Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Press Release: Microfilm Distribution to be Discontinued

FamilySearch made the following announcement today:

"SALT LAKE CITY, UT (26 June 2017)—FamilySearch, a world genealogy leader and nonprofit, announced today its plans to discontinue its 80-year-old microfilm distribution service. The transition is the result of significant progress made in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of microfilm technology. The last day for ordering microfilm will be August 31, 2017. Online access to digital images of the world's historic records allows FamilySearch to service more people around the globe, faster and more efficiently. See FindingDigital Images of Records on FamilySearch.org and FrequentlyAsked Questions for additional information. Find and share this announcement online in the FamilySearchNewsroom.

"A global leader in historic records preservation and access, FamilySearch and its predecessors began using microfilm in 1938, amassing billions of the world’s genealogical records in its collections from over 200 countries. Why the shift from microfilm to digital? Diane Loosle, Director of the Patron Services Division said, "Preserving historic records is only one half of the equation. Making them easily accessible to family historians and researchers worldwide when they need them is the other crucial component."

"Loosle noted that FamilySearch will continue to preserve the master copies of its original microfilms in its Granite Mountain Records Vault as added backup to the digital copies online.

"As the Internet has become more accessible to people worldwide over the past two decades, FamilySearch made the decision to convert its preservation and access strategy to digital. No small task for an organization with 2.4 million rolls of microfilm in inventory and a distribution network of over 5,000 family history centers and affiliate libraries worldwide.

"It began the transition to digital preservation years ago. It not only focused on converting its massive microfilm collection, but also in replacing its microfilm cameras in the field. All microfilm cameras have been replaced with over 300 specialized digital cameras that significantly decrease the time required to make historic records images accessible online.

"FamilySearch has now digitally reproduced the bulk of its microfilm collection—over 1.5 billion images so far—including the most requested collections based on microfilm loan records worldwide. The remaining microfilms should be digitized by the end of 2020, and all new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment.

"Digital image collections can be accessed today in three places at FamilySearch.org. Using the Search feature, you can find them in Records (check out the Browse all published collections link), Books, and the Catalog. For additional help, see FindingDigital Images of Records on FamilySearch.org.

"Transitioning from microfilm to digital creates a fun opportunity for FamilySearch's family history center network. Centers will focus on simplified, one-on-one experiences for patrons, and continue to provide access to relevant technology, popular premium subscription services, and restricted digital record collections not available to patrons from home.

"Centers and affiliate libraries will coordinate with local leaders and administrators to manage their current microfilm collections on loan from FamilySearch, and determine when to return films that are already published online. For more information, see DigitalRecords Access Replacing Microfilm."

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Si, Si, CeCe Moore!

PCGS is proud to announce that the featured speaker for our 2018 seminar will be the Genetic Genealogist herself, CeCe Moore!

CeCe Moore is the genetic genealogy consultant for the popular PBS television series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Her work has also been featured on 20/20, Genealogy Roadshow, Nightline, Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Crime Watch Daily, Nancy Grace, CBS This Morning and The Doctors, as well as being quoted in many online and print publications. Her primary focus is promoting genetic genealogy education and sharing positive stories about the power of genetic genealogy through the media. CeCe is the co-founder of the Institute for Genetic Genealogy and has written the popular blog Your Genetic Genealogist since 2010.

Ms. Moore will be in Tucson on Saturday, March 10, 2018, for an all-day DNA seminar. Her talks will span beginning, intermediate, and advanced tools for incorporating DNA into your family history research process.

This seminar promises to be a very popular one and will probably sell out quickly. Keep an eye out on our blog for upcoming details and registration information when they become available.

By entering your email in the "Follow by Email" field to your right, you will receive an email when new articles are published on this blog including additional information on next year's seminar!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Genealogy Apps and Family History Blogs—Saturday, June 17, 2017

Come join us this Saturday, June 17, for two fascinating topics.

Our meeting starts with a class on Using Genealogy Apps on Your Tablet by Kathi Gardner. Following the class, Nicole Dyer will present a program on Tips on Sharing Family History with a Blog.

