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FamilyTreeCircles Newsletter 16 Sept 2012

This week I’m realizing that we are approaching some big FamilyTreeCircles milestones. We’ll soon be at 100,000 members, and 50,000 journals. We should reach those levels by the end of 2012.


And that’s not even considering the 28,000 comments and 27,000 private messages that flow through FamilyTreeCircles. Wow.


In this newsletter, I’d like to acknowledge the people who give so much to the FamilyTreeCircles community. Thanks to everyone who not only posts journals but are also so very welcoming and helpful to other members.


52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy


Last week’s writing prompt was a tough one, and we only had a few takers. See here for the recap of week 37.





This week promises to be a lot more fun.



Week 38: Funny Ancestor Stories. Tell us a funny ancestor story that stands out in your mind. When did you first hear the story? Do other family members tell different versions? Does this tale play a large part in your family tree?


Create a journal and write about this week’s topic.

See here for more information.



FamilyTreeCircles Highlights


FamilyTreeCircles member Kerbent has an interesting mystery that she has written up in these two posts. She’s developed some interesting theories and I’d love for some experienced genealogists to give her some help on these. If you could lend a hand, please do. I’ll feature any developments in a future newsletter.









Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you on FamilyTreeCircles.


Best,
Scott


p.s. As always, your likes on our Facebook page is always appreciated. We’ve grown to over 2000 fans. Like us here: FamilyTreeCircles on Facebook

The FamilyTreeCircles Newsletter is delivered to more than 12,000 people on Sunday afternoons (and only to those who request to receive it). To get this newsletter in your email inbox and to make sure you don’t miss it, subscribe here.

Genealogy Abundance, Week 38: Funny Ancestor Stories

This week’s writing prompt should be a lot more fun than last week’s dry topic of state archives. Thanks to the few of you who mustered up journals on that.


Week 38: Funny Ancestor Stories. Tell us a funny ancestor story that stands out in your mind. When did you first hear the story? Do other family members tell different versions? Does this tale play a large part in your family tree?

Write a journal on FamilyTreeCircles about your favorite state archive.

http://www.familytreecircles.com/ejournal.php

When you do, please put “Funny Ancestor Stories” in the journal title somewhere so I can be sure to see it and feature it in this week’s FamilyTreeCircles blog post about it.

“Funny Ancestor Stories” Journals From FamilyTreeCircles Members

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy created by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts courtesy of GeneaBloggers for genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

5 comment(s), latest 1 year, 6 months ago

Genealogy Abundance, Week 37: State Archives

Here’s this week’s challenge:

Week 37: State Archives Which state (or federal or government) archives repository is your favorite? Have you been there in person? What does their website offer to visitors? Share any advice you can to potential visitors who may visit the archives in the future.

Write a journal on FamilyTreeCircles about your favorite state archive.

http://www.familytreecircles.com/ejournal.php

When you do, please put “State Archives” in the journal title somewhere so I can be sure to see it and feature it in this week’s FamilyTreeCircles blog post about it.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy created by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts courtesy of GeneaBloggers for genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

This week’s journals

3 comment(s), latest 1 year, 6 months ago

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Week 35 Genealogy Friends

Thanks to everybody who participated in week 34, Genealoy Challenges.

Here's week 35:

Week 35: Genealogy Friends. Genealogy friends are wonderful people. Don't you agree? Tell us about a genealogy friend in your life. How did you meet? Do you share any common ancestors or research interests?

Just open up a new journal and write about whatever comes to mind related to this week's questions.


52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy created by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts courtesy of GeneaBloggers for genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

1 comment(s), latest 1 year, 7 months ago

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Week 34, Genealogy Challenges

Thanks to everybody who participated in week 33. I hope you found that interesting and fruitful.

Continuing on with the blogging prompts, here's week 34:

Week 34: Genealogy Challenges. Which genealogy challenge has given you the best sense of accomplishment? What was the research problem you had to hurdle? What steps did you take that led to success? Do you have any words of encouragement for others who are facing their own genealogy challenges?

Just open up a new journal and write about whatever comes to mind related to this week's questions.

FamilyTreeCircles member Ngairedith is ahead of the game this week and has already posted one:

Ngairedith's Genealogy Challenge


52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy created by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts courtesy of GeneaBloggers for genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

52 Weeks of Blogging Abundance: Week 33

This past week, I had a phone conversation with Thomas Macentee, a professional genealogist, speaker, and otherwise a really great guy from Chicago, Ill. Thomas runs the excellent website and service, Geneabloggers.com, which is a network of over 2000 Genealogy blogs. (I'm a member with my own genealogy blog here on FamilyTreeCircles.)

I contacted Thomas to see how we might work together to help foster the growth of more genealogy bloggers.

The first thing we came up with is that Thomas was kind enough to allow me to use the 52 Weeks of Blogging Abundance genealogy blogging prompts. Every week there is a new topic to act as inspiration for a blog post, or to simply think about and reflect on in your own genealogy research.

As FamilyTreeCircles is essentially a blogging platform (which is just a place to write online), I thought it would be fun for people to use these weekly prompts here on FamilyTreeCircles.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy created by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts courtesy of GeneaBloggers for genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

We're more than halfway through 2012, and we'll be starting on week 33. But that's ok. There isn't really a sequence here, just a new idea every week.

