Free Webinar Monday, November 18, 2013 — Google Earth for Genealogy

When:  Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 8pm EST/7pm CST
What: Webinar, Google Earth for Genealogy
Who:  Lisa Louise Cooke

Google Earth for Genealogy – Google Earth is a 360 degree three dimensional way to view your ancestor’s world! In this class you will learn how to identify old photos, plot and virtually visit your ancestor’s homestead, and incorporate historic maps. Google Earth has the power to geographically document your ancestor’s lives, and lends itself very well to collaboration with other researchers. It’s one of the best online genealogical tools available, and best of all, Google Earth is FREE!

Lisa Louise Cooke is the owner of Genealogy Gems, a multi-media production company, and host of The Genealogy Gems Podcast at She’s the author of four books including Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse and The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, producer of the video series Google Earth for Genealogy, an international speaker, and a regular contributor to Family Tree Magazine.

The Webinar is free, but you must register to get your personal sign-in code. Visit the GGS website to sign up (click on “register and view our schedule”). If you cannot attend the webinar at the 8PM time, many of the webinars are archived in the members-only section of the website.

News from — All Censuses FREE this Weekend!


Search all U.S. Censuses free
From August 29th through September 3rd, is opening all of its U.S. census records (1790 – 1940)  – FREE.  Go to to learn more and start searching.

Take a trip back in time
Go beyond searching your family’s true story in the census records and see what your own life could have been like as an adult in 1940 with the Time Machine. Our interactive, time-travel experience requires just a handful of information provided by you. And in return, you get a custom video featuring YOU in 1940. While it’s not genealogy, it is high-tech fun. Create your own video and share it with your friends and family. And encourage them to create their own at

Legacy Family Tree FREE Webinar — Building a Family Tree from Circumstantial Evidence — 29 August 2012

Legacy Family Tree Webinars are offered by Millenia Corporation, makers of the family tree software, Legacy Family Tree.  The next FREE webinar is August 29, 2012 given by Judy G. Russell, CG, on “Building a Family Tree from Circumstantial Evidence.”  You can register for the webinar here.  I recommend registering even if the time is not convenient as the webinars are available as FREE recorded sessions after the live event for several days.

Other upcoming and previously recorded webinars can be found here.

1940 U.S. Census Community Project Complete!!

Our friends at FamilySearch announced last night that the indexing and arbitration of the 1940 U.S. Census is now complete!  It will take a few weeks for all the remaining states to come online, but when it is done we will have (2) independent indexes for the 1940 Census– and the (shared by many other sites).  (Maybe when the all states come online from the FamilySearch indexing project  I will finally find my grandfather’s brothers!)

Don’t despair if you are sad that there are no records to index. is starting another “Community Project” — the US Immigration & Naturalization Community Project. This project will index passenger lists from all the major US ports, so there will be something in this project for everyone. Just look for the “US (Community Project)” label on all record sets belonging to this new project.

Read the full news release here from

I would personally like to say “THANK YOU” to all the contributors who supported the Birmingham Genealogical Society in the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project.  I hope we can continue to index as a group supporting the other “Community Projects.”  I will post the “final” statistics of the records indexed and arbitrated for the group during the 1940 Census project later on the BGS Facebook page.  If you would like to join the group and index other Community Projects, you can find details on how to join and get started here.

Recent Additions at

While we were all busy celebrating the holidays with family and friends, the folks at were busy posting new collections of data.  You can see all the recent collections here:

Genealogy Blog

One that will be of interest of most viewing this blog are the “Alabama, County Estate Records…” — not every county is represented at this time, but there are enough to allow you to spend days downloading and viewing estate records. The records in this collection seem to be from the microfilm of the “Loose Records Project” completed in all counties just a few years ago.  The records are not fully searchable, but are organized by County and Last Name.  I have noticed in more than one county that the papers imaged under a particular name, may not always be for that individual.  Of course, there are the “mixing” of same names, but I have also seen a Robinson estate mixed in with the estate of a Williams.  Additionally, check for records filmed under the name of the administrator/executor or even under the heirs.

Alabama, County Estate Records

Good luck and happy searching!

Don’t Forget! — BPL Survey for Beyond the Basics of Genealogy 2012

The following was received from our friends in the Southern History Department at the Birmingham Public Library. Please help them by taking the survey.

If you have not had a chance to do so, please remember to take our survey for the Beyond the Basics of Genealogy 2012.

Thank you and have a wonderful holiday season.

