Sunday, September 30, 2007

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 10

I decided today that I would pick an Indexing project and make it mine own. I chose the 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Vermont. I grew up in New York right near the boarder of Vermont so I thought that would be nice. I have some collateral family members from the state of Vermont so it seemed logical. It was really cool to see New York listed on some individuals places of birth. I think now I have found my indexing home. Having found my place to index I was a little more motivated to work on it. Vermont started to become "my people".

I only indexed two batches but I could of done more. My daughter Marie decided to start indexing today. Actually she started several weeks ago and only did like four lines and then I finished the batch up. This time she was more determined to learn how to index. Since she was sitting at her computer on the other side of town we had to work together over the internet.

We were using Instant Messenger to communicate. She would send me a JPEG of her question and I would read it and tell her what I thought it said. It was time consuming but do-able. She had tons of questions but refused to call me on the "phone" because IM was good enough in her opinion.

I hate to say it but I really wanted to just do my indexing and not hers at the same time. I kind of wished she would give up and go away. I know, terrible, terrible but it's the truth. Sorta like when little kids want to help you do the dishes. Thank goodness I knew better than to discourage her. I could picture in my mind this old Breck hair commercial where this lady says she told someone about the shampoo and they told someone, and so on and so on until eventually the whole T.V. screen if full of multiple pictures of Breck users. I was then able to envision my daughter influencing all these other single adults her age to start working on FamilySearch indexing.

When my daughter did tell me she had to stop working on it to go to some single adult thing, she did say it was addicting. Now we just have to wait and see if she tells someone, and they tell someone and so on and so on. Gosh I hope you're passing the word along too!

Stats to date 100 indexed today, making a grand total of 724 indexed individuals. That is so close to 1,000 it feels so obtainable.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Ancestral Quest beta Test

Here is another opportunity to get in on the beta testing of a NFS API. I am forwarding to you a conversation Don Snow and Gaylon Findlay had on the need for volunteers.


We are looking for testers for some new features in Ancestral Quest. Let me provide a little background to help you understand the nature of these enhancements.

As many of you know by now, the LDS Church has been developing a new web-based system to, as they have stated, replace their TempleReady program.

Ancestral Quest is being updated now to interface with this new FamilySearch system. This feature is totally optional -- for someone who does not want to share data with FamilySearch, this feature can be blocked. For those who elect to do so, it will allow you to upload your .aq data to FamilySearch, and to update your .aq data from FamilySearch.

We are looking for beta testers to test the new features of Ancestral Quest which provide the interface between the .aq database and the new FamilySearch system. While this could change, the Church has currently set a time period of October 22 - November 14 to do the testing. Because the new FamilySearch system is only available at this time to members of the LDS Church, only members will be able to participate in this test.

If you would like to test these new features of AQ, and you have time to test during the test period mentioned above, and you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please send an e-mail to to confirm your interest.

Thank you,

Gaylon Findlay
Incline Software



As we understand it, the Church is setting up a special beta test situation, wherein any member of the Church, regardless of which temple district they are in, will be able to help with the testing. We are specifically testing the NFS stuff. Outside of this special testing environment, only members who live in temple districts that are online will be able to actually use the new features of the product in a "live" environment.

I am not sure whether we have enough applicants yet, so it wouldn't hurt to mention this to the UVPAFUG folks.



Saturday, September 29, 2007

FamilyInsight beta Test

Great beta testing opportunity for NFS and the ability to sync with it.

From: Ohana Software

We will be beta testing FamilyInsight starting in mid to late October. Users of PAF Insight will find it very familiar because it is the next generation of PAF Insight, with a new name.

Specifically, we will be testing the new function that synchronizes your PAF data with the new FamilySearch. The testing will take about 3 weeks. You do not have to reside in an area where the new FamilySearch has been rolled out. So, for those who don't have the new FamilySearch in their area, this will also be an opportunity to get some first-hand experience with what it will offer.

If you would like to participate in this beta test, please send an email to indicating your interest. At this time the new FamilySearch is only available to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, so you must be a member to participate in this test.

John Vilburn
Ohana Software LLC

Monday, September 24, 2007

Interfacing with NFS - Part One Addendum

In my previous article Interfacing with NFS - Part One I reported:
"...that PAF is a dead animal. They [FamilySearch] understand that some will still use it, so they will still support it. BUT, if you want to have you genealogy database interact and sync with NFS then you need to move over to a commercial product to do so."
At the time of that writing I did not have confirmation on what Ohana Software was trying to engineer to keep the heart of PAF still beating. John Vilburn the owner and developer of PAF Insight and Ohana Software sent me the following:
"There is one big correction I would like to bring to your attention. If you are using PAF and PAF Insight, you do not have to move to another genealogy product to keep your database intact and in sync with NFS. FamilyInsight, which is the successor to PAF Insight (by the same company) will sync your PAF database with NFS. FamilyInsight will be a part of the free update program for current PAF Insight users."
John has also left the following comment on my blog:
"Renee quoted the speaker as saying "BUT, if you want to have your genealogy database interact and sync with NFS then you need to move over to a commercial product to do so." You do not need to move away from PAF to sync with NFS. If you currently use PAF Insight and you are within your free update period, you can update for free to FamilyInsight when it is released (or in beta). It will sync your PAF file with NFS (in both directions). FamilyInsight is the successor to PAF Insight and will look and feel like PAF Insight, so you won't have to learn a new program."
So you can still see that even though PAF is dead, meaning no new growth, enhancements or development from FamilySearch will be added to it, there is a commercial developer continuing to give life support to PAF for those that can't let a loved one go. Ohana Software will provide you during your PAFInsight free update period an upgrade to Family Insight. (I just can't find anywhere on the website how long the free update period is.) If you already own PAFInsight you have a no-cost way to sync with NFS when it comes in your area. Customers in the St. Louis Temple District are already beta testing FamilyInsight for us.

Like I did in my previous article I want to give MY personal opinion on PAF Insight / Family Insight.
  1. John has made a wonderful, useful product that has helped thousands of members with numerous issues in their PAF databases makes corrections to their files.
  2. It is available for free to all FHCs. You can try it before you buy it. Some of my patrons never buy it and come to the FHC to use it all the time. We LDS genealogist are frugal people to a fault.
  3. Right now it is a MUST for people submitting names for temple ordinances to first use PAFInsight (or similar products) to verify if that work has previously been done or not.
Many have wondered what will happen to PAF Insight when New FamilySearch comes online. I have been one of them. You hate to see the demise of two very nice products with the end of one partner, it's been such a great relationship. Even though PAF gives every indication of no brain waves it kind of feels like FamilyInsight is just a new "machine" to keep the dying PAF's heart beating a little longer. Come on when are we going to announce it finally dead and gone!

I just don't get it. Why do people hold onto a dead animal and then put all these attachments on it. On Bob & Reb's Genealogy Blog they did an estimate that it cost them $182. 25 to purchase add-ons, (i.e. PAFInsight, PAFWiz, etc.), to make PAF do what other commercial products can already do. It might cost you $24.95 to purchase PAF Insight but the full commercial genealogy programs run from the starting price of $29.95 to the Gold Edition of The Master Genealogist for $59.00. I would much rather have the whole package from one provider than bits and pieces here and there. I've never heard of anyone being bounced between programs for support issues, but it feels like a waiting evil to happen.

I haven't given FamilyInsight a spin but I really hope with all the talent and ability John has that he will consider making his own genealogy software program that will get some more competition out there. He has probably dissected PAF in greater detail than anyone out there. He has the name recognition and loyal followers to help him pull that move off. If you really want PAF's heart to continue beating you need to transplate it into a new host. Life support is only going to last for so long.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 9

Well it's Sunday and the normal routine is to go to Church, come home take a nap and then do FamilySearch Indexing. It's been 9 weeks and I have pretty much followed that routine. The only difference today was I got sick, and had to come home from Church right after Sacrament meeting. I slept a very long time and still didn't feel much better.

This weeks dilema would I do my Indexing or not? I sure hate ruining a good routine when I am on one. I get some medicine into me and dragged myself to the computer room. I decide to just let the computer decide what I should index - even though I did still look to see if Tennessee is still on the list - yup it is, what's up with that!

My assignment is the 1900 U. S. Federal Census for the state of Georgia. I was so blessed that my record is clear and easy to read. I run through it in no time at all. Nothing earth shattering to report. I guess the indexing fairies are being kind to me given the physically state I'm in. Now that I have finished that assignment I needed to report back to you. First I needed a change of environment.

