02 December 2011

Free Access to WWII Records at Ancestry!

In honor of the 70th Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, which marked the United States entrance into World War II, Ancestry.com has provided free public access to the WWII military records! Take advantage of this great opportunity until midnight ET on 7 December 2011.

One in five Americans is a direct descendant of a WWII veteran! By the end of the war, nearly 16 million Americans had served in the U.S. Armed Forces - more than a quarter in the U.S. Navy.

Some of the most significant collections include:

* World War II Navy Muster Rolls (1939-1949)
* National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl Cemetery) Database
* U.S. WWII Young Men’s Draft Cards

29 November 2011

Simple Kindness Grants Small Miracle

Have I ever told you how much I love old newspapers? Well, they put life to a name and a date. Newspapers often make the person come to life! And I love having my ancestors "come to life".

I've been researching my great-uncle Frank's life and struggled with the fact that he committed suicide at the tender age of 21 in 1897. Distraught over the loss of the love of his life, Lena, three months earlier, he said his goodbye's to family and friends and shot himself to death. A distraught mother lost her first-born child, having already lost three more babies shortly after birth. Frank never had the opportunity to marry Lena, nor raise a family of his own with her. My heart has ached for them both.

I had been able to piece together much of Lena's family but found it difficult to prove relationships. Different sources listed different parents names. I had two potential sets of parents for her. And her name had two middle initials or names. I discovered that Lena's mother died when she was only a little over a year old, so I figured that someone else must have helped to raise her.

I had searched all the available issues of newspapers online that I could find but none told me about Lena's father nor could I find anything explaining the multiple names for both Lena and her father. Then, just a few days ago I received an email from an angel, Laura. She had sent me a newspaper page from 1892 with a small article explaining how Lena's father had legally changed his name because he was not raised by his parents, but rather an aunt and uncle. He was always being asked why his name was different from his "parents", was embarrassed, and wanted his name changed to match theirs. I had missed this article!

After a few exchanges of emails, I found that my angel, Laura, was not even related to this family. She apparently was researching someone else and just happened to run across the article. She went online to FamilySearch, found that I had entered information about the family and sent the article to me! How special is that! Laura had taken that extra step, a few extra minutes, and found me! She could have just as easily skipped it and moved on -- but she didn't! She touched my heart!

So to you, Laura, may all your research prove fruitful! And, may all your miracles come to pass!

Ancestry.com Updates Apps for iPhone, iPad, Touch

Ancestry Brings Family History Alive With New Features

PROVO, UTAH (November 29, 2011) – Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced the availability of a new, upgraded version of its Ancestry.com Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with features designed to enable more rewarding discoveries as users build, update and share their family trees. The Ancestry.com mobile app, which to-date has been downloaded more than 1.7 million times, is now available for free from the Apple App Store.

This upgrade adds three new features to Ancestry.com’s existing family history app:
Ø  “In-app purchasing,” which allows non-Ancestry.com subscribers to view, then buy fascinating historical records about their ancestors – such as World War I draft cards, Census records, birth/death certificates, and school yearbook photos, from among billions of historical documents in the Ancestry.com database
Ø  A “Shaky Leaf” hinting feature that employs predictive analytics to suggest possible new connections between a user’s family tree and undiscovered documents in the world’s largest family history database
Ø  A new merge feature, which automatically identifies and extracts information about family members from historical records so users can quickly and easily update their family tree

“Our goal with the new Ancestry.com mobile app is to enable more people to discover their family history through our billions of historic records, and allow them to share their findings easily with others,” said Eric Shoup, Senior Vice President of Product at Ancestry.com. “Our ‘Shaky Leaf’ hinting feature has resulted in tens of millions of successful family history discoveries online and it’s now accessible to our growing mobile user base.”

For users new to Ancestry.com, the latest iOS app provides an easy way to get started by giving access to relevant historical documents on the site without a subscription.  For existing Ancestry.com members, the new app gives them the ability to grow their tree using Ancestry.com records and share them with others while on-the-go. 

The Ancestry.com mobile app offers many of the most popular features available in the online version of Ancestry.com’s industry-leading family history website, including the ability to add and edit family information, view and share documents and photos, take and attach photos and create and navigate multi-generational family trees.

To get started, download the free Ancestry.com mobile app to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and either register for a new, or log in to an existing Ancestry.com account and choose a family tree. Ancestry.com subscribers can download family history records in the app free of charge. Non-subscribers pay a special introductory price starting at $0.99 for each record purchased through the Mobile app’s “in-app purchase” feature.

