Wednesday, December 28, 2016

FamilySearch 2016 Genealogy Highlights

The following is from FamilySearch.

FamilySearch 2016 Genealogy Highlights

Did you make a genealogy discovery online in 2016? Then you are most likely the beneficiary of the efforts of FamilySearch International, a leader in providing free, global family history services. FamilySearch has released a 2016 year-end summary highlighting some of its efforts to connect families across generations.
FamilySearch has completed extensive system upgrades on, making the free website more robust and much faster. Hundreds of millions of new historical records have been added. Improved search capabilities provide less duplication, better search results, and more insights at a glance across the multitude of various record types on The ability to collaborate with other family members has been simplified and improved.
Family Tree Upgrades
FamilySearch’s Family Tree is based on collaboration. In 2016, more than 561,000 new contributors added information to Family Tree, making a total of 3.45 million contributions. Now 1.1 billion individuals are linked in the FamilySearch Family Tree
Family Tree’s new user-to-user messaging feature simplifies collaboration with others doing research on common ancestors..
In the past, the community family tree had limitations in merging duplicate records contributed by users. System upgrades now enable users to merge duplicate records of large or highly common family lines.
Access Increased to Historical Records
Family history discoveries are fueled by a person’s ability to easily and quickly search for ancestors by name in historical records online. In 2016, FamilySearch's online indexing initiative celebrated its 10th anniversary. FamilySearch has a dedicated team of employees and overwhelming online support from volunteers around the world who use FamilySearch’s technology to digitize and index the world’s historical records. As a result of these efforts, more than 5.57 billion searchable names are available from over 1.2 billion published searchable historical documents.
In conjunction with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and other organizations, FamilySearch completed a project to index and publish online images of Freedmen’s Bureau records from the United States National Archives and Records Administration. These records are pivotal for African American research because they document freed slaves and others who struggled to redefine themselves after the Civil War. Nearly 19,000 online volunteers—mostly from the United States and Canada—finished indexing the nearly two million handwritten records in June 2016—just a year and a day after the initiative started. A copy of the database was presented to the newly completed Smithsonian National Museum of African American History Culture on December 6 of this year. The digitized records are searchable on and
Receiving and Giving Help
FamilySearch volunteers indexing historical records online.During 2016, 4,807 volunteer FamilySearch missionaries helped support worldwide operation needs. These generous volunteers donated a staggering 3.8 million hours of service. Non-missionary online volunteers are also critical to indexing initiatives. Nearly 315,000 volunteers logged nearly 11 million hours during the year. Together these two groups indexed 274.8 million records in 2016, bringing the total number of indexed records freely searchable online to 2.4 billion. Over 36 million of those newly-indexed records were in languages other than English, bringing the total of non-English indexed records to 872 million.
FamilySearch’s 320 camera teams around the world digitally preserved over 60 million new images of historical records in 45 countries, providing more opportunities for online volunteer indexers to help make searchable records and countless more fun, family history discoveries waiting for users. added 125 new historical collections in 2016, bringing the total to 2,174.

Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch CEO
Family history is about stories; it is more than dates and facts. People of every age, locale, and heritage share a universal need to know where they come from. These connections are not just about the names, dates, and places—although that certainly helps to know where someone fits in our family trees—but the fun, inspiring, real stories of those ancestors who came before us. FamilySearch is resolute in creating the tools and services people need worldwide to discover those joyful connections and share them.
Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch CEO
In 2016, FamilySearch added a Help Others feature for volunteers who provide family history research or support assistance to others. To use the feature, a person seeking help provides his or her FamilySearch username and a unique helper number. The helper number allows a selected helper to remotely access the patron’s Family Tree online to provide research assistance.
Dozens of free video courses were added online during the year. These courses are accessible through the FamilySearch Learning Center. Over 100,000 helpful, how-to articles specific to family history are also now available through on the FamilySearch Wiki.
The dynamic records hints feature on is faster and more accurate, and it includes online collections and additional record types. Adding family photos, stories, documents, and audio files has become easier and is now mobile device friendly. Patrons can also identify their relationships to people in the Family Tree using a new relationship feature.
During the year, a new discovery center was opened in Layton, Utah, and construction on a similar facility began in St. George, Utah.
In addition to in-person visitors to the 4,960 FamilySearch family history centers worldwide in 2016, received 133 million online visits and reached 7.3 million registered users.

