Tag Archives: Ancestry.com

Free Trial Access to Fold3 Until Midnight Saturday May 25, 2018

Free Trial Access to Fold3

Until Midnight Saturday May 25, 2018

May 24, 2018

Vicki’s note – You might want to make use of this limited free access to Fold3 sponsored by Ancestry.com (which owns Fold3 now.)  Click on the link below:

PREPARE FOR MEMORIAL DAY

Fold 3 FREE ACCESS* MAY 24 – MAY 26

Discover your family’s military past

I tried out the trial. You can get to the information about your veteran, but have to set up a free trial by registering with your email if you want to download, print, or save the resources you find.  I you don’t want to do that, your options are to hand copy the information, or save it to (your subscription paid membership) Ancestry.com Family Tree site if you have one. 

Here is an example of how you can save a document from this Fold3 trial onto your Ancestry.com Family Tree.  (I did find other military records for this relative.)  Click on the green “Save to Ancestry” button.:

Fold3 Trial

This will take you to your Ancestry.com Family Tree, and give your the option to type in your Veteran Ancestor’s name to save to.

I experimented, and found that those page(s) that I saved  on my veteran ancestor’s Ancestry.com “Gallery” were fuzzy and unreadable.  It does save the Source information, but you may want to make extensive notes about what each document says.  (Or ask for my advice in person for a different way to do this 🙂

It is always a good idea for you to save any documents/photographs onto your computer hard drive/USB as well.  Otherwise you will not be able to access your documents saved onto Ancestry.com or Fold3 if your membership subscriptions lapse.

What a great way to honor our veteran ancestors on Memorial Day Weekend!

And a good chance to experiment with Fold3 and see if it is a database that you might want to subscribe to later.

Thanks Ancestry.com and Fold3.com.

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Explore global military records on Fold3. Hurry, ends Saturday.
Search free
Ancestry
To honor Memorial Day, we’re proud to offer free access to all military records on Fold3—now through Saturday.

Search over 530 million records on Fold3, a historical military records-focused website. See how your family served our country and uncover unique personal details you won’t find anywhere else.

*Access to the records on Fold3 will be free until May 26, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. After the free access period ends, you will be only able to view the records in the collections using an Ancestry All Access or Fold3 paid membership.

 

Some Family Tree Software And On-line Options To Consider

Some Family Tree Software Options To Consider

May 16, 2018

Vicki’s note – Once you find several families in your family history, it is time to look into organizing them onto a computerized family tree.  Here is an update on some options that you may want to consider:

Related image

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From Ancestry.com Family Tree Maker FAQ

In 2016, Ancestry.com got out of the software business to concentrate on their database.  They sold their Family Tree Maker software to Software MacKiev.  There has been a transition to the new owner with Ancestry.com continuing support of Family Tree Maker support.  

It seemed that I did not hear a lot about a finished stable product,until I searched the Ancestry.com website for this information.  The beta testing is over and they worked closely with MacKiev to make sure there would still be the ability to upload, download, and sync Family Tree Maker to Ancestry.

Software MacKiev is using a new syncing technology incorporated into Family Tree Maker 2017, called FamilySync™. Family Tree Maker 2017 is now available for purchase on MacKiev.com. The new technology, FamilySync™by Software MacKiev, replaced Ancestry’s TreeSync®.

“What you should know:

  • On March 29, 2017, Ancestry and MacKiev permanently retired TreeSync.
  • FamilySync is available only in Software MacKiev’s Family Tree Maker 2017.
  • Family Tree Maker editions prior to 2017 are no longer able to sync with Ancestry trees, but older software is still usable as a standalone program.
  • Ancestry search, merge, and tree hints will continue to work in Family Tree Maker 2017.

How can I continue to connect Family Tree Maker to Ancestry?

You’ll need to upgrade to Family Tree Maker 2017. Family Tree Maker 2017 allows you to sync Ancestry trees, search Ancestry records, and receive Ancestry hints.