I come into my family room and sign into my laptop. I realize all other articles I planned on writing today are going to be set aside. My husband is sitting and watching "Remember the Titans" on t.v. He helps me wrap up into a nice comfy quilt. Strangely enough after having completed my single batch of indexing now that I have my laptop up and running I feel like doing some more. I realize the laptop doesn't have the FamilySearch Indexing program on it. I start the download and after a while the 28.2 MB file is one my computer and up and running.

I index another 100 names and now have a grand total of 624 names indexed to date. My eyes are heavy so I must finish my indexing for the night. It is very addicting doing it on my laptop. Maybe I will start indexing on my down time when the t.v. is just playing in the background. It is really easy to index when you are all comfy. Maybe it was a good thing I got sick after-all.

My speed of indexing has increased and I don't think it's just because of how clear the pages are. I think it has to do with something President Heber J. Grant said:
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do is increased."
That has always been my favorite quote and I can see the principle applied to my indexing ability. Well it's off to bed...

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Interfacing with NFS - Part One

Last Saturday, September 15th, I attended The Northern Utah Genealogy & Family Heritage Jamboree in Ogden, Utah sponsored by My Ancestors Found. I really love the Jamborees that My Ancestors Found puts on. They never disappoint me.

A big draw for me was getting a chance to hear Gordon Clarke and Rich Running from FamilySearch speak on its latest creations and status updates. I’m going to give you a run down on both presentations in a series of articles on my blog.

I first attended Gordon Clarke’s presentation on Third-Party Products and New FamilySearch. Clarke is the FamilySearch Developer Services Manager. He is coordinating the efforts to have developers’ existing and new software products work in conjunction with New FamilySearch Application Program Interface (API) and web services.

We received official word on what genealogy software applications are working with FamilySearch in getting their products to interface with New FamilySearch. It’s been a year and ½ in the works but now we know:
…will work with NFS. Now you might of notices several things:

A. PAF is not on the list. Yes, they confirmed that PAF is a dead animal. They understand that some will still use it, so they will still support it. BUT, if you want to have you genealogy database interact and sync with NFS then you need to move over to a commercial product to do so.

Why is the church no longer developing PAF? The answer is simple - money. They are in the middle of a huge financial undertaking with NFS and all the affiliate relations and it is not cost effective for them to develop a genealogy software program when other commercial vendors are already able to do so.

If they took the development dollars away from NFS then they wouldn’t have the product for us to interface with. If they made us pay for the development cost of a PAF upgrade then it’s no longer free. Hence, it becomes a commercial product. If the commercial vendors are already doing that job, and very well they added, why invest in a PAF upgrade. I think this is very sound logic.

B. What about The Master Genealogist and Family Tree Maker are they going to interface with NFS? The answer I received is that TMG has just come on board and is starting development with NFS. The Family Tree Maker – Gordon Clarke at the time of the conference has not received word that they are coming on board.

Here is MY quick review of the commercial competition of products that will be FamilySearch Certified to interface with NFS API.
  1. Ancestral Quest – if you are used to the feel of PAF and all the add on products for it then this might be the way you want to go. AQ is the natural upgrade for PAF 5 because in 1999 they gave the LDS Church their product so they could develop the windows version of PAF 4. AQ has continued development on their product since then. It will have the closest feel to PAF.
  2. Legacy – Much more grown up than PAF. Excellent tutorials to learn the ropes. This has been the product I moved to from PAF. Very pretty program and lots of user icons. Much different feel than PAF. Major bells and whistles. Legacy 7 is coming out the end of October and it is already committed that this version will interface with NFS.
  3. RootsMagic – After looking at the competition I have determined that RM’s set-up will be the easiest for me to adjust to the look and feel of NFS. I talked to developer Bruce Buzbee and he confirmed my suspicions that the development tweaks are very simple for him work with NFS. He is not having the hair pulling issues that the other commercial vendors are in the middle of. Bruce doesn’t use all the icons like Legacy but he does love lists. His lists are going to make it easy for me to see all the event dates and name variations you have to get used to viewing in NFS. If you haven’t guessed I am jumping ship from Legacy and moving over to RootsMagic. Bruce won't commit to a date when RootsMagic 4 will be released, it is under development. Whatever the current version RootsMagic will issue a free-download to interface with NFS.
  4. The Master Genealogist – Excellent program and someday I might be courageous enough to tackle using it. It is hands down the best but not very user friendly. You do not want to bite your teeth on this product if you are already struggling on learning PAF. Since the other commercial vendors have a year and ½ jump on working on their interface with NFS this is probably going to be a late bloomer. Probably just in time for me to get the hang of RootsMagic and how it works with NFS API.
The question was asked in the meeting “Should Family History Centers still teach PAF? Clarke recommended that we not teach PAF to those new to genealogy. If they want to learn something new have them start with FamilySearch Indexing, if NFS is not yet available in their area. Patrons could also learn one of those FamilySearch Certified products that will support NFS. All of the FamilySearch certified products are available for free to Family History Centers to install on their computers.

When will New FamilySearch’s API be ready to interface with these third part products? Answer – March 12, 2008. Before BYU’s Computerized Genealogy Conference, FamilySearch will host BYU 1st Annual Developer Products at the Conference Center. This will be "THE" event to attend. We will be able to finally see how these third party products interface with NFS.

It was also mentioned that NFS will be available to the whole world and not just members of the LDS Church by the end of 2008. Things sure are scheduled to move very quickly. I will update you in my next article on more of what was discussed.

See ya tomorrow, of tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

ONE Year of Ancestry for $15.49

I wrote earlier this month about purchasing "9 Months of Ancestry for $13.49". This was by purchasing Family Tree Maker Deluxe 16 from "Nothing But Software". I was very pleased with the speed of service of NBS and all that came with the FTM Deluxe 16. Well now Nothing But Software has another special even better - FTM v16 Collector's Edition for $15.49. What is extra great about this deal is you get a ONE YEAR SUBSCRIPTION to with it.

Now you need to following this link:
Code=37961&ai=0 in order to get this special rate.

Take a look at the link to see all the additional items you get with FTM v16 Collector's Edition. Besides your one year subscription to you all so get GenSmarts. I discovered that even though this version of GenSmarts works with FTM it will also let you GEDCOM from any other program to use it's features. That was a fantastic plus for me. It's not the latest version of GenSmarts its version but it still works great. It was only in May 2007 that version 2 was released so version 1 isn't that old.

Why would you want GenSmarts? Because it will analyze the missing information in your database and recommend where to search for that information. If you would like more information on GenSmarts go to I've been happy with my purchase - just love to get items cheap and with lots of extras. I might not personally use Family Tree Maker software but it's always great to have it around encase someone shares their database with you in that file format. Some people just don't get the GEDCOM concept.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

NFS Ashburn Farm Servers Details Discussed

Early this month I wrote an article "NFS Fireside I Would Love to Attend" and I was excited to read on the LDS-WARD-CONSULTANT mailing list that Jackson and Sylvia Hott Sonneborn attended this fireside in Virginia. They have done an excellent job writing up their notes from the fireside, and I am reposting them here for you to read.

Ashburn Fireside 19 Sep 2007
Regarding the Ashburn Farm Server
Presiding: Stake President Lynn Chapman, Agent Stake President for the Ashburn Server Farm

We attended the fireside in Ashburn, VA, where the East Coast server farm has been completed for New Family Search (one of 2 in the world at the present). The Ashburn spot was chosen because the area is filled with Internet servers and good security. It takes about 5 levels of security (palm prints) to get through to the cage that houses the thousand servers, hardware and software in Ashburn. It is a small space with lots of electronic equipment, and it generates a lot of heat. The racks are in columns of 40 metal boxes or servers stacked on shelves. It was set up by volunteers. The member volunteers in the 4 surrounding stakes are also manning it round the clock. What dedication from the Saints from that area! Once it is fully operational (testing all operating systems and working out bugs), it will be dedicated so that they can bring the Spirit of the Lord there to protect what they feel is the closest we will get to the Book of Life.

