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.


The next regular, second-Saturday-of-the-month meeting of the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group - UVTAGG (Formerly the Utah Valley PAF Users Group - UVPAFUG) will be on Saturday, 8 Oct 2011, from 9 am to noon in the LDS "Red Chapel", 4050 North Timpview Drive (650 East), Provo. Information about the Group, main presentations, classes, and class notes are available on their website http://uvtagg.org.

The main presentation for this meeting will be by Loretta Evans on DEAD MEN DO TELL TALES.   When someone dies, a number of records are created – obituaries, sexton records, death certificates, probates, funeral home documents, and even coroner’s reports.  These can be invaluable for family historians. Many original documents are available online and this presentation will illustrate finding and using them.  Loretta Evans, AG®, is a freelance writer and lecturer with over 35 years of genealogical experience.  Accredited in Midwestern research, she specializes in 19th and 20th century United States genealogy.  Loretta has lectured regularly at genealogical events, including the FGS Conference, BYU Computerized Genealogy Conference, and the BYU-Idaho Family History Conference.  She is the author of six family histories and numerous magazine articles.  She and her husband recently returned from serving as missionaries at the Family and Church History Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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)  Mormon Data, including the Nauvoo Databank, Don Snow;
(2)  Tips and Tricks for Using Ancestry.com on MACs & PCs, Cathy Magleby;
(3)  Personalized Help, Don Engstrom & Finn Hansen;
(4)  llustrating Your Family History, Loretta Evans;
(5)  Video of last month's main presentation: The Power of DNA in Unlocking Family Relationships, Ugo A. Perego;
(6)  Ancestral Quest, Gaylon Findlay;
(7)  Legacy 7.5, Joel Graham; and
(8)  RootsMagic 4, Bruce Buzbee.

All meetings of the Group 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 100-125 attending the monthly meetings on the second Saturdays.

FamilySearch Records Updates

I’m a bit behind on my posts because I’ve been out enjoying the beauty of this earth! Now it’s time to get back on track. I am consolidating the FamilySearch records updates for the last month. So find one of these collections that fits your needs and GET TO WORK! Enjoy!
Some of these collections are browsable only, some have been indexed, others updated. Eventually they will all be indexed and imaged as far as FamilySearch is contractually able.



06 September 2011

Family History Library to Hold Free Lecture on “The Cornish”

SALT LAKE CITY — On Friday, September 9, 2011, the Family History Library is offering a free lecture with guest speaker, Philip Hosken, from England.  Philip was the former editor and publisher of the Cornish World magazine.  The lecture is titled, “The Cornish:  A Celtic Nation Found Throughout the World.”  Philip will review the history and culture of the Cornish people and how their mining industry and inventiveness shaped their existence and eventually drove them to all corners of the Earth.  Lecture will run from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

To view the class schedule online, go to www.familysearch.org.  Lecture 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. 

01 September 2011

Free Access to Immigration and Naturalization Records on Ancestry.com Until 5 September!

Ancestry.com has opened up their immigration and naturalization records for free access for the next 5 days! Take advantage of this opportunity to do a little extra research from the comfort of your home.
During this time, all visitors to Ancestry.com will be able to search for free the indices and images of new and updated U.S. immigration records as well as selected international immigration records from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Mexico. Millions of Americans can trace their family history to other countries, and these collections provide valuable information about the travels and journeys that brought them to America or other countries around the world.

Ancestry.com’s extensive collection of immigration, naturalization and travel records offer an important resource for discovering and celebrating family history. As part of this promotion, the company is adding to its collection of U.S. and international records for tracing relatives from their homeland to other countries around the world. These records include ships passenger and crew lists, declarations of intent, petitions for naturalization, witness affidavits, border crossings, certificates and other records generated by the naturalization process, which is the act and procedure of becoming a new citizen of a country. Because the process has changed significantly over time and varies from country to country, different records are available from a wide variety of state, federal and international sources.

To start researching the immigration and naturalization records for free, please visit www.ancestry.com/immigration.