Thursday, August 4, 2016

Free Weeklong Seminars

That's right, they are free! FamilySearch is hosting two week long seminars that you can participate  either in person or viewed as a live webinar from the comfort of your home. And the best part is that it is 100% FREE!

Registration is required whether you will attend in person or online. Space is limited. All attendees will receive a free spiral bound syllabus containing all class handouts and materials. Webinar attendees will be able to print the handouts at home.

The United States seminar will be held on August 22-26, 2016. This seminar is for "beginning and intermediate genealogists interested in learning about U.S. regions and records, FamilySearch resources, and Family History Library collections." All classes, except the hands-on activities will be broadcast live to registered webinar participants. Below is the schedule of classes (all times are in MDT, Arizona is one hour earlier):

TIME Monday, 22 August Tuesday, 23 August Wednesday, 24 August Thursday, 25 August Friday, 26 August
8:30-9:30 AM MDT Using the Family History Catalog Effectively Tips and Tricks for Using FamilySearch's Historical Records Collection FamilySearch Research Wiki FamilySearch Memories Cousin Research
9:45-11:15 AM MDT United States Research: New England Region United States Research: Mid-South Region United States Research: Midwest Region United States Research: Pacific States Region United States Research: Big City Research
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM MDT Personal Research or Finding a Family in pre-1859 Census Records Personal Research or Land Records, Understanding a Deed Personal Research or Know a Little, Learn a Lot Personal Research or Records Tell a Story Personal Research or Tackling a Brick Wall
1:15-2:15 PM MDT United States Census Techniques and Strategies for Finding Elusive Ancestors Immigration into the United States United States Naturalization United States Land Records United States Probate Records
2:30-4:00 PM MDT United States Research: Mid-Atlantic Region United States Research: Gulf South Region United States Research: Great Plains Region United States Research: Mountain West Region Round Table Discussion 

For more information and to register, visit the FamilySearch Blog Free Weeklong United States Seminar.

The European seminar will be held on September 12-16, 2016 and is for both beginning and intermediate researchers of records in European localities. The classes will discuss census, church, immigration, and vital records for countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Russia and Poland. Below is the schedule of classes (all times are in MDT, Arizona is one hour earlier):

TIME Monday, 12 September Tuesday, 13 September Wednesday, 14 September Thursday, 15 September Friday, 16 September
9:00-10:00 AM MDT Finding German Ancestors Online-Resources and Records Old German Script Part 1 Poland and Galicia Jewish Research: A Template for East European Research Part 1 Research in the Czech Republic Bessarabia Then and Now: Researching our ancestors and locating helpful resources
LAB: Swiss Names and Places
10:15-11:15 AM MDT Internet Sources for Locating Your 19th Century German Emigrant Old German Script Part 2 Poland and Galicia Jewish Research: A Template for East European Research Part 2 Russian Alphabet, Language and Handwriting Part 1 Russian Germans in North Caucasus
11:30 AM-12:30 PM MDT Introduction to Swiss Research Extracting Information from German Church and Civil Records Discovering Polish Websites Russian Alphabet, Language and Handwriting Part 2 The Volga German Settlements in Russia
LAB: Kartenmeister.com Finding Places in the former German Area of Poland LAB: Genteam.at - a necessity when researching in the Czech Republic and Austria
2:00-3:00 PM MDT German Research Strategies for Eastern Provinces German Census Records 1816-1916 Co Kraj, to Obyczaj: Records of the Polish Partitions On Eagle's Wings: Records of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Republics Latin for Genealogists
3:15-4:15 PM MDT Research in German Archives German Historical Maps and Territories Sources for Polish Research and Gazetteers Introduction to Russian Research

Visit the FamilySearch Wiki 2016 European Family History Conference for details and registration.

Don't forget to visit the Family History Library Classes and Webinars page on the FamilySearch Wiki to view past recorded webinars and a schedule of upcoming webinars hosted by the Family History Library.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

There's Still Time to Enter the 2nd Annual Write-On! Writing Competiton

The deadline for submissions for the PCGS 2nd annual Write-On! Writing Competition is Thursday, June 30, 2016.

