Sunday, March 30, 2008

Family Tree Connection

The 2008 Artistry of Genealogy Awards, sponsored by, awarded the Most Popular Genealogy Data Base to Family Tree Connection .

If you aren't familiar with Family Tree Connection, it is different from other commercial genealogy sites. Family Tree Connection specializes in unusual secondary genealogy sources found nowhere else. Family Tree Connection has the type of records that are from the day-to-day activities and daily lives of your ancestors - the little details that can turn genealogy into a more detailed family history. The materials are compiled from unusual documents, pamphlets and unique out-of-print books that contain genealogical tidbits about people from around the world.

The database is transcribed by hand from documents published between 1830 and 1930 -- including Masonic rosters, rural school and college books, vintage telephone directories, insurance claims, school records, church catalogues, clubs and societies, association memberships orphanage records, railroad employees, insurance claims, obituaries and necrologies, employment records, and lots more. New information is added most every day.

The best way to see if Family Tree Connection has details on your family is to try the free search. If you find a record that you want to further access, there is a small subscription fee to view the entire record.

Family Tree Connection

If you don't find your family, you can sign-up for the FREE Surname Tracker to receive a notice by email whenever new surname information becomes available.

Illya D'Addezio, owner of Genealogy Today, is also the owner of Family Tree Connection

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My American Accent

Randy at GeneaMusings suggested taking a quick quiz called What American Accent Do you Have?

I did and the quiz results were spot on for me. I was born in the city of Philadelphia. I thought the the quiz might find I had a Northeast or East Coast accent. Or I thought I might have picked up some of the accents from the different places I have lived in the country. Nope. The quiz had me pegged:

Your accent is as Philadelphian as a cheesesteak! ... If you've ever journeyed to some far off place where people don't know that Philly has an accent, someone may have thought you talked a little weird even though they didn't have a clue what accent it was they heard.

Now I find this really interesting. Randy at GeneaMusings notes that each child learns to speak in his first four years or so based on his parents and other close family members and friends. But only my mother and one grandparent were born in Philadelphia. My father and my other three grandparents were born in Europe and spoke their Philadelphia English with European accents.

Also, I have been away from Philadelphia for years and have lived in different parts of the country. Any accent I might have had, I thought was long gone. Mellowed out. Not true, apparently.

I was curious about which questions in the quiz showed that I had a Philadelphia accent. Wikipedia describes the Philadelphia accent and I found many of the word examples from the article that are questions in the quiz. And How the Accents Sound Different shows how the word examples in the quiz are pronounced in different part of the country, but don't read these articles until you have taken the quiz.

Go ahead and take the quiz. It's fun and interesting.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bad Baby Names I Have Found

I haven't had a chance to read Bad Baby Names: The Worst True Names Parents Saddled Their Kids With, and You Can Too! yet, but it looks like great fun. The authors of this book have combed the U.S. federal census records to find the absolute worst names parents have given their children. They found names like Fanny Pack, Fanny Whiffer, Post Office, Al Caholic, Anita Bath, and Amanda Hugginkiss.

I'd like to add my contribution to names in the census that I found to be rather interesting combinations. I hate to say these are bad names - the parents who picked these names must have liked them, but I wonder what the people who bore these names throughout their lives thought.

Weather seems to be a theme. I have found people named Frost Snow, Early Frost, Early Snow, Summer Snow, Summer Weathers, Stormy Winters & Sleet Rainey.

Perhaps these parents might have had grandiose plans for their children when they gave them the first name of King - I found children in the U.S. census called King John, King David, and King George.

These parents seem to be thinking about one thing when they gave their children names related to money: Dollar Quarter, Dollar Cash, Money Grant, Money Persons & Money None.

Some interesting names with a produce theme are Orange Field, Orange Woods, Orange Hill, Strawberry Field, & Lettuce House.

Perhaps these parents were thirsty when they named their children Pearley Waters, Dewey Waters, and Drink Perier.

And the person who would be great to have as a family member: Rich Cousin.

You can search the U.S. census online for free at to find your own Bad Baby Names. See what you can find.

Friday, March 21, 2008

National Archives and Announce 'The Wall'

Search Military Records - Fold3

National Archives and Fold3 (formerly Hold Press Conference to Announce 'The Wall'
Interactive online Vietnam War Memorial makes war records more widely available .

WHAT: A press conference to unveil a new interactive online Vietnam War Memorial, featuring the largest photo of the Wall on the Web.

WHO: Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein, Russell Wilding, CEO, James Hasting, Director of Access Programs, National Archives

WHEN: 10 A.M., Wednesday, March 26, 2008

WHERE: Archivist's Reception Room National Archives 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Press should use Pennsylvania Avenue entrance.

