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Genealogy This Week - 3 October 2009


Our weekly compilation of interesting new tools, resources and stories for genealogists:

Searching US Land Patent Records - The US Bureau of Land Management has an excellent free site that allows genealogists to search more than three million federal land title records for the Eastern Public Land States that were issued between 1820 and 1908. Unfortunately, this site does not contain every federal title record (missing are most western state records). However, new records are being added on a regular basis. For example, federal land status records were recently added for Colorado, Idaho, Montana and the Dakotas. This is a site worth checking every so often if you want to trace your US ancestors through land patent records. [Link]

Funny First Names - Ancestry.ca has put out an interesting press release detailing some of the funny first names that they have found in their database. Our personal favourites: Duck McPhee and Jester MacNut. An amusing read if you have five minutes to spare. [Link]

October is American Archives Month - Genealogists are heavy users of archived records. If you live in the US, learn how you can celebrate and benefit from American Archives Month. [Link]

Microsoft Issues Free Security Software - Microsoft has issued free PC security software called Microsoft Security Essentials. It is a basic anti-virus, anti-spyware program that works on Windows XP, Vista and the upcoming Windows 7. You can read an excellent review about it here. [Link]

Dropbox Now Available for the IPhone - In our September 12th Newsletter, we introduced our readers to Dropbox. Dropbox is a free application that allows you to share files and photos across multiple platforms and multiple computers. Now Dropbox is available for the iPhone. [Link]

Apple Quietly Buys a Mapping Company - Continuing on the Apple theme, it appears that the rift between Apple and Google continues to widen. Apple has quietly gone out and bought a mapping company called Placebase presumably to compete with the popular Google Maps. A preliminary assessment of Placebase's capabilities would suggest that in the future it will have several useful genealogy applications for Mac users who want to map genealogy data. [Link]

Cemetery Thefts Back on the Increase - In March we wrote about how cemetery thefts of copper and brass (an alloy of copper and tin) were on the decline because the price of copper had fallen dramatically. Now, copper prices have risen over the summer with the stock market rally and it appears that copper thieves are at it again stealing from cemeteries. We have recently come across several newspaper articles about large and small cemeteries in North America and Europe that have become recent victims of copper thieves. You can read about the fundamental problem of copper theft from cemeteries in our March article. [Link]

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