This year's competition has two categories:

Category 1 - Biographies. Memoirs and biographies where the major portion of the facts are from personal memories, interviews, family oral traditions, etc. No, or few, historical records are used in research.

Category 2 - Family History. A family history or biography that has been researched and documented through historical records.

Cash prizes and certificates will be awarded to the winners in each category. In addition, a grand prize of one year membership to PCGS will be awarded to the winner with the most points overall.

The entry fee is $15 for PCGS members or $20 for non-members. Contest entry fee is waived for paid registrants of the 2016 Do It the Write Way two-part workshop.

Visit the PCGS website for competition rules, judging criteria, and registration information. Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity to hone your writing skills and perhaps get paid for it, too!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Registration Deadline extended to April 16

There is still time! The registration deadline for the special two-part workshop Do It the Write Way has been extended to April 16.

Part One, "Getting Started," will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016. You will leave this workshop with a good start to your story. You will come to Part Two, "Polish Up," on Saturday, May 28, 2016, with a draft of your finished story and will receive editorial feedback to help you polish it into a finished product.

Participants do not have to attend both sessions, but the fee is the same whether you attend one or both. Advanced registration is required and must be received no later than April 16, 2016. Visit our website Writing Workshop webpage at http://azpimagensoc.org/cpage.php?pt=30 or the PCGS Calendar for additional details and to register. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

AmericanAncestors.org is FREE until April 13!

The New England Historic Genealogical Society has unlocked their online databases containing more than one billion searchable records. AmericanAncestors.org by NEHGS is one of the most widely used online genealogical resources in the world. Everyone who registers for a free account will have FREE access to all those records through April 13, 2016.

Visit the Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter for details or go to AmericanAncestors.org/free-billion to get started searching.

Only Two Days Left to Register!

There are only two days left to register for the special Two-Part Do It the Write Way Workshop!

This Saturday is the deadline to register for this special two-part workshop. Part One, "Getting Started," will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016. You will leave this workshop with a good start to your story. You will come to Part Two, "Polish Up," on Saturday, May 28, 2016, with a draft of your finished story and will receive editorial feedback to help you polish it into a finished product.


The cost for attending the workshop is $15 for PCGS members or $20 for Non-Members. For those workshop participants that choose to enter our 2016 Write-On! writing competition, the contest entry fee will be waived  See our blog post Our Second Annual Write-On! Writing Competition Has Begun for more information about the Write-On! writing competition.

Participants do not have to attend both sessions, but the fee is the same whether you attend one or both. Advanced registration is required and must be received no later than April 9, 2016. Visit our website Writing Workshop webpage at http://azpimagensoc.org/cpage.php?pt=30 or the PCGS Calendar for additional details and to register.

Genealogy Education Opportunities for April in Youngtown, Arizona

The West Valley Genealogical Society has issued the following press release:

Press Release:
The West Valley Genealogical Society & Library, 12222 N. 111th Ave., Youngtown, is pleased to announce additional educational opportunities for the month of April 2016.

April 15, 2016: Novice Genealogy, 1:00 – 3:00 PM.  This class, taught by an experienced genealogist, will assist those who are new to family history research.  Join others, who are also new to genealogy, and begin building your family tree.  You’ll learn how to locate your ancestors through the use of various types of resources such as: the census, pension lists, church records and more.  Registration required at www.azwvgs.org, click store/classes or events/classes.

April 21, 2016: Special Research Evening, 5:00 – 9:00 PM.  Everyone is welcome to attend this informal session.  You’re welcome to peruse the library’s extensive holdings and visit the state-of-the-art computer lab to access Ancestry, Fold 3, World Vital Records, and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  Please bring a sack dinner; beverage and dessert provided with a $3.50 donation.  To register call 623-933-4945.