Nicole has been researching her ancestors and delighting in their stories fro over fifteen years. She and her mother regularly write on their "Family Locket Blog."  They share tips and ideas on how to get children interested in their family history, share research tips, and talk about family reunions, crafts, FamilySearch, and much, much more. Nicole spoke at RootsTech 2017 on Kid Genealogists - Inspiring the Next Generation. She is also the developer of the Preschool Family History Storytime held in April and May and the June Family History Craft Day at the Tucson Family History Center (visit the Tucson Family History Center Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1695205970728001/ for details).

Our general meetings are free and open to members and non-members alike. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 17, 2017
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Banner-University Medical Center
Duval Auditorium (Room 2600)
1501 N. Campbell Rd.
Tucson, AZ

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Support Pima County Genealogy Society for Father's Day

Father's Day is coming up this Sunday, June 18. Remember that if you shop Amazon through our portal at smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to PCGS! This donation has no impact on the price you pay for the item, it is covered completely by Amazon's profits.

Click on the Amazon Smile icon to the right of this blog post to register Pima County Genealogy Society as your charity organization of choice, then go to smile.amazon.com instead of https://www.amazon.com/ whenever you shop at Amazon. It's that simple!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Be More "Source Centric" for Less

Did you like what you heard at today's meeting about the Evidentia software? You're in luck! Thomas McEntee of Genealogy Bargains is extending an exclusive offer of 25% off the Evidentia Software & Book Bundle. Click here to get the details and the promo code. This offer ends May 31, 2017.

Were you unable to attend the meeting and are curious about Evidentia but not quite ready to buy? Evidentia offers a 14 day free trial. Visit their home page at https://evidentiasoftware.com/ to download the free trial.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Putting a Spark into Starting (or Restarting) Your Family Tree

PCGS is pleased to announce a new workshop: Charge! Putting a Spark into Starting or Restarting Your Family Tree, featuring members of our Board of Directors.

This beginner's workshop is limited to 30 participants. Our seasoned genealogists will cover these topics:
  • Documents to gather and search
  • Chart basics and genealogy tools
  • Moving from paper to digital
  • What and where to document

Our instructors have a combined 95+ years of experience.

Barbara Salyer
  • 45+ years genealogical research, instructor, speaker & author
  • Certified Genealogist for 25 years
  • Member of the National Genealogy Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogy Societies (FGS)
  • Member of D.A.R. (Tucson Chapter) & Daughters of Colonial Wars
  • Received Lifetime Achievement Award, 2008, from Arizona State Genealogical Society

Jodi Lynn Strait
  • Doing genealogical research for over 20 years
  • Member of the National Genealogy Society (NGS); completed NGS home study course.
  • Boston University Genealogical Research Program certificate holder
  • Member of Chinkchewunska (NJ) chapter of the D.A.R.

Amy Urman
  • Researching her family roots for over 30 years
  • Member of the National Genealogy Society (NGS), Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and Federation of Genealogy Societies (FGS)
  • Boston University Genealogical Research Program certificate holder
  • Graduate of ProGen 28, SLIG Law, and SLIG Land

The workshop will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2017 from 9:30AM to 12 Noon in Rooms 2500 E & F at Banner-University Medical Center, 1501 N. Campbell Road, Tucson, AZ. The cost to attend is $15 for PCGS members and $20 for non-members. 
To register, visit our website at https://azpimagensoc.org/cpage.php?pt=33 and pay on-line at the PCGS Marketplace (Members must sign in before registering to get the discounted rate) or print the form and mail to us along with your check. But hurry, registration and payment deadline is Saturday, May 27.

Monday, May 15, 2017

FREE Western European Family History Conference

FamilySearch is again hosting free online research seminars.

