Monday, February 29, 2016

Friday's Meeting: Alan Naldrett Presents Lost Towns of Macomb County & Vicinity

On Friday, March 4, at 1:00 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Mount Clemens Public Library, historian and author Alan Naldrett will present Lost Towns of Macomb County & Vicinity.

If you are in the Mt. Clemens area, PLEASE JOIN US. 

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!

The Rootsweb Website is Offline ... No Time Estimate for its Fix and Return

Since mid-week last week an old genealogy friend,, has been missing in action., which hosts the website, has not stated any time estimates regarding when it expects to have back up and running. 

(Let's cross our fingers that another Family Tree Maker Debacle is not in the works.) is the oldest and largest free genealogical community website. The site may be "old" but it is a long way from retirement considering all that it does for the genealogical community. hosts many websites for genealogy and historical societies as well as personal websites in addition to many, many individual websites belonging to The USGenWeb Project. Those volunteer USGenWeb sites can contain a goldmine of information for some counties. Of course, Rootsweb also hosts many free databases as well as many user-submitted Family Trees.

The message boards at and were merged together back in 2001. ( was acquired in June 2000 by which later became part of the corporation.) Though the Rootsweb site is down, the message boards are accessible through the interface. Occasionally an error or two occurs when trying to access a message board while at but usually a refresh browser window solves the problem.

The message boards are also linked to various mail lists hosted by (Not all messages on these various mail lists are on the corresponding message board so a lot of communication can only be seen by the mail list subscribers.) The last mail list digest received by this writer was back on February 24. These message boards have an RSS feed link when viewed on the interface. The RSS feed does not include the corresponding mail list. (I believe.) At there is also an archive of the past messages on all of the various mail lists.

This writer is surely not the only one who has found some "oldie but goodie" messages and cousin connections as I work back further and/or wider in my tree. It would be a shame even tragedy to lose all of this information.

Ancestry has kept the vast majority of the site free as the website was originally established which is good. But it may not have done any maintenance to the website (or host servers) which is bad. Hopefully, not too bad so that can and will fix the problem. Perhaps as a bit of goodwill.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Got Books? Donate to the Mount Clemens Public Library's 2016 Used Book Sale

Ready for Books.
This is just another friendly reminder to remember that the Mount Clemens Public Library is accepting used book donations for its next Used Book Sale in 2016. The Macomb County Genealogy Group will once again host the sale.

So as you are cleaning up for the Spring (it should be coming one day soon) and once you are finished with any books bought or received throughout the year, consider donating them to our used book sale.

Simply bag or box the books, label them "Used Book Sale" and drop them off at the library's Information Desk.

We could also use good/decent condition office/paper case boxes with lids so we can keep the donated books organized as we sort. These also can be dropped off at the Information Desk.

We thank you for your support.

MCGG members and genealogists (or anyone else) please note that if you have genealogical or historical books to donate for the MCGG Silent Auction in May, please be sure to label your bag or box with "For MCGG Silent Auction" so we sort the items to the proper place.

Learn More with a 7-Minute Overview Video on Digital Public Library of America

YouTube video on website
Want to learn more about the Digital Public Library of America that MCPL's Deborah Larsen talked about at our last MCGG Friday meeting?

Debbie passed on this link to a seven minute video by Amy Johnson Crow on YouTube called, A Growing Source for Free Genealogy: Digital Public Library of America.

Enjoy learning and finding more.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Solution to "Annoyance to the Deceased" Patented by Local Funeral Home Director

1896 Mount Clemens Monitor article
What Did You Find?! Wednesday

Here's a more humorous item for our What Did You Find?! Wednesday series.

Ever get distracted by all the other articles while trying to locate the one you want from a newspaper microfilm? It happens to all of us. Though often serious at the time they were written, a few of these articles seem a little humorous to us today.

One of our volunteers ran across an article in an 1896 issue of the Mount Clemens Monitor newspaper. Did you ever think a noisy folding chair would "occasioning annoyance to the deceased and distracting the attention of the friends."

