Archive for October, 2008

New Massachusetts and Maine Vital Records Now Online

Friday, October 10th, 2008

The Major Collection for this week consists of more databases resulting from the partnership between the Godfrey Memorial Library and Most of the records deal with the state of Massachusetts with vital records from Kingston, Wrentham, and Norton. Click here to access the Godfrey Memorial Library databases.

Also included in the collection are Massachusetts town histories from Woburn, Hingham, and Newburyport. A topical and historical description of Boston is also among the titles. Town histories from Maine round out the collection.

Since 1951, the Godfrey Memorial Library has promoted the study of family history by inspiring individuals in all sectors of society to study their heritage and their own place in history. It has also sought to support educational activities that create enthusiasm for family research and to make genealogical and historical resources available to all on a national and international level. It aims to achieve this by continuing the expansion, modernization, and distribution of the collection of print, electronic manuscript and other information media as technology develops., Inc. Announces New Guidebook for Free Online Genealogy– Google Your Family Tree

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

PROVO, UT, October 8, 2008 —, Inc. announced today the availability of Google Your Family Tree, a new book that teaches family historians how to unlock the hidden power of the Internet’s most popular search engine. Written by Daniel M. Lynch, the book received an enthusiastic reception in Philadelphia last month when it was unveiled at the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) annual conference. Pre-orders for the book have been brisk, and it is expected to ship within two weeks.

“This book is well positioned to become the best-selling genealogy book of all time,” said Paul Allen, chief executive officer of “It is the right content, by the right author, at the right time. We couldn’t be more pleased to be releasing this book this month as millions of people in the United States celebrate Family History Month.”, Inc. and Lynch agreed to the deal in March of this year. “Dan has done an exceptional job documenting the hidden power Google offers to family history enthusiasts worldwide,” Allen said. “It is the first such book written specifically for genealogists by an accomplished genealogist and technology expert.”

Lynch was recently on the KSL NewsRadio Relatively Speaking radio genealogy show with KSL NewsRadio personality and genealogy author Mary Slawson. During the show, Slawson commented about the book, “I just finished reading it today, and it’s incredible. It’s up there with Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence book. It will be in every major professional researcher’s library and hopefully in most of the beginners’ libraries. It’s a great book!”

Lynch began his career in the technology industry in 1984 and has also been involved in genealogy research for nearly 30 years. A frequent lecturer and writer, he began sharing his Google tips with fellow genealogists at the local and national level shortly after the search engine launched ten years ago. As the capabilities of Google have expanded, so too have its applications for use by family historians. “Google is easily the most important tool available for anyone engaged in family history research,” noted Lynch.

The book is 352 pages and sells for $34.95 (USD). To learn more about the book, or to reserve a copy, go to

About, Inc., Inc. is a family of services that includes,,, and the We’re Related and My Family applications on Facebook. The company’s focus is to provide innovative tools to connect families., Inc. has more than 3.4 million unique global visitors each month and 27.3 million page views per month. provides affordable access to genealogy databases and family history tools. More than 30,000 individuals have subscribed to With more than a billion names in thousands of databases–including birth, death, military, census, and parish records– makes it easy to fill in missing information in your family tree. Some of its partners include Everton Publishers, Quintin Publications, Archive CD Books Australia, Gould Genealogy, Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild, Archive CD Books Canada, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., SmallTownPapers®, Accessible Archives, Genealogical Publishing Company, Find My Past, Godfrey Memorial Library, Find A Grave, and FamilySearch. Investors include vSpring Capital and several angel investors.

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Media Contacts:, Inc.
Whitney Ransom McGowan
Director, Corporate Communications
(801) 377-0588 (Utah)

Daniel M. Lynch
(203) 459-4949 (Connecticut)

Military Yearbooks Honor Heroes of Wars, Education, and Invention

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

The major collection for this week at is a compilation of yearbooks from the United States Military Academy West Point -Howitzer , (1921 – 1935, 1937 – 1960); United States Coast Guard Academy – Tide Rips Yearbook (1925, 1930, 1932 – 1933, 1935 – 1940, 1943 – 1956); United States Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point – Midships Yearbook (1945 – 1947, 1949 – 1950, 1952 – 1954, 1959); and the United States Air Force Academy Colorado Springs – Polaris Yearbook (1959 – 1960).