It is amazing to learn of the technological advances in family history. Bro. Greg Steffen, who is in charge of the project, outlined them. He also discussed 3 challenges:
  • First, the amount of research and temple work. From Adam to today, there have been 50-100 billion humans, most living in the last few centuries. Since there was no coordination between researchers, there is massive duplication of records.
  • Second, the project must solve records management. 60 billion records exist globally. 3 billion are in the Granite Vault on 2.4 million microfilm rolls. 70 million new records are generated annually. There are 12 billion individual names on film. It will take 18,059,517, 568, 922, 420 petabytes to house all that information. The records must be widely available, indexed, and searchable.
  • The third problem is records persistence. They have to last forever. Old microfilm lasted 75 years. New microfilm lasts 200 years. Electronic storage lasts ??? maybe less than 10 years. We need a place to store things. We are still microfilming and digitizing records. At present, The Church's collection is five times the size of that in the National Archives. So where do we keep 3 billion records? The Granite Vault is the answer and the servers.
Next Bro. Steffen discussed the evolution of family history from the 1432 Gutenberg Bible to Family Search Indexing. IBM built the first computer in 1944. Now we are adapting the information to the computer. It took 7 years to complete the 1880 census. Now it takes 2 1/2 years to complete a census.

He next discussed Record Imaging and Distribution. We have faster scanners. The raw images get processed into individual compressed images on tapes. When opened, they will enlarge. They will have high and low resolution. The storage site is the Internet, which is available to everybody - the entire world. We will log into the servers here (Ashburn Server Farm), where the data is stored.

Ed Donakey (sp), who is in charge of all strategic relationships to family history, joined Bro. Steffen at the podium. He said that St Louis, Orlando, Billings, and Reno are now online. We did learn that the bigger temples will be the last for the rollout, so our temple (WASHI) will not get on NFS for a while, but one of the speakers said that the goal is to have all temple "rollouting" done by July 2008.

The Church used 200 software developers to develop NFS. At the present time we have 17% duplication in temple work. The New Family Search (NFS) should cut this down to 1 %. Five files have been combined in NFS. I know Ancestral File, IGI, and Pedigree Resource File. Does anyone else know the other 2? Its advantage will be that the temple work will be recorded immediately, and the project will allow for collaboration by various researchers. At the present time there are 17 steps to take a name to the temple. NFS will cut the steps down to two. Members will be able to clear names at home for temple work. We will no longer use floppy disks but will prepare our records on home or FHC computers and print out the record to take to the temple to have cards printed at the temple.

At the present time there are 70,000 people indexing, and that is being cut down so that it is more manageable. They are indexing faster than the servers can handle. The extraction program took 19 years to do the 1880 census. With the volunteers, the 1920 census took 9 months. We will not need PAF as we use it today, but we will still need Family History Centers. Members will have an opportunity to correct the records online. As The Church has attempted to remove the 81 million duplications, they have merged like-records but retain any additional information that exists on all records, so that nothing is lost. Identical information registers on one record.

The Church won the bid to digitize the records in Italy. It needs senior members to serve missions to assist in that endeavor. The Church is also working with governments, societies, and other organizations to digitize their records. For the copyrighted records in the Granite Vault, about 87% of the authors have agreed to let The Church digitize the records.

Bro Steffen views his job as a testimony-strengthening experience to work with such dedicated Saints on the East Coast, and we should never feel bad that we are not in Utah. The Spirit is so strong here with the Saints who worked with him. Many common men (not techies but extraordinary, spiritual men) rose to the occasion and provided invaluable leadership and service for the project.

Bro. Steffen said that he feels this server farm is "the book" spoken of in the Doctrine and Covenants 128:24 that is to be completed for the Lord. He said that the Lord's finger prints are all over this project. This is the largest server farm with a smaller one in Utah and will handle all the NFS records. How blessed we are to be witnesses to this great event, which goes unnoticed by the masses.

(We hope this is fairly accurate. It is difficult to catch all the information when so much is presented.)

Jackson and Sylvia Hott Sonneborn
York, PA

Thursday, September 20, 2007

October Utah Archives Month

State Archives offers free research classes throughout October The Utah State Archives will observe "Utah Archives Month" in October with a series of free research classes on Wednesdays and Fridays at noon. Classes will be held in the courtyard meeting room of the State Archives building at 346 S. Rio Grande Street (455 West). Free parking is available in the lot immediately north of the Rio Grande Depot. For information, please contact the Glen Fairclough at
801-531-3841 or send email to

The October "Research at Noon" class schedule follows.

Wednesday, Oct. 3: Two-hour religious Archives panel discussion presented by the Rev. Dr. Frederick Quinn (Episcopal priest and author of Building the Goodly Fellowship of Faith, a history of the Episcopal Church in Utah), Frederick G. Burton (Presbytery of Utah Historian),
Gary Topping (Archives Director, Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake), and Stan Larson (J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections)

Friday, Oct. 5: "Discovering the Riches of the UDOT Photograph Collection," presented by Rosemary Cundiff (Utah State Archives)

Wednesday, Oct. 10: "The Utah Digital Newspapers Project: An Update," presented by John Herbert (project director; J. Willard Marriott Library)

Friday, Oct. 12: "Effectively Tapping into the Resources of Libraries and Historical Societies," presented by Barry J. Ewell (genealogist). "Digital Photography for the Genealogist," a second
one-hour class taught by Ewell, will follow at 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 17: "The People's Court: An Overview of Utah Court Records," presented by James Kichas (Utah State Archives) and Brandon Metcalf (Utah State Archives)

Friday, Oct. 19: "One-Stop Shopping at the Utah History Research Center: How the Combined Resources of the State Archives and State Historical Collections Can Facilitate Research (Using Topaz as an example)," presented by Tony Castro (Utah State Archives) and Greg Walz (Utah State History)

Wednesday, Oct. 24: "A Summary of the Western Digital Collection Library (including the Western Waters Digital Library [Utah Collections])," presented by Sandra McIntyre (J. Willard Marriott Library) and Susan Salem (J. Willard Marriott Library)

Friday, Oct. 26: "Using Maps in Research," presented by Rod Swaner (Utah State Archives)

Wednesday, Oct. 31: "Wake the Dead," family history research class, presented by Alan Barnett (Utah State Archives) and Doug Misner (Utah State History)

Tours of the archives building and demonstrations of the archives building's automated storage and retrieval system are also planned. The Utah History Research Center at the historic Rio Grande Depot is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from
9 a.m. to 1 p.m., accommodating anyone who wishes to perform research before or after the brown bag lectures.

Utah Archives Month is an annual, month-long observance of the importance of archival and historical records to people's lives. A schedule of events statewide is posted on the Utah Archives Month web site, Four classes focusing on family
history are offered at the BYU Library.

Repositories throughout the United States will observe American Archives Month in October. Many classes on family history/genealogy are planned. Information about these activities is available at

Mark Your Calendars! - FHLO Fair

WHAT: A free Family History Live Online fair
WHEN: Saturday, September 29 from 8:00am to 4:00pm (Mountain Daylight Time).
WHO: Scheduled topics & presenters include:
  • "Getting Organized" by Amy Anderson. "Swedish Podcast" by Anna-Karin
  • "English Records before 1837" by Peter Barrie
  • "An Introduction to Online Scottish Research" by Peter Barrie
  • "Swedish Research" by Janet Hovorka
  • "Hamburg Passenger Lists" by Sandra Raymond Jarvis
  • "Researching German Records When You Don't Speak German" by Jean Wilcox Hibben
  • Roots Magic
HOW: This online fair is free. To participate you will need a computer with an internet connection and a free membership to Family History Live Online. Once you have signed up for a free membership you will be able to download our free software viewer that will allow you to hear and see this family history fair. We ask that you sign up for your free membership by
Wednesday, September 26 to allow time to receive the software and instructions.

See Family History Live Online's website at or
email the Fair Director, Gena Philibert Ortega at Adds More Records

FINDMYPAST.COM ADDS MORE NEW RECORDS TO ITS ONLINE COLLECTION - City of London Burials Index, 1871 census and outbound passenger lists are all expanded, the UK family history website, has added a number of new data records to its existing online collection, bringing the total number on the site to well over 500 million records.

Firstly, burial records from 75 more parishes have been added to the City of London Burials Index, which now contains 350,000 records of burials within the Square Mile of London, many pre-dating civil registration in 1837. The earliest record is dated 1742, while the majority cover the period 1788 to 1855.

Two more counties have also been added to the 1871 census on findmypast - Yorkshire and Suffolk. There are now 13 complete counties on the website's 1871 census - Cornwall, Devonshire, Dorsetshire, Glamorganshire, London, Middlesex, Norfolk, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Wiltshire, Worcestershire and Yorkshire. Like all the censuses on, the new counties can be searched by name of person or by address, and also by a number of different fields, such as occupation or age.