The first is the Western European Family History Conference on May 15-19, 2017. This seminar is for anyone who has German, French, Belgium, Dutch, Swiss, and Luxembourger ancestry. It is 5 days of classes in order to help you find your ancestors. You can attend in person or online. Registration is required to attend in person or online. Check out the FamilySearch Wiki for registration, class descriptions and handout links herehttps://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Western_European_Family_History_Conference. Below is a schedule of classes (all times are in MDT, Arizona is one hour earlier):
TIMEMonday, 15 MayTuesday, 16 MayWednesday, 17 MayThursday, 18 MayFriday, 19 May
GermanyFranceThe Low CountriesThe NetherlandsSwitzerland
9:00-10:00 AM MDTFinding German Places of OriginFinding Your French Ancestors Online, part 1 (FamilySearch and Ancestry)Latin for ResearchersNames in Belgium and the NetherlandsBeginning Swiss Research
10:15-11:15 AM MDTSpelling Variations in German Given and Place NamesFinding Your French Ancestors Online, part 2 (FranceGenWeb)Calendar Changes in France, Germany, Switzerland and the Low CountriesWieWasWie, Past the Index: What to do NextSwiss Maps and Gazetteers
11:30 AM-12:30 PM MDTMeyer's Gazetteer Now Online, Indexed and Fully Searchable!Finding Your French Ancestors Online, part 3 (Geneanet)Gazetteers and Maps for Belgium, Luxembourg, and the NetherlandsDutch Provincial and City ResearchSwiss Archives Online Records
2:00-3:00 PM MDTGerman Church Records and Beyond: Deepen Your Research Using a Variety of Town RecordsOut of the Ashes of ParisBeginning Research in LuxembourgDutch Research Before 1811Swiss Census Records
3:15-4:15 PM MDTElusive Immigrant: Methods of Proving IdentityResearch in Alsace-LorraineBeginning Research in BelgiumFinding Your Family in the Amazing Online Amsterdam City ArchivesSwiss Chorgericht Records

Save the date for two upcoming week long seminars:

  • September 11-15, 2017, Nordic Research Seminar
  • October 2-6, 2017, U.S. Research Seminar

Evidentia and The Family History Guide--Saturday, May 20, 2017

We have a special treat for you at this Saturday's general meeting.

We will start the meeting with Rondie Yancey presenting a class on Evidentia, a unique program that helps you to analyze your evidence, resolve conflicts, and confidently reach sound conclusions. The software follows the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) developed by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG).

Rondie Yancey was born and raised in the Northwest, but settled in Tucson in 1989, and considers Tucson the best place in the world to live. It was shortly after moving to Tucson that she became interested in genealogy, and began research on one family that she thought might take one or two years to complete….(short pause for laughter to subside). After all these years, she still thinks genealogy is the most fascinating of subjects, and likes to create small books about members of her ancestral line for the benefit of family members who don’t have time or inclination to do the research, but who do enjoy reading about their family history.

Following the class, Bob Black  will present a program on The Family History Guide. This free new website represents a best-in-class learning environment for family history. Its scope is broad, but its focus is narrow enough to help you achieve your goals, step by step. The Guide's mission is to "greatly increase the number of people actively involved in family history worldwide, and to make everyone's family history journey easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable."

Bob Black spent 20+ years working in healthcare human resources before retiring. In 2011, he began working at the eastside Tucson Family History Center along with his wife, June. He began serving as Director there in 2014. Bob's passion is helping people at the Center with their family history discovery journey.

Remember, if you are not a PCGS member yet, you may attend up to two meetings as a non-member at no charge.

Handouts will be available to PCGS members under Secure Download in the Members Only section of our website (https://azpimagensoc.org/).

DATE: Saturday, May 20, 2017
TIME: 1:00pm - 3:00pm
PLACE:  Banner-University Medical Center, Duval Auditorium (Room 2600), 1501 N. Campbell Rd., Tucson

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, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/nypl/3110156350/),
[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 www.ellisisland.org." (Editor's Note: now The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation http://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/).
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, FamilyTreeWebinars.com 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 FamilyTreeWebinars.com 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 (https://azpimagensoc.org/).

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.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

2017 FGS National Conference Registration is Now Open

Online registration is now open for the 2017 FGS National Conference in Pittsburgh.

FGS conferences are open to all. Whether you are just beginning your journey into your family history or have been doing it for decades, join fellow genealogists and family historians August 30 - September 2, 2017, in Pittsburgh.

