Saturday, July 26, 2008

FamilySearch and Team to Publish New Images and Enhanced Indexes to the U.S. Censuses

SALT LAKE CITY— and FamilySearch, the two largest online family history resources, announced today they will exchange records and resources to make more historical records available online. The first project is a joint initiative to significantly enhance the online U.S. Federal Census Collection (1790 to 1930). The original census records are among the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

FamilySearch is digitally converting master microfilm copies of the original U.S. Federal Censuses from 1790 through 1930 and, under this agreement, will give these improved images to All census images and indexes will be available on for subscribers. As projects are completed, images will be available for free in NARA reading rooms and FamilySearch’s 4,500 Family History Centers., which currently offers indexes and images to the entire publicly available U.S. Federal Census Collection, will give FamilySearch copies of its existing census indexes. Through its online indexing system and community of volunteer indexers, FamilySearch is already indexing select censuses. FamilySearch will merge the indexes with the new FamilySearch indexes to create enhanced census indexes, which will be added to both sites. Indexes to the enhanced censuses will be free on for a limited time as they are completed. Indexes will also be available for free on

Allen Weinstein, the Archivist of the United States, welcomed this agreement as a significant benefit for researchers. He remarked that, “Census records are among the most important documents the American people have to trace their genealogy and know their family history. Having two of our partners working together to enhance the indexes and images of these essential documents will enable an unprecedented level of access and understanding.”

The first census exchanged is the 1900 U.S. Census. FamilySearch completed a 1900 index in addition to’s original. In the new index, FamilySearch added several new fields of searchable data, such as birth month and birth year, so individuals can search for ancestors more easily. The two indexes will be merged into an enhanced index, available on both sites. The new 1900 census images are now available on The enhanced 1900 index will be available for free for a limited time at and ongoing at will also provide FamilySearch its original 1920 U.S. Census index. Using the index as a first transcription, FamilySearch will create a new second index with added fields and arbitrate any discrepancies between the two indexes. The 1920 project is currently in progress. Individuals interested in helping create the improved index can volunteer at Once completed, the enhanced 1920 index will be available on both sites and will link back to images on

The 1850 through 1870 (partial) and 1880 and 1900 U.S. Censuses can be searched currently at; all publicly available U.S. Censuses are already available on

Tim Sullivan, president and CEO of The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of, said, “This collaboration represents a significant step forward in making family history research more accessible. The enhanced U.S. Federal Census Collection that will become available through this agreement is a gold mine for family history researchers, and we look forward to collaborating with FamilySearch in identifying other opportunities to help people discover their roots.”

“The U.S. Censuses are arguably the most important collection of U.S. genealogical records. FamilySearch is excited to see the complete, improved indexes of these collections freely available online over the next two years. And we look forward to working with to enhance access to additional, significant collections in the future,” said Jay Verkler, Managing Director for FamilySearch.


With 26,000 searchable databases and titles and nearly 3 million active users, is the No. 1 online source for family history information. Since its launch in 1997, has been the premier resource for family history, simplifying genealogical research for millions of people by providing them with many easy-to-use tools and resources to build their own unique family trees. is part of The Generations Network, Inc., a leading network of family-focused interactive properties, including,, and Family Tree Maker. In total, The Generations Network properties receive nearly 8.5 million unique visitors worldwide. (© comScore Media Metrix, March 2008). To easily begin researching your family history, visit

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization that maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources. Patrons may access resources online at or through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries. FamilySearch is a trademark of Intellectual Reserve, Inc. and is registered in the United States of America and other countries.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

NEHGS announces new Families in 1790 series

Following in the tradition of series covering Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, NEHGS is proud to announce a new publishing venture that will cover families from western Massachusetts enumerated in the first census of the United Census. The series, to be co-edited by Michael J. Leclerc and Christopher C. Child, will cover families residing in the counties of Berkshire and Hampshire (which at that time included all territory west of Worcester County). Franklin and Hampden counties were formed from Hampshire in 1811 and 1812 respectively. The population of this area in 1790 was just under 90,000 — slightly larger than Vermont (at 85,425) and slightly less than Maine (at 96,540). The series will include family sketches for heads of household. The Society seeks genealogists who wish to contribute sketches of families of interest for the series. Each sketch will be credited to the contributor. They hope to publish the first volume in 2009.

For more details, see “Western Massachusetts Families in 1790” by the co-editors in the Summer 2008 issue of New England Ancestors Magazine, or visit Inquiries may be sent to

Irish Genealogy Conference at Sea

TIARA (The Irish Ancestral Research Association) would like to invite you to share a unique experience. From January 10 -18, 2009, they will be hosting an Irish Genealogy Conference at Sea, aboard the Royal Caribbean ship, Indepedence of the Seas. This will be an 8 night Eastern Caribbean cruise beginning and ending in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Genealogy lectures and workshops will be held during the 3 days at sea. Speakers will include: Valerie Adams, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland George Handran, Boston (expert on Griffith's Valuation) Michael J. Leclerc, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston Gregory O'Connor, National Archives of Ireland.

For more information, visit

July Genealogical Events

Here's what's happening genealogically around the state for July:

July 10, 2008
Wassebec Genealogical Society
Dover-Foxcroft, Maine
Annual Picnic / Potluck Supper

July 12, 2008
Penobscot County Genealogical Society
Bangor, Maine
Tour of the Old Irish Section of Mt. Pleasant Cemetery
with tour guide John Frawley