5 Tips to Help You Navigate the Confusing Maze of Surname Variations

Question: What do Sean Gough, Jean Lefevre, Giovanni Ferrari, Juan Herrero, Ivan Kowalski, Hans Schmidt, Jan Kowalski and Janos Kovacs have in common?

Answer: In Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, respectively, all are the equivalent of John Smith. [Source: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/ROOTS/2004-11/1100278847]

This Q&A is an excellent reinforcer of the notion that as genealogists we need to look beyond the familiar. We need to think outside the box. Coming from a different culture we might assume if we find an ancestor named Janos Kovacs that it's an unusual name. But that may not be the case!

I recently learned that my maiden name of McGinnis is one of the most common names in Ireland. My son is a Schulze. I thought that was an unusual name but in Germany it’s very commonplace.

Tips to Help You Navigate the Confusing Maze of Name Variations

1. Don’t be confused by spelling. How often have you found a name in a census or other genealogy record, that was close to the name you were seeking but not exactly the same? My Peer ancestors have also had their name recorded as Pier, Pear, Peare and Pierre. Don't discard a record with a variant spelling of your name! Remember spelling didn't "count” and it was not consistent before the early 1900s. Many of our ancestors had little or no schooling and often they could not write their own names. That meant they could not verify that the way their name was recorded was in fact correct.

2. Foreign accents also confused English speaking clerks and that is when phonetics kicked in with clerks and census takers recording what they heard. If you are puzzled by a document, say the name out loud. Does it sound like the name you are looking for? Perhaps it is!

3. The surname you found may be the result of an error in transcribing or indexing. Look for the original document to verify what was written. Handwriting and formation of letters changed over the centuries. Early forms of the letter “S” can be mistaken for an “L” and vice versa. I once attempted in vain to explain to a client that her ancestor's name was not Lamuel but Samuel.

The double “ss” in a surname was frequently written in a way that we read it as “fs. My husband's Massey ancestors are frequently found erroneously indexed as Mafsey. 

4. Look at other clues such as spouse, children, ages, occupation, location, etc. Could the individual you found be your ancestor?

5. Remember that your ancestor may have deliberately changed his name or may be using an abbreviated form of it. It might also be a nickname that has become the surname in use.

Case Studies

Van Valkenburg to Vollick and Follick: My great-grandmother’s surname was Vollick. Often it was recorded as Follick. Other variations I found in documents are Valck, Volk, Valic, Falic, Folic, Falk, and Falck. Why "V" and "F" interchangeably? Because the Dutch-German "V" can sound like "F" to English speaker's ears. Remember that whoever was writing out that original record may have been an English speaking person listening to a different accent. He would write what he heard, in other words, phonetic spelling was the key to recording documents.

SophiSpirbeck-s
Petition of Sophia Spirbeck regarding her father Storm’s surname incorrectly recorded as Follick instead of Vollick. Notation from witness that Storm’s surname Vollick is generally pronounced Follick. Source: Upper Canada Land Petitions on Library & Archives Canada http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/land/land-petitions-upper-canada-1763-1865/Pages/search-petitions-upper-canada.aspx

As I methodically researched back from my last known Vollick ancestor I discovered to my surprise that his birth surname was Van Valkenburg! He apparently was known by his nickname of Valk which over time became Vollick. How would I ever have found my ancestor if I hadn't kept an open mind and looked at other clues? And much to my initial surprise, Van Valkenburg is not an unusual name.

Le Roy to Larroway: When Leonard-Tremi Le Roy left Quebec for New York, his name was misinterpreted by Dutch recorders as "Jonar" and then "Jonas". His surname Le Roy (pronounced Le Raw) was misinterpreted as Larrowa which evolved into Larroway.

So be aware that bad handwriting, inability to spell, accents, and other events can change an ancestor's name - and don't be too quick to assume, for example, that Leonard-Tremi Le Roy is not your 5th great grandfather Jonas Larroway. If both men have the same wives and children, same birth year, same place of birth, and siblings who are identical, you can be pretty sure that you've found the right ancestor in the confusing maze of names in genealogy research.

