03 July 2015

UVTAGG mtg -11 July 2015

The next meeting of the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group - UVTAGG will be on Saturday, 11 July 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  http://uvtagg.org.

The main presentation this month at UVTAGG will be by James Tanner on COPYRIGHT LAW FOR GENEALOGISTS. Family historians are constantly confronted with issues involving copyright protected books, documents and other items. For example, how many researchers have found an important family story only to realize that the story is subject to a copyright claim? In addition, we are frequently confronted with the issue that a document or photograph pertaining to our family is also subject to a copyright claim and what if we want copyright protection for our own work? In many cases, understanding the basics of United States copyright law, or the law of other countries, becomes of more than academic interest. 

In this  presentation former attorney James L. Tanner will provide an essential look at modern copyright law as it applies to genealogical research. The presentation and accompanying handout will cover important topics such as the concepts of fair use and what is and is not in the public domain. Tanner will also discuss some of the rulings in current important copyright litigation. James L. Tanner received a B.A. Degree in Spanish, an M.A. Degree in Linguistics, University of Utah, and a J.D. Degree, Law, Arizona State University. He spent two years as an Intelligence Analyst for the U.S. Army, 39 years as an Arizona trial attorney, over 33 years in genealogical research, and is an Avid Blogger of Genealogy’s Star blog and Rejoice, and be exceeding glad. He has also spent ten years as a family history missionary at the Mesa, Arizona FamilySearch Library and is presently serving at the BYU Family History Library. He is a presenter at conferences and expos around the U.S. and Canada. He was previously the owner of a retail computer business and an Apple Macintosh software company, as well as being a professional photographer. He and his wife have seven children and 32 grandchildren.

After the main presentation the following classes are scheduled.  See our website for last minute changes and additions.

(1)  Q&A: Copyright Law for Genealogists, by James Tanner 

(2)  Using the Family History Guide to Jump Start Your Genealogy, by Bob Taylor.  This is a new website that is available to help you negotiate the family history learning process. It's great for beginners and more advanced genealogists. It is especially helpful to family history consultants in helping others learn more!

(3)  It's About Time (Calendars), by Ginny Ackerson 

(4)  Ask An Expert (Personal Help), by Don Engstrom & Finn Hansen 

(5)  Video of last month's main presentation: Finding the Living Among the Dead - Using the Internet, by Amy Archibald 

(6)  Ancestral Quest, by Gaylon Findlay 

(7)  RootsMagic, by Diana Olsen

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 100 attending the monthly meetings, most of whom are family history consultants. 

19 June 2015

FamilySearch Makes Historic Announcement Regarding Historical Records of African American Families

Bank Record

SALT LAKE CITY – On Friday, June 19th Elder D. Todd Christofferson, leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made an historic announcement  regarding the release of Civil War-era free slave records at a press event in Los Angeles.

FamilySearch, the largest genealogy organization in the world, in partnership with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society and the California African American Museum, are working together to make these records available and accessible on-line for those interested in their ancestry.

·         The Freedmen’s Bureau was organized following the passage of the 13th Amendment to assist newly-freed slaves in 15 states and the District of Columbia. 
·         From 1862-1872, the Bureau gathered handwritten, personal information on freed men, women and children, including marriage and family information, military service, banking, school, hospital and property records.
·         In 2001, the FamilySearch Freedman’s Bank project provided more than 460,000 historical records and, at the time, were the largest bank of Civil War-era slave records.
·         Records, histories and stories will be available on DiscoverFreedmen.org.
·         To engage on social media use #DiscoverFreemen

# # #

FamilySearch is the largest genealogical organization in the world providing billions of ancestral records. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our commitment to helping people connect with their ancestors is rooted in our beliefs—that families are meant to be central to our lives and that family relationships are intended to continue beyond this life. Learn more at FamilySearch.org.

05 June 2015

The next meeting of the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group - UVTAGG

The next meeting will be on Saturday, 13 June 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  http://uvtagg.org.  

NOTE: This month on Saturday morning 13 June will be the Provo Marathon down University Avenue so there will be delayed crossing of University Avenue.  The police at each intersection will probably let you cross University Avenue when there is a break in runners, but you might have to wait several minutes.  Or you can go down to 3rd South in Provo and get around the block offs.  

