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Second Season of “Who Do You Think You Are” Begins Friday

January 29th, 2011 Posted in In the media | Comments Off
Who Do You Think You Are on NBC Website

Who Do You Think You Are on NBC Website

Be sure to set aside all of your Friday evenings for the next several weeks at 7:00 CST to watch “Who Do You Think You Are” on NBC. This seasons celebrities will be:

  • Vanessa Williams (on Feb. 4)
  • Tim McGraw (on Feb. 11)
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Ashley Judd
  • Kim Cattrall
  • Rosie O’Donnell
  • Lionel Ritchie
  • Steve Buscemi

The new season, a sweepstakes, a trivia game, a link to sponsor, and more are featured at on the NBC Website.

While these programs make family history research look much simpler than it is (the genealogists who do the behind-the-scenes work rarely are shown), it would be hard to do so in such a short program. Instead they focus on the successes, showing the viewer the most remarkable finds, along with the hoped-for look of surprise and pride on the faces of the celebrities. Rarely do genealogists have a way to connect what we find in documents to historical resources in a multimedia format. It’s all inspiring and great fun.

By the way, you can watch last year’s episodes from this site, until 2/5/11. The six stories from last year were those of Sarah Jessica Parker, Emmitt Smith, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Broderick, Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon, and Spike Lee.

Remember that if you want to start finding out who you are, library cardholders can use Ancestry Library Edition (not the same as, but similar) at any branch of the Tulsa City-County Library. and

October 21st, 2010 Posted in On the Internet | Comments Off

I received an email from Footnote today with an update on their new situation. Here is the text of the email:

Several weeks ago (as part of iArchives) agreed to be acquired by and that transaction has officially closed today. As we join forces with there is a huge opportunity to leverage each other’s strengths and move even faster toward our goals. You may be curious about how this deal effects members of The plan is to continue to run the way we have always run — continuing to do what we believe is best for our customers, our business and our brand.

Now that the deal is officially closed we are excited to leverage some of’s resources and expertise to take to the next level. It has been exciting to see grow over the past 4 years. started with only 5 million historical documents and today we have nearly 70 million searchable documents, over 1 million members, nearly 100,000 Footnote Pages, and over half million annotations added. We couldn’t have done it without our members and the great team at and we are excited for’s support in the next chapter.

I am glad to hear that will stay the same for now and will have the resources of the larger organization to make it even better. We talked about Footnote in class yesterday — and found Abraham Lincoln’s 1860 U.S. Federal Census image. Remember that has some historical documents that are free to view, and that library cardholders at the Tulsa City-County Library have access to at the Genealogy Center. To take a look at, visit

New Wildcard Search Capabilities on Ancestry

January 7th, 2010 Posted in On the Internet, Speaking | Comments Off reported on its blog on Jan. 4 that they have added more variations of letters & wildcards that may be searched on its website. As long as three letters are included and you provide either the first letter or the last letter, it does not matter what letters you omit. You could search for MacAdoo or McAdoo or Mackado with the same search, by entering M*ado?, whereas previously you were required to enter the first three letters.This sounds exciting to me, and I am looking forward to try it out.

I’ll give this a try on Ancestry Library Edition at TCCL’s Genealogy Center tomorrow,too, to see whether this new feature is available on the library edition as well. At the Tulsa City-County Library, Ancestry Library Edition is available to library card holders at all branches in the system — for free.

I have been asked to present my lecture, “How To Be a Power Hitter: Improve Your Online Searching Skills,” for the new genealogy society in Sapulpa on February 2 at 10:00 a.m. This new development will necessitate some changes to the lecture. But I’ll be glad to do it. I think this is great news.

Read more at this link. And, I’d suggest reading the comments, too.

U.S. Federal Census Availibility

December 7th, 2009 Posted in On the Internet | Comments Off

Dick Eastman, in his Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter blog on Saturday, Dec. 5, highlights an article by genealogist Beau Sharbrough, an expert at online and computer genealogy, on his Unofficial Footnote Blog. On Saturday Beau wrote, updating the unofficial list of online census images and indexes available and in the works. He mentions the four major resources and compares what they have to offer:; HeritageQuest Online; Footnote; and FamilySearch. We discussed each of these in class, but a brief review might be helpful. requires a subscription, but offers thousands and thousands of databases beyond the U.S. Federal Census. Some are indexes only, but many are linked to scanned images of the census pages. You may subscribe directly to, but you may also use it for no charge, on-site at many libraries, including all branches of the Tulsa City-County Library, and at the Tulsa Genealogical Society.

You may use HeritageQuest Online onsite at the Genealogy Center, a part of the Tulsa City-County Library. Private subscriptions are not available. Of the four resources mentioned, HeritageQuest offers the fewest databases, but I like its census index searching functionality and the quality of its scanned images. offers millions of records, but not nearly as many databases as those found at It is also available by personal subscription, for a much lower cost than that of Ancestry.This subscription is also provided by the Tulsa City-County Library, for use on-site at the Genealogy Center.

FamilySearch is the online resource of the Family History Library and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As Beau explains, FamilySearch has partnered with Footnote to enable users access to some of the images, but they have also digitized many of the images themselves, and have a very large body of images and databases. Their indexing project is being accomplished through the use of volunteers. Access to their information is free. The section of their site which offers the U.S. Federal Census images is called Record Search, currently found at this url:

For specifics, I would recommend reading both posts, both by Dick and by Beau, as well as the comments that follow each.