March, 2007 Ending Free Access for Family History Centers

Ancestry has informed the LDS Church that as of April 1, 2007, it will discontinue free access for Family History Centers to the full service. According to a memo sent to Family History Center directors, free access through to the following databases will continue: 1. Index and images for the 1880, 1900 and 1920 U.S. censuses2. Full name …Continue reading →


The World Is Not Black and White

What on Earth would a Missouri cattle rancher have in common with a Harlem gospel singer? Especially when one is “white” and the other “black”? Well, it seems they’re cousins.The New York Times reported on the family reunion of Marion West and Vy Higginsen (and don’t assume you know which is which from their names alone). DNA brought these cousins …Continue reading →


Three Sisters

[Jasia’s call for submissions for the next Carnival of Genealogy asked writers to choose One Woman (she had italicized just like that). But I’m lucky enough to have found three 20th century pioneers–three sisters with an interesting genealogy that goes to the core of some key historical issues. Some of the following was included in my May 5, 2006 post …Continue reading →


Another Very Interesting Lunch

So on Sunday, the day after I’d met her at the African-American Family History Seminar, I had lunch with my cousin Karen. We got together at Marie Callender’s in Arden-Arcade, California. She had brought along a bag full of photos and information. First, the “back story,” as they say: One of the major brick walls in my research has been …Continue reading →


Seminar Wrap-up

The last two sessions I attended were “Finding Blacks in Historic Newspapers,” and “Neat Tricks with” The concurrent sessions were “Writing Your Family History: From Idea to Manuscript,” “Back to Africa Via DNA Test Results,” “Planning a Research Trip,” and the documentary “Trail of Tears.” Out of the historic newspapers session, I did come away with a new source …Continue reading →


A Very Interesting Lunch . . . .

I sat next to a fellow named Keith Ritchardson from Oakland. He’s developed software to fill in census forms with family-specific information. In other words, you can use the census form as a family group record. I’ve been looking for something like this. I got a CD from him and will evaluate it and report back in this space on …Continue reading →


Slave Owners and Records

My second session is “Slave Owners and Records.” Concurrent sessions are “Your Family Tree and Its Lost Roots,” “Indian Territory Freedman Research,” and “Oral History: You Won’t Find It in a Book.” The presenter of “Slave Records” is Denise Griggs, co-founder of the African-American Genealogical Society of Sacramento. She’s here today with her twin sister. She’s very thorough and has …Continue reading →


Introduction to the Sacramento Regional Family History Center

The LDS folks are gushing with warmth and enthusiasm. For my first session, I’ve decided to take “Introduction to the Regional Family History Center.” I’ve spoken earlier with the co-director, Ron McDowell, a very pleasant man. The other options for the first session are “150 Years of Blacks in Sacramento,” “Scanning and Preserving Records,” and “Uses for DNA Testing in …Continue reading →


LiveBlogging (sorta) The Sacramento African-American Family History Seminar

I’m at the LDS Church at Marconi Boulevard and Eastern Avenue in Arden-Arcade, Sacramento County, California, where today is the Sacramento African-American Family History Seminar. This particular church is the location of the Sacramento Regional Family History Center. Today’s seminar is sponsored by the California Black Chamber of Commerce, the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento City Councilmembers Lauren Hammond …Continue reading →


New Digital Records Online

Utah has now placed online a collection of digital records, including death certificates from 1905 to 1954. The images are as good as Missouri’s, which have often been praised here. And speaking of the Show-Me state, they are rapidly closing in on having all their death certificates from 1910 to 1956 online. They recently released records for 1931, so the …Continue reading →

March 2007
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