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Ancestry to Discontinue 5 Services

The information below was taken from's blog, posted by Eric Shoup on June 4, 2014 in Site:

"We’re proud of the variety of products we’ve created over the years that enable people to discover, preserve and share their family history. We recognize that there are a lot of ways that we, as a company, can make family history easier, more accessible and more fun for people all over the world. And we’re continually innovating to make it a reality. We’re always looking to focus our efforts in a way that provide the most impact, while also delivering the best service and best product experience to users. To that end, we’ve decided to retire some of our services: MyFamily, MyCanvas,, Mundia and the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests. We will note that the AncestryDNA (autosomal) test will continue to be available for purchase. Only the y-DNA and mtDNA tests will be retired. Starting September 5, 2014, these services will no longer be available to access. is the exception to the rule, and will continue in a slightly different form. If you are an active member or subscriber to one of these services, you will be contacted directly with details of how to transition the information you’ve created using these services. We know these services have provided value to you. We think they’re pretty cool too, which is why this wasn’t an easy decision for us to make. In the end, it came down to priorities and we think our core offerings are a great place to spend our time and resources. So here’s to revolutionizing family history, focusing on providing the best product experience we can offer and to the limitless possibilities that lie before us." -

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New Genealogy Books

Three new genealogy books have recently been added to the Library's collection.  These are:

 The Genealogist's U.S. History Pocket Reference; Quick Facts & Timelines of American History to Help Understand Your Ancestors by Nancy Hendrickson.  

genealogists ushistory pocket referenceThis small book contains territorial growth maps, lists of important dates within a time frame, information on what is included in a particular census and much more.  It helps to place ancestors within the context of what was happening in America during a particular time in their lives.

Find this book on the Upper Level in the Genealogy Collection under the call number 929 H.


Bad News Regarding the Social Security Death Index

Here is information recently posted on the Legal Genealogist's Blog regarding the SSDI.  For the entire article, please go to:   

"Here’s the big immediate impact, and it’s from the fact that the FOIA exemption took effect the minute the budget bill was signed: genealogists should not — I repeat, we should not — order SS-5 forms (requests for issuance of a Social Security number) for anyone who has died in the last three years.

The FOIA exemption means that all requests for “information on the name, social security account number, date of birth, and date of death of deceased individuals maintained by the Commissioner of Social Security” of people who’ve died in the three calendar years before the request will be denied. So there’s no sense in wasting our time or money sending in tons of requests for SS-5s on recently-deceased relatives.

The second big effect will be to stop reporting new deaths on the SSDI, and while the law says it won’t take effect for 90 days from the signing of the law — or 26 March 2014 — it’s unlikely that any updated version of the SSDI will be available from now on until three calendar years have passed from the date of any individual’s death.

As of today, existing SSDI data that’s online is remaining online. No online service provider has indicated any intention of pulling any information that’s already available. But new information won’t be available for some time."

New Genealogy Books, Sept. 2013 @ the Library

advanced genealogy research techniquesAdvanced Genealogy Research Techniques
by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith

Professional genealogists team up to write an in depth book on advanced methods in tracing your family history.  A variety of software programs are discussed as well as social media resources and even DNA profiling for genealogy research.  Please note - this is NOT for beginners, but rather those who have been researching for a while and may have run into brick walls.

Find this new book along with others on the same topic on the Upper Level of the Library in the Genealogy Collection under the call number of 929 M.



 Finding Your Father's War: A Practical Guide to Researching and Understanding Service in the World finding your fathers warWar II U.S. Army
by Jonathan Gawne.

Although this book was originally published in 2006, the new edition is completely revised and updated.  The author, Johathan Gawne is a noted military researcher and historian.  He details the various techniques he personally uses when researching archives, libraries and military associations in search of information.

This new book is located on the Upper Level of the Library in the Genealogy Collection with the call number of 929.1G.

Additional Michigan Deaths indexed

Ancestry Library Edition has just posted Michigan Death Indexes covering the years 1971-1996 on their database.  According to their description on the web site, "With over 2 million records, the Michigan Death Index covers the years from 1971 to 1996, making this database of particular interest to those with relatives from Michigan. Each entry includes the following information: the full name of the decedent, gender, birth and death dates, the state, county and town of residence at time of death."  Also given is a link to fill out to order the actual death certificate from the Michigan Department of Health.

Ancestry Library Edition may be accessed from computers within the Plymouth District Library.  Unfortunately, due to licensing restrictions, no remote access is available for our patrons.

New Michigan vital records online adds online collection of Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952.  According to their website, this new addition is a name index and images of death records from the Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics in Lansing.  

This valuable addition to Michigan research came online in late April, but for the present, no images are available - only the name index with basic information regarding parents, age and date of death, and location.  Eventually, the death certificate images are due to be added to the site.  Search this collection at :

Historical Records for Archdiocese of Detroit

Roman Catholic Church Records in the Archdiocese of Detroit

Including the Counties of Wayne, Macomb, Monroe, Lapeer, Oakland and St. Clair as well as the Counties of Lenawee & Washtenaw, which were part of this diocese at the time of publication. This work was done as part of the W.P.A. in 1941.

Find the link here - for a historical look at the beginnings of the Catholic Church in Detroit as well as a listing of where to find records for many of the parishes and institutions that were closed prior to 1941.

New Online Resources from Archives of Michigan

I read this announcement on Dick Eastman's Genealogy Blog this morning -

"The Archives of Michigan today announced that more than 62,000 Michigan state census records from 1884 and 1894 are now available to search and print for free at"

While not all counties are included in this collection, parts of Wayne (excluding Detroit) and Washtenaw are now online.  These state census records can help fill in the gaps left by the destruction of the 1890 Federal Census.  Check out this free resource today!

Quillen's Essentials of Genealogy

Mastering Family, Library & Church Records is another title in the series of Quillen's Essentials of Genealogy by W. Daniel Quillen.  This particular book is volume 7, I think it should be one of the first ones read in the series.  It covers the basics of finding family records and whatmastering_family each document can reveal about an ancestor and then introduces the reader to a variety of libraries and their holdings.  A listing of state libraries and archives as well as national ones is included in an appendix.  A large segment of this book is given to a discussion of the various church records including Jewish, Catholic, Baptist, Quaker, Lutheran and Presbyterian.  Quillen takes a few pages to list what he considers to be the best genealogy web sites as well as a bibliography of books suggested for a genealogist's library.  This thin volume may be found on the Upper Level of the Library in the Genealogy section under 929.1 Q.

New Book on Archiving

archivefamilykeepsakesHow to Archive Family Keepsakes; Learn how to preserve family photos, memorabilia, & genealogy records by Denise May Levenick.

In this book, the author tells how to best organize, preserve and store all types of family archives.  While the emphasis is on paper items such as documents, papers and photographs, other types of memorabilia are also briefly explained.  These range from furniture to china, clothing to military flags and jewelry. 

I especially enjoyed the sections where she lists resources for obtaining the archival supplies as well as her pros and cons for the various archiving methods.  You will also find entire chapters devoted to organizing - files, computers, binders... you name it!

Find this book and other on the Upper Level of the Library in the Genealogy Collection with the call number Genealogy 929.1 L.