Monthly Archives: November 2010

Cyber Monday Sale!

In honor of Cyber Monday, I am offering a sale on my two ebooks!

Look at one reader said about my e-books!

I have bought both of your ebooks, and I want to let you know they are fantastic! Both of them are very concise, clear, and contain a lot of great informaiton. Best of all, they’re short enough to finish in one sitting. Thanks for writing such great books.

Brandt Gibson (November 2010)

So what are you waiting for?

Get a 15% discount on my e-books using the coupon code: Deals.  Better hurry though, this deal ends on Tuesday, November 30, 2010!  Order your copy of my e-books here!


NEGHS has a New Website:

Note: This is a press release from the New England Genealogical Historical Society.  Please direct all questions to the contacts listed below.



Tom Champoux, Marketing Director

Alessandra Magno, Marketing Assistant


Boston, MA – November 23, 2010 – Today, The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) in Boston bids farewell to its former website and officially welcomes as its new home.

In August, D. Brenton Simons, President and CEO of NEHGS, announced the launch of Unlike the former website, contains all of the Society’s New England and New York content, features, articles, and resources, as well as weekly updates and databases in a variety of regional and ethnic specialties, like mid-Atlantic, Irish, and African American research.

Simons said, “This website marks a transformative experience in our 165-year history, the first genealogical society founded in America. It represents the next major step ahead as we continue to expand our resources.” Simons added, “ is a new, dynamic platform from which we will grow in our position as a leader in American genealogy and as the nation’s largest genealogical society.” provides online access to some of the most vital research tools and resources available. Some of the improvements include a new image viewer, faster navigation and search results time, and more unique content. This expanded scope allows greater opportunity for NEHGS to bring unique content to its members as well as the public while establishing new and beneficial collaborations with likeminded non-profit organizations and important commercial entities.

Ryan Woods, Director of Technology, notes a significant advantage of the website, “The new advanced search form provides all of the necessary search fields to conduct a thorough and specific query, removing the need to navigate across what were previously four hundred different search pages.”

Since the launch of, there has been constant praise of the new site. Compliments have been given to specific features, such as the advanced search engine, the quality of the images for the Massachusetts Vital Records, the heighted processing speed, and effortless navigation of the website.

Other features that offers include:

  • More exclusive content: more unique, searchable, highly vetted materials for New England, New York, and other regions added weekly
  • Enhanced search engine: an all-new, true “master search” that will search across all databases and other web-based content, with faster results and easier navigation
  • Personal research profile: a social networking feature for NEHGS members to develop an online profile and input family research information, and even share them with others
  • Improved images: a state-of-the-art new image viewer that will provide easier saving, and viewing of images and data
  • Timely information: more news on our homepage and an enhanced blog “The Daily Genealogist” will bring our weekly electronic newsletter to the next level with stories and helpful research tips

Moreover, NEHGS is continuing to invite people to sign up for the NEHGS free registration “Guest Registration” program. This program provides anyone with free access to the popular weekly news stories as well as special access to a variety of databases, resources, articles, and other tools to help with their research. More information can be found on the NEHGS website at



The New England Historic Genealogical Society is the country’s leading resource for family history research. We help family historians expand their knowledge, skills, and understanding of their family and its place in history. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is today the oldest and largest non-profit genealogical organization, with more than 26,000 members nationally. The NEHGS research headquarters, located at 99-101 Newbury Street in Boston, is home to some 28 million books, journals, manuscripts, papers, photographs, documents, and other artifacts, many of which date back centuries.

Its award-winning website offers access to more than 135 million names from 2,400 databases. NEHGS staff includes some of the leading expert genealogists in the country specializing in American, Irish, English, Italian, Scottish, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, and Jewish genealogy.


The Genealogists’ Digital Camera Buying Guide

These days, a digital camera should be in the “tool kit” of every genealogist.  Here is a short list of what digital cameras can be used for:

  • taking photos of grave stones
  • taking photos of documents in archives, museums, courthouses, and other research facilities (check the rules of the facility first!)
  • taking photos at family reunions
  • taking photos of family heirlooms
  • taking photos of family homesteads
  • … and more!

But how do you know what kind of camera to buy?  How do you know what kind of camera will meet your needs?  Well here is my quick Digital Camera Buying Guide for Genealogists.  Find your digital camera personality below to read about your needs.

Budget Buyer

Your number one concern is money.  You want a camera that costs under $200, user-friendly, email and post pictures on the web. You want a camera that will last and satisfy you a few years.

  • Price: Under $200
  • Lens: 3X or greater zoom
  • Resolution: Doesn’t matter.  Most cameras on the market will meet your needs.
  • Focus: Autofocus or fixed focus
  • Interface: USB connection
  • Cool Features to Consider: webcam capabilities, basic video capture, automatic scene modes, continuous-shooting mode.
  • Examples: Sony Cyber-Shot,  Olympus Stylus,  Casio Exilim,  Nikon Coolpix

Technology Trendsetter

You enjoy having the latest, shiniest, brand new technology.  You are ahead of the curve in the genealogy world when it comes to genealogy.  You want a camera that will impress without being too complicated to use.  While you care about how much you spend, this isn’t your top priority.

  • Resolution: Nearly everything on the market will meet your needs
  • Price: Under $800
  • Lens: 5X or greater optical zoom
  • Focus: Automatic
  • Cool Features: compact design, interchangeable lenses, Wi-Fi, geotagging support, 12X or greater optical zoom, face detection
  • Examples: Cannon PowerShot,  Nikon Coolpix,  Sony Cyber-Shot


You want a camera that is small enough to fit anywhere.  You want the camera to be easy to use for you and the family.  You want to post photos on the web and email them to family.

