Free July 2018 Access to

Free July 2018 Access to


Vicki’s note – take advantage of this company’s free access to their database until July 17!  (thanks Ron for keeping me notified of the free genealogy fun things.)



Free Access to ALL Databases on

Have some fun out of the sun this summer!

American Ancestors is granting FREE access to all online databases—highlights include our early New England collections (including the world’s largest Mayflower database) and Boston’s Catholic records from 1789 to 1900 —from now through Tuesday, July 17th.

You can use your free guest membership to search more than 1.4 billion names on this week. Family history is every bit as fun as a vacation on the beach—pass the word!


In the Genealogy Zone of Serenity

In the Genealogy Zone of Serenity

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

SGS – Stateline Genealogy Sorter


See the source image

I spent a great day indoors on the beautifully sunny day this last Saturday July 7, 2018.  What could tempt me to do such a thing on a perfect 80 degree summer gardening day?

(By the way, as I have told you before – Genealogy is the most popular hobby, and gardening is the most popular in the summer.)

The annual (MCGS) McHenry County Genealogical Society Conference was held at the McHenry County Community College, Illinois.  Always professional regional and national genealogy speakers, and great accommodations at a fairly low price. The  MCGS group has it organized well, and improves every year.  This is my third ? year attending.

I learned a lot from all four sessions – one with each speaker.

2018 Jul 7 - MCGS Conference McHenry IL - Vicki Hahn, Judy Russell

Vicki Hahn with the “Legal Genealogist” Judy Russell – who spoke on “NARA Mythbusters: Your  family IS in the Archives”.  I learned how to navigate the complex and thorough government website.  So many records of your family’s interactions with many government agencies!


2018 Jul 7 - MCGS Conference McHenry IL - Vicki Hahn, Lisa Alzo

Vicki Hahn with Family Tree University instructor, author, and Slavic Genealogy expert Lisa Alzo ““, who spoke on “Crossing the Pond: successful Strategies for Researching Eastern European Ancestors”.

The closest that my family gets (as far as I know now) is a slight DNA for “Finland/Russia”, but what a lot of great techniques I learned.  And so many links to Slavic websites that Lisa shared.  Be looking for them soon on the BLOG tab ” Genealogy Links and  Electronic Resources”.

Lisa describes –

“What is Immersion Genealogy?

Immersion Genealogy is the process of discovering where and how our ancestors lived, worked, and worshiped, and experiencing first-hand those customs and traditions they passed down through the generations.”

Some hints from Lisa Alzo:

After searching the United State online records, then search the other country’s on-line databases.  Open them in  Google Chrome using that country’s Google, not the United States one – “.com”  If the website doesn’t not have an in “English” button, GC will ask, “Do you want to translate this page?”

When the records are in a foreign language – learn the key foreign words from that country’s WIKI.  Learn the words that are on the column headings, or circle the key words if in a paragraph form – birth, marriage, death, burial, father, mother, village, etc..  Look for your ancestor’s original name.

Look for your cousins/ancestor/village on Facebook (Groups), or location photographs on or (Click on these two links to see some historic Beloit Wisconsin pictures.)


David Rencher, Chief Genealogist Officer for spoke on “Applied Methodology for Irish Genealogical Research”.  He gave some further insights on how to search for those elusive same-named Irish folks.  Narrow it down to their original name and village. Also look into connections to the rich families in the area – servants were only named in household inventories and did not have their own records early on.  David likened it to searching for African-American slaves before the Civil War.


Curt Witcher, Allen County Library’s Senior Manager for Special Collections, spoke on “German Migration into the American Midwest”  focusing on mostly Indiana.  He showed how to use any secondary source for additional information/clues on the history of your ancestors.  David gave several examples of this, including the use of Wikipedia (which I use all the time.)  He even found pertinent references to German immigrant settlement patterns in a Walworth County (Wisconsin) County History book!

I asked Curt to announce our upcoming visit from Astrid Adler to the Beloit Public Library on October 23, 2018.  It was too perfect of a segue-way on the same topic.  He said, “Come to the program and hear from a real German expert on migration to the United States.”  About 25 people took our Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library 2018 Programs handout with information about the 6:30 p.m. program, “Our Ancestors Were German”.  As Astrid is coming from Germany, it really is great to have a wider interest from the area.

David and Curt both said that migration follows language and not religion.  You may find your ancestor in church records not their own.


I will be adding the two books on McHenry Illinois, (that I obtained), to the Beloit Public Library Local History Genealogy Collection.:

“McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society 10th Anniversary 1981 – 1991 Index – Quarterlies, Newsletters.”, 1993.

“1870 McHenry County Illinois Federal Census”, transcribed by Dee-Ann Stambazze, 1992

I also gathered several brochures to share – on several topics/ regional genealogy groups.  We may want to look into going to Newberry Library in Chicago   Lots of resources, like at WHS Wisconsin Historical Society Library in Madison.


One of the things that I learned from volunteers at the Chicago LDS Family Center was that  intends to have all of their microfilm collection digitized and on-line in 2022.  Some of the bigger Family Centers (like Chicago) have their regional microfilm on-site meanwhile, even though FamilySearch has stopped sending patron’s requested microfilms to any Family Center.  I guess Salt Lake wants to have the microfilm there to digitize 🙂

Lunch was spent speaking with others at the table about genealogy (and quilting!); and sharing information with venders at the booths.  I got three speakers from the venders who are going to present genealogy programs for us in Beloit in 2019.

Marty Acks – from (CAGGNI) Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois will do a program to be determined – maybe on

Kathy Meade from, a subscription service will do a program on how to find your Swedish roots on-line.

And Rebecca Quinn from – “Your photos and stories + our best quality albums = memories to be shared and enjoyed.”  She will present a workshop on either scrap-booking, or how to do the Lifewriting techniques  of “Snapshots of the Spirit; Capturing Your Current Family’s Stories with Bullet Journaling”.  Rebecca will bring her products for purchase, or supply your own.

I also touched bases with people from two genealogy groups that are having me give programs this year (more on that in another Posting,)

So overall, I’m a happy genealogy camper after submerging in the Genealogy Zone of Serenity.

Maybe I will see you there next year?




Fold3 Free July 1 – 15 for Fourth of July

Fold3 Free July 1 – 15 for Fourth of July

July 3, 2018

Note from Vicki – alerting you to this opportunity offered by Fold3.  Happy 4th of July!

Click on this link:


Fold3 free

The Great “German Triangle” of the Midwest – A German Perspective – Our Ancestors Were German

July 12, 2018 Update.

Astrid Adler donated a copy of her newly updated Second Edition of “Our Ancestors Were German” to the Beloit Public Library.  It will be cataloged and processed soon, and available in the Genealogy Collection for you to use, and to view to see if you want to buy a copy of your own at the program.

June 27, 2018

The Great “German Triangle” of the Midwest – A German Perspective – Our Ancestors Were German

Programs by Astrid Adler on tour from Germany

Vicki’s note – It’s not too early to make plans for an autumn trip to Wisconsin to hear from an expert on German emigration to the United States.  Astrid Adler is on her second educational tour from Germany to Wisconsin. Her website is

Astrid Adler

Wisconsin is one point of the German Triangle destination in the United States.

An online article from PBS states :

“…German immigrants were concentrated most heavily in the Great Lakes states and in the Midwest, especially in the “German Triangle” delineated by Milwaukee, Wisconsin; St. Louis, Missouri; and Cincinnati, Ohio….”

Astrid Adler will do programs at three Wisconsin sites, so one may work for your schedule.  She then goes on to Illinois and Missouri to give several more talks .

October 20-23 Wisconsin
October 23-31 Chicago, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri

Lecture Tour to the Midwest region of the United States from October 18 to October 31, 2018

“News About the Upcoming Lecture Tour

What can you expect to hear in my lectures?

I will talk about the daily life in the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, the climatic peculiarities, traditions, and much more.

You will find out why from 1840 to 1900 between 10-50% of the inhabitants emigrated from some of the towns. How did people prepare for emigration at that time? How did people travel from Thuringia to the port cities of Bremerhaven and Hamburg? You will learn interesting facts about the crossing and the journey onward in America. I will report on the lives of immigrants in their new American homeland.”

Astrid’s previous May 2017 tour included a talk at the German American Heritage Museum. Megan Lott, the Vice President of the German American Heritage Foundation found the presentation fascinating. You can read her and the feedback from other people here:
Astrid Adler was recommended to us by Kathy Wurth from the St. Louis Genealogical Society  and

“The Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies is an interdisciplinary unit in the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The Institute is dedicated to

  • researching the story of German-speaking immigrants and their descendants in a global, multicultural, and interdisciplinary context;
  • preserving American print culture and personal documents in the German language and making them part of America’s story and historiography;
  • sharing the Institute’s resources through publications, community outreach, and educational programming.