27 November 2011

RootsMagic Releases New Version 5!!

NEW features! ..Research logs, Timeline View, Media Enhancements, CountyCheck, Database Tools, Source Enhancements, and more!

RootsMagic has announced the release of RootsMagic 5! Some of the most requested features have been added making RootsMagic better than ever -- a timeline view showing a person's events as well as those of their immediate family members, a research manager which lets you create and track unlimited research logs, the ability to filter the people view, as well as enhancements to multimedia, sources, to-do lists, and much more.  There's a little something for everyone.

You can see screen shots and more detail about what's new here. and a webinar is scheduled Tuesday, November 29, 2011 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM MST

Archives.com Partners with Family Tree DNA

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Nov. 22, 2011 -- Archives.com, a website devoted to making family history simple and affordable, announces another exciting way users can explore their family heritage. Archives has partnered with Family Tree DNA, the world leader in genetic genealogy, to enable users to purchase DNA tests through its website for the first time. These are being offered at up to 30 percent off the regular price for a limited time. Archives recognizes that DNA testing plays a critical role in family history research, and is glad to offer a simple, convenient way for users to get started with genetic genealogy.

If you want to read the entire press release, click here.
If you want to take advantage of the special 30% off deal on DNA testing, click here!

I've had a good deal of personal experience using Family Tree DNA and Archives.com! I really like both of them. I have done three different surname DNA tests (well, I did have to get the guys to take the tests!). One of them conclusively proved that the research was going down the WRONG line. Now I just have to jump from Tennessee to North Carolina in the late 1700s. The other two I am still struggling with, but I'm sure, will payoff one of these days. One is on a very common surname of Williams and comes out of Georgia during the Civil War era. I get lots of hits in the lower marker counts but haven't yet been able to tie in to one of the higher marker groups. My third surname test is extremely uncommon in the United States, so I'm patiently (haha) waiting for someone in England to also submit to a study. There just may not be any other descendants.

I originally received a free membership trial  to Archives.com and have grown to really appreciate it! I'm having a great deal of luck finding records for living cousins, and, I have found a lot of marriage and divorce records that have answered many a question in my research. They have vital records, newspapers, living people/public records. obituaries and much more. You may want to consider giving them a try to help you get past some of those brick walls!

21 November 2011

RootsTech Registration - We have a Winner!

Thanks so much to everyone that submitted an entry in my contest for the FREE registration to RootsTech! Congratulations to the winner, Warren Curtis! For those of you that didn't win --- blame it on my husband!  :-)  I made him draw the winning name.

Remember that the Early Bird Registration rates are only good until November 30! Registration will go from $129 to $189 the following day, so take advantage of it! You won't want to miss out on this great conference! There were about 3,000 people in attendance at the first conference last February, both genealogists and techies! It's an amazing way of bringing the two groups together to learn from each other.

If you are ever planning on attending a genealogy conference, pick this one! You won't be sorry. To read more about RootsTech and what it is all about, click on RootsTech.

17 November 2011

Archives.com Partners with the National Archives to Unveil the 1940 Census

1940 is Coming!

We are exactly 136 days away from the unveiling of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census! This is such an exciting time for genealogists and for anyone who is interested in their family's history!

Today, Archives.com, has announced a partnership with the National Archives to provide free digital access to  the 1940 Federal Population Census beginning on April 2, 2012 at 9:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Time) on a new website created in collaboration between Archives.com and the National Archives. In close collaboration with the National Archives, Archives.com will build this new website for researchers to browse, view, and download images from the 1940 Census, the most important collection of newly released U.S. genealogy records in a decade.

The new 1940 collection will consist of 3.8 million images that the National Archives scanned from over four thousand rolls of microfilm. Public access to the images will not require payment or registration, and will be available to any person with internet access. The name and web address of the website will be announced at a later date.
To learn more about Archives.com and the National Archives bringing the 1940 Census online, please visit www.archives.com/1940census. The National Archives also has published a number of helpful resources available to researchers on their website, which can help you to prepare to most effectively search the 1940 Census on April 2nd. As the project progresses, updates and additional information will be posted at www.archives.com/blog. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #1940Census.

Keep an eye on the countdown to the release of the 1940 census right here on my blog! -->>

15 November 2011

FamilySearch News! Brimhall Replaces Verkler

FamilySearch Announces New CEO

15 November 2011
SALT LAKE CITY— FamilySearch International announced today a change in its chief executive officer. Effective January 2, 2012, Dennis C. Brimhall will succeed Jay L. Verkler as CEO of FamilySearch.  Mr. Verkler will continue in a consulting capacity for a few months to ensure a smooth transition.

