Thursday, June 20, 2013

FamilySearch Declares Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Officially Retired & No Longer Supported

The following is from the FamilySearch Blog.

PAF 2Beginning July 15, 2013, PAF will be retired and will no longer be available for download or support. PAF users should consider alternative products to meet their ongoing personal genealogy management needs.
For full details and for information on alternative products, please visit
A great new opportunity
PAF began in 1984, has had over 3.2 million copies distributed, and has fulfilled a great purpose for the world. At the same time that we give a big “Thank You!” and “Goodbye” to PAF, we are excited to embrace what the future holds!
For the last several years, FamilySearch has focused on building relationships with partner organizations to deliver better overall services to the market.  This has facilitated better patron experiences with FamilySearch and the partner products.  FamilySearch recently introduced the Family Tree to all users in multiple languages.  Family Tree provides the capability for patrons to manage and share their family history information online at  Each of our partners’ products support connectivity with the Family Tree.  FamilySearch is committed to strong partner relationships that enable more quality, choices, collaboration, and availability of records.  We encourage our patrons to use the products provided by these partners.
FamilySearch has worked hard to offer upgrades to all PAF users through partners that have produced significantly better alternatives to PAF.  Please visit for details, and get started with your upgrade today!
Guidelines for patrons
When working with patrons, please encourage them to visit, and help them get started in migrating to one of the recommended products.  It is appropriate and encouraged to host events or train patrons on how to migrate to the various products, discuss the advantages, and allow them to make their own choices.  When using church buildings and resources for these activities, please remember not to solicit sales or exclusively promote only a specific product to patrons, because we must maintain a neutral position while providing informative guidance to them. Also, third parties must abide by these guidelines if their employees or representatives are invited to participate in the activities in person or by phone or web conference.
Significant investment has been made to bring FamilySearch-certified products developed by partners to our patrons, and your help in moving patrons forward on a journey inclusive of our full offering of third-party solutions, within appropriate bounds, is much appreciated.

For the full story read the main FamilySearch Blog

RootsMagic Advances to FamilySearch Family Tree Share+ Certification - Sources are Here!

The following is from RootsMagic.

Big News About RootsMagic and FamilySearch

Two (count'em two) big news items to share with you today...
  1. RootsMagic is Now Share+ Certified by FamilySearch (which for one thing means you can now view and copy sources between RootsMagic and FamilySearch).
  2. On June 30th, RootsMagic (and other products) will no longer be able to write to the (old) "New FamilySearch" site.
Read on for more details...

We are pleased to announce that an update to RootsMagic 6 is now available which has been "Share+ Certified" (note the "plus") by FamilySearch for use with their new "Family Tree" system.  This means that RootsMagic is the only software certified to collaborate and share data with FamilySearch Family Tree!
Last March, RootsMagic became the first software certified to share data with FamilySearch Family Tree.  Today's update brings in many collaborative features for FamilySearch that can only be found in RootsMagic.  These include enhanced discussions, viewing and copying sources between RootsMagic and Family Tree, as well as viewing a change history for a person and reversing incorrect changes.  There are also many enhancements and improvements to existing FamilySearch features.
What is FamilySearch Family Tree?
FamilySearch Family Tree is a new way to organize and record your genealogy online. It is free, is available to everyone, and provides an easy way to discover your place in history with free tools to help you preserve and share your family's story for generations to come.
In Family Tree you can:
  • See what the system already contains about your ancestors.
  • Work with others to fill in missing information and correct errors.
  • Add sources and explanations to show that information is accurate.
  • Find and merge records that are about the same person.

How is FamilySearch Family Tree different than "New FamilySearch"?RootsMagic, the genealogy software named "Easiest to Sync" with New FamilySearch, now brings the same power and features that you love to FamilySearch Family Tree- with more to come!
Family Tree has most of the features that are available on New FamilySearch. It has some new features including the ability to edit and delete most any information about a person, a detailed history of changes made to people, and the ability to add sources to back up your conclusions. While "New FamilySearch" has primarily been available to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Family Tree is available to everyone.

Goodbye, "New FamilySearch"FamilySearch has announced that they will be shutting-off the ability to make changes to their (old) "New FamilySearch" website on Sunday, June 30, 2013.