Our Library and Archives house one of the largest collections of German-language materials published in North America, as well as primary source documents, such as letters, diaries, and business records; and the North American German Dialect Archive, which contains thousands of hours of recordings of immigrant dialects from the mid-1940s to the present.

The Institute is open to the public, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.

We are located on the fourth floor of the University Club on the Madison central campus, 432 East Campus Mall, only a short walk from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the UW–Madison Memorial Library.

More information in the Max Kade Institute brochure.”

Astrid Adler lives in Germany.  In 2016 and 2017 she published two English books about emigration from the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach in the 19th century.
The books are: “Our Ancestors Were German” and “Goodbye Forever – Life Beyond Germany”.
“In the 19th century nearly six million Germans emigrated and most of them never saw Germany again. Some were originally from Grand Duchy Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.
The book explains the German perspective during the time of emigration. Learn what it was like for our ancestors to leave their homeland. For many descendants the details of life in Germany in the 19th century are unknown. How our ancestors said goodbye, traveled to port cities and onward to their destinations, prepared for their journey to America- all these questions and more are answered
Discover how to find information about emigrants from Grand Duchy Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach in German local newspapers, church records and archives, and get ready to search for your own lost ancestors.”

Americans were able to buy the book “Our Ancestors Were German” until last November at, but now both books are available only at Astrid Adler’s own book store on website

“Our Ancestors Were German“ and “Goodbye Forever – Life Beyond Germany“


Astrid will have copies of her books for sale at her programs.  Please let me know me if you want to buy a copy at the Beloit Public Library program so that I can let Astrid know how many to pack.  (Copies are in English or in German.) Here’s your chance to get one signed.
Astrid is planning on having a second edition of “Our Ancestors Were German” available then.
 Astrid is organizing the tour by herself with no financial support from a publisher, etc.

Astrid Adler is always (re)searching for more families that emigrated from Germany.  She encourages any American descendants to share their information.  She has one of the largest database of emigrants from the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach Germany and would like to add to it.

If you have any German Ancestor connections to Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach –  Contact Astrid Adler on her website:

“The search for emigrants and their descendants continues. Even the most insignificant note can help to locate more emigrants from South Thuringia, Germany. Private genealogists, both in Germany and worldwide…”

At her website under “Search Your Ancestor”
Click on any of the various geographical links to see the German emigrant ancestor information on Astrid’s database:
Here are Astrid’s links to other Tiefenort, Germany and the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach area for your own research:


“Our Ancestors Were German” by Astrid Adler

at Beloit Public Library:

The free Tuesday October 23, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. program  is co-sponsored by the (GIG) German Interest Group – Wisconsin of Janesville, WI and Beloit Public Library.

For questions – Contact me, Vicki Hahn or GIG President – John wasserstrass

Astrid Adler Our Ancestors Were German Program

Happy Genealogy Search Help Today

Happy Genealogy Search Help Today

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

Here’s the satisfaction and reward of helping our patrons:

A man and his wife came into the Library looking for genealogy information on his Beloit grandfather who had been injured and hospitalized for decades, estranged from his family.

I was able to find many WI newspaper articles about the circumstances of his death and an obituary.

He had never found that much information in his genealogy searches.

I love Badgerlink Newspaper Access Archives!

Hint – it does not have Beloit Daily News, but many news events get into the other WI newspapers that are covered.

The man gave a $10 donation to the Library in appreciation of my research work,

But even better, he said, “Oh I feel such relief now that I know what happened.”

His wife said, “Now you can sleep and eat again.”

I was near tears.

Genealogy discoveries can be very powerful.

Genealogists Can be Detectives

Genealogists Can be Detectives


Vicki’s Note – this is an article from . Click on the title to read the full article.   I saved the research help links in this article to the BLOG tab “Genealogy Links and Electronic Helps” under the heading “Missing, Unidentified, or Unclaimed Deceased Persons”.   Genealogists can do a lot to help families to find relatives and to find closure.:


How Genealogists are Helping Coroners Track Down Family

When someone dies alone, county coroners must track down next of kin to notify—and they’re increasingly asking genealogists for help. See how three determined researchers cracked a tough family-finding case.