BACKGROUND: Fold3 (formerly , in partnership with the National Archives, has extracted information from National Archives electronic records of each Vietnam casualty and linked it to each name on the Wall. The casualty records are from the Combat Area Casualties Current File from the records of the Secretary of Defense and from Records with Unit Information on Military Personnel Who Died during the Vietnam War, from records that were donated to the National Archives by Richard Coffelt, Richard Arnold, and David Argabright. In addition to the casualty records for these men and women, will be scanning National Archives photos and casualty reports from the Vietnam War.

Fold3 (formerly has incorporated social tools into this project, enabling visitors to search the Wall for names of people they knew and pay tribute by adding photos, comments and stories of those who lost their lives during the Vietnam War.

/PRNewswire-USNewswire -- March 20/

I have visited the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D. C. many times and still find visiting the memorial with its 58,249 names carved into black granite to be a powerful and emotional experience. The sheer size of the Wall certainly brings home the magnitude of how many paid the ultimate sacrifice during this war. Every time I have visited, I have seen people placing flowers against the Wall under their loved one's name; I have seen people rubbing a carved name from the wall onto paper to take home; I have seen people standing in silence touching a name on the wall; I have seen Vietnam vets revisiting their dead comrades; and I have seen people of all ages paying homage to the sacrifice of these men and women.

I hope the electronic Wall at Fold3 (formerly where we can pay electronic tribute by adding photos, comments and stories of those who lost their lives during the Vietnam War will bring the same powerful and emotional experience to those who cannot visit the Wall in person.

The Vietnam Wall at will be free for all.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Fix for the Family Tree Maker 2008 Autentication Error

I've been a happy user of FTM 2008 since it was first introduced.

But yesterday when I opened Family Tree Maker 2008 and tried to access through the program, I got the dreaded "authentication with the server failed" error. This was a problem with FTM2008 when it was first introduced, but I thought it had been fixed with a patch.

The error was generally caused by a user's computer clock being set at the wrong day or time. Since this was the first time I opened FTM since we changed the clock for Daylight Savings Time, my thought was " Uh-oh, I have the authentication error because my computer clock got out of sync when the clocks got changed for DST".

Here are the steps I took to fix the problem for me. It only took a few minutes.

  • In FTM, I went to the Help > Check for Update to make sure I had the latest updates for FTM. When I clicked on this, my progam told me I had all the updates. But if you get the authentication error and do not have the latest update, download it now. There was a patch introduced to help solve the problem.
  • On the computer where I am running FTM, I went to Control Panel > Dates, Time, Language & Reginal Options > Date & Time to make sure my computer clock was set to the correct day and time. Mine was, but if you have gotten the authentication error, and your clock is incorrect, set it to the correct day and time now. You can simply double-click on the time in the lower right hand of your computer screen. Be sure to check both the day and time. This is the major cause of the authentication error.
  • When all else fails to fix a computer problem, I reboot my computer. So I closed all my programs, turned off the computer, waited a few minutes and then turned it back on. This time, when I opened FTM 2008 and tried to search, I no longer received the authentication error. The computer reboot fixed the authentication error for me.

One other thing to check is if you connect to the internet using dial-up and you are using an accelerator, you may get the authentication error until you deactivate the accelerator .

If these steps still haven't fixed the authentication error for you, your next step should be to call tech support at 1-800-ancestry.

Here are many of the features I found in FTM2008 when I first tried to program - FTM 2008 Thoughts

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Legacy Charting Available Free for Limited Time

Legacy Charting Pre-Release Edition Now Available For Free Download

From the Legacy Family Tree software desk:

We are getting closer to the release of Legacy Family Tree version 7. We are just as anxious as you are for the great new features to come, but we also want to be sure that we haven't overlooked anything.

One of the biggest new features will be the ability to create large-scale wall charts, including drop-down descendancies, fan charts, hourglass charts, and many others. This part of Legacy 7 is nearly complete, and we are now "officially" inviting you to take it for a free test drive.

Legacy Charting will be included with Legacy 7 Deluxe edition, but until June 15, 2008, this special pre-release edition is freely available to everyone.

Key features:

Creates 18 different types of family charts
  • All charts are easily customizable
  • Choose the number of generations to be displayed
  • Select the contents of each box
  • Pick from a variety of color themes, including the popular 4-color coding system
  • Select from a variety of beautiful backgrounds and page borders
  • Insert your own pictures and clipart
  • Easily email any chart to family members
  • Export to .pdf, .bmp, .jpg, .png, .tiff, .psd
  • Order a wall chart and have it delivered to your front door
  • Includes a thorough help reference system for easy reference

System Requirements:
Windows 98 or higher (including Vista); 20 mb free hard disk space; 256mb RAM
FREE for the pre-release edition

Download now:
Legacy Charting

These wall charts are compatible with Family Tree Maker, Personal Ancestral File (PAF), Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic, and GEDCOM files. The charts include ancestor charts, descendant charts, mother’s trees, father’s trees, fan charts, hourglass charts, bow tie charts, and DNA charts. I'm looking forward to giving the wall charting a test drive and to the release of Legacy 7.