The features below are available in Family Tree Maker 2017:

  • Syncing your trees in Family Tree Maker to your Ancestry trees
  • Searching Ancestry’s databases and merging data into your tree
  • Viewing Ancestry hints
  • Uploading and downloading a trees
  • Web dashboard Information
  • The interactive map
  • Viewing sources on Ancestry

How can I purchase Family Tree Maker 2017?

Family Tree Maker 2017 for Mac and Windows is available for purchase by visiting MacKiev.com.

Do I need a new Ancestry subscription to use FTM 2017?

Any Ancestry subscription may be used with Family Tree Maker 2017.”

If you have an Ancestry.com subscription, you can build on-line family tree(s).  Once your subscription ends, you can no longer access your family tree to make additions or to edit it, until you pay for a new subscription.

“From https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/Differences-between-Ancestry-and-Family-Tree-Maker :

Ancestry is a website, and Family Tree Maker is software you install on your computer. Ancestry can be accessed only from web browsers (such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox) and (on mobile devices) the Ancestry app, while Family Tree Maker can be accessed even when a computer is not connected to the internet.

Though Family Tree Maker software works with Ancestry, Family Tree Maker is sold and supported by Software MacKiev.”

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From http://www.rootsmagic.com/ancestry/

RootsMagic and Ancestry: Working Together at Last

“Last year, we announced we were working with Ancestry® to integrate Ancestry Hints® and Ancestry’s records and online trees with our software. After months of development and the feedback of thousands of testers, we’re pleased to announce the release of RootsMagic 7.5, a free update to RootsMagic 7 that adds two amazing new features: TreeShare™ for Ancestry and the addition of Ancestry Hints to RootsMagic’s WebHints™ feature.

TreeShare for Ancestry

RootsMagic’s TreeShare for Ancestry will let you move data between your RootsMagic files on your computers and your personal Ancestry online trees. You can transfer people, events, notes, source citations, and even pictures between the two systems.

RootsMagic users also gain the ability to easily share and collaborate with others by giving family members access to their Ancestry online tree. Using the new TreeShare feature, family members can then synchronize the latest changes and additions to both the online tree and their desktop computers.

Ancestry Hints Integration

RootsMagic leverages the Ancestry Hints capability, and as possible matches are found, users may conveniently review them from within the software. RootsMagic then lets you add new information and media from matching records into your file.

Free RootsMagic Essentials Software

For those that are just starting their journey into the world of genealogy, RootsMagic offers “RootsMagic Essentials”- a free version of their software with a limited set of features tailored towards beginners.

If you have an account with Ancestry, RootsMagic Essentials includes the ability to upload your file to Ancestry or download your existing online trees from Ancestry. If you are a subscriber to Ancestry, RootsMagic Essentials also allows you to search and view all of the content in your subscription. Those wishing to compare and transfer individual records between RootsMagic and Ancestry will want to use the full-featured RootsMagic software.”

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Here are some other Software products to record your family tree on:

LegacyFamilyTree.com – has a robust, free “Standard” computer software version, and the option for a paid “Deluxe” version.  I have used the basic free software, and decided to purchase the deluxe for the enhanced features.  Your Family Tree is not on-line.  MyHeritage.com and Legacy Family Tree have created a partnership (separate yet linked).  On LegacyFamilyTree, you can receive hints for MyHeritage.com, but can only see brief information without an additional subscription.

MyHeritage.com itself has a free basic (on-line) family tree (250 people) that you can create, with a full (on-line)family tree available as part of a subscription.

TribalPages.com is another free (on-line) family tree  – Family Tree Maker.  Others can only see it if you invite family and relatives to view or update your family tree website.

“Each ancestry project becomes its own private and secure website that can be loaded with photos, charts, reports, maps, relationships, events and stories. Just add names of your relatives & ancestors or import a GEDCOM file and instantly create your free family tree. Your site can create custom newsletters for each member with birthday and anniversary reminders, recent site activity and send them out every two weeks.”

You can share/copy your family tree to any of these by importing a GEDCOM file from any other site, and instantly create/duplicate your family tree.

