to the bottom to unlock more US records as well as selected foreign databases.

Library of Congress d i m a _ s i d e l n i ko v/ i S t o c k / G e t t y I m a g e s P l u s


Though based in Indiana, this library’s online reach extends much further— reflecting its status as the nation’s second-richest genealogy library. Special collections focus on Native American, African American, military and family Bible records.

FamilySearch <>

More than 2,200 online collections (and growing) make this the internet’s

RootsWeb <>

This venerable free site still serves up how-to articles, databases of surnames and US locations, mailing lists, pedigree files and much more—making it an oldie but a goodie.

USGenWeb <>

This volunteer site recently celebrated its 20th birthday with a mobile-friendly update. Its state and county pages and special projects remain as vibrant as ever. Just found an ancestor who lived in, say, Stone County, Ark.? There’s a page for that, as for almost every other place your family may have landed.



Allen County Public Library

American Indians, and less-familiar records, such as those for residents of orphans and almshouses.

Though not specifically focused on genealogy, the nation’s library has plenty to offer online, including the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections <> , the American Memory collection <> and its own comprehensive catalog.

National Archives and Records Administration <>

Read all about the genealogical treasures stored at the National Archives, order military and other records, and browse historical maps and photos. Access to Archival Databases <aad.> serves up files ranging from WWII enlistments to passenger lists for millions of German, Irish, Russian and Italian immigrants.

Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates <>

Wouldn’t it be great if your ancestors’ birth and death records were available online—free—as downloadable or printable PDFs? If your kin come from Arizona, that dream is a reality at this state website, with birth records now spanning 1855 to 1941 and deaths from 1870 to 1966.

Arkansas Gravestones <>

We’d also appreciate it if every state had something like this Arkansas archive of more than 1.1 million gravestone photo records from across the state. It’s not searchable, but is indexed by surname.

Olive Tree Genealogy

Billion Graves



Since its launch in 1996, this modest website has grown into a useful collection of how-to help and databases. It’s strongest on passenger records, heritage groups such as Palatines and

Maybe not quite at a billion yet, “the world’s largest resource for searchable GPS cemetery data” is getting there with the help of volunteers armed with GPS-tagging smartphone apps.




BYU Idaho <>

Note the new address and new look for this home to the Western States Marriage Index, with more than 912,000 records from a dozen states. You’ll also find Idaho death records and other resources.

Canadian Headstones <>

Search or browse nearly 1.7 million tombstone transcriptions from Alberta to the Yukon—complete with photos— at this volunteer site.

Find A Grave <>

With more than 160 million grave records from around the world, many with photos or additional data, this ever-growing site is one you’ll be dying to search. (Sorry.)


the DAR members who’ve proven a link to them. You also can search more than 40,000 Bible transcriptions, a Revolutionary War pension index and the DAR catalog.

Nationwide Gravesite Locator <>

Updated daily, this site is the domestic equivalent of the American Battle Monuments Commission. Here you can search US burial locations of veterans and their family members in VA National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, and more.



If your veteran ancestor was buried or memorialized beyond our shores, check the 218,000 searchable records at this handsome site.

Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System <>

The best place to start researching soldiers (and a few sailors) who fought on either side, this database covers 6.3 million names from 44 states and territories. Once you’ve found your man, explore his units and their battles, plus read about Civil War notables.


Search more than 738,000 surviving German passenger records, mostly from 1920 to 1939; a handful date from the mid-19th century.


America’s first immigration center— before Ellis Island—welcomed 11 million arrivals from 1820 through 1892, and you can search for them all here.

Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930 <>

Explore the nation’s immigration history in this Harvard site, which for the first time makes available online some 400,000 pages from more than 2,200 printed sources, plus more than 7,800 historic photographs.

Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island <>

If you haven’t visited lately, this upgraded site at its updated URL will pleasantly surprise you with its visual presentation. Not to worry, though: The heart of the site remains its 51 million searchable passenger records, now covering through 1957.



Researchers with African ancestors will find plenty of “wow” factor—and clues to where those family members came from—at this spectacular site from Harvard’s Center for Geographical Analysis. Historical overlays and geographical data trace the slave trade across the Atlantic and the continent.

More than a half-million searchable naturalization petitions from 1871 to 1929—primarily Declarations of Intention—may unlock the puzzles of your Midwestern immigrant ancestors.

TIP: Not sure if the genealogy website you’re using has credible information? Evaluate the site’s credibility using the questions at


< evaluating-online-sources>.

Click on the Genealogical Research System (under the Library tab) to explore patriots, their descendants and Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R

Got Danes in the family tree? Find them under the Emigration Protocols tab among nearly 400,000 searchable emigrant records (1868-1908). Letters, photos, and even audio and video recordings bring your ancestors’ experience to life.

Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court

Daughters of the American Revolution



Bremen Passenger Lists

Castle Garden American Battle Monuments Commission

Danish Emigration Archives



Atlas of Historical County Boundaries <>

With its interactive features restored and fresh enhancements added, this Newberry Library website is back to being the best place to trace shifting county lines and the records that went with them.


location of the civil registry office and parishes if any, along with other information about each place.

Osher Map Library <>

The University of Southern Maine is employing the latest imaging technology—a 60-megapixel camera to photograph large maps, a 3-D imager to render globes—to digitize its gigantic cartographic collection. Need a map of postal routes in the Dakota Territory? They’ve got one, and thousands more treasures.

US Geological Survey <>

The new historical topographic map viewer, TopoView < maps/TopoView>, makes it easier to find places back when. Other clicks take you to the National Atlas, Historical Maps, Geographic Names Information System, National Map and eye-popping satellite snapshots. The David Rumsey Map Collection site gives you a close look at historical maps of the places your ancestor lived.


Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States

David Rumsey Map Collection

California Digital Newspaper Collection




Pick your viewer—such as Google Maps or Google Earth—to explore the more than 76,000 geographic images in this collection. Overlaying historical maps with modern ones lets you see where your ancestral places are now.

Read all about your California kin in this fast-growing collection that (at last count) contains 199,925 issues comprising more than 2.1 million pages and 17.5 million articles. The University of California, Riverside project can be searched or browsed by tag, county, date or title.

A 1932 atlas with nearly 700 maps meets 2017 technology at this slick University of Richmond site. Maps have been augmented here in ways impossible in print, animated to show change over time or made clickable to view the underlying data.

HistoryPin <>

Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records <>

Newly being scanned at this federal land records treasure-trove are Control Document Index documents covering public lands, proclamations and withdrawals. These additions will be linked to the existing databases of more than 5 million land titles dating from 1820, plus images of survey plats and field notes.

Search by place or explore contributors’ collections in this collaborative project of “pinned” historic photos, plotted on Google Maps and matched to modern street views.

Meyers Gazetteer

Chronicling America <>

Now topping 11.9 million pages from coast to coast, this Library of Congress project digitizes US newspapers from 1789 to 1924 and offers a directory to help you find newspapers in libraries.


Finally you can search the most important of all German gazetteers, which aimed to list every place name in the German Empire (1871-1918). It gives the


Elephind <>

One click seeks your ancestors in 175 million-plus items from more than



3,300 newspaper titles. Elephind searches big collections (including the aforementioned Chronicling America) as well as small, such as academic archives, and goes overseas to include plenty of Australian papers. <>

This specialized site will have you perversely wishing all your ancestors had died in train wrecks, fires, floods, shipwrecks, plane crashes or other disasters. Search by keyword or browse by type of disaster, state or province, or year to find transcribed newspaper accounts of the events.



ArchiveGrid <>

An offshoot of 101 Best Websites fave WorldCat (see the next page), ArchiveGrid searches more than 4 million descriptions of archival records from 1,000 different institutions. Learn about historical documents, personal papers, family histories and other materials that may mention your ancestors. A clickable map makes it easy to find archives near you.

Digital Library on American Slavery

Online Historical Newspapers


< onlinenewspapersite/Home>

This University of North Carolina at Greensboro project compiles sources including extracts from court and legislative petitions, slave “deeds,” insurance registries and “wanted” ads for escaped slaves. The focus is North Carolina, but data relate to all slave states.

Though still a work in progress, this website is worth bookmarking for help in answering these key questions: Are newspapers from my ancestors’ town online? And if so, where?

Digital Public Library of America One click searches more than 16 million digitized items from libraries, archives and museums, or you can navigate via interactive timelines and maps. Your searches now include FamilySearch’s growing free digital historical book collection, thanks to a new agreement.

Genealogy Gophers <>

Smart, intuitive searching is the hallmark of this partnership with FamilySearch, which quickly combs 80,000 digitized books.

Harvard Open Collections Program <>

With more than 2.3 million digitized pages, including more than 225,000 manuscript pages, this online collection focuses on materials not available elsewhere. Themes include the history of working women, US immigration, and epidemics and disease.

HathiTrust <>

Log in with credentials from a participating institution such as a university to get the most out of this digital library’s almost 14 million total volumes and 5 billion pages. But there’s plenty here accessible to the general public, too.

Midwest Genealogy Center <>

This site from the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, Mo., taps one of the nation’s largest genealogy collections. Online extras include an index to 1.5 million US Railroad Retirement Board pension records <quicklook.>.

New York Public Library Digital Collections The New York Public Library makes more than 700,000 photographs, maps, documents and other items available in digital form on its website. You can search item titles and descriptions by keyword, or browse for items by topic, collection, personal name, place and type of item.


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The cool factor is off the charts at this handsome home to more than 700,000


digitized prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, videos and other items. The site’s maps and atlases alone are worth a visit.

WorldCat <>

Find your family history in 2 billion items at 10,000 of the world’s libraries, then click to see holdings nearest you.

ANCESTORS ACROSS AMERICA Florida Memory Project <>

One of the first and still one of the best state “memory” sites, this fount of Florida info includes photos, Confederate pension applications, voter rolls, Spanish land grants and even a streaming radio station with musical blasts from the past.

Georgia Archives Virtual Vault <>

Keep scrolling the deceptively simple list here, as the hits just keep on coming: Colonial wills, land grants, deed books, wills, Confederate pension applications and more.

Illinois State Archives < archives/databases/home.html>

Find families from the Land of Lincoln with 11 military databases and indexes to deaths and pre-1900 marriages. Strike out? A guide to the Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD) will point you to offline resources.

LowCountry Africana <>

Research African-American ancestors from the historic rice-growing areas of South Carolina, Georgia and northeastern Florida in this stylish site. Collections include plantation records, name changes, migrations and the 33rd US Colored Troops.

Free Samples Though we nixed well-known fee-based genealogy websites in this list, such services do make select databases accessible for free. Here’s how to find them:  ANCESTRY.COM: has more than 1,800 free databases, many created or indexed in partnership with other organizations. You’ll need to create a free account to access them. Then visit < search/group/freeindexacom> or search the card catalog for the keyword free (you can add words like Civil War or Ohio to focus your search).  FINDMYPAST: Registering for a guest membership at Findmypast unlocks some 850 million free records, such as US censuses, US and Canadian public records and 10 million Irish Catholic parish records. Find links at <www.>.  FOLD3: This site from has more than 70 free databases of records, many of them military-focused, including War of 1812 Pension Files (incomplete) and Bounty-Land Warrant Applications Index. Look for the green “Free” icons by collection titles at <>.  MYHERITAGE: Free offerings here include the huge Compilation of Published Sources collection, the Social Security Death Index and BillionGraves burial index. This site doesn’t gather links to freebies in one spot; instead, find the aforementioned databases in the site’s new Collection Catalog <www.myheritage. com/research/catalog> or run a SuperSearch and use the search filters on the left to drill down to results from the database you want. Great news! You may be able to access institutional versions of these subscription sites for free at your local library or FamilySearch Center <www.>. Check the website or make a quick call and ask.

Massachusetts State Archives < arcsrch/SearchWelcome.html>

Don’t let this site’s bare-bones welcome page fool you. Here you can search not only the Massachusetts Archives Collection Database of records from early Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire; but also indexes to Boston passenger arrivals (1848-1891) and births, marriages and deaths from across the Bay State (1841-1910).

including birth and death records, state censuses, veterans grave registrations and World War I bonus records. Nor should you miss the Digital Newspaper Hub or Oral History Collection.

Missouri Digital Heritage <>

Search more than 9 million records— vital records, naturalizations, military and more—here with a single click, or dive into individual collections.

Seeking Michigan Minnesota Historical Society



This sharp-looking site serves up death records (1897-1920), Civil War heritage, old photos, state censuses and more. Click Discover to start, well, discovering.

The Minnesota People Records Search (under the Research menu) has a new search form that makes it easy to look for ancestors in online collections




The volunteer-run USGenWeb recently celebrated its 20th birthday, but its state and county pages and special projects remain as vibrant as ever.

Virginia Memory <>

This Library of Virginia site includes land patents, military records, newspapers, photos and much more. A new Virginia Untold project tells individual stories of African-Americans in Virginia from the establishment of slavery in the 1600s to 1865.

Wisconsin Historical Society <>


A simple name search quickly covers more than 3 million records including vital record indexes, newspaper clippings, images and property records.



Winner of the Developer Challenge at FamilySearch’s 2013 RootsTech conference <> , Treelines takes a narrative approach to online family trees, helping you turn your pedigree charts into ancestral stories.




Not just for posting political rants and pictures of your kids, the world’s biggest social networking site is also a useful tool for finding cousins and sharing research finds. All your favorite genealogy organizations (including your favorite magazine) have pages as well.

This wiki-style project from the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy has pages for more than 2.8 million ancestors of its members.

Geni <>

Start your own online tree here, look for matches among 114 million individual profiles and invite family members to collaborate.

Pinterest <>

Sort of like Facebook for images, this online scrapbook/digital tagboard has proven a valuable tool for family historians, who share everything from records to old photos.

genealogy software including Personal Ancestral File, Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic (version 4 or later), Family Tree Builder, Family Tree Legends, Ancestral Quest, Reunion for Mac, GenoPro and more. It even saves previous versions in case you accidentally delete Great-aunt Mildred’s entire branch of the family.


Evernote <>

This digital scrapbook lets you save web pages and genealogy finds on one device—tablet, PC, Mac, even your phone—and then access them on all your gadgets.


This shared family tree includes more than 13 million profiles contributed by more than 400,000 genealogists from around the world. Don’t let the sharing scare you, though: Modern family histories are private; as you go back in time, the privacy controls open up.


This free online backup service works with GEDCOM files and files from

GEDMatch <>

Match your autosomal DNA (atDNA) results with genetic kin who’ve uploaded their data from AncestryDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage DNA or Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder.

International Society of Genetic Genealogy Wiki < Wiki_Welcome_Page>

Learn all about genetic-genealogy technology from the experts at this informative wiki, founded in 2005 by DNA project administrators.

WordPress <>

TIP: If you’re using Google or other free web search engines to find online family history information, follow the tips at < article/tips-for-finding-family-with-search-engines> to better target your genealogy searches.


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Build your own family history website with the most popular platform, complete with thousands of free themes, or host a blog-style site at the companion <>.



Launched in 1996, Cyndi’s List remains the go-to resource for carefully categorized links to genealogy websites— more than 332,000 in 213 categories, last we looked.

Google <>

Seriously, if you’re not already using the search, mapping, translation and other tools here, you probably shouldn’t be reading this article.

Internet Archive <>

The long list of collections here ranges from 2.4 million library items to specialized collections for California and Portugal. Plus the Wayback Machine can find vanished genealogy sites from the early internet. (Remember Geocities?)

MooseRoots <>

Moving beyond its “Google for genealogy” origins, this site uses sponsor Graphiq’s “semantic technology to deliver deep insights via data-driven articles, visualizations and research tools.”

One-Step Web Pages <>

Clever Steve Morse has figured out how to dive deep into genealogy databases—notably censuses and passenger records—with flexible search forms. (Matches in subscription websites require payment to view.)


