Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mining for Genealogical Information in Federal Records

We might think of the National Archives as containing a static body of information, and genealogists anxiously await each new set of records scheduled to come online.  What we might not realize is that in the U.S. (and probably so in other countries as well), the repository is not static at all. The federal archives are continually adding new data, transferred from other government bodies -- information previously unavailable to the general public. In her article, "Mining for Genealogical Information in Federal Records," Rita Marshall makes a case for going straight to the source and NOT waiting for the movie (or online data release) to come out. Old and new, a considerable amount of valuable information is housed in the federal archives that is not available elsewhere. While a trip to Washington D.C. might not be in the stars for all of us, it is important to know what's available. Professional researchers and look-up volunteers in the area of a particular archive are a possible resource.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's a long, long way to Tipperary . . .

Genealogy research of the future could mean visiting cemeteries far from home. A US funeral business that specializes in launching cremated human remains into Earth's orbit has begun taking reservations for landing small capsules of ashes on the moon, announced the company's founder, as reported in an article on AFP News.

"Celestis' first general public lunar mission could occur as early as 2010 and reservations are now being taken," said Charles M. Chafer, Celestis founder and president, in an email to AFP. "We can send up to 5000 individual capsules to the lunar surface," he said.

The company hopes to install a cemetery on the lunar surface to hold cremated remains of the dead, or a smaller symbolic portion of them, which one day could be visited by relatives of the deceased, said Chafer.

It's a long way to go.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

First Annual Family Restoration Conference to be held in Gambia

Slave Descendants Freedom Society, Inc. and Diversity Restoration Solutions, Inc., in a recent press release, announced the first annual Family Restoration Conference will take place in The Gambia, West Africa in June 2008. The in-depth conference will explore historical and cultural points of interest related to family genealogy and history and business development opportunities available in The Gambia. The conference evolved from three genealogy and history symposium events conducted by Slave Descendants Freedom Society, Inc. and Diversity Restoration Solutions, Inc. in the United States since 2004. The conference is slated for May 31-June 8, 2008, with travel arrangements coordinated by Avocet Travel. To learn more about the Family Restoration Conference, visit

Slave Descendants Freedom Society's, Inc.’s mission is to help descendants of enslaved African ancestors in America and others reconnect with their ancestral heritage. Established by Eric and Lisa Sheppard in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Society seeks to promote and encourage an open dialogue across generations about African American ancestral history through genealogy research and awareness initiatives and sponsorship of educational events.


Monday, July 9, 2007

Genealogy on the Road

Anytime of year is a great time for traveling and doing genealogy, but summer is the time most families vacation. In her article, "Genealogy on the Road," Gena Philibert-Ortega passes on her tips and hints for making the most of a genealogy vacation. I especially liked her idea of binding copies of essential documents into a working file, reducing clutter (and things lost) and providing greater access. She also offers a post-vacation resource for managing your research findings on the return home.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Using Google Maps to chart your family history vacation

An article on, "Plot Your Family History Trip on Google Maps," suggests using online mapping tools such as Google Maps and Windows Live Local tool for planning your next genealogy vacation. "Just start a new map for the trip, plotting the location of the sights you want to see and places you want to visit," making it easier to chart your path, the distances you need to cover, as well as places to eat, stay, and visit nearby. Something else I found interesting, the article also suggests a strategy for mapping geographic coordinates for places such as cemeteries, that you are not likely to find through a search of place names.

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Saturday, February 3, 2007

Genealogy services a new feature on travel web sites

Genealogy travel is becoming ever more popular. An article in The South African Star, "Getting back to your roots in the UK," points out that many tourist organizations are now presening genealogy content and searches on thier web sites, catering to this group of travelers. Focusing on travel to the UK, in particular, the article notes with "over nine-million emigrants sailed from Liverpool alone in just one 100-year period (1830-1930), imagine how many more millions around the world can trace their ancestry to the UK."

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