The main presentation this month at UVTAGG will be by Amy Archibald on FINDING THE LIVING AMONG THE DEAD:  USING THE INTERNET TO FIND YOUR LIVING COUSINS.  The missing link in your family history may be one phone call or email away.  She will explore clues available in family trees, obituaries, online tools, and the resources available to identify your cousin's contact information.  Come and discover your living cousins online.  Amy Archibald is a family historian and reunion organizer with a passion for teaching others.  She has spent 30 years researching her own family and 20 years teaching others.  She lives in Clearfield, Utah with her husband and two children and blogs on family history topics at  http://revealingrootsandbranches.blogspot.com/  .  Amy's earlier version of this topic was streamed live at RootsTech 2015, was very well-received, and is still available to watch online.  Go to  http://rootstech.org/?lang=eng  > About > Video Archive. 

After the main presentation the following classes are scheduled.  See our website for last minute changes.
(1)   Q&A: Using the Internet to Find Your Living Cousins, by Amy Archibald
(2)   Using DNA in Family History, by Rick Klemetson
(3)   WHAT! My Temple Reservations Have Disappeared?, by Marilyn Thomsen
(4)   Video of last month's main presentation:  Robert Raymond discussing A Genealogically Correct FamilySearch Family Tree
(5)   Ask An Expert (Personal Help), Don Engstrom and Finn Hansen
(6)   RootsMagic, by Renee Zamora 
(The Ancestral Quest classes will start again in July.)    

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 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 100 attending the monthly meetings.   

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 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, and membership is on a calendar year basis.  See more information about the presentations, classes, class notes, and how to join the Group on at http://uvtagg.org/

26 May 2015

The Family History Guide - A New Genealogy Tool

We all have family or friends that want to learn about their family history. There is so much great information on the web to help, however, until one becomes a bit more experienced it's hard to even know where to begin!

So your help is needed to test a new Family History Guide. It's meant to get you started and to guide you along the way to becoming more proficient and comfortable with the process. We know there are things that still need tweeking and we are rapidly adding new information every day. You are the best to tell us if it flows smoothly or if there are things that could be done better!

I've been helping a couple of friends who just want to help others become more comfortable in learning and confident in their efforts. This web tool can help those family and friends become more self-sufficient and learn to enjoy the process. Besides, they can do this at their own speed!

A facebook page for the Guide is located here along with some instructions:                   https://www.facebook.com/TheFamilyHistoryGuide.

The website is located here:  http://www.thefhguide.com/. The website has a tracker sheet that can help you keep track of what you cover in the site.

Please share this with your friends and family and give it a try. You can add your feedback to the facebook page or post comments in the blog under "Contact Us".

Thanks so much and Enjoy!

12 February 2015

What is Your Story? - RootsTech 2015 Update

What is your story?     Who inspires you

For those of you who do not KNOW your ancestors you are really missing out on one of the greatest joys in life! No, I'm not kidding. There is nothing in this world that tells you more about yourself than learning about your ancestors. You are a part of each of them. You inherit half of your DNA from your father and half from your mother. If you have siblings, you don't get the same half as each of them. That's why siblings are so different.

But, there is more to that story. Each of your ancestors contribute a piece of their lives to who you truly are. What personality traits have you developed "just like Mom or Dad?" Are you assertive like your mom or quiet like your dad? Each of them had parents who contributed to who they became, and so on. You are a combination of your ancestors.

So who were they really? Did you know your grandparents as children? Obviously not. But you can learn about them and in the process, understand yourself.

Have you written your story? Do you have letters your parents wrote to each other? Do you have all those many birthday cards your grandmother sent to you as a child and told you how much she loved you? Hopefully, you have some of that tucked away in a box. If not, what can you record about your parents that would be of interest to your grandchildren some day?

That's what family history is all about these days -- it does not have to be about pedigree charts or only names and dates. It can be developed to be as "crazy" as your life has been, and all you have to do is record it. Embellish and bring it to life with pictures, documents and by asking your relatives for their memories.