Search for a person on MooseRoots and get back transcribed information from records, plus context on the last name meaning, place, local events and more.

death records (1837-1983); 38 million records from parish registers (1500s and later); and entries on 32 million individuals from census data (18411891). Before you pay to find your UK kin, check here.

census records, census survivals (18211851), census search forms (1841-1851), Tithe Applotment Books (1823-1837), Soldiers’ Wills (1914-1917), and the Calendars of Wills and Administrations (1858-1922).


National Library of Ireland



Get your British Isles genealogy questions answered in this virtual reference library of genealogical information about the UK and Ireland (GENeaology + UK + Ireland = GENUKI). Maps, how-tos, a church database, FAQs and more will jump-start your research.

The pot of gold here is the free collection of some 373,000 images of birth, marriage and burial registers from the majority of Catholic parishes in Ireland and Northern Ireland, dating from the 1700s to about 1880. You can browse them by parish; click on the map at <> to get started.

Library and Archives Canada <>

Do your one-stop “shopping” here for free Canadian censuses, immigration lists, vital records, land and military files at this umbrella site.


FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE Danish Demographic Database <>


National Archives of Ireland

Volunteers for this site’s three online transcription projects have made available 333 million birth, marriage and


Explore your Irish ancestry in this collection that includes 1901 and 1911


Find the Danes in your family tree with this English-accessible collection of all Danish censuses plus some probate and emigration records.



Digitalarkivet <>

The fully scanned 1875 census (click the link for digitized archives) is the latest addition to this comprehensive collection of Norwegian enumerations, church records, emigration information, historical photographs, land and probate records and more.

Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies <>

The map library is the star of the organization’s site, but you’ll also find databases and how-to guides. <>

Search 889,000 pages relevant to Central and East European family history here, including historical directories, Holocaust memorials, military lists and school sources.

GeneaNet < search-your-french-ancestors>

Find your French families with this site’s guides to archives, a genealogy encyclopedia, uploaded trees and beaucoup links.

German Genealogy Server <>

Yes, this site from Germany’s Association for Computer Genealogy is in Deutsch, but Google Translate can open the door to its mailing lists, forum, society pages, digitized books, gazetteer, WWI casualty database and research aids.

JewishGen <>

The dozens of databases here include the 500,000 surname and town entries in the JewishGen Family Finder, 6 million names in the Family Tree of the Jewish People, a database of 6,000 Jewish communities, a 54-nation gazetteer, and 2.7 million entries on victims of the Holocaust. 24

Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R

The Ohio State University’s eHistory site has resources including a timeline, maps and the Official Records of the Civil War.

Wie Was Wie <>

This updated home to 130 million entries about Dutch ancestors puts civil-registration records at your fingertips, along with population and church registers and family trees and biographies.

WorldGenWeb <>

The global counterpart to USGenWeb, this volunteer site has some gaps, but some of its country-specific sites are the best in their class.


If you have neighbors to the north in your family tree, you can learn about 2017

their history in 40 million pages from some of Canada’s most popular archival collections, ranging from the 1500s to the mid-1900s.

Documenting the American South <>

Explore your Dixie heritage in these 16 thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews and songs.

eHistory <>

From the Civil War to climate change, this Ohio State University site opens a window into the past, including a searchable timeline and hundreds of maps. Don’t miss the searchable online edition of the 128-volume Official Records of the Civil War (the “OR”), including index and atlas.


A Glossary of Archaic Medical Terms, Diseases and Causes of Death <>

Wondering what ailed (or worse) your ancestors? From Chagas disease to scald head, this website explains those old medical terms you find on death certificates and in obituaries.

Mapping the Fourth of July <>

How did your ancestral hometown celebrate Independence Day during the Civil War? That simple question finds complex answers at this crowdsourced compilation of thousands of newspaper articles, speeches, letters and diaries.

Photogrammar <>

Picture your Great Depression-era family—literally—in this collection of 170,000 photographs from 1935 to 1945 created by the United States Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information and now housed at the Library of Congress. More than half of the images are plotted on an interactive map.

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law < slavery-in-america-and-the-worldhistory-culture-law>

You’ll need to register for access, but then this collection from HeinOnline, one of America’s premier subscription sites for legal research, is free to access. Totaling nearly 900,000 pages from more than 1,300 titles, it gives you pretty much everything ever published about slavery before 1870.

EXPERT ADVICE Ancestry Insider <>

This fun-to-read blog (no longer being updated, but worth the informative

read through past posts) has reports from the front lines of genealogy technology at, FamilySearch and elsewhere, with insightful answers to reader questions.

Genea-Musings <>

Randy Seaver keeps up with what’s new at the top genealogy websites so you don’t have to, while also serving up helpful examples from his own research.

Genealogy Gems <>


More than 200 free podcast episodes with research experts make Lisa Louise Cooke’s “genealogy radio” website a must, along with how-to videos, a genealogy book club and a helpful news blog.

Cheaper than a trip to Salt Lake City, this site hosts videos of all the 2017 sessions from this high-tech genealogy conference, along with an archive of 2016 presentations.

Genealogy Roadshow


< genealogy-roadshow>



Watch episodes from this PBS program that investigates the family history questions of everyday people, go behind the scenes, and read the show hosts’ tips on genealogy topics ranging from getting started to connecting with royal ancestors.

Skip the cat videos. The words family history research get more than 4.8 million results, including videos from and Family Tree Magazine authors. ■ Contributing editor David A . Fryxell pinches pennies in Tucson, Ariz.

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Think of the Children These seven tried-and-true family history activities let kids explore their heritage and build lasting memories with you. BY SUNNY JANE MORTON WITH CHERYL FELIX MCCLELLAN

3 PEOPLE OFTEN ASK how I got so interested in family

history. The truth is this: My parents encouraged it from the time I was young. Our family vacationed at historic sites and cemeteries. We never made it to Disney World. We worked in the vegetable garden to the sounds of my parents’ stories about their own childhood chores. So for this article on family history projects you can do with your children or grandchildren, I turned to my mom, who’s now a professional genealogy librarian. She and my dad are the 26

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inspiration for all the ideas I’ve tried with my own children: Jeremy, age 16; Alex, going on 13; and Seneca, 11. You don’t have to be a professional genealogist—or raise one—to teach family history to a young person. What you do need are time, passion for the past, and creative, kid-tested activity ideas. You’ve already got the first two. Here, my mom and I suggest seven activities, illustrated by some of our favorite experiences. Use them to make memories with the kids you love.



Use props to tell a story.

Sunny Jane Morton

My mom’s dad was a master ice cream maker at Sinton Dairy in Colorado Springs, Colo. He concocted his own flavors in large steel vats—the more ingredients the better! Sometimes he even brought home samples. I shared this sweet bit of family history with my kids over a scoop of ice cream. Then I took a cue from my grandfather and added more flavors to my storytelling. First was a Sinton Dairy company brochure that my Aunt Judie found among family papers, showing Grandpa in his white dairy uniform at the mixing vat. Next, Uncle Jim’s snapshot of the wooden ice cream maker Grandpa used at home. The cherry on top of the story was a 1959 city directory listing Greatgrandpa’s employment at the dairy. Now the kids want their own ice cream maker to re-create Grandpa’s recipes. What ingredients can you use to enhance a family story? Pull out original documents such as letters or diaries. Consider protecting them in archival sleeves before letting a child touch. Less fragile and easy to find online may be entries in city directories, censuses and yearbooks; subscription site <> has big collections of all three. Share family artifacts or put them on display: a sports trophy, military medal, artwork or quilt. My dad has a post office box from Dempsey, Idaho, where his grandpa McClellan was the postmaster. In his “heirloom” raspberry bed, he shares berries with his grandchildren, along with memories of picking his grandfather’s raspberries. The key is to tell the stories that go along with these heirlooms when opportunities arise. If you don’t own family artifacts, look for substitutes at flea markets, antique stores, online auction sites and thrift stores. My dad displays a few cast-iron shoe forms in honor of his English shoe-making ancestors. We’ve found Sinton Dairy milk bottles and caps up for bid on eBay <>. My young cousins express pride in their mother’s DellaCroce heritage by sporting Italian soccer shirts.

My uncle John Felix uses a visit to a relative’s grave to share family stories with nephews Alexander and Giovanni.

Emily Bischoff

Jupiterimages/>>/Getty Images Plus


Introduce children to an ancestor’s daily life with artifacts he would’ve used, such as an old-fashioned typewriter or ice-cream churn.

Tour a cemetery.

Whenever I travel West with my children, we visit my grandparents’ graves in Woodland Park, Colo., along with my uncles John and Jim, and cousins who all live nearby. Cemeteries are easy places to take children, and they spark conversations about ancestors and otherwise honor past generations. When planning a trip to a cemetery, try to stop by in advance to ensure it’s safe and publicly accessible (some are on private land). Prepare children for visiting ancestral graves by sharing memories, mementos or photos beforehand or on the way there. Let them try to locate family graves themselves, dropping hints as needed about the markers’ location or appearance. Use your mobile device to take photos and upload them to your online tree, Find A Grave <> or BillionGraves <www.>. Decipher interesting-looking inscriptions and share thoughts about life, death or loved ones. Stay near children in the cemetery—they’re inclined to explore. Coach them on cemetery etiquette and safety. Tombstones shouldn’t be climbed, or graveside plantings and mementoes touched. Boisterous behavior and running may disturb other visitors. Steer clear of damaged stones, broken glass, weeds, snakes and other critters. My family occasionally visits cemeteries just to image tombstones for BillionGraves. You can perform other services, too. Call ahead to the cemetery office; staff may appreciate your help placing flags on veterans’ graves, weeding around stones or cleaning the grounds. Don’t do anything that may deface or mar a tombstone, such as applying any substances to the stone (other than water in a spray bottle) or scraping off dirt with any tool other than a wooden popsicle stick.




Older relatives often share stories with kids that they don’t think to tell adults. My mom, as a child, sat with her Grandma Hall and labeled Grandma’s childhood photo album. Mom asked questions that prompted stories, including one in which a young Grandma Hall helped put out a fire on the roof of her house by running up and down a ladder with wet laundry. A well-prepared child can preserve family memories by recording an interview with a grandparent or another older relative. With the child’s input, choose a relative who would be fun to interview and who hears and speaks clearly. Select photos the child can use to prompt a conversation and/or write down questions of most interest. Try to limit questions to one topic or time period. Set up an interview time, or coach older children and teens to contact the relative and schedule the interview themselves. Help the child record in-person interviews with the audio or video recorder on your mobile device. (This is where a modern kid’s affinity for technology will come in handy.) Choose a quiet location with good lighting (for a video interview), and position the device on a steady platform close to those being


Make an ancestor pie chart.

Last year for Christmas, all three of my children asked for autosomal DNA tests. They wanted to see their ethnic pie charts. Specifically, my son Alex wanted to know how much “Viking blood” he has. These DNA pie charts aren’t an exact science (see the July/ August 2015 Family Tree Magazine), but they’re a hit with

Even kids will be delighted to see how many different world regions and cultures are represented in their DNA.


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J a m i e G r i l l P h o t o g ra p h y/G e t t y I m a g e s


Interview a loved one.

You may discover that youngsters are even better than you are at coaxing family history information from relatives.

recorded. For best results, record in landscape position. Practice ahead of time and test your equipment before the real deal. Share a video, with consent of the subject (and the child’s parent, if that’s not you) via such sites as Facebook <www.face>, YouTube <> or Vimeo <>.

many kids. Autosomal tests are available from AncestryDNA <> , Family Tree DNA <www.familytreedna. com> , MyHeritage DNA <> and 23andMe <>. When results arrive, look at the ethnic pie chart together. Read the site’s definitions of ancestral populations and explain that these are imprecise. This caution may be lost on the young, though. Alex triumphantly claimed his 55 percent Scandinavian heritage as proof of his “Viking blood,” despite being told this wasn’t necessarily true. A few caveats for testing children: Don’t test a grandchild or other child who isn’t yours without permission from her parents. Consider possible effects on the child of discovering unexpected information about biological roots. Have an adult manage the test results and any contact with genetic matches. If you opt not to test, use this free, do-it-yourself pie chart option that’s based on the child’s family tree—and comes without genetic surprises: 1. List all eight great-grandparents and their countries or states of origin, if known. (Or do all 16 great-great-grandparents or 32 third-great-grandparents). 2. Tally the birthplaces and assign a color to each. 3. Trace a large circle on a piece of paper. Divide the circle into eight pie-shaped sections (or 16 or 32). Each section represents the birthplace of one ancestor. 4. Shade each section with the assigned color and group like-colored sections together. 5. Create a key defining the colors and places.


If you record with the free MyHeritage app <> or FamilySearch Family Memories app <> (both for iOS and Android), you can automatically archive interview files to your relatives’ online tree profiles. Items recorded with an app and attached to living people’s profiles aren’t always accessible to others, so download those interview files from the sites to share. (Learn how to do all this on the MyHeritage app at <> and on the FamilySearch Memories app at <lisalouise>.)

Have your child create a pie chart representing the birthplaces of her great-grandparents (or beyond). It’s both a math and family history lesson.

Alex made his own pie chart based on 32 ancestral birthplaces and compared it to his genetic results. He was disappointed that only one ancestor had a Scandinavian birthplace (26 of them were born in the United States). I explained about random genetic inheritance, declining DNA from distant relatives, and the 26 US-born ancestors with still-unknown origins. He frowned and opted to stick with his newfound Viking identity.

Sunny Jane Morton

What can you use to enhance a family story? Pull out original documents such as letters or diaries, along with photos and family artifacts.

Old-fashioned transportation gives kids like Jeremy and Alex the opportunity to walk (or drive, ride or sail) in their ancestors’ shoes.


Explore old technology.

My sister-in-law, Michele Gourdin McClellan, once brought a vintage typewriter to a McClellan family party to let the grandkids try it. She explained the carriage return, carbon paper and why you can’t hit more than one key at a time. Then a little one wondered, “Where’s the delete key?” The event was such a hit, Michele repeated it with her sister Emily’s children, Elizabeth, 6, and Jacob, 4. They loved it too, so Emily jumped on the bandwagon, pulling out her own vintage cameras for them to try. Exploring old technologies can awaken a child’s interest in the past, especially technologies connected to your family history. My grandma and great-grandma were both telephone operators. An old rotary telephone and operator training films on YouTube will explain their work (search YouTube for telephone operator 1940..1950). My mom’s dad was a ham radio operator, and while we don’t have any radio parts, I’ve introduced my boys to Morse code. If communication technology isn’t an interest, take a ride in historical transportation. My kids have ridden a paddleboat on the Mississippi River, not far upriver from where their ancestors took a flatboat to their new homestead in Missouri in 1859. Another ancestor was a brakeman on a West Virginia railroad; we’ve ridden a steam locomotive up into those same mountains. Old-time transportation options that might fit your travel plans include riding a Model T at Greenfield Village <www.> in Dearborn, Mich., or a horse-drawn canal boat at Roscoe Village in Coshocton, Ohio <roscoe>. Or explore the Queen Mary, a former passenger liner—albeit one more luxurious than most immigrants experienced—now docked in Long Beach, Calif.




Cheryl Felix McClellan

Practicing cursive writing will help children learn how to read old family documents. Using a fountain pen (Seneca chose a purple one) creates a stronger connection to Great-grandma’s youth.


Write like your ancestors did.

Today, older children text and tweet, but may not know how to read or write in the cursive style of their ancestors. Does it matter? Well, it means they can’t read the original US Constitution or a letter from Grandma. Many children will enjoy drawing curvy, embellishedlooking letters, especially if you hand them a quill or fountain pen. Start by customizing a traceable worksheet with each child’s name, which they can trace or copy. Do this for free at KidZone <>, where you can choose a theme and click Cursive font. Scroll down and enter the child’s name on one or more lines, then click Make Tracer Page. On the same web page, you can print cursive alphabets, both lower and upper case. Order fountain or quill pens online, and don’t forget the ink. You even could make your own quill pen, following directions at <> .