Helpful Links

Surname Variations found in Ireland at http://www.rootsireland.ie/ifhf/surnames.php

The University of Pittsburgh’s Slovak Studies Program at http://www.pitt.edu/~votruba/qsonhist/lastnamesslovakiahungary.html

Norway Heritage shares common Norwegian names at http://www.norwayheritage.com/norwegian-names.htm

Dutch Patronymics of the 1600s at http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/nn/pat.shtml


Lorine McGinnis Schulze is a Canadian genealogist who has been involved with genealogy and history for more than thirty years. In 1996 Lorine created the Olive Tree Genealogy website and its companion blog. Lorine is the author of many published genealogical and historical articles and books.


Have Swedish Roots and Don't Know How to Get Started? Free webinar by Kathy Meade now online for limited time

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The recording of today's excellent webinar, "Have Swedish Roots and Don't Know How to Get Started?" by Kathy Meade PLUS the after-webinar party is now available to view for free at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for a limited time. Some great comments:

  • Great info for a rank beginner at Swedish research ! Kathy sure knows her stuff!
  • I would rate this actually as a 10+. Kathy Mead was amazing, lots of tips, lots of links, and she was very knowledgeable!! I am looking forward to her next webinar in September!! I have just started on filling in more information on my Swedish ancestors and now I have lots of new ideas! Thank you Kathy Meade, excellent Webinar. Thank you Geoff and Legacy for providing wonderful Webinars!
  • Another wonderful Webinar and After Party. These are the best. Just renewed membership for year 3! Thanks for all you do.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 44 minute recording of "Have Swedish Roots and Don't Know How to Get Started?" PLUS the after-webinar party is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - sweden - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, July 27, 2015.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 248 classes, 367 hours of genealogy education)
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  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
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Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year (that's about the cost of 5 webinar CDs)
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Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Storyboard Your Family History by Lisa Alzo. July 29.
  • Mending Broken Ties: Reconstructing Family Trees Sawed by Slavery by Melvin J. Collier. July 31.
  • What's in a Name? Trouble! by Ron Arons. August 5.
  • Power Platting - Technology Tools to Create Pictures from Property Descriptions by Chris Staats. August 12.
  • Discovering Your Kentucky Ancestors by Mark Lowe. August 19.
  • Digital Family Reunions by Devin Ashby. August 21.
  • German Names and Naming Patterns by Jim Beidler. August 26.
  • Break Down Brick Walls in Eastern European Research - Tips, Tools and Tricks by Lisa Alzo. September 2.
  • Research Your Swedish Ancestors in Living Color Using ArkivDigital Online by Kathy Meade. September 9.
  • Technology and Techniques for Differentiating Two People with the Same Name by Geoff Rasmussen. September 11.
  • Researching Your Dutch Ancestors by Yvette Hoitink. September 16.
  • Researching Your Ancestors in England and Wales by Kirsty Gray. September 23.
  • Maps Tell Some of the Story for the African-Ancestored Genealogist by Angela Walton-Raji. September 25.
  • Using Periodicals to Find Your Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega. September 30.
  • Wearables and Genealogy - Wacky and Wild or Worth the Wait by Thomas MacEntee. October 7.
  • Colonial Immigration - The English Pioneers of Early America by Beth Foulk. October 14.
  • Billions of Records, Billions of Stories by Devin Ashby. October 16.
  • What Happened to the State of Frankland - Using Tennessee's Pre-Statehood Records by Mark Lowe. October 21.
  • Complex Evidence - What is It? How Does it Work? And Why Does it Matter? by Warren Bittner. October 28.
  • Researching with Karen! by Karen Clifford. November 4.
  • Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy by Diahan Southard. November 11.
  • Bringing it All Together and Leaving a Permanent Record by Tom Kemp. November 13.
  • Mapping Madness by Ron Arons. November 18.
  • Stories in Stone - Cemetery Research by Gail Blankenau. December 2.
  • Thinking about Becoming an Accredited Genealogist? by Apryl Cox and Kelly Summers. December 9.
  • Pointing Fingers at Ancestors' Siblings - Breaking Down Brick Walls with Collateral Research by Marian Pierre-Louis. December 16.