This means that previous releases of RootsMagic (4, 5, and pre-6.1) will no longer be able to write data to New FamilySearch after this date.  Users of these older versions of RootsMagic should upgrade or update their software to take advantage of the latest FamilySearch support and features.

We have released a new update for RootsMagic 6 users, version  This update includes the FamilySearch Family Tree tools mentioned above, as well as some smaller fixes.  To see a list of what is new and fixed, visit:
If you haven't already downloaded the update, look for the "Update Available" indicator in the lower right corner of your RootsMagic 6 program screen, and click on it.
More to Come!
In the coming days, we'll be blogging more about RootsMagicand how you can use it to share and collaborate with others through FamilySearch Family Tree.  We'll also be adding new features and enhancements to our Family Tree support.  In the meantime, enjoy the update!

All records for first 'Magnificent Seven' cemetery online go live!

The following is from Deceased Online.

You may have already heard something about this but today we had an event at Brompton Cemetery to celebrate all records going live on Deceased Online.  The Mayor and several councillors for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea all attended together the CEO and directors of The Royal Parks, senior representatives from The National Archives, trustees from the Friends of Brompton Cemetery together with representatives from other councils, family history societies, the media and the world of genealogy.  

This means that Deceased Online now has over 2.5 million unique London burial records with approximately 7.5 million data items for the capital available on the website.  We hope that this will increase by another 35% by early 2014.  

Records for historic Brompton Cemetery
available on specialist family history website
First of London’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries to digitize and go online

The beautiful and distinguished Brompton Cemetery in South West London has had all of its burial registers digitized; these and a range of other records are available to view on the specialist genealogy and family history website

Brompton Cemetery, consecrated by the Bishop of London in June 1840, is one of the Britain's oldest and most distinguished garden cemeteries.  It is Grade I Listed on the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

Brompton is one of the 'Magnificent Seven' London cemeteries which were constructed during the 1830's and 1840's to relieve overcrowded burial grounds. The others are: Abney Park, Highgate, Kensal Green, Nunhead, Tower Hamlets and West Norwood.  

Brompton is the first and only of these to have had all records digitized and made available through any website, Deceased Online.

Deceased Online has scanned all the original burial registers (stored at The National Archives in Kew), prepared grave details and maps indicating the sections of the cemetery where each grave is located, and compiled them into an easy-to-use index which can be searched on the website.  A range of photographs of memorials is also available.  Users of the website simply register and search for free and pay a small fee to view or download a particular selected document.  

Free Irish Vital Records - Free June 27-30, 2013

The following is from FindMyPast.

Free Irish vital records

As a result of shellfire on June 30, 1922 during the Irish Civil War, millions of Irish records from the 19th century were lost forever. Irish genealogy has since been notoriously one of the most perplexing to trace. Yet with findmypast not all is lost with millions of key birth, marriage and death collections to explore for free June 27-30.

Search Now

FamilySearch New Collections Update 19 June 2013

The following is from FamilySearch.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 200,000 Images to New United States Confederate Officers Card Index Collection

FamilySearch has recently added more than 3.4 million images from Colombia, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Italy, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 207,550 images from the new United States, Confederate Officers Card Index, 1861-1865, collection, the 638,229 images from the South Korea, Collection of Genealogies, 1500-2012, collection, and the 86,132 images from the new U.S., Minnesota, Naturalization Card Index, 1930-1988, collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at

Searchable historic records are made available on through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world's historic genealogical records online at

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 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Indexed Records
Digital Images
Added index records to an existing collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
New browsable image collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
Added index records and images to an existing collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
New browsable image collection.
Added images to an existing collection.
New browsable image collection.
New browsable image collection.

Family History Library July 2013 Research Series

The following is from the Family History Library.

Free Research Series on German Research
The Family History Library Hosts Events in July.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH Genealogists and family history enthusiasts looking for help with research in Germany will be interested in classes held at the Family History Library in July. A free German Research Series will be held on Saturday, July 13, at the Family History Library. The classes will include:

 9:15 a.m.  “What’s New in German Research on the Internet”
10:15 a.m.   “Finding German Emigrant Origins on the Internet”
11:15 a.m.   “Digital Libraries – A Goldmine for German Genealogists”

To view the class schedule online, go to  Classes will be held in the Main floor classroom of the Family History Library.  The library is located to the west of Temple Square on West Temple between North Temple and South Temple Streets in downtown Salt Lake City.  On Saturdays, parking is free to library patrons and is located behind the Church History Museum.  To register for these free classes, send an email to or call 801-240-4950. 