Free Web Content  10 top living history attractions < article/10-top-living-historydestinations>  Best genealogy websites for kids < genealogy-web-sites-for-kidsparents-and-teachers>  Family history interview questions < article/now-what-interviewinga-grandparent>

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(This involves a pen knife, so isn’t a suitable activity for children.) Your best starter option may be a disposable fountain pen; Thornton’s Office Supplies brand sells a 12-pack in a rainbow of colors (find them on <> ). Seneca, at 10, found the quill pen awkward, but loved writing with her purple fountain pen. After being introduced to writing cursive, older children are more prepared to learn to decipher old script. Take turns reading a handwritten letter or journal entry that’s not too old or different from modern cursive. Then try having them read an old marriage record or other genealogical document about your family. Learn more about a variety of old handwriting scripts with the free Script Tutorial: Making Sense of Old Handwriting <>, Reading Early American Handwriting by Kip Sperry (Genealogical Publishing) or the downloadable Tricks to Reading Old Handwriting video class (see More Online).

For Plus Members  Family history vacations with kids < kidding-around>  Family history activities for kids < junior-genealogists>  Scrapbooking with children < preserving-memories-turningscrapbooking-into-childs-play>  Reading Old Handwriting on-demand

webinar < tricks-for-reading-old-handwritingondemand-webinar>  Roots for Kids book <shopfamilytree.

com/roots-for-kids-gpc422>  How to Save a Child’s Life Story

download < family-archivist-save-a-childs-lifestory-u4025>


Sunny Jane Morton

At many living history centers, youngsters can do the same types of chores their ancestors would’ve done as children.


Do old-fashioned chores and handicrafts.

My parents raised me and my five brothers on country acreage. Traditional chores were part of daily life. We gardened, hung wash on a clothesline, canned fruit and tapped maple trees for syrup. Even without having lived this kind of lifestyle, you can do some classic chores with kids. Share memories of childhood chores when working around the house with children. Grandma Hall described to my young mom one day how it was to wash dishes when she was young: pumping and hauling water, heating it on a stove and dumping it afterward. My mom never forgot—and never complained about rinsing dishes to Grandma Hall again. You can also share what you know about your ancestors’ work routines (“Instead of vacuuming, they took the rugs outdoors and beat them”). Use old household tools as visual aids for explaining jobs to kids. My parents kept a washboard in their laundry room, used occasionally on football uniforms. Old flatirons sat near the ironing station. A manual push lawn mower was pressed into service when the regular mower was in the shop or when a youngster wanted to do yardwork. Teens and older children may enjoy handicrafts that used to be part of everyday work: sewing, knitting, soap-making, candle-making, woodcarving. Look for inspiration, tutorials and supplies in crafting or specialty stores, on Pinterest <> and on YouTube. Consider safety and the child’s likely ability to execute any project. My mom, who used to be a history museum educator, enjoys dipping

candles with kids and recommends The Everything Candle Making Book by M. J. Abadie (Everything). My siblings and I—and now my children—all have flexed muscles at living history museums. We’ve hauled water, spun yarn, wound rope, stacked wood, pulled a handcart, beat a rug, gathered eggs and pretended to shoe a horse. My kids rate Conner Prairie <> in Fishers, Ind., as the most hands-on and kid-friendly. See <familytree> for other top destinations. Also visit Time Travelers <time> and the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums <www.> (under the Resources tab, select Museum Links) for recommendations. Whatever family history projects you do with the kids, keep it fun and simple. Ramp up the intensity of an activity only when children show continuing interest and enthusiasm. Maybe someday they’ll relive them, with their own children, as I’ve done. P.S.: To parents who are now planning history-themed family vacations: You don’t have to skip Disney World altogether. Just stop at Colonial Williamsburg on the way home. ■ Contributing editor Sunny Jane Morton also credits her dad for her love of family history. He’s indexed nearly 1.5 million names as a FamilySearch volunteer and often shares screenshots of unusual entries. Cheryl Felix McClellan is the mother of six, grandmother of 14 and genealogy librarian for the Geauga County (Ohio) Public Library System.

Attention, Please! Follow these tips to capture—and keep—a young person’s family history focus:  Choose activities that align with the children’s interests (not necessarily yours).  Keep instructions simple and activities short or flexible. Generally, the younger the child, the shorter, simpler and more hands-on it should be.  Whatever activity you choose, don’t take over. Let the child’s ideas and efforts lead, even if the results aren’t polished or what you had in mind.  When choosing family stories and facts, consider relatives’ privacy and think about the age-appropriateness of the topic for the child (is it G-rated? PG-13?).  Boost the genealogy value of history-themed activities by applying them to your own family. Share a memory or anecdote, or say something like, “This is probably how Grandpa Charles would’ve done this.”  Don’t force it if the child’s response to a family history activity isn’t what you’d hoped. Just enjoy the time together.




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3 LONG CALLED THE Keystone State for its central

disputed southwestern Pennsylvanian borders. Surveyors location in the original 13 Colonies, Pennsylvania also is cen- named Mason and Dixon established the line with Maryland. tral to the roots of many US families. Philadelphia was the Pennsylvania became an agricultural and industrial powlargest city in British North America, and by far the top port erhouse in the 1800s. The coal and steel industries drew of entry into Colonial America. It remained one of the top German, Irish, Italian, Polish and Russian immigrants. Lucky five immigration ports well into the 20th century. for you, the Keystone State’s genealogical records are just as The Swedes were the first Europeans to settle perma- diverse as its residents’ ethnic backgrounds. nently in the Keystone State, in the 1640s. Perhaps the most ethnically diverse colony, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Archives also became home to English, Welsh, When you hear about the “PennsylFAST FACTS Irish, Germans, Scots-Irish, Swiss and vania archives,” know that the phrase French Huguenots in the 1700s; and can mean either the Pennsylvania State  Statehood: 1787; colony founded Slavs, Poles, Italians, Jews, Russians and Archives <> 1682 Greeks in the late 1800s. or the publication called Pennsylvania  First federal census: 1790 In 1681, British King Charles II charArchives . The latter, a 132-volume set Available state censuses: 1671; tered the land to William Penn in payof published records, contains every 1857 (Chester County); tax records ment of a debt owed Penn’s father. The thing from the early government’s official can serve as census substitutes king dubbed the colony Pennsylvania, correspondence to land, military and Latin for “Penn’s Woods.” Penn, a relichurch records. Its tax lists (not complete  Statewide birth and death gious dissenter and member of the Relifor every county) date from the 1760s to records begin: 1906 gious Society of Friends (the Quakers), 1780s. This series is accessible for free on  Statewide marriage records tolerated all faiths. This “Holy Experigenealogy website < begin: none; request records since ment,” plus aggressive marketing, lured title_450/pennsylvania_archives>. 1885 from county courts many to the colony. Land records at the state archives  State-land state Penn and his heirs bought land from building document initial purchases of American Indians. In the infamous Walkland from the Penns in Colonial times,  Counties: 67 (city of Philadelphia ing Purchase, Delaware Indians agreed as well as land purchases from the state and Philadelphia County are to let Penn’s sons buy land according to after the Revolutionary War. Survey coterminous) the distance a man could walk in a day maps with data about original landown Contact for vital records: and a half. The Indians expected a leiers exist for some counties; they’re availPennsylvania Department of surely stroll, but the Penns hired runners able through the state archives and on Health, Division of Vital Records, to cover more ground. Pennsylvania’s books and CDs from Ancestor Tracks Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103, boundaries stayed in flux because of dis<> . Land transac(724) 724-2358, <> putes with other colonies: Connecticut tions between private individuals are in claimed the northern tier and Virginia county courthouses.




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Immigration records Though early Swedes arrived in small numbers, they were well-documented, especially in 1671 Census of the Delaware by Peter Stebbins Craig (Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania). Germans were the largest group of Europeans to come to 18th-century America as aliens (colonists from the British Isles were already citizens). As such, they generated two large sets of records. Beginning in 1727, men age 16 and older had to sign oaths of allegiance to the British king upon arrival in Philadelphia. Surviving lists are in

Philadelphia was the largest city in British North America, and by far the top port of entry into Colonial America.




Pennsylvania German Pioneers by Ralph B. Strassburger and William J. Hinke (Picton Press). Many of these immigrants later became naturalized through local, state or federal courts. Various indexes and/or images of naturalization records are on websites including subscription site <> and the free FamilySearch <>. If you don’t find records for the place you need, search microfilmed court records for the person’s county of residence when he naturalized. Passenger arrival records (mainly for the 1800s) for Pennsylvania ports are on

t im eli n e 1643






Tinicum Island becomes the capital of New Sweden

William Penn arrives and claims his colony

Inventor, politician and socialite Benjamin Franklin arrives as a teen in Philadelphia

The Second Continental Congress approves the Declaration of Independence

Philadelphia hosts the US Constititional Convention

Philadelphia becomes the temporary US capital

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PENNSYLVANIA At the latter site, find collections by clicking Records under the Search tab, then View All Collections. Type Pennsylvania in the Search box. You’ll find microfilmed copies of marriage records at the FHL and the state archives. Check with the county for original marriage records. For birth and death certificates dated in 1906 and later, look to the state’s Division of Vital Records. Access to birth records is restricted to immediate family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren for 105 years after the record was created; the period is 50 years for death records. Before making your request, search the Pennsylvania State Archives vital records indexes < Archives/Research-Online/Pages/Vital-Statistics.aspx> to find information that will help staff find the record you need. Big cities such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Scranton and Reading began keeping vital records in the 1860s and 1870s. Each city keeps those records in a different place: I’ve found them in the city archives for Philadelphia <>, health department for Reading and county courthouse in Pittsburgh. FamilySearch has databases of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh death records and Philadelphia birth records.

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Church records

Officials and residents largely ignored Pennsylvania’s vitalrecords laws before the mid-1800s. Compliance was low even after the state required counties to record births, marriages and deaths in the 1850s. County registration of births and deaths from 1893 to 1905 was more successful. Find extant records at the Pennsylvania State Archives <>. Statewide registration of births and deaths started in 1906, but marriages are still recorded by counties. Many collections of vital records are on and FamilySearch.

Supplement official vital records with those of religious organizations. Quakers, who were divided into geographic “meetings,” documented births, marriages and deaths, as well as minutes with details on congregation members. Amish and Mennonites made up a portion of the 1700s German-speaking immigrants in Pennsylvania. The two biggest groups of early Pennsylvania Germans (sometimes called Pennsylvania Dutch), Lutheran and Reformed (the latter became Evangelical and Reformed, now part of the United Church of Christ), kept good baptism, marriage and burial records. Moravians— also called Unitas Fratrum—who founded cities such as Bethlehem, kept church members’ memoirs called Lebenslauf and congregational diaries that provide background on 18thcentury life. Roman Catholics arrived in Pennsylvania in large numbers during the 19th century. Collections of church records are on, particularly Quaker and Dutch Reformed. Also search for published indexes and transcriptions of church records at your library, in the FamilySearch online catalog, and digitized online. For Quakers, consult William Wade Hinshaw’s Index to Unpublished Quaker Records (Friends Historical Library).







Pennsylvanian Robert Fulton makes the steamboat a commercial success

The Keystone State’s only US President, James Buchanan, is elected

President Abraham Lincoln dedicates the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg

Eastern Pennsylvania Coal miners strike, threatening US winter fuel supplies

The Pittsburgh Steelers win their first Super Bowl

America’s worst nuclear accident occurs on Three Mile Island









Delaware R., with many lists and/or indexes on FamilySearch. Records are also on microfilm at FamilySearch’s Family History Library (FHL) and at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) <>.

Vital records




TOOLKIT Websites     

Archives Records Information Access System <> Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Archives <> PA-Roots <> Pennsylvania GenWeb <> Pennsylvania Online Historical Newspapers <sites.>


A Guide to African American Resources at the Pennsylvania State Archives by Ruth E. Hodge Guide to Genealogical Sources at the Pennsylvania State Archives by Robert Dructor Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth edited by Randall M. Miller and William Pencak Pennsylvania German Roots Across the Ocean by Marion F. Egge (Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Land Records: A History and Guide for Research by Donna Bingham Munger Pennsylvania Research: County and Township Records by John T. Humphrey

Archives & Organizations 

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Biography and Genealogy 4400 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213, (412) 622-3114, <> Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania 2207 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19103, (215) 545-0391, <> Historical Society of Pennsylvania 1300 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19107, (215) 732-6200, <> Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society 2215 Millstream Road, Lancaster, PA 17602, (717) 393-9745, <> Mennonite Heritage Center 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, PA 19438, (215) 256-3020, <> NARA at Philadelphia 900 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107, (215) 606-0100, <> Pennsylvania State Archives 350 North St., Harrisburg, PA 17120, (717) 783-3281, <> Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society 4400 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213, (412) 687-6811, <>

You’ll find records from the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia (except Chester County) digitized in the Catholic records collection on Findmypast <>. Otherwise, access varies by diocese. For example, find early records of the Johnstown-Altoona diocese in Catholic Vital Records of Central Pennsylvania by Rev. Albert H. Ledoux (Mount St. Mary’s Seminary). But some, including the Diocese of Harrisburg, don’t allow public access to original records. In these cases, try contacting the church itself or the diocesan archives with your request.

Censuses and tax records Decennial US censuses for Pennsylvania began with the country’s first head count in 1790, and are relatively complete, except for the virtually destroyed 1890 census. You can search US census records through 1940 on FamilySearch, Ancestry. com, Findmypast and MyHeritage <>. A colonial census taken in 1671 included Philadelphia and Delaware counties (check Craig’s aforementioned book); a Chester County census (searchable on was taken in 1857. Remnants of the only “state censuses”—actually tax rolls taken every seven years from 1779 to 1863—are available at the state archives and in’s Pennsylvania Septennial Census database. This enumeration shows the head of household’s name, sometimes his occupation, and the number of people living there. You also can find information on residents of most Pennsylvania counties in records of the 1798 US Direct Tax (nicknamed the “Window Tax” or “Glass Tax” because the number of windows helped determine homes’ valuations), also at the state archives and on

Military records For records of Keystone State soldiers, check the state archives Records Information Access System <digital> for indexed images of card files showing records of Pennsylvanians in conflicts from the Revolutionary War up to the Spanish-American War. has a variety of indexes and records of Pennsylvanians who served; find them by searching the site’s catalog <> for the keyword Pennsylvania and clicking the Military filter. You can order official military service records (for the American Revolution and later wars) and pension records (for the Revolution through the Indian Wars) from NARA following the instructions at < pre-ww-1-records> . The state archives is your resource for colonial-era military records, as well as state militia records. Find a list of research guides by war at < Archives/Research-Online/Pages/Research-Guides.aspx#5>. If you’re one of the many with Pennsylvania ancestors, you’ll find the state is a center of genealogical resources that’ll help you unlock your family’s history. 

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3 FRANCISCO VASQUEZ DE Coronado, the Spanish con-

than two centuries thereafter, the Spanish seemed to forget about Arizona. They returned to found the city of Tubac in 1752 and Tucson in 1775. In 1821, newly independent Mexico made Arizona part of the state of Sonora. If you’re researching early Hispanic ancestors, several published indexes cover Mexican censuses for the area that’s now Arizona, including 1831 for Tucson, Tubac and Santa Cruz, and 1801 and 1852 for Pimería Alta. Find these at the Arizona state archives <> and the Arizona Historical Society <>. The 1831 census of Santa Cruz is searchable on subscription site <>. MexiFAST FACTS can censuses of Pimería Alta for 1801 and  Statehood: 1912 1852 have been published; look for them at major genealogical libraries in books  First federal census: 1920 such as Mexican Census: Pre-Territorial,  Available state censuses: none; Pimería Alta, 1852 by Eugene L. Sierseven territorial censues between ras (Arizona State Genealogical Soci1864 and 1882 ety). Other records may be on microfilm  Statewide birth and death through FamilySearch or in repositories records begin: 1909 in New Mexico or Mexico. The New  Statewide marriage records Mexico state archives <www.nmcpr.state. begin: none; obtain record from> has some Spanish and clerk of superior court in county Mexican land grants.

quistador who explored Arizona in 1540, never found the fabled seven cities of gold. But your quest for family tree treasures in Arizona can prove much more successful once you know where to look. Although Arizona was the last of the contiguous United States to join the union, pinning the 48th star on the flag in 1912, it offers a wealth of family history resource riches stretching back to its earliest territorial days. Consider this your personal road map to not-so-fabled genealogical wealth in Arizona.

Early residents Coronado wasn’t first to set foot in the future Grand Canyon State: Zuni, Hohokam, Anasazi, Mogollon, Apache, Navajo, Hopi and other Indians had lived there for 12,000 years. Today, 21 federally recognized Arizona Indian tribes—including the country’s largest tribe, the Navajo—live on 22 reservations. See the October/November 2016 Family Tree Magazine for a research guide to American Indian roots. Microfilmed records from several Arizona Bureau of Indian Affairs agencies are at the Family History Library (FHL) <www.>, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA; see < bia-guide/arizona.html>) and the Univer-

sity of Arizona libraries in Tucson (see < american-indian>).

When Coronado came through, the Zuni steered him northwest. For more

where marriage occurred

 State-land state  Counties: 15  Contact for vital records: Office of Vital Records, Box 3887, Phoenix, AZ 85030, (888) 816-5907, < vital-records/index.php>

Census records In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War. Arizona north of the Gila River became part of the United States’ New Mexico Territory. The Gadsden Purchase of 1853 added the rest of present-day Arizona. In the 1850 and 1860 US censuses, your ancestors in what became Arizona were enumerated in New Mexico Territory.







A p a c h e

Lake Mead

Colorado R.

C o c o n i n o Lit tle Co lor ad oR .

Lake Mohave

M o h a v e

N a v a j o


Verde R.

East Verde R.

Ya v a p a i

Theodore Roosevelt Lake

P a z M a r i c o p a Peoria Glendale

Scottsdale Mesa Tempe Gilbert Chandler


White R.

Sa lt R .

L a

G i l a

R. ck Bla

Saguaro Lake

G r e e n l San Carlos Lake Gi la R.

Y u m a Gila R.

R. Gila

P i n a l G r a h a m


P i m a


C o c h i s e

Santa Cruz

t ime li n e 1539






Franciscan friar Marcos de Niza explores Arizona for Spain

Jesuit missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino founds the Guevavi mission

The Spanish establish a presidio (fort) eventually named Tucson

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo grants lands north of the Gila River to the United States

Chief Cochise leads his Apaches against US soldiers at Apache Pass

Copper deposits are discovered in Bisbee and Jerome.

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ARIZONA Search these and other federal censuses on genealogy web- Records <> holds sites including, FamilySearch, Findmypast birth and death records beginning in 1909, and some delayed birth (starting in 1855) and death (starting in 1877) certifi<> and MyHeritage <>. Arizona Territory split off on its own in 1863, begin- cates. Visit <> to search for births (1855-1941) ning almost 50 years of colorful pre-statehood history that and deaths (1877-1966), then view record images as PDF included the 1881 shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone. files. Request noncertified copies of birth records more than The new territory organized four counties—Yavapai, Mohave, 75 years ago and deaths older than 50 years from the Office Yuma (previously called Castle Dome) and Pima—in 1864. of Vital Records or the state archives. Recent records are Two years later the northwestern part of restricted to family members who can Arizona Territory, Pah-Ute County, was prove their relationship. transferred to Nevada. Local genealogical societies have The government took territorial cenpublished a slew of cemetery and other Although Arizona suses in 1864, 1866, 1867, 1869, 1871, 1872 records—find listings in the Familyand 1882. They’re available at the state Search online catalog (do a place was the last of the archives, though not all are complete. search on the county name) or see the Many are searchable on list at <>. contiguous United (for free, if you’re an Arizona resident) Arizona has no statewide marriage and on microfilm at the FHL. registration. Beginning in 1864, county Supplement census records with Great States to join the union, recorders kept marriage and divorce Registers of voters for various counties records. From 1891 to 1912, clerks of and years from 1866 to 1955. Search these probate courts issued marriage licenses. it offers a wealth of on and at the state archives. Look for marriage records, as well Check county-level genealogical web as those of probates and divorces, in family history resources the superior court for your ancestor’s resources for transcribed indexes. Between 1870 and 1910, Arizona’s noncounty. A database of Arizona marriages Indian population ballooned from less (1864-1982) at can help stretching back to its than 10,000 to 200,000-plus. If your in your search. FamilySearch has an ancestors arrived during this era, you index that covers 1865 to 1949, earliest territorial days. online can apply for a pioneer certificate applias well as a county marriages database cation—see <> that provides an index and images from 1871 to 1964. The latter doesn’t include for details. Statehood came at last in Coconino, Navajo or Yuma county. 1912, and the 1920 US census was Arizona’s first as a state.

Newspapers Documenting births, marriages and deaths The post-WWII boom years further shaped Arizona as Americans flocked to the sun. Phoenix’s population grew from 100,000 to 980,000 between 1950 and 1990. In 1960, the Del Webb Corp. gave rise to the idea of Arizona as a retirement haven with the creation of Sun City. All these residents required some serious record-keeping. Prior to 1909, counties kept their own vital records, though some sent copies to the state. The Office of Vital

Obituaries and newspaper articles may fill in blanks when you can’t find records, and provide new details when you can. The Grand Canyon State has a rich tradition of journalism, beginning in 1859 with the Weekly Arizonian in Tubac. Since the state library was established in 1864, it has retained all known Arizona newspapers. Out-ofprint and microfilmed papers move to the archives. For more information, see <> . Some of the archive’s newspapers are being digitized and posted online at the Arizona Memory Project







Geronimo and his small band surrender to US Gen. Nelson Miles

Arizona is admitted as the 48th state

Congress makes the Grand Canyon one of the first national parks

The Hoover Dam is completed at the border with Nevada, with a $49 million price tag

Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater runs for president

Arizona Sen. John McCain runs for US President on the Republican ticket




TOOLKIT Websites         

Arizona Biographical Database <> Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates <> Arizona GenWeb Project <> Arizona Memory Project <> Arizona Pioneers Home Resident Index <> Cyndi’s List: Arizona <> Family History Society of Arizona <> Historic Cemeteries of Arizona <> Northern Arizona University Special Collections Digital Library <>


Arizona: A History by Thomas E. Sheridan (University of Arizona Press) Arizona Place Names by Will C. Barnes and Byrd H. Granger (University of Arizona Press) Ghost Towns of Arizona by James E. Sherman (University of Oklahoma Press) Hispanic Arizona, 1536-1856 by James E. Officer (University of Arizona Press) Historical Atlas of Arizona by Henry P. Walker and Don Bufkin (University of Oklahoma Press) Who’s Who in Arizona by Jo Conners (Higginson Books)

Archives & Organizations 


Arizona Historical Society 949 E. Second St., Tucson, AZ 85719, (520) 628-5774,<> Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Genealogy Collection, Law and Research Library, 1700 W. Washington St., Ste 300, Phoenix, AZ 85007, (602) 926-3938, <> Arizona State University Library Box 871006, Tempe, AZ 85287, (480) 965-6164, <> Mesa Regional Family History Center 41 S. Hobson, Mesa, AZ 85204, (480) 964-1200, <> Northern Arizona Genealogical Society Box 695, Prescott, AZ 86302, <> Northern Arizona University Cline Library Box 6022, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, (928) 523-2173, <> University of Arizona Libraries 1510 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721, (520) 621-6406, <>

<> . You’ll also find

digitized, searchable issues from 68 Arizona newspapers on the Library of Congress’ free Chronicling America website <>.

Military records To oversee New Mexico and then Arizona territories, the US government established forts for soldiers and their families. See a partial list and research resources at <www.familysearch. org/wiki/en/Forts_of_the_United_States>, and consult the 1960 book Frontier Military Posts of Arizona by Ray Brandes. Also search for men stationed at military posts in the Registers of Enlistments in the online database United States Army, 1798-1914, available at and FamilySearch. Some encampments, such as Fort Verde <> now have museums and visitor centers. You can request military service records from the National Archives (see < pre-ww-1-records> ). Compiled military service records of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders—many of whom came from the Southwest—are digitized in NARA’s online catalog <>. Search for the person’s name or Rough Riders service records.

On-site research resources You can take your own Arizona research vacation in the airconditioned comfort of libraries. Start with the Arizona State archives at the Polly Rosenbaum State History and Archives building in Phoenix. In addition to the resources already mentioned, it holds records of cattle brand registrations, civil and criminal court cases, probates, insanity commitments, inquests, wills, estates and naturalizations, deeds, censuses, assessor rolls and more. The archives’ Genealogy Collection < research-archives/genealogy-and-family-history/genealogyinformation-portals>, housed in the Law and Research Library,

has obituary and cemetery indexes, city directories, school yearbooks, maps and other records. Search the huge biographical database at <>. The state genealogical society, which closed in 2011, transferred its holdings to the Tucson campus of the Arizona Historical Society <> . The collection includes thousands of manuscripts, diaries, company records, regional histories, and historical city, mining, railroad and military maps. Search the collection catalog at <>. Not ready to travel to all those Arizona libraries? Take a virtual research vacation to Northern Arizona University’s Colorado Plateau Digital Archives <>, Here you can search thousands of historical photographs, diaries, letters, oral histories and maps. Even if, like Coronado, you end your Arizona travels with empty pockets, at least your family files will be rich with new wealth. 

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Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R



As Ken Burns’ gripping new documentary provides a personal look at the Vietnam War, here’s how you can start learning more about the experiences of your relatives who served.

Stocktrek Images/Stocktrek Images/Getty Images

BY DIANE HADDAD 3 IN THE VIEW of filmmaker Ken Burns, “The Vietnam disgusted with the war and distrustful of the US government. War”—his latest documentary with codirector Lynn Novick— Some struggled to adjust to civilian life and suffered from isn’t meant to provide answers about a war that helped usher post-traumatic stress disorder. The war still causes debates: America into an era of political and social turmoil. Instead, it Was it necessary or not? What went wrong? raises questions. No wonder so many veterans didn’t talk about their warFollowing in the steps of Burns’ previous documenta- time experiences, and so many families didn’t ask—leaving ries on World War II and the Civil War, “The Vietnam siblings and children to wonder, years later, what their loved War” <>, premiering ones had been through. Start discovering the answers with these strategies for researching your Sept. 17 on PBS, hits hard with intense relatives’ Vietnam War service. footage and emotional accounts from American military and their families, One of your first protesters, and Vietnamese combatFinding records ants and civilians. In 10 parts and 18 Like any genealogy project, this one steps should be hours, the film shares a range of perstarts at home. Search for letters, disspectives from witnesses to a comcharge papers and photos relating to requesting military plicated, chaotic history. The United your veteran. Talk to him or her if posStates had backed Vietnam’s Comsible—see page 45 for tips from The personnel records munist Viet Minh coalition against Vietnam War senior producer Sarah Japanese invaders during World War Botstein. Try to learn basic details such from the National II, then switched sides as Viet Minh as whether the person was drafted or Personnel Records fought France for independence in the volunteered, the service number, dates First IndoChina War. In 1954, a nowof service, training locations, when Center in St. Louis. independent Vietnam was divided into deployed, unit served in, and places Communist North and antiCommunist stationed. Read about the war (see South. Communist-sympathizing guerresources on page 47) to familiarize rillas called Viet Cong launched attacks yourself with locations, operations and in the South in the late 1950s, promptevents mentioned in records. ing the United States to send military Next, request military personnel advisors to South Vietnam. More troops followed—23,300 by records from the National Archives’ National Personnel 1964—as the North lent support to the Viet Cong and condi- Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. These can include tions deteriorated. Escalation continued until 1968, with Department of Defense form 214 (called the DD 214 or Sepa536,100 troops in Vietnam. The number decreased under ration Documents, which record a discharge), personnel President Richard Nixon’s “Vietnamization” plan to hand records from the person’s Official Military Personnel File, over the conflict (technically the correct term for it, as the and medical records. Termed “nonarchival” because they United States never declared war) to South Vietnam. Combat document people separated from the military less than 62 troops were withdrawn in 1973, though the war continued years ago, these records fall under restrictions to protect vetuntil South Vietnamese capital Saigon fell in 1975. erans’ privacy. Requestors must be the service member himA total of 2.7 million Americans served, at 22 years old on or herself, or if the member is deceased, a surviving spouse average (despite the song “Nineteen”). Between 7,500 and who hasn’t remarried, a parent, a child or a sibling. Follow 11,000 were women. About 300,000 were wounded, and the instructions at <,000 killed. Injuries disabled tens of thousands. More than records> in making your request. Provide as much identifying 1,200 are unaccounted for to this day. information as you know, including name, service number, Troops returned home with little to show for their sacri- SSN, and branch and dates of service. If you’re requesting fice, many having witnessed the unimaginable, to a public a deceased veteran’s records, you’ll need to supply proof of




death, such as a death certificate or obituary, and sign an affidavit saying you’re next of kin. NPRC will initially send the DD 214, which provides the person’s service number, information about service dates, promotions and reductions, awards and commendations, and medical treatment. See an example below. You can send NPRC a follow-up request for more information, which might include leave papers, identification card applications, and clothing issuances. You may have heard that many 20th-century military records were destroyed in a 1973 fire at the NPRC. The fire affected files of those discharged before 1964, so chances are your Vietnam veteran’s records survived. If not, you can request a Certificate of Service with basic information from

other records. Read more about the fire and damaged records at <>. Like veterans of the World Wars, those returning from Vietnam could register their discharge at their local courthouse—a helpful substitute for a missing DD 214. You may need to visit the courthouse or send a request, but you might find discharges among digitized court records at FamilySearch <>. Search the online catalog <www.> for the county and look under the court records heading. The catalog entry will link to digitized records, if they exist. Luckily, an index book listing my dad’s discharge—he served from 1967 to 1969—is among the site’s digitized county court records. I’ll need to request a copy of the record from the courthouse.

Reading a DD 214 A DD 214, or discharge paper, records basic service information (identifying details are removed in this example). Your relative’s DD 214 might not specify “on the ground” service in Vietnam (that’s not uncommon, I learned by Googling DD 214 Vietnam). Searching online and consulting the military acronym dictionary at <> can help you translate the form. A term like “APO SF” under Last Duty Assignment, for example, indicates Army Post Office (served through San Francisco). It may be followed by a numeric code, which you can look up on the website at <1stmob. com/APO_Location_1.html>, to get a general location in Vietnam. Information such as awards received and Place of Entry Into Current Active Service can serve as clues to further research.


Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R



How do you even begin to approach the topic of Vietnam with a veteran when you’ve never really talked about it before? Remember that just because someone hasn’t talked about it doesn’t mean she’s unwilling—some people don’t share until they’re asked. And if the time hasn’t been right in the past, it may be now. You’ll need to broach the topic to have the veteran sign a DD 214 request. Try bringing up a book you’ve read or watching “The Vietnam War” with the veteran. “I would recommend not watching the film alone,” says senior producer Sarah Botstein. “Watch it with someone who was alive during that time. It’ll definitely get a conversation started.” Then ask the person if he or she minds sharing some memories with you—whether now or during a later visit. Before you talk, “learn the history—not just specific to that person,” Botstein says. Use the resources in this article to gather information and help you prepare your questions. Also consult the suggested questions at < questions.html>.

