Tag: free

Genealogy News Bites – April 28, 2014

Genealogy news: checking newspapers.In an effort to help ease the load of searching for genealogy news and genealogy events, I prepare a ‘Genealogy News Bites’ post to gather together what I feel are the most important or informative genealogy news headlines from the previous week (or thereabouts).

Following are the most recent and relevant genealogy news headlines from a broad range of sites and blogs.


Olive Tree Genealogy

Long Lost Love Letters Found & Returned to Descendants

This is one of those feel-good stories we all love. And wouldn’t we all love to find such a treasure? Joshua McKinney, of Casnovia, Michigan, was removing old insulation in his home’s attic when he found a stack of old love letters from World War II. The letters and certificates (birth and marriage) he found all concerned the Kissel family. It didn’t take long for Joshua and his sister to

Genealogy Canada

Counties council asked to back naming County Road 34 ‘British Home Children Commemorative Highway’

Jim Brownell who is the director of the Ontario East British Home Child Family (OEBHCF), wants to rename the roadway that goes through the towns of Lancaster, Green Valley, and Alexandria on County Road 34 as the ‘British Home Children Commemorative Highway.’

Rewriting the pages of history Shelburne student corrects foggy account of war crime

Learn how a student changed history by researching a soldier in their Second World War and discovering the story of how he been executed with six other soldiers near the small town of Mouen, France

RootsTech 2015 Call for Papers

RootsTech 2015 will be held in Salt Lake City from February 11–14, 2015, and the RootsTech Content Committee is calling for dynamic presentations that inform and educate both those seeking to begin and those continuing to discovering their family story through technology

Google Blog

Hungary’s far-right and the ‘Jewish ancestry’ slippage

Today, on Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah in Hebrew), we commemorate the 6 million Jews slaughtered during the Holocaust, as well as the millions of Roma, homosexuals, people with disabilities, political

FamilySearch Blog

Free Guide to Hampshire England Ancestors

FamilySearch is pleased to announce a new online guide to tracing ancestors in the ceremonial County of Hampshire England. Also known as Southampton, and including the Isle of Wight, Hampshire has a long maritime history. It is the birthplace of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force

Free Classes Offered at the Family History Library—May, 2014

If you are planning on visiting Salt Lake City, Utah during the month of May, you may want to plan some time to come visit the Family History Library across from Temple Square. The Family History Library is offering several free classes during the month of May. Classes are free to the public. Below is information about topics, times and locations

Irish Genealogy News

Major Irish genealogy conference in Waltham, MA

A two-day conference – Celtic Connections, The Leaving of Home: Migration, Motivation and Myth – will be held in August in Waltham, Massachussets, and will witness a gathering of many of Irish genealogy’s best-known presenters from both sides of the Atlantic

Library and Archives Canada

An Arpent, a Toise, a Perche, a League… Understanding Old French Measurements

When looking through old French records, you will frequently come across old measurements that are rather mysterious nowadays. These measurements are found in records originating in France, Quebec and Louisiana. Below is a table showing the equivalencies, but many online sites offer conversion calculators, even for these old standards

Chicago Tribune

Fifteen Days Remaining for Reduced Cost Registration for Genealogy Conference

Fifteen days remain to receive a reduced rate to The Computer-Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois’ (CAGGNI) full day genealogy conference, GeneaQuest. GeneaQuest is a full day of genealogy highlighting genealogy news and technology of the future and

Genealogy and History News

Find-A-Record Helps you Find Records

Let me tell you about a new website I’ve been playing with recently. It’s called Find-A-Record. And that’s not to be confused with ‘Find-A-Grave‘ as they are two entirely different sites. Both useful for genealogy, but both with different purposes

Ancestry.com Blog

Virtual Cemeteries, Rotating Photos, User Profiles, and More in the Updated Find A Grave iOS App

Today we’re releasing the first new features update for the app. We have a lot more we’re going to do, but these first features were the most requested and are ready to release, so we hope you like them

photo credit: Public Places via photopin cc


How to get, keep, and use a smart cell phone absolutely free!?

I recently acquired, and keep and continue to use a smart cell phone absolutely FREE!

Samsung Galaxy SIII smart cell phone absolutely FREEConsidering how important immediate access to all my data, online information, subscriptions and websites are, I felt this was important for others with my extreme interest in (obsession with?) genealogy and family tree research. This entire set up allows me to use everything except texting absolutely free. I’m sure there’s an app for text messaging as well, but since I rarely use it, I couldn’t be bothered looking.

