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.

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 for details and registration information.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

National Scottish-American Heritage Month and National Tartan Day

Photo by PAC Tom Sperduto (
[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", (

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.