New Source for Free Obituaries Online

[In 2015 I shutdown -Ben]

There’s a new service for free obituaries online called Free Obituaries Found at I created this archive to preserve and grow the commons of original, transcribed, and abstracted obituaries. I’ve transcribed or abstracted fifteen obituaries so far and I need your help.
Please contribute obituaries that you have and give me feedback in comments here to help me improve this service. Here’s a video to show you how:

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Family Tree Maker 2010 for Mac Version Released

Launch your copy of Family Tree Maker for Mac to get the latest update. It’s apparently loaded with undisclosed bug fixes and enhancements. Here’s what the upgrade dialog lists:

  • Numerous stability fixes were made
  • Child sort order is shown correctly in reports
  • Added support for GEDCOM 5.5.1
  • Numerous other fixes and enhancements

It’s unfortunate when professional software developers can’t or won’t provide detailed lists of fixes and enhancements. Ancestry is not alone in this and there are some companies who do this well (like RootsMagic). While it’s good to know that GEDCOM 5.5.1 is supported and that the child sort order is fixed in reports, it’s of virtually no help at all to know that “numerous” stability fixes and enhancements are in a release. Come on! You know what they are and if you don’t you shouldn’t be publishing software. Please list them so that we can see if the problem fixes or features we desire are present in updates to our genealogy software.

How to Abstract an Obituary for Genealogy Research

Obituary ClippingObituaries often contain information helpful to genealogy research. Unfortunately they’re subject to copyright so you can’t legally transcribe nor share them unless they are in the public domain. The next best alternative to transcribing them is to abstract them.

A genealogical abstract is a summary of the pertinent details from the source. While some of them are entertaining and well written, your primary interest as a genealogist is in extracting the evidence from the obituary so that you can analyze it with other evidence and reach sound conclusions. Abstracts help you do that and you can share your abstracts without concern over copyright infringement.

I have a system for abstracting obituaries that I’m going to share with you. It consists of a method and a simple template. In the following series of videos I introduce you to the method and template then walk you through abstracting obituaries from different periods to demonstrate the use of the parts of the template and cement the five step process. Two of the obituaries I abstract in the demonstration are from 1851 and 1875 so a transcription would be more appropriate because the material is excluded from copyright protection. I suggest using the method and template a few times after watching the videos to really get it down.
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Processing a Source in

Capturing a source citation, abstracting or transcribing information, and making assertions about each piece of information are integral steps in genealogy research. allows you to store and report the data from all of these steps and use it in creating a proven genealogy. This series of videos shows you how it can be done by taking you click-by-click through the example of citing and abstracting an obituary, capturing the event, characteristic, and relationship information, and recording the evidence in
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