Zulma Ramos died alone of cancer two weeks after the start of 2016. Investigators at the Orange County, Calif., coroners office, charged with notifying her family, knew that she was somebody’s someone. A sibling? Mother? Wife? Friend? Who would want to know she was gone?

Her case is not an unusual one

Every year, US county offices investigate thousands of unclaimed deceased persons, looking for next of kin to contact about burial arrangements and estate distribution—and just to let the family know what happened. But finding families isn’t always a simple matter. Overburdened coroners and medical examiners increasingly are reaching out to another group accustomed to reconstructing the lives of the dead: genealogists.

After 71 days of working leads in Ramos’ case, Supervising Deputy Coroner Kelly Keyes contacted the Genealogical Society of North Orange County (GSNOCC) in Yorba Linda, Calif. Follow the three amateur genealogists—myself, Maury Jacques and Lynn V. Baden—who worked the case, using scraps of minimal and misleading information to find Ramos’ lost family….”


Mastering Maps, Atlases and Gazetteers Free Online Genealogy Course


Mastering Maps, Atlases and Gazetteers Free Online Genealogy Course

Find the Places Where Your Ancestors Lived

In this FREE independent study course, you’ll discover tips and tools for using old maps, atlases and gazetteers to find your ancestors and solve problems caused by shifting political boundaries and changing place names. Plus, you’ll get plenty of resources for finding the maps, atlases and gazetteers most relevant to your family history.
If you’ve been thinking of trying a Family Tree University online genealogy course, register today to give it a try!

This item is excluded from coupons, sales, and additional discounts.

SKU: R8507

Availability: In stock.


Special Price $0.00


Change Your Password on!


Vicki’s note – an email notice from about a Data Breach!:


Notice of data breach

Dear ,
As one of our registered users, we are writing to share important information with you about a security incident which is related to your MyHeritage account, as well as steps we have taken in response to the incident and recommended actions you may wish to take.
What Happened?
On June 4, 2018, at 1 pm EST, we became aware of a data breach involving the email addresses and hashed passwords (these are not actual passwords) of 92.3 million MyHeritage users.
We learned about the breach when MyHeritage’s Chief Information Security Officer received a message from a security researcher, which stated that the researcher had found a file named myheritage containing email addresses and hashed passwords located on a private server outside of MyHeritage. Our Information Security Team received the file from the security researcher, reviewed it, and confirmed that its contents originated from MyHeritage and included all the email addresses of users who signed up to MyHeritage up to October 26, 2017, as well as their hashed passwords. We made a public announcement about the breach within 8 hours of learning about it (
What Information Was Involved?
Accessible information included your email address. The password associated with your account also was accessible but hashed using a cryptographic process, which like other hashing techniques converts plain text into a string of numbers and characters. MyHeritage does not store user passwords, but rather a one-way hash of each password, in which the hash key differs for each customer.
Immediately upon receipt of the file, MyHeritage’s Information Security Team analyzed the file and began an investigation to determine how its contents were obtained and to identify any potential exploitation of the MyHeritage system. We determined that the file was legitimate and included the email addresses and hashed passwords of 92,283,889 users who had signed up to MyHeritage up to, and including, October 26, 2017, which was the date of the breach.
The security researcher reported that no other data related to MyHeritage was found on the private server. There has been no evidence that the data in the file was ever used by the perpetrators. Furthermore, we have not seen any activity indicating that any MyHeritage accounts had been compromised between October 26, 2017 (the date of the breach) and the present.
We believe the intrusion is limited to the user email addresses and hashed passwords. We have no reason to believe that any other MyHeritage systems were compromised. For example, credit card information is not stored on MyHeritage, but only on trusted third-party billing providers (e.g., BlueSnap, PayPal) utilized by MyHeritage. Other types of sensitive data such as family trees and DNA data are stored by MyHeritage on segregated systems, separate from those that store the email addresses, and they include added layers of security. We have no reason to believe those systems have been compromised.
What We Are Doing
  • Immediately upon learning about the incident, we set up an Information Security Incident Response Team to investigate the incident. We have engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity firm to conduct comprehensive forensic reviews to determine the scope of the intrusion; and to conduct an assessment and provide recommendations on steps that can be taken to help prevent such an incident from occurring in the future.
  • We have notified relevant authorities as per GDPR.
  • We set up a 24/7 security customer support team to assist customers who have concerns or questions about the incident.
  • We expired all passwords on MyHeritage, requiring our users to set a new password. You can read more about this in the follow up announcement we issued on June 5, 2018 (
  • We added the option of Two-Factor Authentication for user accounts.
What You Can Do
  1. Change your password on MyHeritage.

