20 April 2011

140 Free Online Genealogy Research Courses Growing Course Catalog Makes It Easier to Expand Family History Skills

The following is from FamilySearch:

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Ever found yourself researching your family tree and discovering a new branch that extended to another country—and you are not familiar with that country’s records or language? Or perhaps you are a fan of the popular reality show Who Do You Think You Are? and wonder, “How do the producers know what public records to search to find all of those cool stories about that celebrity’s ancestors?” Maybe you’d like to learn more about how to do your family history research but don’t think you can afford to take a class. Thousands of individuals are now satisfying many of those needs through FamilySearch’s growing collection of free online genealogy courses.

In just one year, the number of free FamilySearch courses has grown to over 140—and new courses are added monthly. Most recently, over 25 courses were added for Australia, England, Germany, and the U.S. Additional courses were added that focus on basic tools and techniques for anyone just getting started in family history research, as well as courses for intermediate and advanced researchers.  

“The goal of the initiative is to educate more people worldwide about how to find their ancestors. We do it by filming the experts teaching a particular class of interest and then offering free access to that presentation online—complete with the PowerPoint used and any electronic handouts that the user can download or print for future reference,” said Candace Turpan, FamilySearch instructional designer. 

Turpan’s team films presentations made by its staff from the FamilySearch Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as special guests (the library is frequented by accredited researchers from all over the world). They also travel to industry conferences or other venues where record and research specialists gather. There they film specialists’ presentations and make them available online.

Of course, you don’t have to be into genealogy to find presentations of interest. Fans of The Da Vinci Code or National Treasure might find the Cemetery Art course by Ellen Miller of the Mid-Continent Public Library System in Independence, Missouri, very intriguing and enlightening. Miller’s course teaches about funerary traditions and cemetery iconography. “[Tombstone] practices differ from country to country, culture to culture, and religion to religion. As funeral ceremonies differ, so do the burial practices,” said Miller. Those elements often influence the types of funeral markers and symbols used on headstones, footstones, and tablet stones and can therefore tell important facts about the person they help identify. The key is in understanding the messages behind the symbolism.

FamilySearch uses viewing software that splits the viewing screen (sort of like the picture-in-picture features on some televisions) so the user can watch the video of the presenter while also seeing the PowerPoint presentation. Most courses are 30 minutes in length. You can also fast forward through the presentation or presentation slides or stop and pick up later where you left off—a luxury you don’t get in the live presentation.

“Maybe you enjoy the thrill of deciphering or reading old records in other languages. FamilySearch also has free courses to help genealogy students understand key words and terms of older foreign alphabets and handwriting, including Gothic,” added Turpin. The intent behind all of these courses is to give people the keys they need to successfully find their elusive ancestors in historic records. “Sometimes they just need a new sleuthing skill or resource. These genealogy courses are perfect for those personal development needs,” concluded Turpin.

Whatever your motivation or objective, bookmark and make regular visits to the growing catalog of free courses at FamilySearch.org.

And if you or someone you know currently teaches a class that would be of value to the genealogy community and wants to share it, find out how online at FamilySearch’s genealogy classes online.

Latest Course Additions:

    ·      Australia BDM Civil Registration Index
    ·      New South Wales Early Church Records 1788–1886
    ·      Using the New South Wales Birth, Death, Marriage Index
   ·      Getting the Most from the National Archives Website
    ·      Researching in the British Isles
    ·      What Is Britain?
    ·      My Experiences in German Family Research
    ·      Cemetery Art
    ·      Finding Your Way: Locating and Using Maps in Your Research
    ·      How to Find More at a Genealogy Library
    ·      If I’d Only Known: Beginner Genealogy Mistakes
    ·      Managing Your Family Records on the Internet
    ·      Basic U.S. Military Records with Tiff
    ·      Beginning Census Research and Record Keeping
    ·      Colonial Immigration
    ·      Colonial Land
    ·      County Histories and Your Family
    ·      Finding the Slave Generation
    ·      Locating Ancestors on the Final Rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes
    ·      See You on Sunday! Church Records in Genealogy
    ·      Some Underused Online Resources
    ·      U.S. Courthouse Research
    ·      Welcome to the World of Periodicals
   ·      Mentoring Class: Introduction to ICAPGen 
   ·      Mentoring Class: Research Binder 
·      Mentoring Class: Evidence Analysis Part II 
·      Mentoring Class: Written Exam and Oral Review

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 has 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 SaltLake City, Utah.

