25 February 2010

New Test System (Sandbox) for Use With New FamilySearch

This is great news and long-coming for Family History Consultants and FH Center Staff! This will be SO useful for teaching new FamilySearch to others. Received the following email from FamilySearch Support today!

Dear Family History Consultant:

We are excited to announce a great new resource for you to use as you teach others how to use the new FamilySearch. We have created a fully functional training version of new.familysearch.org that contains fictitious data designed specifically for training purposes. In this system, you will be able to:

·         Use practice exercises to teach others how to use the new.familysearch.org Web site.

·         Add, edit, and modify information without the worry of using real data.

·         Combine and separate records.

·         Practice submitting names for temple ordinances. Note: You can print a Family Ordinance Request, but do not take the request to the temple.

·         Use the Help Center to search for answers to questions, and find additional training helps, including access to the new FamilySearch E-learning Course.

·         Submit GEDCOMs that are limited to five names.

·         Use your account until it expires after six months.

·         Get a new account each time your old account expires.

The training system will:

·         Delete any data you have added after your account expires.

·         Refresh the account and return it to its original state so it can be used again.

·         Continue to be upgraded as the new FamilySearch system is enhanced.

Access to this new training system is available at: https://training.familysearch.org. Those with an LDS Account user name and password (Church members who have registered at https://ident.familysearch.org/cis-web) will be able to sign on using that user name and password.

This is the first version of the training system.  It provides the full functionality of new FamilySearch and has a basic set of exercises.  We will continue to enhance the exercises based on feedback from those using the system.  We hope this will prove to be a great new training resource for you while you teach classes about the new FamilySearch. The training system is available now.


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Faces of America on PBS

Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr is a new PBS series that asks the questions: What made America? What makes us?

Mr Gates is a Harvard scholar who turns to the latest tools of genealogy and genetics to explore the family histories of 12 renowned Americans. It will broadcast through March 3rd on your local PBS station.

Online video replays of the episodes can be found here.

The Generations Project - Monday nights on BYUTV

Have you ever wondered why you’re such a great musician? Where you get your love of politics? Why you're so independent? The answer just might be found in the lives of your ancestors.
The Generations Project is a new reality series that helps those who have questions about their family history investigate their own identities by walking in the shoes of their ancestors. As they undertake these journeys, they often uncover the hidden identities in family pasts, and come to see that in many cases the best way to know who you are is to know who you came from.
Monday nights at 8pm MST on BYU Television. Watch the latest episode...

Alternative content


Who Do You Think You Are? coming March 5th to NBC

Ancestry.com and NBC bring you seven exciting stories that will inspire the world to discover theirs. Tune into NBC Fridays at 8/7c starting Friday, March 5th, 2010. A heartwarming journey through family history! Watch WDYTYA.

Episode 1 - Sarah Jessica Parker (online until 18 Sep 2010)
Episode 2 - Emmitt Smith 
Episode 3 - Lisa Kudrow
Episode 4 - Matthew Broderick 
Episode 5 - Brooke Shields
Episode 6 - Susan Sarandon
Episode 7 - Spike Lee

23 February 2010

Update to the Family History Conferences

The last week of April four major family history conferences will all happen in one week in Salt Lake City as I described in the last post.  FREE CLASSES are being made available to help Family History Consultants and workers help members find their ancestors.

Of particular note for family history consultants are classes and a fireside on Tuesday, April 27. Simply bring the Free Consultant Training Pass coupon below for access to the consultant classes. There is also no cost for attending the fireside or any of the other events listed below.

If you want to attend the NGS conference classes, price and registration information can be found here. There is an early-bird discount until March 8, 2010

Over 200 classes will be presented by industry leaders and experts from the local and national genealogical community as well as staff from FamilySearch. Products and services from genealogy companies will be showcased in an exhibit hall. There you can also meet with specialists for free personal consultations on research questions or problems.

NGS Conference details and the class schedule are available online here.

The following free events and resources will be available for consultants in connection with this week of conferences:

Tuesday, April 27
·         Consultant Training Seminar at the Conference Center Little Theater. There are two times to choose from: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. or 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

·         Behind-the-scenes tour of the Family History Library (all day) 

·         Behind-the-scenes tour of the new Church History Library (4:00 to 6:00 p.m.)

·         Consultant Fireside at the Salt Lake Tabernacle at 7:00 p.m. The speaker will be Elder Allan F. Packer of the First Quorum of the Seventy, who is one of the Executive Directors of the Family History Department.

Wednesday, April 28
·         FamilySearch Open House at the FamilySearch Center in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Meet and greet product managers and designers for FamilySearch’s new programs and offerings.

Wednesday, April 28–Saturday, May 1
·         GenTech Hall, an exhibit displaying the latest technological innovations for family history in the same venue as NGS, is open and free to the public.

·         The NGS Conference Exhibit Hall is open to the public daily 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. 

Thursday, April 29
·         “A Celebration of Family History” event in the Conference Center at 7:00 p.m. This evening will feature the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, along with wonderful guest speakers. Special reserved tickets for this event will be available for consultants. Instructions on how to request tickets will be e-mailed to you in the next few weeks.

Saturday, May 1
·         Genealogy Kids Camp, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Salt Palace conference venue.

