Monday, June 14, 2010

Don Snow's Class Notes

One of the greatest little secrets around is Don Snow's Class Notes on a variety of Family History Topics. Recently Don and Diane Snow spoke at the UVPAFUG meeting and presented on "Freeware and Shareware for Family History".  The group videotaped the presentation and it is available on DVD #207 for members.  If you are not a member of the UVPAFUG check out Don Snow's notes.

The handouts for this presentation are available at:

To see all of Don's class notes visit: > Class Outlines > Don's Listings or directly at .

Don has given me permission to re-post this FCHNET article.

26 APR - 1 MAY 2010, Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah
by Donald R. Snow

These are a few things I learned and are not in any particular order, nor is this complete. The talks went from Monday through Saturday, from
8 am to evening, and each of the two printed syllabi are about 2 inches thick. You may still be able to purchase CD's with pdf's of the entire sets of talks. The URL's for the conferences - with schedules of talks, etc., are and . CD's of many talks from the NGS meeting will be available from . The NGS brochure about the conference is
For talks at the 2010 BYU Computerized Genealogy Conf see
Publicity info for the entire week is at\SLC_Prepares_for_Week_of_FH_Celebration.asp

01. David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer of FamilySearch, gave the keynote address at BYU Computerized Conf on the gap and how to bridge it between technology (young people know how to use it) and genealogy (older people are doing more of it)

02. Jay Verkler, President and CEO of FamilySearch, gave the keynote address at NGS meeting on "From the Granite Mountain to the Ends of the World" with a virtual tour of the Vault, how the digital pipeline works, and what's ahead

03. FH Consultants were invited to a meeting in SL Tabernacle on Tuesday evening; E/ Allan Packer of 70, Exec Dir of FH Dept and son of E/ Boyd K. Packer, spoke on hsitory of FH in the Church, how many
people are helping, and some new things coming

04. A wonderful 2-hour program in the Conference Center on Thursday evening, "A Celebration of Family History", with Pres. Eyring and David McCullough speaking, Tabernacle Choir, and 5 short videos about FH; extremely well done -- will hopefully be released on DVD and/or shown on byutv or elsewhere

05. Notes of the talks by the FamilySearch staff are on the FamilySearch Wiki at -- do a search for "familysearch 2010 NGS" or "familysearch 2010 BYU" (without the quotes), or by name, e.g. Alan Mann, Jim Greene, Tim Cross, Michael Ritchey, etc.; also Alan Mann's articles page is

06. FamilySearch
Much discussion about -- was suggested we ALL contribute info to it Community Trees--
FamilySearch announced 300 million new names posted last week on from Indexing; register on for a free account and search it and give them feedback on operations Maps of England -- --wonderful map sets and viewer
Can search online Family History Library Catalog by using GenSeek for additional searches you can't do on the FHLC directly 
Was stated that all the microfilms in the Granite Mountain Vault will be digitized within 8-10 years
New FamilySearch will be released to Asian Temples this Summer and to everyone (non-LDS included) this Fall
Updated Family History Library Favorites are available to download at FHL -- see info and how to download earlier version from

07. Lots of emphasis on social networking for genealogy by using things like FaceBook (person pages), Twitter, Google Docs, Google Wave,, and others -- Facebook is now the most used website, surpassing Google recently. See several of Alan Mann's talks.

08. Several freeware programs and online note storage websites helpful for FH were discussed -- OneNote, Zotero, Google Docs, and Zoho -- many uses for FH notes

09. Google Earth program -- download for free; very helpful for FH; shows 3D views and maps and overlays; lots of features; Google Maps now shows part of it online without downloading the Google Earth program, but not as feature-rich

10. New items on Footnote -- many new records; now have free "Person Pages"; they have already set up Person Pages for everyone in Social Security Death Index; you can set up others for your ancestors; can store images of documents, photos, etc.

11. Announcements by that they have a new search engine, that Family Tree Maker will be released for Mac's, and that they have posted both reference books "The Source" and "The Red Book"
online and free for everyone at their wiki .

12. Class was held demo'ing how we could do FH research in a networked group with people in different locations - use Skype or other communication to talk; person in charge assigns others to look up data in FHL, or on, search censuses on, another to go to cemetery and photograph the tombstones, one to compile all data the others send him and post it on Footnote Person Page; all done in real ltime

13. Take a look at Dick Eastman's presentation about backups at

14. Several talks on using Google in FH with the usual things, plus that you can save your search parameters by saving them as bookmarks; can set Google Alerts to tell you when it finds more things for the search parameters you specify; can use Google maps to make up migration routes, etc.

15. Several talks discussed the Standard of Proof for Genealogy:
1. Reasonably exhaustive research
2. Complete and accurate source identification
3. Skilled analysis and coorelation of data
4. Resolution of any conflicts in evidence
5. A soundly reasoned conclusion or "proof argument"

16. Military Redress Claims Applications for Civil War, etc. --
very valuable for FH since they list property, family members, losses, etc.

17. "Genealogy Boot Camp for 21st Century" presentation by Tom Kemp showed several helpful suggestions and URL's and a picture of an artifact for sale on eBay that gave an ancestor's name; suggested posting your FH research, photos, and docs online somewhere (Facebook, Footnote,, etc.) so it will be available - said he almost died 2 years ago and realized much of his research would be lost; said his presentation had been videotaped earlier in the week for posting online (I assume at either or under Library > Education.)

18. Idea to help make more effective presentations and stay within time limits -- have some mark you recognize in your PowerPoint (e.g. move a symbol to a different place) that tells you that you should be half way through the presentation; then have fillers (she called them "zippers" - short stories) that are not in your
PowerPoint and that you can put in or leave out to stretch or shrink your presentation when you see it's going short or too long

19. Several new Affiliate programs for new Familysearch - see
full list on

20. Many vendors with new programs and URL's; many give-aways and drawings; see list of vendors on Conference websites

21. The National Map (of US) -- very helpful USGS online maps at

22. Our talk (Don and Diane Snow) on "Freeware for FH" from the Conf last week will be repeated (in different format) at the UVPAUG meeting,
Provo, this Saturday morning, 8 May -- see details on

08 May 2010 Church News has a write up on the Celebration of Family History with David McCullough and Pres. Eyring. 

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