Reaching Out to Others
Last January in Salt Lake City, Utah, FamilySearch hosted RootsTech 2016, the largest family history technology conference. The annual extravaganza included technology education and fun experiences to expand family connections. It attracted a record 375,000 attendees in person, online, and through local family discovery day events that took place across the world throughout the year. Special guests included bestselling author and New York Times columnist Bruce Feiler, producer and writer Paula Williams Madison, StoryCorps founder David Isay, and America’s historian-in-chief, Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Memories—The Crown of Family History
“Family history is about stories; it is more than dates and facts,” says Steve Rockwood, president and CEO of FamilySearch, looking back on FamilySearch’s efforts in 2016. “People of every age, locale, and heritage share a universal need to know where they come from. These connections are not just about the names, dates, and places—although that certainly helps to know where someone fits in our family trees—but the fun, inspiring, real stories of those ancestors who came before us. FamilySearch is resolute in creating the tools and services people need worldwide to discover those joyful connections and share them."
FamilySearch has incorporated innovative technology and initiatives that engage a broadening swath of consumers to experience emotional, endearing experiences with their family and family history.
FamilySearch’s free mobile apps—Family Tree and Memories—now enable users to freely attach and save photos and stories (audio and text) to individuals in the FamilySearch Family Tree, add other information, and receive notifications when others add content to the records of shared ancestors. Users can easily add photos, stories, and scanned documents and sort their uploaded memories collections.
Users can now record stories of relatives with a new mobile audio recording feature and save the audio files directly to the memories gallery on from a mobile device. The memories feature now includes contributor information so participants can message each other. The Details section is another innovative tool of the mobile FamilyTree app. With it you can see information, images, documents, and sources by simply swiping the screen, and the application creates a map of locations where events took place in the life of a person as recorded on FamilySearch Family Tree.
Explore these and other new developments at
About FamilySearch
FamilySearch International 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 free online at or through over 4,957 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2017 SCGS Jamboree Extension Series Webinars Announced

The following is from the Southern California Genealogy Society.

2017 Jamboree Extension Series Webinars Announced!

The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) is proud to announce the 2017 schedule for our highly acclaimed Jamboree Extension Series Webinar program. SCGS offers an international online audience of genealogists and family historians educational webinars twice a month. 
Whether you are a budding genealogist or a professional, the webinars offer a wide range of topics to build your skills. The Jamboree Extension Series has helped to fulfill the SCGS mission to “foster interest in family history and genealogy… and provide instruction in accepted and effective research techniques” since 2011.

Registration is Now Open!
Click here to view the schedule and register for as many webinars as you’d like. Following your registration, a confirmation e-mail will provide you with the link to attend the webinar.

All live broadcasts of webinars are free to attend. Webinars are offered the first Saturday (10:00 am Pacific time) and third Wednesday (6:00 pm Pacific time) of each month. You can attend on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

SCGS members don’t have to worry about missing a webinar!  Members have 24/7 access to well over 140 archived webinars and selected Jamboree sessions to view at their convenience behind the member wall at Visit our membership page for more information on this and other membership benefits.

Print the 2017 Jamboree Extension Series Webinar flyer and share with family and genealogy friends.
Join us for our first session Saturday, January 7

2017 Legacy Family Tree Webinar Series announced

The following is from Legacy Family Tree Webinar.

