Thursday, April 20, 2017

DNA Day Sales Have Begun!

DNA Day is April 25, but the sales have already begun. All of the major companies are offering discounts, some starting today and most lasting through April 26.

Visit the DNA Day Sales! section of the National DNA Day website for each company's prices, coupons for free shipping, and links to purchase at the reduced prices by clicking here.

Got Australian or New Zealand Ancestors?

Findmypast is opening up their entire collection of Australian and New Zealand records FREE from Friday, April 21 to Tuesday, April 25, 2017 to mark Anzac Day.

Observed on April 25, Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served (Wikipedia, Anzac Day, 

Click here to search Findmypast's over 96 million Australian and New Zealand records for FREE. While you are there, scroll down to get more free stuff:

  • Free guide: Tracing Ancestors in Australia and New Zealand
  • Free webinar: How to Discover Your Anzac Ancestors
  • The Complete Guide to Findmypast's Global Military Records
  • Get Back to Britain and Ireland with these FREE Records

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mark Your Calendars for the 2018 Tucson Family History Fair

The 2017 Tucson Family History Fair had the largest attendance in its history; 283 in the second hour. The Fair is an annual event hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Tucson Family History Center and partnered with Pima County Genealogy Society.

Free and open to the public, the Fair offers classes for those just starting their family history as well as those that have been working on it for many years. The class schedule, handouts, and class descriptions are still available on the Tucson Family History Center wiki. The list of classes and handouts for the 2013-2016 Fairs are also available on the wiki.

In the past few years, the date for the Fair has been inconsistent in order to avoid conflicts with other genealogical events occurring in the area. In order to avoid those conflicts in the future, starting with 2018 the Family History Fair will be held on the first Saturday in February.

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, February 3, 2018 will be the next Tucson Family History Fair.

By Jackaranga - Own work, GFDL, Link

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Celebrate Ellis Island Family History Day on April 17

Ellis Island Immigrant Station, 1893 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Ellis Island, the nation's first Federal immigration station, began processing immigrants in 1890 in the Barge Office at the Battery while the new structure was being built.  The new station opened its doors on January 1, 1892. Ellis Island is located in the upper bay in New York Harbor just off the New Jersey coast, within the shadow of the Statue of Liberty. The iconic image of immigrants crowding the decks of ships for their first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty has long been a symbol of freedom and opportunity to many.

Immigrants on a ship approaching New York City,
bound for Ellis Island, 1915, Edwin Levick.
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Originally built of pine, the Ellis Island Immigration Station burned to the ground in 1897, along with Federal and State immigration records dating back to 1855. The new fireproof Main Building was opened on December 17, 1900.
Immigrant Station, Ellis Island,1902-1913, Edwin Levick.
By New York Public Library (,
[No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons
In 1907, more people immigrated to the United States than any other year with approximately 1.25 million immigrants being processed at Ellis Island that year. April 17, 1907, marks the day when more immigrants were processed through Ellis Island than on any other day in its history — 11,747 people. From 1892 to 1954 when the station closed, about 17 million people came through Ellis Island on their way to becoming U.S. citizens.[1]

"By official proclamation of our nation’s governors, April 17 has been designated as “Ellis Island Family History Day.” Under the auspices of The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. and the National Genealogical Society, the day has been set aside annually to recognize the achievements and contributions made to America by Ellis Island immigrants and their descendants...

"Ellis Island Family History Day was first celebrated on April 17, 2001 to commemorate the opening of the American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island and its companion website" (Editor's Note: now The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation
Immigrant Family in the Baggage Room
of Ellis Island, 1905, Lewis Hine,
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Ideas for celebrating Ellis Island Family History Day:

  1. Learn more about your immigrant ancestors that may have come through Ellis Island by visiting the Ellis Island website
  2. While there, create a free account and search the passenger lists. 
  3. Share your immigrant ancestor's story with family members or write the story and publish it on a blog or in a local genealogical society publication.
  4. Place your immigrant's name on the American Immigrant Wall of Honor (all points of entry are eligible). Learn more about it by clicking here.
  5. Find a recipe for dishes from your immigrant ancestor's homeland and prepare a meal featuring those foods.
  6. Search for images of the traditional dress from your immigrant ancestor's country of origin and share them with your family.

Please share your ideas in the comments section for other ways of celebrating this special day.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Family Tree Webinars Celebrates 500th Webinar with Free Access

This Friday, April 14, 2017, will broadcast its 500th webinar! Eric Basir has the honor of being the presenter for this landmark webinar with his presentation Complete Photo Restoration in 4 Easy Steps. Following the featured presentation, host Geoff Rasmussen will throw an After-Webinar Party.

