Genealogist Megan Smolenyak has created a brief video assembled “from bits and pieces” that Megan and her husband, Brian, and friend, Michael Mills, had recorded on their iPhones when they attended the opening of the new Statue of Liberty Museum.

She hopes that everyone will take five minutes to watch. Visit Celebrities included Tony Bennett, Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Estefan and Seth Meyers.

Smolenyak notes, “Oprah’s remarks about the American dream are especially relevant these days.”

Enjoy Smolenyak’s many activities mentioned on her website, HonoringOurAncestors, at Also visit

Questions on DNA testing

DNA Testing continues to be in the news. Read Sunny Morton’s article, “Genetic Genealogist Answers 9 Common Questions About DNA Testing” at

Indiana newspaper links

The Ancestor Hunt website, at, is the place to start if one is seeking Indiana’s historical newspapers. Included in the free sites are links to statewide collections, Google News Archive, County and Library Collections, student collections (high school, university, etc.), and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Newspapers 1933-1942.

Indiana also has many online newspapers available on the Library of Congress Chronicling America site.

More than 4,700 newspapers have been published in this state. Surely your ancestor/s are mentioned somewhere. Happy hunting!

Research forms

Ancestry’s homepage ( offers links to a vast collection of genealogy research forms and it is not necessary to be an Ancestry subscriber to access them.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and under Family Trees click on Pedigree Charts. In addition to a pedigree chart (ancestral chart) are census forms for the U.S. (1790-1940, 1890 Veterans Schedule, 1850 Slave Schedule, 1860 Slave Schedule), U.K. (1841-1911), and Canada (1911, 1901, 1906, 1851), a Research Calendar, Correspondence Record, Family Group Sheet and Source Summary.

Researchers must have Acrobat Reader installed on the computer to view these forms. However, a link is provided for a free download of Acrobat Reader.

“Census extraction forms are doubly valuable: not only do they allow researchers to see the format and column headings for various census years (especially if the schedules themselves are hard to read), they also provide a clean and convenient method for extracting and filing important information you find.”

View Ancestry’s Records

Family History Daily has posted an article, “How to View Thousands of Free Records on Ancestry Without a Subscription,” at

Many of these records are searchable indexes and can be accessed directly at Be sure to scroll down the alphabetical list to “U.S.” where searchable indexes include Federal Census Mortality Schedules 1850-1885 and WWI Naval Deaths 1917-1919.

Farther down the list under “Web” are others worth noting. For example, see Illinois Select Death Index 1877-1916 (with data from the Illinois State Archives) and also a link to related data collections which includes Illinois Death & Stillbirths Index (with data from FamilySearch). Ancestry will request that you create a free account.

Queries, as well as a general exchange of genealogical material that readers would like to share, will be printed in the column for free. Contact Joan Griffis by e-mailing