Millennia Corporation and are pleased to announce that registration is now open for its 2017 Legacy Family Tree Webinar Series. Choose from 76 classes from genealogy's leading educators on topics ranging from genealogy technology, to DNA, to in-depth research methodologies.
And not to name-drop, but our live series will welcome for the first time genealogy celebrities like Blaine Bettinger of, Ireland's John Grenham, and Craig Scott of; major genealogy organizations like WikiTree, FamilySearch, and Evidentia; and will explore for the first time countries such as Mexico, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway. Also learn about DNA, software, photography, Quakers, virtual family reunions, the Genealogical Proof Standard and so much more.
We are also proud to once again host the monthly webinar series for the Board for Certification of Genealogists where we will learn from the likes of Tom Jones, David Ouimette, LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson and nine other board-certified genealogists.
Sign up (it's FREE!) for one or for all of them today and you will receive a reminder email both one day and one hour prior to the live event.
Webinar Brochure
Print the webinar brochure to share with your friends, genealogy society, or Family History Center. memberships
All live webinars are free and their recordings are free to watch for the first 7 days. With a webinar subscription you also get all of this:
  • Access to 1) all the existing 445 classes in the library (620 hours of quality genealogy education), 2) plus the 76 webinars that will be added during the 2017 season, 3) plus any additional bonus subscribers-only webinars (107 of these so far) - all available for the duration of your membership
  • Access to all 2,036 pages of instructors' handouts plus the new handouts of the 2017 season
  • Chat logs from the live webinars
  • Additional 5% off anything at
  • Chance for a bonus subscribers-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Additional members-only BONUS webinars
  • Playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features
It's just $49.95/year ($44.95 through 12/31/16).
Nowhere else - on land, at sea, or online - will you find genealogy courses as comprehensive, diverse, or as numerous as you will find at
Add it to your Google Calendar
Click here to add the Legacy Family Tree Webinar Series to your Google Calendar.
2017 Speakers
Lots of brand new speakers join many of your favorites for 2017. One of them may be the one to help you break down your genealogical brick wall! Don't miss even one week!
2017 Schedule
January 2017
  • Strategies to Find the Most Challenging Ancestors with Autosomal DNA Data by James M. Baker, PhD, CG. 1/4
  • Tips and Tricks to Organizing Your Genealogy by Shannon Combs-Bennett . 1/11
  • Legacy Family Tree for Complete Beginners by Geoff Rasmussen. 1/13
  • Writing Up Your Research by Michael J. Leclerc, CG. 1/17 (BCG)
  • Create a Free Google Earth Historic Map Collection for Your Research by Lisa Louise Cooke. 1/18
  • Playing Nice In The Genealogy Sandbox by Thomas MacEntee. 1/25
February 2017
  • Photography for Genealogy by Nicka Smith. 2/1
  • The 'WHO' of Genetic Genealogy by Blaine Bettinger. 2/8
  • Deciphering German Script by Gail Blankenau. 2/10
  • Be Your Own Digital Archivist: Preserve Your Research by Cyndi Ingle. 2/15
  • Weaving DNA Test Results into a Proof Argument by Karen Stanbary, CG. 2/21 (BCG)
  • Finding Missing Persons With DNA Testing by Diahan Southard. 2/22
March 2017
  • Apprentices, Indentured Servants, and Redemptioners - White Slavery in America by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG. 3/1
  • 50 Websites Every Genealogist Should Know by Gena Philibert-Ortega. 3/8
  • Home on the Range: Kansas Research Tips by Cari Taplin, CG. 3/10
  • Why are Irish records so weird? by John Grenham. 3/15
  • Are You My Grandpa? Men of the Same Name by Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG. 3/21 (BCG)
  • Picture This: Images You Can Freely Use by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL . 3/22
  • Introduction to Quaker Genealogy Research by Craig Scott. 3/29
April 2017
  • Preserve, Share, and Search Your Digital Pictures with Google Photos by Geoff Rasmussen. 4/5
  • Your Whiteboard in the Cloud: Trello for Genealogists by Lisa Alzo. 4/12
  • Complete Photo Restoration in 4 Easy Steps by Eric Basir. 4/14
  • The Genealogy in Government Documents by Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA. 4/18 (BCG)
  • Neighborhood Reconstruction: Effective Use of Land Records by Mary Hill, AG . 4/19
  • Finding and Using Land Ownership Maps by Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA. 4/26
  • Researching Criminal Records by Ron Arons. 4/28
May 2017
  • Take Me Back to Where I Belong: Transportation Records of the Freedmen’s Bureau by Angela Walton-Raji. 5/3
  • Introduction to Danish Genealogy by Fritz Juengling. 5/10
  • New York City and State Governmental Vital Records by Jane Wilcox. 5/12
  • MAXY DNA: Correlating mt-at-X-Y DNA with the GPS by Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL. 5/16 (BCG)
  • Remember Me: Lifestreaming and the Modern Genealogist by Thomas MacEntee. 5/17
  • WikiTree: Free for All without a Free-for-All by Eowyn Langholf. 5/24
  • The Great War: Researching Your World War I Ancestors by Michael L. Strauss, AG. 5/31
June 2017
  • Researching Your Minnesota Ancestors by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA. 6/7
  • The Increasing Need for Foreign Language Indexing by Devin Ashby. 6/9
  • How Harry Potter Can Teach You About DNA by Blaine Bettinger. 6/14
  • What Now? Your Next Steps with Autosomal DNA Testing by Diahan Southard. 6/16
  • Beating the Bushes: Using the GPS to Find Jacob Bush's Father by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL. 6/20 (BCG)
  • Virtual Family Reunions: Super Easy, Super Fun by Pat Richley. 6/21
  • Canada's Top 10 by Kathryn Lake Hogan. 6/28
July 2017
  • Censational Census Strategies by Mary Roddy. 7/5
  • Google Books: the tool you should use every day! by Lisa Louise Cooke. 7/12
  • Tips for Snapping Pics: How to Take Perfect Family Photographs by Jared Hodges. 7/14
  • Analyzing Documents Sparks Ideas for Further Research by Angela Packer McGhie, CG. 7/18 (BCG)
  • The Firelands, The Connecticut Western Reserve, and the Ohio Territory by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG. 7/19
  • Family History Adhesive: The Science of Why History Binds Families and the Simple Tech of How to Do It by Janet Hovorka. 7/26
August 2017
  • Tracing Your West Country Ancestors by Kirsty Gray. 8/2
  • A Taxing Matter: Using Tax Lists in Genealogy by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL. 8/9
  • Using Pictures with Legacy Family Tree by Geoff Rasmussen. 8/11
  • Analyzing Probate Records of Slaveholders to Identify Enslaved Ancestors by LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG. 8/15 (BCG)
  • Finding Your Ancestors in German Directories by Ursula Krause. 8/16
  • How to do Mexican Research and Be Successful by Jonathan Walker. 8/23
  • Getting Started with Evidentia by Ed Thompson. 8/30
September 2017
  • Top Tech Tips by Geoff Rasmussen. 9/6
  • Finding Isaac Rogers by Nicka Smith. 9/13
  • The ABCs and 123s of Researching Your Ancestor's School Records by Melissa Barker. 9/15
  • When Does Newfound Evidence Overturn a Proved Conclusion? by Tom Jones. 9/19 (BCG)
  • Wolfram Alpha for Genealogists by Thomas MacEntee. 9/20
  • Quick Guide to Texas Research by Deena Coutant. 9/27
October 2017
  • No Easy Button: Using “Immersion Genealogy” to Understand Your Ancestors by Lisa Alzo. 10/4
  • Southern States Migration Patterns by Mary Hill, AG. 10/11
  • Is Your Society Growing? Social Media may be your saving grace by Pat Richley. 10/13
  • Databases, Search Engines, and the Genealogical Proof Standard by David Ouimette, CG. 10/17 (BCG)
  • The WPA: Sources for Your Genealogy by Gena Philibert-Ortega. 10/18
  • Midwestern & Plains States Level Census Records by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA. 10/25
November 2017
  • Is this the End? Taking Your German Brick Walls Down Piece by Piece by Ursula Krause and Luana Darby. 11/1
  • New York City Genealogical Research: Navigating Through The Five Boroughs by Michael L. Strauss, AG. 11/8
  • Using Non-Population Schedules for Context and Evidence by Jill Morelli. 11/10
  • British and Irish research: the differences by Brian Donovan. 11/15
  • Research in Federal Records: Some Assembly Required by Malissa Ruffner, JD, CG. 11/21 (BCG)
  • Understanding Alabama by Rorey Cathcart. 11/29
December 2017
  • Finding Your Roots in Catholic Records by Lisa Salinas. 12/6
  • I Thought He Was My Ancestor: Avoiding the Six Biggest Genealogy Mistakes by James M. Baker, PhD, CG. 12/13
  • Finding Your Nordic Parish of Birth by Jill Morelli. 12/15
  • The Law and the Reasonably Exhaustive (Re)Search by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL. 12/19 (BCG)
  • Palmetto Pride - South Carolina for Genealogist by Rorey Cathcart. 12/20
  • Problems and Pitfalls of a 'Reasonably Shallow Search' by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL. 12/27

