31 December 2015

FREE Access to Popular NEGHS Vital Records Databases (Through 31 January 2016)

News from NEHGS ...

December 30, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts— To assist family historians of all levels with ambitious New Year’s resolutions, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is granting free access from Wednesday, December 30, 2015, through Sunday, January 31, 2016, to historic vital records from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont which will be available for unlimited access during the entire month after registering for a free account. NEHGS, the most respected name in family history, has also assembled a quick guide to resources, services, and staff expertise to fulfill any genealogist’s resolutions to grow the ancestral family tree in the New Year.

Family historians can start fulfilling their New Year’s genealogy resolutions with NEHGS by visiting AmericanAncestors.org/2016.

NEHGS Can Fulfill Your Resolution
Aware of the desire by many individuals to begin the study and documentation of one’s family history in the New Year, NEHGS has many resources and services to assist a genealogist at any level of research and publishing. The Online Learning Center on AmericanAncestors.org offers a complete program of instructional resources to guide both the beginner and the more advanced. In addition, the consultation services and research services divisions within NEHGS provide excellent ways to obtain expert guidance and solutions to the frustrating and mysterious “brick walls” that inevitably appear along the journey of researching ancestral roots. And, the calendar of guided research tours and heritage tours offered during 2016 by NEHGS provides many opportunities for the ambitious and passionate genealogist to participate in intensive days devoted to research, one-on-one consultations, presentations by NEHGS genealogists and local experts, and social activities.

Free Databases This Month
The vital records on AmericanAncestors.org is a collection of valuable information regarding births, marriages, and deaths and is an essential resource for researching ancestral connections. Databases available for unlimited access this entire month after registering for a free account include:

Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910
From original records held by the Massachusetts Archives, these vital records cover the years 1841-1910. The vital records cover births, marriages, and deaths that occurred in Massachusetts and not only hold the records, but also indices to them. The information from the 1841-1910 Birth, Marriage & Death indices has been entered into a searchable database. Each index entry includes the person’s first and last name, the town or city where the event occurred, the year, volume number, and page number. The database is searchable by first and last names, record type, year, and location.
New Hampshire Births to 1901, Deaths and Marriages to 1937
This database contains the records of births and marriages to 1901, and deaths and marriages to 1937, as filed with the state of New Hampshire. These records are currently held by the New Hampshire Division of Vital Records Administration. The collection includes more than 475,000 birth records, more than 1,000,000 marriage records, and more than 915,000 death records. Names of parents and spouses have also been indexed, when available. Town clerks were required to send copies of vital records to the state beginning in 1866, although participation was limited until the Bureau of Vital Records was established in 1905. The town clerks then extracted historical vital record information to update the files at the state level, although some records were never reported. The database is searchable by first and last names, record type, year, and location.

Vermont Births, Marriages and Deaths to 2008
This database contains the records of births, marriages and deaths to 2008, as filed with the state of Vermont. These records are currently held by the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration. The collection includes more than 1.5 million birth records, more than 1.8 million marriage records, and more than 1 million death records. Names of parents and spouses have also been indexed, when available. The records held in this collection refer to the statewide index of vital records maintained by the Vermont State Archives. Town clerks were required to send copies of vital records to the state beginning in 1857. The state government began creating a statewide index to these records in 1919. The database is searchable by first and last names, record type, year, and location.

Registration is required at AmericanAncestors.org as a FREE Guest User to gain access to these valuable resources. Guest User accounts allow web visitors to use a limited suite of AmericanAncestors.org databases and access web content such as making purchases from the online store. Unlimited access to more than 1 billion records and to other benefits is available through membership at NEHGS.

(Image caption) Throughout the entire first month of the New Year, NEHGS is offering FREE access to a popular part of its collection of vital records for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Access requires registration as a FREE Guest User at AmericanAncestors.org/2016.




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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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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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30 December 2015

Cemetery + Art Installation = a neat idea!




I recently came across a mention of the “art” in cemeteries in the form of the tombstones and buildings found. Something which I have long appreciated in the same way that I love to visit historic buildings to check out the architecture.

I then learned that cemeteries have hosted art installations.