·         Hours at the Family History Library have been extended until 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday during the conference. (Closed during the Thursday celebration.)
      See the details on the other conferences in the posting below.
     This promises to be a full week of family history learning and activities that will be of benefit to family history consultants and enthusiasts. 

     See you there!

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17 February 2010

Salt Lake City Genealogy and Family History Conferences

A unique opportunity to participate in the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Conference is coming to Salt Lake City April 28 to May 1, 2010. The NGS conference has not been held in Salt Lake for more than 10 years and it could be that long before it returns.

Conferences are a fantastic way of enhancing your knowledge of genealogy and family history. And, if you are a family history consultant, director, or patron of a family history center you will want to attend at least the free activities being provided. However, everyone will benefit greatly from attending the workshops and you will meet many others just like you from beginner to professional.

This year is unique with four conferences being held together in the same week – all of them at the Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake City.
1.                 BYU Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy features the latest technology tools and trends in genealogy. It will be held on Monday and Tuesday that week.
2.                 BYU Family History Technology Workshop explores current and emerging research in genealogy technology will be held on Wednesday.
3.                 FamilySearch Developers Conference holds special workshops and networking for software developers and will hold their classes on Tuesday.
4.                 NGS Family History Conference will be held Wednesday through Saturday and is the premier national conference for genealogists.  

Whether you are new to family history or an experienced genealogist, there is something for you at this year’s events. Take advantage of free on-on-one research consultations with accredited genealogists; extended hours at the Family History Library; dozens of workshops and presentations; and free access to over 250 genealogy and technology exhibitors.

Another unique experience will be free admission to an evening celebration of family history featuring special speakers and a concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!

For more information on each of the events follow the links above.  There is a special $50 discount for those who want to attend the BYU Conference on Monday and Tuesday and also the NGS Conference on Wednesday through Saturday.
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11 February 2010

UVPAFUG -Come Join Me

Utah Valley PAF Users Group is definitely NOT for just PAF users. This is a great genealogy group that works to improve the skills of all family history enthusiasts and genealogists. The group meets the 2nd Saturday of every month in Provo, Utah and is open to the public. We have three hours of learning each month -- about one hour for the main speaker and 1 1/2 hours for breakout classes. Everything is free. You can choose to officially join the group which gives you some great added benefits, but it is not necessary to join. Please come join us!

Here is the information  about this months meeting and directions to the location.

The next regular, second-Saturday-of-the-month meeting of the Utah Valley PAF (Personal Ancestral File) Users Group will be on Saturday, 13 Feb 2010, from 9 am to noon AT OUR OLD LOCATION, THE LDS "RED CHAPEL", 4050 North Timpview Drive (650 East), Provo. The "Red Chapel" remodeling is finished now. There is a map showing the location on the group's website http://uvpafug.org . The main presentation for this meeting will be by Arthur Johnson on BUILDING STRONG RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PRIESTHOOD LEADERS AND FAMILY HISTORY WORKERS. The presentation centers around finding harmony in the administration of family history work through joyful service. The 2006 revised Handbook of Instructions serves as the basis for this presentation with helpful suggestions around propelling family history work forward in wards and branches of the church. Art Johnson is an Area Manager with the Family History Department and has responsibility for the global contact center. As such he coordinates the effort of over 1,000 missionaries serving worldwide across many languages. His experience with both priesthood leadership and in supporting members in various church callings associated with family history provides a unique perspective on family history work. Art has been working for the Church since 2005 after many years in the contact center industry. He and his wife have 4 children and reside in Utah County. In his spare time he enjoys running (preparing for a marathon in September 2010), reading, and following the Utah Jazz.

Following the main presentation there will be several classes taught concerning technology and family history. As usual, there will be something for everyone at all levels of expertise. The teachers and classes currently scheduled for this meeting are the following: (1) Duane Dudley on Submitting Names to the Temple with New FamilySearch; (2) George Scott on Getting to Know New FamilySearch (Class 4 of 4); (3) Venita Parry on Genealogy on Your MAC; (4) Art Johnson, Q&A on Building Strong Relationships; (5) Video of last month's main presentation by Janet Hovorka on Comparing Software Certified on New FamilySearch; (6) Gaylon Findlay on Ancestral Quest; (7) Dean Bennett on Legacy 7; and (8) Sue Maxwell on RootsMagic.

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, Vice President; Beth Ann Wiseman, PAFology Editor; Kay Baker, Gerry Eliason, and Don Engstrom working with finances and membership; and Bruce Merrill, Lynne Shumway, 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. We are sorry to have lost one of our stalwart co-workers, Brian Cooper, who died of cancer on 19 Jan 2010. Brian served as a Vice President for several years. Information about the Users Group, main presentations, classes, and class notes are available on the Group's website http://uvpafug.org and the press releases are at http://blog.uvpafug.org/. For further information contact President Gerhard Ruf at pres@uvpafug.org (801-225-6106) or Vice President Don Snow at snowd@math.byu.edu.

Don Snow, Vice President of Utah Valley PAF Users Group
Donald R. Snow, Math Faculty, Nauvoo University http://www.nauvoouniversity.com
Retired Professor of Mathematics, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah