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News from the Reference Desk Category: Genealogy

Help for the Family Historian

family tree clip artWinter is a good time for working on compiling your family tree.  Since many of us are staying inside these days because of the pandemic and the colder weather, use this time to gather your family papers, delve into the many online resources available to genealogists, and reach out to family members during those holiday Zoom calls.  There are many ways to get help with this process if you are just beginning, have hit the inevitable “brick wall,” or just need some encouragement to continue the process.

The Mount Prospect Public Library offers an large collection of genealogy resources in print and online.  Click here to access the print genealogy collection.  Many of these books can be checked out.  Just put a book with the prefix GS in front of the call number on hold.  When you get an email message that the book is ready for you, you can then make a parking lot pickup appointment on line or by calling the library.  MPPL offers many online genealogy databases for use by Mount Prospect Public Library card holders.  You can see what is available here.  Click on the category “Genealogy” to narrow the list to those most helpful for family history research.  You will need to enter your library card number and PIN to access the resources from home.  Please note that Ancestry Library Edition is available for searching from home until March 31, 2021. The genealogy librarian Anne Shaughnessy is available to discuss your genealogy research with you.  You can call the library at 847-253-5675 to speak with her or set up a virtual Reference by Appointment.

Sometimes it is helpful to meet with others who are also compiling their family trees.  There are two organizations in our area which have meetings and host speakers on genealogical topics.  They are the Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society and the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI).  Check the websites of NWSGS and CAGGNI for information about their upcoming meetings including their “members helping members (and non-members)” sessions.

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City hosts a massive collection of genealogical information managed by an expert staff and skilled volunteers.  Now that staff is available to help you with your genealogical research during free 20 minute consultation sessions.  Please use the FamilySearch Research Wiki to schedule a consultation.  Sessions can be conducted in English or Spanish.  The scheduling app provides schedule information in the guest’s own local time to simplify making the connection across time zones.

Searching for one’s family history can be a challenging endeavor.  Getting help from others is part of that process.  May the resources mentioned here lead you to some intriguing stories!  Best wishes for success with your research.

Facial Recognition Activity

FamilySearch has a fun new feature as a part of their free family tree service. It uses facial recognition software to compare one face with another. Results vary depending upon quality of the picture, angle of the head, and age of the subjects, but it can help answer the question, “Do I actually resemble my mom or my dad?” How about grandparent? The results may amuse or confuse you, but it is fun way to kill some time and reflect on your family.

family search compare-a-face family search compare-a-face

For more information about this activity click here.

 

New Genealogy Television Show

Are you looking for ways to further your family history research?  One of the best ways to do this is to learn how others are facing their genealogy challenges.  Ancestry, the company which makes the online resource Ancestry.com available, has announced it is sponsoring a new television show debuting on NBC which features real people and their personal discoveries. Roots Less Traveled follows a pair of family members​ who bond over their joint quest to learn more about their shared family history.

The series features relatives as they set out on an adventure to solve mysteries in their family tree. . In partnership with Ancestry®, they learn how their past has shaped their present and through this shared journey how family bonds are deepened.

Roots Less Traveled joins the Saturday NBC morning programming block, The More You Know, beginning April 4, 2020. Please check your local listings for further details. Episodes will also stream on NBC.com and Hulu.

 

Free Photo Colorization from MyHeritage

Would you like see your family’s black and white photographs in a new light? You may want to look into a service offered by the genealogy online resource MyHeritage. The company revolutionized the world of online genealogy web sites recently when the company announced that anyone could upload black-and-white photographs to MyHeritage.com and then the web site would AUTOMATICALLY convert each photo to a color image.  This service was only available to people who had a full MyHeritage subscription.  Now EVERYONE can obtain FREE and unlimited access to MyHeritage In Color™ from March 23 to April 23, 2020. Ordinarily only 10  photos can be colorized by users who do not have a Complete plan, but now, you can colorize as many photos as you’d like for free.  A free online access subscription is required if you would like MyHeritage to add the photos to their extensive photograph collection.

To get started, go to http://www.myheritage.com/incolor.