I love this positive attention that cemeteries are receiving as places of “art” where the living can appreciate art already permanent to the cemetery or art that has been placed temporarily in a cemetery. What a great way to honor ancestors by visiting the places where they are memorialized as one appreciates art.

Some of where I recently visited virtually to learn more about this idea of art and cemeteries are:

Has a cemetery near you hosted or plan to host some form of public art installation (visual, auditory, etc)?









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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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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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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 December 2015

Though not common -- rare documentary treasures are found in unexpected places



We do know that sometimes there are pivotal events in history and people’s lives and often it’s less stressful to want to assume that the world won’t be any different is we throw something away, don’t take an action, etc.

This article seems to want to elevate our “game” by using the tagline “The obvious lesson: never throw anything away.” Pack rats everywhere are feeling the pressure.  No more than I as I just threw a whole bunch of old papers into my recycling box.  Fingers crossed that a significant piece of history has NOT just been lost.

The story of the intern goes ...

What Gruchow had found misfiled among the doctor’s papers was a draft of a document entitled “The Twelve United Colonies, by their Delegates in Congress, to the Inhabitants of Great Britain.”

... Until Gruchow’s discovery, no manuscript was known to exist and even its authorship was undetermined. The Continental Congress had originally appointed delegates Robert R. Livingston, Richard Henry Lee, and Edmund Pendleton to the task, but the printed version was unsigned. According to scholars, it’s evident from this recent discovery that Livingston was the primary author (the manuscript is in his hand, with notes and edits by Lee). Livingston, incidentally, was one of the five men assigned one year later to write the Declaration of Independence, along with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Roger Sherman...

This find again reminds us that not ALL documents of historical significance have necessarily yet been found.

This reminded me of another article from earlier in the year, Rare Civil War document, discovered in drawer, outlines rights for NC's ex-slaves.

Sometimes, history can be found in the strangest places.

Like stuffed in the back of an underwear drawer.

That's where Angela Smith-Crumpler, a 61-year-old Raleigh-area lawyer, discovered a rare, crucial document that helped North Carolina stumble to its feet after the Civil War.

And, if things work out, General Order No. 46 - which outlined the rights and responsibilities of newly freed slaves in the state - will be a centerpiece of the North Carolina Civil War History Center planned for Fayetteville...

Keep this in mind when you are exploring and/or emptying out any old building.  You never know what you might discover hidden.

What stories have you heard about forgotten or unknown documents coming to light?









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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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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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28 December 2015

Happy Holidays from NGS



https://netforum.avectra.com/eweb/shopping/shopping.aspx?site=ngs&ssotoken=%3assotoken&cart=0&shopsearchCat=Donation%2fFund


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FREE Collection of Books Now Available on MyHeritage



Collections of digitized books keep popping up.  The newest one to join the growing ranks of such collections is available on MyHeritage.

We've just added an exciting new collection to MyHeritage SuperSearch™, containing over 37 million pages in 150,000 books relevant to family history!

The new collection includes tens of thousands of digitized historical books, with actual images of the books' pages, and all their text extracted using Optical Character Recognition. The books span the last four centuries and include family, local and military histories, city and county directories, school and university yearbooks, church and congregational minutes and much more. A vast amount of rich data from diverse publications makes this collection a fantastic source of rare genealogical gems, providing insight into the lives of our ancestors and relatives...

You can search this collection directly here.  As a test case I searched on publication place = North Carolina and keywords = “Wake County.”  There are purportedly 1,301,429 results though I only looked at the first 40 or so which included Yackety Yak (UNC Chapel Hear College Yearbook), Shaw University Catalogue (HBC), Minutes of the South River Baptist Association annual sessions, City Directory of Asheville NC (1910), Greensboro City Directory (1912-1913), Walsh’s Charlotte NC City Directory (1907), and much more.

I did a quick look at Internet Archive and NC Digital and Mocavo and Hathi Trust and none of them seemed to have the exact same publications across board suggesting that there is value to adding this digital book archive to your genealogy tool list.

Did you find something “new” to you via this database?







