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New Irish Records Available on Sept. 8, 2016

According to their website, the historic records of Births over 100 years ago, Marriages over 75 years ago and Deaths over 50 years ago of the General Register Office (GRO), will soon be available to view on following their launch at 5.30pm on Thursday 8th September 2016.

Family Tree Maker to Continue Under New Company

This is a re-posting of an article written by Jim Moses, taken from the Ionia Sentinel-Standard newspaper on February 11, 2016.

"I would like to give some new information on Family Tree Maker before I continue the short series on immigration that I started last time. I'm not sure if congratulations are in order, but thousands of us gave our opinions when Ancestry decided to discontinue FTM in December.
I read several comments on the Ancestry blog and not one was positive; everyone seemed unhappy about Ancestry's decision. Apparently they listened, so FTM will be continued. Not everything is set, as far as I can tell, but from two different sources I have learned that FTM is being acquired by a company called Software MacKiev, which is the software company that has been responsible for developing FTM for the Mac users out there for at least the last six years (so they have experience with FTM).
They now will be working with the Windows version of the program. For us, that means we will have updates and, when they are ready, new versions of our FTM software. Both sources I read also say that we will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, as well as Ancestry searches. We will also be able to save our trees on Ancestry, just as we do today (the sync feature). This is good news for everyone who wondered about the future use of Ancestry in respect to their own researched family trees.
In addition to this, another program, called RootsMagic, will have the same, or similar capabilities by the end of this year. Ancestry has read our comments, and they have acted in a way that appears to be a benefit to all of us. I'm happy about it and I am eagerly awaiting the result of the conversion over to Software MacKiev's version."

Ancestry to Retire Family Tree Maker Software

Ancestry made this announcement on their blog this morning:

"Ancestry is proud to have made a significant investment this year to bring valuable new content and records to the Ancestry site. In 2015, we’ve made 220 million searchable historical records from Mexico available, more than 170 million pages from the largest collection of U.S. will and probate records, among others. We’ve also introduced new features such as Ancestry Academy and major advancements for AncestryDNA.

We remain dedicated to helping people gain new levels of understanding about their lives, and who and what led to them, harnessing the information found in family trees, historical records and genetics. As a company, we’re also continually evaluating ways to focus our efforts to provide the most impact and best product experience for our users through our core offerings.

True to this focus, we’ve taken a hard look at the declining desktop software market and the impact this has on being able to continue to provide product enhancements and support that our users need.

With that, we’ve made the decision to stop selling Family Tree Maker as of December 31, 2015. Our subscription business and website, on the other hand, continue to grow and we are doubling down our efforts to make that experience even better for our Ancestry community.

Ancestry will continue to support current owners of Family Tree Maker at least through January 1, 2017. During this time, all features of the software, including TreeSync™, will continue to work, and Member Services will be available to assist with user questions. We will also address major software bugs that may occur, as well as compatibility updates. These changes are never easy, but by focusing our efforts, we can concentrate on continuing to build great products for our loyal Ancestry community." - See more at:

New Tutorials on HeritageQuest

Here are links to two tutorials on the recently redesigned HeritageQuest database.  Remember, all Michigan residents have access to this genealogy resource remotely when they use their library cards, driver's licenses or state issued I.D. cards.

HeritageQuest; the Basics

HeritageQuest; Beyond the Basics

Handouts from Recent Genealogy Classes

I've been asked by several people to make our handouts available to those who were not able to come to the recent genealogy classes.  Here they are:

Introducing the Genealogy Databases

Basic Genealogy Research Using the Library Databases

I hope these will be of help!

National Library of Ireland Makes Catholic Parish Registers Available Online

The following is taken directly from the Library's Website:

Catholic Parish Registers


For most family history researchers, parish registers provide the earliest direct source of family information. Unlike many other records, parish registers provide evidence of direct links between one generation and the next (via baptismal registers) and one family and another (via marriage registers). They are also, for the majority of Irish people who lived during the 18th and 19th centuries, the only record of their existence.

The NLI microfilmed registers from the majority of Catholic parishes in Ireland and Northern Ireland during the 1950s and 1960s. Digital images from these microfilms are now freely available on the website: Catholic Parish Registers at the NLI. (

Interesting Instructions to Census Takers

Take a look at this page from the U.S. Census Bureau -

The full images of the printed instructions for Census Takers are linked to this page and are packed with tidbits of information regarding just how those collecting information from our ancestors were to go about their job.  

For example, did you know that prior to the 1880 Census, U.S. Marshalls were the ones who collected the data?  In the 1870 Census, if a deaf person was able to speak, then he or she was not to be listed as deaf. A person was considered deaf for Census purposes only if unable to speak as well as hear. 

These and many other interesting facts may be found by reading these historic online booklets!

Plymouth City Directories Online through two Databases

The Library currently owns five Plymouth City Directories in print format -1933, 1946, 1953, 1968 and 1979. These are kept in the Reference Michigan Collection.

In addition to these, patrons may also find Plymouth City Directories ONLINE through both (in the Library) or the NEW HeritageQuest database which may be accessed either in library or from home. If you look under "City Directories", you will find Plymouth Directories available in full image for these years: 1938, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1948, 1951, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1958 and 1960.

For those tracking local businesses, people or general information regarding the city government, population, number of parks, schools etc, these directories are a gold mine of information. Also keep in mind, the Northville is also included in the vast majority of these directories as well as Plymouth.

More Michigan Death Records Available!

News posted on website:

"Today is Seeking Michigan’s sixth birthday, and the Archives of Michigan is thrilled to announce that images of Michigan death certificates from 1921-1939 are now available for free here at Seeking Michigan. The index for records from 1940-1952 will be made available in the next few weeks, with additional certificate images to be released each year as privacy restrictions are lifted; for example, 1940 images will be released in January 2016. Together with the records from 1897-1920 that have been available here for years, this collection makes Seeking Michigan the one-stop destination for more than 2.6 million free, publicly-available 20th century death records for your Michigan ancestors."

New Look and Content for HeritageQuest

ProQuest made this announcement today, March 4, 2015:



HeritageQuest Online is now powered by, providing exciting new content, new search pages, and new tools previously unavailable in HeritageQuest Online. 

  • New Content:
    • Now available for searching is the entire U.S. Federal Census collection from including supplements (e.g., 1940 Enumeration District Maps) and several schedules (e.g., non-population schedules) previously not included for searching.
    • 20,000 city directories have been added to the existing city directories in the Book collection, increasing the size of the Books collection to more than 45,000 titles!
    • Expanded content in our Revolutionary War Collection! The entirety of the NARA Series M804 is now included here, providing access not only to the previously available "Selected Records" (Series M805) but now also to the "Non-Selected" records of each file. Learn more in the Content > Revolutionary War section of this guide!
  • New Search & Results Pages: Four of the six collections (Census, Books, Revolutionary War records, and Freedman's Bank records) have brand new search pages with limits, exact matching options, and additional fields for searching.
  • New Tools: We have partnered with not only to upgrade the search interface and add new content, but to bring you additional tools for making the search experience easier. You will now have access to's:
    •'s Interactive Image Viewer when using the Census, Books, Revolutionary War, and Freedman's Bank collections
    • The Research Aids resources for learning opportunities for novice, intermediate, and advanced searchers.
    • Access to's Discoveries Page!