Free access for the 4th

Family Tree: Ancestry Free Access for the 4th of July

From today until Sunday, July 5th you can search birth, marriage and death records from the original 13 colonies.

Family Tree: Ancestry Free Access for the 4th of July

*Access to the records in the featured collections will be free until July 5, 2015 at 11:59pm EST.

Ancestry’s Top Global Collections of 2014

Between today and December 29th, is giving free access to select record collections.

You can search the records at

And this is a list of the records that currently have free access.

1911 Census of Canada
1911 England Census
1921 Census of Canada
1940 United States Federal Census
Australia Birth Index, 1788-1922
Australia Death Index, 1787-1985
Australia Marriage Index, 1788-1950
Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980
Canada Obituary Collection
Canada, British Army and Canadian Militia Muster Rolls and Pay Lists, 1795-1850
Canada, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current
Canada, Nominal Rolls and Paylists for the Volunteer Militia, 1857-1922
Canada, Voters Lists, 1935-1980
England & Wales, BMD Birth Index, 1837-1915
England & Wales, BMD Death Index, 1837-1915
England & Wales, BMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915
Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934
Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003
Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1913
Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947
Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928
Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967
Selected U.S. Naturalization Records – Original Documents, 1790-1974
U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s
U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project)
U.S. Naturalization Records Indexes, 1794-1995
U.S. School Yearbooks, 1880-2012
U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current
U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014
U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942
United States Obituary Collection
Web: Canada, GenWeb Cemetery Index
Web: Index
Web: Obituary Daily Times Index, 1995-Current

Transfer your raw DNA data

If you have tested your DNA with or with 23andme, but have not tested with FamilyTreeDNA (or transferred your raw data to their site), you can now transfer your raw data FOR FREE.

Please use this link to do so – as they only give you a certain number of matches for free and it costs $39 to unlock the rest of them. Or you can get 4 people to use your specific link to register and upload their data to unlock it for free. SO PLEASE HELP ME UNLOCK MY MATCHES.

Want to see if we match with the DNA sites I have my information on…

AncestryDNA – they don’t give out kit numbers, but my username is julie52479
Gedmatch – kit #A384941
FTDNA – kit #B29051

eta: As of April 14th I have unlocked all of my matches at FTDNA!

Finding Military Records

In honor of Veterans Day, Fold3 is offering free access to their World War II Collection until November 30th.

A few of the things you could find are

– Missing Air Crew Reports, WWII
– WWII US Air Force Photos
– WWII “Old Man’s Draft” Registration Cards
– WWII War Diaries

You need to sign up for the site, but do not need to be a paying member in order to search these records. They do offer a free 7 day trial, but I would recommend waiting until December to use it since you already get the WWII records free right now. No use using up your free trial on something already free.

Some other places to find military records are… – Historical Documents of Interest to Veterans – World War II Records – Researching Through Military Records

Using and I have found WWII Registration Cards for my great-grandfathers (Benjamin L Silverstein and Silas H Waters), 2 great-grand uncle’s (George E Waters and Morris Goodman), my great-grand aunt’s husband (Isaac Chomsky), my 2nd great-grandfather’s (Jay Maynard Cooper and Sam Goodman) and 1st cousin (Mayer Schlar). And though I have not found their registration cards, I know that both my grandfathers (Phillip S Silverstein and James H Waters) also served in WWII.

I’ve also found WWI Registration Cards for my great-grandfathers (Benjamin L Silverstein, Clarence T Simmons and Morris Forman), my great-grand uncle (George E Waters, Morris Goodman and Louis Schlar), my great-grand aunt’s husband (Isaac Chomsky), my 2nd great-grandfather’s (Jay Maynard Cooper), and 1st cousin’s (Mayer Schlar and William Schlar).

For those interested, I have these registration cards added to the Gallery.

Here is there and there is here

This video completely explains why my European Jewish ancestors kept switching around where they were from. Sometimes it was Poland and sometimes it was Russia. After watching this video, no wonder they were confused!

