church records

22 Oct 2014

Ancestry Subscription Discount from AARP

Ancestry Subscription Discount from AARP - Sassy Jane GenealogyThe Ancestry Subscription Discount from AARP is for real! You can save $100 on an annual Ancestry World Explorer subscription if you are an American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) member. A few weeks ago, I published a post about the 30 percent AARP discount to Ancestry.com subscriptions for new or renewing Ancestry World Explorer subscribers.

There was confusion among readers and online about Ancestry‘s actual pricing for this subscription discount, so here’s what I learned when I called today to renew my annual subscription.

Membership levels:

There are now three levels of Ancestry subscriptions:

U.S. Discovery: All U.S. records on Ancestry.com ($20/monthly or $99/6 months but no discount through AARP)

World Explorer: All U.S. & international records on Ancestry.com ($34.99/monthly, $149/6 months or $104/6 months with AARP membership, renewable for another six months at the AARP discount rate)

17 Sep 2014

Newly Discovered New England Church Records

Colonial-era New England church records are being gathered, transcribed, and digitized by the Congregational Church Library and Archives.

New England’s Hidden Histories: Colonial-Era Church Records are now being made available online by the Congregational Library, according to their website, History Matters. The New England church records include digital copies of microfilmed records already in the library archive, and other records discovered by project participants and often donated by individual congregations for safekeeping by the Congregational Library and research access.

According to History Matters:

Congregational church records are an unparalleled source of information about the religious activities of the early colonists, and about many other aspects of early American life as well. They provide a richly detailed view of town governments and social customs, data on births and marriages and deaths, and demonstrate the ways that ordinary people participated in community-wide decision-making — information that is simply not available in […]

30 Mar 2014

Some Thoughts on Reading German Parish Microfilm

Warning: genealogy whining ahead. I have some thoughts on reading German parish microfilm – a LOT of German parish microfilm that looked just like the screenshot on the right.

I was lucky to be at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, with every roll of microfilm available. So I did due diligence, reading German parish microfilm for five days for every village in my search area – but with no results.

Why did I pick genealogy? Why not something easier, like taking up home dentistry, a backyard moon launch, or counting grains of sand on the beach?

So after all those hours and rolls of German records, I have to say there are two people I dislike, however pointlessly retroactive.

The pastor:

Let’s leave handwriting and spelling out of it. Not fair to pick on the guy when that was his job to be the educated person in a village who was responsible for creating vital records, now is it?

But I’m so glad the pastor made sure write JOHANN GOTTFRIED and MARIA ANNA in letters two inches high and then write the surname in tiny tiny script buried somewhere in the record like it was a secret. And of course, the pastor made sure use a mix of Sütterlinschrift, Kurrentschrift, Roman letters, plus some Latin and Polish mixed in, just to keep things light.

And yes, some of that handwriting strongly resembles a chicken on acid who ran through an inkwell before it made a break for freedom running across the pages of the parish register.

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2 Nov 2012

Follow Friday: Free Quaker Genealogy Resources Online

Quakers in your family tree? The Quaker Information Center at the Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana, can probably help. Their site has information on Quakerism, a resource list of printed publications, and this list of major collections of U.S. Quaker archives:

Following are some of the major collections of the records of U.S. Friends meetings. It would be helpful and appreciated if you would review the web pages of these collections before making inquiries to them:

  • Most archives of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and Baltimore Yearly Meeting are stored with one or both of the two libraries listed below.
  • The records of New York Yearly Meeting are deposited in the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College. Friends Historical Library Swarthmore College Phone: 610-328-8496 Email: friends@swarthmore.edu (See the link for “genealogy.”)
  • Archives for Indiana and Western and Northern Yearly Meetings are housed at