31 May 2013

Upfront Mini Bytes

Upfront Mini Bytes

Welcome to the ninth edition of our bi-weekly feature Upfront Mini Bytes.  In Upfront Mini Bytes we provide eight tasty bits of genealogy news that will help give you a deeper byte into your family history research. Each item is short and sweet.  We encourage you to check out the links to articles, blog posts, resources, and anything genealogical!

We hope you found the past editions helpful:


Do you have questions, suggestions for future posts, or comments?  Please post a comment or send an e-mail to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org.

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Researching French ancestors?  Check out this great article by Kimberly Powell (About.com), French Actes d'Etat Civil — How to Find & Use Them Online. From my own personal experience with French research, I found Geneanet a great resource.  I was able to identify people researching my husband’s Alsace-Lorraine area family and also found someone who was able to acquire some not-yet digitized and online vital records.

One doesn’t think of Manitoba, Canada, as having a French-speaking community and yet it has had one for over 100 years! There is now an online archive of La Liberté – the community’s 100-year-old weekly newspaper. Read more about this neat archive and access the archive here.

Brethren Digital Archives available via Internet Archive. The Mission of the Brethren Digital Archives is to digitize some or all of the periodicals produced from the beginning of publication to the year 2000 by each of the Brethren bodies who trace their origin to the baptism near Schwarzenau, Germany in 1708.  This is a world-wide collection. You can browse by title, look at sub-collections, or search the collection.

Do you have ancestors who died in New York state from 1957 through early 1963?  If so, check out this article about a new online death index (by Dick Halsey).  You can access the database directly here, though I strongly suggest you read Dick’s article first!

The ability to overlay modern maps on old maps, and vice versa, is such an important tool in our genealogy toolbox.  Read this post, Old Map, Current Map, Homestead - Mappy Monday on My Ancestors and Me to see how the author she used known information and photos along with maps (old and new) to determine “where” her ancestors lived.

Speaking of land, Missouri Digital Heritage has a Land Patents:1831-1969 database and Beth Foulk (genealogy decoded) has a great article, Missouri School Land Records, where she talks about this subset of records and how valuable they are to one’s research.

Google Translate just keeps getting better!  It can now handle more than 70 of the world’s languages.  This just increases our ability to access non-English documents (e.g., the documents in our ancestor’s native language) that are important to our understanding of our emigrant ancestors. Read more about this milestone or access Google Translate.

Did a relative or ancestor served in the US field artillery?  If so, check out the Field Artillery archives, part of the Morris Swett Library Digital Collections & Archives. Learn more about this archive and a new catalog via this article Find field artillery archives with new online catalog posted on www.army.mil.



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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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30 May 2013

Mocavo Announces Genealogy Karma -- a new genealogy "help" community to fill void left by the loss of RAOGK


I’m sure that many of you are familiar with Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK), created by Bridgett and Doc Schneider. For 12 years it provided a resource to help genealogists to document their ancestors while also providing a way for genealogist to help the genealogical community.  I suspect that all of us have benefited from the “kindness” and “hard work” of strangers in our quest to learn more about our family.

To try and fill the void that was created with the demise of RAOGK in 2011, Mocavo has launched Genealogy Karma.  Read more about the launch here and do visit the website.

Do you volunteer with Genealogy Karma?  Tell us a bit about the assistance you have provided.

Did someone via Genealogy Karma assist you?  Tell us how.

Are you aware of other genealogy “help” communities that you are aware of?  Let us know about such!



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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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29 May 2013

NGS Announces 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia, 7–10 May 2014, Virginia: The First Frontier


NGS is pleased to announce the 2014 Family History Conference will be held 7–10 May 2014 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and Marriott Hotel located in downtown Richmond, Virginia. Conference highlights and contact information for conference hotels can be found in the Announcement Brochure, which can be downloaded at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/galleries/new-gallery/2014_Announcement_Brochure.pdf. The conference theme, Virginia: The First Frontier, will explore the records and history that draw so many back to their roots in the Old Dominion. Lecture topics will also include migration into, within, and out of the region down the Great Wagon Road, over the Appalachian Mountains, and across the south to Texas and beyond.

Genealogy conferences in Richmond, Virginia, are always well attended, so plan to make your reservations early. The five conference hotels will accept reservations beginning 1 June 2013 and the special conference rates apply three days before and after the conference. The hotels offer a variety of amenities and dining options, so choose the one that best fits your needs. The convention and visitors bureau will be providing shuttle buses between the convention center and the Crowne Plaza, Omni, and Holiday Inn Express hotels, which are a few blocks away, while the conference is in session. For more details please see the NGS conference website at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/accommodations. Consider arriving early to experience one or more historical tours in and around Richmond provided by Richmond Discoveries’ Tours on Monday afternoon 5 May 2014 and Tuesday morning and afternoon 6 May 2014. Details can be found at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/tours. Tour reservations will be accepted beginning 1 December 2013.