J a m e s A . G u i l l i a m / P h o t o l i b ra r y/G e t t y I m a g e s

Tips for Interviewing a Veteran

Botstein spends hours talking with veterans to establish a comfort level before filming. You already know your veteran (and you’re not going on TV) so you can build rapport by covering the basics first. “Start chronologically with the facts,” Botstein recommends. Ask the person’s name, birthdate, hometown, where he went to high school and college (if applicable), and reason for entering military service. Work into the topic by asking about training, feelings in the first days of service,

The NPRC also has post-WWII through Vietnam-era Selective Service (draft) records for men born before 1960. The draft registration card (SSS Form 1) may contain information such as name, Selective Service registration number, age, date and place of birth, ethnicity, place of residence at the time of registration and basic physical description. These details might sound ho-hum, but there’s more to be found for draftees who appealed their selection: The classification history (SSS Form 102) may contain name, date of birth, classification, date of mailing notice, date of appeal to the board, date and results of the armed forces physical exam, entry into active duty or civilian work in lieu of induction, date of separation from active duty or civilian work, and general remarks. You can order copies of these records for a fee; see < archival-programs/other-records/selective-service.html>.

thoughts about the new environment, the food, base life, and keeping in touch with family. Then you can ask the person about his assignments, fellow soldiers who stand out in memory, and combat experiences. If you have details on where the person served or operations he was part of, you can ask specifically for memories of those places and events. Ask if the person has any photos or other mementos he can show you, as well. Don’t interrupt to ask for more details about a memory. Instead, make a note and ask after the person has finished his thought. Be patient during silent pauses while the person tries to recall long-ago details. There’s no need to jump in right away if he gets emotional; instead, give him a few moments to regain composure. You also can ask if he’d like to switch topics for awhile. Take notes, but you’ll also want to preserve the stories by recording the interview. Use a digital recorder or smartphone app such as Hi-Q or Easy Voice Recorder (Android) or Just Press Record (iOS). Practice with your equipment ahead of time, and remember extra batteries or charging cords.

in Action or Prisoners of War as a Result of the Vietnam War (the same databases are on genealogy sites such as the free Access Genealogy < vietnam-war-casualty-list.htm>). Also see state-level casualty lists at <>. Burials in national military cemeteries are recorded in the VA’s Nationwide Gravesite Locator <>. The names of those who died in service are engraved in the moving Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, DC. Visiting and making a rubbing of your loved one’s name is a powerful experience (you also can request a rubbing by mail at <> ).

Learning about casualties and the missing If your veteran was injured or killed in the war, search for casualties online in National Archives databases at <aad.>. Datasets include Records on Military Personnel Who Died, Were Missing

TIP: If your veteran is deceased, ask people who knew him what they remember about his experiences.




G e i r- o l av Ly n g f j e l l / H e m e ra /G e t ty I m a ge s P l u s

Search Fold3’s life-size photo re-creation of the memorial for free at <>; click a person’s name in your search results to view the name on the wall and if available, details such as the casualty location and date. For information on the National Archives’ records related to POWs and those reported MIA, see the finding aid at <> . The 2,504 individuals who went MIA are named in the American Battle Monuments Commission website’s searchable database <> and on the commission’s Tablets of the Missing memorial in Honolulu. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is responsible for determining the fate of missing personnel and identifying remains of the dead. The agency’s website states it’s “not authorized to expend resources for requests outside the scope of our mission,” so it doesn’t respond to research requests. You can see its list of those still missing at < / Vietnam-War/Vietnam-War-POW-MIA-List>.

Following clues You want to do more than learn that your veteran served— you want to learn about his experiences. Here’s how to use clues in the records you find to start uncovering stories.  AWARDS: Awards are noted on the DD 214. (The Vietnam Service Award was given to all who were honorably discharged, so you won’t find related specific details.) You also can search the National Archives’ database, Records of Awards and Decorations of Honor During the Vietnam War <>. The



Searching for Names on the Memorial Wall The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC, bears the engraved names of more than 58,000 men and women who were killed in the war or remain missing. You can find visitor information at <>. The Fold3 website photographically reproduces the wall, with a searchable database of names, at <>.

same data is in the <> database Vietnam War, Awards and Decorations of Honor, 1965-1972. The source files, from National Archives’ Record Group 472, make up Fold3’s free Vietnam Service Awards collection <>. Try searching here for the person’s name, but because many awards were made to entire units, it’s a better bet to run a keyword search for the battalion, brigade or division, or for places where the person was stationed. You might find the date of the award and a description of the action for which it was given. For example, my dad was in the 14th Engineer Battalion (Combat), and a keyword search for 14th engineer returns long memos describing the battalion’s meritorious service in building bases and bridges, maintaining roads, constructing airfields and other duties. Most occurred before my dad’s tour, but the documents tell me the kind of work he did. You can see pictures of Vietnam medals and link to information about them at < Awards_and_decorations_of_the_Vietnam_War#United_States>.  PHOTOS AND DOCUMENTS: Fold3 has photos of personnel, locations and more, organized by military branch, at <>. Use the research you’ve gathered for clues, and search for the person’s name, company, service unit, locations and more. My dad had mentioned being at FSB (fire support base) Nancy, and I found several photos. Googling FSB Nancy also led me to a YouTube <www.> video of the base from a helicopter. In her research for The Vietnam War, Botstein used Texas Tech University’s online Virtual Vietnam Archive

Free Web Content  How to use the National Archives website < article/archives-gov-guide>

For Plus Members  Using college and university libraries < feb-2012-colleges-universities>

 Military records research guide < at-your-service-military-researchguide>  List of US military campaigns < inside-sources-us-militarycampaigns>

 Discover your family’s military heritage < article/how-to-honor-your-familysmilitary-heritage>  Researching archival military service records < article/military-service-recordsworkbook>

Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R

2017  Fold3 Web Guide <shopfamilytree.

com/fold3-web-guide>  Guide to interviewing family

members <shopfamilytree. com/interviewing-familymembers-u6519>  Genealogist’s Google Cheat Sheet <>


<> of more than 4 million pages of scanned documents, photos and recordings. You’ll find after-action or “lessons learned” reports, news articles, newsletters of veterans groups, letters, finding aids for Vietnam-related collections, photos and footage of troops, memoirs, oral histories, maps, pictures of insignia and more. (The website Records of War Vietnam <www.recordsofwar. com/vietnam> lets you browse many of Texas Tech’s reports and other resources by service branch and unit.) Most items are digitized on the site, but some copyrighted items, such as the Pacific Stars and Stripes newspaper, are available only offline by request. Also try the National Archives online catalog at <catalog.>. It’s unlikely you’ll find someone by name, but you may find correspondence, records and photos relating to your relative’s service. My search on Vietnam engineers led to identified photos of Marine Corps engineers, a glossary of jargon troops used and more. Adding 14th brought up catalog records for 14th Engineer Battalion operational reports; I’d need to contact the archives to request copies. You can use filters next to your search results to see only photos, or select “archival descriptions with digital objects” to view only items that are digitized.  ORAL HISTORIES: Firsthand accounts from those who experienced the same things your relative did can give you insight into his story. Texas Tech makes its oral histories

available through the Vietnam Center and Archive Oral History Project <>. Also explore the Library of Congress’ Veterans Oral History Project <loc. gov/vets>; search by keyword or browse by conflict, branch and other terms. At the US Army Center for Military History <> , select Archival Material to hear selections from interviews. This site also has photos and downloadable documents with information on the war.  VETERANS GROUPS AND WEBSITES: Several sites, such as <> and <> have message boards where veterans reminisce and ask about buddies. You could search for mentions of your veteran’s name or military unit, or you could post a request for any memories of him. Find veterans groups online and on Facebook <www.> by searching for Vietnam and the unit your relative served with. I found a page for the 14th Combat Engineer Battalion Association with issues of the Swampy Sentinel, a typewritten newsletter published by battalion members serving in Vietnam. They included a breakdown of activities by company. Your efforts will bring you a lot closer to understanding the experiences of your loved one. ■ Editor D i a n e H a d da d , whose dad served in the Army Corps of Engineers, remembers him saying he built bridges in Vietnam, they’d get blown up, and he’d rebuild them.



How to Read a DD 214 <> Military Dictionary <> National Archives: Glossary of Terms in Vietnam 1967 <> National Archives: Vietnam War Records <> Online Vietnam War Indexes and Records <> Records of War Vietnam <> Request Veterans Records <> US Army Center of Military History <> US Air Force Historical Research Agency <> US Coast Guard Historian’s Office <> US Marine Corps History Division <> US Naval History & Heritage Command <> The Vietnam Center and Archives at Texas Tech University <>


The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick <> Vietnam War Overview <> Vietnam War Commemoration Maps <> Vietnam War Timeline <>


The Girl in the Picture: The Story of Kim Phuc, the Photograph, and the Vietnam War by Denise Chong (Penguin) The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War (reissue ed.) by Frederick Downs Jr. (Norton & Co.) Vietnam: A History by Stanley Karnow (Penguin) Vietnam: A History of the War by Russell Freedman (Holiday House) Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War by Michael MacLear (St. Martin’s Press) The Vietnam War: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns (Knopf) A Vietnam War Reader by Michael H. Hunt (University of North Carolina Press)




setting sail

When and where your European ancestors arrived in North America is only half the story. Now it’s time to learn why and how they left. BY M E LO DY A M S E L-A R I E L I

3 PERMANENTLY LEAVING ONE’S homeland to build a

life in another country begins with hopes and dreams for a better future. Yet moving to a new land is far more than packing a valise and heading for the border. It’s a courageous, frightening, exhilarating journey to the unknown—a new place, a new language and a new way of life. For your forebears, emigration was a leap of faith, the trip of a lifetime. It involved saving funds, arranging travel to a port city and across the ocean, obtaining official permission to go (or forming an escape plan, in some cases), securing lodging and work in a strange place, and other details. We’ll share this unknown part of your ancestors’ journey and offer resources for learning more.

PUSH AND PULL Historically, European emigration to North America has waxed and waned, reflecting changing economic, religious, historical and political circumstance on both sides of the ocean. During the Colonial era, the 1600s through the late 1700s, the number of migrants increased every year. Yet all told, fewer than a million arrived, mostly from England, Scotland, France, Germany and Holland. Not all left home on their own accord; scores were freed convicts or people 48

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who indentured themselves for years to Colonial residents in exchange for passage. The second great wave of immigration, lasting from the early 1800s through about 1860, brought some 15 million emigrants, largely from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Holland, Germany and the British Isles, to American shores; 800,000 also settled in Canada. From 1880 through 1920, an era of rapid urbanization and industrialization, more than 20 million arrived from Europe, the majority from Russia, Romania, Poland, Austro-Hungary, and Italy. The peak year, with well over a million arrivals, was 1907. People migrate due to a combination of forces called pushpull factors. Pull factors are positive conditions that draw people to particular destinations. These include religious and political freedom, educational and cultural opportunity, cheap land, high wages, favorable climates—the proverbial “streets paved with gold.” Push factors are negative religious, economic, environmental or political conditions that drive people from their homelands. Common push factors that spurred your ancestors’ decision to leave home include:  RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION: During the 1600s, European monarchs led both church and state. Thus, Protestants were defying state authority when they sought to “purify” the Church of England of the remaining elements of Catholicism. As a result, many were imprisoned, harshly punished, and even threatened with “extirpation from the earth.” Starting in 1620, more than 20,000 of these Puritans established colonies along the coast of New England. English Quakers, German Mennonites, French Huguenots, Spanish Jews and members of other sects also sought religious freedom in the Colonies.


b a u h a u s 1 0 0 0 / D i g i t a l V i s i o n Ve c t o r s /G e t t y I m a g e s

From 1881 through 1884, the assassination of Russian tsar  MILITARY CONSCRIPTION: Many European countries Alexander II unleashed a suppression of civil liberties that enacted conscription to build their armies, including France included violent antisemitic riots, called pogroms, across during the Napoleonic Wars, Prussia, and the Russian Empire. Ukraine. The accompanying May Laws restricted Jewish Tsar Nicholas I in the early 1800s required “cantonists” (stusettlement to designated areas and forbade issuing deeds dents in military schools) to serve for 25 years in the Russian to Jews; additional legislation limited Jewish attendance Army (children of nobility, senior officers and clergy had at colleges, prohibited participation in elections and more. reduced obligations). Communities were expected to fulfill In 1903, even bloodier violence erupted in Kishinev, the conscription quotas; for Jews, the lower age limit was 12. Concapital of Bessarabia (today’s Moldova). For three days, scripts were pressured to abandon their religious practices rioters destroyed hundreds of Jewish homes and businesses in favor of Orthodox Christianity. As sons neared adulthood, and beat, raped and killed scores. In 1905 and 1906, hun- many parents, rather than falsify records or chop off the boys’ dreds of pogroms swept through Jewish communities in fingers to render them unfit, urged them to emigrate. cities and villages. By 1920, more than In the 1870s, when the Russian gov2 million had fled, most to the United ernment weighed abolishing special States, Canada and Argentina. military exemptions, the pacifist MenPull factors may nonite community was also threatened  NATURAL DISASTERS: Emigrationwith conscription. Though Mennospurring natural disasters include include religious and nites’ appeals were initially denied, the earthquakes, storms, floods, famine and authorities, fearing loss of such indusepidemics. Potato blight led to the Great political freedom, trious farmers, offered national service Famine that struck Ireland between as an alternative. Still, many thousands 1845 and 1852. This fungal disease educational and emigrated to the American Midwest and caused this crop—a dietary staple for Manitoba, Canada. Ireland’s large, desperately poor lower cultural opportunity, class—to rot in the fields. Widespread  ECONOMIC HARDSHIP: Lack of cheap land, high starvation, malnutrition and disease left available land for farming, aggravated by more than a million dead; 1.5 million a rise in population, caused widespread wages, favorable Irish sought refuge in Great Britain, land shortages in Scandinavia and the Australia and North America. Austrian Empire. There, a father’s land climates—the Southern Italy, which straddles the was traditionally distributed equally to Eurasian and African geological plates, his sons, leading eventually to parcels proverbial “streets is the only volcanically active area too small to sustain a family. Industriin mainland Europe. Eruptions have alization caused the decline of cottage paved with gold.” occurred periodically since ancient industries, such as Germany’s linen times, and those in the early 1900s weavers, who worked on home looms. proved particularly deadly. When Between 1880 and 1940, 4 to 5 million Mount Vesuvius erupted in 1906, for people left Austria, about 7 to 8 percent example, more than a hundred people of the population. were killed and Naples was devastated. Two years later, a  WAR: In addition to casualties, war leads to widespread powerful earthquake struck the strait separating Sicily from material damage, shortages of food and goods, and psychologithe Italian mainland. It nearly leveled Messina and other cal distress. The “Spring of Nations”—revolutions that swept coastal cities, killing up to 200,000. The quake generated an Europe in 1848—spurred Germans, Czechs, Hungarians and enormous tsunami. During this terrifying era, some 4 mil- others to leave, including 30,000 Germans to Cincinnati. The lion Italians left for metropolitan areas like Massachusetts, Russian Revolution of 1905 saw waves of strife, strikes and New York and New Jersey. military mutinies. Then at the height of World War I, the 1917 February Revolution toppled the Russian Empire, forcing the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II. Eight months later, Bolsheviks replaced the short-lived provisional government with their own. By the end of the Russian Civil War in 1922, some 2 TIP: Once you’ve learned your immigrant ancestors’ million former czarist aristocrats, intellectuals, professionnationality and when they migrated, look for social als, landowners and military personnel had escaped to the history books and resources that can shed light United States. Others settled in Germany, France and China. on their motivations for leaving. Expulsion and displacement—in effect, forced emigration—are also consequences of war. During World War II,




for example, the Nazi regime expelled millions of Poles from German-occupied areas, and the Soviet Union expelled German citizens and ethnic Germans. As the German army advanced, the Soviet government evacuated an estimated 16 million people to safety across Central Asia. Multiple catastrophes, cascading one after another, accelerate emigration. Through the 1860s, Sweden and Finland suffered a succession of poor harvests and a growing shortage



Destination America <> The Emigration Museum BallinStadt Hamburg <> European Emigration <> Historisches Museum Bremerhaven <> Immigrant Ancestors Project <> Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930 <> Irish Emigration <> Epic: The Irish Emigration Museum <> Norway-Heritage, Hands Across the Sea <> Peopling of America Center at Ellis Island <> Red Star Line Museum <>




Civilians in a World at War, 1914-1918 by Tammy M. Proctor (New York University Press) The Great Departure: Mass Migration From Eastern Europe and the Making of the Free World by Tara Zahra Fame, Fortune, and Sweet Liberty: The Great European Emigration edited by Diethelm Knauf and Dirk Hoerder (Edition Temmen) Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups by Stephan A. A. Thernstrom, Stephan Thernstrom, Ann Orlov and Oscar Handlin (Harvard University Press) In Search of a Better Life: British and Irish Migration by Graham Davis (The History Press) The Long Road Home: The Aftermath of the Second World War by Ben Shepard (Knopf Doubleday) Out of Ireland: The Story of Irish Emigration to America by Kerby A. Miller and Paul Wagner (National Book Network) Points of Passage: Jewish Migrants from Eastern Europe in Scandinavia, Germany, and Britain 1880-1914 edited by Tobias Brinkman (Berghahn)

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of arable farmland, a situation compounded by overpopulation. Excessive rains in 1866 left potatoes and root vegetables rotting in the ground. Drought followed, then unusually long winters that shortened the growing seasons. During these “great hunger” years, urban jobs were scarce. Between 1861 and 1881, 150,000 Swedes migrated to the United States.