FamilySearch.org is another on-line site where you can create a family tree.  It is my understanding that, not only is it on-line, but that anyone in the world can add/change “your” tree.  It is a shared tree.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints manages FamilySearch.org.  You can send in corrections for them to consider changing.

Ancestry.com – big data leak

12-29-2017

Vicki’s Note: 12-28-2017 Article By Francis Navarro, Komando.com – Kim Komando, “America’s digital Goddess”.  Sounds like most problems are with people who used Rootsweb surname searches.  Maybe worth changing your Ancestry.com password if you subscribe.  To read the full article click HERE. :

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“Ancestry.com suffers big data leak – 300,000 user credentials exposed

Ancestry.com has confirmed that a server on its RootsWeb service exposed a file that has usernames, email addresses and passwords of 300,000 registered users. RootsWeb is Ancestry.com’s free collection of community-driven tools for sharing genealogical information such as user forums and mailing lists.

According to data breach tracking website HaveIbeenPwned’s Troy Hunt, the stolen information was leaked and posted online in plain text. Hunt also believes that the breach occurred in 2015.

In an official statement released by Ancestry.com’s Chief Information Security Officer Tony Blackham, they were informed by Hunt about the file on December 20 and they have confirmed that the file does contain the login credentials of the users of RootWeb’s surname list information. Yikes….

To read Ancestry.com’s official statement, click here.

Read this article to help you create the perfect passwords….”

Rootsweb Surname List Ends Oct 24, 2017!

Vicki’s note – I just found this out.  Be sure and use this resource before it disappears. 

Rootsweb.com is the oldest & largest free award-winning Internet Genealogical community.  Searchable database.  Submit Your Family Tree free to WorldConnect Project (by using a GEDCOM).

I notice that it is now “an ancestry.com community”.  FindAGrave.com is also now owned by Ancestry.com.  So far it is still free.  I hope that Rootsweb.com continues to be free. 

10-22-2017

Rootsweb Surname List Ends Oct 24, 2017!

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http://home.rootsweb.ancestry.com/

rootsweb

“We will be discontinuing

the Rootsweb Surname List (RSL)

and Genealogy Forum

(found at http://genforum.rootsweb.ancestry.com)

features on Tuesday Oct 24, 2017.”

 

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Or it may just be moving to a different site:

 

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There is a New Version of FindAGrave.com

There is a New Version of FindAGrave.com

Vicki’s note – this is a good time of year to feature a resource that I use regularly.  You can either access FindAGrave.com directly or click on a link to it from a search in Ancestry.com when you see it as a suggestion in your search for a particular ancestor.

Don’t rely on the Ancestry.com record.  I always go to the FindAGrave site to look at any/all information listed.  There are good clues on the person’s relatives.  It is worth looking at each of the grave listing for each of those people as well. 

Also look by last name(s) only for any other relatives buried in that cemetery.  I know a couple of volunteer who do photography for FindAGrave.  I always appreciate their technique of photographing any other headstones near the requested one that has the same last name. Not all do that, but as they say, “I figure they would want to know.”  Yes we do!

A final step would be to do a general (non-specific location) for anyone with that name.  Your ancestor may be buried in another cemetery in a different location/state.  At the end of life, many ancestors go to live with their child away from the area that they were connected to previously.

To use Findagrave.com to look for out of United States graves do a redefine search and put the country in. It doesn’t always find graves in other countries. Most cemeteries in Findagrave are in the United States.

You can look on the Findagrave.com link below to get an idea of the number of graves that they list in different countries.

https://www.findagrave.com/tocs/geographic.html

I am not sure if theChanges are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.”  have happened yet.  The FindAGrave link to their new version is dead. Following are excerpts from two  article on the changes.

This July 10, 2017  article says that both the old and new (Beta) versions are available, but their link to the old is also dead.  As is their link to the new connection https://new.findagrave.com/

“The easiest way to get to the new site is to go to the old one and then click where it says “Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.” Or, you can click here. When you get to the new page, a window will pop up telling you a bit about why the website is changing…

The search feature is quite different looking though seems to provide the same options…

Do know that both the original and the Beta version are fully workable.  You can use either platform to make changes to existing memorials or add new memorials…

REMEMBER – your feedback on the Beta site is both encouraged and welcome!”