12 April 2011

RootsMagic Training Classes Begin Tonight! April 12th

Reminder: The first of five classes for training on the RootsMagic Software program begins tonight at the Riverton FamilySearch Library. I will be teaching each Tuesday evening from 7-9pm from April 12th through the 10th of May. Please come join me! Even if you need to miss a class, no problem! Each class stands by itself. See you there!

Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) Virtual Chapter

The Utah Genealogical Association Virtual Chapter presents Devin Ashby and 'The Google Genealogist'.

What are the latest tools from Google and how can I use them in my research? Come learn about products like Picasa, Alerts, Sites, Books, Video, Maps and much more that can help you save time and money as you utilize the internet to help you get the job done. 

Devin Ashby is a Project Coordinator for FamilySearch, the largest genealogical organization in the world. Devin has been involved in family history for years and in 2004 he received Bachelor degrees in History and Spanish and the following year earned a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

Th e UGA Virtual Chapter meets monthly on the third Th ursday of the month. Th rough May these meetings are free to members and non-members of UGA. They include both video and audio, and can be accessed anywhere there is internet access. Please join us by visiting the URL above.
Email suzannecurley@gmail.com with questions.

11 April 2011

Riverton Seminar Series—April Classes

Many people want to do family history. But after we go to work to provide for our temporal needs and wants; care for our families, friends, and neighbors; and serve in our church or community, there just doesn’t seem to be much time left at our disposal. However, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time to do family history work, and help is nearby when you need it.

The Riverton FamilySearch Library stands ready to help with research tools and personal assistance six days a week, in addition to a monthly Saturday seminar. This month’s seminar, to be held on Saturday, April 16, 2011, will be a three-hour seminar from 9:00 a.m. to noon featuring a keynote address and eight classes.

Tim Cross, the keynote speaker, will present a message entitled “Family History: Isn’t It About Time?” During his presentation, he will help you discover ways to do family history in 30 minutes or less using FamilySearch, and he will also provide a glimpse of the new source feature for new FamilySearch. Cross has worked as a product manager for FamilySearch for 7 years. Prior to that he worked in the computer industry for Price Waterhouse, Booz Allen & Hamilton, and Novell. He is currently responsible for integrating all the FamilySearch components into familysearch.org and linking source records into the Family Tree (new.familysearch.org).

Following the keynote presentation, there will be two blocks of four classes that will cover topics of interest to both beginning and advanced family historians.

Classes to be held from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. are:
  • “Blog Your Way to Genealogical Success”—Robert Raymond
  • “Beginning English and Welsh Ancestry”—Raymon Naisbitt
  • “Best Strategies for Searching Ancestry.com”—Christa Cowan
  • “Solving Really Tough Research Problems”—Jason Harrison
The classes available from 11:00 a.m. to noon are:
  • “Mobile Apps for Genealogy”—A.C. Moore
  • “An Overview of New English Research”—Jason Harrison
  • “Synchronizing PAF 5 Data with New FamilySearch Using Ancestral Quest, the Program from Which PAF 5 Was Derived”—Gaylon Findlay
  • “A Personal Journey in Discovering and Recording Our Family Heritage”—Brigham Cheney
Registration is not required for this free seminar. The Riverton FamilySearch Library is located in the LDS Riverton Office Building at 3740 Market Center Drive. The facility is near the intersection of Bangerter Highway and 13400 South, just east of The Home Depot.   

FamilySearch: 14 Million More New Records!

Whether you say it maravilloso, wonderlijk, or merveilleux, it all describes this week’s new, free collection updates at FamilySearch.org—marvelous!

Researchers with Netherlands roots are going to have a heyday perusing the 9 million new digital images for the Netherlands Civil Registration, 1792 to 1952, collection. If your Netherlands ancestors headed south to Belgium, you might find them in the 1.5 million new records added to the Belgium Civil Registration, 1795–1910, online collection. And how about Canada, Chile, Slovakia, and South Africa, with another million records added between them? The wildly popular Ohio County Marriage collection just received a boost of 596,000 images of marriage certificates and an updated index. That means that about 76 percent of Ohio’s county marriages can now be searched online for free. Vermont and Wisconsin collections got a boost this week as well. See the table below for more details. You can search all of the record collections now for free at FamilySearch.org.