Upcoming ISGS Webinars – January 2017

The following is from the Illinois State Genealogical Society.

Join us on Tuesday, January 10, at 8:00 PM Central, when Jill Morelli will present Finding Dirk: Records of Insane Asylums in Illinois. To attend this webinar, register at

Last week's webinar, Without the Hint - There is No Story, presented by Bernice Alexander Bennett, is now available to ISGS members in the Members Section of the ISGS website (

Upcoming Webinars
For the complete list of upcoming webinars, visit

Registration Procedure: There are only 500 available "seats" for each webinar and we have limited the number of registrations for each webinar to 650. Past experience has shown that approximately 30% of those who register don't attend a webinar. Recommendation: login to the webinar EARLY - access begins at 7:30 pm Central. Once the "room" fills up with 500 attendees, others attempting to join will receive a "room full" message.

Make a Contribution: Support the ISGS Webinar program by making a financial contribution, which will help ISGS expand its educational offerings in a virtual manner. To learn why we need your help, or to make a contribution, please visit
Please direct any questions to the ISGS Education Committee at
The 2017 ISGS Webinar Series is Sponsored by FamilySearch (

Monday, December 26, 2016

RootsTech 2017 Holiday Flash Sale!

The following is from RootsTech.

RootsTech Holiday Flash Sale

Enjoy this special holiday flash sale on RootsTech passes. Save $130 on a RootsTech pass or a RootsTech plus Innovator Summit pass when you use the promotional code RTHOLIDAY. This promotion ends December 29, 2016, at 11:59 p.m.

Join us for RootsTech, the largest family history event in the world, with more than 200 breakout sessions for all skill levels, an interactive expo hall with more than 200 exhibitors, and an exciting lineup of popular keynote speakers. The speakers include actor and producer Levar Burton, the Scott Brothers from HGTV’s Property Brothers, and “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro. There’s something for everyone!

Save $130. Register Today.
Promotional discount cannot be applied to prior registrations.