This year's theme is "Building Bridges to the Past." An early-bird discount is available until July 1, 2017.Visit the FGS Voice blog at http://voice.fgs.org/2017/04/2017-fgs-conference-registration-is-open.html for details and registration information.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

National Scottish-American Heritage Month and National Tartan Day

Photo by PAC Tom Sperduto (http://www.uscgpipeband.org/)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
National Scottish-American Heritage Month is celebrated during the month of April by community groups in both the United States and Canada. Scottish-Americans (a.k.a. Scots-Americans) are Americans whose ancestry originates in Scotland. Scotch-Irish are those Scots from Lowland Scotland and Northern England that migrated to Ulster in Ireland. Many of these came to the United States during the 18th century.[1]

The 2010 U. S. Federal Population Census reported that 1.7% of the population were of Scotch-Irish descent and 1.9% were Scottish.  The Mosaic, the newsletter for the U.S. Naval Health Clinic Annapolis, reported these famous Scottish-Americans in History[2] :

  • Neil Alden Armstrong is of Scottish, Irish and German ancestry. He is famous for saying, “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” as the first person to walk on the moon. Before becoming an astronaut, Armstrong was a Navy Officer and served in the Korean War. Armstrong flew over 78 missions over Korea for a total of 121 hours in the air, most of which were in January 1952. In 1962, Armstrong joined the NASA Astronaut Corps and in 1966, made his first space flight as command pilot of Gemini 8, becoming NASA's first civilian astronaut to fly in space. Armstrong received many honors and awards, to include Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Space Medal of Honor, and Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy.  Armstrong died in Cincinnati, OH on August, 25, 2012 at the age of 82.
  • David “Davy” Crockett was born 17 August 1786 and was of Scottish, Irish, English and French-Huguenot decent. Crockett was a 19th century American folk hero, frontiersman, soldier and politician. He is commonly referred to as “King of the Wild Frontier” and had a reputation for hunting and storytelling. After serving in the militia of Tennessee, he was elected to the Tennessee state legislature in 1821 and in 1826, was elected to the U.S. Congress. In 1836, Crockett took part in the Texas Revolution and died at the Battle of the Alamo.  After his death, Crockett continued to be credited for acts of mythical proportions, popularized by stage plays and almanacs, that led to movie portrayals in the 20th century and widely best known as one of the best American folk heroes.
According to the Scottish American Society of South Florida, some (unconfirmed) contributions made to our country by the Scots are:

  • Scots led the fight for American independence
  • Scots established the structure of the American government (Based on the Scottish Presbyterian Church organizational model)
  • Scots established many school systems, universities and libraries
  • Scots brought their inventions and spirit from Scotland to share with everyone.

National Tartan Day, held each year on April 6 in the United States, celebrates the historical links between Scotland and North America and the contributions Scottish Americans have made to U.S. history and society. April 6 is the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence, which was signed on that day in 1320. The American Declaration of Independence was arguably modeled on that inspirational document.[3]

Frequently, Scottish culture is celebrated through festivals known as Highland games. Various events include Whisky tastings, eating Haggis, Caber toss, Hammer throws, and traditional Scottish dances. The largest celebration this year is the 19th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade to be held on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

The Arizona Legislature proclaimed April 6, 2017 as Tartan Day in the State of Arizona. House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 2020 states:
   Whereas, Arizona is proud to celebrate its ethnic diversity, and the people of Arizona are fortunate to have organizations, families and individuals who are passionate about their ancestry; and
     Whereas, the Scottish Declaration of Independence, signed on April 6, 1320, and the Scottish National Covenant of 1638 strongly influenced the framing of America's Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution more than 400 and 100 years later, respectively; and
     Whereas, National Tartan Day has been celebrated on April 6 across the United States since 1997 and recognizes that Scottish Americans have played an important role throughout American history. As some of the first immigrants to settle in America, Scottish Americans have made enduring contributions to our society in the arts and sciences, politics and government, technology and mathematics, military service and many other fields; and
     Whereas, the people of Arizona recognize the heritage of Arizonans of Scottish descent and the symbolism and pride that come from the wearing of the tartan and colors of their families, ancestral home and country of national origin.
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Arizona, the Senate concurring:
     1.  That the Members of the Legislature proclaim April 6, 2017 as Tartan Day in the State of Arizona.
     2.  That the Members of the Legislature encourage all Arizonans to observe and celebrate Tartan Day with appropriate ceremonies and dress, including the tartans representing our state, the Arizona Flag tartan and the Arizona Scottish tartan, and to recognize the many contributions that Scottish Americans have made to our great State and Nation.
The Arizona tartan, "The Scottish Register of
Tartans", (https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk).