That's what RootsTech is all about! A perfect opportunity for those who may be "green" in the procedures of  genealogy and want the stories of their lives. Want to learn how? Then put the first week of February 2016 on your calendar right now!

If you are not one of the lucky 22,000 plus people attending FGS, RootsTech, or Discovery Day this year then get ready for next year. It is fun, exciting, exhausting (if you want it to be), and down right contagious. You get the perfect environment to meet new friends, enjoy fantastic entertainment and learn new skills.

This year's RootsTech is larger than ever and it has become the largest genealogy and family history conference in the world! Over 10,000 people registered this year, and between 10 and 15,000 extra people will attend the Family Discovery Day on Saturday!

Classes take you from a very inexpensive "getting started" track to the full conference teaching beginners the basics to experts in specialized training like DNA, Civil War medical records, or using tax records to problem solve. There truly is plenty for everyone. Next year, team up with your children or grandchildren! They will be happy to help with technology and they just might be your next family historian!

This year all U.S. states were represented except West Virginia. So where are those Mountaineers?

There are 35 countries around the world visiting RootsTech this year; 170 vendor booths, up from 120 last year. There were 1183 sites last year around the world who held a family history fair and streamed RootsTech classes. That number will be topped this year taking the conference to over 200,000 people interested in their ancestors and discovering a little more about themselves!

Today's keynote address, featuring Tan Le, a Vietnamese refugee to Australia, who became a telecommunications entepreneur and co-founder of a company developing brain-computer interfaces used in computer gaming, sharing her life story was one of the best I've ever seen. Many of you witnessed her experience in person or through live streaming and surely agree. I had an opportunity to speak with her further and continued to be touched by her story and her heart.

It's been a great event so far and we still have a couple days to go! Maybe we can get FamilySearch to extend the conference a few extra days next year!

So enjoy the little things in life for one day and you will look back and realize they were the big things!

10 February 2015

FamilySearch Family Discovery Center - New in Salt Lake City

Do you consider yourself a novice when it comes to your family history? Want to know more? Then here is your opportunity!  Then experience your family in a whole new way!

                                                                   I did! 

I recently had an opportunity to explore the new FamilySearch Discovery Center located in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. It wasn't your "normal", old-fashioned pedigree chart. It was a delightful EXPERIENCE.

It brings your ancestors to life with interactive displays and fun and exciting things to do. Bring your children or grandchildren along with you and let them experience their ancestors. Share your stories with them and let them watch time f.l.y by. 

A simple phone call to reserve a time is all you need. Make sure you have a FamilySearch account and bring your login and password with you. When it's your turn, step into the past and take control of experienced iPad you borrow, then follow the numbers.

Move though the various experiences at your leisure. 

Where are your ancestors from?

Bring a flash drive with you and record your own story.

Review your entire story and email it to yourself. It's that simple!

And don't forget to stop by the Family History Center before you leave. Or take a short walk through Temple Square and cross the street to the FamilySearch Research Library and delve into the historic details of your ancestors lives!

06 February 2015

RootsTech 2015 is Almost Here

RootsTech Genealogy Conference
Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Palace Convention Center
February 12-14

Are you the family historian? Do you want to be?

Is your family being celebrated?

Were you sitting back wondering if RootsTech was for you and just had not yet "made up your mind"? Well there is still a chance to make that decision, but only for a few more days.

Wishing you knew more about your family or how to get started?  Either way, this conference is for you. 
Yes, even if you are a "greeny" and just thinking about getting started, get busy right now and click here for more information. Don't miss out on the fun.

Due to overwhelming interest, the Family Discovery Day portion of the RootsTech conference has filled up and is no longer accepting registrations for this specific event on Saturday for LDS Church members

RootsTech passes are still available starting at just $19 for a one-day pass — February 12-14, 2015. Get a three-day beginners pass for just $39. You can't get a better deal anywhere. The full three-day conference is still discounted to $189 for a few more days.

Don't miss out on this great opportunity! 

