Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ancestry Newspaper Collection has doubled the size of its Historical Newspaper Collection, adding a billion names and over 20 million images. And they're offering free access until June 19.

Searching the Ancestry Newspaper Collection or any newspaper collection is a little bit different than searching other genealogy databases and here are a few tips for better success:

  • If you don't see your hometown newspaper in the list of available newspapers, don't despair. Just like today, articles from one newspaper are reprinted in other newspapers near and far. I found a 100 year old article about a NJ cousin in newspapers as far away as Alaska. If you are not successful in the state where you think the article should be, check other states.

  • Sometimes newspapers refer to people by Mr. and Mrs. instead of their first names, and many times refer a woman by her husband's name; i.e. Mrs. John Smith. Try searching by just a surname. And search for a woman by both her name and her husband's name.

  • Use quotes whenever possible in the keyword field to minimize false results.

  • Try changing criteria if you are unsuccessful in a search. I was searching for articles about a railroad explosion that took place in Locust Gap, PA. When I entered Locust Gap in location field as "exact", it didn't find the article. When I unticked the "exact" field, it found the articles. Go figure.

Friday, June 13, 2008

World Archives Project doesn't want the world's stories to disappear so they are creating the World Archives Project to help preserve these records. I signed up to help index at and I received this email this morning:

What’s the World Archives Project? The World Archives Project will allow people all over the world to collaborate to preserve the world’s historical records. It will give genealogists the opportunity to network and share resources, preserve records that might have otherwise been overlooked — and create free indexes for others pursuing family research.

When and how can you get involved?We began alpha testing the World Archives Project in May and we’ve planned beta testing for July. When beta testing begins, you’ll be one of the first people invited to try the new World Archives Project tool. Look out for an email from us in July.

Quite honestly, I was a little leary at first volunteering to give free help to a commercial corporation. Then I read that "That’s why we’re creating the World Archives Project, to let anyone help preserve the contents of these valuable documents in indexes that will remain FREE to the public." Indexes? We'll see how it all shakes out. I really want to help get a much genealogy info online as soon as possible.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Irish Names in the French-Canadian Drouin Collection at Ancestry

The French- Canadian Drouin Collection Also Contains Records of Irish Immigrants

The Drouin Collection of Quebec records that spans the years 1621 to 1967 - (yes, 346 years of records) - has over 30 million names taken from baptism, marriage and burial records of Quebec, as well as church records from Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and some of the New England states. Those with French-Canadian ancestry should be very excited.

Surprisingly, many people of Irish descent will also find their ancestors' name in these French-Canadian records because many Irish immigrated to and lived in Quebec before coming to the U.S. My own Irish ancestors lived in Montreal in the 1830's before coming to Pennsylvania and I found the birth records of two of their children in the Drouin Collection. If you have Irish ancestors, it might be worth a look to see if your ancestors came to the United States via Quebec. For example, there are over 20,000 search results for the Irish name Murphy, and over 10,000 for the Irish name Sullivan in the Drouin Collection.

Records in the Drouin Collection can be searched in French or English by name, date, place, church or institution, and religion. You will find some of the records of Irish immigrants are recorded in French. You can use this French Genealogy Glossary to help translate.

This collection is only available online through a subscription to but you can view them via a Free Trial or at your local Family History Center.

Read more about the Drouin Collection

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Legacy 7.0 is officially released!

Legacy 7.0 genealogy software is officially released -- check out the web site for the newest version of this great software. There is a tour of the new edition plus a comparison chart to other software programs. You can also download the software from the website - no need to wait for the disk to arrive in the mail.

Legacy Website

Legacy 7 genealogy software comes in two versions.

  • Legacy 7.0 Standard edition is free.
  • Legacy 7.0 Deluxe has everything that the Standard Edition has and much more.

Both versions can be downloaded directly from the Legacy Website . I've heard reports of slow servers, but it downloaded quickly for me.

Legacy 7.0 Deluxe