Commissioned by a joint committee of Arizona State's Scottish societies, this tartan was designed by Dr Phil Smith and proclaimed by Governor Symington in December 1995. Colours: green is for the forest that covers half the state; brown for the desert; azure for copper, white for silver; yellow for gold; red for the Native Americans and the red, white and green stripes for the Mexican population.

The annual Phoenix Scottish Games were held in March, rather than in April.[4] However, Tartan Day will be celebrate on Thursday, April 6, 2017 in the Gallery of the AZ State Senate Building for the reading of HCR 2020. Visit the Caledonian Society of Arizona website for details.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Free Classes at the Tucson West Family History Center

The Tucson West Family History Center is hosting an afternoon of FREE genealogy classes on Saturday, April 22, 2017. You can attend one, two, or all three classes as your schedule permits.

Tucson West Family History Center
3530 W Magee
Tucson, AZ 85741 USA
From Ina Road go north on Thornydale about one mile to Magee Road. Turn east on Magee, continue one-quarter mile to the church building on the left. Take the second entrance on the east side of the building. The FamilySearch Center is entered through the small door just to the left of the main east entrance of the building. 

Saturday, 22 April 2017
  • 1:00pm MST
    The Family History Guide
    Wayne Gifford
    A brief look at this newly revised tool that every genealogist should be aware of.
  • 2:00pm MST
    Deciphering AncestryDNA
    Sherri Hessick
    This class will help you to determine what DNA Circles, New Ancestor Discoveries (NADs), and Shared Ancestor Hints can and cannot do for you. If time permits, the new AncestryDNA Genetic Communities tool will be discussed.
  • 3:00pm MST
    Dead Men Can Talk! Using DNA Matching To Expand Your Family Tree
    Wayne Gifford
    A case study using Ancestry DNA Circles to expand your family tree.
No registration is required. Please address any questions about this event to the Center by calling (520) 579-3493 or email az_tucsonwest@ldsmail.net.

At-Home Learning Opportunities for 2017

© Nick Youngson / http://nyphotographic.com / CC BY-SA 3.0
You probably know by now that there are a plethora of opportunities to increase your knowledge on genealogy research processes. Many of them are accessed from your home for free. Here are the webinars that are offered during the month of April 2017.

Family History Library Webinars
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has published their March, April, and May classes, including many free webinars. Most of the classes offered in those months are for the Beginner, but there are a few in April for the Intermediate researcher. Visit the Family History Library Classes and Webinars wiki page for the schedule and links to upcoming webinars and their accompanying handouts.  Scroll down to the Past Webinars & Handouts section for links to the recordings and handouts of past webinars. Both the upcoming and past webinars are grouped by country and topics:
  • FamilySearch & FamilySearch Family Tree
  • General Research
  • Africa
  • British Isles
  • Scandinavia
  • Asia
  • Latin America & Spanish
  • Indexing Workshops
  • United States and Canada
  • and more

Legacy Family Tree Webinars
Legacy Family Tree webinars is known for its quality genealogy webinars by professional and well-known genealogists. Every Wednesday afternoon, and once a month on Friday evening, a new webinar is broadcast live for free. The webinar is recording and available for free viewing about a week following the broadcast. After that, you must be a subscribed member.

It is necessary to pre-register for the webinar if you wish to attend live. The entire 2017 year of webinars are available for registration by visiting the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website. Occasionally, a special webinar as slid in on short notice, like Blain Bettinger's Exploring AncestryDNA's New Genetic Communities announced last week and scheduled for Thursday, March 30. It is a good idea to check the schedule frequently or to subscribe to the Legacy Family Tree News in order to catch those special broadcasts.