Click here to register. Or click here register for multiple webinars at the same time.

Print the 2015 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


Families 2.3.0 (Legacy's mobile app) update now available

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Got a smartphone or mobile device? Take your Legacy family files with you on the go! I have the Families app on my Samsung Galaxy S4 phone and love it. And while it provides the ability to do data entry in the app, I just like knowing that I can view my Legacy files wherever I am.

Click here to purchase Families.

Click here to watch a webinar about Families.

A new update (free) was recently announced, version 2.3.0, and available for both iOS and Android. In addition to some minor bug fixes, it now supports the following additional languages:

  • Dutch
  • German
  • Italian
  • Danish
  • Swedish
  • Norwegian (Bokmål)

Visit the app stores on your mobile device to download the update.


2nd Annual Worldwide FamilySearch Indexing event - August 7-14, 2015

I'll be there. I hope you will join me, and 100,000 others! If you're not registered, visit http://familysearch.org/indexing. Here's the announcement:

A record-setting 100,000 online volunteers are expected to participate in the second annual Worldwide Indexing Event, facilitating millions of discoveries for eager family history researchers. Scheduled for August 7–14, the event will show how anyone with a computer and Internet connection can help “Fuel the Find” by making information from historical documents easily searchable online.

What Does It Mean to “Fuel the Find”?  

Indexed (transcribed) historical records are like the fuel that powers genealogical search engines such as FamilySearch.org, enabling people to find missing or unknown branches in their family trees. Beyond simple name searches, indexed records also allow FamilySearch.org to provide patrons with highly relevant and accurate hints, essentially bringing the records of their ancestors to them automatically. Every name that a volunteer indexes from a historical record adds another drop of precious fuel that can ultimately help someone easily and quickly find a missing ancestor.

International Language Emphasis

Already one of the largest and most successful volunteer transcription programs in history with more than 1.3 billion records indexed since 2007,FamilySearch indexing is looking toward this year’s event to launch an expanded push for indexed records in languages other than English. Currently FamilySearch.org offers 20 times more searchable records in English than in all other languages combined. To balance this ratio, people with fluency in other languages, especially French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, are being sought as indexing volunteers.

“Family history research in English-speaking countries is a dream compared to research in other parts of the world,” said Mike Judson, manager of FamilySearch’s indexing workforce development. “Our goal is to make research for our friends in other lands as joyful and productive as it is in the United States, Great Britain, and other English-speaking countries. To do this we need tens of thousands of volunteers with well-developed language skills to step forward and use those talents to bless others’ lives. We have the records—now we just need the hands.”

To help volunteers with language skills to get started, FamilySearch indexing has launched carefully chosen indexing projects in its four focus languages of French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Special training guides are now available to help new and experienced English indexers with skills in these languages to quickly familiarize themselves with how to index these particular records.

New One-Week Record Anticipated 

Last year’s Worldwide Indexing Event established a one-week record of 91,721 participants. This year, more than 100,000 participants are expected. To be counted, each volunteer must submit at least one indexing or arbitration batch sometime during the week. Volunteers and potential volunteers can visit FamilySearch.org/indexingevent2015 to learn more, including strategies for avoiding high demand periods that may tend to slow down the indexing system.  

  

 © 2015 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. A service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Register for Webinar Wednesday - Have Swedish Roots and Don't Know How to Get Started? by Kathy Meade

Sweden
Logowhite

Learn how to trace your Swedish roots this Wednesday. This webinar, presented by Kathy Meade and hosted by Legacy Family Tree Webinars will cover naming patterns, Swedish spellings, and how to locate parishes. The presentation will provide an overview of emigration records, passenger lists, census records, and church records--and how to locate and use these valuable resources.