In addition, a new decade - 1930 to 1939 - has been added to the outbound passenger lists at These records now extend from 1890 to 1939 and contain details of passengers traveling on outbound voyages from all British ports to long-distance destinations. As well as potentially helping customers knock down their own family history research brick walls, the new decade also contains many records of broader historical interest. For example, within the new decade is a record of one Professor Albert Einstein traveling on 7 October 1933 from Southampton to New York.

Paul Yates, Head of Product & Services at, commented: "We're really pleased to be adding three new sets of data to our site this month. Now our customers have even more opportunities to find their ancestors at By using the cross-database search facility on the home page, they can instantly search all these exciting new records, as well as the original collection, and getting a list of search results for your ancestor is still free at"

Monday, September 17, 2007 Announcement

FINDMYPAST.COM INTRODUCES LOYALTY SCHEME AND REVISES PRICING - Customers of the service offered "Best Price Guarantee" when they renew their subscriptions: key subscription packages even better value for money, the UK family history website, today launches a new customer loyalty scheme and is also making a number of changes to its pricing. The loyalty scheme will reward the website's existing customers by providing a "Best Price Guarantee" when they renew their subscriptions to's Discovery and Explorer packages.

The "Best Price Guarantee" scheme is designed to build on findmypast's commitment to customer service and has been developed after research among the website's visitors and customers as well as a number of pricing tests during the summer.

Ian Tester, Head of Sales & Marketing at, explained: "We've made these changes in response to customer feedback and because of our commitment to customer service. Too many businesses offer discounts to new customers but neglect the people who have already chosen their service - we don't think that's a great idea. We are happy to guarantee that the price available to a findmypast customer who renews is the best price we will offer to anybody".

At the same time, the company has changed its pricing options to simplify the choice available and provide better value for money. The pricing changes include lowering the price of key subscription packages, introducing shorter subscription periods and reducing the number of pay-per-view packages available to non-corporate subscribers. This is part of an overall philosophy of making the service easier to use, led by findmypast's product development team.

Paul Yates, Head of Product and Services at, commented: "These changes simplify the pay-per-view options and emphasise the great value for money of our subscription packages. Making changes like these is part of our philosophy of making constant improvements to our service." Yates added, "We always try to listen to what our customers are asking us for: that's the only way to make sure we deliver the best service to them".

The loyalty scheme and pricing changes are effective immediately and available to all customers via the findmypast website at

Details of the new loyalty scheme and pricing changes:

"Best Price Guarantee" is available to all findmypast customers renewing a Discovery or Explorer subscription. It is not available to customers who purchase a 1 month Voyager subscription although they are offered a discount to upgrade to the other packages.

Pay-per-view packages reduced from 5 options to 2, as follows -
* 60 units valid for 90 days @ £6.95 (no change)
* 280 units valid for 365 days @ £24.95 (no change)

Subscription packages changed as follows -
* 12 month Explorer package reduced from £125.00 to £89.95
* New 6 month Explorer package introduced at £54.95
* 3 year subscription packages discontinued
* No changes to Discovery and Voyager subscription packages

About (formerly was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003.

Following the transcription, scanning and indexing of over two million images, the company launched the first website to allow the public easy and fast access to the indexes, which until then had only been available on microfiche film in specialist archives and libraries. The launch was instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy seen in the UK today.

In April 2007 findmypast's holding company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement in digitising and making available the UK birth, marriage and death indexes.

Findmypast has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 500 million records dating as far back as 1664. This allows family historians and novice genealogists to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.

As well as providing access to historical records, findmypast is also developing a range of online tools to help people discover and share their family history more easily, beginning with the launch of Family Tree Explorer in July 2007.

Over 1.7 million people in the UK have researched their family trees and has over 800,000 active registered users, revealing the mass appeal of genealogy and's position as the leading family history website based in the UK.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 8

I'm moving kind of slow today. I attended the Northern Utah Genealogy Family Heritage Jamboree in Ogden yesterday and boy was I wiped out. I had a long nap and then got up to do my FamilySearch Indexing.

I didn't want anything too challenging so I decided to pick the Salt Lake County Births to index, but it was already finished. I looked over the projects and noticed there were several for the 1930 Mexico census. I have to confess they made me a little nervous - I don't read Spanish. I saw my Tennessee 1900 census still available but I felt if I picked it I was admitting myself to much of a coward to try something Spanish. Soooooo, I had a dilemma facing me. I decided to throw the dice and let the system pick something for me. Then I chuckle to myself because I felt like a gambler using FamilySearch as my roulette wheel! I held my breath and waited for the results. What did I get, was I going to see Tennessee again, did it even want me, it didn't last week. How about Spanish will it be hard to read? Finally the decision is made for me and it is - 1900 U.S. Census for KANSAS. Surprise, Surprise.

The page is beautiful and bright and so easy to read. But wait, where is the highlighter? I fiddle with buttons and nope it doesn't want to show no matter what I do. I finally decide to start indexing without it and I discover the first person is the wife and has no last name. That means I have to go back a page and locate it. I take a peek the name is Calking, return to the page to index and enter it. As if like magic the now missing highlight has appeared. I adjust the highlight some and I am off and running.

It is totally amazing how quickly you can do indexing when you have a clear page and neat handwriting. My people are of German descent. Out of 50 people only 6 don't have either themselves, or their parents born in Germany. I actually got to fill out the immigration field. There are even two families that have my family names. One was Harris - and he was born in Germany - didn't know any Harris' came from Germany. My line comes from England. The other one was Backhaus she was a boarder with another German family. She happened to be born in Kansas, but both parents are born in Germany. My Backhaus' are from Germany - not really blood relations because it's my 6th great-grandmother's second husband. But he matters to me!

There was one little treasure on my page. I could make out a nice extended family. There was a mother-in-law listed so I now knew the maiden name of the wife. The family living next to them had the mother-in-law's same last name so it must of been her son. She had to of been widowed, gave the farm to the son and went to live with her daughter. I don't know that but it sure would be good clues for whoever discovers they are related to that family. Just goes to show you how important it is to look at the neighbors when you find your family in the census. You just might find others related to you. This project is such a good one for people to start learning how to do genealogy with.

Yesterday at the Genealogy Jamboree I listened to Rich Running speak on opening the Granite Mountain Vault. He said we now have 85,000 volunteer indexers worldwide. Last month we indexed 27 million names. We are averaging 1.25 million names indexed a day. They figure in three years they will have 1/2 a million indexers working on this project.

With my calculation that would make 85,000 indexers, indexing about 15 people each a day. I guess I am still on track then. I indexed 50 people today making a grand total of 474 people indexed in 8 weeks. Ok, maybe that is not to impressive. But I bet it would take a new indexer a whole day or more of indexing to beat my record! I might be moving at a turtle's pace but at least I am moving.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

PAF Insight Prepares for NFS

Times are changing for PAF Insight with the coming release of New FamilySearch. One change is the name - it will be called "Family Insight".

On Friday, 21 September at 7pm the Utah Valley chapter of the UGA will have Diana Olsen of PAF Insight as a guest speaker. Her presentation will show some of the new "Family Insight" program, which will work with GEDCOMs and will be compatible with the LDS Church's "New FamilySearch" program.

The location is the Utah South Area Family History Training Center at 85 North 600 East in Provo, Utah. Mark your calendar now, and please tell your friends. It should be a great evening.

For questions, e-mail

Northern Utah Genealogy & Family Heritage Jamboree

Just what you’ve been waiting for! An all-day seminar designed to supercharge your ancestral quest.
WHERE: Marriott Hotel, 247 24th Street, Ogden, UT
WHEN: 7:30am to 7:30pm ~ Sept 15. 2007
THEME: Pirates of the Pedigree 12 jam-packed hours of genealogy!
We’re honored to have Beau Sharbrough give the keynote address. He is the Vice President of Content at the historical documents website, Beau is a popular writer and lecturer on technical topics in genealogy, but has a humorous approach to getting the job done. He is a former president of GENTECH, the founder of the FGS Federation of Genealogical Societies and GENTECH websites, and formerly worked on tree products at
CLASSES has gathered the Cream of the Crop when it comes to knowledgeable and creative family history instructors. With the amazing group of teachers lined up you will have more than 35 fantastic classes to choose from including the latest about French, Scandinavian, German, Scottish, Hispanic, Italian, Austrian, immigrant and US ancestry, and what to do about digital copies of documents in your library and on the net at FamilySearch, Footnote, GenealogyBank and WorldVitalRecords. Find out how to decipher old English handwriting, write personal histories, document your sources, get organized, surf the web, and use the latest genealogy software programs. Learn about the records centers in our region that are chock full of information to help genealogists climb their family trees.
Jam-packed with over 30 displays and vendors· Test drive software programs· Browse books· Bargain hunt among preservation treasurers· Demo the latest internet technologies PRIZES

Thousands of dollars of fabulous prizes will be given out all day to registered attendees!