The webinars scheduled for April are:
  •  Preserve, Share, and Search Your Digital Pictures with Google Photos by Geoff Rasmussen on April 5
  • Your Whiteboard in the Cloud: Trello for Genealogists by Lisa Alzo on April 12
  • Complete Photo Restoration in 4 Easy Steps by Eric Basir on April 14

  • Neighborhood Reconstruction: Effective Use of Land Records by Mary Hill on April 19
  • Finding and Using Land Ownership Maps by Rick Sayre on April 26
  • Researching Criminal Records by Ron Arons on April 28

Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) Webinars
The BCG offers monthly free webinars "as part of an ongoing series that supports our mission to provide education for family historians." (President Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG). In late July, 2016, BCG partnered with Legacy Family Tree Webinars to host, produce, and publish all future BCG webinars (go here to read the announcement). The BCG webinars are stored on a separate webpage on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website. These webinars are broadcast live the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 5pm Pacific, and the recordings are available for free viewing for a limited time. The March 21 webinar Are You My Grandpa? Men of the Same Name by Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, is still free through March 31, 2017. April's webinar will be The Genealogy in Government Documents by Rick Sayre scheduled for April 18, 2017.

Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Webinars
Sponsored by FamilySearch, ISGS webinars are broadcast live the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 8pm Central Time. The 2017 upcoming webinars are described on their Upcoming Webinars webpage. The live broadcast is offered free to everyone, but you must pre-register. Recordings are available to ISGS members indefinitely. Visit their website for infomation about their organization and the genealogy education opportunities.

April's webinar is Tracing slave and slave owner Ancestors with DNA and Genealogy by Nicka Smith on April 11. A printable brochure of the ISGS webinars for 2017 is found here.

Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) Webinars
SCGS webinars are offered twice monthly (the first Saturday and third Wednesday). The live broadcasts are free and open to the public; the recordings are available only to SCGS members. You must register to participate. The Saturday webinars are held in the morning (10am Pacific) and the Wednesday webinars are held in the evening (6pm Pacific). Visit their 2017 Webinar Series webpage for the scheduled broadcasts this year. The April webinars are:
  • Finding Scottish Ancestors Online by Nancy E. Loe on April 1
  • So Many Historic Books: How Can I Find My People? by James M. Baker on April 19

 BYU Family History Library Webinars
Separate from the Family History Library above, the BYU Family History Library hosts a series of online webinars that allow you to learn from family history experts without being required to go to the library. All webinars can be held on any evening. It is easy to connect to these webinars and view them on your own computer or mobile device.  The Online Webinars Webpage has a form you can fill out to receive emails on upcoming webinars. The schedule is usually posted there a month in advance; currently, the March and April schedules are there. Some of the April webinars are:
  • International Research with the Family History Guide on April 6
  • How You Can Help with Record Preservation on April 11
  • Researching in a Library or Archive on April 13
  • Digging Deeper into Google for Genealogists on April 14
  • Beginning Danish Research: Sorting out the places on April 18
  • Buying Technology: A Genealogist's Primer on April 20
  • Finding that Genealogical Gold Right Under Your Feet on April 25
You can also access past webinars and handouts on this page. The archived webinars are sorted into categories including Ancestry.com, DNA, Findmypast.com, Foreign County, Legal Record, Maps, Military Record, MyHeritage.com, and Newspaper training.

Other Webinars Offered
Many genealogy societies broadcast live webinars for free. Most provide archived recordings to their members, but some offer the recordings free. Some examples are:
Another excellent source of free webinars is the Family Tree DNA Webinars series. These free webinars are on genetic genealogy and DNA ancestry testing related topics. All webinars are open to the public and are recorded for later viewing.

If you find other sources for free at-home learning opportunities, please share them in the comments section below.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Announcing a New Special Interest Group for Jewish Genealogy

Sephardi Jewish couple from Sarajevo in traditional
clothing. Photo taken in 1900.
Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

The Tucson Family History Center is sponsoring a Jewish Special Interest Group (SIG) beginning April 5, 2017. This is a wonderful opportunity for those who have Jewish roots to learn how to find their ancestors. The Jewish  SIG will meet at 3pm on the first Wednesday of each month in the Family History Center.