 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The New and Improved Find A Grave Shown at #RootsTech
(click here to read the whole article:)

At RootsTech 2017 Peter Drinkwater showed off a late-alpha prototype for a new Find A Grave website. …

Peter Drinkwater is the general manager for Find A Grave, a website owned by Ancestry. While the session was titled “Getting to Know the New Find A Grave,” Peter first helped us get to know the old Find A Grave. Find A Grave was created in 1995 by Jim Tipton. “Jim Tipton lived here in Salt Lake and he had a hobby of collecting dirt from famous people’s graves,” Peter said. “He created Find A Grave as a place to document that and let other people share the locations of [famous] graves.” In 2000 he added the ability to document the graves of ordinary people. In January 2017 there were 157 million graves. For all those years, the website looked almost the same.

“…Why would we make a change, he asked? The code is quite old and there aren’t many developers who are comfortable in it. Modernizing the code will make it more secure, easier to work on, and make it possible to use new tools to improve the site.

The second reason to change it is to make it usable via a mobile device. More than 30% of visits to the site are on a tablet or phone. …

The third reason to change the site is to internationalize it, making it available in a variety of languages.

The goal of the initial project is to convert Find A Grave to new code, not to add new features.”

(Vicki’s note – Read how each database works to get a better idea on how to more effectively use it.  Here are excerpts from FindAGrave FAQs:)

Why is my information appearing on Ancestry sites?
Find A Grave is owned and supported by Ancestry.

Why do I have to register and become a member? I’m worried about my privacy.
You don’t have to register! You can search our database and visit millions of memorials and photos without registering. If you choose to ADD anything to our database, we require that you register so we can keep track of who is adding what. When you register, we require that you use a valid email in case we need to contact you regarding your submissions.

What is a photo volunteer?
A photo volunteer is someone who is willing to take photos of headstones within a given zip code.
To become a photo volunteer, log in and go to your Contributor Profile page.

What is a photo request?
A photo request is tied to the photo volunteer program. If you would like to request a headstone photo of a memorial, just go to the memorial on Find A Grave. Click on the ‘Request A Photo’ button. This will bring up a new screen allowing you to add any notes that may help the photo volunteer locate the grave location within the cemetery.

…Depending on the cemetery location and the number of volunteers in the area, it may take a few weeks or even longer for the photo request to be fulfilled. NOTE: If the memorial record does not have specific information regarding the grave’s plot/location in the cemetery, please contact the cemetery office (if one is listed) to obtain the plot location and add it to your email. Many cemetery offices will only provide that information to relatives of the deceased and will not assist photo volunteers with finding the grave’s location.

How can I get a copy of my relative’s death certificate?
In the United States, death certificates are usually public record and can be obtained for a nominal fee from state/county departments of public record (often called the Office of Vital Records). Try performing a Google search on the state where your loved one passed away and the term “death certificate.”
You can try the CDC website for more specifics by state.

Why can’t I find the person I’m looking for?
It is possible your search is too narrow. Broaden your search by removing things like a middle name or burial location. If you still can not find them, it is possible the person is not yet memorialized on Find A Grave. Find A Grave is a work in progress and documenting all burials worldwide is a massive undertaking for the membership.

If you are adding a memorial for someone who has recently passed or who does not have a physical grave or memorial marker in a cemetery (perhaps their ashes were scattered), please do a general search on Find A Grave (do not enter a location) to see if a memorial has already been created for that person. If you find a memorial has been added but has incomplete or incorrect information, instead of creating a duplicate memorial use the tools provided to submit corrections, additions or a transfer request via the “Suggest A Correction” link under the ‘Edit’ tab on the upper right of the memorial.

