Sunday, March 16, 2008

Family Tree Magazine - May 2008

The May 2008 issue of Family Tree Magazine (Volume 9, Issue 3) came last week in the mail, and I've been reading it while watching my TV shows. As always, there are some excellent articles in this issue. The May 2008 Table of Contents includes:


* "Desperately Seeking Surnames" by Nancy Hendrickson - page 14. Our complete guide to last names explains how to uncover their meanings, trace their origins and learn more through surname studies and societies. Plus: don't fall for fake surname histories!

* "Citizen Gain" by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack - page 20. Finding your ancestors' naturalization records can pay big research dividends. We explain how to retrace your relatives path to citizenship. Plus: A PDF timeline of naturalization laws.

* "The Weather Report" by Maureen A. Taylor - page 26. Wondering why your kin quit farming or moved away from the coast? Perhaps the answer lies in these 10 life-altering weather events.

* "Clearly Canadian" by Lisa A. Alzo - page 42. From Alberta to the Yukon, jump-start your genealogical quest with our Canadian research guide. The web links are here.

* "Hometown Advantage" by Rick Crume - page 50. Follow these seven strategies for studying ancestral places to give yourself a genealogical edge.


* "Out on a Limb" by Allison Stacy - page 4. State guides go digital.

* "Making Connections" - page 5. Readers respond to Family Tree Magazine.

* "Branching Out" edited by Diane Haddad. What's new in discovering, preserving and celebrating your family history, including: One community's effort to save an endangered cemetery; Periodical Source Index update; Past passports on; World Vital Records' global expansion.

* "History Matters" by David A. Fryxell - page 10. Jarring developments.

* "State Research Guides" - page 33. Pullout guides for North Carolina and Nebraska.

* "Now What?" - page 56. Our experts answer your questions about railroad records and ancestral incarcerations.

* "Preserving Memories" by Grace Dobush - page 60. Secrets to save dear diaries.

* "Everything's Relative" - page 62. Tales from the lighter side of family history.

* "Brick Wall Busters" by Maureen A. Taylor - page 64. Is this ancestor actually American Indian?

* "The Toolkit" edited by Allison Stacy - page 66. Reviews and roundups of the latest, greatest family history resources: Tips for tagging and searching digital photos; A genealogist's guide to print-on-demand publishing; GeneTree Web site review; The Book Report.

* "Uprooted" by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack - page 72. Test your genealogy IQ on Robert Frost's family tree.

The magazine has announced that you will be able to buy a complete compilation of the State Research Guides series on CDROM. They've enhanced the digital guides with active Web links and bookmarks for easy navigation. See for information. NOTE: not on the web site yet on 16 March.

They do have CDROMs with the complete 2006 magazine ($24) and 2007 magazine ($20) available at These would be especially useful for persons always on the go with a laptop. I download the yearly list of articles in PDF format to my hard drive so that I can semi-quickly find an article on a specific topic - by checking this index, then finding the magazine issue and flipping the pages. It might be easier to have the CDs on hand!

You can download the links mentioned in the magazine articles here .

I always enjoy reading Family Tree Magazine because there are so many interesting and useful articles with web links provided. My problem is info-glut - there is just too much information for me to remember it all, and I don't have a great system for keeping track of all of it.

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