This SIG is not intended to replace the Southern Arizona Jewish Genealogy Society, but rather to enhance the learning experiences of attendees. The Jewish SIG will be a hands-on learning opportunity where an in-depth examination of one or two topics will be explored with time for attendees to put the lessons into action at the Center computers or their own laptops. There will also be opportunities to share information with each other at the meeting.

 Moreen Ferdi will be the SIG facilitator. There is no need to register in advance, just show up with a desire to learn and to share what you know with others.

Moreen is considering adding an evening meeting time for those that cannot meet during the weekday. If you have an interest in the evening time slot, please send an email to tucsongoalie@gmail.com.  You may direct any questions about the SIG to that email address as well.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Online Irish Records are FREE for a Limited Time

Two of the "Big 4" genealogy websites are offering FREE access to their Irish records in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

For five days only, Findmypast is offering free access to the largest collection of Irish records online for FREE.The free access starts on Findmypast.com today, Monday 13 March, at 2 am (MST/PDT) and ends on Friday 17 March at 4:59 pm (MST/PDT). During this time you can enjoy all 116 million of Findmypast's Irish records completely free.

Highlights of their Irish collection include:
  • Over 30 million Irish Birth, Marriage, Death and Parish records
  • Over 15 million Census, Land & Substitute collections
  • Over 30 million detailed Court & Prison records
  • Over 350,000 records from World War 1, the Easter Rising & more
  • Over 2.3 million Social History & Directory records
The only collection exempt from the free access is the Irish Newspapers collection.

In addition to free access to their Irish collection, Findmypast is offering a free downloadable Irish family history guide here.

Visit the Findmypast blog by clicking here for details on how to access the Irish records during the free period.

Ancestry is also offering free access to their Irish records until 8:59 pm (MST/PDT) on Sunday, 19 March 2017.  To see a full list of the records in the featured collection, please click here. To get started searching the collection on Ancestry.com, please click here. To download their free guide with 10 tips for finding Irish ancestors, click here.

Monday, March 6, 2017

March is International Women's History Month

Group of women photographed walking along a street, 1920-1930. Wikimedia Commons. Item is held by John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.
Historically, women were cast into the shadow of their fathers, husbands, and sons, leaving little or no record of their existence or of their life experiences. Many women of the past have fought inequality and championed causes for the benefit of society, allowing future generations of women to reap the benefits of their work.

Harris & Ewing, Washington, D.C. [Pennsylvania on the Picket Line-- 1917]. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/mnwp000212/>
The first Women's Day was celebrated on February 28, 1909 in New York. Women's Day was celebrated annually for the next 68 years, mainly in socialist countries.   The United Nations officially recognized March 8 as International Women's Day in 1975 to honor our women. This was extended to include all of the month of March as International Women's History Month. Throughout the month, various community events and television presentations will be staged to look back on women's achievements.

Du Bois, W. E. B. , Collector, photographer by Askew, Thomas E., 1850?-1914. [Four African American women seated on steps of building at Atlanta University, Georgia]. [or 1900] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/95507126/>.
Not all achievements are world changing. The struggle to feed and clothe their children, as most of our ancestors did, is praiseworthy. President Trump issued a proclamation on March 1, 2017, proclaiming March as Women's History Month. The proclamation states, in part:
America honors the celebrated women pioneers and leaders in our history, as well as those unsung women heroes of our daily lives.  We honor those outstanding women, whose contributions to our Nation's life, culture, history, economy, and families have shaped us and helped us fulfill America's promise.

We cherish the incredible accomplishments of early American women, who helped found our Nation and explore the great western frontier.  Women have been steadfast throughout our battles to end slavery, as well as our battles abroad.  And American women fought for the civil rights of women and others in the suffrage and civil rights movements.  Millions of bold, fearless women have succeeded as entrepreneurs and in the workplace, all the while remaining the backbone of our families, our communities, and our country.
He calls upon all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. Here are a few ideas on how you can celebrate Women's History Month:
  1. Explore the Library of Congress' Women's History Site (https://www.loc.gov/). 
  2. Write stories about a few of the women in your family tree. Share the story with others in your family, or publish it on a blog, in Facebook, or in your online tree.
  3. Learn more about how to find your female ancestors by watching Judy G. Russel's class Mothers, Daughters, Wives: Tracing Female Lines on RootsTech 2017's Thursday session (https://www.rootstech.org/videos/judy-russell).
  4. Read a book about the social history of women to gain a better understanding of what your female ancestors' daily lives were like (https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Women+social+history).
  5. Read a book about a woman or group of women that impacted your ancestor's, and your, lives. The presidential proclamation mentions many of those women by name (https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/01/president-donald-j-trump-proclaims-march-2017-womens-history-month).
If you have other ideas on how to honor our women, post them in the comments below.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