Some of the prizes that will be given out are:

  • Generation Maps Chart
  • Subscription
  • I Fly Utah - indoor skydiving
  • Ohana Software - PAF Insight
  • My Ancestors Found - A Research Retreat (In SLC with Professionals)
  • Ancestral Quest - Genealogical software
  • Life Story Productions – software
  • – subscription
  • RootsMagic - software

And the list goes on and on including software, books, family history supplies and more.


A select group of instructors who will be on hand to answer your personal research questions. The value of a one-on-one consultation with a professional genealogist far exceeds the cost of admittance to this event. Professional answers will open your mind to new research strategies.

DearMYRTLE is so excited to help attendees discover missing pirates and honorable pioneers on their pedigree charts and says, “I’m bringing my clipboard so that I can focus on writing out actual genealogy prescriptions for what to do next!”


No need to put it off any longer! Summer vacation is over, and the kids are back in school, so now is the time to focus on your genealogy and family history with help from ‘Pirates of the Pedigree’ a super great genealogy conference.


Register online at Or call Holly Hansen at 801.829.3295

Special Discounts for WorldVitalRecords Members!

To: Renee Zamora
From: David Lifferth, President of World Vital Records, Inc.
RE: Special Discounts exclusively for WorldVitalRecords Members!

Dear Renee,

As you are aware, we at work very hard to increase the value of your membership. We have one of the lowest cost memberships in the Genealogy and Family History markets. We add at least 1 new database every day, and as we announced in this week's newsletter, we now have 500 Million (or one-half Billion) records on line now! By constanly adding more databases and features is just one way that we are constantly increasign the value of your membership.

In addition to our low cost, we are alway trying to find special offers to save you additional money. Now that we have grown to almost 15,000 members, there are some great group purches and special offiers that we can make. Somes examples of these offers are RootsMagic,, and

I was recently approached by Bruce Buzbee of RootsMagic. He wanted to do a promotional campaign between World Vital Records and RootsMagic. RootsMagic version 3 is one of the leading genealogy applications. Like, RootsMagic is very innovated and they have created many new and useful features.

Click here
Click here to buy RootsMagic version 3 for $19.95! (a $30 value)

While supplies last, our promotional agreement allows us to to sell RootsMagic version 3 to our existing members for only $19.95. This special membership offer starts today, September 12th, 2007 and will last as long as we have remaining inventory. Don't wait until after we have sold them all.

Some of you may remember that we had a promotion for the World's Definitive eBook Collection last fall. This has 12 collections including the American Freedom Collection, American Freedom Library, Ultimate Classic Library, One Million Recipes, Quote Master, Complete Herbal Reference Library, and others. This was previouisly priced at $99. We have negotiated a price of $59.99 from for members of Click here for for more information.

For you Stephen R. Covey fans, we have negotiated a special offer on his best selling audio books. You can buy any or all of Stephen R. Covey's "7 Habits" series for 20% off from These downloadable books are also great gifts for your college student away from home for the first time, your teenager who wants to fill her IPOD with "good stuff", or just for you -- a way to put "first things first". Download and listen to while you're commuting, traveling, or even working out. To get this discount, which is available to World Vital Records members only, type in the promotion code "wvr2007" in the shopping cart for on any of the Covey titles.

We have added some great new features on new which is a FREE Web Site. It is a social network for Genealogists and Families. You can now upload your Family Tree file, see maps of the locations where your ancestors lived and died, see statistics about your ancestors such as average age, upload photos of your relatives, and share and collaborate in ways that were never before possible anywhere else. You will want to try it out.

Using's Free Family Tree Viewer, you can:

  • Quickly view pedigree files
  • Calculate the relationship between two individuals within their pedigree chart
  • Easily view vital information on an individual, such as birth, marriage, or death dates
  • Switch between Ancestor or Descendant screens
  • Add or view photos, documents, videos, albums, recordings, etc.
  • See information that has been added in the past 30 days
  • View a statistics page
  • Search through a large repository of information
  • Find surnames, places, dates, and local area information quickly and easily Click here to upload your family tree and connect with other genealogists for free on!

    I hope that you don't miss out on these great values. These great low cost resources will be a great benefit to you as you do your family history research.

  • Thank you,

    David Lifferth
    World Vital Records, Inc.
    1234 North 9th East
    Provo, Utah 84606

    Genealogy Search Australia

    For My Australian Readers:

    Genealogy Search Australia has a new face! The search engine has been overhauled to improve interaction with visitors. There is improved navigation and search results now provide better information. The data base has continued to grow with over 3700 family tree web sites listed along with 5000 genealogy / family history web sites of special interest to the Australian family historian. Visit now and leave some feedback.

    Membership: One of the most valuable resources when you are researching your family history could be membership of a family history / genealogy society or group. These organisations often have an amazing amount of research material including micro fiche, CDs, books, maps and historical records. Membership fees are reasonable and you will find members most willing to help you in your research. Search Genealogy Search Australia for a society near you!

    Queensland Family History Society: The QFHS has a range of CDs available for purchase online from their web site at These include the Commonwealth Electoral Rolls (Queensland) for 1903, 1913, 1922 and 1934. A great resource if your family has a Queensland connection. Other CDs include School Pupils, Railways and Police – check it out.

    Convicts and Bushrangers: It is now quite fashionable to have convicts and bushrangers amongst your ancestors. There are a large number of good sites indexed by the search engine and have some great records: New South Wales and Tasmania, Convict Pardons and Tickets of Leave, 1834-1859 and UK New South Wales and Tasmania, Convict Musters, 1806-1849

    Meta Tags: Once again we have to report that over 60% of web sites submitted to Genealogy Search Australia contain no Meta Tags. Meta Tags are essential on all web sites. Without Meta Tags web sites will be hard for searchers to find and will rank very lowly in search engine listings. There is no point in having a web site that cannot be found. There is a free tutorial on Meta Tags at: Do it soon to improve your ‘findability’ and search engine ranking.

    Free Gift. Tell three friends about Genealogy Search Australia and receive the free 127 page Genealogy Topics eBook (PDF). The eBook is full of articles, tips and assistance from many experienced genealogists. Just complete the form at Genealogy Search Australia with your name and email, and the details of three friends who you think may be interested in this site.

    Articles: There are many new genealogy and family history articles to read or download at Family History Articles. Publish your family history story or article for free!

    Happy searching.


    Genealogy Search Australia / Family History Articles

    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 7

    Well it's Sunday and it's been a long busy day. I went to church, came home had no nap and then off to the BYU FHL to take some classes. I came home tired and ready to go to bed but - nope I had my indexing to do. I debated waiting until tomorrow to do my batch but I really hate to break a record when I'm on one. I sat down, signed into KZION for mood music and went right to work indexing.

    My mystery download was the Louisiana 1900 U.S. Federal Census. I was really surprised to not get Tennessee because that's usually what I get. I even looked and Tennessee is still not finished so I don't know why they didn't want me all of a sudden. I guess I just have this thing about Tennessee and I don't even have relatives there - that I know of!

    I did run across a "no name" person - he was a younger child in the family. Then I had a wife called "Ma", and a son Claud that was listed as a "F" for female. For the "no name" person I marked the field blank. For the wife I entered "Ma" for the given name. Claud that was listed as a SON did get entered as a female. I sure hope I did them all right because that's how I understood the directions to enter them.