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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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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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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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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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23 December 2015

Upfront with NGS "closed" 24 & 25 December 2015 and 1 January 2016



Upfront with NGS will NOT post tomorrow or Friday (24th and 25th December 2015) nor next Friday (1 January 2016).

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a safe, healthy, happy and prosperous 2016.










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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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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
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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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Sears Catalog ... a bit of nostalgia

Google Search on Sears Catalog

I remember when we used to receive the Sears catalog.  It was a chance to look at so many things that we rarely saw during our weekly grocery shopping trips.  Otherwise, our shopping was pretty much limited to shopping for Christmas and before school started – I don’t remember our doing much celebrating for birthdays except that the birthday person could pick their favorite cake and meal (mine were an ice cream cake from Carvel and a pork roast dinner, respectively).

I remember that we received another catalog in the mail also and I just cannot remember which one – maybe Spiegels and/or Montgomery Ward? This Wikipedia article talks about the history of Mail Order and includes a list of Mail Order Catalogues and the year they were founded.

I was reminded of this when I came across a post (2014) about the Sears catalog being available on Ancestry.com, Remember the Sears Catalog? It’s on Ancestry.com.  You can search the catalog or I think it’s more fun to pick a year (I picked my birth year) and then select which season and then you will see the catalog.  I also looked at the year my mother was born.  What a fun way to see the world of our parents, grandparents, etc, through what one could purchase!

And, as we celebrate the winter holidays, wouldn’t it be fun to gather the family around a laptop (or maybe even projected on a tv) and look at the catalogs available for Christmases past?

As usual, this got me curious to see what other resources there might be, besides Ancestry.com and I came across Wishbookweb.com which has Christmas-specific catalogs from 1933-1988. This website is FREE to access.  I also found that if you search on retail + catalog + archive there are several archives including Radio Shack.  Internet Archive also has some catalogs which can be found under “Clothing and dress – Catalogs” (as well as I’m sure other subject headings such as “Clothing Catalogs,” etc.

I wonder what was the first year when color was used in retail catalogs?

Do you remember receiving these massive catalogs?  Did you family order from them?

Do you know of other archival catalog collections for other retail catalogs of years past?











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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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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
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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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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22 December 2015

Our Immigrant Ancestors Did Not Always Arrive Legally! Illegal immigration is NOT new ...

(1903) Race and Occupation of Immigrants by Destination ...
http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/blogs/the_vault/2014/10/21/LgImmigrationMap.jpg 

I recently read an opinion piece, Think your immigrant ancestors came here legally? Think again (feel free to ignore the related, plus, more et al inserted “modern” political commentary links), that I found fascinating.

Editor’s Note: As always, this post is NOT an NGS political statement about current immigration policy, immigrants, or anything related.  It is about considering the history of our ancestors, how they might have behaved and the documentation we might find about them.

For me, reading the article, was like a light bulb went off and that was a bit embarrassing.  For all the research I’ve done, why haven’t I considered the possibility of my ancestors illegally emigrating?  I guess for two reasons – 1. I did eventually find all the main players in the passenger records of Boston and New York and 2. I knew that my great grandfather had illegally emigrated and just didn’t extend that thinking to immigrating (in his case because I did find all his “legal” paperwork).  The “story” (never documented) is that he tried to get out of Galicia (modern day Poland though a Russian speaker) three times before he was successful; he was attempting to avoid mandatory military service.

Just like we know that not everyone “registered” their births, marriages and deaths, even when required, nor recorded deeds, probate documents, etc., it’s not a big leap to consider the possibility that your ancestors initially came to this country illegally.

Did you know that there was no “illegal” immigration until the late 1800s?  This was because, until that time, there was NO regulation of immigration (Early American Immigration Policies (USCIS). And, the U.S. Border Patrol was not created until 1924. With the passage of time, more and more limits were imposed on who could immigrate.

Researching the internet, I have been challenged to document the “scope” of how many illegal (or unauthorized) immigrants there were before the 1960s when I start seeing some statistics.  If you know of any quality resource material on this topic, please do share.

A related interesting read produced by The Southern Poverty Law Center is 10 Myths About Immigration. Not all of it is related to understanding or documenting our immigrant ancestors and some of the myths are definitely relevant. I can tell you that my emigrant ancestors more than likely would not be allowed to immigrate today (some were “landless peasants” as stated on their passport), the first generation did not learn one word of English (my grandmother always talked about how she had to communicate in a kind of sign language with her grandparents since they refused to learn English and she was not taught Russian), and they worked at very menial jobs in smelly/unsafe factories. 

As always, do challenge your assumptions on how the individuals in your family behaved or were motivated; you just might find you have been looking in all the wrong places for their documentary history.

Have you discovered an ancestor who seems (or you know) came to this country illegally? What’s the basis for the knowledge – paperwork? family lore?


Editor’s Note: Related articles found regarding historic illegal immigration:



Editor’s Note: Thanks to the Polish Genealogical Society of America and its PGSA e-newsletter (December 2015 edition) for making me aware of this article.


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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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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
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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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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21 December 2015

Milestones Reached in Freedmen's Bureau Records Indexing Project



News from FamilySearch ...

FamilySearch International, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) are pleased to announce that exciting milestones have been reached with the historic Freedmen's Bureau Project (see DiscoverFreedmen.org) since its launch on Juneteenth of this year. The 10,000th online indexing volunteer has contributed to the project, and volunteers have made more than 15 percent of the records searchable online, bringing the total number of records indexed to more than 440,865. The goal of this ambitious project is to make more than one million Civil War era historical records—records of about four million freed men, women, and children and refugees—discoverable at the click of a button online.

The Freedmen’s Bureau, officially known as the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, served all who needed intervention after the war. In the name of the bureau, the “freedmen” referred to were black, the “refugees” were white, and the “abandoned lands” were lands once owned by landowners who were eventually re-settled. From 1865 to 1872, the bureau opened schools, managed hospitals, rationed food and clothing, and solemnized marriages. In the process, it gathered information about marriages and families, military service, banking, schools, hospitals, and property records on potentially four million African Americans. 

Since the project’s launch in June of this year, 10,223 volunteers have contributed online from across the nation. Many more volunteers are needed. The goal is to have the records fully indexed and freely available online in time for the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in November 2016...

You can read the full press release here.

Have you helped with this project? What has been the best part of the experience? 

Have you found an ancestor listed?




Editor’s Note: Previous Upfront with NGS blog post on related topic.

Editor’s Note: These records have held a particular fascination for your Upfront with NGS editor for years and as such I have given talks, written articles, and taped a webinar on this topic.  If you want to learn more, consider checking out these resources by the editor ...
+ The Freedmen’s Bureau Records (Family Chronicle (now Discovering Your Family History)), March/April 2012
+ NCGS Webinar – Freedmen’s Bureau Records (free to webinars, available for purchase for non-members) & Introduction to the Freedmen’s Bureau Records (NCGS Journal Volume 37, No 1)





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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
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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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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18 December 2015

Special Holiday Offer from NGS and Findmypast.com


What do you buy for the genealogist who has everything? Our friends at Findmypast have a great suggestion.

By special arrangement, NGS is offering its members and friends an exclusive discount on researching the newly released 1939 Register, the most significant British family history data release of the decade. Taken shortly after Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939, the 1939 Register is a comprehensive overview of the civil population of England and Wales at the outbreak of World War II, containing the names, occupations, marital status, dates of birth and more for 41 million individuals.

As in the US, the UK government takes a census every decade. The Second World War destroyed the UK 1931 census and the 1942 census was never taken. This means that the 1939 Register is the only surviving record of 41 million people in England and Wales from 1921-1951.

Now, thanks to a partnership between Findmypast and The National Archives in Britain, the 1939 Register has been conserved, scanned, digitized and made available online to the public for the first time. Find out more about the project here.

There is link to a 10% discount for 300 Findmypast credits that will allow you to view the 1939 Register by going to the NGS website. Once purchased, the credits are valid for 90 days, so you or your lucky genealogist friends do not need to rush to research during the holidays.

This offer is available for a limited time, ending on 12/25/2015. Act now to get discounted access to this incredibly significant UK census replacement.


Best wishes for the holidays and may 2016 be the best year ever for your genealogical research!

NGS Board and staff






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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
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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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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