The four-day conference will include more than 150 lectures by nationally known experts on topics including the history, records, repositories, and ethnic and religious groups in Virginia and the neighboring states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The program will also feature broader genealogical categories including military and other federal records, the law as it relates to genealogy, methodology, analysis, and problem solving. There will also be an emphasis on the use of technology (GenTech) in genealogical research including genetics, mobile devices, and apps.

An Exhibit Hall with more than 100 vendors will be free and open to the public from Wednesday through Saturday at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, directly across from the Marriott Hotel. Exhibitors will include genealogy database and software providers, booksellers, genealogy societies, providers of genetic testing, and much more.

Sign up for the NGS Conference Blog at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org so you do not miss any of the conference news or announcements. Conference registration opens 1 December 2013.




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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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28 May 2013

Megan Smolenyak releases details about the Lucky 13 grant program



During her presentation at the NGS Banquet on Friday, 10 May, Megan Smolenyak announced a new grant program, Lucky 13.

Megan Smolenyak speaking at the NGS 2013 Banquet
She promised that details would be forthcoming and those details have been posted to her website.

I announced what I'm calling my LUCKY 13 initiative and committed to giving 13 grants for the purpose of purchasing family treasures from pawn stores, doing the detective work to track down descendants of the original owners, and returning the item to that family.

Once you've made a rescue, apply for a Seton Shields Genealogical GrantOver time, I will select a minimum of 13 such applications and cover the costs. It goes without saying that your odds of a successful rescue will improve considerably if you select an item with some form of identifying information, but if you happen to get stuck in your research efforts, consider submitting for my help with that aspect.

Do spread the word about this neat initiative.


Editor’s Note: Posts on Upfront with NGS regarding Heirlooms...
Send your orphan heirlooms home! (About Megan’s original Orphan Heirloom Rescue program)

And, two posts from Olive Tree Genealogy about heirlooms and bequeathing them to family ...
More Issues With Passing on Family Heirlooms and Preserving Their Provenance


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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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27 May 2013

War and Remembrance: A Look at Memorial Day's Civil War Roots

By Eddie Coyote, http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddiecoyote/5315469744/sizes/l/
used via Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic, 
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/deed.en

Memorial Day.  A day of remembrance, family gatherings, the start of summer, and much more...

In reading Parade yesterday there was the article, War and Remembrance: A Look at Memorial Day's Civil War Roots, I was reminded that as with our own research, an understanding of the history of an event, occupation, entity or community, gives us so much more knowledge about our ancestors and what they experienced and “why” we do what we do, in this case – celebrate Memorial Day.

Do read this short piece as a reminder of the history of this day and also a reminder to take a moment to remember that sacrifices made by many, soldiers, parents, spouses, children and communities, are why we are the people and country we are today.




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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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24 May 2013

Unclaimed Persons -- every life is worth remembering



Though we most often use our genealogical research skills to identify long-deceased ancestors, they can also be used to identify living family members for the recently deceased.


It's a quiet but disturbing epidemic. People are going to their graves with no family to claim them. Medical examiners and coroners' offices—frequently overstretched with burgeoning case loads—are turning to an unexpected resource for help. Over 400 genealogists are now offering their volunteer services to help locate the next of kin for unclaimed persons. And it's working. To date, more than 400 cases have been solved through this unusual partnership.

Do check out the video on the page where Megan Smolenyak and others talk about the process of.  And, read her article (written in 2009) about her efforts, Unclaimed Persons.

The state of California has an Unclaimed Persons Database.

Does your state or county have something similar?

Do you know a genealogist who has been contacted by a coroner’s office or similar and asked to identify next of kin?


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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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23 May 2013

FREE access -- Military Records at FindMyPast -- starts tomorrow!


FindMyPast is celebrating ...

Military Appreciation Month: Honoring your family that fought for their country

... by providing free access to all US and international military records from Friday, May 24 to Monday, May 27. No code required or payment information taken – just register at the site. A list of all records, including military ones on the website can be found here.

Do you know if other subscription services are also providing free access to military records this month?  If so, let us know!


Editor’s Note: Learn more about National Military Appreciation Month.






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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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FREE Access -- Lots of records available for FREE as we celebrate Memorial Day




As we celebrate those who have served our country in the military, we are presented with some wonderful and FREE access to some databases to help us honor our military veterans as we research their contributions.

The database access we are currently aware of includes:

MyHeritage
In honor of Memorial Day next week, MyHeritage is granting free access to millions of military records from our most popular collections. The records can be accessed from here. The free offer ends on May 28.

