Sunday, August 29, 2010

Salt Lake Family History Expo 2010 - Day 2

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
- 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:

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!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Salt Lake Family History Expo 2010 - Day 1

I am attending the Salt Lake Family History Expo as a Blogger of Honor again this year.  Last year bloggers were provided free internet access during the conference, that extended into the classrooms.  It was fun twittering what was happening in the classes.  The first day last year I didn't realize we had free access and I had purchased my own access by credit card from the South Towne Expo Center myself for $5.99.

For some reason the wifi is only available in the Exhibit Hall and Hall 4 this year.  I really miss not being able to twitter during the class session. I was hoping to buy my own access and I can't find that available either. That my friends is my only disappointment with this years expo.  Like always Holly Hansen and crew has pulled off a fantastic conference for everyone.

Since I'm not really good at twittering in the exhibit hall's blogger area, after the fact, I thought I better write tonight while my brain was somewhat fresh.  Here's the highlights of my day.

The Keynote Address "Let Your Light Shine!" by Thomas J. Kemp, Director of GenealogyBank, was excellent.  I loved all the personal stories he had. Since it was in Hall 4 I did twitter a little during this session.  One of the things I do in conferences now is not take down tons of notes.  I just write meaningful notes just for me.  Thoughts and ideas that pop into my head based on things the person said.

My one big To-Do item was to check with Tom or others on a library database or filing system that would let me track documents I have. I'm thinking along the lines of GoogleBooks and LibraryThing but will let me track documents and give them a reference number and note where the item is stored. Would Clooz work like that?  I am in search of a filing system that will let me track every document, book, etc. that I have in my possession. I want to add categories and subjects to it so it can be searched multiple ways.  Thinking about libraries made me wonder about their systems.

I missed the first class session because: 1.) my watch died and I didn't realize what time it was. 2.) because I was engrossed in checking out the vendors. One new item being demonstrated was the Flip-Pal mobile scanner.  It is so light weight - lighter than a netbook.  You could only scan a small item at a time, so they have auto-stitch software included to help you reconstruct a larger image. I think they said it would be available for delivery in October. Wow, I think the price was about $150, which seemed very reasonable.

The second class session I attended was by Leslie Albrecht Huber's on "Journey Takers: An Inside Look at Immigration Research".  I owe Leslie a BIG apology. She sent me months ago a book by the same title to review.  I have been really behind in reading things.  When I saw her class about her experience in finding her immigrant ancestors I jumped at the chance.  What a spell binding experience it was listening to her presentation.  I can't wait to read the book. Thank you Leslie for signing the book for me too.

During lunch break I sat and talked with other bloggers, which is always nice. I don't know why but every class I picked was in the 200 block and the furthest place to walk. Isn't that always the way!

Third session I attended Gary Clark's class on "Dating 19th Century Photographs".  I really learned a lot about the various printing methods and materials.  I need to check my great-great-grandparents photograph and see if I can date it from the information he gave. Gary said he has a password protected PDF on his website with more information. I don't know if he wants me to share the password so I won't.

Fourth session was Robert Raymond's class "Finally, a Society Website Anyone Can Manage". Robert discussed his experiment in creating a society website by using a blog.  With all the Google Gadgets available I must say I think his example of the UGA website looked better with his own version using Google Blogger.  To check on the difference go to for the original website and for the version Robert created.  Being able to create a website this way is much easier using a blog as the bases.  I really need to get into Blogger and experiment with changes for my blog now.

My final class was Barry Ewell's "Effectively Tapping into Local , County and State Historical/Genealogical Societies and Libraries".  Barry as always did an excellent job.  Love his research stories and experiences. Even though I am limited by money in my ability to travel as often to research areas as I would like, I can see that there is more I can do from home.

Wow, it's late and I am exhausted. Time to get to bed so I concentrate tomorrow.

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

Friday, August 20, 2010

FamilySearch Feature Update: Tennessee Page on Research Wiki

The following is from FamilySearch.

Feature Update: Tennessee Page on FamilySearch Research Wiki

The Tennessee page on the FamilySearch Research Wiki has recently been updated and now includes a wealth of new information and resources to help people find their ancestors in the Volunteer State. The link for this revised page is:

The FamilySearch Research Wiki is a free resource created by the genealogy community. The core content for the Tennessee page was contributed by the expert researchers at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. The page also includes tips and research advice from local experts.

The Wiki staff is currently working on updating all of the state pages; Tennessee is one of the first because the 2010 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference will be held in Knoxville August 18 to 21. For more information about the FGS conference, please visit: .

