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Sunday, June 29, 2008

The BEST of the Internet for Genealogists – 29 June 2008

It is Sunday and time for the latest installment of DearMYRTLE’s BEST of the Internet for Genealogists Awards. I've got time during the first two weeks in July to give you some more links to checkout. Then I'll be away on the Legacy Family Tree 2008 Cruise of the Baltic until August.

Best of the Internet award winners are entitled to the use of this award graphic, with a link back to this blog entry.

[Ahem, drum roll please…]

The BEST of the Internet for Genealogists – 29 June 2008 awards go to:

BLOG: Schelly Talalay Dardashti's "The Future is now: encouraging younger genealogists" posted 29 June 2009 at Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog. We must refine our methods to attract the younger family members into the delightful and mysterious world of family history.

INSTRUCTION: footnoteMAVEN (otherwise known as fM) has done it again! Her blog titled "Labeling and Labeling Systems" posted 25 June 2008 at her Shades of the Departed blog discusses the challenges we have when identifying individuals in group photos, particularly in this digital age.

DATABASE SITE: The freely searchable Online Ortsfamilienbücher database, or Online town heritage books, from, thankfully has some availability in English as well as German, though you will become familiar with the layout and terminology. Some Ortsfamilienbücher in this collection are not searchable, but merely mention availability of the record, time period, location of the town in relationship to larger towns in the region, some descriptions include links to ordering original resource in microfilm format through your local LDS Family History Center. Search first by clicking the locality where your ancestor once lived, then click on the letter of the alphabet that corresponds to your ancestor's surname.

SCANNED IMAGE SITE: Thanks to my friend Claire V. Bisson-Banks for telling Ol' Myrt about's Boyd’s Marriage Index - London and Middlesex Supplement on British Origins where we learn "While Boyd's Marriage Index is the largest index of pre-1837 English marriages, it is estimated that only 15% of marriages for the period are included. Cliff Webb has undertaken to "fill in the gaps" for the City of London and Middlesex, to the extent that is possible from surviving records. This "Supplement" is integrated in the British Origins database with Boyd's index records, so that Boyd's Marriage Index and the Supplement may be searched simultaneously. This is an on-going project. In the first batch of new records for London and Middlesex nearly 96,000 marriages have been indexed (nearly 200,000 names); over 50,000 City of London marriages and 46,000 for Middlesex. These include 3,100 Jewish marriages from Bevis Marks and the Great Synagogues, 3,160 Roman Catholic marriages, and 862 Huguenot marriages. Please note that the most of the marriages included in the Supplement are not, to the best of our knowledge, available anywhere else online." The index leads one to locate marriage records in the UK.

PODCAST: Episode #6: Family History Minute - "Countries and Cultures (Where am I from?)". Although Brian Mikelson is not longer producing new episodes of The Family History Minute Podcast, the content he has provided is still valid if you'd like to know more about how to pass on your ancestor's cultural heritage. Also available via free subscription at

VIDEO: S&N Genealogy's Neigel Baily interview at the 2008 WDYTYA? Live! conference, posted on and hosted by Dick Eastman. S & N is the largest genealogy vendor in the UK, see: Includes information about 7 million non-conformist records at Neigel's related website.

COMMENTARY: Mark Tucker's " Gives Employees 10% of Work Time to Do Their Family History" posted at 21 March 2008 compares this policy with Google's, in a brief but worthwhile discussion about how this will probably provide an increase in productivity.

INNOVATION: Congrats to the Midwest Genealogy Center on the grand opening celebrations on 21 June 2008. In this day and age of technology, the Mid-Continent Public Library system in Kansas City, established this new 52,000 square foot facility, making a clear statement that assisting family historians with research is a top priority. Yes, the librarians will do lookups for you.

MOST INTERESTING THREAD: Randy Seaver was "whining" (to use his own words) about genealogy software, and posted "Does Any Genealogy Software Do This?" at his Genea-Musings blog that prompted several replies from Randy's devoted readers. His follow-up blog entry is titled "Does
any Genealogy software do this? - Post 2A

Without Craig Manson's "Your Albanian Aunt, er. uh Uncle?" posted at GeneaBlogie, Ol' Myrt here might never have heard of this long-accepted tradition of a woman foreswearing her position and acting henceforth as a man, reported in "
Albanian Custom Fades: Woman as Family Man
", a New York Times article by Dan Bilefsky, published 25 June 2008. This is a prime example of why we must not assume rules based on our 21st century mind-set and should encourage us to study the laws, social customs and political influences of the specific locality at the time our ancestors lived.

PLUS ONE: Family Tree Magazine's "Search Tips for Online Genealogy Databases" posted 19 June 2008 at Genealogy Insider. These tips will help you target your ancestor searches in genealogy databases. Diane Haddad suggests trying these ideas out on the 2008 list of the 101 Best Web Sites for genealogy to be listed in the September 2008 Family Tree Magazine on newsstands 15 July 2008 and on

Please note that this week's award winners may have published the spotlighted content earlier, it is just that this week Ol' Myrt here stumbled across them and wishes to honor excellent work.

If you have suggestions for winning genealogy content be sure to drop me a line. After all, we get by with a little help from our friends.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

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