Category Archives: Press Release

1940 US Census – Indexing Update

Indexing continues on the 1940 US Census.

FamilySearch now has 14 states searchable: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming.

Ancestry.com has added Maine to their searchable states, which also include Delaware, Nevada, and Washington DC. (I recommend searching even if you don’t need these states, just to see their new census viewer.)

MyHeritage has been adding to their searchable records. They still list only Rhode Island and New York, and still don’t specify which counties are finished. (It was verified to me that Rhode Island is complete). New York is still incomplete, but they have made progress since the last update. A search today includes results from the Bronx! Also seen in the results were the counties of Erie, Monroe, Chemung, and even a few results for Queens. (I must be searching the wrong names for Queens results, but I did see a few.) Another blog post indicated a couple of counties starting with A were complete, but there were so many Bronx results, I did not see them.

Have you been helping to index the census? It’s still not too late to sign up. Just visit https://the1940census.com/ and click on the Get Started button to download the software, sign up if you don’t already have an account (choose UJGS as your group), and help index. And when the census is finished, you can help index other records too. Remember that every searchable index on FamilySearch.org is contributed by volunteers — more people indexing means more searchable databases.

Who Do You Think You Are? – Cancelled

It was announced today that NBC is cancelling Who Do You Think You Are? This Friday’s episode featuring Paula Deen will be the last new one for the US show on NBC.

In a press release from Ancestry.com, they will be “exploring other avenues of distribution”. In social networking discussions, some genealogists have suggested they look to cable networks, specifically the History Channel, TLC, or Discovery.

Let’s hope Ancestry finds a new home for this show.

The original version of WDYTYA? began in 2004 on the BBC and has had eight series so far. BBC episodes have aired in many countries, sometimes leading to local versions. The international adaptations include the US, Canada (1 season, 2007-8), Australia (3 seasons aired, renewed for 4th and 5th), Israel (2010), Poland (2006-7), Russia, Germany (4 episodes, 2008), Ireland (2 seasons, 2008-9), South Africa, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and the Netherlands.

IJGM Poster Competition

International Jewish Genealogy Month runs from October 17th to November 14th this year, during the Hebrew month of Cheshvan.

As in previous years, IAJGS is holding a poster/flyer competition. Entries are due by June 3rd and must be submitted by a member organization. There is no age requirement and the creator is not required to be a member of the submitting organization.

The winner receives a free registration to the 2012 conference and will be acknowledged at the conference, on the IAJGS web site, and their name can appear on the poster which will be given electronically to all conference participants and used by JGSes around the world.

Previous IJGM posters can be seen at the IAJGS web site.

1940 US Census – Update On Indexing

FamilySearch and it’s partners (findmypast.com and Archives.com) and volunteers (us!) have completed the indexing of six states: Delaware, Colorado, Kansas, Oregon, Virginia, and New Hampshire. They are all searchable by name.

At the time of this blog post, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming are all showing 100% completion. Sometimes a complete state gets reverted to less than 100% for various reasons, but this group of states should be the next ones available. After the indexing and arbitration is complete, it still takes a bit more time to prepare the indexes for searching; they say about 10-14 days. Currently, about 30% of the census is indexed. At this rate, they are predicting a complete census by July or August.

Ancestry.com has Delaware, Nevada, and Washington DC completed. They have integrated Steve Morse’s one step tool for finding the Enumeration District (ED) into their site for browsing the images.

MyHeritage was the first site to give us a searchable index. Their site says that you can search New York and Rhode Island by name, but a search there clearly reveals that they have not completed all of New York, so it is unclear exactly how much is available. Unlike the other sites that are uploading only by completed states, MyHeritage appears to be uploading each county as it becomes available, but they do not state which counties are finished.

Happy Census Searching!

Jewish Sites at Arlington National Cemetery

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Washington (JGSGW), in partnership with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington (JHSGW), is raising funds to design, print, and distribute a new brochure about Jewish history in Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). It will include information about prominent Jews buried in the cemetery and discuss Jewish burial rites in relation to the cemetery with touches of the history of Jews in the military. Special monuments like for those for Space Shuttle astronauts, Confederate soldiers, and the new Jewish Chaplains Memorial will be included.