It is the business culture and practice of FamilySearch, as an organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to regularly rotate its senior leaders. This pattern assures the forward momentum of its core programs.

Over the past decade under Mr. Verkler’s leadership, FamilySearch has shifted its vast stores of genealogical records and resources to a digital, worldwide, internet-based focus.  FamilySearch has developed partnerships with many genealogy and technology industry organizations, helping form a broad and deep industry community including companies, societies, and archives.

FamilySearch has helped make the world’s historic records easier to access online, publishing over 2.4 billion names in historic records at familysearch.org, including 870 collections from over 50 countries indexed by over 250,000 volunteers. During this period, FamilySearch has also created an unprecedented, free global service organization that engages over 70,000 volunteers who provide needed local and online support to research patrons and the genealogical community.  FamilySearch has pioneered genealogical search, record linkage, imaging, crowd-sourcing, and digital preservation technologies.

“It has been a career highlight for me to work in such a significant and meaningful effort,” said Jay L. Verkler regarding his time at FamilySearch’s helm. “I have had the privilege to work with countless great individuals, organizations, and companies, all striving to provide the best of user experiences.”

Mr. Brimhall comes to FamilySearch with a deep background in management.  He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He recently served for 17 years as president and CEO of the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver from 1988 until 2005.  Since then Mr. Brimhall has held positions of increasing responsibility in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“I am very excited to help lead the work of FamilySearch, to continue the great things that have been done and move forward in new directions as appropriate,” said Brimhall.  “FamilySearch provides services to millions of people worldwide. We really need to understand our customers’ needs and satisfy them. Our focus will be to ensure that FamilySearch’s customer experiences are really first rate.”

FamilySearch looks forward to further strengthening its commitment to the global genealogical community, to publishing and digitizing the world’s records, and encouraging all people to discover, preserve, and share their family histories.

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 predecessor organizations have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Everyone's Going to RootsTech But You?

Win a FREE complimentary registration to RootsTech 2012!

I'll be at RootsTech in February but will you? I was there last February and I'm so excited for it again! RootsTech just isn't your normal genealogy conference -- so what is it and why would YOU want to go?

You tell me why you want to go to RootsTech and you could win a FREE registration to attend!

Here is what you need to do --

1. Go to the RootsTech website and review the conference material and then post a comment on my blog telling me why you want to attend RootsTech in 2012 and be as specific as you can! That's all there is to it. You have until midnight MST on Sunday, November 20th to do this. Tell all your friends by sending them the link to the blog or share on Facebook or Google+. If you have any questions my contact information is located in the upper right of the blog.

2. Wait until Monday morning and I will randomly select a winner and announce it on the blog! I will then get the information to you to claim your registration. Please only submit an entry if you can make it to RootsTech. This contest is for registration only.

[NOTE:  I am an official RootsTech Blogger and this registration is being provided by the kind people behind RootsTech.]
Good Luck!

11 November 2011

FamilySearch Records Updates

Here are the latest updates to FamilySearch Records. Some of the databases are browsable only, while others are indexed. New records are being made available so quickly and yet FamilySearch Indexing is in much need of more indexers. Remember to log in when you get to FamilySearch for access to the most records.

Australia, Tasmania, Miscellaneous Records, 1829–1961
Austria, Carinthia, Military Personnel Records, 1846–1897
Austria, Seigniorial Records, 1537-1888
Belgium Civil Registration, 1795-1920
Chile, Santiago, Cementerio General, 1821–2006
Czech Republic, Land Records 1450-1850
Dominican Republic, Catholic Church Records, 1590–1955
El Salvador, Catholic Church Records, 1655–1977
England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538–2010
England, Lancashire, Oldham Cemetery Registers, 1797–2004
England, Northumberland, Miscellaneous Records, 1705–1950
Germany, Württemberg, Schwäbisch Hall, Probate Records, 1833–1905
Guam, Land Records, 1898–1964
Isle of Man, Parish Registers, 1598–1950
Italy, Napoli, Castellammare di Stabia, Civil Registration (Comune), 1809–1936
Italy, Potenza, Lagonegro, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866–1910
Japan, Clan Genealogies, 1700–1900
Mexico, San Luis Potosí, Civil Registration, 1859-2000
Norway Census, 1875
Paraguay, Catholic Church Records, 1754–1981
Peru, Civil Registration, 1874-1978
Philippines, Civil Registration, 1945-1980
Slovakia, Church and Synagogue Books, 1592–1910
Spain, Catastro of Ensenada, 1749-1756
Spain, Consular Records of Emigrants, 1808–1960
Spain, Valencia, Miscellaneous Records, 1251-1950
Venezuela, Civil Registration
Wales, West Glamorgan, Electoral Registers, 1839–1925