    We have protected your account by expiring your former password and requiring a password reset. Visit the MyHeritage website and log in. You will be prompted to set a new password. If you are not prompted, change your password as described in our FAQ article here: ( If you are using our mobile app or the Family Tree Builder genealogy software, first change the password on the website and then set the same new password on the mobile app and/or Family Tree Builder.

    Changing your password is a prudent and recommended practice. After doing this, you will be safer, because even if someone else has your password, they will not be able to access your MyHeritage account.

    We recommend you change your password on every other site where you used the same password. The most secure passwords are those that are difficult to guess and are used on only one website.

  2. Add Two-Factor Authentication (optional).

    Two-Factor Authentication is an extra layer of security for your account, designed to ensure that you’re the only person who can access your account, even if someone knows your password. Two-Factor Authentication allows you to authenticate yourself using a mobile phone in addition to a password, which further hardens your MyHeritage account against illegitimate access. For more details, see our blog post (

  3. Review Your Account.

    Regularly review your account and report any suspicious or unrecognized activity immediately. Be vigilant and report any suspected incidents of fraud to us.

  4. Protect Your Data.

    Never confirm or provide personal information such as passwords or account information to anyone contacting you. MyHeritage will never send you any unsolicited emails asking for your password.

For More Information
For more information listing additional steps you may wish to consider taking at any time if you ever suspect that you may have been the victim of identity theft, please go to this page:
If you have questions or concerns, you can contact our security customer support team via email on or by phone via the toll-free number (USA) +1 888 672 2875, available 24/7 in English. For our customer support phone numbers in other countries, see our Contact Page ( and when calling, pick option 5 in the menu (privacy). If asked by our staff, note that your account ID on MyHeritage is 66505363.
As always, your privacy and the security of your data are our highest priority. We continually assess our procedures and policies and seek new ways to improve our approach to security. We understand the importance of our role as custodians of your information and work every day to earn your trust.
Thank you for your understanding.
The MyHeritage Team

Tour & Research, WHS Wisconsin Historical Society


See you bright and early tomorrow at the Bus Stop for our bus departure at 8:00 a.m. for road trip to WHS Library!


Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library

June 22, 2018 – Bonus 4th Friday Tour & Research,

WHS Wisconsin Historical Society

Join us on the trip to research books and maps from all states, (specializing in Wisconsin), and all countries. 

Meet at South Beloit, Illinois Van Galder bus terminal – FasMart/McDonalds Travel Plaza, 15766 Manchester Road at about 7:30 a.m. It is located near Highway 75 & I-39/90 (Exit 1).


Parking is available with permit from gas station attendant at $3.00 per day. Please park in the designated area.

The bus leaves at 8:00 a.m. and arrives 9:15 a.m. in Madison, Wisconsin:

Madison, Wisconsin-UW Campus/Downtown Madison  – Location Change
Effective August 30, 2017, all intercity buses will now load/unload in the 800 block of Langdon Street, near Park Street, directly across from the UW Memorial Union at 800 Langdon.

(Buy bus ticket on-line – round trip $18.50.)

You can join us on the bus at the Janesville, Wisconsin bus stop; go at a different time later in the day; leave early; or drive your own car.  Join us at the University of Wisconsin WHS Wisconsin Historical Society Library when you can.

There will be a short initial orientation tour at 9:30 a.m., and then do research on your own.

Lunch is on your own – sack lunch, or go as a group to nearby restaurants.

Library Stacks close 4:30 p.m., Library closes 5:00 p.m.

Plan on returning on the 5:30 p.m. bus to South Beloit Bus terminal at 6.55 p.m.

Van Galder Coach Bus Lines.

South Beloit, IL-FasMart/McDonalds to

Madison, WI – UW Campus @ Langdon and Park


Buy your tickets on-line here.

Madison to/from So Beloit – $18.50

Walk up fares higher than online prices!

Bus ticket

$18.50 Round Trip

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