Page Highlights
·         A clickable county map on the main page
·         Easy navigation at the bottom of each page
·         How to find Tennessee sources in archives, libraries, in print, and online
·         Information on substitute sources when records are lost
·         Local lists of published family histories
·         Links to published Tennessee county tax lists
·         Audio files of locals pronouncing Tennessee county names
·         Contact information for volunteers who will look up information in local resources

“These pages are beautiful and contain a wealth of valuable information.”

Charles Reeves Jr., Cartographer and TNGenWeb County Coordinator
for Bedford, Clay, Jackson, and Putnam Counties

“We’ve pulled together Family History Library staff and local experts to create outstanding research guides for Tennessee genealogists. The web 2.0 format allows new information to be added as soon as it becomes available, unlike printed guides, where updates wait until the next edition. If you were to print all 154 Tennessee Wiki county, topic, and archive guides found on this site, and bind it into a book, this Tennessee genealogy encyclopedia would be more than 1000 pages long.”
Nathan W. Murphy, MA, AG, Tennessee Wiki Project Team Leader

22,000 Dorset parish records go online at

The following is from FindMyPast.

Leading family history website has added 22,000 baptism, marriage and burial records to its Dorset parish record collection as follows:
-          12,325 baptism records covering the years 1549 – 1812
-          8,368 marriage records covering the years 1560 – 1839
-          1,307 burial records covering the years 1651 – 1795

These records, which have been provided by the Dorset Family History Society, bring the total number of Dorset parish records available at up to almost 450,000.

Now that the records are available online, has been able to unearth some unusual names in the collection. These include a marriage between Martha Loaring and Samuel Single on 14 October 1750 in Bettiscombe, making Martha a married Single.

The Dorset baptisms also offer some amusing entries, including a record for ‘Love Dear Bedloe’ who was baptised on 27 August 1745 in Dorchester. ‘Fruit Carter’ can also be found in the parish records, baptised on 17 May 1807 in Chickerell.

The Dorset burial records contain a slightly more sinister discovery: an ‘unknown’ person buried on 8 April 1815 in Abbotsbury. The notes state that the unknown person was ‘found on shore’.

Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at, said, “The Dorset parish record collection is an important resource for family historians with roots in Dorset. While compulsory registration of births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales began in 1837, local parish records of baptisms, marriages and burials exist from as early as 1538. Parish records therefore provide a way for family historians to dig even deeper and trace pre-Victorian ancestors.”

FamilySearch News: 200 Million More Historic Records See the Light of Day

The following is from FamilySearch.

200 Million More Historic Records See the Light of Day
New collections feed growing appetite of family history buffs

SALT LAKE CITY—As the nation’s genealogical societies gather in Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference this week to share tips and tricks for finding one’s elusive ancestors, there will certainly be some clamoring over an unexpected gift from FamilySearch, a world leader in historic records preservation and access. FamilySearch announced the addition of over 200 million new searchable historic records online representing 18 countries. The new records were added to the hundreds of millions FamilySearch published earlier this year at a similar event in Salt Lake City, Utah. The total number of records on the pilot site totals 700 million.

The latest deluge of records includes 53 new or updated collections from the United States, and over 100 million new records from Europe, Scandinavia, and Mexico. The United States collections include the 1910 U.S. Census, and states’ birth, marriage, and death records. There are 10 million new records for New Jersey and Michigan respectively, 4 million from Tennessee, an amazing 41 million from Massachusetts, and much more from other states.

“Some time ago, FamilySearch committed to creating access to the world’s genealogical records online in a big way. Today’s updates are part of an ongoing effort to make good on those commitments,” said Paul Nauta, FamilySearch public affairs manager. “We have only just begun,” Nauta concluded.

In the U.S., FamilySearch is focusing currently on digitizing and publishing online federal and state censuses, and state birth, marriage, and death records. When complete, the initiative will provide a definitive collection of U.S. genealogical resources for family history researchers.

In addition to the new U.S. collections, over 100 million records were added to FamilySearch’s international collections online—making it most likely the largest international genealogy collection online. The new international databases come from birth, marriage, and death records, and from municipal records. (Go to, then click Search Records, then click Records Search pilot) to see a full list of the free collections. The records will soon be available also at

“What makes today’s announcement even more impressive is that FamilySearch uses predominantly a growing corps of volunteers to accomplish the task of digitizing and indexing the records for online publication.  That’s also in large part how we can do it for free, how it can be done at no cost to the patron,” said Nauta. Currently, 350,000 volunteers worldwide log on to and use FamilySearch’s proprietary software to view digital images of historic documents of personal interest and type in the desired information. FamilySearch then creates a free, searchable index of the historic collections online for the public to use.