Southern History Department
Birmingham Public Library


We had a great first year with our Beyond the Basics of Genealogy series of workshops.  We’re looking at developing our classes for next year, and we need your input.  Please take a few minutes of your time to fill out our survey, and be sure to be on the lookout for our classes in 2012.

JCLC Funding Cut from Jefferson County FY2012 Budget

The following is a news release from the Jefferson County Library Cooperative. The cut in funding may cause some database subscriptions, including Heritage Quest, to be canceled. Please contact them with any questions. The news release can be read on-line at:

November 14, 2011

I M M E D I A T E  R E L E A S E

contact person
Pat Ryan
Jefferson County Library Cooperative
(205)226-3615 W
(205)226-3617 F

Jefferson County Library Cooperative Sustains Deep Funding Cuts

Birmingham, Alabama — The Jefferson County Library Cooperative is the non-profit umbrella organization that serves as the link for all 40 public libraries countywide. Local library buildings, staffing, and operations are funded at the local level. However, the services that links all city public libraries together are coordinated and funded by the Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC). JCLC has been funded by the Jefferson County Commission, state aid to public libraries through the Alabama legislature, and local libraries for thirty-three (33) years, since 1978. JCLC funding was recently eliminated from the Jefferson County FY2012 budget.

The library cooperative of 40 municipal libraries last year checked out 5,524,049 books, eBooks, audiobooks, DVDs, and music. The 4,674,941 citizens who visit annually, or use online resources, have proven that the public libraries of Jefferson County are not a luxury, but a necessity.

The services funded by JCLC that benefit 40 Jefferson County public libraries include:

  • Daily delivery service that transports materials from library to library guaranteeing ease of access of all library materials to citizens countywide;
  • Popular online materials reservation system and online catalog;
  • Access to 2 million items including new and popular materials hot off the presses;
  • Internet access for 40 libraries;
  • Popular databases – JCLC has already discontinued the database News Library which provided full-text articles from The Birmingham News free of charge to all county citizens. This went into effect September 1, 2011. When other database subscriptions, such as the popular genealogy database Heritage Quest, and business database Reference USA, are up for renewal in 2012, funds will not be available to continue providing these resources.

JCLC began accepting donations in 2009 when the first cuts were initiated by Jefferson County. Your help is needed as public libraries attempt to forge ahead with drastic funding cuts this year. We invite you to donate today. To donate go to, or inquire at one of the 40 local Jefferson County libraries. All donations are tax exempt. For more information contact the Jefferson County Library Cooperative, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203.

The Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization composed of the 40 public libraries throughout Jefferson County. These include the 21 municipal libraries, including the 19 locations of the Birmingham Public Library System, as well as The Library at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The mission of JCLC is to link our member libraries to provide better, more efficient centralized services for all county residents. For more information, go to our website

1893 Directory of Jefferson County Taxpayers

A report from a BGS member:

While researching at the W.S. Hoole Library, Special  Collections, at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I found the Directory of Jefferson County tax payers, containing  names and post office addresses of all tax payers (resident and non-resident)  with values of real estate and personal property assessed to each, list of  county and precinct officers, names of teachers.

Call Number F332.J4  E44.  [Directory of Jefferson County tax payers, containing names and post  office addresses of all tax payers (resident and non-resident) with values of  real estate and personal property assessed to each, list of county and precinct  officers, names of teachers, etc. Compiled from the records of the county.   Birmingham, Ala., 1893.]

AGS Adds Walker County Records to Loose Records Project Index Online

The following was received from our friends at the Alabama Genealogical Society.
October 20, 2011

From eleven microfilm reels, AGS member Caroline Horton has finished transcribing a twenty-five page index of 556 Walker County Probate Court estate case files. Her computer file included 1,009 primary key names of decedents and estate administrators, and numerous heirs and legatees. They have been added to the LRPW database that now has 57,322 searchable names culled from loose court papers of twenty-four Alabama counties.

Supplemental index-keys are included to cover variations in spelling and to enhance the use of wild-card searches. As with other entries in the LRPW database, a found record will also report the probate date-range of each case and the reference number of the film reel available at the Alabama Dept. of Archives & History in Montgomery and FamilySearch Centers worldwide.

To read more about the LRPW project and to search the database visit

For an example of a record, click on the Search Index button in the banner at the top of the LRPW home page.

On the search page enter the surname Hutto (in SEARCH ALL COUNTIES).
From the list of “hits” click on Hutto,, E. S. in Walker County.