Apparently local funeral home director R. J. Hubbard was so motivated by the issue he patented a folding chair to solve the problem.

This item was originally shared on the Macomb County Genealogy Group's Face book page last week. Remember even if you are not a FaceBook member, the page is open so you can view the postings though you can not like/comment on them. If the FaceBook page is ghosted out and asking for a log in, clearing your browser's history and cookies and then restarting your browser should solve the problem. So remember to visit our FaceBook page too!

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Free Access and Sales on Books/CDs and Discounts on Membership

We were a little slow at discovering these free access offers and sales but they are still good until Monday, February 15, 2016 at 11:59 pm ET.

At this weekend you can get free access to all U.K. records. You will need to set up (register) for a free account. A free account is different than the 14 day trial which requires a credit card so make sure to click on the correct link.

At (the Canadian version) there is free access to Global Passenger Lists and all Canadian records to celebrate Family Day. You will need to set up (register) for a free account with even if you are a member.

Over at Genealogical Publishing Company there is a Presidents Day Sale where you can save 30 percent off of all books and CDs. This sale also is good until 11:59 pm ET on February 15th, 2016. For details on the sale including the savings code click on the sale logo on the home page which will open up a PDF.

Have you been considering a FindMyPast subscription? If so you might want to sign up this weekend BEFORE the cost of the subscriptions go up 20 percent on February 16. This news comes from GeneaBloggers. There is also a 10 percent savings code FEBSAVE10 so you can save 10 percent off the current regular price of a subscription. From the home page, scroll down and look at the right side for the Voucher link. Of course look around because some organizations offer larger discounts on FindMyPast subscriptions which may still be valid. The 10 percent savings is good at all FindMyPast websites (U.S. and Canada, U.K., Australia and New Zealand, and Ireland.)

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

RootsTech 2016 Live Streamed Class Recordings are Now Available

So RootsTech 2016 is now over.

But do not worry if you were not able to watch the live streamed classes when they happened. The recordings of the opening sessions and these select classes will be available on the RootsTech website for a while. 

If you are interested, the videos from the Innovators Summit are also available for viewing. Through the RootsTech home page you can find the class syllabi and the recorded Family Discovery Day Sessions too.

Have fun learning.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Follow Up: Websites Visited in Finding Ancestral Gems Hidden in Digital Archives

We would like to thank Deborah Larsen for providing a wonderful presentation on Friday with just 24 hours notice. Debbie, You Rock!

As promised we are following up on this blog/website with the links to the various places Debbie visited during her presentation. She showed us we can find a variety of things online like historic photos, maps, diaries, school records, yearbooks, letters, memorial cards, aerial photos, funeral home records, business records, church records, film clips, oral history recordings, local and county histories, just to name a few.

To locate archives online, do a search engine search using search terms such as historical collections, digital collections, digital archive, local history archive, history database or digital library along with the name of your locality.

Here are the places we visited Friday during the presentation. (Each archive's name is a link to its website. Once you click the link you will be taken there. Then just bookmark the page for future use in your browser.)

Suburban Library Cooperative's Digital Archive
Almost all of our local libraries that belong to the Suburban Library Cooperative have a link on their website to the shared Digital Archive. Some libraries have contributed a lot and some just a little. Remember not everything has or will be digitized from a library's collection so visiting a library to do research is still a good idea. Search the digital archive by Surname, Locality, Event or a combination of these and other filters.

See our What Did You Find?! Wednesday post from October 2015 on Funeral Cards in the Digital Archive. 

Oakland Regional Historic Sites
Along with Oakland County sites, this is where you will find the Mount Clemens Property History for Mount Clemens, Michigan. You can perform a search in a variety of ways: property number, street name, street address, current or historic name, and even architectural class.

Digital Public Library of America
This website searches the internal database parts of participating member's websites that search engine sites like Google can not search. Again, you can search by Name, Location or Subject. As Debbie showed us sometimes a local resource can be found elsewhere where you would not expect it, like the Macomb County, Michigan, 1859 wall map ... beautifully scanned by the Boston Public Library in Massachusetts.