15 January 2015

Riverton FamilySearch Library Hosts Free Seminar - Saturday, January 17th, 9-Noon

Don't Let Them Be Forgotten—Honoring Our Ancestors through the Arts

The Riverton FamilySearch Library will host a free seminar on Saturday, January 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. The seminar will help genealogists of all skill levels learn how to:

•    Involve your children, nephews, and nieces in family history.
•    Share your heritage with your family, so they will become interested.
•    Teach your family to gain inspiration from the greatness of their heritage.
•    Teach them of the sacrifices made in the past from which they benefit.
•    Teach them about understanding the past.
•    Teach them that they are a part of the greater whole.

Beginning at 9:00 a.m., guests will hear from Clive Romney, who will present stories, songs, and cowboy (pioneer) poetry that tell how his heart was turned to his fathers through family history research and how his art has turned to our fathers as he has traveled through Utah for the past six years unearthing untold stories of Utah pioneers.

Following the keynote presentation from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m., two blocks of four classes each are offered that cover topics of interest for beginning, intermediate, and advanced family history enthusiasts.

10:10–11:10 a.m. Choose one of the following four classes:

•    “Road Tripping for Genealogy” Laurie Beardall

•    “New FamilySearch Indexing Program” Scott Flinders

•    “Family History Detectives: Inspiring Youth to Dig In” Susanne Hansen

•    “Find Your Past with findmypast” Sue Maxwell

11:20 a.m.–12:20 p.m. Choose one of the following four classes:

•    “Managing 100s of Family File Cards” Mark Ruhlman

•    “Your Ancestors in the Newspapers: Read All About It” Ron Ray

•    “Make Family Memories: Tell Your Story Today” Joan Gust

•    “MyHeritage—It’s Working While You Sleep”––– Sue Maxwell

Registration is not required for this free seminar. The Riverton FamilySearch Library is located in the LDS Riverton Office Building at 3740 West Market Center Drive (13175 South), Riverton, Utah. 

06 January 2015

UVTAGG Meeting and Free Classes-Saturday 10 Jan 2015

The next regular, second-Saturday-of-the-month meeting of the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group - UVTAGG will be on Saturday, 10 Jan 2015, from 9 am to noon in the LDS "Red Chapel", 4050 North Timpview Drive (650 East), Provo.  

The main presentation this month at UVTAGG is by Ben Baker on FAMILYSEARCH INSIDER TIPS AND TRICKS.  There are many powerful tools available on FamilySearch.org that are not well-documented in manuals nor easily discovered in the products themselves.  This presentation will help you learn some tips and tricks from a FamilySearch engineer of how to be more productive in using the resources on FamilySearch.org.  

Ben Baker has been a senior software engineer at FamilySearch for the past 5 years.  His computer education is from BYU and he currently leads an engineering team working on Family Tree.  He has also worked with digital image processing of historical documents.  He enjoys helping others do Family History more effectively and tries to do his own.  His background information and a list of some of his previous presentations is online at https://www.linkedin.com/in/familysearchbenbaker .

After the main presentation the following classes are scheduled; check the meetings page at  http://uvtagg.org/  for last minute changes or additions.  

 (1)   Q&A: FamilySearch Insider Tips and Tricks, by Ben Baker;  

 (2)  Using LDS Membership Records Worldwide: A Gold-Mine of Information, by Liz Snow; 

 (3)  Ask An Expert (Personal Help), by Don Engstrom and Finn Hansen;  

(4)  Video of the last main presentation (Nov 2014):  Adding a Visual Dimension to Your Research, by Peg Ivanyo;  

(5)  MAC Help, by Ron Snowden;  

(6)  Ancestral Quest, by Gaylon Findlay;  

(7)  Legacy: Searching, Tagging and Focus Groups, by Dean Bennett;  and  

(8)  RootsMagic, by Sue Maxwell.

As you can see, there is something for everyone no matter what their level of family history expertise.

Information about the Group, meeting location, main presentations, classes, and class notes are available on their website  http://uvtagg.org.  

26 November 2014

New RootsMagic 7 COMPARE FILES Feature - My Way!

WOW! I'm impressed! The new version 7 of RootsMagic has added a new "compare files" feature and I found a slick use for it.