Join us and Kathy Meade for the live webinar Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

Registerbut

Or register for multiple webinars at once by clicking here.

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On the Upcoming Webinars tab, login to view the webinars you are already signed up for (available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers).

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Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

Meadekathy-144Kathy Meade is the North American representative for ArkivDigital AD AB, a company that offers online access to newly photographed images of Swedish historical records. Kathy has spent more than ten years giving presentations, writing articles and helping persons with Swedish genealogy. She serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Nordic Family Genealogy Center at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago. Kathy spent seven years living and working in Sweden and Norway where she learned to read both languages.

View Kathy's other webinars here.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. Check at www.java.com.
  6. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  7. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Ancestors please! How to ask for help online

Do you remember in the old days when we had to ask for help about an ancestor by submitting a written query to a publication like Everton's Genealogical Helper? The other direct way was to write to people who had the same surname and hope that they would respond and have a common ancestor.

Things have changed since then! So much of what we do as genealogists in now online. What hasn't changed is that we still need to ask people for help. We still need information that can only be found locally and we need information that is unpublished and resides only in personal family archives.

Asking for help online can be frustrating especially when you are crowd-sourcing, in other words asking a group of people to help you find an answer or give you suggestions.

WalleckJoseph-1916-deathcert-small
Death Certficate for Joseph Walleck, 1916, from the Pennsylvania, Death Certificates database, 1906-1963, on Ancestry.com

When the internet first started,  genealogists went in droves to forums such as provided by Ancestry.com and Rootsweb. While forums are still important, we are just as likely to make connections by posting on our Facebook wall or a Facebook group dedicated to a surname or a geographic location such as a county.

The great thing about asking questions online is that genealogists truly want to help. The trick is making a positive experience for both the person seeking the information and the person providing it.

Here are some tips to help make the experience a good one for both you and the people helping you. For the record, I have made all of these mistakes myself! I'm hoping after I write this post that I will get all those errors out of the way!

1) Ask a specific question

It's fine to start by saying that you want to research Pleasant Ann Clawson, born 1823 and died 1902 in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, that doesn't really tell people exactly what you are after. Pleasant Ann is my 3rd great grandmother. What I really need to know is who were her parents.  Better to start with "Who were the parents of Pleasant Ann Clawson, (1823-1902)?" so that people can help you answer exactly what you are looking for.

Likewise, my 2nd great grandfather, Joseph Walleck came over from "Bohemia" around 1863. A specific question to ask would be "Where in Bohemia did Joseph Walleck (1841-1916) come from? That will tell people that you are focused on his ancestral origins rather than his history in the United States. This question will also alert Bohemian-experienced  genealogists that you need help with immigration or information about the old country.

2) Provide an overview of what you know

The number one thing that happens when you ask people for help is that they want to help you! While this is wonderful it also begins the frustrating dance of watching people do the exact same research you have already spent hundreds of hours doing on your target ancestor. Then you end up,  bit by bit, dripping out the details of what you have already found. Yes, there are two people in that county with the same name. No, they are not the same person. No, my ancestor wasn't married twice.

The best way to help yourself and those who want to help you is to provide to them what you already know. The thing is you can't easily do that in a Facebook post. There isn't enough space. The best solution is to write a profile of your ancestor in a blog post, preferably with citations, that lists everything you already know about them. That allows you to share a short link on Facebook. Anyone who is truly interested will click the link to find out what you know before they start helping you.

If you're not keen on writing a profile you could create a simple document list and sort it by source. For instance, you could list all the documents you found on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org etc. and perhaps provide links to the documents. Then the people who want to help you will see what you have already found and skip those searches.

