Genealogy Blog

The Superbowl for Genealogists

30 Mar 2012

NPR joins the chorus of news media covering the release of the 1940 census on Monday. In the story on All Things Considered, Jeanne Bloom of the Chicago Genealogical Society describes the decennial release of census information as the “Superbowl for Genealogists.”

You can listen to the story online at

Library and Archives Canada Microform Digitisation Project

30 Mar 2012

Over the last few years, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has made great strides in taking advantage of technology to increase access to their collections. Their Microform Digitisation project is increasing access to their collections.

LAC is scanning popular reels of microfilm and making them available online. Among these are passenger lists, border crossing records, and land petitions. Unfortunately, the records are not searchable by name.

Each record set includes a help section that explains the information contained in the records, and how they are organized. Fortunately some of the records, such as the Border Entry, Form 30, 1919–1924, records were organized roughly in alphabetical order, so they are easily browsable. Here is a sample image from the collection:

Canada Border Crossing Sample

Visit for more information, and to view records available online.

Lost Art Sheds Light On Dark History

29 Mar 2012

Family heirlooms can also illustrate historical events of great importance. A new exhibit in Atlanta’s Breman Museum has a new exhibit of family artifacts documenting a dark period in American history: they were made by the 120,000 Japanese placed in internment camps by the United States during World War II. San Francisco author Delphine Hirasuna says: “Most of the objects here were made by non-professionals. They were farmers, they were gardeners, they were fishermen, and they saw what they did as busy work – as a way to pass the time.”

Read more about these precious artifacts and the Breman exhibit on (more…)

The New Mocavo Search Results View: Breaking It Down: One Document, Record & Site at a Time

29 Mar 2012

Today Mocavo introduces our completely revamped search results view, available for both free and Plus users alike. Now when you run a search, Mocavo will break down your search results into four categories for you to browse: All Results, Documents, Records and Full Web. Number of results for each of these categories are also shown.


The documents that you can now search through are those from our Discovery Stream located on our homepage that many of you have already seen. Now, in addition to searching millions of web resources, you can also search millions of pages of documents, all in one fell (more…)

The Power of the Written Word

29 Mar 2012

100 years ago today, explorer Robert Scott and his expedition died on a doomed quest to become the first to reach the South Pole. In his last days, Scott wrote a diary and letters to his supporters. Stranded in his tent without supplies, and literally freezing to death, he used his final hours to write a letter to his wife. He encouraged his wife to encourage their son to take an interest in the natural world. Their son Peter took those words to heart, becoming a founding member of the World Wildlife Fund and a crucial individual in the modern-day conservation (more…)

Families Learn About Cemeteries

28 Mar 2012

The Marshall County Historical Society in Illinois recently ran a program on preserving old cemeteries. Officials from different branches of state government presented, and informed attendees of issues they were not aware of when it comes to working with resting places for the dead. Gary Smith wrote an interesting article about the program in the Peoria Journal Star.

Experts in the Field: Genealogical Societies

28 Mar 2012

In this information age some wonder how useful genealogical societies can be. After all, isn’t everything quickly becoming available online? Serious researchers understand that genealogical societies can be the best investment they make.

Each individual needs to determine which memberships will be the most beneficial. Currently I am a member of seven genealogical societies. Some, such as the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, are locality specific. They help me understand research and resources for those areas on a statewide level. They also provide online access to databases of information, as well as the historical runs (more…)

Mocavo on Genealogy Guys Podcast

27 Mar 2012

Drew Smith and George Morgan maintain the longest-running genealogy podcast, the Genealogy Guys. During the RootsTech conference a few weeks ago, I had the chance to sit with Drew and talk a bit about Mocavo. Our interview is on the most recent podcast, along with interviews of Janet Hovorka from FamilyChartmasters, D. Joshua Taylor of brightsolid, and Elissa Powell from the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. You can listen to the podcast at

The New York Times Reports on Tebow's Ancestry

27 Mar 2012

Newspapers across the country were abuzz this week about quarterback Tim Tebow being traded to the New York Jets. The New York Times took an interesting tack, reporting on Tebow’s ancestry.

His patrilineal immigrant ancestor, Andries Tebow, immigrated to New Jersey in the late seventeenth-century. MetLife Stadium, where he will be playing, is a paltry ten miles away from where his ancestor settled. You can read the full story in the Times.

Ceremonial Launch of 1940 Census

26 Mar 2012

The decennial release of the U.S. census is always a big event. The public distribution of the 1940 census next Monday, April 2, is no exception. The National Archives and Records Administration announced today that there will be a special ceremonial launch at NARA I at 8:30 a.m. EDT that day. Among the speakers are Archivist of the United States David S. Ferreiro and U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves.

The ceremony will be webcast live. A link for the live webcast will be available soon at the official website,