I use RootsMagic as my my main family history software. However, I also use FamilyTreeMaker mainly to download my Ancestry tree information. But, the problem has been trying to get the info from my FTM file into my RootsMagic file without having to individually download any documents or events I want to save to my home files. I also didn't want to have to go through every single person and compare my FTM file with my RootsMagic file by having both software packages open and having to retype any differences I find. I've been avoiding it like the plague!

RootsMagic's new feature just saved me hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of tedious work. Here's what I did.

1. I opened and synced my FTM file.

2. I exported a gedcom 5.5 file from my FTM file and gave it a name to remind me where the gedcom file came from.

3. I created a new RootsMagic 7 database with the same name I assigned to the gedcom file. (or any name you want)

4. I imported the gedcom file into the new RM file I had just created.


5. I opened my main RootsMagic 7 file.

6. Select FILE -- COMPARE FILES and then I selected the new RM file I created from the downloaded FTM gedcom.

During the comparison process you will see the status of the comparison.

Here is what the comparison displays. You can click on the column headers to resort.

As you can see there are little empty boxes displayed to the left of some events. Selecting a box allows you to pass the specific data from one file to the other. And you can EDIT your person from within the Compare File box. So if I find something in my Ancestry tree file (on the right) that I want to add to my RootsMagic tree file (on the left) I can just click the box and RootsMagic will pass the info to my main file.

Also, there are icons under the "S" for Sources (or a camera under the "M" for media). I can click on any of the icons like this check marked one.

When I do, this is what appears.

Now I can copy one or all of my sources found using my Ancestry tree (on the right) directly into my main RootsMagic file! To transfer just some of them click on the individual boxes.

I don't have to complete the entire list on the COMPARE file. If I close the COMPARE file it will eliminate the comparisons that I already worked. Then when I open the file again and do another COMPARE FILES I can just continue with whatever records are listed. Eventually, I can just delete the RootsMagic file that I created from the FTM file.

If you also use FTM, you probably know that when you  sync your file, all the documents and pictures that are attached to your Ancestry tree end up on your computer. They are stored in your "Documents/Family Tree Maker" folder on your computer. 

(I used to copy some of those media files into the same folder where I store my RM media, but that was a real pain, besides taking up valuable space).  Here is what displays on the comparison file if there is media (click on the camera icon). Now all I have to do is copy the media link into my main database and no more copying of those FTM images! RootsMagic now knows where that media file is located and points to it.

Now, you can also receive a copy of a file from a "cousin" or an old database and compare the files and clean up your data. This is a fantastic new feature!! Enjoy!!

NOTE TO LDS MEMBERS: When the final step of the Ancestry/FamilySearch feature is added, you will be able to pass Ancestry sources from your tree into the FamilySearch Family Tree. Then you can download each source directly into your RootsMagic file. 

MyHeritage and RootsMagic Integration - My Experience

With today's announcement of the integration between MyHeritage network and the new release of RootsMagic Version 7, I took the opportunity to test drive the process - and I like it!!

This is a great opportunity for everyone, especially for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who recently were provided access to MyHeritage and it's great Smart-Matching research tools and, for all RootsMagic users around the world.

I have had a family tree(s) on MyHeritage for several years and have found many, many of my ancestors located in other family trees on MyHeritage. As more and more sources are being added (or linked) into MyHeritage I have been letting MyHeritage find the records and sources for me - while I sleep as it searches my tree for matches to other trees and to record set sources!

So many of us in the United States and other countries, including myself, have ancestors from Europe. MyHeritage came into existence in 2003 and began acquiring small genealogy family tree companies throughout Europe. Since then they also acquired Geni.com which includes family trees from around the world. The great benefit I have found is that many of my ancestor's descendants still live in Europe and have created trees (and some are very well documented)! Now, as I link to these trees I am finding "cousins" and their trees that are helping me extent my tree in a fantastic way.

I am also a dedicated user of RootsMagic software. Today's new version 7 provides me a direct link to those "source hints" that are located in both MyHeritage and also in FamilySearch sources.