3) Thank everyone for their help

This may seem obvious, but be sure to thank everyone for their help even if they weren't able to provide any new information. This is the number one complaint I hear from volunteers who help others with their research. After the information is sent off not so much as a thank you is ever sent in reply. I can understand why this happens. Perhaps the person receiving the email got new ideas from the information and they went off searching again as genealogists are bound to do. Then they simply forgot about the person who sent the email. Try to send that thank you email right away. It will make a great impression and will encourage that person to help you and others in the future.


Marian Pierre-Louis is the Social Media Marketing Manager for Legacy Family Tree. She is also the host of The Genealogy Professional podcast. Check out her webinars in the Legacy library.


New Legacy QuickTip Video - Working With Gaps

We have another great Legacy QuickTip Video for you today! Learn:

  • How to identify possible "gaps of unusual size" in Legacy, such as the first child was born too long after the marriage, too many years between the births of children, and more
  • How to turn on or off individual potential problem symbols
  • How to create a list of potential problems in your family file

This QuickTip was presented live during the after-webinar party of this week's Researching With Karen 2! webinar by Karen Clifford.

Click here for the video.

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Click here for more Legacy QuickTip videos.


More than 370,000 high-quality digital images of Ireland Parish Records now online for free

Ireland

National Library of Ireland Launches Parish Records Website!

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has said that the digitisation of its holding of parish records should transform and greatly enhance genealogy services in Ireland.  The NLI today (08.07.15) officially launched a new web-repository of parish records, dating from the 1740s to the 1880s. 

Speaking at the launch of the new site, the Acting Director of the National Library, Catherine Fahy said:  “The Library’s holding of parish records are considered to be the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census.  Up to now, they have only been accessible on micro-film and, as such, those interested in accessing the records had to visit the National Library.  This new web resource provides unlimited access to all members of the public to records covering 1,086 parishes from throughout the island of Ireland. 

“This access to the parish records will be transformative for genealogy services, in particular as they will allow those based overseas to consult the records without any barriers.  Effectively, the digitisation of the records is an investment in community, heritage and in our diaspora-engagement,” said Ms Fahy. 

The parish registers website will contain more than 370,000 high-quality, digital images of microfilm reels. 

The National Library microfilmed the parish records in the 1950s and 1960s.  Some additional filming of registers from a small number of Dublin parishes took place during the late 1990s. 

As a result of this work, the NLI holds microfilm copies of more than 3,550 registers from the vast majority of Catholic parishes in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The start date of the registers varies from the 1740/50s in some city parishes in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick, to the 1780/90s in counties such as Kildare, Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny. Registers for parishes along the western seaboard generally do not begin until the 1850/1860s.  

Catherine Fahy said: “Apart from this being the Library’s most significant genealogy project, this project is our most ambitious digitisation programme to date. The website builds on and extends the NLI's existing digital library infrastructure, leveraging many open-source technologies.  It has been designed to be fully responsive, working across mobile, tablet and desktop devices.” 

“In using the website for family or community searches, we would recommend that members of the public consult with their local family history resource to help them refine their search.  The website does not contain any transcripts or indexes, so for a search to be successful, some known facts about a person’s life will be necessary.  Effectively, those who access the new online resource will be able to cross-reference the information they uncover, and identify wider links and connections to their ancestral community by also liaising with local genealogical services or family history resources.” 

Speaking at today’s launch An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD, said: “I would like to congratulate the National Library on their project to make the Catholic Parish registers available online.  Given the devastating fire in the Four Courts in 1922, in which so many records were lost, these registers are considered the single most important record of Irish life prior to the 1901 census.   

“They will be of great value to experts in the areas of history and genealogy, but also of tremendous interest to people here in Ireland and the Irish diaspora around the world.  No doubt the registers will contribute to the number of genealogical tourists to Ireland, as people of Irish descent access these records online and decide to visit their ancestral home place.” 