What if the cemetery isn’t listed for the names I want to add? How do I add a cemetery to the list?
We have a fairly comprehensive database of cemeteries in the United States. Please perform a search from our cemetery search page to make sure the cemetery is not already in our database. Include adjacent counties and other names which the cemetery may be known by as names do change over time.

What is a cenotaph? How do I have a memorial designated as a cenotaph?

A cenotaph is a marker within a cemetery placed in honor of a person whose remains are buried elsewhere. It may also be the original marker for someone who has since been re-interred elsewhere. To add a cenotaph, create a memorial.

What about the privacy of living family members?
An individual’s right to privacy disappears when they are deceased. The opinions of the relatives of the deceased fall on all sides of the question. Some people are angry to find a loved one when they come to Find A Grave, even if the memorial was added by another relative, as is usually the case, and some people are elated and send us notes of thanks for building an online memorial to their family member. If an immediate family member contacts us and wants information removed, we generally do so as a matter of respect for their wishes but we treat each request on a case by case basis. The names of living survivors will be removed from the biography section of a memorial upon request.

How does Find A Grave define ‘famous’?
Do not confuse importance with fame. Every ancestor is important and every veteran deserves to be remembered and honored. However, that does not mean that they are ‘famous’. An individual is more likely to be designated as ‘famous’ if they were well known outside of their local community.

…the “famous” section and each memorial placed into it are the sole domain of Find a Grave Administration. All famous memorials are maintained and controlled in every aspect by our staff, and cannot be transferred to anyone, even relatives.

Can I add a memorial for my pet?
Yes, when we say we want to list the burial locations of everyone, we’re not kidding. Pets are an important part of many of our lives and their deaths can be a great loss.
You may want to use your family’s last name as the pet’s last name, to make it easier to find the memorial at a later date.
If the pet is buried in a pet cemetery, the memorial is listed as such. …or if the pet was buried in the backyard or other non-cemetery location…

…married names for a woman’s memorial when she was married more than once?
The ‘last name’ is the name that is on the headstone. Include other married names as part of the biography section. The ‘maiden name’ is only for her maiden name.

First: Infant
Middle: Twin Son or Daughter
Last: Doe

How do I update or correct an error in memorial data?
You can submit updates or corrections of factual information for any memorial by clicking on the ‘Edit’ tab on the memorial in question. Be sure you are logged in.
From here you can select one of the following options:

Birth/death date, birth/death place
Relationship (parent and spouse links)
Name
Plot and/or GPS
Marker Transcription
Suggest any other correction or addition

The first five options allow you to make the factual update to the memorial. Once this is submitted, the manager of the memorial will receive this information as an editing request and will either approve it or decline it.

How do I clean a headstone?
Unless you are related to the interred on the headstone in question, DO NOT do anything to the headstone.

Never clean gravestones with anything but water and a soft brush. Slate gravestones from the Revolutionary era and Pre-revolutionary era are best left alone due to their delicate nature and tendency to erode.

Never apply bleach, ammonia, shaving cream, chalk, flour, baking soda, cornstarch, firm pressure or use anything abrasive. Do not post photos of recently chalked or shaving-creamed headstones.

Consult a professional before any attempt to clean a headstone is made.

Reporting chalking: Photos of chalked, floured, shaving creamed, wire brushed, or otherwise altered headstones are strictly not allowed and are subject to removal when reported and/or when spotted by an administrator….

The Find A Grave web site is free, however Find A Grave uses advertising to support the cost of operations….

Who is behind Find A Grave?
Who is behind Find A Grave? Well, first and foremost, you are. Thousands of contributors submit new listings, updates, corrections, photographs and virtual flowers every hour. The site simply wouldn’t exist without the million+ contributors.

Re-visiting the Census Records

Vicki’s note – article from http://ancestralfindings.com

Look here for more on Census recordsCensus Research

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3 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Census Research

Census research is one of the first things most people learn how to do outside of talking to family members when they begin their genealogy research. And, no matter how long you are a genealogist, you will always come back to the census. It is excellent for confirming findings from other record sources, begin research on new lines in your family, and to look for missing ancestors (or those you didn’t examine in-depth the first time you saw their census entry). You can even look at a census entry for someone many different times over many years, and even decades, and get something new out of the information on the entry every time. The census is more than just gathering names and ages off of a page. You can get some really important, otherwise unavailable information on your ancestors from it.

Here are three ways to make the most out of your census research.

1. Look at Other Things the Census Says

You may be looking at the census just to get the names, ages, and birthplaces of your ancestors, and this is good. You should do this, as it is a basic research task in genealogy. Looking up these things on the census records can tell you a lot about your ancestors you never knew, such as children, parents, and other relatives who are living with them who you never knew existed. You can also get important information on their origins and the origins of their parents. There is more to most census records than just this basic information, however,

Some census records, like 1850 through 1870 censuses, only give you the basic information. Others, however, have a treasure trove of other information you can use. Depending on the census, you may find things of important genealogical significance, such as:

  • Whether or not an ancestor served in the Revolution or Civil War
  • If they were a slave owner (and how many slaves they owned, sometimes even by gender and age range)
  • Their level of schooling
  • Their occupation
  • The number of children a woman has given birth to and how many were still living
  • The year of marriage
  • The number of marriages a person has had
  • The month and year of birth, the year they immigrated to the United States
  • Whether they were a naturalized citizen or not
  • Their address
  • Their native language
  • Whether they could speak English
  • Whether they could read or write
  • Whether they had any disability
  • Whether they rented or owned their home
  • And more

These are all things you will want to put in your family history research.

2. Use Unique Ways to Look Up Names

Census takers didn’t always spell names correctly. If it was an unusual name or a foreign one spoken by foreign people, the census taker may have spelled the name phonetically, or misheard it and spelled it completely differently from anything it was supposed to be. You may think your ancestor is not in the census, but this is because you haven’t checked using all the search methods that can lead you to them.

This method works best on online census records that are searchable with an interactive index, such as on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. Try the following search methods to discover your ancestor:

  • Search by the first name only, with an age range, gender, and location
  • Search by the last name only, with an age range, gender, and location
  • Search only by age range, gender, and location, with no name
  • Search by age range, gender, location, and place of birth, with no name

Using any of these methods may lead you to the ancestor you seek. You’ll know the person when you see them, even if their name is spelled completely incorrectly. They’ll be even more obvious if they are living with recognizable family members you already know. Remember, not everyone made it into every census, so your ancestor may legitimately not be there. But using these techniques will weed them out if they were recorded.

3. Use Earlier Census Records to Your Advantage

The 1790 through 1840 census records only list the name of the head of the household, but that doesn’t mean you can’t glean more information from them than this. They also include lists of how many people are living in the household, and most of them categorize these people into gender and age groups within those genders. Really early ones may even include listings of who is free and who is the slave in a household, and categorize the slaves into genders and age groups, too.

You can use this to your advantage by comparing the names and ages of people in that household on later census records where they are all listed, to get an idea of who was in the household in earlier census records. You can also discover new ancestors by looking up the head of household in old newspaper records and discovering mentions of his or her family. Obituaries, wedding announcements, and birth announcements may be in old newspaper records and give the names, and even ages of family members who were never recorded in a census by name. You can use this information to fill in the names of the people in a household in earlier census records. Wills and probate records are another excellent source of family names that you can use to fill in an earlier census with names. It takes a little bit of detective work but can give you a fuller picture of your family history, so it’s well worth doing.

Ancestry.com – U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925

Vicki’s note – article from a June update email I received from Ancestry.com:

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U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925

Ancestry.com

passport applications
U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925
For over 200 years the State Department has issued American citizens with passports. Though they were not required for travel abroad until World War I, passport applications are an excellent resource to tap into for everything from names, birthplaces, and residences, to occupation and immigration details.

Search Here

About U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925

Passport applications from 1795–1925 are contained in this database including emergency passport applications (passports issued abroad) for the years 1877–1925; special passport applications (military, diplomats, civilian federal employees, and dependents), 1914–1925; applications for extension and amendment of passports, 1918–1925; applications for certificates of identity in Germany, 1920–1921; and applications for declarants 1907–1911 and 1914–1920. It also contains passport application registers for 1810–1817, 1830–1831, and 1834–1906. Passports issued March 4–5, 1919 (numbers 67500–67749) are missing from the NARA collection and not in this database.