United States Records
Arkansas, Sebastian County Births and Deaths, 1877-1963
California, County Marriages, 1850–1952
California, San Mateo County, Colma, Italian Cemetery Records, 1899-2011
California, State Census, 1852
Florida, Confederate Veterans and Widows Pension Applications, 1885-1955
Idaho, Clark County Records, 1884-1998
Illinois, Macon County, Decatur Public Library Collections, 1879–2007
Iowa, County Births, 1880–1935
Oregon, Columbia County Records, 1854-1958
Texas Birth Certificates, 1903–1934
Texas, Bexar County, San Antonio Cemetery Records, 1893–2007
Texas Deaths, 1977–1986
Texas, Matagorda County, School Census Records, 1923–1946
Utah, Probate Records, 1851-1961

17 Miracles author T.C. Christensen to speak at Riverton FamilySearch Library!

17 Miracles in Retrospect

T. C. Christensen will be showing clips from the movie and talking about what insights he has gained from being involved with it.

T. C. Christensen is the writer, the director, and the director of photography for the movie 17 Miracles, the story of the Willie and Martin Handcart companies, their struggles, and the miracles they received as they crossed the plains.

He has made several films about the Prophet Joseph Smith. Among these are Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration and Emma Smith: My Story. He also made A Giant Among Men on the life of President Gordon B. Hinckley. Other LDS films include Testaments and The Work and the Glory.

T. C. has been involved in many feature films including Rigoletto and Forever Strong as well as IMAX films including Lewis and Clark for National Geographic and Roving Mars for Disney. His short films include The Touch of the Master’s Hand, The Pump, Only a Stonecutter, and The John Tanner Story.

Riverton FamilySearch Library
13400 South and Bangerter
(Four-Story Building East of Home Depot)
Free Saturday Seminar – November 19, 2011
9:00 a.m. to Noon

UVTAGG Meeting Tomorrow

I know this is very late notice but the regular Saturday meeting and training classes for the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group is scheduled for Saturday, November 12.

Claire Brisson-Banks will be speaking on THE PERFECT SOCIAL MEDIA: FAMILY HISTORY & GENEALOGY.  Claire will discuss how family history really helps you find and connect with your extended family.  She has created a nice approach to accomplishing this and the outline is linked on her website  https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/User:BrissonBanksCV .

The classes following the main speaker are as follows:
1. Fold3 - Access to Government Records, by Marilyn Thomsen
2. MAC: OSX-7 (Lion), Using iPhoto, and Reunion Q&A, by Ron Snowden;
3. Keeping Your PC Healthy, by Jerry Castillo;
4. Personalized Help, by Don Engstrom & Finn Hansen;
5. Using Technology to Involve Youth in Family History, by Claire Brisson-Banks;
6. Video from last month's main presentation: Dead Men Do Tell Tales, by Loretta Evans;
7. Ancestral Quest, by Gaylon Findlay;
8. Legacy 7.5, by Joel Graham; and
9. RootsMagic 4, by Sue Maxwell.

As usual the class is held from 9am to noon in the LDS "Red Chapel", 4050 North Timpview Drive (650 East), Provo. Website: http://uvtagg.org

23 October 2011

RootsTech - Special Rate for Family History Consultants

... if you register for the conference by November 30!

If you didn't attend the 2011 RootsTech Family History and Technology Conference in downtown Salt Lake City you missed out on a great opportunity! It was a fantastic conference, and unlike any other.

RootsTech recently announced the second annual RootsTech conference, sponsored by FamilySearch. It will be held February 2-4, 2012, at the Salt Palace Convention Center, 100 South West Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Now don't get the idea that you have to be a consultant to attend as there will be something for everyone. Genealogists from around the world will be in attendance to learn new technology-based approaches to their research.

Researchers with a strong interest in technology will have the opportunity to test new products or solutions and provide feedback for technology creators.

The conference will also feature an exciting blend of speakers, workshops, and demonstrations. The speakers include D. Joshua Taylor, Lisa Louise Cook, Stephen P. Morse, Dan Lynch, Geoff Rasmussen, and others, as well as many experts from FamilySearch.