    In last week's article on indexing I posted a query from a reader.
    I am on dialup service for my internet and have been told that it is not conducive to doing the indexing project. I would be interested to know if there are current indexers that use dialup for their service and how it works for them.
    Well, we got a response!
    Hi Renee,
    I read on your blog about a person with dialup access to internet, who would like to index but has been told dialup is not conducive to indexing. I am the Stake Extraction/Indexing Director in my area and we have several (maybe 5 or 6) who index with dial up. Yes, it does take longer to download, and up load. But they work around that by starting the download process and then going off to load the laundry or some other small task then come back to work on it when it is finished downloading. It is not impossible -- just not as easy. The workers here often download more than one batch while they are "connected" then can work offline at their convenience. Also Stake Directors should make a CD of the program so those with dialup do not have to be "connected" to the internet for 3 1/2 hours while the program is getting downloaded to their computers. It only takes about 16 minutes with the CD.
    I really appreciate Peggy giving us this insight in to working with dialup service while indexing. If you have any experiences you would like to share about indexing send me an email at:

    Now it's time for bed and it's been a day well done. I indexed 50 names tonight, making a grand total of 424 names indexed. It's been 7 weeks and it seems so little but I'm at least helping in the over-all figures. Every name indexed is one step closer to another family member being found. Even though I didn't index my family members - somewhere out there someone indexed my 1900 Queensbury, Warren Co., New York family members and I really appreciate that.

    See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day.

    Saturday, September 08, 2007

    Albuquerque, NM Temple Gets Word

    Another temple going live with New FamilySearch.
    "FH consultants in the Santa Fe New Mexico stake have received a letter informing us that the Albuquerque temple will go live with NFS within 3 months."

    White Rock Ward
    I called and confirmed the date to go live is 23 Oct 2007. The Reno and St. Louis temple districts must of done a fantastic job in the initial release of NFS. Hopefully the increased speed of these roll-outs indicate success with the program.

    New FamilySearch Roll-out
    Reno, NV - June 2007
    St. Louis, MO - July 2007
    Billings, MT - Aug 2007
    Orlando, FL - Aug 2007
    Las Vegas, NV - 25 Sept 2007
    Albuquerque, NM - 23 Oct 2007
    Cardston, Alberta, Canada - 30 Oct 2007

    See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

    Friday, September 07, 2007

    Two More Temples Going Live with NFS

    I just confirmed that it is the Cardston, Alberta, Canada Temple that is going live with New FamilySearch on Oct 30, 2007.

    I was also able to confirm that the Las Vegas, Nevada is going live on the 25th of Sept. That makes two more temples to add to those already live with NFS.

    New FamilySearch Roll-out
    Reno, NV - June 2007
    St. Louis, MO - July 2007
    Billings, MT - Aug 2007
    Orlando, FL - Aug 2007

    See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    NFS Roll-out Continues

    It appears that we are looking at our first LDS Temple District outside of the United States preparing to go live with New FamilySearch.

    This is what I just read on a mailing list.
    We have just been notified that our "temple district is scheduled for the new FamilySearch roll-out in October, so they are anxious to have the family history people and programs in place."

    "As part of an ongoing effort to simplify temple and family history work, a new streamlined process for submitting ancestral names to the temple is being introduced. This process includes a new software system found on the Internet at Members in your temple district will begin using this new process within the next several weeks. Representatives of the Family and Church History Department will be working directly with family history center directors and family history consultants to implement the new process."

    Calgary, Canada
    My only problem now is determining if Calgary is in the Edmonton or Cardston, Alberta Temple District? Since "rumor" has it that the smaller temples are being rolled out first with NFS, I would tend to lean towards the Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Temple as my choice. Then again you can't always trust rumors. I was "told" that the roll-out was being delayed and no more temples were going live until the new year. So much for that rumor!

    See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

    Wednesday, September 05, 2007

    WorldVitalRecords & RootsMagic News

    From: David Lifferth, President of World Vital Records, Inc.
    RE: FREE RootsMagic with new WorldVitalRecords Membership!

    On Monday, September 17th, 2007 will announce two massive additions to its site. These new genealogy database collections will significantly increase the value of the ever increasing content at World Vital Records, Inc. As part of those announcements, we will also announce new prices for memberships. So, if you have been considering signing up for the Thousands of Databases and over Half a Billion online genealogy records, you should consider signing up now before the prices go up.

    As you may be aware, we frequently do special promotions for new members at I was recently approached by Bruce Buzbee of RootsMagic. He wanted to do a promotional campaign between World Vital Records and RootsMagic.

    RootsMagic version 3 is one of the leading genealogy applications. Like, RootsMagic is very innovative and they have created many new and useful features.

    While supplies last, when you join you get a free copy of RootsMagic version 3. This special membership offer starts today, September 5th, 2007 and will last as long as we have remaining inventory. Don't wait until after we give them all away.

    Click here to join and get
    Roots Magic version 3 for FREE!

    This is a great offer to get access to our rapidly growing collection of great online genealogy databases and RootsMagic at the same time. Please take the time to review this offer and the WorldVitalRecords Collection of Online Genealogy and Family History Databases.

    We have added some great new features on which is a new, FREE Social Network Site for genealogists and families. You can now upload your Family Tree file, see maps of the locations where your ancestors lived and died, see statistics about your ancestors such as average age, upload photos of your relatives, and share and collaborate in ways that were never before possible anywhere else. You will want to try it out.

    I hope you don't miss out on this great value. These great, low cost or free family history and genealogy resources will be a great benefit to you as you do your family history research.

    Thank you,
    David Lifferth
    World Vital Records, Inc.
    1234 North 9th East
    Provo, Utah 84606

    NFS User Provides Lesson Materials

    Miles Meyer from the Jacksonville Florida East Stake has a short lesson plan for the NFS developed. The 15 page lesson manual on NFS is much easier to go through than the 150+ page online manual that comes with the roll-out. He based it on the online training modules. He has been using it for staff training and his Sunday School class. There are other training modules, including copies of his newsletters. The lessons he developed for teaching Family History are sized to take approximately 45 minutes to teach.

    During the past two days the site has experienced bandwidth problems having exceeded the server's monthly quota for downloads. Miles has mirrored the site so there are three locations to download materials from. All training modules are available in PDF format.

    The invitation is to use them freely in your FHC. Remember to credit Miles Meyer ( as the source and to send him a thank you.

    NOTE: The Church is currently working on a new version Members' Guide plus a companion Teachers Guide to go with it. This new version will include the policies and guidelines for clearing names for the temple as they pertain to NFS. As the new manuals are published they will be rolled out to the temple districts that get NFS when they receive their training materials. As of yet these new manuals have not been distributed.

    New FamilySearch Roll-out
    Reno, NV - June 2007
    St. Louis, MO - July 2007
    Billings, MT - Aug 2007
    Orlando, FL - Aug 2007

    Sunday, September 02, 2007

    Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 6

    It's late for me to be doing my Indexing on Sunday but it just seemed the right time. I don't know if it was just that I've now been indexing for 6 weeks that made such a difference this time or not. I seemed to just whiz thorough my batches. The images didn't appear any clearer so I'm not sure what the deal was this week.

    I did two batches tonight. The first was Salt Lake County Births 1908-1915. It was very different from the census records but it was fun to do. I did 24 records and they were all from 1909. I wanted to do another batch but when I tried to download it said there were no more index records to do.

    Since the birth records weren't available to do I decided to just let the program pick a batch for me. I got the 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Tennessee. I don't know what it is with Tennessee but that's all I ever get when I let the program decide.

    First I had to set up my highlights for the record. I tried to remember but I had to go back to my earlier blog article where I had a PDF of how to Adjust the Highlights. That came in very helpful and I got the job done very quickly. Once again the records weren't any different from the ones I have done before but the job just went so much quicker. I almost wished I had timed myself!

    The only thing different during this indexing session was that I had KZION playing on my computer. They play really great LDS music. I guess I will have to try that again. Maybe I'm more relaxed and better able to index if I listen to motivating music. More conductive to the spirit helping you. Whatever it is, it was great, and if it wasn't so late I would of kept indexing.

    Oh, I also didn't download my batches before Sunday. I did them today and had no problem downloading or uploading my files. I don't know if it is because I did them later in the evening or if the church has fixed the problems with the servers. It could be that the new servers are on line now. I mentioned them in an earlier article today "NFS Fireside I Would Love to Attend". They are scaling up the servers to hopefully handle 3 million names a day.

    It appears us indexers are doing a fantastic job. The arbitrators that compare extraction batches are finding that indexers are working at about 99.7% accuracy. What a phenomenal job! Right now just over half the indexers are retired but the rest are made up of teenagers and young parents and people like....this story I found on a mailing list.
    Speaking of indexing...

    I just spoke to a brother in our ward who is a quadraplegic. He has very limited use of his hands. He was telling me how excited he was at doing some indexing at home. It takes him awhile to finish a batch, obviously, but it humbled me so much to hear him talk about the indexing project, and me working overtime at my job and able-bodied and say to myself, "well, I don't have any time this week to do a batch, maybe next week." I need to repent and go back to indexing.

