Ancestry.com is in the middle of a 15 day celebration of their 15th anniversary. They are making one data collection free each day between the 1st and 15th of October (thus they are a little over half way through) and they are giving away a prize each day, and a grand prize after the 15th (going behind the scenes of the NBC TV show Who Do You Think You Are? with Lisa Kudrow). Each collection they make available for free remains free through October 15th, so you can access all the ones made available so far:
Oct 1 – Social Security Death Index
Oct 2 – Ireland, Griffith’s Valuation, 1848–1864
Oct 3 – California Marriage Index, 1960–1985
Oct 4 – Bavaria, Germany, WWI Personnel Rosters, 1914–1918 (in German)
Oct 5 – 1920 U.S. Federal Census
Oct 6 – Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903–1980
Oct 7 – Texas Birth Index, 1903–1997
Oct 8 – Sweden, Births from the Swedish Death Index, 1947–2006 (in Swedish)
Oct 9 – World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918
More collections will be made available Oct 10-15.
Today’s collection, WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 is a particularly interesting collection if your family lived in the US during WWI, as all males were registered (even if they were unable to be soldiers) and the registration cards can provide information on where the person was living, where they were born, etc. I discuss these draft cards in my article Finding Information on US Immigrants.
To access these collections, go to the Ancestry 15th Anniversary Collections page.
From that page you can also click on the link (and orange button that says Enter Now) to take you to the daily sweepstakes page where they are giving away a prize every day until the 15th (and then the aforementioned grand prize to go behind the scenes on the NBC TV show Who Do You Think You Are?).
Today’s prize is an iPad 2…
I have three simple questions for all the readers of this blog:
1) Do you use one or more online family tree websites such was MyHeritage.com, Geni.com, Wikitree.com or Ancestry.com (their family tree features, not necessarily their databases)? If so, which one(s) do you use?
2) If you use a family tree web site, list what you like best about it – and what you like least. Also, for sites that offer subscription plans, do you pay a subscription or only use their free features? If you don’t use any family tree website, is there a reason you don’t – and is there something that would change your mind (i.e. if they only offered X I would use their site)?
3) How do you interact with other relatives when doing your genealogy research? If through a website listed above, how does that work? If you intact in a different way, such as via e-mail, explain how well that works.
I hope you will share your experiences with the various services available online, so others can learn about how different readers of this blog are using those services, successfully or less so.
If you have a twitter account, please tweet this post to your followers so we can get as many responses as possible. You can find my tweet of this post at twitter.com/bloodandfrogs and re-tweet it.
Please post your answers in the comments to this post on the blog.
For the next week, through September 5th, Ancestry.com is offering free access to their worldwide Immigration and Travel records. For those who do not have Ancestry.com membership, this means you can now find a tremendous number of records including passenger manifests, passport applications, naturalization records, etc.
Even if you have a US membership, this free week includes some records normally only available to those with the more expensive World membership, and includes records from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Mexico.
As an example of the use of these international records, if you find a record of someone who arrived in NY from Hamburg (a common point of departure from Europe in the 19th century), be sure to search for the corresponding record in Ancestry’s Hamburg passenger records, which will show the original passenger manifest from when they left Hamburg, which may give additional information on the individual you are researching.
To access these free records, go to:
Good luck finding records. If you find something really interesting, tell people about it in the comments below.