LINKS IN A CHAIN Emigration encouraged more emigration. Recent arrivals, as they adapted to their new homeland, wrote home encouraging friends to join in benefiting from the cheap land, high wages and/or religious freedom. Their letters served as a “pull” factor, firing the imaginations of those left behind. Husbands often sailed alone, ahead of their families. On securing employment and accommodation, they financed trips for wives, children, brothers and cousins, arranging pre-paid tickets through immigrant banks. This is why you’ll see “chain migrations” of family members and neighbors following each other across the ocean and settling in the same American neighborhoods. But remember that 30 to 40 percent of European immigrants returned to their homelands, either permanently or temporarily before another trip to the United States. As immigration rose, the shipping trade become increasingly competitive, with nearly fifty companies battling for business. By some accounts, steerage fares for a direct transatlantic trip, which cost about $20 in 1875 (roughly two or three weeks’ wages for a laborer), fell as low as $10. Networks of agents, linked with American employers and steamship companies like the Hamburg-America and White Star lines, plied villages across Europe with promotional posters, and guides describing the countless opportunities awaiting emigrants. They also issued tickets, some complete with travel instructions. Many emigrants purchased all-inone, Europe-to-America rail and steamship packages. Others purchased tickets for the first leg of their trip, expecting to work en route to pay the rest of their passage.

TAKING LEAVE Once emigrants bid friends and family farewell, they headed overland by coach, cart or on foot toward the nearest seaport on the Atlantic Ocean. Depending on the starting point, this might take weeks. Most, having worked for years to finance the voyage, left with little more than what they were wearing. In the 1830s, when local railway companies began running trains directly to Bremen, Germany, at reduced prices, the port became a major transatlantic hub. Most emigrants booked passage in steerage, the cheapest class of overseas travel. Though conditions varied from ship to ship, these open cargo areas located on the lowest decks, were dark and damp. Passengers, crammed amid packages and narrow bunks, slept, socialized and cooked communally. Bouts of seasickness were common, especially in stormy weather as the ships pitched to and fro. Water was usually rationed and





Glasgow   Leith




Newcastle Dublin  Cork 

Copenhagen  Malmö

 Hull  Grimsby


 Hamburg Amsterdam  Bremen 


Ports of Call European migrants typically started their journeys by traveling overland to the nearest port (major ones are shown here). Then he might sail directly to America or make several stops and transfers on a multi-leg trip.





Le Havre

Trieste  Genoa Marseille


 Naples Cádiz


sanitary facilities were inadequate, leading to foul smells and filth that contributed to the spread of cholera and typhus. Passengers rarely received medical care, nor were they allowed access to upper decks for fresh air. These arduous trips lasted from one to three months. As steam power replaced sails in the next decade, transatlantic ships became larger, safer and faster. Overseas trips now took about 14 days. By the 1850s, Hamburg, Germany, on the North Sea, had eclipsed Bremen as Europe’s main emigrant port. Emigration further increased as improving river routes and the development of canals eased access to ports like Antwerp and Rotterdam, Netherlands. By the 1880s, emigrants from Eastern and Northern Europe typically made their way to large cities like Minsk, Russia; Vilna (now in Lithuania) or Vitebsk (now in Belarus); then boarded trains to ports in Bremen; Hamburg; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Liverpool, England; or LeHavre, France. Those lacking permits to travel from one country to the next might slip across river or forest borders or bribe guards to smuggle them through. Conditions on some of the newer

vessels improved around this time. Families and adults traveling alone were lodged either in third-class cabins or in separate sleeping quarters. Sanitary facilities, some equipped with towels, soap and wash basins, were separate as well. Dining areas offered food in abundance. Passengers were allowed access to upper decks. They also received medical care, if necessary, on these direct transatlantic routes. When emigrants finally reached their departure ports, they typically stocked up on food and arranged lodging for the wait until their ships sailed. During an 1892 cholera epidemic in Hamburg, shipping lines set up control stations along the German border. In addition to functioning as quarantine agents, their officials promoted German maritime interests. Travelers holding pre-paid tickets invalid for German-licensed shipping companies were denied entry, even if they were bound for ports beyond German borders. So were those holding worthless paper, palmed on them by deceitful agents. Moreover, passengers holding tickets prepaid through immigrant banks, arranged by relatives already in America, sometimes discovered that their payments weren’t recognized.




Tracing European Emigration Countries haven’t historically recorded departing citizens as thoroughly as arriving ones. Some European emigration records that were kept didn’t survive. But you still can track many emigrants’ journeys with sources such as these:  ENGLAND ARRIVALS: You can search incoming UK passengers from 1878 to 1888 and 1890 to 1960, and alien arrivals in England from 1810 to 1811 and 1826 to 1869, on <>. Many of these records name east coast arrivals who headed cross-country to departure ports on west coast.  BRITISH EMIGRANT LISTS: English emigrants between 1890 and 1960, as well as transmigrants who left from Liverpool and other British ports, may be named among the outbound passengers in a database at Findmypast <> and Ancestry. com. The database Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934, available through and FamilySearch <>, documents departures including 90 percent of all who left the Russian Empire, Poland, Romania and Austro-Hungary.  SCOTTISH EMIGRANT LISTS: The University of Aberdeen has an online Scottish Emigration Database with names of more than 21,000 passengers who left for non-European ports from Glasgow and Greenock during the first five months of 1923, and from other Scottish ports between 1890 and 1960.  BREMEN EMIGRANT LISTS: Passenger departure lists for Bremen were destroyed, though some have been “reconstructed” in other records and are listed in German Immigrants: Lists of Passengers Bound from Bremen to New York by Gary J. Zimmerman and Marion Wolfert (4 vols, Genealogical Publishing Co.). You can browse digitized index cards for departures from 1904 to 1914 in the Bremer Schiffslisten collection on FamilySearch.  GERMAN PASSPORTS, POLICE REGISTERS AND EMIGRATION APPLICATIONS: Germans had to apply for

permission to emigrate from most areas. The Family History Library has these application records for various time periods and several states and cities, including Baden, Rheinland, Pfalz and Zwickau. FamilySearch microfilm Reisepaß-Protokolle, 1851-1929, includes passport applications recorded by police in Hamburg. Indexes to German emigrants from various records are on the FamilySearch microfilm Emigrants To and From Germany From the 18th to the 20th Century and in books such as Rhineland Emigrants: Lists of German Settlers in Colonial America by Don Yoder (Genealogical Publishing Co.). Find links to online German emigration databases at <www.>.  ANTWERP POLICE IMMIGRATION RECORDS: City police kept registers of foreign nationals in the city—which included many soon-to-be emigrants—from 1840 to 1930. Records are on and FamilySearch. Also see The Antwerp Emigration Index (1855) by Charles M. Hall (Everton).  ROTTERDAM EMIGRANT LISTS: FamilySearch has microfilmed records of Mormon emigrants departing Rotterdam for Utah from 1904 to 1914. Search their names online in FamilySearch’s database Early Church Information File, 1830-1900. 52

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Hamburg departure lists from 1850-1934 are searchable on About one-third of passengers named in the records are German; many others came from Eastern Europe.  DANISH EMIGRATION ARCHIVES: Copenhagen police recorded emigrants from Denmark from 1869 to 1940; search names through 1908 at < udvandrerprotokollerne>. An additional 4,000 emigrants from 1879 to 1887 via Hamburg are in the Danish Demographic Database site < asp> (the search is in Danish).  NORWAY EMIGRANT LISTS: The Norway Heritage website has a free database <> of emigrants’ names taken from police emigration records as well as US and Canadian arrival lists. You also can find police emigration registers at the national archives’ free DigitalArkivet website <>. See <www.> for more details.  FINLAND EMIGRANT LISTS: FamilySearch has microfilmed emigrant lists from the ports of Malmö (about 1874-1939) as well as police emigration lists from Göteborg, which include Finns from 1869 to 1884. Search the online catalog for the place Finland and then look under Emigration and Immigration. See <sydaby.eget. net/swe/emi_intro.htm> for more resources.


CROSS PURPOSES Starting about 1836, millions of transmigrants followed safer and less expensive indirect routes through Great Britain. After disembarking at British east coast ports along the North Sea—including Newcastle, Grimsby, Leith and especially, Hull—they crossed the country by train. Finally, at west coast ports like Glasgow, Scotland; or Liverpool, England, they boarded great ocean liners for the trip across the sea. These journeys could be lengthy and complex. Typical transmigrants from the region around the Baltic Sea started by train from home to a local departure port like Malmö, Sweden; or Riga or Libau (now Liepāja) in what’s now Latvia. There, they boarded small commercial ships for Bremen or Hamburg. These trips through the Baltic Sea and around Denmark could be lengthy, costly and unpleasant. Passengers sometimes shared quarters with cattle. Some disembarked along the way in northeast Germany and traveled overland by rail to a port along the North Sea, such as Bremen or Hamburg, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium; or Rotterdam, Netherlands, where they caught another ship to the east coast of Britain. Millions of Central Europeans, on reaching Bremen, Hamburg, Antwerp or Rotterdam by rail, also boarded steamers for the British east coast. Transmigrants could arrange complete trips in advance, for instance, a Wilson Line steamship ticket to Hull, a train ticket to Liverpool, and an Inman Line steamship ticket to New York. Passenger arrival list entries that note doubledeparture ports, such as Grimsby/Liverpool or Hamburg/ Southampton, may indicate transmigrant journeys. The bustling port of Hull hosted more than 2 million transmigrants, most en route to the United States and Canada. Initially, arrivals stayed on ship until their cross-country trains were ready to leave, then carried their belongings to the railway station. In 1866, however, as their numbers swelled and European ports suffered cholera outbreaks, railway companies began transporting passengers directly to private loading areas. This minimized the risk of spreading disease to the locals. It also protected the migrants, many of whom knew no English except the word “America,” from falling victim to cads hawking tickets to fictitious places, exchanging money at inflated rates, or fleecing them of their worldly goods. In this protected area, passengers could wash up, purchase items needed for the journey, safeguard their baggage and if necessary, arrange the continuation of their journey. Hull arrivals then boarded third-class, steam-powered trains. For those who’d never ventured beyond their villages, crossing England by train was a novel experience. Though these crosscountry trips might take anywhere from a few hours to a day, and the jam-packed carriages lacked toilet facilities, many passengers enjoyed themselves. Scores who were travel-weary or too poor to pay the full fare disembarked as the trains skirted Leeds, Manchester or Sheffield. Some eventually worked their way west; some remained in Britain.

Liverpool, with its established transatlantic routes and central location, had long been Europe’s foremost departure port. From the late 19th century on, though, the growing numbers of Southern and Eastern European emigrants sailed from nearer, more-accessible ports like Hamburg; Marseille, France; and Naples, Genoa and Trieste, Italy. By the early 1900s, Southampton had taken over as Britain’s main departure point for immigrants to North America.

DWINDLING TIDE In 1921, Congress passed the US Emergency Quota Act restricting annual immigration from each country to 3 percent of the US population from that place, based on the 1910 census. Immigration from southern and Eastern Europe, as well as nonEuropean countries, sharply decreased. The Immigration Act of 1924 further limited arrivals from any country to 2 percent, based on the 1890 census (these quotas were repealed by the 1965 Hart-Cellar Act). Despite the rise of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and the massive displacement of World War II, the great immigration era had ended. ■ Melody Amsel-Arieli immigrated to Israel in 1971.

MORE ONLINE Free Web Content  Five sources for German emigration in the 1800s <>  A history of steamships <>  Websites for genealogy in Europe < article/best-for-continental-researchers>

For Plus Members  Researching emigration records < exit-strategies>  Websites for tracing ancestors’ migrations <familytreemagazine. com/article/immigrant-ethnic-websites>  Tutorial: searching immigration records <>  Find Your Irish Famine-Era Ancestors video download <>  Research Guide: English Emigrants to Australia, India and South Africa <>  Ethnic heritage research books, videos and guides <shopfamilytree. com/research-your-family-heritage>




no stone unturned Tombstones aren’t the only records available in the graveyard. Bring your ancestors’ deaths (and lives) to light with these seven cemetery resources. BY J OY N E I G H B O R S

3 WE THINK OF cemeteries as an ending. Our ancestors’ tombstones represent

their final destination. Their point of no return. But really, the gravestone is just the beginning. Careful “tombstone tourists” know to look for more than just inscriptions when visiting the cemetery. Other documents of a burial contain tidbits of vital information that can breathe life into your long-departed ancestors: a scandalous murder detailed in a death certificate, an unfamiliar place named on a burial permit, or a previously undiscovered mystery person listed on your ancestor’s plot record. Or if you can’t find a relative’s death information in more-typical records, another kind of cemetery record may hold the answers you need. These little surprises can assist you in learning more about the deceased, their deaths, and their lives—and maybe even introduce you to a new member of your family tree. In this excerpt from my new book, The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide (Family Tree Books), we’ll discuss seven records you should look for during your next trip to hallowed ground.


Sexton’s records

site at city hall). Stop by the office, check the website, or call and ask where old sexton’s records are kept. They may have been transferred to a library or historical society, or digitized online if you’re lucky. For cemeteries on private land, start by contacting the local city, township or county government. Look for records published in books or on microfilm by searching WorldCat <> or the FamilySearch online catalog <>. Search for the county, town or township where the cemetery is located, plus the word cemetery or the cemetery name. In addition to burial records, you also might find cemetery directories, deeds, and other records mentioned in this article. If a library with the records you need isn’t close enough to visit, request copies or ask your librarian to help you borrow them through interlibrary loan.