Minister Heather Humphreys said: “This new digital resource will help people at home and abroad who are interested in tracing their ancestry. The website provides access to church records dating back up to 270 years and includes details like the dates of baptisms and marriages, and the names of the key people involved. The records feature the baptisms of some very well-known historical figures, such as the 1916 Leaders Padraig Pearse and Thomas McDonagh. 

“Making this kind of material available online should help to boost genealogy tourism, and will complement the work of local historical centres in communities around the country. As we approach the centenary of the 1916 Rising next year, I am keen to make as much historical material as possible available online, so we can encourage people around the world to reconnect with their Irish roots.” 

Online access to the new website is free of charge. 

For more information, visit http://registers.nli.ie/.

Ireland Webinars

Want to learn more about how to find your Irish ancestors? Our webinar library has nine classes to either get you started with Irish research or to help you with the more advanced research techniques. Click here for the classes.


Making a Federal Case Out Of It by Judy Russell - subscribers-only webinar now available to watch

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The recording of last Friday's members-only webinar, "Making a Federal Case Out of It" by Judy Russell is now available to view for our webinar subscribers at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com. Some great comments:

  • I am not sure I would have had the courage to tackle this level of research without the guidance of an experienced legal researcher like Judy Russell. Without downplaying the obstacles, she gave a clear path through the steps needed to open up what is clearly an area rich with genealogical information. So, heads in I go! Thanks, Judy.
  • I could listen to Judy every day of the week. I love her delivery, her knowledge, and her presentations. That today's webinar was "members only" is just one more reason to have a membership with Legacy...so worth it!!
  • I just love Judy Russell! She is such a wonderful presenter. Can't wait to hear her again, in fact, I'm going to listen to one of her old webinars now! (smile)

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 28 minute recording of "Making a Federal Case Out Of It" is now available to view in our webinar library. Watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 247 classes, 364 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,071 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year (that's about the cost of 5 webinar CDs)
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Have Swedish Roots and Don't Know How to Get Started? by Kathy Meade. July 22.
  • Storyboard Your Family History by Lisa Alzo. July 29.
  • Mending Broken Ties: Reconstructing Family Trees Sawed by Slavery by Melvin J. Collier. July 31.
  • What's in a Name? Trouble! by Ron Arons. August 5.
  • Power Platting - Technology Tools to Create Pictures from Property Descriptions by Chris Staats. August 12.
  • Discovering Your Kentucky Ancestors by Mark Lowe. August 19.
  • Digital Family Reunions by Devin Ashby. August 21.
  • German Names and Naming Patterns by Jim Beidler. August 26.
  • Break Down Brick Walls in Eastern European Research - Tips, Tools and Tricks by Lisa Alzo. September 2.
  • Research Your Swedish Ancestors in Living Color Using ArkivDigital Online by Kathy Meade. September 9.
  • Technology and Techniques for Differentiating Two People with the Same Name by Geoff Rasmussen. September 11.
  • Researching Your Dutch Ancestors by Yvette Hoitink. September 16.
  • Researching Your Ancestors in England and Wales by Kirsty Gray. September 23.
  • Maps Tell Some of the Story for the African-Ancestored Genealogist by Angela Walton-Raji. September 25.
  • Using Periodicals to Find Your Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega. September 30.
  • Wearables and Genealogy - Wacky and Wild or Worth the Wait by Thomas MacEntee. October 7.
  • Colonial Immigration - The English Pioneers of Early America by Beth Foulk. October 14.
  • Billions of Records, Billions of Stories by Devin Ashby. October 16.
  • What Happened to the State of Frankland - Using Tennessee's Pre-Statehood Records by Mark Lowe. October 21.
  • Complex Evidence - What is It? How Does it Work? And Why Does it Matter? by Warren Bittner. October 28.
  • Researching with Karen! by Karen Clifford. November 4.
  • Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy by Diahan Southard. November 11.
  • Bringing it All Together and Leaving a Permanent Record by Tom Kemp. November 13.
  • Mapping Madness by Ron Arons. November 18.
  • Stories in Stone - Cemetery Research by Gail Blankenau. December 2.
  • Thinking about Becoming an Accredited Genealogist? by Apryl Cox and Kelly Summers. December 9.
  • Pointing Fingers at Ancestors' Siblings - Breaking Down Brick Walls with Collateral Research by Marian Pierre-Louis. December 16.

Click here to register. Or click here register for multiple webinars at the same time.

Print the 2015 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


Researching with Karen 2! Free webinar by Karen Clifford now online for limited time

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The recording of today's webinar, "Researching with Karen!" by Karen Clifford PLUS the after-webinar party is now available to view for free at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for a limited time. Some great comments:

  • Karen skilfully ties together all the resources that we learned about separately, but didn't think to use together. Another eye-opener!!
  • As usual, Karen was overflowing with good information. Not only is she helping several folks directly, she is training us all to be better genealogists. Thanks Karen and Geoff for another great lesson!
  • Especially Wonderful to see solving pre 1850 questions.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 51 minute recording of "Researching with Karen 2!" PLUS the after-webinar party is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - karen2 - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, July 20, 2015.

B_DIGGINGDigging Deeper: Using Essential Pre-1850 Records by Karen Clifford 24.95

352 pages | Published Sep 2011 | PDF (download-only) edition

Click here to purchase for 24.95.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 247 classes, 363 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,071 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year (that's about the cost of 5 webinar CDs)
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Have Swedish Roots and Don't Know How to Get Started? by Kathy Meade. July 22.
  • Storyboard Your Family History by Lisa Alzo. July 29.
  • Mending Broken Ties: Reconstructing Family Trees Sawed by Slavery by Melvin J. Collier. July 31.
  • What's in a Name? Trouble! by Ron Arons. August 5.
  • Power Platting - Technology Tools to Create Pictures from Property Descriptions by Chris Staats. August 12.
  • Discovering Your Kentucky Ancestors by Mark Lowe. August 19.
  • Digital Family Reunions by Devin Ashby. August 21.
  • German Names and Naming Patterns by Jim Beidler. August 26.
  • Break Down Brick Walls in Eastern European Research - Tips, Tools and Tricks by Lisa Alzo. September 2.
  • Research Your Swedish Ancestors in Living Color Using ArkivDigital Online by Kathy Meade. September 9.
  • Technology and Techniques for Differentiating Two People with the Same Name by Geoff Rasmussen. September 11.
  • Researching Your Dutch Ancestors by Yvette Hoitink. September 16.
  • Researching Your Ancestors in England and Wales by Kirsty Gray. September 23.
  • Maps Tell Some of the Story for the African-Ancestored Genealogist by Angela Walton-Raji. September 25.
  • Using Periodicals to Find Your Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega. September 30.
  • Wearables and Genealogy - Wacky and Wild or Worth the Wait by Thomas MacEntee. October 7.
  • Colonial Immigration - The English Pioneers of Early America by Beth Foulk. October 14.
  • Billions of Records, Billions of Stories by Devin Ashby. October 16.
  • What Happened to the State of Frankland - Using Tennessee's Pre-Statehood Records by Mark Lowe. October 21.
  • Complex Evidence - What is It? How Does it Work? And Why Does it Matter? by Warren Bittner. October 28.
  • Researching with Karen! by Karen Clifford. November 4.
  • Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy by Diahan Southard. November 11.
  • Bringing it All Together and Leaving a Permanent Record by Tom Kemp. November 13.
  • Mapping Madness by Ron Arons. November 18.
  • Stories in Stone - Cemetery Research by Gail Blankenau. December 2.
  • Thinking about Becoming an Accredited Genealogist? by Apryl Cox and Kelly Summers. December 9.
  • Pointing Fingers at Ancestors' Siblings - Breaking Down Brick Walls with Collateral Research by Marian Pierre-Louis. December 16.

Click here to register. Or click here register for multiple webinars at the same time.

Print the 2015 webinar brochure here.

See you online!