Ancestry & DNA: Free DNA Kit! has introduced a special offer to help celebrate the start of the new season of *Who Do You Think You Are? 

When you purchase a 6 month subscription, you will also receive a free DNA kit!

If you’ve been trying to decide between taking the test and buying a membership, this is the perfect chance since you will save 50%. The free test is only good when you purchase a US Discovery membership, plus it states you need to be a new customer.

*New episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? air Wednesday’s on TLC. Check your local listings for exact times.

Gallery update – June 15th

I’m not sure of the exact number, but I’ve recently uploaded a lot of photos to the “family photos” and “wedding photos” albums in the gallery.

I also have 4 photos with people I cannot identify (except for 1 person in 1 of those photos), so I’ve created a new album titled “who are you” to help me identify them. Please take a look and if you know who they are, contact me.

I have also added a new file to the History section of the site – the Events file. It lists everyone added to the family tree (living or dead) and (if it’s relevant to them and known) their birth, marriage and death date.

AncestryDNA House Party – Party Pack!

My Party Pack for the AncestryDNA House Party has arrived!

Family Tree: AncestryDNA House Party

I wonder what’s inside?
Family Tree: AncestryDNA House Party

Lots of goodies!
Family Tree: AncestryDNA House Party

Name tags, a world map, “thumbtacks” aka paper stickers to mark where my family is from, and party ideas from House Party.
Family Tree: AncestryDNA House Party

A paper tablecloth, mini trees, mints, and napkins.
Family Tree: AncestryDNA House Party

Close-up of the tree instructions.
Family Tree: AncestryDNA House Party

Close-up of the map and stickies.
Family Tree: AncestryDNA House Party

As a special treat, House Party has provided me (and all the other hosts) a coupon for 10% off a DNA kit! So if you’ve been thinking of taking the test, now is a great time to order one.

Using this link, you can order a test for $89 for’s Father’s Day sale. After using the code that House Party has provided (DNAHOUSEPARTY), you’ll get an additional 10% (or $8.90) knocked off. Shipping and tax will bring your total to $90.87. However, if you don’t use the House Party coupon your total would be $99.77. And if you didn’t use either discount your total would be around $110. So now is a really great time to buy the DNA kit. Just remember to order by June 10th to get the Father’s Day sale price. The House Party discount is valid until July 31st.

*House Party has provided me with this party pack and coupon code for free. I am not being compensated to write about this pack, about AncestryDNA or about

The results are in!

Things have been a bit crazy for me, so I’ve been way behind in making this post. Like I last posted, my DNA results started to process on April 8th. I was expecting to wait 6-8, as I was advised, for the results, but instead had to wait less than a month. 2 weeks and 2 days to be exact – April 24th.

Family Tree: AncestryDNA Ethnicity Estimate

My results are pretty much spot on what I thought they would be. I already knew that I had ancestors from England, Russia/Poland, Ireland and Sweden. The only actual surprise was that I didn’t get a percentage for Ireland itself. I know I have 2 direct ancestors (both male great-great-something grandfathers) that came from Ireland, but since you only get 50% DNA from each parent, it probably reduced itself enough that I get nothing. If there’s ever the chance (and by that I mean financially) to get one or both of my siblings tested, I’d love to have take the test so I can compare our percentages.

I currently have 216 pages of matches (and I believe there is 50 names per page). I have one 3rd cousin match, about 4 pages of 4th cousins (one of which I already knew about… hi Kimberlee!) and the rest are distant cousins (5-8th cousin ranges). Of all those matches, only 2 have a shared ancestor hint with me. One is the cousin I already knew about and even though AncestryDNA says she is a 4th cousin, we are actually 2nd cousins (we have the same great-grandfather) and the other is a 5-8th cousin match. I have not contacted this match, but based on what info is shown, we share 7th great-grandparents.

I’m still trying to figure out how to sort the results (like if they are from my mother or father’s side) and what to say to them, etc. So more updates on that as it get’s started.