If you are a consultant you should have received an email from FamilySearch providing you with the details on how to receive your special discount to attend. Don't waste any time. Register now! 

Don't miss out on this fantastic conference!

American Indian and German Research Classes

The Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City offers free Research Series, classes and workshops for the public.  The following classes are scheduled for 5 November 2011.

American Indian Workshop  - Runs from 10 to 11:00 am

German Research Series - Begins at 9:00 am and continues throughout the day until 4:20pm. There will be a break for lunch mid-day.

NOTE: The German Research Series requires registration. To register, send e-mail to FHLClassReg@ldschurch.org or call 801-240-4950.

01 October 2011

Happy Anniversary! Free Ancestry.com Databases for 15-Days

To celebrate Ancestry.com's 15-Year Anniversary, one database each day for the next 15 days will be made available for FREE access to everyone! Each of those collections will then remain open for the balance of the 15 days.

Give them a try by clicking here: Ancestry Anniversary

Saturday Seminar at Riverton FamilySearch Library

Come join me! I will be teaching two classes, both have to do with search techniques and are so useful in your genealogy research. See you there!

Riverton FamilySearch Library
13400 South and Bangerter
(Four-Story Building East of Home Depot)
Free Saturday Seminar – October 15, 2011
9:00 a.m. to Noon

The library offers a free seminar every third Saturday of the month. An opening session is held at 9:00 a.m. featuring a keynote address. Following this session attendees are offered four choices of presentations at both 10:00 and 11:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m. - Keynote Address - "FamilySearch Scanning - The Story of Opening the Granite Mountain Records Vault" - Randy Bryson
10:00 a.m. - “Making Google Work for You" - Sue Maxwell
10:00 a.m. - "Where the Pros Search:  Many Free Wonderful Genealogy Sites Exist. Search from Your Home.  Search for that Missing Link" - Ron Ray
10:00 a.m. - "Researching Your Scottish Ancestry" - Raymon Naisbitt
10:00 a.m. - "Introduction to Legacy 7.5 Tree Maker and Legacy Family Search" - Carl Holland

11:00 a.m. - “Strategies for Searching - Using ancestry.com" - Sue Maxwell
11:00 a.m. - “New England Research" - Marilyn Markham
11:00 a.m. - "Bits and Pieces:  How to Write Your Personal History" - Rose Ann Fisher
11:00 a.m. - "Temple Submission Policies" - Ray Garrison

30 September 2011

FamilySearch.org Feature Changes Added Sept 2011

For a long time FamilySearch was making changes to the website once a quarter or four times a year. That was a challenge to keep up with. But things are changing faster and faster. Now changes are being released on more of an “as needed” basis, requiring all of us to have a bit more patience and flexibility.
Here is a recap of the most recent changes.

1.       The Feedback Tab was removed.  This was originally a part of the beta test and is no longer needed on each page. You can still send feedback from a link on the Home page or from inside the Help Center.

2.       A New Viewer for Images. The Flash viewer was eliminated because it will not work on most mobile devices. With the new viewer the Print button prints exactly what is displayed on the screen. So make sure you have the image centered the way you want it before printing. You can click and drag the image around.

3.       A New Layout for Search Results. The new format takes out much of the wasted “white space” on the page. You can see more results on one page and extra fields of data are displayed.

4.       Notes that were part of the original Pedigree Research File submissions are displayed on the results screen.

5.       The old Ancestral File Numbers that were previously removed from FamilySearch have now been added back so you can find a specific person you have a number for. 

Ancestry.com Expands U.S. School Yearbook Collection

Collection Will Include More than 150 Million Records of Relatives' School Days

PROVO, UTAH – August 24, 2011 – Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced a massive expansion of the world’s most extensive searchable collection of U.S. school yearbooks online.  The company has added nearly 25,000 new yearbooks to the collection, which now totals over 35,000 and carries 155 million records encompassing the years 1884 to 2009. The U.S. Yearbook Collection includes close to seven million images from thousands of U.S. high schools, junior highs, academies, colleges and universities.

The U.S. Yearbook Collection provides candid photos and insight into a relative’s appearance and extracurricular activities during their formative school years. The information and images contained in the collection also reveal insightful historical and cultural trends about fashion, style, politics, sports and social beliefs over the past 125 years of U.S. history. With the addition of the new records, family historians can more easily find what their current family members and ancestors looked like as youngsters and discover the types of activities in which they were involved. This collection can help tell a more complete story by offering rich details and providing context about the time their family members were in school.

