28 October 2010

FamilySearch Records Update

The following is from our friends at FamilySearch

No Halloween Trick, Just Genealogical Treats
Over 2 million records from 6 countries now available

People with ancestors from Ghana now have free online access to valuable census records, the first images from that African country to be published on FamilySearch. Other new collections include over two million indexed records from Germany, Norway, Puerto Rico, and three U.S. states: Arkansas, Idaho, and Minnesota. Search these records now at http://Beta.FamilySearch.org.

See the chart below for the complete list of newly added or updated collections.
Indexed Records
Digital Images
Germany, Ludwigshafen Church Record Extractions and Family Registers
New indexed records
Germany, 1890 - Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census
Additional images added
Ghana, 1982-1984 - Census
New indexed records
Norway, 1875 - Census
Additional images added
Puerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1836-2001
Additional images added
U.S., Arkansas County Marriages, 1837-1957
Additional records and images added
U.S., Idaho, County Marriages, 1864-1950
New indexed records and images
U.S., Minnesota State Census, 1905
New indexed records and images
U.S., Minnesota, State Census, 1865
New indexed records
 Note: For a link to this news release, please visit: https://news.beta.familysearch.org/node/975

27 October 2010

A Celebration of Family History Is Now Available on DVD!

The following was received from our friends at FamilySearch.    October 26, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY—A major 2010 highlight in Salt Lake City was definitely A Celebration of Family History—a once-in-a-lifetime event that will never be forgotten by those fortunate enough to have attended. Now, all can enjoy this remarkable, inspiring event on DVD. To purchase the video (which will sell for $4.50, includes shipping and handling) or watch video highlights, go to celebration.familysearch.org.

The DVD features a celebration of family history through music, stories, and the captivating words of renowned author and historian David McCullough and President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The event includes moving musical numbers by the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square and inspiring video presentations showing the impact family history can have on individual lives.

The talks, music, and films can be played as a single program, or they can be viewed as individual segments for those wishing to use the video as a teaching or reference aid. The presentations are sure to inspire those looking for additional insights into family history.

25 October 2010

Backing up the RIGHT stuff? A new lesson learned!

 I have my computer documents and files backed up -- and a full backup that can be used to restore my system in case of a fatal problem. I have a laptop. And, I have a second desktop available to use IF I really need it. Of course, I'd have to kick my husband off his PC! I even have a shared network! I'm always reminding people to backup, backup, backup! It's absolutely vital! ...and I thought I was pretty much covered.

Because my desktop is my primary "home" and I normally only use my laptop for teaching and speaking I don't have ALL the same software and tools on both PC's, nor do I keep documents and email in sync on both computers. Mistake! 

Luckily, I knew for a couple of days that my system was sick so I copied over all the documents and pictures that I THOUGHT I would need to get me by while my desktop went to the PC hospital. Another mistake!

I soon found out that that I didn't get ALL the RIGHT STUFF! It has turned out to be a super lesson learned for me! I'm still frustrated and angry at myself for not thinking this through BEFORE this happened, so I need to make some new plans.  I still don't have my desktop back from the PC hospital and I'm in serious keyboard shock trying to type on my laptop, but I now know a few other things I need to think about, WAY in advance of a potential problem.

My most frustrating problem with this episode is that I don't have all my downloaded and saved emails. And I have multiple gig's full! I did copy my Thunderbird profile over to the laptop and figured I'd find out what to do with it AFTERWARDS, but I forgot to also get the associated files. (I know, you may be asking yourself what I'm talking about but suffice it to say I wasn't totally prepared!) I've had the same email provider for almost ten years and they don't have IMAP capability which would let me share the emails between computers; they only have POP3. I get about 100 to 200 emails a day and so I only keep them on the email providers server for a couple of days. I do have access to new emails on both my phone and on the web, but  I NEED THE STORED ONES!

So now it's been almost six days without my desktop; no time to try to find another solution for accessing my saved email; and no way to respond to the many people waiting on me for answers. Oh, did I tell you that I also didn't have my address book synced with my laptop?  Another mistake.

There is good coming from all this "trauma"! I will now learn about and implement whatever I need to do to keep myself in operation mode! So if you have any brilliant ideas let me know!  And for each of you, take heed and plan ahead for YOUR potential disaster! There is a difference between backing up your system and backing up in an effort to keep working!