By selecting the "light bulb" icon next to a person's name as seen here, 

If you don't use FamilySearch LDS features, you won't see the other two icons. You can create a free FamilySearch account and the gray/blue tree icon will display.

you will then see this pop-up.

As I click on the pending "number" of possible sources or matches, the applicable web page opens and displays the source/match. When I confirm or reject them the numbers will change and be added to the confirmed or rejected columns. If I want to save the MyHeritage source to RootsMagic I have to create a source for each fact/event. Yes, it would be great if it automatically saved to my file! But, hopefully, that may be a feature in the future. However, the link to those hints stay in my database behind the little "light bulb" icon on each person in my database.

One thing to keep in mind that is very important....  If the person in your RootsMagic tree is also in MyHeritage or FamilySearch (entered by anyone) then those source hints will display. So you can still compare and match with records in either one. Also, not every data set in FamilySearch is searched by this process, so you will eventually want to search deeper for more sources that the hinting feature does not find. (this paragraph has been edited based on comments below)

So if you have any questions or find something that is incorrect as listed above, post a comment and I will try to answer you.

Joint Announcement Between MyHeritage network and RootsMagic software

Early this morning, an announcement by MyHeritage's network, and RootsMagic software, jointly announced that MyHeritage’s Smart Matching™ and Record Matching technologies have been integrated into RootsMagic’s latest Version 7 of its popular genealogy software (released today). This enables RootsMagic users to discover the life stories of their ancestors thanks to highly accurate matching between their family trees and millions of family trees and billions of global historical records available on MyHeritage. This same technology will take place with the United Kingdom's Family Historian software in mid December.

RootsMagic, first released in 2003, is an award winning genealogy program for documenting and preserving family history. Its latest version 7, released this week, includes among its highlights a new feature named WebHints powered by MyHeritage matching technologies that transforms the program into a powerful research tool. WebHints also include hints from genealogy website FamilySearch for authenticated users. Information sent by RootsMagic to MyHeritage for matching is never collected or shared, and is deleted after matching to ensure the complete privacy of RootsMagic users and their data.
MyHeritage enables millions of families around the world to discover, share and preserve their family history on the MyHeritage website, mobile apps and desktop applications. In addition, MyHeritage is well known as a technology innovator. Its flagship technologies, Smart Matching™ and Record Matching, which generate automatic discoveries based on MyHeritage’s huge international database of family trees and historical records, are sought after within the family history space. Leading genealogy organizations are partnering with MyHeritage to integrate these technologies into their products.
MyHeritage matches are a very exciting feature”, said RootsMagic, Inc.’s Vice President, Michael Booth. “It was like magic to me when the WebHints were first wired into RootsMagic and I opened my file and saw all the matches appear. I spent hours exploring and discovering newspaper articles, certificates, and records that I had never seen before. Our initial testers are also reporting that they have been having so much fun exploring the MyHeritage matches that they have had to pull themselves away to test the other features.”
“We’re thrilled to provide RootsMagic – an acclaimed genealogy software among the most popular in the USA – with our powerful matching technologies” said MyHeritage’s Founder & CEO Gilad Japhet. “This partnership will significantly accelerate discoveries for RootsMagic users and will expand the tremendous reach of MyHeritage.”
About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the leading destination for discovering, sharing and preserving family history. As technology thought leaders and innovators, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive database of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees, and ground-breaking search and matching technologies. MyHeritage is trusted by millions of families and provides them an easy way to share their story, past and present, and treasure it for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 40 languages.
About RootsMagic, Inc.
For over 20 years, RootsMagic, Inc. has been creating computer software with a special purpose - to unite families. One of its earliest products, the popular Family Origins software, introduced thousands of people to the joy and excitement of family history.
That tradition continues today with RootsMagic, its award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing family history fun and easy.
Coming: My experience with the integration...

19 July 2014

Join the 24-Hour Worldwide Indexing Event - and Hangout!

Join volunteers from around the world on July 20 and 21st for an international history-making event! The goal is to get OVER 50,000 indexers and arbitrators to submit at least one batch during the 24-hour period. Even if you have never indexed before, this is the time to get started.

Only hours away!