  • Price: $150 – $300
  • Resolution: Anything on the market will meet your needs
  • Lens: 3X optical zoom
  • Exposure: Automatic, programmed scene modes
  • Focus: Automatic
  • Cool Features: In camera red-eye removal, image stabilization, face detection
  • Examples: Panasonic Lumix, Cannon Powershot HP PB360

With one of the biggest shopping days in the year coming up, now is the time to buy a big purchase like a camera.  You don’t have to stand in line at the big stores – instead, you could shop by the comfort of your own home.  Now is the time to get some great deals!


Discount on my eBooks

In honor of Thanksgiving (U.S.) this month, I am offering a 15% discount on both of my popular ebooks!

Conquering The Paper Monster Once and For All:  Learn how to create a unique organizational system that works for you.  Using this step-by-step guide, you can become (and stay!) organized.

A Mini-Guide to Being a Part-Time Genealogist: This ebook features 7 tips to keep your research time efficient and give you maximum research results in the smallest amount of time.

So how do you get this 15% discount?  You must use the coupon code: Thankful. Make sure you use this link so that you have a place to enter the discount code.


Tuesday’s Tip: Bust Down Brick Walls by Staying Organized

Every genealogist has run into an ancestral brick wall.  Some researchers might even say that brick walls are inevitable.

One way to bust down a brick wall is to take every piece of information you have about your brick wall and then:

  • Create a table with basic facts and sources about your brick wall ancestor/family. (I love tables!)  This will give you a visual about what you know versus the holes in your research.
  • Re-read every source document to make sure you did not miss any facts.
  • Re-evaluate the reliability of the information in the source document. When was the document created in relation to the event?  Who was the informant?  Are there motives for someone to lie or stretch the truth?

However, it isn’t enough to only know the information you have and the information you are missing.  Sometimes, you need to be the master of the time period, region, or ethnic group.  The easiest way to do this is to create a research guide for the time period, region or ethnic group you are researching.  Include in your research guide:

  • Records and record types available
  • Where can you find these records?
  • What records are destroyed?
  • Are there any record substitutions?

If you are organized, then you are more likely to reach a breakthrough!

What are your brick wall busting tips?


November Speaking Engagements

“Conquering The Paper Monster”

Learn how to make your genealogy paper piles into neat and organized files!  Learn how to evaluate your

organizational needs and create an efficient organization system that will work for you!

When: Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 2pm

Where: Immigrant Genealogy Society in Burbank, California

Speaker: Me!


Dear Genea-Santa…

Dear Genea-Santa,

Santa Claus (1895)

I know Christmas and the holidays are still a month and a half away, but I wanted to send you my Christmas list early.  I’ll keep my list short this year.

Since I got my license this year, I have enjoyed going to libraries and archives in the Southern California area.  It has been wonderful and better than I could have ever dreamed.  My eyes light up and my heart races with excitement when I meet the smell of dust and old paper.  Needless to say, I love it.

So this year, I am asking for…

  • Gas Gift Cards. Gas is expensive.  I can’t always afford the gas to go to every library and archive that I want to go to.  Gas cards would be a life-saver here.
  • Stocking Stuffer: Rolls of quarters and dimes.  Finally, I can make as many copies and print-outs as my heart desires.
  • An internet air-card.  Not everywhere has free wireless internet.
  • (I know this one is far-fetched, but I can’t resist asking for it anyway) … a new car.  I know it is a lot to ask for.  But have you seen my car?  The front two windows don’t go up or down.  The handles on the driver and passenger side doors have broken off. The gas mileage is horrible.  And it is almost as old as I am, which would be no problem if it was in good working order.  But I am always keeping my AAA account active and well because I am so terrified of my car breaking down in the middle of no where and being stranded.  I need a new car.  Not a new car.  But a new car to me.  One that works.  Preferably one that connects an iPod to it so I can listen to genealogy podcasts on my way to do genealogy research.


Your source citation writing friend,


Recommended Reading:

  1. Preparing for a Genealogy Research Trip
  2. Overcoming Brick Walls: Establishing a Plan of Attack
  3. Overcoming Brick Walls: Expanding Your Knowledge
  4. Overcoming Brick Walls: Cluster Research

*Photo belongs to Chuck Coker and is on Flickr.  I do not own this photo.


Press Release: The Advent Calendar is Back!

The following press release is from Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers.  Please contact him with any questions.


Capture Your Family’s Memories of Christmas 24 Ways in 24 Days

November 1, 2010 – Chicago, IL. GeneaBloggers – the genealogy community’s resource for blogging – announces the return of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories beginning December 1, 2010.

What started as a bi-annual event December 2007 as a way for genealogy bloggers to capture and document the memories of family holiday traditions has now grown into an annual event with its own blog. Visit the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories at and learn how you can participate in this unique online genealogy event.

Beginning December 1, 2010, each day will present a specific blogging prompt such as Christmas Cookies and bloggers will be asked to write about their memories related to the theme and their family history. A new prompt will appear each day through December 24, 2010.

Bloggers who have participated in the past can join in the fun again by either repeating their posts from previous years or creating new posts. Besides creating an on-line journal of Christmas memories, some bloggers have even gone on to create books of their previous Advent Calendar posts to share with family and friends.

Don’t’ forget to check out the list of blogging prompts and get started on capturing your childhood Christmas memories today!

Follow the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories on Facebook (, Twitter ( and on our blog at


Thomas MacEntee