Cemetery deeds

A cemetery deed, like any deed, is issued for the purchase of real estate—albeit this piece of land is just big enough to bury the dead. The original deed was given to the purchaser, and the cemetery office

ollo/E+/Getty Images

Also known as records of interment, a registry of burials or a “cemetery book,” sexton’s records are documents kept in the cemetery office for a variety of reasons. These records may be in a book, ledgers or notebook; on loose papers in filing cabinets; or even on index cards in boxes. Older cemetery books contain three basic types of records: chronological records of burials, reports pertaining to locations of graves, and cemetery deeds (see No. 2). Chronological burial records include the name of the person buried and the date of burial, but additional details (such as the name of the plot owner, measurements of the plot or how much was paid for it) will vary based on the sexton who kept the record. Basic information from cemetery records may be on cemetery websites such as Find A Grave <>, but you may find more information on the record itself. Today, public cemeteries have superintendents and offices that keep hours of operation, perhaps a website, or at least a phone number to call for assistance (for example, if the cemetery is managed by the city, the office is probably off-

Cemetery deeds, which record the purchase of a plot of land in a cemetery, generally specify the purchaser, amount paid, cemetery, lot number and date of transaction. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••



A cemetery plat map like this one can be helpful in locating your ancestor’s grave. It’ll label sections of the cemetery, structures, and sometimes who’s buried where.

keeps a copy for its files. The cemetery records the transfer, sale or inheritance involving this deed, and so does the city or county recorder of deeds office where the cemetery is located (similar to any parcel of land). The deed includes the size and dimensions of the plot, its location (including section and plot number), the name and address of the buyer and seller, amount paid, and the name and address of the cemetery where the plot is located. By researching the cemetery deed, you might discover other plots that were also sold to the same buyer, dates of the purchase, how much was paid, if the plots were ever used, and who was buried there. If the cemetery office doesn’t have deeds for its plots, look in local court records. Surviving cemetery deeds may have been kept in separate deed books, or they may be recorded with other deeds. Searching WorldCat (as previously described under Sexton’s Records) also might uncover cemeter eds available on microfilm.



Plat Maps

Before local governments became involved in overseeing cemeteries in the 18th and 19th centuries, few put much thought into diagramming or mapping out burial grounds so future visitors would know where to look for relatives’ graves. The deceased were usually buried in order of demise, grouped together as families

Plot records and maps

Plot records contain information about a physical grave lot, usually the location or section, the plot or grave number, who’s interred there (including those whose graves may not be marked with a stone), and a visual description of the site, such as a tombstone inscriptions and 56

symbols. You may also find the deed number, who the deed was issued to, when the plot was purchased, how much was paid, and if other plots were purchased at the same time. Plot records can be found in a “lot book,” typically available from either a cemetery’s office or a local genealogical society that has custody of these records. See an example in the case study on pposite page.

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TIP: Ask at the cemetery office if you can leave an index card with your ancestor’s records that has your name, email address and relationship to the deceased. This will let others researching the person connect with you.


A cemetery deed, like other deeds, is issued for the purchase of real estate—albeit a piece of land just big enough to bury the dead.

or interred wherever it was convenient. Descriptive records of who was buried where may or may not exist for these older cemeteries, and the actual location of the grave could be lost to time. Enter plat maps: documents that show the layout of all the graves in the cemetery. Plat books include wayfinders such as section names and numbers, row numbers, and grave or plot numbers. You also might find additional details such as who owns a grave. These records may contain redundant

information with other types of cemetery records mentioned here, but watch for any inconsistent details that may warrant further research. Once you’ve found an ancestor’s grave on a plat map, pay attention to any names on the plots nearby. These could be family members, in-laws, close friends or neighbors, whose records might provide clues to your ancestors’ marriages or immigrant origins. Compare the names to your findings to census records to see if you can identify them. Keep a list of these folks to refer back to as you do “cluster research” to develop bust picture of your ancestors’ lives.


Burial permits and records

State and city health departments have been regulating burials since the beginning of the 20th century. Burial permits or certificates, known today as permits for “disposition of remains,” are government documents that allow a body to be buried. They also may be issued as burial/removal permits, allowing for the remains to be removed from the funeral home and transported to the

The purchaser’s name, names of those buried, and the order of burials shown on a cemetery plot record can give you clues to the relationships among the people buried.

CASE STUDY: Plot Records Let’s look at an example to see what cemetery plot records can tell you about your ancestors. Plot records may contain maps that show the arrangement of burials within a family plot (as opposed to a plat map, which covers a section or the entire cemetery). This record shows that on March 8, 1897, Sarah Wiley paid $60 for lot number 11 in section 23, a spot large enough for four graves. Burials in the plot are listed in chronological order. Because Sarah was the purchaser and Rudolph is the first to be buried there, we can reasonably assume that she was married to Rudolph and his death necessitated buying the plot. The second person laid to rest here is a woman named Madalina Stickmann.

Could this be Sarah’s mother? Elizabeth Weley (notice the spelling difference from Robert and Sarah’s name?) was buried third, next to Rudolph—possibly a daughter. Grave No. 4, next to Madalina, holds Adam Stickmann. But Sarah herself isn’t interred in this plot. Now we have unanswered questions. Where’s Sarah? Did she remarry, and is she buried with that husband? If so, did they have children? Another possibility, though less likely, is that Elizabeth and Rudolph were the parents of Sarah—and if that is the case, why didn’t Elizabeth purchase the plot? Further genealogical research may provide the answers.




cemetery. A state’s local health office or the town clerk in the place where the death occurred (even if the body is to be buried elsewhere) issues the permit to a funeral director or embalmer who’s registered with the local board of health. The funeral home handling the arrangements then fills out the permit. It stays in the possession of the funeral director until after the burial has been completed. These permits can be as simple or as detailed as the issuing department desired. They’ll typically include the name of the deceased and the date of death, and also may provide the city where the death occurred (not necessarily where the deceased had actually lived), burial date, cemetery section and plot numbers, name of the informant who provided details about the deceased, and that person’s relationship to the deceased. A burial permit sometimes lists the manner of death, be it natural causes, accident, homicide, suicide or undetermined (and whether an investigation is pending). Burial permits or certificates might be in the cemetery office, with the government office that issued the record, archived at a local library or historical society, and/or on microfilm through a library or FamilySearch. Copies may be

in funeral home records. Other records sometimes included with a burial permit are burial transit permits, grave opening and closing orders, and information on disinterment of remains. Opening and closing orders grant the cemetery permission to place the casket or remains into the grave and seal it. They usually provide the deceased’s name, gender, age, date and location of death, cause of death, burial place and cemeter t number, plus the undertaker’s name.


Funeral records.

Cemetery papers may also include funeral record (or funeral service) forms, created by the undertaker to glean pertinent information about the deceased’s burial. You also can look for these records by contacting the funeral home that handled the arrangements (or a business that has since acquired it). Some funeral records have been transferred to local libraries and historical societies. In the example shown at right, the funeral record for John Williams provides a lot of information. Mr. William was a retired merchant and a widower, and his parents were German. The record even names them. His daughter ordered

CASE STUDY: Burial Certificates This burial certificate for Lizzie R. Utteridge was originally hard to read, but I could make out a little more with help from photoediting software (I use iPhoto < iphoto> on my Mac). Increasing the contrast made the text stand out, which lets me see that Lizzie was born in Indiana and died July 21, 1881, in Warrick County, Ind., at the age of 4 months. It gives the family’s religion, Cumberland Presbyterian, a clue that led me to digitized records on the church archives’ website <www.>. Lizzie died of cholera infantum and “congestion of brain.” A common cause of childhood death in the 19th century, cholera infantum was a nonspecific term for fever, vomiting and diarrhea (it’s not related to Asiatic cholera). Doctors associated it with teething and eating finger foods; today we point to spoiled food as a likely cause. It was especially prevalent in urban areas during the summer months, hence another name for it, “summer complaint.” Congestion of the brain was an accumulation of fluids around the brain. Treatment at that time was to divert blood from the head by administering hot mustard footbaths, and by applying ice or cold compresses to the head. You can look up old causes of death at the Archaic Medical Terms website <www.>. Lizzie was buried in Roses Hill Cemetery in Evansville, Ind., but the date of burial is missing. I’ve learned that this cemetery’s paper records aren’t plentiful, as is sometimes the case, so a visit is in order to locate Lizzie’s grave and perhaps graves of her family.


Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R


Burial certificates may hold cause-of-death clues not available elsewhere.


In funeral records, you’ll find in-depth detail about an ancestor’s funeral service—right down to the cost of the flowers. You’ll also find informaiton such as the deceased’s age and the date and place of death.

a bacterial disease spread through contaminated food and drinking water. The certificate shows Charles lasted four weeks after the onset of the disease. Additional research could reveal whether other family members succumbed to this highly contagious disease. Tombstones may be the most obvious stop for genealogists researching in cemeteries, but savvy researchers will dig deeper into the records kept at your ancestor’s final resting place. Maybe these documents can bring to life longdormant details about your ancestors. ■ Avowed “tombstone tourist ” J o y N e i g h b o r s is the blogger behind A Grave Interest <agraveinterest.blogspot. com> and the author of The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide (Family Tree Books, <>), from which this

article is excerpted.






MORE ONLINE the funeral after his death from tuberculosis. The funeral service was to take place Jan. 29, 1898, at 8 a.m., and would feature six pallbearers. John’s casket had six handles and was adorned with a cross and a plate that read “Our Father.” He was laid to rest in a burial robe in St. Joseph Cemetery, and the record gives the section and lot number. Seven carriages were hi o transport funeral guests to the cemetery.


Death certificates

Old death certificates are often available through a state or county office, on microfilm at libraries or through FamilySearch, and online at genealogy websites like <>. But they also might be included in cemetery papers, depending on how detailed cemetery officials were. It’s certainly worth a look if you can’t find a death certificate elsewhere. When you do find death certificates among cemetery records, those for burials around the same time can help you identify epidemics that raged through cities. Charles A. Plummer’s death certificate shows he died Aug. 28, 1881, at age 13, in Evansville, Ind. He’d contracted typhoid fever,

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nowwhat? Answers to your genealogy questions

{ B Y D AV I D A . F R Y X E L L }

If you’re using newspaper articles found online, do you cite the article itself or the online location, such as GenealogyBank? Ultimately, it’s up to you, but you could follow the excellent guidelines suggested by the St. Louis Genealogical Society at < on-this-site> (click on Citations: A Guide to Creating Proper Source Citations, and then select Newspaper Records). To cite a digitized newspaper article found online, the guide advises this format: [Author], [“Title of Article,”], [Name of newspaper], [date of newspaper], [Edition] ([URL]: accessed [access date]), [specific content]; [source of the source].

Here’s an example of this model in action: “Fred Orlando, 67; Owned Series of Taverns,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 24 August 1997, Five Star Lift, News; digital images, ( accessed 18 October 2008), citing original p. 13D. Include this type of citation in your genealogy software. In a written family history narrative, use these citations, numbered to correspond to related sections of text, at the bottom of a page

or end of a chapter. For a bibliography of sources at the end of your narrative, follow this model: [Author]. [“Title of Article.”] [Name of newspaper], [date of newspaper]. [URL]: [access date]. A bibliographical listing for the article about Fred Orlando would look like this: “Fred Orlando, 67; Owned Series of Taverns.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 24 August 1997. Digital images. h t t p :// w w w. g e n e a l o g y b a n k . com : 2008.

ORGANIZE YOUR RESEARCH! ě research trackers, record checklists, census recording forms, photo and heirloom inventories, and many more PDF files you can type in, print and save your work See a list of forms on each CD at <>!

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Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R



TAKE YOUR RESEARCH Where can I find Italian baptismal records? The vast majority of Italian families historically belonged to the Catholic Church, which ordinarily baptized infants within a few days of their birth. Catholic baptismal registers usually give the date, name of the priest, names of the infant and parents (only the father in some early records), legitimacy status, and names of witnesses or godparents. Some records also include the child’s birth date, father’s occupation and the family’s place of residence. Search the FamilySearch online catalog < search> by place to see if your ancestors’ parish is microfilmed at the Family History Library. Look under church records headings. Find an index to selected Italian births and baptisms from 1806 to 1900 at < collection/1708706> (also available on <> ). Records from specific parishes are also online, either searchable or digitized for browsing. See the listing at <www. fa m i l ys e a rc h .o r g /s e a rc h /co l l e c t i o n / location/1927178?region=Italy> ; click

Show All Records (scroll down to view collections that aren’t yet searchable). If records from your ancestral parish aren’t microfilmed, try writing to the parish in Italy. Church registers are still maintained by the local parish, although diocesan archives of the may house some duplicates. For sample letters, see < Italy_Letter_Writing_Guide>. A few records of other Italian denominations are available via FamilySearch, including a database of

Waldensian Evangelical records (16791969) < /search/ collection/1861053>. Eastern Orthodox baptismal records, if not on microfilm, are retained by local parishes.


How can I locate places in Denmark? Place names, especially in foreign countries, can be elusive. Some places are so small as to be overlooked on maps, have changed names or simply no longer exist. Fortunately, online gazetteers can help. You might start with a pair of global gazetteer sites: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names <www. tgn> and the Falling Rain Global Gazetteer’s Denmark-specific page <www.> . The Getty

site is searchable and you can use an asterisk as a wildcard at the end of a word (valuable if you’re unsure of the spelling). You must browse Falling Rain, but drilling down in its options can help you get around spelling uncertainties. At <> you can search a database of 59,880 Danish place names and get parish, community and county information. Other geographic databases are at the Danish Geodata Agency <>. Denmark’s original 50 counties were consolidated into 23 larger counties in 1793, and again consolidated in 1970. In 2007, the counties were abolished and replaced with five regions. These changes mean you may have to use old maps, atlases and gazetteers to find ancestral places. Find maps at <www.> and an old gazetteer at < maps/ww2/Denmark_gazetteer.pdf>. 

STUMPED? ASK OUR EXPERT! Send questions to or post them to our Facebook page <www.facebook. com/familytreemagazine>. Sorry, we can’t respond personally or answer all questions.


Join the Family Tree VIP program for advice, tools and resources to enhance your ONLY genealogy $59.99 ($112 VA LUE) search. YOUR ONE-YEAR PAID MEMBERSHIP INCLUDES: » Family Tree Magazine one-year subscription (7 issues) » Members-Only Savings: Log in before you shop for an automatic 10% discount in! Plus, enjoy free shipping and private sales just for VIPs. » Family Tree University discount: VIPs save an extra 10% off registration for live online courses and webinars. » One-year subscription to Family Tree Magazine Plus: Get members-only access to thousands of how-to articles on » Family Tree Toolkit: This VIP-exclusive PDF includes the 101 Best Websites for genealogy, project forms and decorative family tree charts.


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dnasolutions Solving genealogy problems with DNA


Working With No-Tree DNA Matches Q

What do I do with DNA matches that don’t have family trees linked to their results? Are these matches useless?


DNA testers might lack trees for many reasons: They’re primarily interested in ethnicity results. They’re adopted and searching for birth families. They’re brand-new to family history and don’t have a tree to post. They got the test for Christmas and aren’t all that interested in the results. No one’s obligated to provide you with a tree, but admittedly, it can be difficult to do genetic genealogy without one. But these no-tree or private-tree matches are far from useless. First, though, let’s review how to add your own genealogy to your DNA test results, so you’re not the one people are shaking their virtual fists at. At Family Tree DNA <> log in and use the myFamilyTree button on the home page to upload your GEDCOM file. (GEDCOM is the type of file that contains your family tree data. You can export a GEDCOM from your genealogy software or your online tree.) At MyHeritage DNA <www.myheritage. com/dna> and AncestryDNA <ancestry. com/dna> , just link your DNA results to your online tree on the site. At 23andMe <> , you can fill out your profile with limited family information, including a link to an online tree if you have one. Even if you don’t want to post your entire family tree online, consider linking results to a “skeleton” tree with just names, birthdates and birthplaces for ancestors only (parents, grandparents, greatgrandparents, etc.). 62

Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R

Now that you have a tree associated with your DNA account, you’re in a good position to make the most of your match list even if some of those people haven’t yet linked genealogy information to their test results. 1. SEARCH FOR AN UNLINKED TREE.