Family Tree Webinars has been the ground breaking on-line genealogy education provider since the fall of 2010. They have worked hard over the past seven years to improve the quality of their webinars in both content and technology. Read the Legacy News article "The journey to webinar #500, plus free access this weekend" for the story of their journey to today's success.

Free Access Weekend
Beginning Friday, April 14, and continuing through Sunday evening, April 16, the entire webinar library will be open and free to the public. Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy the webinars you missed over the years. Visit to find the webinars and presenters you most wish to see and enjoy.  They don't mention what time the free access ends, so be sure to watch as much as you can. If you can't get through all you want to see in those three days, you can subscribe for a month or for a year to have access to all of the webinars all of the time.

To quote the immortal words of Geoff Rasmussen, "Life is short, do genealogy first!"

A New Place, GenSmarts, and Jewish Genealogy this Saturday

Come join us for a special meeting this Saturday, April 15, 2017.

Amy Urman

The meeting will begin with a short presentation Amy Urman on When Your GenSmarts Are Working. Amy is a private investigator licensed in the state of Arizona. She has been a genealogical researcher for over 25 years and serves as President for Pima County Genealogy Society. Amy is always informative and entertaining, making her a favorite lecturer in the society.

Heb. Pub. Co., 1901 [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
Following a break and door-prizes, Denni Ann Gershaw-Smith will present Adventures in Jewish Genealogy. Denni Ann has been vigorously researching her roots since 1981. The majority of her ancestors hail from Eastern Europe, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Belarus and Slovakia. In 2016, Denni Ann completed the Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate Program. In addition to having her own calligraphy business, she has been conducting genealogy research for clients since 1989. Her specialty is in Judaic genealogy. Denni Ann is also a PCGS member and serves on the Steering Committee.

Not only are we featuring two great speakers this Saturday, but we are meeting at a new location! We are returning to Banner-University Medical Center, 1501 N. Campbell Rd., Tucson. But we are meeting in a different room than before: Duval Auditorium, Room 2600. The Duval Auditorium is located at the first hallway to the right as you come into the main entrance of the hospital. Walk along the front windows to your right and look for the sign for Duval Auditorium on your left.

This change in venue allows us to renew our pre-meeting luncheon in the cafeteria. Most arrive between 11:30 and 12 noon. We sit together to eat our lunch and socialize. The menu at the cafeteria has something for everyone, but pizza seems to be a favorite with our group.

Remember, if you are not a PCGS member yet, you can attend up to two meetings as a non-member at no charge! And everyone is eligible to win the door-prizes.

Handouts are available to PCGS members under Secure Download in the Members Only section of our website (

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

National DNA Day April 25

On April 25,  people across the nation observe National DNA Day. Each year on National DNA Day, students, teachers and the public are encouraged to learn more about genetics and genomics.  Share your ideas about National DNA Day using #NationalDNADay on social media.


National DNA Day was first celebrated in the United States on April 25, 2003, by proclamation of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, as a one-time celebration.  Each year after 2003, National DNA Day celebrations have been organized by the National Human Genome Research Institute.


DNA has become an essential tool for genealogists. Here are some resources for learning how to put DNA to work for you in your research:

  • Thomas MacEntee, a well-known genealogist, blogger, educator, author, social media connector, marketer, and network builder, is hosting a National DNA Day website that invites us to "come celebrate National DNA Day and learn more about DNA testing for genealogy and family history research." Watch that website for daily news, contests, and webinars.
  • PCGS has a DNA SIG that meets the second Saturday of every month from 10am-12pm. SIGs are open to PCGS members only. Visit the PCGS Calendar on our website for dates and locations of the meetings.
  • PCGS has a limited supply of Genetic Genealogy in Practice, the first workbook on genetic
    genealogy, for sale. Written by Blaine T. Bettinger, Ph.D., JD, and Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, and published by the National Genealogical Society, the book provides easy to understand information, and worksheets, that researchers can apply to their research. Books may be mailed to you for a fee or picked up at the monthly meeting. The publication is $25 for members to pick up at the meeting or $25 plus $4.25 for shipping. Non-members may purchase for $30 plus $4.25 for shipping. Head over to the PCGS Marketplace to place your order. Orders placed before 3 pm the Friday before the monthly meeting may be picked up at the next meeting. No sales will take place at the meeting.
    PCGS Members: be sure to sign in to receive special pricing.