Archives for December 2007

Mormons Expand Free Access to Genealogy Records for Researchers

There has never been a better time to research a family tree because of the free access to billions of records offered by Mormon Family History Libraries around the world. The Church has just announced an agreement with FamilySearch and The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of, to provide free access to billions of records the company normally provides only to paid subscribers. Read More … [Read more...]

Sharing the essence of their lives

Years from now, descendants of African-American Staten Islanders will have easy access to the narratives of their ancestors thanks to the efforts of StoryCorps Griot and the Sandy Ground Historical Society. For the uninitiated, Sandy Ground, in Woodrow, was founded in the 19th century by free black men from New York. It's North America's oldest community established by former slaves. The historical society maintains the largest documentary collection of African-American culture and history on Staten Island. Read More … [Read more...]

History Captured: Genealogy service records dynasties

Armen Afrikyan, a historian-lawyer by training, explains what importance a family tree has for Armenians and shows the family tree of the well-known dynasty of the Afrikyans authored by himself. “It is typical for us, Armenians, to have a family tree. And it is not accidental that when we gather around tables, we don’t forget to drink a toast for our forefathers. And I think it is good when people know the history of their families,” he says. Read More … [Read more...]

Meet South Florida’s detective of death

Looking for details about your great-grandfather's death 45 years ago? Searching for survivors of the friendly neighbor who died without a will? Can't find your long-lost cousin's grave? Ann Josberger McFadden is the woman for you. She is a sleuth, a sort of detective of death, a woman who has read and indexed thousands of published obituaries and researched the unusual history of a handful of South Florida cemeteries. For fun. Read More … [Read more...]

Online Sites Offer Peek Into The Past

It is the time of year when families travel to be together, share meals and sit around swapping stories about childhood, relatives who've passed away and what life was like in the old country. Seems like a recipe for surging traffic at Web sites devoted to family history. But oddly enough, that's not what happens. "You'd think people would get to talking with family, and then look online," says Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Web-tracking firm Hitwise, who notes that the holiday season is actually a low point for genealogy and family tree sites, since people on … [Read more...]

FamilySearch, Generations Network announce agreement

FamilySearch and The Generations Network Inc., parent company of, have announced an agreement that provides free access to for patrons of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and the LDS Church's 13 largest regional family history centers. Read More … [Read more...]

Community members open archives of forgotten slave town

One of the nation's oldest black communities where slaves and their descendants have lived for two centuries is writing its own history books.The long-forgotten community of Flat Rock, which was removed from state maps 150 years ago, has opened an archives center in a 100-year-old frame house in south DeKalb County. The contents of the center are almost entirely church and family records gathered by two community activists who have worked for three decades to chronicle Flat Rock's history. Read More … [Read more...]

Living In The Past: History Center Lets The Genealogy Out Of The Bottle

Sandra Haxton has gone back with the Sparkman family to Ireland in the late 1600s.Judy Kelley has tracked the Holbrooks into the mid- to late 16th century. As volunteers at the Dade City Family History Center, Haxton and Kelley have traced their ancestries back generations and have helped others find out where they came from. Located at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Fort King Road, the history center is one of 63 LDS genealogy satellite branches in Florida, all tied into the main center in Salt Lake City, one of the largest genealogy research centers in the world. … [Read more...]

Watson’s DNA reveals some African ancestry

News that geneticist James Watson inherited 16 percent of his DNA from an African ancestor may provide the Nobel Prize winner with a new perspective on his ancestry. But experts Monday said the percentage of Watson's DNA possibly contributed by someone of African descent illustrates that race is a counterfeit concept, having more to do with social notions than biological ones. Many people are unaware of their DNA links to cultures worldwide. Read More … [Read more...]

Black Britons find their African roots

Beaula McCalla, a youth worker from the UK town of Bristol, never imagined that she would one day meet her relatives in Equatorial Guinea, 6,500 km away. "It was like blood touching blood... It was like family," she said. Beaula, an African-Caribbean descendent of slaves, was reunited with her long-lost family thanks to a unique genetic study undertaken for a BBC programme, Motherland: A Genetic Journey. She says that she always thought of herself as an African but now she has the genetic proof, some 200 years, or 11 generations, after her ancestors were captured, taken across the … [Read more...]