April 25, 2016:  Free Library Tour, 9:30 – 11:00 AM.  Are you curious about your ancestors and aren’t sure exactly “where or how” to begin researching?  This free tour provides the perfect starting-off point.  Join the Librarian as she guides you through the largest operating genealogical library in Arizona.  In addition to thousands of resources, covering every state and many other countries, the library holds many exclusive collections.  The tour will also include a visit to the state-of-the-art computer lab where access to Ancestry, Fold 3 and many other online resources are available.  To register call 623-933-4945.

Carole Roath-Publicity
West Valley Genealogical Society

Monday, March 28, 2016

Celebrate National Tartan Day on April 6

Tune up those bagpipes and shake out those kilts. Get ready for National Tartan Day on April 6.
Sean Connery with members of the United States
Air Force Reserve's Pipe and Drum Band
in Washington, DC. Tartan Day, 2004.

National Tartan Day commemorates the Scottish Declaration of Independence, from which the American Declaration of Independence was modeled, and recognizes the contributions of Scottish Americans to the United States. Each year since the initial proclamation in 1998, major cities hold parades featuring bag-pipe bands playing Scottish music and people dressed in kilts with the tartan patterns that represent their Scottish clans.

The 2008 Presidential Proclamation signed by George W. Bush said, in part:
Americans of Scottish descent have made enduring contributions to our Nation with their hard work, faith, and values. On National Tartan Day, we celebrate the spirit and character of Scottish Americans and recognize their many contributions to our culture and our way of life.

Scotland and the United States have long shared ties of family and friendship, and many of our country's most cherished customs and ideals first grew to maturity on Scotland's soil. The Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence signed in 1320, embodied the Scots' strong dedication to liberty, and the Scots brought that tradition of freedom with them to the New World. Sons and daughters of many Scottish clans were among the first immigrants to settle in America, and their determination and optimism helped build our Nation's character. Several of our Founding Fathers were of Scottish descent, as have been many Presidents and Justices of the United States Supreme Court. Many Scottish Americans, such as Andrew Carnegie, were great philanthropists, founding and supporting numerous scientific, educational, and civic institutions. From the evocative sounds of the bagpipes to the great sport of golf, the Scots have also left an indelible mark on American culture.

National Tartan Day is an opportunity to celebrate all Americans who claim Scottish ancestry, and we are especially grateful for the service in our Armed Forces of Scottish Americans who have answered the call to protect our Nation. (George W. Bush, National Tartan Day, 2008 : A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America, 4 April 2008.)

Here are some ideas for celebrating and honoring your Scottish heritage:
  • Search the free Scottish records on FamilySearch.org.
  • Head to the local Family History Center to search their premium sites for free:
  • Read a book about the Scottish peoples in America. Here are some examples:
    • Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America by Jim Webb
    • The Scotch-Irish: A Social History by James G. Leyburn
    • Scots and Scotch Irish: Frontier Life in North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky by Larry J. Hoefling
    • Scots Irish in Pennsylvania & Kentucky by Billy Kennedy
    • How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in it by Arthur Herman
    • Scotland: The Story of a Nation by Magnus Magnusson
  • Make some Traditional Scottish recipes from the Rampant Scotland website.
  • Find your Clan and the your clan's tartan by visiting the Clans, Tartans, Regiments page of the Rampant Scotland website.
  • Watch a Webinar on Scottish research:
    • Free Scottish research webinars sponsored by the Family History Library in April are:
      • Key Scotland Websites on April 18
      • Incredible Scotland Maps & Gazetteer Online Resources on April 19
      • Scotland Census Records on April 20
      • Scotland Civil Registration Records on April 21
    • Scottish research webinars on Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Viewing these webinars require a paid subscription, but you can buy a one month membership for about $10 and have unlimited access to the webinars and the syllabus.
I am sure there are dozens of other activities you can do to celebrate. How will you celebrate? Tell us in the comments below what you plan to do.

Happy Tartan Day!