Friday, January 01, 2016

Mark Your Calendars - UVTAGG Meeting!

The next meeting of the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group - UVTAGG (Formerly the Utah Valley PAF Users Group) will be on Saturday, 09 Jan 2016, 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 Randy Wilson, FamilySearch Information Architect, on FAMILYSEARCH: WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU AND HOW CAN YOU HELP.  FamilySearch has been helping people do their family history since 1892. This presentation provides an overview and unique perspective of what family history work is and how FamilySearch is involved in various aspects of it.  We will discuss how FamilySearch discovers, acquires, preserves and scans original records; how these records are indexed by volunteers to make them available for searching, hinting, and linking into the Family Tree; and how the Family Tree helps everyone pick up where everyone else left off.  We will also take a look at preserving your photos and stories, the research Wiki, and how you can preserve and share your personal research in "Genealogies".  All along the way, we will be showing what FamilySearch provides to you, and show how you can most effectively participate to help yourself and others discover our families.  

Randy Wilson is the Information Architect for FamilySearch, where he has worked since 2003.  He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Brigham Young University, where he did research in machine learning and neural networks.  He was able to put this research to use in improving the matching algorithms used in possible duplicates and record hinting at FamilySearch.  In recent years, he has helped develop data models to allow the Family Tree to link to records in order to help family history work become more efficient and more solidly built on sources.  He lives in Riverton, Utah with his wife Linette and their five children.

After the main presentation the following classes are scheduled.  See the UVTAGG website for last minute changes and additions.
  1. Digitize Your Photos and Movies, by Randy Wilson
  2. Keep Your PC Healthy, by Jerry Castillo
  3. Ask An Expert (Personal Help), by Don Engstrom and Don Reynolds
  4. Video of last November's main presentation: If Sherlock Holmes Were a Family Historian, by Barry Ewell
  5. Ancestral Quest, by Gaylon Findlay
  6. RootsMagic, by Diana Olsen & Terri Tyler
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; Eileen Phelps, 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.  Gift memberships make great presents for family history-minded relatives, friends, and family history consultants.  Membership is on a calendar year basis so now is the time to renew your membership to continue receiving the benefits.  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, or 1st VP Laurie Castillo at , or 2nd VP Don Snow at .

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