Genealogy 101

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Historic Ellis Island Passenger Records Receive Expanded Online Access at

May 16, 2007 (Ellis Island, NY and Provo, UT) – – The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., World Vital Records, Inc. and FamilySearch announced today at the National Genealogical Society Conference a partnership whereby the historic collection of Ellis Island passenger arrival records will now also be freely available to visitors of the and websites.

“This is an exciting time in the long history of American immigration,” noted Stephen A. Briganti, President and CEO of The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. “Last month we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the busiest day at Ellis Island by hosting our annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards. Today, we’re pleased to announce the expanded availability of passenger arrival records which the Foundation has continued to provide at Ellis Island and as a free service online since first introducing the database in April 2001.” The records document the arrival of 25 million immigrants, U.S. citizens, and crew members arriving through the Port of New York from 1892 to 1924.

According to Briganti, the initial project was made possible through corporate and private donations, most notably by FamilySearch, a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. More than 12,000 FamilySearch volunteers donated 5.6 million hours over a 7-year period to transcribe nearly 25 million passenger records.

Wayne Metcalfe, Vice President of Records Services for FamilySearch commented, “We were pleased to provide assistance to the Foundation for the opening of their family history center in 2001 and are equally excited to see the expanded availability of these important records via the Internet. We were equally pleased to work in conjunction with World Vital Records in our new Records Access program. World Vital Records is part of a growing group of new breed online genealogical service providers who are seeking to promote the needs of records custodians and foundations like Ellis Island around the world.”

Since the records first became available online at in 2001, the website has received 10 billion hits and has united countless families with their ancestral heritage. Current and upcoming FamilySearch indexing projects can be found at

“This is certainly one of the single most important record collections available anywhere in the world,” stated Paul Allen, CEO of World Vital Records, Inc. “Nearly half of all American families have a direct personal connection to at least one individual who entered the U.S. through the Port of New York and Ellis Island, whose arrivals are documented on these passenger manifests.”

Through this alliance, the index to these historic records will be integrated into the overall search capabilities of the website. Individuals seeking additional details on the digitized manifests will be linked directly to where copies of manifests, ship images, and commemorative passenger records can be obtained.

Source: Press Release at – Your Online Research Guide

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Revolutionary War Records Are First Fruits Of New Records Access Program

FamilySearch teams with service providers to expedite historic records access

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—FamilySearch and Footnote announced today the first project of the new Records Access program—to digitize and index the historic U.S. Revolutionary War Pension records. Through the program, FamilySearch helps archives and other record custodians digitize, preserve, and publish their collections online. A key component of the program allows FamilySearch and archives to team with genealogy websites like Footnote to provide significant collections of genealogical and historical records online. FamilySearch is the world’s largest provider of genealogical information.

Footnote is one of the new breed of genealogy websites working with FamilySearch publish the world’s records in concert with archives around the world. As part of the agreement, FamilySearch will digitize the images currently held in the National Archives Record and Administration’s collection (NARA) in Washington, D.C., and Footnote will create the electronic indexes. When complete, the indexes and images will be viewable at Family History Centers and at Indexes will also be available at Numerous other national and international projects are under development at this time and will be announced as agreements are signed or data is published. “Record custodians worldwide are experiencing growing pressure to provide access to their records online while maintaining control and ownership. At the same time, websites that provide digitizing and publishing services are struggling with the staggering costs,” said Wayne Metcalfe, who directs the Records Services for FamilySearch. “The new Record Access program takes advantage of FamilySearch’s resources and creates an economical and effective forum where record custodians and genealogy websites can work together to accomplish their respective objectives,” added Metcalfe.

FamilySearch’s new Records Access program provides tools and assistance to record custodians who want to publish their collection using state-of-the-art digital cameras, software, and web-based applications. FamilySearch Records Services representatives worldwide can work with archivists to determine how FamilySearch and affiliates can help them achieve their digital preservation and publication needs.

FamilySearch (historically the Genealogical Society of Utah) is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world’s largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.

Footnote is a subscription-based website that features searchable original documents that provide users with an unaltered view of the events, places, and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At, visitors are invited to share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. – Your Online Research Guide

Copyright © 2007

Popular web sites available for free through local Family History Centers

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—FamilySearch has announced the addition of more popular online genealogy services available for free through worldwide family history centers. The expanded services are in keeping with FamilySearch’s goal to provide increased access to records that will assist individuals in family history pursuits. New resources include:

Footnote (

Footnote is a subscription-based website that features searchable, original documents that provide users a view of the events, places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. The site will have over 25 million digital images by the end of 2007. Footnote is currently working with FamilySearch to index the American Revolutionary War Pension files. Additional projects with FamilySearch are under development. Individuals with Footnote subscriptions will be able to sign in with the same Footnote username and password they use at home in order to save, annotate, and upload content.

Godfrey Memorial Library (

Godfrey Memorial Library has an extensive collection of essential resources to assist genealogical and historical research. Resources include newspapers, city and business directories, vital records, printed census records, state, county, and local histories, as well as numerous family histories, family bible records, and service and pension records.

Heritage Quest/ProQuest (

Heritage Quest online includes the complete set of U.S. Federal Census images from 1790 to 1930 including names and indexes for many of the sets. Users will be able to find people and places located in over 20,000 published family and local histories and PERSI, an index of over 1.9 million genealogy and local history articles. Other online databases include Revolutionary War Pension, Bounty-Land Warrant Application files, and the Freedman Bank Records Access to this service will be limited to 1,400 family history centers in North America. Patrons should contact their local family history center to see if this service is available. Family history center directors should contact Family History Center Support with questions.

Kindred Konnections (

Kindred Konnections has over 230 million pedigree linked names with submitter information. The online pedigrees are not merged, but maintained by individual patrons. There are additional databases of birth, marriage, death, and census records that are automatically searched along with the pedigree linked data. Segments of pedigrees can be downloaded.

World Vital Records (

World Vital Records provides access to research helps and has a wide variety of international records, including more than 60 parish registers, Scottish death records, UK marriages, and Irish prisoner records. There are more than 300 newspapers with 100,000 pages added a month, and over 500 online databases, including vital, military, land, pension records, reference materials, family histories, maps, gazetteers, and international coops. With the recent Quintin Publications partnership, World Vital Records will soon have more than 10,000 databases online. At least one new database is added every business day. – Your Online Research Guide

Copyright © 2007

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