It is also worthy to note that the 1881 England and Wales Census index received significant enhancements this week. Searchable fields were added for county, civil parish, ecclesiastical parish, occupation, disability, and folio/page numbers. These additional fields will help users more easily identify the person they are seeking. Even of greater worth is the fact that households are now grouped together so users can see the family in context. The index is linked to the images on findmypast.com.

If you are enjoying the steady stream of free records added weekly, please consider “giving back” as a FamilySearch volunteer. You can start and stop volunteering at any time. Find out more at indexing.familysearch.org.

The new collections include records and updates from the following:

Belgium Civil Registration, 1795-1910
Canada, Quebec Notarial Records, 1800-1900
Chile, Concepcion, Civil Registration, 1885-1903
England and Wales Census, 1881  
Netherlands, Civil Registration, 1792-1952
Slovakia Church Books, 1592-1910
South Africa, Cape Province Dutch Reformed Church Registers, 1660-1970
U.S., Ohio, County Marriages, 1790-1950
U.S., Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-1954
U.S., Wisconsin, Probate Estate Files, 1848-1933    

Archives.com Update: 3.5 Million New Records

Today, Archives announces the addition of over 3.5 million new U.S. vital records and images to the website, demonstrating its commitment to adding value while maintaining the same low price point. Throughout the past year, Archives has significantly increased the number of historical records available to members, and this will continue to remain a key focus for the site. Archives is pleased to bring users these new, compelling record collections that will help them to discover new information about their ancestors.
The addition of these 3.5 million digital records is accompanied by the integration of 170,000 images of historical marriage certificates. Dating back to 1846, these images reveal valuable information to family historians about the life and times of their ancestors.
Each record collection added to Archives.com is easy to find through its simple search interface. Users can search by name, date, and location to filter results for a precise match. In total, Archives.com provides access to over 1.1 billion historical records, including vital, census, newspaper, immigration, and more.
These new record collections represent eight states including Texas, Kentucky, Maine, South Carolina, Colorado, Arizona, South Carolina, and Ohio. Regarding the Ohio collection, Archives worked with theRutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center to integrate their set of close to 1.5 million obituary records. The index was compiled from original newspapers by library staff and volunteers, and covers years 1810 to 2010. On the value of the collection, Head Librarian Rebecca B. Hill notes, "Obituaries are a great tool for building your own family history. Genealogists have long found that they can help flesh out the bare bones of a skeletal family tree."
Archives is thrilled to help increase access to and visibility of these records, allowing people to find more records online than ever before. Please visit the Collections page to learn about the records available on Archives.com. To receive regular updates about the website, please visit the Archives.com blog.

07 April 2011

Eating an Elephant One Bite at a Time-UVPAFUG

The next regular, second-Saturday-of-the-month meeting of the Utah Valley PAF (Personal Ancestral File) Users Group will be on Saturday, 9 Apr 2011, 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 website http://uvpafug.org and the press releases are at http://blog.uvpafug.org/ .

The main presentation for this meeting will be by Marilyn Thomsen on EATING AN ELEPHANT ONE BITE AT A TIME: IDEAS TO ORGANIZE YOUR FAMILY HISTORY TIME.  If you feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start on your family history, this presentation will help you set a goal, get organized, and show you how to use a personal coach to help you eat your genealogical elephant.  Marilyn Thomsen graduated with a B.A. in family history from Brigham Young University. Her internship was at the National Archive Branch in Atlanta, Georgia.  Twice she won BYU's award for her family histories.  Recently she served as a US & Canada consultant at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and is currently the Director of the Utah Orem Sunset Heights Tri-Stake Family History Center.  Her husband, Richard, shares a passion for digging up dead relatives and sharing it with living.

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)  Comparing Ancestral Quest, Legacy, and RootsMagic, by Debbie Gurtler;  (2)  MAC:  Recent DNA experiences--and Reunion Q&A, by Ron Hatch;  (3)  Personalized Help, by Finn Hansen & Don Engstrom;  (4)  Getting Genealogy Clutter Under Control, by Marilyn Thomsen;  (5)  Video of last month's main presentation:  Back-Door Research Breaks Through Brick Walls, by Stephen Ehat;  (6)  Family Insight, by Andrea Schnakenburg;  (7)  Ancestral Quest, by Gaylon Findlay;  (8)  Legacy, by Dean Bennett; and  (9)  RootsMagic, by Sue Maxwell.

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.