He's Back! Thomas MacEntee Speaking at FHSA Seminar March 10-11

Did you miss seeing Thomas MacEntee when he was in Green Valley on February 4? Or do you wish you could have seen more of him while he was there? Don't despair! We are getting a Do-Over! The Family History Society of Arizona is bringing him back to southern Arizona and adding a special Friday evening session to the line-up.

The Family History Society of Arizona annual seminar will be held at the Mesa Inter-Stake Center, 830 E. 2nd Avenue, in Mesa, Arizona. Thomas will speak on The 15 Habits of Highly Frugal Genealogists at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 10, 2017.

The seminar continues on Saturday, March 11, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. with  a new topic that was not presented in Green Valley. The day ends at 2:40 p.m. and includes these 4 topics:
  1. Mapping Your Genealogy from A-Z and In-Between
  2. After You're Gone: Future Proofing Your Genealogy Research
  3. Building a Research Toolkit
  4. Genealogy Do-OverTM: A Year of Learning from Mistakes
Click here to visit the Family History Society of Arizona's seminar webpage for details and to register. But hurry! Lunch is not guaranteed after Monday, March 6.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Tracing Your Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors Seminar

Emigrants Leave Ireland by Henry Edward Doyle 1868
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt of the Ulster Historical Foundation will be presenting a two-day seminar on March 3 and 4, 2017 at the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library in Phoenix, Arizona.

Many Irish records were destroyed in 1922, making researching your Irish ancestors very difficult. But many other records survived and have recently come online.

Different topics on Irish and Scots-Irish research will be presented each day of the seminar. Advance registration is required and must be made for each day separately. Click here to visit the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library website for details and to register.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Free access to all UK records at Ancestry.com this weekend

Ancestry.com is giving FREE access to more than 1 billion UK & Irish records this weekend only. Free access to these records is starting at 2:00 p.m. ET (12:00 noon Arizona time) today, February 17, 2017, and ends at 11:59 p.m. ET (9:59 Arizona time) on Monday, February 20, 2017.

Click here to visit their UK & Irish Records page to see a full list of the records in the featured collection and get started finding your ancestors.

NOTE: After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using an Ancestry Worl Explorer or All Access paid membership.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Spotlight on Wills and Probates in February

We are welcoming a special guest speaker for the February meeting. Suzanne Young Brayer will speak to us on one of her most popular topics: Wills and Probate - What a Buried Treasure!

As genealogists, we depend on clues to aid our trek along the ancestral trail. Wills and probate records can be a motherlode of clues. Decedent’s date of death, names of spouse and children, in-laws, places of residence, land ownership, religion, and military service are just a few of the juicy tidbits these records can reveal. Suzanne will provide strategies and sources to help analyze probate records and reconstruct family relationships.

Suzanne Young Brayer is an educator, researcher, and avid genealogist. She graduated with degrees in history and education from Arizona State University.

Her involvement in researching her family history began in the early 80s when she and her father worked together gathering the pieces of their ancestry puzzle. From Mayflower ancestors to Revolutionary War patriots to 19th-century German immigrants and a few criminals along the way, she, like most of us, represents the “melting pot” of American culture.

She is past President of the Family History Society of Arizona, a member of the West Valley Genealogical Society, The Federation of Genealogical Societies, The Indiana Historical Society, The Arizona Council of Professional Genealogists, and the National Genealogical Society. She has taught genealogy classes and spoken to numerous groups in Arizona.

The February general meeting will be held from 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 18, 2017, at the Hardesty Multi-Service Center, 1100 S. Alvernon in Tucson, AZ. The meeting is open to the public and parking is free.