Oakland County Historical Resources
Another great regional resource combining the resources of various Oakland County, Michigan, libraries, societies, museums and a historical commission.

Detroit Public Library Digital Collections
The Detroit Public Library's digital archive includes items from the Burton Historical Collection, Ernie Harwell Sports Collection, National Automotive History Collection, E. Azalia Hackley Collection and the Rare Book Collection.

Can you find the photo of the singer with the blue suede shoes? Hint: just search by his first name.

Ontario Library Consortium
There are digital archives all over the world, including just across the river from us in Ontario. You'll find some of these digital archives use the same search software. Just apply what you learned to these other sites.

Chicago Public Library
The Chicago Public Library's digital archive includes a wide variety of times including neighborhoods, the theater, the construction of Chicago's sewers, the Civil War, and the Chicago Examiner newspaper.

HathiTrust Digital Library
At HathiTrust, you will find millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world. Though some items can only be searched, some items can be completely viewed. For many items you can download a PDF of a single page, the whole book or specific pages (like the front and back of the title page and a specific page or pages from the book). Learn more about downloading a only a portion of a book in the help area.

New York Public Library Digital Collections
There are almost 700,000 items digitized so far from the New York Public Library's collections including prints, maps, manuscripts, photographs, streaming video and more. About 180,000 of these items are in the public domain. On January 6, 2016, the NYPL announced that these items can now be downloaded directly from the website in the highest resolution available. Prior to this permission from NYPL had to be obtained.

These are just a few of the digital archives out there.

One of our members made the comment Friday that one of the reasons you come to genealogy meetings is to learn something new. It may not be what you expected to learn but you still learn.

Enjoy searching and discovering new things. Good luck.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Breaking News: This Friday's Meeting has Change of Speaker and Topic

We received word that our planned speaker Karen Krugman is ill and will not be able to present her program tomorrow.

So instead ...

On Friday, February 5, at 1:00 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Mount Clemens Public Library, Deborah Larsen, MCPL assistant director, will present Macomb County Local History Digital Archive including the Mount Clemens Property History Database

Both the archive and database are wonderful resources for our area -- you will be amazed at what and who you can find.

If you are in the Mt. Clemens area, PLEASE JOIN US. 

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Just Released: Now Includes 1940 Death Certificate Images

We learned that the Archives of Michigan has just finished loading the images for the 1940 Michigan Death Certificates onto its website.

So SeekingMichigan now has digitized Michigan Death Certificates from 1897-1940 with indexes up to 1952.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

NEW Find My Past US Marriage Collection and Free Access to it until February 15

Find My Past is giving free access until February 15th to the first batch of records making up its brand new U.S. Marriage Collection.

Find My Past is calling it the largest collection of online U.S. marriage records. When completed between 2016/2017 the collection will include over 100 million records spanning the years from 1650 to 2010. It estimates that 60 percent of the records have never been published online before. As of today about 33 million records are available.

To see any attached marriage record images during this free access time period, you will need to sign-in. If you do not have a free account at Find My Past already, simply create one. 

The easiest way to create/register a free account is to do a search in the U.S. Marriage Collection then click on the "camera icon" to view an image for any item in the search results list. If you are not signed in, it will ask you to do so or to register a free account.  (A free account is not the same as a free trial subscription so do not click on the link to sign up for a free trial subscription.)

Have fun searching.

See you at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

News from Ancestry Regarding Family Tree Maker software's ... FUTURE

The February 2nd FTM Announcement
An email from arrived in my personal email inbox just after 5 p.m. today, I discovered it at 5:25 p.m.

Ancestry has announced that it is selling its Family Tree Maker genealogy desktop software to the developer of the program for the last six years Software MacKiev which will continue to develop the software. Future updates and new versions will come from Software MacKiev. Users will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, Ancestry searches and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry with Family Tree Maker in the future.

