“Preserving Family History, Experiences, and Stories From the Pandemic” is available to organizations

On May 14th I did a new presentation “Preserving Family History, Experiences, and Stories From the Pandemic.” for the Dakota County Historical Society (Minnesota) via Zoom. I have had inquiries about other organizations having me present this. The live presentation and accompanying handout is now available to genealogical societies, historical societies, archives, libraries, museums and other organizations. Please contact me for details and date availability. Payment can be made via Paypal or check. PaulaStuartWarren at gmail.com.

The description: Have you been documenting your own story during this time of the Covid pandemic? Do you need some tips on doing this? Do you need ideas on what to preserve and how to do it? What do you want to exist in the future to tell people about your experience of dealing with and memories of living through this pandemic? The ideas include those for adults, children, and even about your pets. Your experience may have included online family get-togethers, social media, signs in the window, journaling, blogging, photographs, parents learning new math, working from home, working on the front lines, and other things from daily life. We need to preserve with an eye towards what will be saved and will endure, versus not valued and tossed away. Comments from historical societies, archives, and other institution about preservation will be shared. The presentation and accompanying handout provide all this and more.

Free Virtual Genealogy Event: “Preserving Family History, Experiences, and Stories From the Pandemic.” May 14th

Free Virtual Genealogy Event: “Preserving Family History, Experiences, and Stories From the Pandemic.” Thursday, May 14 at 6:00 p.m. CDT online.

I’ve developed this with and for the Dakota County Historical Society here in Minnesota. We are all a part of this experience through the good times and the bad times. We need to preserve information for future historians and genealogists. Don’t you wish great grandma had left you stories about the 1918 flu pandemic? Don’t you wish you knew how they spent their days and weeks?


Have you been documenting your own story during this time of the Covid pandemic? Do you need some tips on doing this? Do you need ideas on what to preserve and how to do it? What do you want to exist in the future to tell people about your experience of dealing with and memories of living through this pandemic? The ideas include those for adults, children, and even your pets. Your experience may have included online family get-togethers, social media, signs in the window, journaling, blogging, photographs, parents learning new math, working from home, working on the front lines, and other things from daily life. We need to preserve with an eye towards what will be saved and will endure, versus not valued and tossed away. Comments from historical societies, archives, and other institutions about preservation will be shared. The presentation and accompanying handout provide all this and more.

Advance Registration is required. More information: https://www.dakotahistory.org/…/789-may-14-virtual-genealog…. This program is offered free of charge, but I encourage you to make a donation to the Historical Society to offset the loss of revenue they have from all in-person programs cancelled from March thru May.

Findmypast’s WWII collection in honor of VE Day

While reading through the Findmypast blog today, I realized that I never asked my Dad where he was on VE Day. 8 May 1945 is remembered as the day that WWII ended in Europe. 75 years ago today. I am still going to look at more of the photos and records in this huge set of material that is free until 15 May. Then I will go page through my Dad’s photos from WWII. I need to find the one with the monkey.

85th Anniversary of the WPA

85 years ago today, on May 6, 1935, the Works Progress Administration became a part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal programs to get the United States back to stability. It was on that date that he signed Executive Order 7034. In 1939 it was retitled the Work Projects Administration and it had many divisions.

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) affected so many lives and some projects still do that today. For family historians, it produced much that we may still use today.

The National Genealogical Society’s NGS Magazine Volume 45, Number 4, Oct-Dec 2019 is filled with WPA-related articles. My contribution was based on 25 years of research and presentations on the topic.

I also did a video for Ancestry Academy on the WPA and it is accompanied by a handout. https://www.ancestryacademy.com/the-wpa-a-good-deal-for-genealogists

My U.S. Native American Research Tips on The Genealogy Squad

I was invited to do a Guest Post on The Genealogy Squad Facebook group. It’s a private Facebook group with almost 35,000 members! Not a member? Search for it on Facebook and ask to join. You will be asked some simple questions so the administrators can be sure you are an active genealogist. My post has ten tips for doing U.S. Native American research plus some handy links. To find the April 15th post, look on the right hand side of the main page for the topics. One of the Topics is Guest Posts and you will find the tips and links under that topic. Enjoy!

Ancestry Library Edition: available at home for many until the end of May!

Normally, the Library Edition of Ancestry is available only when you are at a subscribing library. Due to the current Covid-19 that has shut down our libraries, Ancestry and ProQuest have made it available in our homes through cooperating libraries. What a generous thing they have done for family historians. Today they announced it will be available this way through May!! It’s always been a good thing to have a library card that allows us to borrow books and movies and access some subscription databases. That card has even more value thanks to Ancestry, ProQuest, and many libraries.

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) to be held virtually in summer 2020!

It’s been a few weeks of planning, meetings, reworking of some sessions, and now it can be announced that GRIP is going virtual in 2020. To keep students, instructors, coordinators and the directors, Debbie and Elissa safe, we are going to teach and attend online. More info will be forthcoming. For the time being, check here for details.

The course I coordinate, Digging Deeper: Records, Tools, and Skills will still be offered but online. Join us July 19-24 for this experience. We will still have hands-on work, discussions, much learning and some laughs, too. We all need those. The extensive syllabus will still be available in advance of the course.

Get ready to join us from the comfort of your recliner, kitchen table, den, office, or even your bed. But, be sure to get dressed as we will have time to see each other and get to know each other better during the week.

Register soon so that you are able to receive some special instructions from me that will provide the opportunity for you to share one of your research problems for group discussion and suggestions. That info will go out soon in an email.

MyHeritage has a yearbook collection that is FREE, through May 23, 2020

MyHeritage has a yearbook collection that is FREE, through May 23, 2020!

From Daniel Horowitz at MyHeritage: “Our yearbook collection consists of 290 million names in 36 million pages, from yearbooks across the U.S. from 1890 until 1979. Take this opportunity to reminisce about your own high school years or search for your loved ones in the collection. 

In addition, following the successful release of MyHeritage In Color™ (10 million photos were colorized in the first 3 months), one of the ideas raised by our team was to apply this technology also to records, in cases where black and white photos are abundant and colors could enhance the records. We focused our attention on the huge U.S. Yearbook collection on MyHeritage, and I’m happy to announce that you can now view our entire collection of U.S. yearbooks in color!

Search MyHeritage U.S. Yearbooks for Free Now

Ordinarily, accessing the yearbook records on MyHeritage requires a Data or Complete subscription. Now, through this wonderful freebie, anyone can access the yearbooks for free, without even having to sign up, through May 23, 2020. And the yearbooks are now colorized!”

We’re doing this because we want to help our community in these challenging times and give people a fun activity to do when they are isolated at home that is genealogical, enjoyable, and free.

We’ve made it easy to share the yearbook pages on social media. Anyone who shares a yearbook page on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram with the hashtags #LookingGood and #FreeYearbooks and tags @MyHeritage will enter a draw. Each week we’ll select one lucky winner who will receive a free MyHeritage Complete subscription!