PS - I also changed cell phone technology a couple of days ago! Don't do this in the middle of a disaster! So I can't even sync my phone numbers!  ;)

18 October 2010

New Series of RootsMagic Classes

Want some help with RootsMagic software? I'll be teaching another five-week series of classes covering all the major features of RootsMagic 4 and try to answer all your questions. The classes begin again every Monday in November from 1 - 3 pm at the Riverton FamilySearch library.

The class typically follows this schedule:
Week 1 - Getting started; setting up database and options, overview of screens; and building the family tree or pedigree.
Week 2 - Using RootsMagic with new FamilySearch; LDS features
Week 3 - Sources and tools
Week 4 - More Tools and Reports
Week 5 - Multimedia, research aids and sharing data

Come join me whether you use RootsMagic 4 or the free version, RootsMagic Essentials! If you can't make it to every class, come to those you want. And there is no need to register as there is plenty of room. The library is a great facility for teaching and learning; large screens, comfortable chairs, good lighting and very easy parking. If you need help or have questions I'll stay after class and help as much as I can.

The library is easy to get to if you live in either the Salt Lake Valley or in Utah county.  Here's the map for location and directions. Basically you follow Bangerter Highway to the 13400 South exit. There is only one multi-story building to the northeast of the intersection. Park in front and come on it!

United States Record Selection Table - FamilySearch Wiki

Website Review

I often get asked a question that may seem elementary to many genealogists, but there are thousands of people who really don't know how to get started with their family history.  And that's okay! We all started in that very same place and learned the process one step at a time.

You finally decide you want to start researching and proving the family information that you have been gathering and just need a map to give you the directions. Well, the FamilySearch Wiki has a page that will provide you with that map! Let's take a look at this useful tool that maps the process for U.S. records.

The United States Record Selection Table works just like a map. It contains a table of web links. Each link will direct you to another web page with more detail and possibly more links.
As you can see, you just go down the first column and decide what fact or info you need. Then you will find two additional columns. You should first look for the type of records suggested in the middle column. In this example click on the link "census".  If you don't have any success or need further info, try the sources in the right column.

As you select a link you will be taken to a page that gives you more info and links. So if you have a person's name but do not know the age of the person nor when he/she was born then  first look for one or more entries in that center column. Let's try "census" records. When selecting that link the following page appears.

Notice that this Wiki page has links to the various web sites that have indexes, transcriptions, or images of census records. Continuing down the page is a selection list by State. Select a state and you will find a spreadsheet with more links that can take you directly to the online data.

So if you are not sure where to go with your research, start with a map! 

FamilySearch Blogger Day

The first Blogger Day event being held by FamilySearch here in Salt Lake City is happening later this week! I've been invited and I'm pretty excited to learn more and be able to share with you! So stay tuned!

The plan is to demonstrate the new projects and products on the horizon at FamilySearch and to offer feedback. I know that the the FamilySearch products we currently have continually change and it's our job, the bloggers, to help spread the word and help make those transitions as easy as possible for all of us.

Are you currently using new FamilySearch to it's fullest? Are you aware that there are training guides, videos, and the FamilySearch Research Wiki to guide you through the genealogy research process? Are you communicating with other "distant cousins" about your family tree? Is your brick wall as simple as not knowing what to do next?

I'm guessing that many of you are "checking out" new FamilySearch and "admiring" your family...RIGHT? But going on from there is just a bit too daunting or your frustration level rises because you can't keep track of everything that is going on?  And you find that there are lots of people looking up the same documents over and over and over?

Well, I'm confident we will get a few answers to all these questions and I will follow up with as much info as I can to help spread the word.

So stay tuned....

08 October 2010

4 Major Updates to FamilySearch Beta

The following announcement  was written by FamilySearch:

At the end of last week we released another substantial update to the FamilySearch Beta website. In addition to the four major updates outlined below, we’ve made a large number of improvements under the hood that aren’t really visible to users of the site but make a big difference in the overall performance and function of the site. Here’s the quick list of updates.
  • Redesigned Home Page
  • Brand New – Getting Started Section
  • Redesigned Learning Resources including online Research Courses
  • Just Released - FamilySearch Center Section
Redesigned Home Page. We redesigned the home page to highlight more of the site features like the Getting Started Section, Learning Resources and FamilySearch Centers. We also added a basic browse by location feature under the search form. We plan to make the browse by location tool much more interactive over time and would love to get your suggestions of how to improve it. Click the Feedback link on the site to leave us a suggestion.
Brand New – Getting Started Section. We have big plans for the Getting Started section of the site. What we released last week is just the beginning. Right now you can look at profiles of some famous ancestors that have been researched by our experts in the Family History Library. You can also choose from a number of designer pedigree charts and fill out your own family tree. Another valuable addition to the Getting Started section isn’t quite ready yet, but you can still see a placeholder for it on the page. A new four-part video series in the Getting Started section will teach people how to begin researching their family history.
Redesigned Learning Resources Section. The learning resources section has been redesigned to try and make it easier to access the tremendous content created by FamilySearch and a community of volunteers. You can quickly search over 40,000 articles containing a wealth of knowledge about how to do research or where to find records all around the world. You can also add your own knowledge by updating an article or creating a new article. We’ve also added over 100 online courses dealing with a range of topics from Beginning English Research to Reading Russian Records. Watch these courses online to learn to research or improve your genealogy skills.
Just Released – FamilySearch Center Section. The newly released FamilySearch Centers section replaces and expands upon the former Family History Library section of the site. You can learn about services available for free in over 4,000 FamilySearch Centers around the world. Looking for the closest FamilySearch Center? Just put your postal code into the FamilySearch Center and we’ll mark it on a map for you. 
We hope you enjoy these new features and continue to provide us with your feedback on what we can do to make the FamilySearch Beta a more valuable tool. Remember, just click the Feedback link on the site to tell us what’s on your mind. 

06 October 2010

Saturday Family History Seminar Series at Riverton Library

October 16th is the next Saturday Seminar Series at the Riverton FamilySearch Library! I'll be teaching a class that day so I want everyone to come!  The classes are FREE so bring your friends, neighbors, ward members, or interested genealogy enthusiasts and plan to attend. Every month on the third Saturday there will be three hours of instruction by family history experts covering a wide range of technical and research subjects.

If you can't come for the full three hours, that's fine because you can come for just one class if you want!

Here is the schedule:
October 16, Saturday Seminar - 9:00 - 12:00 Noon
  • 9:00 a.m. - Keynote Address - New FamilySearch: Past, Present and Future - Ron Tanner
  • 10:00 a.m. (Choose one of the following four options):
  1. New FamilySearch Editing and Temple Submission - Cathy Anderegg
  2. Census Techniques and Strategies for Finding Elusive Ancestors - Jason Harrison
  3. Using Google for Research - Sue Maxwell
  4. Finding Your Scottish Ancestors - Raymon Naisbitt 
  • 11:00 a.m. (Choose one of the following four options):
  1. New FamilySearch Resources for Consultants and Priesthood - Cathy Anderegg
  2. Using Ancestry.com for Military and Land Records - Robert Turley 
  3. Exporting Data from New FamilySearch for Other Uses - Paul Hyer
  4. Southern States Research - DeAnne Shelley
Click on the title at the top for the "link" to get the map and driving directions!

04 October 2010

Come Join Me at UVPAFUG Meeting and Training Classes!


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

The main presentation for this meeting will be by Gary T. Wright on PRESERVING YOUR FAMILY HISTORY RECORDS DIGITALLY. This presentation will discuss the challenges and benefits of digital preservation as a means to preserve personal family history materials. It will also explore potential solutions to the challenges, identify what types of family history materials are suitable for digital preservation, and summarize what is required to get started.

 Gary T. Wright is currently Senior Product Manager of Digital Preservation at FamilySearch. In this role, he is responsible for guiding FamilySearch to become a world leader in digital preservation. Gary earned a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado. Before joining FamilySearch, he directed enterprise storage marketing, services, and solution development for prominent storage technology companies such as IBM, HP, LSI, and StorageTek. Gary is also the author of the book The Light of Ancient America, an award winning composer, and a violinist with the Orchestra at Temple Square.

Following the main presentation there will be several classes about family history and technology with something for everyone at any level of expertise. The teachers and classes presently scheduled for this meeting are as follows: (1) Vital Records Indexes and Records Online, by Laurie Castillo; (2) Family History Books Online, by Don Snow; (3) MAC: Making Reunion and OSX Work For You, by Ron Snowden; (4) Personalized Help, by Don Engstrom and Finn Hansen; (5) Q&A Preserving Your Family History Records Digitally, by Gary T. Wright; (6) Video of last month's main presentation: Linking nFS Ancestors to Original Records, by George Ryskamp; (7) Ancestral Quest: Ordinance Reservation and Tracking, by Merlin Kitchen; (8) Legacy, by Dean Bennett; (9) RootsMagic, by Sue Maxwell; and (10) Family Insight, by Andrea Schnakenburg.

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.