On November 29 - 57 years ago- the greatest monument to a proud history of American immigration was closed. I am talking, of course, about Ellis Island.
During a 2008 trip to New York, I visited Ellis Island (I’m from the UK) with my family.
Many visitors to New York take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty for that iconic photograph. Fortunately, we had the foresight to remain on the ferry and visit Ellis Island. It was worth it.
Although the architecture of the Main Building (now the Immigration Museum) does hint that Ellis Island comprises an important part of American history, it isn’t until one enters The Great Hall that you realise the sheer number of immigrants that Ellis Island handled. It is very substantial - to anyone’s eyes!
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?".
ON THE MAP
The New England Historical and Genealogical Society provided more major map collection resources:
- The Boston Atlas
- The Harvard Map Collection
- The Yale Map Collection
- Historic USGS maps of New England and New York on the University of New Hampshire Library website
- New York Public Library Digital Gallery maps
- David Rumsey Map Collection
- Library of Congress Map Collections
- Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas
- Historic Atlas of Canada Online Learning Project
- Historic Cities
GOOGLE EARTH CAN HELP YOU
This week’s edition includes an archaeological find, more on a new book, NARA’s citizen archivist dashboard, Canada’s Veterans’ Week, a Canadian newspaper digitization project, new FamilySearch records and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s new website.
Follow the links for each item to find more information and read the complete articles.
-- In the US, Veterans Day was observed on November 11, and there is a MyHeritage Blog post devoted to this important day.
-- In Canada, Veterans’ Week was observed November 5-11. For full coverage of this remembrance week, see the Genealogy Canada blog, authored by Elizabeth LaPointe. She has done a masterful job of spotlighting organizations, institutions and websites connected to veterans in a series of posts. If you have Canadian family that served, her resources may assist you to find information.
MyHeritage is also preparing holiday-related posts - and some surprises - so stay tuned during November.
A national holiday, Thanksgiving is observed in the United States - and worldwide wherever North American expats reside - on the fourth Thursday of November.
Every immigrant group to the US has also adopted the special day, which crosses all ethnic and religious lines.
"Turkey day" is a universal and delicious event, while the four-day holiday weekend also features football (not soccer!) games, major shopping days and great sales.
Thanksgiving Day's centerpiece is the lovingly-prepared feast on our tables, which we share with family and friends. People begin to plan holiday menus very early. Therefore, we invite the MyHeritage community to participate in our poll below:
Happy Birthday to the Statue of Liberty, who doesn't look a day over 125! And, in the same general location, Ellis Island has opened the Peopling of America Center.
A major map library has moved into state-of-the-art quarters and the largest collection of Hispanic American newspapers is now online.
In celebration of Halloween or Dia de los Muertos - take your pick - the Genealogy Canada blog will post an updated list of websites and blogs for Canadian obituaries tomorrow. If you are searching family north of the border, your elusive ancestors may be among records on those websites.
This edition offers news on how genealogy societies plan to provide programming for long-distance members, nominations for the National Genealogical Society Hall of Fame, a book on today's obsession with genealogy, an Irish DNA project and new online database, as well as a new conference focusing on story telling, blogging and family history.
Technology includes podcasts and webinars, much in use these days and offering benefits for researchers around the world.
One Canadian society - the Ontario Genealogy Society's Niagara Peninsula branch - will now reach far-away members by streaming guest speakers on the Internet.
There are many resources available on almost any family history topic. If you are frustrated at not being able to find what you want, or need help understanding what you have found, that may be a signal to join your local genealogical society.
Newcomers are welcome at all societies, where experts are interested in helping you. Remember that all of us were newcomers at some point regardless of our current skill level. We have all been in the same place as you, and we were assisted by experts who answered those "silly questions" we were hesitant to ask.
When our MyHeritage team attended the recent Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference in Springfield, Illinois, we met Meredith Sellers of Champaign, Illinois.
Meredith is married, in her 20s and is a genealogy and Family History Center consultant. She had a nice chat with our Chief Genealogist Daniel Horowitz about her personal research success story and the family reunion she organized. Here is her story:
Meredith's experience with MyHeritage and charts
Meredith had read about MyHeritage on various genealogy blogs long before her family reunion, and while she had quickly and easily uploaded a GEDCOM file of her family tree, she had not explored the printing functionality at MyHeritage.
"As I brainstormed the best way to display over 300 family members in an easily understandable graphic format, I discovered MyHeritage's descendant fan chart," says Meredith.
She discovered that the chart-making interface synched directly with her existing GEDCOM data which allowed her to directly import names and dates. She was also able to change various aspects, such as background color, graphics and ornamental frame.
This week's edition focuses on new records at FamilySearch.org, a California conference deadline, the National Black Genealogy Summit, Who Do You Think You Are? new US season lineup, Canadian news and more.
Let us know which resources you like, which you have used, your experiences. We value your opinions and comments.
FamilySearch.org sends out a weekly update of new records added to its database. This week's collection includes an addition of seven million record images, covering Austria (1537-1888), Belgium (1795-1920), Canada (1800-1900), Czech Republic (land records, 1450-1850), Spain (1241-1950), various US states, as well as five million for the Philippines (1945-1980).
Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree Deadline
If you would like to speak at one of the best regional genealogy conferences in the US, the deadline for proposals is fast approaching - October 13.
This week's edition includes expansion of a digital newspaper archive, new and updated FamilySearch records, African immigration to Nova Scotia, classes, seminars and more.
ProQuest, considered the world’s largest digital newspaper archive, is expanding its Historical Newspapers collection. It is accessible for free at most US public libraries.
The newest offerings are historic American Jewish and regional newspapers dating from 1841 and covering Boston, the Ohio Valley and New York City, offering primary resources for researchers.
The papers include The Jewish Advocate (the oldest continuously-circulating Jewish newspaper in the US, a Boston-based weekly) and The American Hebrew/Jewish Messenger (from 1857, covering events before and during the Civil War). Later this year, the Jewish Exponent (1887-1990, Philadelphia) will be added, as well as the Jerusalem Post (1932-1988).
Regional coverage will expand with Newsday (1940-1984, mainly covering Long Island, NY), and the Cincinnati Enquirer (1841-1922, Ohio River Valley)
ProQuestHistorical Newspapers™ began with digital archives of a handful of major American newspapers and has grown to encompass more than 20 dailies from around the world. Collections such as Historical Black Newspapers™ and the growing number of regional papers enable researchers to conduct deep dives on specific topics and also to compare multiple perspectives of the same events. The archive is continually growing and now encompasses more than 30 million pages.
The ProQuest platform allows researchers to share, create and collaborate. Check with your local library to see if it subscribes. I know my library does. For more information, visit ProQuest.com.
Just in time for the collection is a free podcast- available on iTunes - by Lisa Louise Cooke, offered by Family Tree Magazine and focusing on tips for searching old newspapers online, finding historic books on the Web and more. Don’t know what a podcast is? Click here for Lisa's podcast primer.
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