"Our school years are often some of the most memorable times of our lives,” said Josh Hanna, Ancestry.com Executive Vice President. With the additions we’ve made to our U.S. School Yearbook collection, millions of Americans can experience their family members’ school years vicariously through the photos and records contained in this important collection. The details they include are often difficult to find, and while you’re searching, you might just find a famous classmate.”

For anyone interested in discovering their ancestors in the online yearbook collection, visit http://www.ancestry.com/yearbooks to search the full collection.

Ancestry.com Releases the 1930 Mexico National Census to Open Gateway for Hispanic Family History Research

From our friends at Ancestry.com:

Access is Free to Public for Most Comprehensive Mexican Census Published Online
PROVO, UTAH – (September 16, 2011) – Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced a significant addition to its growing collection of online Mexican and Hispanic historical records. With nearly 13 million records, the newly available 1930 Mexico National Census (El Quinto Censo General de Población y Vivienda 1930, México) is the most comprehensive historical Mexican census available online[1]. It is estimated that this census counted approximately 90 percent of the population, therefore for nearly 30 million Americans who can trace their families to Mexico, it provides a valuable gateway to begin researching Mexican family history, especially if family, vital or religious records are lost.

Mexico’s first formally recognized federal or national census was taken in 1895. Starting in 1900, censuses were taken every 10 years, making the 1930 Mexico Census the fifth official government census, or formally the Fifth General Census of Housing and Population. This particular census is significant in Mexican history as federal officials sought to make it a vehicle for national unity. A successful campaign urging citizens to take part as a civic duty resulted in an extremely high participation rate - the primary reason why the 1930 Mexican Census is considered the best Mexican census conducted in the 20th century.

Edward James Olmos, Academy Award nominated actor and noted philanthropist, is working with Ancestry.com to trace his family’s Mexican history using information found in the 1930 Mexico National Census.

“Like so many Latinos, I’m proud of my heritage and want to preserve that legacy for future generations,” said Olmos. “With resources like the 1930 Mexico National Census, families can now trace their ancestors to Mexico and gain a greater understanding of where they came from.”

The 1930 Mexico National Census provides a wide spectrum of details about individuals and families and can offer valuable insight into their lives. In addition to demographic data such as name, age, gender, birthplace, address and marital status, the census form also recorded nationality, religion, occupation, real estate holdings, literacy and any physical or mental defects. The millions of records in the collection reveal some interesting statistics about life in Mexico in 1930:
·         The most common given female name was Maria and the most common given male name Juan.
·         The three most common surnames were Hernandez, Garcia and Martinez.
·         Nearly 18% of the population were recorded as Soltero [single], 11% were Casado por lo Civil y la Iglesia [civil and church marriage], 10% were Casado por la Iglesia [church marriage] and 8% were Union Libre [free union—living together without marriage].
·         The four most populous Mexican states were Puebla, Veracruz, Jalisco and Oaxaca.
·         Famous Mexicans found in the collection include Maria Félix (1914–2002), who was among the best-known Mexican actresses and Carmello Torres Fregoso (Bernardo del Carmen Fregoso Cázares; 1927-2003), a renowned bullfighter who later became a successful businessman.
“As the United States is home to the second largest Mexican community in the world, Mexican-Americans comprise 10 percent of the total U.S. population therefore it is fitting that the world’s largest online family history resource now has an expansive collection to serve this important demographic,” said Josh Hanna, Ancestry.com Executive Vice President.

While the 1930 Mexico Census is the newest and largest collection of Mexican records on Ancestry.com, there are a number of other collections that may be helpful when conducting Mexican family history research, including Border Crossings: From Mexico to U.S., 1895-1957; Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, Mexico, Selected Parish Records, 1751-1880; and the Spanish-American Family History Guide.
To start researching the 1930 Mexico Census for free, please visit www.ancestry.com/Mexico

Family History Library to Hold Free Research Series Seminars

SALT LAKE CITY — On Saturday, October 8, 2011, the Family History Library is offering an all-day seminar on U.S. Immigration Research.  The topics include:  “U.S. Immigration, 1820-1954,” “U.S. Naturalization Records,” and “Canadian Border Crossing Records.”  Classes will run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
To view the class schedule online, go to www.familysearch.org.  Classes will be held in the Main Floor classroom of the Family History Library.  The library is located to the west of Temple Square on West Temple between North Temple and South Temple Streets in downtown Salt Lake City.  On Saturdays, parking is free to library patrons and is located behind the Church History Museum.  To register for these free classes, send an email to FHLClassReg@familysearch.org or call 801-240-4950. 

