Ancestor Searching Newsletter, Volume 2, # 4

This month's newsletter will deviate from previous issues in that all of the information will be coverage of some of the most recent news and events taking place in the field of genealogy.

Have an ancestor who came to America through the port at New York? You can search for FREE the Ellis Island/Port of New York database at http://www.ellisisland.org/default.asp. The years covered are from 1892 to 1954. President Benjamin Harrison designated the site as the first Federal immigration station. It's estimated that over 12 million immigrants passed through the portal.

For those individuals with a 'bent' towards the 'techie' side, check out the new genealogy software program 'GRAMPS' at http://www.gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page. The software runs on any computer system using Linux or Windows operating systems. It's also FREE!!

From Ancestry.com comes news of the addition of the U.S. Indian Census records covering the years 1885-1940. The Indian Census schedules are census rolls usually submitted each year by agents or superintendents in charge of Indian reservations, as required by an act of 4 July 1884 (23 Stat. 98). The data on the rolls varies to some extent. For certain years – including 1935, 1936, 1938, and 1939 – only supplemental rolls of additions and deletions were compiled. Information contained in the database includes: name (Indian and/or English), gender, age, birth date, relationship to head of family, marital status, tribe name, agency name, and reservation name. Most of the rolls for the year 1940 were retained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and are not included in the database. Rolls were not required to be submitted after 1940 so only a few post-1940 records are included here. NOTE: There is not a census for every reservation or group of Indians for every year.

FamilyLink www.familylink.com offers the opportunity to make contact and communicate with expert researchers around the world who are actually local residents and willing to perform work for others who might otherwise not be able to research in person. Go to the PRWeb website - www.prweb.com/releases/2007/04/prweb519652.htm for details.

Wonder if you might be related to Princess Diana? Then, you may be interested in knowing there's a new book out entitled "The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales, for Twelve Generations," by Atlanta-based genealogist Richard Evans. Read more about it on Dick Eastman's blog at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2007/07/princess-dianas.h....

ProQuest http://www.proquest.com has announced that it will offer digital access to a select group of Colonial State Papers through a partnership with The National Archives (TNA) in the United Kingdom. These documents cover the years 1574 - 1757 and release of this collection, scheduled for this fall, coincides with 2007 being the 400th anniversary of the founding of the first British colony in Jamestown, Virginia. ProQuest is part of Cambridge Information Group (www.cambridgeinformationgroup.com ).

Even though not really, really new, an innovative website to experience is the Genealogy Guys Podcast site www.genealogyguys.com. Their podcast is the longest continuous running genealogy podcast in the world.

If you need some hints for dating photos through clothing and hairstyles, Olive Tree Genealogy has two pages of information on what to look for when trying to date photographs. Those URL's are http://olivetreegenealogy.com/photos/ancestor-photos.shtml and http://olivetreegenealogy.com/photos/fashions-photos.shtml.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society has added more than 500,000 new searchable names to its electronic databases, available to members via their Web site, www.NewEnglandAncestors.org.

And finally, this is the most unique and intriguing news item that has just been released to the genealogy public on July 1st. Go to the GenealogyPays http://www.genealogypays.com/ website and find out about the genealogy contest, yes, contest that is being offered.

DISCLAIMER NOTICE: Inclusion of information and links to websites should not be construed as endorsement or affiliation by either the Editor of this newsletter or the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library. Download and use of online software programs are the sole responsibility and at the discretion of the individual user. The Library assumes no liability to any party for loss or damage caused by errors or omissions.

Genealogy Workshop

Fact: If you or someone you know has ever had an ancestor who was a keeper in the U.S. Lighthouse Service, information may be available on their service. These records would be for the years prior to 1919 and are housed in the headquarters building of the National Archives in Washington, DC. Visit the Archive site at www.archives.gov or write them directly at National Archives and Records Administration, 7th & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408.

Tip: Personnel Records for those who served in lighthouses prior to the Lighthouse Service's merger with the Coast Guard in 1939 should also contact the National Archives as the primary repository for all of the records concerning the Lighthouse Establishment and Service. Address postal letters to the attention of the 'Textual Records' section when writing the Archives for these records.