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October 2014
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Free Access Week on Ancestry

This week, starting Aug 29 until Sept 5 all world immigration and travel records will be free to search on Ancestry.  Start searching today!

Footnote Changes It’s Name

Footnote announced 18 August it would be changing it’s name to Fold3 in it’s commitment to offering the finest and most comprehensive collection of U.S. Military records available on the internet.

Why Fold3?

Fold3 will be adding millions of U.S. military records as it continues to not only host existing records but expand it’s military collection.

From their newsletter:

“Traditionally, the third fold in a flag-folding ceremony honors and remembers veterans for their sacrifice in defending their country and promoting peace in the world.”

Geni – Doomed?

Geni.com was never one of my favourite sites. I am not a big fan of this type of website normally but since it was free, and I had some control over it I decided to give it a try and added a few generations of family on it.

Well on August 11th, 2011 Geni.comi announced that “Geni Pro Just Got a Whole Lot Better” (For those of you who don’t know, Geni Pro is the premium part of the site which users can pay to use additional upgraded features.) Unfortunately the Genealogy community doesn’t think this is such a great thing since Geni Pro subscribers now have full permission to add on to, edit, and merge profiles in the historical parts of the tree but limits Non-Pros from adding new profiles to the historical tree or merge profiles. It also limits Non-Pros from viewing trees other than those of “close relatives” and from entering relatives names past their third-great grandparents. This reminds me of the old OneWorldTree on Ancestry.com

I’m also wondering why I, as a Non-Pro subscriber never received any communication about this prior to reading it on other people’s blogs…

To read what some are saying about the changes you can view:

But all is not lost. In a recent statement made on Geni.com, Geni will be allowing Public Access in several libraries and Centers so that people will have a chance to experience Pro Geni advantages.

Doomed? In my eyes it is. I like to research in the comfort of my own home – especially now that winter is coming and so it will be no use to me. Nor do I plan to pay for the privilege of putting my tree online where anyone can just go in and edit/add/merge to it so I *won’t* be participating. Besides, when I go to the library it is to conduct research. My time is valuable to me and I can’t afford to spend any additional time in a library for this. I might as well use a program such as PAF and upload my tree here or to my own website.

Now if I can only find a way to delete my tree of the site since it seems they have even made that difficult!

Source Documentation Examples

Frequently I get asked the correct way to source a document when entered into a genealogy software program. Most programs offer in their ‘Help’ link examples of how to do this but often you would need to go back and refer to it each time to enter a record to ensure you have completely it correctly.
Recently I read an article in Family Tree Magazine which offers a downloadable Source Documentation Cheat Sheet in PDF format that takes some of the guesswork out of how to do with by providing several useful examples. I have placed mine in the front sleeve of a binder I have which contain additional Research and other genealogy related essential charts .

Archivio di Stato di Cosenza – Catasto Onciario

Cosenza has done it again. Researching your family history has never been easier as you now don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to trace that elusive ancestor.

Cosenza has been busy over the last few years putting their Civil Records online using a combination of extractions and images and now they have put the Catasto’s online for all the Comuni in Cosenza. For many researchers this is a dream come true as they are often the first documented records of the residents of any town available next to Church records.

The Catasto Onciario were records of taxes paid by the commoners of a comune to the City and list all items in their possession at they time. This is what the taxes were based on and were taken in the mid 1700’s. They also list any servants living on the property at the time.

Hopefully other provinces in Italy will follow this example and do the same.

The White House Blog

From the The White House Blog is the article about
President Obama’s Long Form Birth Certificate

Archivio di Stato di Venezia – Military Records Search

Military Records Search

Archivio di Stato di Venezia

Military records are a wonderful way to find out information about a person.  Generally the Italian records valuable genealogical information such the name of the person, his age, birth date, place of birth, parents names (mother’s maiden name) and a full physical description of him.  More information can be found here:   Military & Conscription Records.

Military & Conscription Records Examples

Military & Conscription Records

Here are some examples of Military Draft Cards and Conscription records.

Italian Draft Registration Card

Italian Draft Registration Card


If you’re ancestors were from Northern Italy and you are looking Military Records from Venezia you may want to give the Archivio di Stato di Venezia search a try.  Please note:  The site is in Italian.

Old Italian Handwriting

Marriage Record 1873

Handwritten Marriage Act 1873

Old Italian record can be difficult to read at first glance – especially if you have no knowledge of the language or are expecting it to be similar to American records. They can be quite detailed and some, like the marriage record posted courtesy of Cosenza Exchange are completely hand written.

Birth Act 1888

Example of a Standard Birth Act 1888


But most Italian vital records are similar to the birth act posted on the right where a standard form is used and the remaining information is filled in as the event occurred. Because these forms were so standard, much of the *important* information is easy to pick out once you know where to look.


There are several great sites available to help you decipher the old handwriting and Family Search even offers a three part online course for this on their site. Each course is between 25 and 30 minutes long and covers The Italian Alphabet, Italian Words and Phrases and Reading Italian Records.

Another excellent site I really enjoyed going through is Italian Family Search. There are several examples of vital records and Italian Handwriting sheets available for download and which make a great reference guide.

Family Tree Magazine – Top 40 Blogs for 2011

Family Village on Facebook


I have been playing Family Village on Facebook for almost a week now and while I thought I would really enjoy it it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. The game is a spin off of a person’s family tree. Players add their family into the program and have the opportunity to immigrate them over, purchase homes, and assign them jobs. They create their own little village.
Ok, before anyone bites my head off I DO realize it is still in Alpha testing but the game freezes often (sometimes for hours) and you end up getting totally frustrated as you lose coins which have taken hours to collect!

What also makes it annoying is that living people must confirm their relationship in order to continue so unless you allow the game to send them an email you can not move them forward (unless of course you actually purchase Family bucks with real money).

The game is confusing at best and too time consuming. I think I will put it away  for now and perhaps revisit it once they get all the bugs worked out.

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