Although there are passport records from multiple states in this database, specific state, U.S. territory, and U.S. possessions collections are as follows:

  • California (1914–1925)
  • Hawaii (1907–1925)
  • Illinois (1914–1925)
  • Louisiana (1914–1925)
  • New York (1914–1925)
  • Philippines (1907–1925)
  • Puerto Rico (1907–1925)
  • Washington (1914–1925)

About U.S. Passport Applications, 1795–1925

The U.S. government has issued passports to American citizens since 1789 through several different agencies over the years. For the most part, passports were not required of U.S. citizens for foreign travel until World War I, although they were mandatory for a short time during the Civil War (Aug. 19, 1861–Mar. 17, 1862). An Executive Order given in 1915 and a later act of Congress in 1918 established the passport requirement for citizens traveling abroad. This law lapsed with the formal termination of World War I and treaties with Germany, Austria, and Hungary in 1921. With the onset of World War II In 1941, the Congressional act of 1918 was reinstated requiring U.S. citizens to carry a passport for foreign travel as is required today.

Passport Applications

Passport applications can provide a wealth of information, including:

  • Name of applicant
  • Birth date or age
  • Birthplace
  • Residence
  • Date of application or issuance of passport
  • Father’s and/or husband’s name
  • Father’s and/or husband’s birth date or age
  • Father’s and/or husband’s birthplace
  • Father’s and/or husband’s residence
  • Wife’s name
  • Date and place of immigration to the U.S.
  • Years of residence in the U.S.
  • Naturalization date and place
  • Occupation
  • Physical characteristics

To receive a U.S. passport, a person had to submit proof of U.S. citizenship usually in the form of a letter, affidavits of witnesses, and certificates from clerks or notaries. Sometimes these additional documents are included as part of the application as is a photo of the applicant.

Application Forms

There was a variety of passport application forms used throughout the years. By 1888 there were separate application forms for native citizens, naturalized citizens, and derivative citizens (children who become citizens through their parents’ naturalization). As a result, all of the above listed information may not be available for every applicant. Likewise, there may be additional information other than what is shown above on the application form; some information may only be obtained by viewing the image of the application.

Passport Application Registers

Passport application registers may provide:

  • Date and number of application
  • Name of applicant
  • Age of applicant (1834–1849)
  • Physical characteristics of applicant (1834–1849)

Some of the above information was taken from:

  • J. Dane Hartgrove. Descriptive Pamphlet to Registers and Indexes for Passport Applications. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, 1986.
  • Loretto Dennis Szucs, Kory L. Meyerink, and Marian Smith, “Immigration Records” in The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy, ed. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2006).

Civil War Soldier Genealogy Records

Vicki’s note – Diane Haddad answers a question from a FamilyTreeMagazine.com reader:

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Find Genealogy Records for a Civil War Soldier

5/16/2017
You’ve got questions about discovering, preserving and celebrating your family history; our experts have the answers.
Q. All I know is that my great-grandfather Joseph A. Harbison fought for the Union in the Civil War. He enlisted from Pennsylvania. How do I get information about him?

 

A.The National Park Service has given you a great place to start in its Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database (CWSS). You can search for Union or Confederate soldiers and African-American Union sailors. Our search turned up a Joseph H. Harbison in the 11th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry. Is this your great-grandfather with an incorrect middle initial? Before making the call, you’ll want to consult this man’s service records. CWSS gives you the microfilm number you need to order copies (for a fee) of a service file from the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Order Online site.

In the CWSS search results, click on a unit name for details on when and where the unit was raised and the battles it fought, and how many members died from bullets and disease. Another way to confirm the Joseph we found is your great-grandfather: Check the 1860 US census for for other Joseph Harbisons in the counties where the Pennsylvania 11th was raised.

