Monday, November 30, 2015


There were a hearty 50 entries in this year's Renee's Genealogy Blog contest for a FREE Full Access Pass to RootsTech 2016.  I recognized a lot of names on the result form spreadsheet.  To ensure absolute fairness I used the "True Random Number Generator" widget to pick a spreadsheet number.

The Winner is #42

Marie Grace Andersen

Marie had not previously registered to attend RootsTech this year. Now she needs to rearrange her schedule because she's going to ROOTSTECH 2016!!!  How great is that!!!

I was really excited finding out #42 was Marie's entry. I have known Marie for a number of years serving with her at the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group (UVTAGG). Marie is a hard worker and very deserving of this special treat. I wanted to disclose my friendship with Marie and also that it had no bearing on her winning. The "True Random Number Generator" did select her number.


There is still an opportunity to enter a contest for ANOTHER CHANCE at a FULL ACCESS ROOTSTECH 2016 Registration.

Go to the Amy Archibald's Revealing Roots and Branches blog and enter her drawing. You have until midnight, 12 Dec 2015 to enter. Click on link below.

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

Monday, November 23, 2015

Newly-Called Apostle and Wife to Open Free Family Discovery Day at RootsTech

Newly-Called Apostle and Wife to Open Free Family Discovery Day


SALT LAKE CITY, (November 23, 2015)—RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, announced today that Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Ruth Renlund, will lead its lineup for its free Family Discovery Day event, which will take place on Saturday, February 6, 2016, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. This incredible opportunity is specially designed for families and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ages eight and older.

 The free one-day event will feature inspirational messages, instructional classes, interactive activities, and exciting entertainment designed to teach Latter-day Saint families how to find their ancestors, how to prepare names for temple ordinances, and how to teach others to do the same. Attendees will also have access to the Expo Hall, where hundreds of exhibitors will showcase the latest technology and tools. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and FamilySearch International will host the event. Families are encouraged to register online at

Before Elder Renlund’s recent call as an Apostle, he served in the First Quorum of the Seventy and in the presidency of the Africa Southeast Area. After receiving B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Utah, Elder Renlund was a professor of medicine and the medical director of a cardiac transplant program. Sister Renlund graduated from the University of Maryland Law School in 1986 and practiced law with the Utah attorney general’s office. She served as president of the Utah Association for Justice. She also served on the Utah Supreme Court’s advisory committee for professionalism and was a member of the Deseret News board of directors.

In addition to Elder and Sister Renlund, attendees will hear from other Church leaders, including Primary general president Rosemary M. Wixom and Brother Stephen W. Owen of the Young Men general presidency.

Family Discovery Day will also feature additional Latter-day Saint speakers and closing event entertainment, which will be announced soon. Family Discovery Day is free, but registration is required. Visit to learn more and to register.

About RootsTech
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Win a Free RootsTech 2016 Full Access Pass!

WAHOO!! As an Official RootsTech Ambassador, I have one FULL ACCESS PASS to RootsTech 2016 to give away to a very lucky reader (a $249 value). This is the largest Genealogy Conference in the World.

RootsTech will be held February 6-8, 2014
 in the Salt Place Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah

This is good for one FREE full registration access pass to RootsTech 2016. This registration does not include travel, hotel, meals or any other compensation. Enter only if you plan on attending. Only one entry per person will be valid. Selection made by random drawing.

This contest will end on Saturday, November 28, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. The winner will be contacted by email the following morning. By entering this contest you agree to give Renee feedback on your RootsTech 2016 experience, along with a photographed of yourself attending the event.

Direct link to entry form -

See ya tomorrow for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mark Your Calendars - UVTAGG Monthly Meeting!

The next meeting of the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group - UVTAGG (Formerly the Utah Valley PAF Users Group) will be on Saturday, 10 Oct 2015, from 9 am to noon in the LDS "Red Chapel", 4050 North Timpview Drive (650 East), Provo. This is the regular second-Saturday-of-the-month meeting. Information about the Group, meeting location, main presentations, classes, and class notes are available on their website   and the press releases are at . On the blog you can subscribe to receive the press releases via email when they are posted the week before the meetings.

The main presentation this month at UVTAGG will be by  Barry J. Ewell on IF SHERLOCK HOLMES WERE A FAMILY HISTORIAN.  Family history is a journey of discovery about finding answers to the questions one ponders at one time or another.  The steps of the journey are guided by the questions we ask. With each answer comes another question.  In time you begin to feel a sense of connection and bond that spans generations.  In this presentation we will discover 10 ways to supercharge your family history research.  In other words, how to become the Sherlock Holmes of Genealogists.  

Barry J. Ewell is the founder of -- , a website for individuals interested in learning, sharing, and discovering family history.  He is a writer, presenter, researcher, and mentor of genealogists.  He has presented and shared his knowledge and experience at local, regional, and national conferences.  Research interests include Eastern U.S., United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Germany, and Russia.  In his professional career in advertising and public relations strategy for technology companies he has worked for companies like IBM, 3M, and Rational Software.