Family History Library to Hold Free Hispanic Research Series
SALT LAKE CITY — On Saturday, October 15, 2011, the Family History Library is offering an all-day seminar on Hispanic Research.  The topics include:  “Fundamentos Basicos Para La Historia Familiar,” “Registros Parroquiales,” “Registros Diocesanos,” “FamilySearch.org,” and “Nuevo Family Search.”  Classes will run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
To view the class schedule online, go to www.familysearch.org.  Classes will be held in the Auditorium on the first lower level of the Church History Museum.  The museum is located to the west of Temple Square on West Temple between North Temple and South Temple Streets in downtown Salt Lake City.  On Saturdays, parking is free to library patrons and is located behind the Church History Museum.  To register for these free classes, send an email to FHLClassReg@familysearch.org or call 801-240-4950. 

Family History Library to Hold Free Wales Research Peculiarities Workshop
SALT LAKE CITY — On Saturday, October 22, 2011, the Family History Library is offering an all-day seminar on Wales Research Peculiarities.  The topics include:  “Names, Geographical and Personal,” “Records and Research Strategies,” and “Practice Time.”  Classes will run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
To view the class schedule online, go to www.familysearch.org.  Classes will be held in the B2 classroom on the second lower level of the Family History Library.  The library is located to the west of Temple Square on West Temple between North Temple and South Temple Streets in downtown Salt Lake City.  On Saturdays, parking is free to library patrons and is located behind the Church History Museum.  To register for these free classes, send an email to FHLClassReg@familysearch.org or call 801-240-4950. 

RootsTech 2012 - It's Coming Again! Take Advantage of Early Bird Registration.

I'm so excited and looking forward to 
RootsTech 2012  - February 2 - 4, 2012! 

Did you miss the first RootsTech event earlier this year? It was a fantastic learning experience for over 3,000 attendees and full of fun activities for everyone, so don't miss out this time! I have attended many genealogy conferences over the years and you just can't beat this one for content, excitement, and cost. Besides, you will be right by the Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City and you will can do all that deep searching you have wanted to do. 

I had many LOCAL genealogy friends right here along the Wasatch Front in Utah that didn't attend. When I asked them "why" the number one response was that they figured it world be "over their heads" and they just didn't know enough. Well, that is EXACTLY WHY YOU DO WANT TO ATTEND. There are classes and activities available for everyone -- even if you are just a beginner working on your own family history or you are a programming techie! Don't hesitate. Register now while the Early Registration is open. 

Early Bird Registration is under way for $129 and will continue until November 30, 2011. 

I'm also really exciting as I have been asked to be an official RootsTech Blogger again! A little hint to self  --"Don't donate blood the day before the event!". Yes, I did that last year and became very anemic and struggled trying to get my posts out. So this year, I'm taking my vitamins and staying away from the blood donation sites! 

This is the one conference you don't want to miss!

Work on your research right inside the conference.
Take a break and enjoy some time with other attendees.
Take advantage of all the learning opportunities!

29 September 2011

Personal Historian 2 Released by RootsMagic, Inc.

You probably all know that I am really a fan of RootsMagic Genealogy Software and have been since it began. I also really like their Personal Historian Software that helps you to write your own personal story OR write a personal history for anyone -- ancestors, family members, friends, etc. Finally, RootsMagic, Inc. has released a new updated version of Personal Historian and I'm so excited to get going on it! Here is the official press release with all the detail! It's so fun and easy!

Personal Historian 2 Software Released
Latest Version of Personal and Family History Writing Software Now Available to the Public
SPRINGVILLE, Utah. — September 28, 2011 — RootsMagic, Inc. today announced the official release of Personal Historian 2, the latest version of the ground-breaking computer software which helps you write the story of your life and of other individuals.  Personal Historian breaks this seemingly monumental task into small, manageable pieces and then reconstructs it into a complete, publishable document.  With the release comes a free “Essentials” version of the software as well as a discount offer for new users and previous owners of the software.

Bring Life to Your Life Stories

“Many people want to write a personal history about themselves or family members but get lost or overwhelmed,” said Michael Booth, vice-president and lead developer of the software.  “It’s very gratifying to hear people tell us that they are finally able to write their life stories thanks to Personal Historian.”

Personal Historian creates an interactive timeline of a person’s life to keep the stories organized, give context to life events, and to allow users to write stories in any order they wish. When ready, Personal Historian will compile the stories into a finished book complete with table of contents, chapters, pictures, indexes, and more.  The book may then be printed at home, edited in a word processor, published professionally, or shared with friends and family.