"Salt Lake Family History Expo - August 27-28 - Win a free computer from Legacy"

The following is from Legacy News.

Here's a little extra incentive to attend the Salt Lake Family History Expo 2010 this month (begins August 27 in Sandy, Utah). We're giving away a free Acer Netbook PC and Legacy Family Tree Deluxe software. We will also be showing off our New FamilySearch integration tools (Legacy 7.5). Plus we're teaching four great classes on how to use Legacy.

How to win the Netbook
To be eligible to win the computer, just turn in the entry form to the Legacy Family Tree booth by the start of the last class on Saturday. Pick up your entry form during Friday morning's keynote address at 8:00am, or pick one up at our booth (booths 100 and 102). The drawing will be held after the last class on Saturday in the Exhibit Hall.

Attend the keynote lecture and the exhibit hall for free
Don't miss Tom Kemp's keynote lecture, "Let Your Light Shine!" The keynote lecture is free and open to the public. There are also scores of additional classes to choose from over the two-day conference. Click here for the full lineup.

Also meet Legacy developers Ken McGinnis and Leonard Plaizier at booths 100 and 102 in the exhibit hall. This, too, is free and open to the public.

How to register
At the door, registration is $75 for both days, or $40 for a single day. For more information, or to register, please click here.

Hope to see you all there!

Salt Lake City Family History Expo to Be Held in Sandy in August

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Riverton FSL Saturday Seminar Reminder

Tomorrow, August 21, 2010 from 9:00 - 12:00 Noon is the Riverton FamilySearch Library's Saturday Seminar.

Located at 3740 West Market Center Drive in Riverton. Inside the Riverton Office Building. (East of Home Depot off 13400 South and Bangerter)

9:00 a.m. - Keynote Address - Paul Nauta - Unlocking the World's Genealogical Treasures

10:00 a.m. - Four sessions (select one):
  1. New FamilySearch Advanced Issues: Loops, Editing and Searching - Cathy Anderegg
  2. Basic Irish Research - Dee Richards
  3. Basic English Research - Marci Despain
  4. Capturing Your Computer Screen - Jon Bonnesen.
11:00 a.m. - Four sessions (select one):
  1. Family History Books Online - Don and Diane Snow
  2. U.S. Military Records - DeAnne Shelley
  3. New Resources for Consultants - Tara Berguson
  4. To Be Announced

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Salt Lake City Family History Expos

I am excited to be a "Blogger of Honor" again this year for the SLC Family History Expo. I hope to see you there!

Come to the Salt Lake Family History Expo! Summer is the perfect time for genealogy fun in Salt Lake. Attend fantastic educational sessions suitable for all levels of genealogy experience. Enter the FREE exhibit area where you can see the latest genealogy tools from top vendors and enter to win fabulous door prizes!

The Salt Lake Family History Expo has something for everyone. Bring along your toughest questions for the experts in our Ask-the-Pros booth. Stop by the Beacon of Bloggers and meet the writers of your favorite genealogy blogs. All these activities and more are waiting for you, including two full days of genealogy among friends. Please join us!

Early Registration is $65.00.

At the Door Registration is $75.00.

One Day Registration is $40.00

Attend just a few classes for $12.00/ a class

For more details click here.

FamilySearch News: New RootsTech Conference to Bring Technologists Face-to-face with Genealogists

The following is from FamilySearch.

SALT LAKE CITY —Technologists and genealogists from around the world will gather at the first annual RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 10-12, 2011. The new conference, hosted by FamilySearch and sponsored by leading genealogical organizations, aims to bring technologists and genealogists together to help deepen understanding of current technologies and discover new ideas in applying technology to genealogy. Learn more at

“When the users and creators of technology come together, innovation occurs,” said Jay Verkler, president and CEO of FamilySearch. “The RootsTech Conference will accelerate that innovation through panels, discussion groups, and interactive demonstrations.”

Josh Taylor, Director of Education and Programs for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, says the time is right for such a conference.

“The collection of technologies present at the last National Genealogical Society Conference in Salt Lake City was so impressive that we see a need and opportunity for a strong annual technology genealogy conference to pursue solutions for the unique challenges facing genealogists,” Taylor said.