    Joan in NC
    I also had a reader email this week and ask a question.
    I am on dialup service for my internet and have been told that it is not condusive to doing the indexing project. I would be interested to know if there are current indexers that use dialup for their service and how it works for them.
    If you have any knowledge to share about your experience using dialup service for indexing let me know and I will pass the word along. Email me at:

    My total tonight was 74 indexed names, with a grand total of 374 for my overall job. Not to bad - for me! I'm going to go eat an ice cream cone and celebrate.

    See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

    9 Months of Ancestry for $13.49

    I'm always looking for a good deal and boy have I found one. I have been watching the Family Tree Maker mailing list for a while now. It's been very interesting, especially with all the buzz about FTM 2008. The beta testers didn't have to many good things to say about it. Now that the retail version is available many dissatisfied users have been going back to FTM version 16.

    Some of the things dissatisfied FTM 2008 users have mentioned is that the program only comes with a 14 day subscription to Ancestry. It won't let you view the FTM CDs that came with the older versions. Some are also having problems having all their info transfer into FTM 2008 because of the redesign.

    Well today I found a fantastic deal to purchase FTM Deluxe 16 for $13.49, with shipping it's $18.48. Now you have to use the following link to get this deal and I don't know how long the price is good for. Remember is version 16 and not the most current one.

    I know your wondering why a loyal Legacy user would purchase FTM. The answer is very simple - for what is included in the box. Here is a list of things included with the program:
    • 9 Month Subscription to - (Up to $270 Value!)
    • New! Historical Documents of Your Ancestors
    • New! Historical Maps and Images Collection (DVD included)
    • Images and Photos Collection (DVD included)
    • New! Official Family Tree Newsletter
    • Concise Genealogy Dictionary ($14 Value!)
    • Official Guide to Family Tree Maker ($25 Value!)
    • Official Family Tree Training DVD ($15 Value!)
    • Official Reference Library ($50 Value!)
    • Family Tree Workbook ($20 Value!)
    • 30 Minute Genealogy Consultation ($60 Value!)
    • GenSmarts for ($25 Value!)
    That is a combined value of $380 included extras with the software. The other plus to me purchasing Family Tree Maker software is my ability to use it when I need to. I only have FTM version 7 and let me tell you it has come in handy when researchers I collaborate with send me a FTM file and not a GEDCOM. Now with a redesign it might be even more important to have the last best working version of FTM in this older format.

    I'm excited about this bargain. Since I purchased the budget shipping it will take 7-10 days to come. Now the question is how do I hide it from my husband when it comes?

    A Penny For Shipping at

    (Offer Expires at 12 Noon EDT, Wednesday, September 5, 2007)

    Dear “Genealogy Pointers” Subscriber:

    Celebrate the long Labor Day weekend by saving big-time on shipping costs at For the next six days you can order any quantity of books and/or CDs on our website and pay only one cent additional for PARCEL POST shipping. You can order as many times as you like before noon on Wednesday, September 5, 2007, and be charged just a penny for postage and handling on each order. This limited-time offer applies to every book and CD in our collection. For example, you can use the penny offer towards our 40%-and-more-off "Genealogy Warehouse" books; or you can buy Elizabeth Shown Mills' remarkable new book, Evidence Explained: Citing Historical Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, for $49.96, just one cent more than the retail price. Or, you can select one or more of the five CD-ROM publications that are on sale this week and pay just a penny to have it/them sent to your address. Anything on our site at all!

    You do not have to do anything special to receive this special offer. Our shopping cart will automatically calculate $.01 on every PARCEL POST order you place. Are you going to be away from your computer over the holiday weekend? Not to worry. The penny-for-shipping special is in effect right now, and it doesn't expire until the middle of the day on the Wednesday after the holiday.

    Important Exception: This special offer applies only to PARCEL POST shipments. All UPS, Federal Express, and postal shipping methods other than parcel post (e.g., Priority Mail, Next-Day Mail) will be charged our regular shipping prices.

    CONTACT US is the online home of Genealogical Publishing Company and its affiliate, Clearfield Company. For general information about our companies and their products, e-mail us at To order on-line, you may e-mail us at

    To order other than online, you can:

    1. Order by mail: 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260 - Baltimore, Maryland
    2. Fax your order to 1-410-752-8492
    3. Call toll-free to our sales department at 1-800-296-6687

    GenealogyBank Update

    I look forward to a detailed presentation on GenealogyBank at the next UVPAFUG meeting Sept 8, 2007.

    August was an amazing month for GenealogyBank – adding almost 3 Million new records & documents – including 122 newspapers from 43 States & DC.

    New content added to
    August 2007

    Summary Totals – 199,955,364 records (Up from 196,963,511 records last month)
    Newspapers - New content added for 43 States – 122 Titles
    Almost 3 Million records and documents were added this month

    Historical Newspapers (1690-1977) Over 1,300 titles; 94.6+ Million
    articles - updated monthly
    America's Obituaries (1977-Current) 25+ Million Obits; over 900
    newspapers - updated daily
    Historical Books (1801-1900) More than 11,700 items - updated monthly
    Historical Documents (1759 - 1980) Over 120,000+ reports; Now
    digitizing September 1922
    SSDI (1937 to Current) Over 80 Million death records. Only site to be
    updated weekly

    Remember: You may search for free - you will see just a few lines of the articles or document with your search terms - to see the entire item you DO need to subscribe.