This is going to take everyone's help. Even yours! No matter what language you speak or read you can add to this event. It's been two years since the first Worldwide Indexing Event and a total of 49,025 people participated. Let's beat that old record!

You can work on any project you like but FamilySearch suggests that you work on the following projects in your native language, if possible. 

  • US—Obituaries, 1980–2014
  • US—Passport Applications, 1795-1925
  • US, New Orleans—Passenger Lists, 1820-1902
  • UK, Manchester—Parish Registers, 1787-1999

If you haven't had a great deal of experience I'd suggest you give the obituaries a try. Even though they are listed under the "intermediate" category, rather than "beginner", you will find most of them typewritten. You just need to identify the people listed in the obituary by type, i.e. deceased, family, other. Be sure to look at the project instructions included with the download. Most of the these batches include only five obituaries.

The record-setting even begins at 00.00 coordinated universal time (UTC) on July 21st. Here are a few times based on time zones. All event times end 24-hours later.

  • US Eastern Time Zone - 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 20th
  • US Mountain Time Zone - 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 20th
  • US Alaska, Anchorage - 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 20th
  • England, London - 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 20th
  • Australia, Sydney - 10:00 a.m. on Monday, July 21th

  • Come on and join in the fun! Let's make this happen and help families around the world find their ancestors!

    And, if you really want to have a great time and jump into the excitement, join our own DEAR MYRT online! She is hosting a 24-hour GeneaSleepOver hangout on air! For all the fun details jump on over to her site. It begins at 6:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight time on Sunday evening. And, if you have never participated in one, this is the one to start with!

    Let's break the record!!

    10 July 2014

    UVTAGG July 10th Saturday Seminar - Come Join Me!

    The next regular, second-Saturday-of-the-month meeting of the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group - UVTAGG will be on Saturday, 10 July 2014, from 9 am to noon in the LDS "Red Chapel", 4050 North Timpview Drive (650 East), Provo.  Information about the Group, meeting location,  main presentations, classes, and class notes are available on their website  http://uvtagg.orgThe meetings are free and open to the public. 

    Map of the Meeting Location

     Whether your ancestor was a Smith, Jones, Brown, or Johnson, Juliana share some tips for tracking them down on Ancestry.com and beyond. Using charts, spreadsheets, and a little common sense, you’ll leave this class with some ideas for narrowing your search.

    Juliana Szucs Smith has been working for Ancestry.com for more than 15 years. She began her family history journey trolling through microfilms at the tender age of 11 with her mother.  She has written many articles for online and print genealogical publications and wrote the “Computers and Technology” chapter of The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Juliana holds a certificate from Boston University’s Online Genealogical Research Program, and is currently on the clock working towards certification from the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

    After the main presentation the following classes are scheduled:

    (1)   Getting the Most From Your Discoveries, by Juliana Szucs Smith;  

    (2)  Using LDS Partner Web Sites:  Find My Past, by Sue Maxwell;

    (3)   MAC: IProblems, IGetStarted, and IHelp, by Ron Snowden;  

    (4)  Ask An Expert (Personal Help), by Don Engstrom & Finn Hansen;  

    (5)  Video from last month’s main presentation, Are You Your Own Brick Wall?, by Beth Taylor;

    (6)  Ancestral Quest, by Gaylon Findlay;  

    (7)  Legacy, by Marilyn Thomsen;

    (8)  RootsMagic, by Bruce Buzbee. 

      The meetings are always open to the public and generally open with announcements that include what is happening in technology that effects family history work. A featured guest speaker will then make a one hour presentation on a topic of general interest relating to some aspect of technology and genealogy. 

    24 June 2014

    Is this a WIN-WIN? Findmypast acquires Mocavo

    Yesterday, two major players in the genealogy community announced that Mocavo was being acquired by Findmypast.  You can read the fine details here Findmypast announcement and Mocavo announcement.

    It’s always a guessing game when two major players in the genealogy community join forces, one acquiring another, or merging to become one. I find myself second-guessing the motives and where the win-win might be in the transaction.  So here is my take ...