In 2008, JGSGW embarked on a project to index the Jews at rest in Arlington National Cemetery. The team of volunteers walked the grounds of the cemetery and photographed all markers bearing a Magen Dovid (a Jewish star). A database was created and is searchable at http://anc.jgsgw.org/index.htm. The data and photos were also donated to JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). They currently have entries for 5,219 Jews buried in ANC.

In March 2012, JGSGW donated $3,000 to the effort to create a new brochure about the highlights of the tour the JHSGW has hosted for years of the Jewish sites and history at ANC. They are asking for donations to reach the goal of $10,000.

Donations may be sent to: ANC Fund, c/o JGSGW, PO Box 1614, Rockville, MD 20849.

This message was sent to us last month from JGSGW, with a photo of the new Jewish Chaplains Memorial. That picture can also be seen on their web site here.

RAOGK Is Back

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness is back!

Begun in 1999, RAOGK was online for just over a decade, providing genealogists a list of volunteers in the US and internationally who could help with things like quick look-ups and cemetery photos. The site grew to have 4300 volunteers all over the world, helping genealogists reach local records that they otherwise could not obtain. Volunteers did the work for free, only asking for reimbursement for actual costs involved, such as photocopies or postage.

RAOGK’s creator, Bridgette Schneider, passed away in November 2011. Shortly before her death, the site experienced some problems and was taken offline. Facebook groups quickly emerged to try to take the place of this powerful resource.

But now it’s back, in the form of a wiki. (A wiki is a user-generated site; anyone can contribute to the content of a wiki, like Wikipedia.) The information from the web site was able to be saved and set up on the new wiki. Unfortunately, all the contact information for the volunteers was not publicly available and therefore is not on the new site.

Those who used the site in the past, or anyone who wants to be a new volunteer, is welcome to sign up for an account and become a RAOGK volunteer.

1940 Census Complete at MyHeritage

If you’ve been trying to access the census at http://1940census.archives.gov/ and you’re still having trouble, so you’ve been waiting for another site to have the images you need, your wait is over.

This morning, MyHeritage announced that they have images for the entire 1940 US Census online now and are continuing to index. As of this article, it appears that Bristol County, Rhode Island is still the only index available, but the day is young.

WWII is Free on Fold3

Fold3, formerly known a Footnote, is offering all of their World War II content free for the month of April. You can search from their World War II page.

I did a search on just the surname Feldstein. The first page of results were all draft registration cards from the fourth registration, known as the “Old Man’s Draft”, because it targeted men who were aged 45-64 at the time. The second page produced many draft registrations and a few other things, including one for Mathausen Death Books.

The draft registrations may help in the search for 1940 census records, providing addresses from April 1942 of men born between 28 April 1877 and 16 February 1897.

1940 Census – First Index Online at MyHeritage

MyHeritage has just announced that they have two million 1940 US Census images online, and the first searchable index.

From their press release:

MyHeritage, the most popular family network on the web today, announced the availability of the first indexed records from the 1940 US Census, searchable for free by names, facts, and other criteria, on http://www.myheritage.com/1940census. In addition, MyHeritage has published two million images of the 1940 US Federal Census out of the total 3.8 million, with complete availability of all images expected in less than 24 hours.

The highly anticipated searchable indexed records and images are amongst the very first to appear on the Internet as millions of people rush to satisfy their curiosity and access one of the most significant and meaningful sets of historical records ever to be released. The first indexed records come from Bristol County in Rhode Island, with a deluge of additional records to be added by MyHeritage each day. The images currently available … cover all of New York, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia, Rhode Island, Missouri, Wyoming, and Nevada. Images for additional states are added every hour.

MyHeritage is the only provider to make the 1940 US census searchable in 38 languages. … The census images are also currently available on the additional historical content sites owned by MyHeritage on http://worldvitalrecords.com/1940census/ and http://familylink.com/1940census/ – with initial searchable indexes expected to be live soon on these web sites, and to grow throughout 2012.

While genealogists around the world are searching for their relatives by using addresses to look up enumeration districts, then scanning through pages of records, previous US censuses have been indexed by several genealogy sites, including MyHeritage and WorldVitalRecords. MyHeritage is the first site to provide an online searchable name index of any 1940 US census records.

What this particular press release didn’t mention is the search technology available at MyHeritage. As records are indexed, they will automatically match up the names to the people found in users’ trees on their web site, alerting users to the census listings even before they may know the location has been indexed. The first states that MyHeritage made available for browsing on April 2nd were New York and Rhode Island.