Your great-grandfather may have applied for a military pension. Look for the General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934, on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. I found a Joseph Harbison who filed for a pension in Pennsylvania July 29, 1890 (his application number is 495309). Keep in mind this could be a different Joseph; request copies of the originals from NARA to be sure.

For more information on researching Civil War ancestors, see Family Tree Magazine’s step-by-step Civil War Genealogy Guide.

Memorial Day Weekend Free Offers #2

Vicki’s note – freebies from Thomas MacEntee:

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DNA Testing – Hummmmm

Vicki’s Note – this is a post b

The following post gives me pause, but it sounds like the Ancestry.com “contract” has been “corrected”.  When I got my DNA tested at Ancestry.com, I did see the option to share my results (statistically only) with scientific research.  I decided not to do that at this time.  Giving Ancestry.com too much power?

Anyway, us genealogists are suckers for anything that make our searches easier.  DNA testing has been worth it for many people to help break down walls. 

I have a wonderful new relationship with a third cousin mutually discovered by DNA test results.  He is from the original “home” state Pennsylvania, and has been invaluable to help to me and my sisters sleuth out family history clues on-site.  We have traded old family photos as well.

I still think DNA testing is worth it, and Ancestry.com is the powerhouse tester.  Four million tests generates a lot of good results.

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25 May 2017

Ancestry.com denies exploiting users’ DNA

25 May 2017

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40045942

A leading genealogy service, Ancestry.com, has denied exploiting users’ DNA following criticism of its terms and conditions.

The US company’s DNA testing service has included a right to grant Ancestry a “perpetual” licence to use customers’ genetic material.

A New York data protection lawyer spotted the clause and published a blog warning about privacy implications.

Ancestry told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours its terms were being changed.

Headquartered in Utah, Ancestry is among the world’s largest for-profit genealogy firms, with a DNA testing service available in more than 30 countries.

‘Perpetual’

The company, which uses customers’ saliva samples to predict their genetic ethnicity and find new family connections, claims to have more than 4 million DNA profiles in its database.

Ancestry also stores the profiles forever, unless users ask for them to be destroyed.

BBC

The company’s terms and conditions have stated that users grant the company a “perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, sublicensable, transferable license” to their DNA data, for purposes including “personalised products and services”.

In a statement to You and Yours, an Ancestry spokesperson said the company “never takes ownership of a customer’s data” and would “remove the perpetuity clause”.

It added: “We will honour our commitment to delete user data or destroy their DNA sample if they request it. The user is in control.”

‘Unaware’

Joel Winston, a consumer rights lawyer and former New Jersey State deputy attorney-general, was one of the first to spot the legal wording and to warn of the possible implications.

“Ancestry.com takes ownership of your DNA forever; your ownership of your DNA, on the other hand, is limited in years,” he said.

He added: “How many people really read those contracts before clicking to agree? How many relatives of Ancestry.com customers are also reading?”

saliva

Mr Winston also warns that many consumers are unaware of the additional uses of the data.

In its terms and conditions Ancestry makes reference to “commercial products that may be developed by AncestryDNA using your genetic information”.

One customer, Richard Peace, used AncestryDNA to learn more about his family history.

‘Not happy’

He told You and Yours he “knew nothing” about the commercial use when he signed up for the test.

“I’m not happy about it and today I will be emailing them to ask them not to use the information,” he said.

Ancestry told the BBC: “We do not share user data for research unless the user has voluntarily opted-in to that sharing.”

The company added: “We always de-identify data before it’s shared with researchers, meaning the data is stripped of any information that could tie it back to its owner.”

The ambitious scale of Ancestry’s plans does have support among some academics.

Debbie Kennett, a genetics researcher at University College London, welcomed the aim of building a large, global DNA database.

“For genealogy purposes we really want, and rely on, the power of these large data sets,” she told You and Yours. “A DNA test on its own doesn’t tell you anything at all.”

You and Yours is on BBC Radio 4 weekdays 12:15-13:00 GMT. Listen online or download the programme podcast.