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  • What’s New at FamilySearch – December 2016

    Jan 6

    Every month, FamilySearch puts together a blog that shows the new changes and updates that happened on the FamilySearch.org website and on their apps. They often add new things to their vast resources and improve features that already existed. Here is a look at what's new at FamilySearch as of December 2016. In December of 2016, FamilySearch m...

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  • California Birth Records 1905-1995

    Jan 5

    Do you have any relative born in the state of California between 1905 and 1995 (most of the 20th century)? Those records are in the form of an index collection which includes the name of the child, name of the mother, date of birth, and county and covers about 24,614,871 California births. The index is part of the online 'American Ancestors.org'. ...

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  • Don’t Throw That Away!

    Jan 5

    It can sometimes be difficult to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. This is true for a lot of situations in life – including genealogy. Things get harder when you are assigned the task of going through a deceased family member's belongings. There are some things that genealogists should not throw away without taking a close look at it...

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  • Genealogy and History Activities at the National Archives – January 2017

    Jan 4

    The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper. They hold the most important documents and materials created by the United States Federal government. In addition, the National Archives provides free genealogy workshops and free history activities. Here is what is being offered at the National Archives Washi...

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  • Hart Island Might Become Open to the Public

    Jan 3

    Hart Island is open to family members of the deceased who are buried there. It is possible that in the future Hart Island might truly become open to the public. It depends on what the New York City Council decides. The Department of Corrections is responsible for operating and maintaining Hart Island, a public burial ground that is located on...

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  • Your Ancestors Used Those Words?

    Jan 3

    Just like many things (buildings, technology, food, clothing styles, transportation, etc), words and phrases change over the years.   One area to have changed a good deal are the use of certain words and what they meant. Since the United States was a British colony for decades, many of their words and phrases were also used in America. There a...

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  • Check Hometown Street Names

    Jan 2

    Very much an overlooked source is a family surname that is used in  a family's hometown for naming of a street, a park, a building, a bridge, a school, a river, or lake. There had to be a reason why a specific place, structure, natural item has your family name. True, it may have been named for a person NOT related to your family. However, a good...

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  • How Your Ancestors Survived the Winter

    Jan 2

    Today, your family survives the cold winter weather by going indoors and turning on the heat. Most homes now have central heating, which warms the home by sending hot air through vents and into all of the rooms. How did your ancestors survive the winter without central heating? If your ancestors were Japanese, they used a kotatsu. It is a hea...

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  • New Years’ Day Open House

    Jan 1

    Celebrations, like any holiday, were marked by different traditions of our ancestors. In the Colonial-era (1700s) Americans greeted the New Year, (January 1st) with informal social gatherings often held in "open" houses. This custom originated in New Netherlands (New York) and quickly became popular in other parts of the country. So the celebrating...

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  • A Little Productive Time Pays Dividends

    Dec 31

    For the new year here are ideas to increase your knowledge of your ancestors. How about setting aside a short period of time once a week, every other weekend or even once a month to do some research on your family tree? Here are a few approaches: Create a 'To-Do List' - start with just a few of the resources (census, state archives, military reco...

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  • Basic Vital Records Needed

    Dec 29

    For the upcoming new year, you might of thought of doing a full out effort to work on your family history. That is a great idea!! You might have started or had handed to you what someone earlier in the family had done, but now is your chance to achieve a good working and expanded knowledge of your ancestors. The key is to make sure you have four o...

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  • How to Save the Photos in Magnetic Albums

    Dec 27

    At one time using those magnetic albums with self-adhesive surfaces to arrange and hold in place photos was just about the only type of album used, especially in the 1960s-1990s. Magnetic albums aren’t magnetic at all. The pages have adhesive on them. The adhesive is acidic (aka very bad for photos). The photos can yellow and it also makes the ph...

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  • The History of Kissing Under the Mistletoe

    Dec 26

    Does your family hang mistletoe as part of their Christmas decorations? There is a tradition that involves kissing underneath the mistletoe. Have you ever wondered why people do this? The history using mistletoe in relation to fertility or kissing goes back farther than you might realize. There are 1,300 mistletoe species worldwide. Mistleto...

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  • 100 Years Ago – Letter to Santa

    Dec 25

    It is so heartwarming to read a real-life story where a stranger went out of his way to find information about a lady who lived 1897 to 1979 in New York. She and her husband had no children, nor nieces / nephews to see that a proper headstone engraving was done when the woman died after her husband. Yet, the stranger involved in this story really s...

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  • Christmas Day Photos

    Dec 25

    No matter the ages of those in the household celebrating Christmas this year, take the time to take photos. Don't worry about posing everyone just perfect, instead, have photos of having FUN. It can be while opening gifts, cleaning up the wrapping on the floor, the playing with a special gift received, finishing preparing the Christmas meal and of ...

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