    AL Birmingham Labor Advocate 6/29/1895 to 12/20/1902
    AL Montgomery Daily Alabama Journal 4/14/1849 to 12/31/1853
    AR Little Rock Arkansas Whig 5/22/1851 to 12/29/1853
    AZ Prescott Weekly Arizona Miner 1/8/1875 to 12/29/1876
    CA San Francisco Alta California 6/1/1850 to 10/6/1856
    CT Hartford Hartford Daily Courant 2/3/1840 to 7/6/1876
    CT Hartford Hartford Times 2/6/1832 to 12/9/1833
    CT Hartford Patriot and Eagle 3/7/1835 to 12/30/1837
    CT Hartford Times & Weekly Advertiser 1/12/1829 to 12/28/1829
    CT Middletown Constitution 1/1/1873 to 12/30/1874
    CT Middletown Sentinel and Witness 10/1/1823 to 8/7/1833
    CT New Haven New Haven Register 10/23/1878 to 12/31/1900
    CT New London New London Gazette 1/1/1827 to 12/27/1837
    CT Suffield Impartial Herald 6/14/1797 to 6/11/1799
    DC Washington Daily Globe 12/5/1848 to 7/7/1858
    DC Washington Evening Union 6/8/1863 to 6/29/1867
    DC Washington Madisonian for the Country 2/2/1839 to 12/4/1841
    DE Dover Delaware State Reporter 6/17/1853 to 10/14/1859
    DE Wilmington Delaware Gazette and State Journal 1/31/1826 to 7/15/1828
    DE Wilmington Delaware Patriot & American Watchman 1/25/1828 to 12/5/1828
    FL Bonita Springs Banner 01/27/1996 to Current
    FL Longboat Key Longboat Observer 11/02/2006 to Current
    FL Tallahassee Floridian and Journal 1/1/1859 to 12/22/1860
    GA Augusta Augusta Chronicle and Georgia Advertiser 9/5/1822 to 12/30/1829
    GA Augusta Southern Centinel 11/2/1793 to 12/28/1797
    GA Columbus Columbus Ledger-Enquirer 5/5/1911 to 7/18/1911
    GA LaGrange LaGrange Daily News 02/01/2006 to Current
    GA Savannah Georgia Gazette 10/23/1788 to 11/25/1802
    GA Savannah Savannah Republican 1/1/1849 to 12/31/1850
    HI Honolulu Friend 5/1/1870
    HI Honolulu Polynesian 4/11/1846 to 9/11/1858
    HI Honolulu Sandwich Island News 9/2/1846 to 12/23/1846
    IA Burlington Burlington Gazette 7/10/1837 to 12/15/1838
    IA Des Moines Daily Iowa State Register 1/3/1866 to 12/31/1867
    IA Des Moines Daily State Register 7/1/1868 to 12/31/1868
    IA Sioux City Sioux City Journal 1/3/1872 to 8/20/1900
    ID Silver City Owyhee Avalanche 10/17/1874 to 12/28/1900
    IL Chicago Inter Ocean 7/7/1874 to 12/25/1889
    IL Chicago Pomeroy's Democrat 1/6/1869 to 2/15/1879
    IN Indianapolis American Nonconformist 11/11/1886 to 6/13/1895
    IN Indianapolis Indiana State Journal 6/24/1846 to 5/19/1897
    KS Atchison Weekly Champion and Press 2/20/1858 to 1/14/1864
    KS Topeka Lucifer the light-bearer 1/1/1886 to 12/25/1896
    LA New Orleans Daily True Delta 5/23/1857 to 5/17/1862
    LA New Orleans Daily True Delta 5/23/1857 to 5/17/1862
    LA New Orleans Louisiana State Gazette 11/25/1825 to 12/7/1826
    LA New Orleans Orleans Gazette & Commercial Advertiser 6/11/1805 to 1/5/1816
    LA New Orleans Sunday Delta 9/28/1856 to 3/25/1860
    MA Boston Boston Daily Advertiser 1/1/1822 to 6/29/1822
    MA Boston Emancipator and Republican 5/18/1833 to 12/26/1850
    MA Newton Newton TAB 08/23/2006 to Current
    MA Stockbridge Berkshire Star 1/4/1821 to 1/1/1829
    MA Stockbridge Western Star 9/30/1799 to 11/8/1806
    MA Worcester National Aegis 6/15/1825 to 2/14/1827
    MD Baltimore Sun 5/17/1837 to 2/33/1901
    ME Portland Eastern Argus 1/1/1800 to 12/30/1800
    MI Detroit Weekly Detroit Free Press and supp.. The Household 1/2/1886
    to 6/4/1887
    MI Grand Rapids Grand Rapids Herald 1/1/1899 to 12/30/1900
    MN Duluth Duluth News-Tribune 2/1/1918 to 2/28/1918
    MN Ontonagon Lake Superior Miner 8/16/1856 to 5/19/1869
    MN Two Harbors Lake County News-Chronicle 05/11/2006 to Current
    MO Ashland Boone County Journal 02/15/2006 to Current
    MO Kansas City Kansas City Star 1/1/1913 to 4/14/1919
    MO St. Louis St. Louis Enquirer 3/17/1819 to 12/18/1824
    MS Biloxi Daily Herald 4/1/1921 to 6/30/1921
    MT Butte Butte Weekly Miner 3/4/1897 to 6/29/1899
    NC Fayetteville American 4/16/1826 to 4/11/1827
    NC Raleigh Star 8/13/1813 to 7/25/1817
    ND Bismarck Bismarck Tribune 1/1/1887 to 12/31/1892
    NH Keene New Hampshire Sentinel 1/1/1840 to 12/26/1888
    NH Keene New Hampshire Sentinel 1/1/1840 to 12/29/1841
    NJ New Brunswick Political Intelligencer 2/11/1801 to 5/22/1819
    NJ Trenton Trenton State Gazette 1/1/1838 to 6/30/1898
    NV Elko Elko Daily Independent 7/1/1885 to 2/19/1887
    NV Reno Nevada State Journal 8/1/1893 to 6/6/1922
    NY Hudson Bee 1/6/1807 to 12/19/1820
    NY Hudson Hudson Gazette 1/4/1803
    NY New Orleans Orleans Gazette 6/28/1805 to 12/31/1819
    NY New York Emancipator 7/1/1841 to 7/4/1844
    NY New York Flash 10/31/1841 to 12/10/1842
    NY New York Log Cabin 5/2/1840 to 11/20/1841
    NY New York National Advocate 12/20/1825 to 6/27/1827
    NY New York New York American 4/1/1898 to 12/31/1898
    NY New York New York Herald 10/15/1844 to 8/31/1863
    NY New York New-York Gazette 1/1/1805 to 10/31/1821
    NY New York New-York Herald 2/1/1830 to 9/11/1830
    NY New York Weekly Herald 8/1/1840 to 12/30/1854
    NY Rochester Rochester Telegraph 1/6/1823 to 2/22/1827
    OH Columbus Crisis 1/2/1862 to 1/20/1864
    OH Columbus Daily Ohio Statesman 9/5/1837 to 11/30/1864
    OH Columbus Ohio Statesman 1/2/1846 to 11/2/1852
    OH Steubenville Steubenville and Steubenville Gazette 1/20/1821 to 12/28/1822
    OK Muskogee Indian Journal 7/6/1895
    OK Tahlequah Cherokee Advocate 4/29/1871 to 7/25/1896
    OR Portland Democratic Standard 8/30/1854 to 2/16/1859
    OR Portland Oregonian 12/7/1907 to 5/18/1908
    OR The Dalles Dalles Chronicle 03/01/2005 to Current
    PA Boyertown Boyertown Area Times 03/08/2007 to Current
    PA Harrisburg Patriot 1/2/1868 to 1/3/1873
    PA Philadelphia Pennsylvania Freeman 5/9/1844 to 6/15/1854
    PA Philadelphia Pennsylvania Gazette 1/3/1760 to 6/26/1760
    PA Philadelphia Weekly Aurora 6/19/1810 to 2/21/1821
    PA West Grove Avon Grove Sun 04/05/2007 to Current
    RI Newport Newport Mercury 1/6/1866 to 12/29/1866
    RI Providence Microcosm, American and Gazette 4/17/1830 to 6/5/1830
    RI Providence Providence Patriot 1/29/1814 to 12/27/1834
    SC Charleston Southern Patriot 5/1/1843 to 10/31/1848
    SD Aberdeen Aberdeen American 1/16/1917 to 12/31/1922
    SD Aberdeen Aberdeen Daily News 10/16/1918 to 12/31/1919
    TN Memphis Memphis Daily Avalanche 1/1/1867 to 6/30/1867
    TX Victoria Victoria Advocate 1/20/1848 to 1/11/1849
    UT Salt Lake City Salt Lake Daily Telegraph 1/12/1866 to 6/30/1867
    VA Richmond Richmond Daily Whig 12/27/1833
    VA Richmond Richmond Examiner 2/24/1862 to 10/26/1864
    VA Richmond Richmond Whig 6/22/1824 to 4/27/1827
    VT Bennington Bennington Banner 1/19/1865 to 6/28/1866
    VT Burlington American Repertory 9/21/1821 to 3/25/1823
    VT Windsor Spooners Vermont Journal 1/5/1818 to 8/3/1818
    VT Windsor Vermont Republican 1/14/1811 to 11/27/1820
    WI Madison Weekly Wisconsin Patriot 7/8/1854 to 7/25/1857
    WI Madison Wisconsin Democrat 1/10/1846 to 10/13/1849
    WI Madison Wisconsin Patriot 10/22/1864

    NFS Fireside I Would Love to Attend

    Here is what is going on in the Washington DC Temple area:

    Next Generation Genealogy System - Fireside Invitation for Interested Parties

    Dear Stake Presidents,

    As most of you are aware, the church has established a large computer server farm in the Ashburn area for the next generation of tools and databases for genealogical research and temple work. President Hinckley has mentioned this project in a couple of his conference addresses over the past two of years. This system is currently in the process of being brought on-line. Members from several stakes in the area have volunteered to help install and support the servers in this facility in the past as the initial build-out has been underway.

    With the services now starting to go "live", there is a growing interest in the server farm and in the services that it will support. Members of the project team in Salt Lake will be in town on September 19th and have agreed to host a fireside at the Ashburn Stake Center for anyone interested in hearing more about the current status of the project and the scope of work
    that is currently underway.

    This is a rare opportunity to hear first-hand about the church's substantial ongoing investment in preserving and organizing genealogical records and making them available via the Internet. The new system includes both the familysearch web site (old and new) and also the new familysearchindexing site which is the latest incarnation of the extraction program. It will make it easier to sub mit family file names to the temple and to coordinate research with near- and distant-relatives around the world without the duplication that has plagued genealogy research in the past. The fireside will likely be of particular interest to Family History Center workers, indexing volunteers, and all those interested in genealogical research.

    The fireside is open to anyone who would like to attend. It will start at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, September 19th, at the Ashburn Stake Center (21015 CLAIBORNE PARKWAY, ASHBURN, VA 20147) and will end by 9:00 pm. Please feel free to include this in stake or ward bulletins and/or forward it to any other interested parties.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    President Chapman
    Agent Stake President, Ashburn Server Farm
    Ashburn Virginia Stake

    [Renee's Note: If you attend I would love to hear what you learned!]