After the main presentation the following classes are scheduled.  See our website for last minute changes and additions.
  1. Use the US Census to Resolve Family History Research Problems, by Barry J. Ewell
  2. Fast Accurate Research  - Affiliate and Other Genealogy Websites, by Van  Celaya
  3. Ask An Expert (Personal Help), by Don Engstrom & Don Reynolds
  4. Video of last month's main presentation: Genealogy Wikis: A Users Guide, by  Kory Meyerink
  5. Ancestral Quest, by Gaylon Findlay
  6. RootsMagic, by Renee Zamora
Notice that there is something for everyone no matter what their level of family history expertise. This includes youth, those just getting interested in genealogy, long-time genealogists, and ward family history consultants.  All meetings of UVTAGG are open to the public, whether members of the Group or not. The Group has the goal of helping individuals use technology to further their family history and there are usually about 80 attending the monthly meetings, including many family history consultants.  The officers are Gerhard Ruf, President; Laurie Castillo, 1st VP; Don Snow, 2nd VP; Liz Kennington, Newsletter Editor; Don Engstrom and Rayanne Melick, Membership and Finances; Bruce Merrill and Marie Andersen, DVD Library; and Chris Stevenson and Rick Klemetson, Webmasters.  Several of these will be at the meeting to answer questions, help with membership, distribute the current issue of the monthly newsletter TAGGology, and check out and sell to members of the Group DVDs of past presentations and classes. Many members don't live close enough to participate in the monthly meetings, but pay the $10 per year online dues to belong so they can receive the monthly newsletter TAGGology via email and purchase the inexpensive DVDs of the presentations and classes. Christmas is coming and gift memberships make great presents for family history-minded relatives, friends, and family history consultants. Membership is on a calendar year basis, so if you join now, you will get the Nov and Dec TAGGologies, plus all of next year's.  See more information about the presentations, classes, class notes, and how to join the Group on the websites above. You can also contact President Gerhard Ruf at (801-225-6106), or 1st VP Laurie Castillo at , or 2nd VP Don Snow at .

Note that due to the chapel being needed for the wards, we will have no meeting in Dec, so the next UVTAGG meeting after this one will be on Saturday, 9 Jan 2016.

RootsTech 2016 Mobile App Now Available for Download!

The following is from RootsTech.

RootsTech 2016 Mobile App Now Available for Download
RootsTech 2016 Mobile App Now Available
The new RootsTech 2016 conference app is now available to download, giving you access to all of the conference information, including classes, exhibitors, speakers, and more.
With the conference app, you can:
  • Create a personalized class schedule.
  • Find speaker information.
  • Discover exhibitor details.
  • Connect with other conference attendees.
  • Tweet and post your favorite quotes and pictures at RootsTech
  • And more!
Plan for RootsTech, and download the RootsTech 2016 conference app today at the App Store and Google Play.

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover, preserve, and share their family stories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

For more information about RootsTech 2016, visit

Tijuana Mexico Temple Opens for Public Tours

The following is from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The 13th temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico opens for public tours starting Friday, November 13, 2015, and running through Saturday, November 28.

Guided tours will be available on Mondays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. There are no tours on Sundays.

The Tijuana Mexico Temple was announced by Church president Thomas S. Monson in October 2010. A groundbreaking ceremony was held August 18, 2012.
After the open house, the temple will be dedicated in three sessions on Sunday, December 13. Thousands of Church members will be able to participate in each of the sessions in a live satellite broadcast to meetinghouses across Mexico. On Saturday, December 12, a cultural celebration will be held with singing and dancing by youth of the Church who live within the Tijuana Temple district.
After the dedication, the temple will serve the 45,000 Latter-day Saints living in the region, including those in Tijuana, Rosarito, Tecate, Mexicali, Ensenada, San Luis Rio Colorado, San Quintín, San Felipe and Guerrero Negro.
The Tijuana Temple was built with a hacienda architectural style inspired by local designs. Finishes include a mixture of frosted gold, carved and textured clear glass accented with green terracotta and carpets with Mexican and Spanish designs. The floors are made of carved stone and quarried in Europe and China, and the doors and handrails are mahogany with brass hardware.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ's teachings are reaffirmed through baptismmarriage and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. Inside the temple, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve God and their fellow man.
There are currently 148 operating temples throughout the world. Adding the Tijuana Temple will greatly ease the travel difficulties faced by Latter-day Saints who now travel to the San Diego California Temple or to the Hermosillo Sonora Temple.
The history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico goes back to 1875, when Brigham Young, then president of the Church, sent Daniel Jones to lead a small group of missionaries to Mexico City to distribute brochures to Mexican leaders. One of these brochures about the Book of Mormon fell into the hands of Plotino Rhodacanaty, who after reading it wrote to President John Taylor, Brigham Young’s successor, to request more information about the Church.
The first missionaries arrived from San Diego, California, in the 1940s, and local families formed a group that met for worship services in the house of a member. On April 25, 1954, the first congregation of the Church was organized in Tijuana, and on May 23, 1976, the first Tijuana stake (similar to a diocese) was established, with Carlos Mendez Zullik as its first president.
Over the years, membership in the Church has spread through the entire country. Today there are more than 1.3 million members of the Church in Mexico in 228 stakes. There are 34 missions in Mexico and more than 2,000 Mexican full-time missionaries serving in Mexico and in various other parts of the world.

New FamilySearch Collections - November 9, 2015

The following is from FamilySearch.

New FamilySearch Collections Update: November 9, 2015
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added images to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
New browsable image collection.
New browsable image collection.
Added indexed records to an existing collection
New browsable image collection.
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added images to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added images to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Help Us Publish More Free Records Online
Searchable historical records are made available on through the help of thousands of online volunteers worldwide. These volunteers transcribe (or index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are always needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published weekly online on Learn how you can volunteer to help provide free access to the world’s historical genealogical records online at
About FamilySearch International
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at or through more than 4,883 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.