21    Nov 20111 comment

Genealogy News – North America – 20 November 2011

Today’s edition includes map resources (including Google Earth), genealogy classes covering diverse topics, information on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a Maryland newspaper digitization project, easing adoptees’ efforts to obtain their original birth certificates, and the start date for the new US season of "Who Do You Think You Are?".


The New England Historical and Genealogical Society provided more major map collection resources:


Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems Podcast has produced a two-volume DVD set called “Google Earth for Genealogists.”

Volume I covers: Download and use Google Earth, identify old photos, explore church record origins, plot ancestor homesteads, create historic map overlays, save and share images. Volume II covers: Pinpoint property, locate original land surveys, customize place marks, create and share family history tours, add video to maps, incorporate 3D models, add focus with polygons and paths.

The set runs nearly 2.5 hours and also includes an introduction video, website links, access to a bonus podcast interview and downloadable images. For more information, click here for reviews and ordering information


Family Tree Magazine offers Family Tree University, which provides courses (for a fee; discounts are available) on diverse topics for family history researchers.

Courses starting in November and December include: Death Records 101, Finding Ancestors in the US Census, Google Master Class, Build a Family Website,  Civil War Research, Digital Photography Essentials, Find Your German Roots, Finding African-American Ancestors in Newspapers, Organize Your Photos, Time Management for Genealogists, US Military Records, Computer Boot Camp for Genealogists, Creating a Family History Book, First Steps to Discover Your Family Tree, Discover Your Czech and Slovak Roots, Immigration Master Class, Newspaper Research 101, Organize Your Genealogy and Source Documentation 101.

Click here to learn more about each class and to register.


The Genealogy Canada blog covers those dashing, scarlet-coated Canadian Mounties – officially known as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Check out the post to learn more about the RCMP obituary files (1876-2007; now at FamilySearch.org). You can even read about the Pony Express! For several more sites with RCMP data, view that post.


The Somerset County Library System has been funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to digitize its microfilm collection (1820s-2000s) of old newspapers.

Papers include the Village of Somerset Herald, Village Herald, Crisfield Post, Crisfield Times, Marylander and Herald and Somerset Herald. The Marylander and Herald, now Somerset Herald -  founded in 1828 – is one of the oldest US papers.

The microfilm will be transferred to PDF format making it faster to download and will look like a real paper issue with everything on the page, including photos, ads and more. All issues will be indexed by month and date. Software will be refined to recognize the typefaces used. The online service should be available in January 2012.


Adoptees are often stymied in their search for original birth certificates and information about their birthparents. With a law change of great interest to some 250,000 people adopted in Illinois, it is now possible for anyone age 21 or older to get a copy of their original certificate.

The birthparents’ names will be listed even if the adoption was a “closed” one. Read the complete story at the link above, and make sure to read the posted comments by readers.


NBC has announced that the new season of Who Do You Think You Are?will be broadcast from 8-9pm on Fridays beginning February 3, 2012. Last year, RootsTech conference attendees were treated to a special screening at the Family History Library. Sounds like there will be a repeat of that great event. RootsTech 2012 runs from February 2-4.


Let us know if you’ve accessed any of these resources and what you’ve found. We are always interested in reading your comments!

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Comments (1) Trackbacks (0)
  1. would love to have a adoptee page for New York state.
    Have a friend who is adopted she would love to find her biological parents.

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