Free Hispanic Workshop on Family Tree
The Family History Library Hosts Events in July.
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH Genealogists and family history enthusiasts looking for help with using Family Tree, taught in Spanish, will be interested in a workshop held at the Family History Library in July.  A free Hispanic Workshop on Family Tree will be held on Saturday, July 20 at the Family History Library. The workshop will include:

 1:00 p.m.    “Taller de Árbol Familiar” (Taught in Spanish)  1.5 hours
To view the class schedule online, go to  The workshop will be held in the Main floor computer lab of the Family History Library.  The library is located to the west of Temple Square on West Temple between North Temple and South Temple Streets in downtown Salt Lake City.  On Saturdays, parking is free to library patrons and is located behind the Church History Museum.  To register for these free classes, send an email to or call 801-240-4950. 

RootsTech 2014 Now Accepting Presentation Proposals

The following is from RootsTech.

Now Accepting Presentation Proposals
For RootsTech 2014

Presentation proposals for RootsTech 2014 are now being accepted online at will be accepted through July 8, 2013.

The fourth annual RootsTech conference, hosted by FamilySearch, will be held February 6-8, 2014, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. RootsTech brings together the best in family history tools and technology to help attendees discover and share their family's connections and stories. RootsTech 2014 will reach thousands of attendees both on-site in Salt Lake City and at remote locations around the world.

Presentations proposal should follow these guidelines:
  • Be 50 to 60 minutes in length, which includes a question-and-answer period.
  • Offer an interactive experience where attendees leave with a finished product, completed task, or next steps (what the attendee can do when they get home).
  • Avoid text-based slides and lecture only.
  • Incorporate step-by-step, live demonstrations or best practices; avoid pitching an infomercial-type class to promote a certain product.
  • Provide new and innovative ideas or solutions that are technology focused. (Please do not resubmit proposals from previous years.) 
We welcome presentation proposals that provide new insight, innovation, skills, and best practices in the following categories and that are geared towards attendees at a specific skill level. The bullet points below are given as possible examples. Other topics related to family history and technology will also be considered.

Types of Sessions:

  1. Presentations: A classroom setting that engages participants.
  2. Panels or Discussions: Formal panel of experts discussing specific topics, led by a facilitator.
  3. Hands-on Workshops: Computer labs where attendees have hands-on experiences in a specific task or objective.
  4. Online Webinars: A new approach being considered for 2014 where the speaker presents from a remote location, not in Salt Lake City, or the presenter streams the presentation from Salt Lake City to a wider audience through a webinar or online hangout site. 

Submission Information:
To be considered, proposals must include the following:

  • Speaker name, address, telephone, and email address
  • Presentation title (not to exceed 15 words)
  • Short presentation summary (not to exceed 40 words)
  • Long presentation description or outline (not to exceed 100 words)
  • Category and skill level (from chart above)
  • Session type (see types in section above)
  • Speaker bio (not to exceed 25 words)
  • Speaker photo (high resolution, approximately 300 dpi, in one of the following formats: .jpg, .eps or .png file)
  • Resume of recent presentation topics and event locations
  • Whether you approve the content of the presentation to be recorded and shared online (see Release to Record form on

Presentation proposals will be accepted online at from June 17-July 8, 2013. Due to the volume of presentation proposals we receive, please submit no more than five proposals per speaker. Limited, late-breaking technology submissions will be accepted, upon approval, untilOctober 1, 2013.

Speakers selected to present at RootsTech 2014 will be notified by August 2, 2013. Syllabus materials (PDF file) for selected presentations will be due by November 1, 2013. Speakers who don't submit syllabus materials on time may be removed from the schedule.

Presenters participating in RootsTech 2014 will receive a complimentary conference registration and access to all syllabus materials. Out-of-state speakers selected to present three or more presentations will also receive hotel accommodations. There is no monetary compensation for presenting at this conference.

Questions can be emailed to the attention of the RootsTech Speaker Selection Committee
Do you know someone who would be a good presenter for RootsTech 2014?