Due to partnership agreements, these books will not be free for the first ten days. These yearbooks join others in our collection including the United States Naval Academy’s Lucky Bag Yearbook brought to you by our partnership with

This article focuses on distinguished alumni and the makings of the Howitzer. The other schools to join the collection also have distinguished alumni who pursued interesting and varied professions. We are honored to showcase this collection of distinguished individuals who began their careers with educational pursuits within the military’s academies.

How the Howitzer began:

Class photograph albums were first published during the Civil War. Class annuals were first published in 1884. Class yearbooks were first published in 1896. There was no issue in 1899 due to the Spanish American War. There were no issues in 1901, 1902, and 1903 due to a hazing scandal. However, photograph albums and pictures have been found for some of those missing years. Official yearbooks were re-introduced in 1904. There was no issue in 1918 (combined issue with 1917). There were two issues for the Classes of 1920, original (actually published in 1927) and redesignated. There were two issues for the Classes of 1921, original and redesignated. -John Greiman’s USMA Class of 1981 website

Distinguished alumni from years covered (1921-1935, 1936-1960) by the Howitzer’s collected on include the following (listed by class year):

* Information for the alumni list was compiled from West Point Distinguished Alumni page on

Celebrate Family History Month

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Since September 26, 2001, October has been recognized as the Family History Month. This initiative was passed by unanimous consent from the Senate more than seven years ago.

Click here to read the press release from Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah that describes the bill which was passed to commemorate October as Family History Month.

There are many ways to celebrate Family History Month. Here are a few suggestions from

* Share a story with your children about your childhood. If you don’t have children, share a story with your spouse or parents.
* Encourage your children to write in a journal.
* Start writing your personal history.
* Record one of your relatives talking about his or her life.
* Add a new page to your scrapbook.
* Sort through and label your pictures.
* Ask one of your relatives for a family recipe. Make it and share it with your family.
* Start a family website.
* Perform some searches for your ancestors on
* Plan a family trip.
* Attend a family reunion.
* Write a letter to one of your relatives. If you are searching for some information on your family, ask for it. If you have done the research, share it.
* Watch a home video of your family. If you don’t have one, make one.
* Convert some old VHS or 8 mm to DVD. Make copies and share them with your family.
* Start or add to your family tree.
* Make a family calendar for Christmas that includes photos of your family and important dates.
* Visit a cemetery where one of your relatives is buried. Take pictures of the cemetery and upload them to Find A Grave (if the photo is not already there).
* Trace your family medical history.
* Make copies of important family documents. Put the copies in a safe place, and share them with other family. Making the copies digital and putting them online is also recommended.
* Tell a friend that it is family history month and send them these tips! Announces New President and VP Marketing

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Shown above (from left to right): Steve Nickle and Jim Ericson

Steve Nickle and Jim Ericson bring new vision and strong leadership to

PROVO, UT, October 3, 2008 —, an online genealogy service of, Inc., announced a new leadership team with Steve Nickle as the company’s new president, and Jim Erickson as Vice President, Marketing. Paul Allen will remain as CEO.

“I believe is in a unique position to make a difference in the world of genealogy because of its dedicated and passionate employees to its unique perspective on how to partner with the rest of the genealogy community,” said Steve Nickle, President,

Nickle comes to the company with more than 20 years of executive and management leadership. He spent the first half of his career in financial services after earning a Financial Planning degree from BYU. The second half of his career has been spent primarily as an executive in small and medium-sized companies, including two Vice President roles at — Vice President of Global Content Acquisition and Electronic Production, and Vice President of Marketing. Nickle also served on the advisory board of New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS). He has been involved in the genealogy space for the past seven years. ”

One of our goals is to become the world’s largest gateway to family and individual discovery and expression,” Nickle said. “With the current state of the economy, the desire to return to core values of family and connectedness is becoming more and more compelling to people. At, we want to facilitate our customer’s desire to connect to their family and familyroots.”

Ericson has served in many leadership positions including VP Marketing for Agilix and Move Networks (a leading provider of Internet television services that provides streaming for ABC, ESPN, Fox, CW TV and Televisa). Ericson has also had genealogy experience as vice president of marketing at OneGreatFamily and as director of marketing and a product manager at While at he launched Ancestry Family Tree, managed the and World Family Tree online services, and launched the affiliate program.

“What impressed me most with FamilyLink and the opportunity to work at WorldVitalRecords is the caliber of the team that is assembled here,” said Jim Ericson, VP Marketing, “I have a high level of respect for the entire team and have had the pleasure of working with many of these people before. I have confidence in our ability to do great things together to make a difference in the lives of our customers.”

Ericson is passionate about the values, traditions, and knowledge of families, and having that information shared from one generation to the next.

“Family history and genealogy provide us with a sense of identity and help us better understand ourselves. I enjoy the close connection people have with one another within the genealogy community, which is something you don’t often find in other markets.”

With the additions of Nickle and Ericson to the executive team is demonstrating its deep commitment to the area of family history research and discovery. The company promises to continue to expand its popular service.


Media Contact
Whitney Ransom McGowan
Corporate Communications Director, Inc.

About, Inc., Inc. is a family of services that includes,,, and the We’re Related and My Family applications on Facebook. The focus of the company is to provide innovative tools to connect families., Inc. has more than 3.4 million unique global visitors each month and 27.3 million page views per month. We’re Related is one of the fastest growing social networks for genealogists with nearly 10 million users. We’re Related is a family-based application on that allows individuals to find relatives on Facebook, connect with friends and family members, build family trees, and share news and photos. My Family application is a great way for people to express themselves and to share interesting characteristics about their family with those they connect with on social platforms.

“Extreme” Family History and Genealogy

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

With the advent of digital technology, new ways of “doing” family history and genealogy are appearing, allowing individuals to more fully “experience” history, or to collaborate with others in finding their ancestors through innovative tools being developed or adapted for genealogical research. Some of these new ways are out-of-the ordinary-even extreme-in comparison with traditional methods. This article briefly shares two ways in which family history and genealogy may be called “extreme.”


The first “extreme” we found is where individuals actually live in a recreated time period. We discovered that Lisa Cooke, Genealogy Gems, and her family participated in PBS television series called Texas Ranch House. A Web site has preserved the experience and comes complete with journal excerpts as a reality check with plenty of links to historical resources. Life on a Texas ranch in 1867 was recreated for television and Lisa’s family by outfitting the family and ranch workers in period clothing and providing them with the tools of the time to experience “what the saddle-sore, rope-burned, and sun-blistered ranch life was really like.” The site features details of the episodes where “real” life depicted the recreation, leisure time, music, cattle drives, and food of the Texas cowboys and their families. An interactive history page features games where individuals can test their skills of wrangling, roping, selecting food, cattle prodding, and cowboy slang. This area helps young people learn many aspects of history and have fun while learning.

Genealogical record collection on an “extreme” scale is what is doing all over the world. The current FamilySearch effort to convert their microfilm collection to digital is to create better access to the films and new records. FamilySearch operates 4500 Family History centers in 80 countries throughout the world. Dick Eastman, a popular blogger in the genealogy and family history field, interviewed Paul Nauta, Manager of Public Affairs, at FamilySearch. a non-profit organization that has accumulated the largest repository of genealogical records in the world. Dick interviewed Paul at the recent FGS conference in Philadelphia. You can view the entire interview at Roots Television by clicking here.

Facts on the “extreme” nature of the FamilySearch project:

* The bulk of the collection is still on microfilm and FamilySearch has almost 2.5 million rolls of microfilm left to digitize.

* Less than 3% of this material is digitized and indexed online.

* This microfilm collection will take 8-10 years to convert it to digital.

* 15 high speed scanners are in the Granite Mountain Records vault in Salt Lake City Utah and are being used five days a week.

* FamilySearch has replaced most of their microfilm cameras in the world with digital cameras.

* Over 200 camera teams in 45 countries are digitizing original documents five days a week.

* These teams produce 40 million images a year that FamilySearch wants to put online.