I didn’t have this cell phone three days ago, but fortuitous circumstances for me (if not for my daughter) enabled me to get this phone for free.

Erin using my Samsung Galaxy SIII smart cell phone absolutely FREEIn this case, my daughter works for a cell phone provider and was working with a customer a couple of days ago only to discover just after he left that he had taken her cell phone. The HORROR! This was a brand new contract and she’d only had the phone for a couple of months.

She immediately notified store security and they started scanning video. In the meantime she called us to ‘vent’. And boy, did she vent! I can totally understand her anger and frustration. There is nothing like the unsettling feeling of being violated when someone steals something from us!

The end result of our conversation was that she decided to upgrade to the next model of phone and continue having the theft of her old one investigated. Within the hour she had a new phone, and as soon as I heard, I asked, “If you do manage to get the other phone back, I’d like to have it, please.”

Barely an hour later, we got a call from Erin telling us they had found the dastardly thief. He was an older gentleman who had the exact same phone as her and had grabbed hers by accident. Once his error was discovered, he immediately called the store to tell security and in very short order the phone was returned. The poor guy must have been mortified, because it was actually his wife who came in to return the phone – and she couldn’t apologize enough.

So, now Erin had both phones, and the next day she showed up to give me my lovely new phone.

Magic Jack plugin, smart cell phone absolutely FREEI had no intention of signing on with a provider. I didn’t need it as a phone as I had recently bought the Magic Jack. After all, I never leave the house, so what did I need a cell phone for? The only thing was, there are certain advantages to having a cell phone when you’re a blogger, and they include:

  • Access to one’s blog and posts when away from home.
  • Remote posting.
  • Immediate and regular access for spontaneous ‘picture taking’.
  • Easy ‘sending’, ‘attaching’ and ‘editing’ of images via Instagram and cell phone apps.
  • The ability to monitor and participate in social media at all times.

With the ability to connect through our wireless internet, I knew I would be able to do everything I needed except make telephone calls – or so I thought.

Once I had that lovely little phone in my eager hands, I had a blast playing around with the settings and apps. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted a Magic Jack app.

It couldn’t be!

Could I actually be able to use my cell phone on Magic Jack for free?

Within seconds, I had the app set up and made a telephone call to my darlin’ husband sitting across the room from me.

It worked!

It was at this moment I realized that it is possible to have full use of a cell phone and its functions for absolutely nothing!

Believe me, you could do it too.

Canada is notorious for its overpriced cell phone services and strong arm tactics with long contracts and exorbitant fees. Recently our government implemented new regulations meant to reduce the ability of cell phone providers to use these tactics, only for the cell phone providers to immediately announce rate hikes across the board.

Such is life… and therefore the reason for my glee at setting up my own cell phone for free.

photo credit: samsungtomorrow via photopin cc
photo credit: freephotos70 via photopin cc

Ancestry.com and the New York City Department of Records provide free access to New York’s vital records index.

New York City Department of RecordsThe New York City Department of Records vital records index is now available free to family history researchers via Ancestry.com.

In today’s press release by Ancestry.com, they “announced the availability of an index to more than 10 million New York City birth, marriage and death records, spanning 1866-1948, for free online at Ancestry.com/NewYork. The new index, made possible through a relationship with the New York City Department Of Records/Municipal Archives, brings the vast collection of New York records, images and historical documents already on Ancestry.com to nearly 40 million. This will enable people exploring their family history to discover and learn more about their possible New York roots.”

They state further, “When researching the American side of your family history, the likelihood of an ancestor either living in New York City or immigrating through it is very high,” said Todd Godfrey Director of Content Acquisition at Ancestry.com. “Our relationship with the New York City Municipal Archives and addition of this new index will help paint a robust picture of your family history, and perhaps answer questions you have wondered about for ages, such as grandpa’s year of birth or where your parents got married.”

This is great news to me and anyone else researching their family history in New York. Even today, 36 percent of today’s population of New York are immigrants, while 100 years ago, that figure was 40 percent.

It’s pretty evident that New York is still an immigration hub. As a result of this movement of population through New York, a birth, marriage or death certificate, as well as census records from New York may be that one thing needed to break through a researcher’s ‘brick wall.’

The New York City vital record indexes are available for free browsing on Ancestry.com, and official copies of the vital records identified in the indexes can be ordered from the New York City Municipal Archives via the Ancestry.com site search.