    Mocavo.com, a privately held internet company based in Colorado, first launched in March of 2011 as an index to all free online genealogy information. It searches the National Archives, Library of Congress, FreeBMD, Find A Grave, Rootsweb, Archives.org and many others, including many U.S. state archives, message boards, family trees, and the many genealogy web sites built by you and me. It finds many records that you could find individually by searching each and every site, but it does it in one search from their site. In just the past couple of years, Mocavo.com has added their own acquired records including millions of pages of yearbooks. They also have a paid version that has added benefits. Later in 2011 they launched Mocavo.co.uk, expanding beyond the U.S. 

    The following year Mocavo acquired ReadyMicro, a company that specializes in digitization and preservation services. So Mocavo was already beginning to expand their business model to include acquired records and become more than a genealogy search engine. 

    Cliff Shaw, the original founder of Mocavo, is the technical brain. Among the various backers behind Mocavo is our own fellow genealogist, Michael J. Leclerc who is a former director at the New England Historic Genealogical Society and a former board member of APG and many other positions. He added the genealogical brains to Mocavo a year later in 2012. 

    Cliff Shaw was also the founder of GenForum that was later sold to The Learning Company/A&E Television Networks; founder of Pearl Street Software that was sold to MyHeritage; founder of ProtectMyPhotos which eventually became PicStreem and then BackupMyTree.com (an automatic backup service for family trees). BackupMyTree was acquired by MyHeritage in 2012. MyHeritage is now well known for its Smart Matching search techniques.

    Are you seeing a pattern here?

    Findmypast has been around since 1965 in various forms, beginning as a small group of professional and probate genealogists.  It is a privately held online genealogy service owned by a UK company, DC Thomson Family History (previously known as brightsolid). Back in 2003 the website was known as “1837online” which was a pay-per-view service that allowed access to BDM registers from the General Register Office (GRO) in England. Gradually they added many records including the UK censuses. 

    In 2009/10, Brightsolid acquired both Genes Reunited (British newspapers) and its sister company, Friends Reunited (social network), both UK companies. In 2012, they created a partnership with the British Library to publish 100 years of the UK electoral registers. They have since partnered with FamilySearch, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Society of Genealogists, and the UK National Archives. 

    And another of our brilliant genealogists, D. Joshua Taylor joined Findmypast as Business Development Manager and is now the Data Strategy Manager – North America and the lead genealogist. He also is a former director at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and was a featured genealogist on “Who Do You Think You Are”. He currently serves as the President for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS).

    See more connections and patterns?

    Interestingly, Findmypast has had its fair share of controversy recently after changing their website interface and subscribers voicing their difficulty with the search engine.  Plenty of complaints were made directly to the company and throughout the genealogical community. The company shared in the news media, just two months ago, that they would “listen to customers’ feedback and make the necessary improvements as quickly as possible”. 

    Findmypast has been suffering from the same out-of-date technology issues that Ancestry faced with their switch to the “new search” and dropping “old search”, and even FamilySearch has been dealing with the changes from newFamilySearch to the current FamilySearch. Old technology is something we all have to deal with, whether it’s with a company we do business with, a software package we purchase or use (think PAF being discontinued), or even the vehicle we drive (don't you just wish you still had that old clunker you loved so much?). Technology changes faster than most other areas of our lives and is a very costly and difficult part of any business. It required CHANGE and ADAPTATION on our part, as well.

    So, looking at the latest announcement from Findmypast and Mocavo, and all the above details, this acquisition makes perfect sense to me. There are some heavy hitters with significant technical and genealogical knowledge finding ways to join forces, blending their various expertise to make their businesses stronger and provide us, as users, additional and better products. Besides that, I see some of the successful entrepreneurs in this industry who have terrific ideas that become very successful. After they grow it to the best it can be, they sell it off to another company who has the need giving the seller the capital to either move on or further enhance their product. I see the perfect WIN-WIN for everyone. So I’m excited for this change and look forward to both Findmypast and Mocavo becoming better than they were yesterday! Mocavo needs capital and Fndmypast needs better search capability. The two companies can remain somewhat independent but share in the knowledge each offers. 

    Think Findmypast, MyHeritage and FamilySearch partnerships! Also, a terrific WIN-WIN!