It’s possible that an Ancestry DNA test-taker who has a family tree on the site just hasn’t taken that extra step to link the tree to his or her test. So when viewing your list of matches, the “no family tree” designation can be deceiving. Click on View Match and then the Pedigree and Surnames tab. There, if the person has an unlinked tree, you’ll see a dropdown menu that lets you select a tree to view (shown on the opposite page). Just remember that your match isn’t necessarily the “home person” in this tree family—for example, it could be a tree the match manages for his spouse. 2. LOOK FOR SHARED MATCHES. Use the Shared Matches tool (called the In Common With tool at Family Tree DNA) to see other test-takers who match both you and the no-tree match. Do any of those matches have trees with surnames and places that are common to your family? If you already know your relationship to one of these shared matches, then you can surmise that you’re related to the no-tree match in a similar way. For example, if your match 2Kool doesn’t have a tree, but you see your mom’s sister in the list of matches you and 2Kool 2017

It’s possible that an Ancestry DNA test-taker who has a family tree on the site just hasn’t taken that extra step to link the tree to his or her test. share, you’ll at least know that 2Kool is related on your maternal side. This is a quick version of triangulating your DNA matches; see the July/August 2017 Family Tree Magazine for more using triangulation to figure out how you’re related to your DNA matches. 3. CHECK IDS. If you still find no hint of a tree, look for clues in the person’s user ID. Your match with the user ID of dbmartin23, for example, might be related to the Martin branch of your family tree. Some are more subtle, such as 14HorseBoy, which actually corresponds to the Colt family. In addition to the user ID, you might see an administrator’s name. At, you also can search for the username in the site’s member directory to look for the person’s message board posts and recently added content. 4. SEE IF THERE’S AN ADMINISTRATOR.

A test administrator is someone who manages the DNA account for another person who took the test. Accounts with the same administrator usually have some kind of shared relationship. One administrator might test both parents and a brother, in addition to


If an AncestryDNA match has a public family tree on that’s not linked to his DNA test, you can view it using the “Select a tree to preview” menu.

herself. So if one of those accounts has pedigree information, it might be useful in your investigation. 5. LOOK UP THE PERSON. Many people have the same or similar username on different websites, so Google <google. com> the username (or part of it) and the word genealogy. You might find an online tree or old message board postings about the person’s family tree. If the user name is an actual name or has a name in it, you might even be able to find the person on Facebook <www.facebook. com> and look for family history clues.

6. ASK. If the no-tree match is a close relative or could be key to your research, it may be worth writing to ask if the person can share some of his family names or has an online tree somewhere that you can look at. (You probably won’t want to send inquiries to all 1,022 of your fifth-to-eighth cousins, though). If the person has a private tree linked to his test results, politely ask if he can send you an invitation to view it. Having gone through the above steps to formulate a guess as to the relationship can help you write a better initial contact


email. Instead of, “Dear Match, please share your pedigree,” you can write, “Hi Cousin! Can you tell me how you’re related to Henry Colt, born in 1872 in Virginia? My grandmother is Eliza Colt, daughter of Henry’s son Charles.” ■

ASK OUR EXPERT! Have a question about your DNA or genetic genealogy research? Email with “DNA Solutions” in the subject line.



documentdetective Uncovering clues in historical records


English Civil Marriage Records 3 ENGLISH AND WELSH civil registration records of births, marriages and deaths can quickly extend your research. Civil registration began July 1, 1837. Before then, beginning in the late 1530s, the Church of England parishes registered christenings, marriages and burials. These civil registrations and parish registers can provide details that help you locate English and Welsh ancestors in resources such as censuses, wills and probate records, newspapers and more records. English and Welsh civil registrations are often called BMDs. They were

recorded in registration districts, which were based on Poor Law Unions formed in 1834. Districts compiled quarterly indexes for births, marriages and deaths, including the name, location, record book volume and page number. The registration district kept completed records and forwarded copies to the General Register Office (GRO) in London <>, which still has them today. Online BMD indexes you can search at <>, FamilySearch <>, Findmypast <>, MyHeritage

<> and the growing FreeBMD <> let you

search names, verify the location and identify the volume and page number for the original document. Then order a certified copy of a record from the GRO. This 1921 civil marriage record identifies the couple and the place where the ceremony occurred, as well as other details that can lead you to more records—and more ancestors. 1 The year of marriage, name of the church and parish, and county of jurisdiction, are key to narrowing your search for additional information.

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2 Recorded marriages were numbered chronologically.

3 Look for parish register entries to corroborate the date the marriage was performed. 4 Use the ages of the groom and bride to estimate the birth year, then look for birth or (if the marriage date is soon enough after the beginning of civil registration in 1837) christening records. 5 Condition indicates the marital status of the couple. A “bachelor” or “spinster” wasn’t previously married. “Widowed” or “divorced” points you to research previous marriages. 6 Addresses for the groom and bride can help you find the nearest previous census. This couple apparently lived together before marriage. 7 The father’s first name and surname is important, allowing you to trace the couple to their parents’ homes and even link them to siblings. Trace the family group in church and parish records, other civil registration records, and censuses.

Get genealogy advice from the experts in the free Family Tree MagazinePodcast, hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke

8 The rank or profession of the father helps

you identify him in records, helpful with common names.

9 The footer contains clues such as the place where the ceremony occurred and how the rites were performed. This marriage occurred at St. John’s Church and was performed according to the customs of the Church of England. 10 This ceremony was performed after marriage banns were announced. Banns were notices read on three successive Sundays in a parish church, announcing an intended marriage and giving the opportunity for objection. Check church records for copies of the banns. The term “license” used here would indicate a nonreligious ceremony. 11 The couple, two witnesses and the officiant signed the record. Witness G. W. Haden may be the bride’s father, in which case we now have a middle initial to differentiate him from someone else. Lily Morgan also may be a relative of the couple; research her for possible connections. 12 The bottom of the certified copy of an

entry of marriage indicates that this is a copy of the registry from the Registration District of Grimsby—another clues to where these people lived and the marriage occurred. 

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Listen in iTunes or at < podcast> <>



Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Alexandria, Madison County, Indiana, 1902, Library of Congress Geography and Map Division

Tech tutorials, reviews and roundups


Find Ancestors’ Homes on Sanborn Maps 3 THE LIBRARY OF Congress announced in May that its collection of nearly 25,000 digitized Sanborn Fire Insurance maps < sanborn-maps/about-this-collection>

would grow to 500,000 over the next three years. Sanborn maps, published to help insurance companies assess a structure’s fire risk, show subdivision names, streets, addresses and building details, such as purpose, composition, windows and doors. The publication schedule varied by the place, and maps after about 1920 might have pasted-on updates. You can locate your ancestor’s address at the time (before street renumbering and renaming) and get a good look at the neighborhood. Here’s how to use this collection to research your ancestors’ places. 66

Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R


Type an ancestor’s city or town (use the full state name) into the search box at the top of the collection home page. I searched for Covington Kentucky, where much of my mom’s family lived. Results had maps published in 1886 and 1894; I chose 1886. Use city directories or censuses published about the same time as the maps to find the addresses or approximate locations of the homes you’re interested in. In 1886, my thirdgreat-grandmother Elizabeth Thoss was a widow at the southeast corner (“sec”) of 13th and Garrard. At the LOC website, click the link for the 1886 Sanborn maps, then click again to “view the 39 images in sequence.” You’ll see thumbnail images of maps in the series. Click Map 1, an


3 2017

index map that shows which map covers each part of the city. You can zoom in and pan around to see street names. For big cities, the last page in the series has an alphabetical street index that also tells which maps cover each street. The intersection of East 13th and Garrard is on Map 30. Return to the page thumbnails using the back arrow or by choosing Gallery from the View pulldown menu and clicking Go. Then click on Map 30. It helps to compare the Sanborn map to a Google map. Thirteenth street runs east/west, but the image shows it north/south because the original map was positioned horizontally on a page in a book (correct orientation is important for locating the southeast corner). You can rotate the map



1 2


using controls in the lower right corner. Elizabeth’s house is No. 133, with a saloon (“sal”) in the front room and a dwelling (“Dwg”) in the rear. Maps are downloadable in several file formats, all the way up to a TIF, via the Download menu at the lower left. Find a key to colors and symbols on the index map, and more information at < sanborn-maps/about-this-collection> . Colors indicate building materials (pink for brick, yellow for wood) or risk level (green is “special”); numbers, stories; Xes, doors; and circles, stovepipes.




» Diane Haddad •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••






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Epson FastFoto FF-640 High Speed Photo Scanning System PRICE: $649.99 MANUFACTURER: Epson America, Inc. <>  SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:  

Windows 7 or newer; Mac OS X 10.6.8 or newer; USB port  BIGGEST DRAWS: fast and easy two-sided photo and document scanning; built-in batch file-naming to organize files as you scan  DRAWBACKS: price; doesn’t scan negatives, slides or cased images; large-size and fragile photos require included carrier sheet

Ease of Use

File organization

Photo/Document Handling

Image Quality


Overall Rating

=so-so =satisfactory =good =great =exceptional

Ease of use

Image quality

The Epson FastFoto FF-640 scanner makes it easy to digitize and label a large collection of old prints and documents. Setup isn’t difficult, and the included Start Here guide takes you to an online video tutorial. Then you’ll navigate to the FF-640 Support page to download the most recent drivers and utilities package. Short video tutorials there give helpful tips you won’t find in the online user’s guide.

Image quality of photos scanned with the FastFoto is excellent for standard-size photos. Prints smaller than 3x5-inches suffered from distortion in my tests. I achieved a true likeness to the original by using the plastic carrier sheet for small and odd-size items.

File organization The FastFoto is designed to archive photos, rather than simply scan them. Group photos by event, date or person, and use software’s easy file-naming and folder prompts. Practice with a few photo sets to establish an efficient workflow that suits your organization system.

Photo/document handling Photos are fed through on soft rollers. The scanner easily handles a stack of 20 to 30 5x7-inch photos (depending on thickness) loaded into a photo tray. After scanning a stack, you’re prompted to add more using the same file name and series, or complete the batch. The scanner quickly digitized my collection of old postcards and created both front and back images in one pass. It took 35 seconds to scan a stack of 20 postcards, both sides, in JPG format at 300 dpi (dots per inch). The same postcards at 600 dpi in JPG format were done in 90 seconds. One creased postcard caused an error message; I released it undamaged by opening the front of the scanner. I noted no abrasion to the postcards. Larger prints (up to 8x10 inches) must be scanned one at a time with the included plastic carrier sheet. I also individually scanned my heirloom carte de visite and cabinet cards. This requires setting a separation lever and manually cropping the digitized image. The scanner can’t digitize slides, negatives or cased images such as daguerreotypes.


Software The FastFoto initiates scanning from a button on the front of the device. Use the included Epson Scan 2 software for filenaming and folder organization, basic image enhancement, enhanced scan resolution and front and back scanning, as well as for uploading to Dropbox <www.> or Google Drive. JPG images are the default output, but you can choose archival quality TIFF file format under Advanced Scanning. Other advanced options include resolution, stitching and image rotation. I’ve used Epson scanners and software for years and rely on Color Restoration features for restoring the original look of faded old photos. This feature is called Image Enhancement in Epson Scan 2 software. You can set this to save both the original and the enhanced image, a new feature I really like. The included ABBYY Fine Reader OCR software is useful for creating editable digital versions of typed material, such as letters, family group sheets and notes. I was pleased to see that the software accurately read my typed postcards and exported the copy to a Microsoft Word document.

The verdict The fast two-sided scanning and easy file-naming features make the FastFoto an efficient way to scan lots of standard 20th-century prints. But when you want to scan your grandmother’s 19thcentury wedding photo, a dedicated flatbed scanner gives excellent results with low risk to the photo—and at less than one-third the cost of the FastFoto. » Denise May Levenick



thetoolkit TUTORIAL

one of them to share. You can’t synchronize an existing RootsMagic tree with an existing tree. TreeShare gives you two options: Upload and Connect or Download and Connect. If you want to upload your RootsMagic tree, select Upload and Connect to upload a RootsMagic file and attached media on your computer to a new tree on Give the new Ancestry tree a name and make it either Public or Private. If you opt to copy an existing tree into a new RootsMagic file, select Download and Connect. Select a Tree Name from the list of your trees and trees others have shared with you, then click on the Download Ancestry Tree button (A). You’ll be prompted to create a new RootsMagic file. After selecting the options you want for the file, click the OK button to download the tree and media (B). Bold icons beside names in TreeShare indicate discrepancies between your RootsMagic file and the tree. You can check the Only Show Changed People box, then select a person’s name to compare the two versions. Click on a box beside a changed event to accept or reject it. For example, you might see a 1900 census event in a relative’s Ancestry tree profile, but not in the RootsMagic file. Click on the box beside the event and a

Use RootsMagic TreeShare to Sync Your Family Tree 2

RootsMagic 7 <> genealogy software for Windows has recently added a major new feature for working with <ancestry. com> : TreeShare. TreeShare lets you automatically synchronize (“sync”) your RootsMagic family tree data to your family tree on When using TreeShare, people, events, source citations, notes and pictures transfer seamlessly between the data you enter into your RootsMagic software and your Ancestry tree—and vice versa. One advantage of this new feature is that you’ll have two up-todate copies of your tree. If you use TreeShare to save your Ancestry trees with their attached records to your computer, you’ll retain access to the records even if you let your membership lapse. But keep in mind that Ancestry trees can’t handle RootsMagic’s to-do lists, research logs or media attached to places or sources, so it isn’t a complete backup of your RootsMagic file. RootsMagic also has added a WebHints feature, which automatically searches’s extensive

collections of family trees, records and photos for matches to your ancestors. RootsMagic already provided searching of FamilySearch <>, Findmypast <> and MyHeritage <>. The addition of searching for records and syncing of family tree data makes the program a research hub for all the largest genealogy websites. These new features are included in a free update for RootsMagic 7 users. RootsMagic Essentials, the free version of the program, lets you upload your family file to, download an online tree from and get new WebHints, but you’ll need the paid version to fully sync your tree between RootsMagic and Ancestry. com. Here’s how to use RootsMagic TreeShare for In RootsMagic, select TreeShare for Ancestry from the Internet menu. This adds an button to the toolbar. From now on, click that button to start TreeShare. If you already have both a RootsMagic tree and an tree, you have to choose




Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R






3a 3b

pop-up window lets you either add it as a new event in RootsMagic or delete the event from the Ancestry tree. When a new person appears in either your RootsMagic file or Ancestry tree, you can choose one of three options: link that person to someone in the other file, add him or her as a new person in the other file, or delete the person from the original file. Your relatives using RootsMagic with TreeShare can collaborate on an Ancestry tree. After the initial upload or download, each user’s RootsMagic file is synced with the Ancestry tree. As users edit their own RootsMagic files or the Ancestry tree, TreeShare lets you decide whether to add the changes to your RootsMagic file. While TreeShare makes it easy to copy events and sources from a Member Tree to RootsMagic, keep in mind that’s source citations are generally nonstandard and less detailed, and its place names don’t match RootsMagic’s standardized ones. TreeShare saves time, but if you want high-quality citations and consistent place names, you’re better off creating them yourself than importing ones generated by Ancestry. 




» Rick Crume •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••



photofinish Reader pictures from the past


Generations Past Photographing a family’s multiple generations, the youngest often being a chubby-cheeked baby, is a tradition stretching back through time. We love these multigenerational photos from readers’ family albums.

“This was taken in 1967 and made the paper,” says Kristie Ebeling, the month-old baby in this clipping from the Slidell-St. Tammany Times. Her greatgreat-grandmother Rosa Sturgis holds her, surrounded by her mother Frances Ila Ebeling, grandfather Jesse Bankster and greatgrandmother Ila Brooks.

Dianne Nolin’s photo shows four generations of women in her family: Sarah Myrtle King, Nolin’s maternal grandmother, born in 1894; Sarah’s mother, Mary Jane Porter; Mary’s mother, Susanna Johnston; and Susanna’s mother, Mary Johnston. This 1914 image shows little Ethel Bounds, grandmother of reader Jennifer Leible, with Ethel’s mother Laura Anna Schutt and grandmother Lillian Georgiana Winslow. 


Family Tree Magazine 3 S E P T E M B E R



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