In the same announcement, announced an agreement with RootsMagic to connect Ancestry and the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. This will give the RootsMagic genealogy software access to Ancestry hints, Ancestry searches and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry.

Read more about this announcement on the Blog.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Monday, February 1, 2016 Opens Five Databases for Free Access in February website has announced it's free databases for the month February. Since it is Black History Month, three of the databases are focused African American ancestors.

These databases are:
  • Hampden County, MA: Black Families in Hampden County, 1650-1865
  • People of Color in the Massachusetts State Census, 1855-1865
  • Massachusetts: 1855 State Census
  • Massachusetts: 1865 State Census
  • Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States in 1830

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), which operates the AmericanAncestors website, has also created a guide to two of the databases and a case study called Search Spotlight: African American Records.

To access the free databases simply create a free guest user account if you do not already have one. If you are an NEGHS member, simply sign into your account.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Fold3 website's Black History Collection Free During the Month of February

Fold3 website
During the month of February the Fold3 website is offering free access to its Black History Collection. This includes "colored" troop service records, court slave records, Amistad records, slave registry, and anti-slave records.

Just register for a basic Fold3 membership which is free with no credit card required. If you already have a free Fold3 basic membership, just sign into the website. (You do not need to sign up for a 7-day free trial which requires a credit card.)

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Friday's Meeting: Here Comes the Judge

On Friday, February 5, at 1:00 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Mount Clemens Public Library, Karen Krugman will present Here Comes the Judge which will showcase the holdings available when visiting a courthouse.

If you are in the Mt. Clemens area, PLEASE JOIN US. 

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!

A Little Help: Handout Links for the RootsTech 2016 Live Stream Classes

RootsTech 2016
For those of us that can not attend RootsTech 2016 in person, there is Live Stream viewing of several classes each day of the genealogy-technology conference. Finding the corresponding syllabus for each class on the 2016 Class Syllabi page can require some patience however.

So how about some help? Below is the Live Stream Schedule listed in the Eastern time zone and a direct link to the syllabus for that class if one exists.

Remember class times are listed in Mountain Time at the RootsTech website. We are Eastern Time which is 2 hours ahead. So 8:30 am Mountain is 10:30 am Eastern.

Here's the Live Stream list according to our Eastern Time.

Thursday, February 4th
10:30 am to 12 pm
Thursday General Session
Steve Rockwood, Paula Madison, Bruce Feiler 

1 pm to 2 pm

7 Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries presented by Mike Mansfield
3:30 pm to 4:20 pm
Best Websites and Apps for Local History presented by Amy Crow

5 pm to 6 pm
What's New in Family Tree in 2016 presented by Ron Tanner

6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Virtual Family Reunions presented by Joseph Richardson

Friday, February 5th
10:30 am to 12 pm
Friday General Session
Josh and Naomi Davis (Love Taza), David Islay 

12:30 am to 1:30 pm
RootsTech Innovator Showdown Finals
3:30 pm  to 4:30 pm
Proven Methodology for Using Google for Genealogy presented by Lisa Louise Cooke
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Finding Elusive Records on presented by Robert Kehrer
RT7450-F (no handout found as of this blog post writing)
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
My Ancestors are from Britain -- What Do I Do Next? presented by Myko Clelland
RT1431 plus additional word document

Saturday, February 6th
10:30 am to 12 pm
Saturday General Session 
Michael Leavitt 

1 pm  to 2 pm
Photos -- Emerging Technologies in Photography presented by Jens Nielsen
RT2449 (no handout found as of this blog post writing) 

3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Become a Master Searcher on Ancestry presented by Anne Mitchell
RT2560 plus additional document  

5 pm to 6 pm
Homespun and Calico: Researching our Foremothers presented by Peggy Lauritzen
RT1792 plus additional word document
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Using the Genealogical Proof Standard for Success presented by James Ison
RT2230 plus additional word document

If it is like it was in prior years, the Live Stream will be right on the homepage starting on Thursday.

See You Soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!