13 Jan 2017

You Are in Whether or Not You Want to Be

Right now, you are in whether or not you want to be. Information about you and other living family members has been aggregated and is available for free. From the Washington Post, an article today entitled “You’ve Probably Never Heard of This Creepy Genealogy Site. But It Knows a Lot About You.” Abby Ohlheiser writes,
There are many “people search” sites and data brokers out there, like Spokeo, or Intelius, that also know a lot about you. This is not news, at least for the Internet-literate. And the information on FamilyTreeNow comes largely from the public records and other legally accessible sources that those other data brokers use. What makes FamilyTreeNow stand out on the creepy scale, though, is how easy the site makes it for anyone to access that information all at once, and free.

…Unusually for a site like this, FamilyTreeNow doesn’t require a fee, or even the creation of an account, to access […]

9 Jan 2017

World War II Diaries of Friendship, Suffering, Death

From the Washington Post today, a story of World War II diaries of friendship, suffering, death now preserved at the Library of Congress.

In September 1944, after two years of suffering in POW camps in the Philippines, U.S. Army Lt. George Washington Pearcy was being transferred to one of Japan’s “hell ships,” bound for captivity in the enemy’s home islands.
Before he left, he entrusted his diary to a fellow prisoner who was staying behind. Pearcy had written the diary on the backs of tin-can labels and other scraps of paper, and he wanted to make sure it survived him.

He gave it to Lt. Robert F. Augur, a friend who had lost a leg in the fighting at Corregidor in 1942 and who kept a small journal of his own.

Pearcy, 29, was killed a few weeks later when the prison ship Arisan Maru was torpedoed by an American submarine. Augur, 34, […]

30 Dec 2016

Shortening Ancestry Links

Today’s post is about shortening Ancestry links. Lately I’ve been getting lots of very long URLs for links to specific records. Here’s an example of a long URL for a record in the 1820 U.S. census:

I want to paste this link into my family tree program as usual. But I quickly bump up against the character limits for the citation field in my family tree software and get this message:

There are several ways to overcome long URLs, but here are two of the easiest and quickest.

When you find a record with a long URL, click on one of the records Ancestry suggests for that person on the right side of the window. Then click again on the link to the record you found originally. This time the page should load with a much shorter URL.
If that doesn’t work, I turn to, a URL-shortening free service. This […]

28 Dec 2016

January 2017 Free Family History Library Webinars

Been neglecting your tree over the holidays? The Family History Library has announced the January 2017 Free Family History Library Webinars schedule, listed below. All classes are taught by staff of the Family History Library. Webinar attendees should click on the link next to the class title to attend online at the scheduled date and time. Meeting rooms are also announced for those able to attend in person in Salt Lake City. All times listed are in Mountain Standard Time (MST). No registration is required.




Tue, 3 Jan, 1:00 PM
Starting Family Tree: Starting with Family Tree Webinar (Beginner)
2 N Lab

Wed, 4 Jan, 11:00 AM
Ask Your United States Research Question Webinar (Beginner)
B2 Lab

Fri, 6 Jan, 1:00 PM
British Case Study Webinar (Beginner)
B2 Lab

Sat, 7 Jan, 1:00 PM
Poner tus asuntos en orden: Métodos de organización Webinar (Beginner)
B1 Lab

Tue, 10 Jan, 11:00 AM
Starting Family Tree: Research Help and Searching Records Webinar (Beginner)
2 S Lab

Tue, 10 Jan, 1:00 PM
Turning the Tables […]