New Features

“The new features in Personal Historian 2 have been worth the wait,” said Bruce Buzbee, president. “While we’ve added many new and powerful features, we’ve worked hard to make the software even easier to use than before.”

Personal Historian 2 boasts an impressive list of over 40 features including streamlined step-by-step wizards; expanded timelines and memory trigger questions; easy filtering and searching of stories; management of categories, people, and places; improved outlining and writing analysis; wrapping of text around pictures; fonts and text styles; and more-powerful publishing and output options.

Free “Personal Historian Essentials”

RootsMagic is also releasing a new, free edition of Personal Historian named, “Personal Historian Essentials”.  Personal Historian Essentials contains many core features from the Personal Historian software and the two products are fully-compatible with one another.  “We wanted to give everyone a risk-free option,” said Booth.  “Personal Historian Essentials is perfect for someone who wants to start writing a personal history but doesn’t know where to begin.”  Personal Historian Essentials is available for download at http://www.personalhistorian.com.

Discount Offer

To celebrate it’s release, RootsMagic, Inc. is pleased to offer a special introductory offer for Personal Historian 2. Through October 31, 2011, Personal Historian 2 is available for a special introductory price of only $19.95, saving $10 off of the regular price.  The discount is available only on the Personal Historian website at http://www.personalhistorian.com or by calling 1-800-766-8762.

About RootsMagic, Inc.
For over 20 years, RootsMagic, Inc. has been creating computer software with a special purpose- to unite families. One of our 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”, our award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history fun and easy. “Personal Historian” will help you easily write and preserve your life stories. “Family Reunion Organizer” takes the headaches out of planning those important get-togethers. And “Family Atlas” creates beautiful and educational geographic maps of your family history.

For more information, visit www.rootsmagic.com.
Source: RootsMagic, Inc.

Ancestry.com Releases Family Tree Maker 2012 with TreeSync™, Allowing Family Tree Updates from Anywhere via the Cloud

From our friends at Ancestry.com:

Update of the No. 1 Selling Family History Software Makes Researching & Sharing Family History More Rewarding Than Ever
PROVO, Utah (Sept. 29, 2011) – Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced the release of Family Tree Maker® 2012, an improved and expanded version of the world’s No. 1 selling family history software. Now with its new TreeSync™ capabilities, Family Tree Maker 2012 enables family history enthusiasts to sync their desktop family trees and their trees online at Ancestry.com unlike any other desktop software available on the market.
“We have a long-term vision to make family history simple and more accessible to the masses,” said Eric Shoup, Senior Vice President of Product for Ancestry.com. “Now with the combination of Ancestry.com, the Ancestry mobile app and the new Family Tree Maker, users can work on their family tree anywhere, anytime.”

Family Tree Maker 2012 introduces TreeSync, which enables family historians to sync their online tree at Ancestry.com and their desktop family trees, including photos and other historical records they have attached. This enables Family Tree Maker users to bring their desktop tree online to share with invited guests and continue their research from wherever they are.
The new software comes with a free membership or free trial to Ancestry.com that gives users access to billions of historical records, and millions of memory-making historical photos, stories and family trees. Membership with Ancestry.com connects Family Tree Maker 2012 users to the largest family history community in the world, and helps users find other members who might be researching the same ancestors so they can compare notes and discover more together.
Other improvements in Family Tree Maker 2012 include:
·         An easier-than-ever user interface to get users started right away
·         Upgraded help content and video tutorials
·         Improved content-generation and editing options to create engaging “Smart Stories” about family history and family members
·         The ability to combine families into one harmonized tree, bringing step-families and adoptees into the main family tree
·         Simple generation labels and text boxes to make family trees more interesting and informative
Expert users of earlier Family Tree Maker releases will find new power-user tools in Family Tree Maker 2012, including:
·         Upgraded personalization capabilities enabling users to add their own images, adding narrative text and displaying explanatory generation labels to charts
·         Index report of every individual in a family tree with birth, marriage and death dates
·         Chart the line of descendancy between an ancestor and any descendant in your family tree
Pricing and availability
Family Tree Maker 2012 for PC is starting at $39.99 and is now available to purchase online at http://www.familytreemaker.com and at Best Buy, Office Depot, Amazon.com and other select retailers. Family Tree Maker for Mac is also available, and will include the TreeSync capability in the upcoming version slated to be released by the end of 2011.