Week 33: Ancestor Legend. What is your favorite ancestral legend or family lore? Who originally told the story and what was the claim? Have you been able to prove the story true or false? What steps did you take to do so?

Just open up a new journal and write about whatever comes to mind related to this week's questions.

I'll be posting these blogging prompts here each weekend for the upcoming week. I'll also be including these in the weekly newsletter. If you'd like to get these prompts in your email along with other newsletter info, make sure you're signed up for the FamilyTreeCircles newsletter.


3 comment(s), latest 1 year, 8 months ago

The 1940 U.S. Census Index is Complete

Ancestry.com announced on Friday that the 1940 U.S. Census is 100% indexed.

You can now search the entire 1940 index for free, all 48 states (Hawaii and Alaska were not states yet) plus territories. A free account is required, but word is that Ancestry will make this index free through 2013.

According to Ancestry.com:

Our indexing came up with 134,395,545 people counted. Most reports on the 1940 census give the U.S. population as 132 million and change, so you may be wondering where the extra 2 million people came from. Two words: Puerto Rico. OK, and Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Panama Canal Zone. They were all included in the 1940 U.S. census and add another 2.1 million or so records to the final count.

I've found all of my grandparents. How about you?

Search the 1940 index directly here.


5 comment(s), latest 1 month, 1 week ago

Looking for Guest Bloggers and Writers for FamilyTreeCircles

Here at FamilyTreeCircles, we have a large community of genealogy hobbyists and professionals. Our user base is growing toward 100,000 and we have an opt-in mail list that exceeds 10,000 members.

We're looking for bloggers and genealogy experts who are interested in reaching an audience of genealogy new-comers, enthusiasts, and professionals alike.

Writing for FamilyTreeCircles is a great opportunity to help establish yourself as an expert in the genealogy community.

If you are interested in contributing genealogy-related articles to the FamilyTreeCircles blog and email newsletter, please contact me at scott@familytreecircles.com or through the Private Messaging system on FamilyTreeCircles.com.

Help Support FamilyTreeCircles

When I started FamilyTreeCircles nearly a decade ago, I never imagined it would grow to nearly 100,000 members. It's humbling to be able to provide a resource that has brought so many people together in the common interest.

FamilyTreeCircles has always been a labor of love for me, but with the growing membership, usage, continuing to add new features, and fighting spammers, costs grow as well.

What you may not know about me is that as an entrepreneur, I actually run another web startup. This takes 60-80 hours of my time every week, and I have little left for much else. If you're interested, that's a web publishing platform called Shareist. I think it is a great resource for genealogists.

I would never have been able to even get this far without the patience and support of the people who use FamilyTreeCircles every day, and particularly those who volunteer to help moderate the activity. It's truly a wonderful community. I'd like to not only keep things running, but do even more.

For example, one thing that I've tried to start up several times, but have not been able to do so because of the costs is a periodic newsletter with great genealogy stories and content, as well as featuring fun stuff from FamilyTreeCircles members. But the cost of doing so has been prohibitive. I'd love to be able to do this as well as continue to add more features.

From the start, I promised that FamilyTreeCircles would be a free resource and I have no intentions of going back on that. Over the years, I have received generous offers from people that they would be more than willing to pay for this resource.

In response to that, I've finally added a way to do that, for those with the means to do so, while keeping the service free for the rest.

If you enjoy FamilyTreeCircles and want to see it continue on as a strong and independent genealogy resource, I hope you'll consider contributing even a small amount to its upkeep and further development. If you cannot, no hard feelings here.

Go here: FamilyTreeCircles Patronage

Thank you very much!

Scott

4 comment(s), latest 1 year, 2 months ago

Pearl Harbor Day, and My Own Great Uncle Lost at Sea in WWII

Today is Pearl Harbor Day here in the U.S., the anniversary of the day Japan executed a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in 1941, killing and wounding thousands, and ushering the U.S. into World War II.

I can imagine that day must have felt a lot like 9/11 to the people of the US, though news surely travelled much more slowly in 1941 than it did 60 years later in 2001. Most Americans surely learned about it in the daily newspaper.

While I had no family members directly affected that day, the course of events led to both my Grandfather and my Great Uncle serving in that great war. I think of my poor grandmother who had both a brother and a husband serving in the war. My grandfather returned home after the war (thankfully, as I would not otherwise exist), but my grandmother's brother did not.

Corporal Arnold Gene McIlwraith was an Engineer gunner on a B-24. He was on flight from Mather Field in Sacramento, CA to John Ridgers Field in Hawaii on Feb 28, 1945 when his plane went missing somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

I discovered this image recently in the Missing Air Craft Reports (MACR), available in the National Archives, and indexed on Fold3.com.

What's odd to me is that by my reckoning, the coordinates on the report put their airplane well beyond Hawaii, close to Japan.

Did routine B-24 flights from CA to HI have them going via Japan? I don't even think their plane's final point was in range from California. I guess we'll never know.

5 comment(s), latest 2 years, 1 month ago