The RootsTech Conference is designed to foster innovation by bringing technology users and creators together in a meaningful way. Thousands of genealogists who use technology in pursuit of one of the most popular hobbies in the world will discover how new and emerging technologies can improve and simplify their activities. Genealogists will be treated to technology prototype demonstrations, interactive workshops, and opportunities to test innovative new product and service concepts. Technology providers will get the opportunity to demonstrate product concepts face-to-face to their customer—the family history enthusiast—and better understand their needs.

“Technology is driving a revolution in family history,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of “We’re excited to participate in the RootsTech Conference, and we see it as a great chance to explore with genealogists how technology can help them even more in the future.”

The RootsTech 2011 conference will be hosted by FamilySearch and sponsored by, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), Brigham Young University, and other leaders in the genealogy community.

“Brigham Young University is pleased to participate in this conference, which brings together the Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy and the Family History Technology Workshop under the same umbrella. We think this creates a new and unique national forum for genealogists, software developers, and researchers to move genealogy forward,” said Christophe Giraude-Carrier, Associate Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of Computer Science at Brigham Young University.

Technology creators will discover new and existing technologies and techniques to help their development practices and also see how they can be applied to the unique discipline of genealogy. Anticipated themes for the conference include: using social networking to collaborate as families and societies, data backup and digital preservation, using multimedia, records and media digitization, how to use cloud computing to deploy reliable, scalable systems, handwriting recognition and automated transcription, mobile computing devices and applications, GPS mapping, and much more.

Training site maintenance update

The Following is from FamilySearch.

Dear Family History Consultants,
The upgrade of the new FamilySearch training site (  is taking longer than anticipated. The system will not be ready on August 15th.

You will be notified when the system becomes available.

Thank you for your patience.  We apologize for the inconvenience.
FamilySearch Support

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Mark Your Calendars - UVPAFUG Meeting!


The next regular, second-Saturday-of-the-month meeting of the Utah Valley PAF (Personal Ancestral File) Users Group will be on Saturday, 14 Aug 2010, from 9 am to noon in the LDS "Red Chapel", 4050 North Timpview Drive (650 East), Provo. Information about the Users Group, main presentations, classes, and class notes are available on the Group's website and the press releases are at .

The main presentation for this meeting will be by Kara Wahlquist on ANSWERS TO WORLDWIDE RESEARCH PROBLEMS USING FAMILYSEARCH WIKI AND FORUMS. Learn how the Wiki, Forums, and Online Courses are valuable tools in finding family history answers faster than ever before! These tools help connect researchers and sources all over the world. Family History Consultants don't have to know all of the answers – just where to find them! 

During the last year, Kara Wahlqjuist worked with the FamilySearch Wiki team preparing for the National Genealogical Society Conference in Salt Lake City, April 2010. She has been instrumental in teaching and infusing excitement for the Wiki and Forums by demonstrating how to use these new tools to their greatest advantage. Before joining the Wiki Team Kara worked as a consultant on the US/Canada Reference desk at the Family History Library. She worked for and has been involved in British and U.S. Research for the past 30 years. Kara is a passionate, motivated genealogist who willingly shares her energy, experience and testimony to help others with their research.

Following the main presentation there will be several classes about family history and technology with something for everyone at any level of expertise. The teachers and classes presently scheduled for this 
meeting are as follows: 
  1. Personalized Help with New FamilySearch and PAF, by Don Engstrom and Finn Hansen
  2. Family Insight, by Andrea Schnakenburg
  3. Q&A on the FamilySearch Wiki and Forums, by Kara Wahlquist
  4. Video of last month's main presentation, Are You My Mother? - Finding Maiden Names, by Bret Petersen
  5. Using Ancestral Quest to modify New FamilySearch, by Merlin Kitchen
  6. Legacy, by Joel Graham
  7. RootsMagic, by Diana Olsen and Renee Zamora.
All meetings of the Users Group are open to the public whether members of the Group or not. The Users Group has the goal of helping individuals use technology to further their family history and there are usually 100-125 attending the monthly meetings on the second Saturdays. The officers are Gerhard Ruf, President; Don Snow, 1st VP; Laurie Castillo, 2nd VP; Liz Kennington, PAFology Editor; Kay Baker, Gerry Eliason, and Don Engstrom working with finances and membership; and Bruce Merrill and Marie Andersen, working with the DVD Library. Several of these will be there to help with membership, answer questions, distribute the current issue of the monthly newsletter PAFology, and check out DVD's of past presentations and classes to members of the group. Information about the Users Group, presentations, classes, and class notes can be found at the websites mentioned above. For further information contact President Gerhard Ruf at (801-225-6106) or 1st VP Don Snow at snowd@math.byu.eduor 2nd VP Laurie Castillo at