I made it though the Saturday session of the Salt Lake Family History Expo yesterday. Then I went with the RootsMagic group over to a local restaurant to eat and relax. I thought I had done a good job not over doing but today I am completely drained. I know this past week was a long one for me, but good.
Here are a run down of the classes I attended Saturday.
Session 1 - Top 20 Lessons Genealogists Need to Know by Barry J. Ewell of MyGenShare
There's nothing like beginning a day of genealogy instruction than listening to Barry Ewell. Great stories and examples with every "lesson" he taught. I had so many thoughts and ideas popping in my head while he spoke.
Barry told a story of how he prays over his research. He will spread his research information and research logs in front of him. He will review with the Lord what he has done to find the family he is looking for. Then as inspiration comes by thoughts, ideas or impressions he will capture them and then act upon them. He gave beautiful stories of how his timely action on those impressions opened doors for him and broke down brick walls.
As I look over my notes from the class I realize that they all have personal meaning to me. I wrote down a whole list of To-Do items that I have got to act on now. Barry's class was not preachy it was just plain inspiring.
Session 2 - Armchair Research: Easy Access to the World's Records by Gordon J. Clarke of FamilySearch
Gordon's class notes didn't make it into the syllabus. For a while I scribbled down notes on interesting facts and then I just sat back and enjoyed the class.
-Granite Mountain Vault holds 18 petabytes of information equaling 132 Library of Congresses. It will take 7 years to digitize.
-Only 5% of all genealogy records are online
-http://beta.familysearch.org has all the beta sites linked to it. There will be one search engine for everything FamilySearch has.
-30 Certified software companies share data with new FamilySearch.
-MacFamily Tree is the first Mac software to sync with new FamilySearch.
Gordon said something in jest that has been lingering on my mind. He said that technology will advance to the point that we all will have our own "seer stone" that we could view our family histories, that are stored in the cloud. I had just remarked something similar to one of my children. It was after I was telling them about my desire to digitize all my genealogy & family records. They asked how good would my genealogy be if there isn't any power. Sorta like last days stuff and the world going into chaos type of thing. I said I just didn't think we would ever loose our genealogy, it's to important. You just have to keep up with technology.
Session 3 - American Migration Patterns by Arlene H. Eakle, Genealogy Institute
Arlene's class notes were not in the syllabus so she is going to email them to us. I am always amazed at the depth of knowledge Arlene carries in her brain. She told us about the AIS Index on microfiche that you can find at the FHL. It has a hot pink label on it. She is always afraid they are going to get rid of the set. It's something that hasn't been digitized. It contains a list by names and places of everyone found in the U.S. Federal Census, State Census and Tax Lists starting around 1690. The beauty of this collection is you can see very easily patterns of where people lived during different time frames. This index was created before census indexes were created online. I really want to check out this resource.
Session 4 - Legacy Family Tree and New FamilySearch by Leonard Plazier of Legacy
I was very interested in seeing the long awaited Legacy's NFS sync feature. Leonard said he just received the latest test version of 7.5 about 30 minutes before the class. I would say that Legacy's NFS feature is very similar to RootsMagic. The flow is about the same, some of the icons and colors are identical. They don't have a dashboard like RootsMagic's FamilySearch Central screen, but have a sidebar that you can open or close. You can find the same type of information in both, but Legacy uses drop down lists or filters.
Legacy's Temple Ordinance Reservation and Tracking system has the ability for you to filter the list by male, female, or sealing to spouse cards, making it easy to see which cards are available for temple work. You could tell it you wanted 20 baptisms for women and it would give you a list to print and take to the temple. I did like their setup for tracking temple cards you "check out" to others. RootsMagic has temple card tracking but you are not able to track the names of who you assigned your cards to. I am waiting for RootsMagic to release that in the near feature.
Legacy's NFS feature operates as an add-on program. It will launch a separate window to access it. Very similar to how Legacy Charting works. I was shown a screen I didn't quit understand that appeared to let you update your Legacy file with NFS changes. I don't know how often someone needs to do that housekeeping or not. RootsMagic doesn't need to operate in that same manner since the whole program was written in Delphi. Legacy's main program is Access based (?), and the NFS side had to be written in Delphi. Hense that is why the NFS feature in Legacy acts as an add-on program.
Legacy is still working on getting full NFS certification to sync and it will be a least a month or more before version 7.5 will be available. No exact date of release was made available.
(As a disclosure: I am a RootsMagic user and employee. That is why I can only compare it to what I already know.)
Session 5 - Getting the Most Out of New FamilySearch Family Tree with Certified Affiliates by Janet Hovorka of GenerationsMap
In January of this year, Janet gave this same presentation to the Utah Valley PAF Users Group (UVPAFUG). I couldn't wait to see her discuss all the new programs that have been released since then. I was not disappointed. Janet reminds us that the LDS Church did not want to use our tithing money to further develop PAF, but build us an API, so we could exercise our free agency to have choice in software. There are web based software, Window and Mac version, and software now for our mobile devices. There are different styles and flavors to satisfy our needs. I can't wait to see what the list will look like next year.
For a complete listing of FamilySearch Affiliates and their software please visit: http://www.familysearch.org/eng/affiliates/index.html
Closing Session - Research Success Stories by Holly T. Hansen, President of Family History Expo
Holly told us a very riveting story of how she became involved in researching her genealogy. It was interesting to hear of the mentors she has had over the years. She described her path in founding Family History Expos and where it is today. I would love to tell you the story but you need to hear it from Holly herself. We just never know where the quest to learn more about our families will lead us.
Holly and her husband joined our RootsMagic group for dinner and friendship after the conference. The whole conference was a great experience. I have many new ideas and items on my to-do list. Let's hope I get them done before next year!!
See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!