Read more here - http://blog.myheritage.com/2013/05/memorial-day-free-access-to-us-military-records/.
Ancestry.com
Ancestry.com is promoting a special Free Access weekend in honor of Memorial Day! All the necessary details below:

From Thursday May 23rd through Monday May 27th, Ancestry.com is offering Free Access to the large collection of new military collections, draft, enlistment and service records. Visit http://www.ancestry.com/family-military to start your search!

Fold3
USCT Service Records Complete through the 138th Infantry – Free through May 31st. Read more here, http://blog.fold3.com/usct-service-records-complete/ and here http://blogs.archives.gov/prologue/?p=12199 (NARA Prologue: Pieces of History Blog).

FindMyPast
See post at 10am today with information.



Are you aware of any other databases offering FREE access to military records?



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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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22 May 2013

Images at FamilySearch.org -- Here Today Gone Tomorrow?

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Just because we have access to digital images today via a database, doesn’t mean that those same images will remain available.  As more and more materials are digitized, remember that there are contractual agreements in place where access can either be withheld or eventually more widespread.


Earlier this year, some Cook County (IL records) were pulled from FamilySearch.  Read about this at The Ancestry Insider, Cook County Images Disappear From FamilySearch.org. Dick Eastman also discussed this in Why Was the Information Removed from Online?

On the other hand, NARA makes non-exclusive partnership arrangements with requirements for free access to those researching at NARA and sometimes to eventually being publicly available via the NARA website, etc.  You can learn about these agreements at [NARA] Digitization Partnerships.

I’ve also seen this with digitized newspapers.  At a certain point some were available via a subscription service encompassing many newspapers and then eventually a newspaper creates its own interface to which you can either subscribe or purchase articles via.

Do you know of other instances where a genealogy-related database was freely available and then not?

Or vice versa – a database where you used to have to subscribe that is now free?


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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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21 May 2013

Preserve the Pensions [War of 1812] -- Genealogy Road Trip Contest -- Enter NOW!




NGS encourages genealogists to partner with FGS, FamilySearch, and the National Archives to preserve the War of 1812 pensions.  Because of this, NGS wants you to know about The Genealogy Road Trip Contest!



Have you ever wanted to take a research trip to one of the top genealogical libraries in the United States and find out more about your ancestors? Are you all packed and ready to hit the road?

The Federation of Genealogical Societies is holding a contest to raise awareness about its Preserve the Pensions project to preserve and digitize War of 1812 pension files at the National Archives. To participate, simply complete the entry form below and add your name to our email list and then wait for your name to be selected for one of several prizes!

Prizes! Prizes! Prizes!

We’re undertaking a big project here trying to digitize 7.2 million pages of War of 1812 pension files and we believe in thinking BIG! This thinking carries over to our contest prizes which include:

Choice of a Genealogy Research Travel Package: Choose from one of the following research trips:
o       Salt Lake City Genealogy Research Package: A 7-night stay at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, a $200 meal gift card, and a $50 Family History Library photocopy card. Total value = $1,100.
o       Fort Wayne Genealogy Research Package: A 7-night stay at the Fort Wayne Hilton Hotel, a $200 meal gift card and a $50 Allen County Public Library photocopy card. Total value = $1,100.
o       Flip-Pal® mobile scanner: A genealogists’ best friend: mobile scanner for all your family photos and genealogy documents. Total value = $150.
o       findmypast.com 1-Year Membership: A one year membership to findmypast.com. Total value = $100.
o       And more! Prizes from Just a Joy, The Heirloom Registry, Maia’s Books, RootsMagic and more!
o       The total value of all the prizes for this contest is over $2,800!

Contest Format and Rules
We’ll begin drawing for prizes on Monday, May 20, 2013 and draw prizes each day leading up to Friday, May 24, 2013, when we’ll select the winner of the Genealogy Research Travel Package!  All winners will be notified by email.

In order to qualify for the contest, you must be a resident of the United States, over age 18 and provide your email address so we can contact you if you are a winner. After the contest, we’ll send you the latest information about the Preserve the Pensions project and you can unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Full contest rules can be found here.

Donate to Preserve the Pensions and Win a War of 1812 Quilt
Besides entering the contest, consider making a donation to the Preserve the Pensions project today. Not only will you help preserve and digitize War of 1812 pension files, but you’ll also be entered into a drawing to win a stunning War of 1812 commemorative quilt! Click here for more information and then look for the drawing in late August 2013.

Here’s How to Enter the Genealogy Road Trip Contest
Only one entry per email address please. There are two ways to enter:
o       Click here to enter via our Facebook page; OR
o       Click here to simply sign up for our e-newsletter and you’ll be automatically entered into the Contest!

Please spread the word about our contest on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media. And also visit the Preserve the Pensions website to learn more about this community effort to preserve an essential part of American history.










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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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