Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Home Movies

We have been talking about converting home movies to DVD format. I discovered this interesting web site Center for Home Movies.  There is a lot of good information. I think it might be fun to have a Home Movie Day.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mission Possible Part 2 November 2010

The reporting session of Mission Possible was held on November 4, 2010.
I was pleased that so many of the sisters had success with their missions.

Mission #1 -- Several sisters reported how they are organizing their documents and other memorabilia. There is a good method for organizing your hard drive for genealogy research on You Tube. It is from Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems.

Organize Your Hard Drive

Mission #2 -- The sister who had this mission had saved her genealogy information digitally with Personal Ancestral File years ago. Her computer had crashed and she had lost it all. It was in the days when back-up and recovery systems were not as good as now. She is starting over again with Roots Magic. Fortunately she has her hard copies and though it might be tedious, she can transfer her information to Roots Magic and also New Family Search.

Mission #3 -- The sister who completed this mission enjoyed seeing all that is available on New Family Search. She said it took a long time because she has dial-up Internet service. Probably we should take a group of sisters to the Family Search Center in Riverton and introduce them to New Family Search there using the computers that are available there.

Mission #4 -- The sister who completed this mission wrote a ten-page report about her grandmother. She found much interesting information from an aunt who lives in Nauvoo and wants to follow up and learn more about other ancestors. Her report on her grandmother was very interesting.

Mission #5 -- Thanks to this sister and her husband we had two yummy desserts for refreshments, an apple cobbler and a cherry loaf. Both were prized family recipes.

Mission #6 --This mission was "Display Your Heritage" and we heard a very interesting report of how this sister inherited her grandmother's china and how she displays it in her home.

Mission #7 -- The sister who started doing Family Search Indexing went gungho! She has given a lot of service throughout the month and learned many things about the program and is a great resource to the rest of us.

Mission #8 -- This mission was to create an Internet blog. The sister who had this assignment was not able to create a blog but she is involved in many other family history projects.

Mission #9  -- This was a photography mission. Maybe we can do more with this project at another time in Relief Society.

Mission # 10 -- This sister reported on watching several TV programs about family history. She reviewed several episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? and Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mission Possible -- 4th Ward Relief Society October 2010

NOTE: The Mission Possible missions are designed to be projects that will turn “the hearts of the children to their fathers” and to be things that will strengthen families. Some of them require computer access and some computer skills. Some do not. Before you accept your mission you will be given the opportunity to trade missions or accept another mission, if necessary. It is expected that you will spend about four hours over the next month working on your mission and that you will report your experiences at the next Relief Society meeting. It is also expected that we will help each other and provide resources for everyone to work on their mission.

Family History Mission #1
Take time to gather ALL your genealogy papers, documents, photos, books, outlines, etc. Organize them and file them. OR Get a cardboard box. Then follow the instructions given by President Packer as written in “Your Family History: Getting Started,” Ensign Aug 2003, 12-17.

Family History Mission #2
Digitize your Family History records if you have not already done so. Use Personal Ancestral File (free from Family Search) or use one of the Certified Products shown on the New Family Search web site.
Examples are Legacy, Roots Magic, Ancestral Quest, FamilyInsight, Gaia Family Tree, Genetree
If you already have your Family History digitized, spend four hours reviewing and updating your information.

Family History Mission #3
Register for New Family Search if you have not already done so. Once you are registered spend four or more hours reviewing the information about your ancestors. Check for accuracy. Investigate whether other family members are researching your family history and contact them to collaborate.

Family History Mission #4
Choose one of your ancestors and write a history about them and their life. Include all important dates, names and places. Give citations for your sources. This can be as long or as short as you desire. Imagine that you or your child is giving a talk about this person.

Family History Mission #5
Promote food traditions. Take a traditional family recipe and learn to prepare this food. Serve it to your family. If you are already doing this on a regular basis, then teach a child, grandchild, niece or nephew how to prepare an old family recipe so that the family tradition will continue into the next generations.

Family History Mission #6
Display your heritage or your personal history. Use a shadow box or a frame to display photographs or artifacts from your family. Beware of bright sunlight and use copies if necessary or display only on special occasions. Another option is to learn how to preserve fabrics, antiques, etc. and take steps to protect valuable family heirlooms. Create labels and inventories so that your children know the history of your family treasures.

Family History Mission #7
Register to volunteer with Family Search Indexing and complete three or four batches. You will help make genealogical information available for researchers and you will gain valuable research skills that will help you when you desire to research these documents for your ancestors. Go to http://www.familysearch.org/eng/indexing/frameset_indexing.asp to get started or ask a family history consultant to visit you in your home and help you. If you are already an indexer, complete at least four batches in the next month.

Family History Mission #8
Make an Internet Blog. This can be a family news blog, a research blog, an educational blog, or a blog to co-ordinate research. If you already have a blog, you may choose to update it.

Family History Mission #9
Organize your photographs. Make sure all photos are labeled. Convert old photos and slides to digital format. Make scrapbooks. Attach digital images to your ancestors in your digital genealogy software. Decide which part of this project you are going to spend four hours on in the next month and get started.

Family History Mission #10
Be a film critic. Watch at least four genealogy TV or Internet programs and review them for our group next month. Suggestions are:

NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? http://www.nbc.com/who-do-you-think-you-are/

PBS’s Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates Jr.


BYU’s Generations Project http://www.byutv.org/thegenerationsproject/Episodes/

Roots Television http://www.rootstelevision.com/

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Identifying Women: The Ultimate Brick Wall by Barbara Vines Little

Barbara Vines Little is an instructor for Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. She is co-ordinator for the Virginia track of courses. She is editor of Magazine of Virginia Genealogy. She has been president of the National Genealogical Society and is a very popular lecturer and teacher. I will always remember she was the presenter wearing the black hat and red suit.
I was a little late getting to this class and literally took the last seat in the room. People were being turned away at the door, but a kind woman in the middle of the hall was pointing to a vacant seat near her. I climbed over a dozen people to get to this seat and I was glad. The room was jam packed with people and the lecture was jam packed with information.
This class was about "locating and deciphering the clues that help us identify the unnamed women in our family tree." The introductory premise was this. "A woman, whether servant, slave or free, frequently lost and gained property and other rights based upon her age and marital status. In order to successfully research women, it is necessary to understand these rights and how and under what conditions they changed."
Barbara Vines Little next presented definitions in English common law for age, curtesy, dower, dower by common law, femme sole, femme covert, spinster, coverture, and next friend. She gave us a check list of questions we can ask about our female ancestor and she listed resources to use in determining a maiden name. She had lots of suggestions and ideas for sources to further our research on women. Some were very creative such as searching business records for the lists of people who charged at a store or reading the social columns in the newspapers near the time of a death in the family to determine who may have visited for the funeral.
I was glad I could attend this class and I learned a great deal.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kodak Moments and Technicolor Dreams: Twentieth Century Photos and films in the Family Archive by Maureen A. Taylor

Maureen A. Taylor is known as the Photo Detective. She has a blog entitled Photo Detective in connection with Family Tree Magazine. She writes regular columns for Family Tree Magazine and I have a subscription so I have read her work. She helps readers identify old photographs. I was excited to hear her speak. She has been a private photography consultant for 11 years and before that she was a photo curator for 20 years.

She gave us an overview of all the types of twentieth century images starting with digital imaging and reviewing home movie film, paper prints, postcards, polaroids, stereographs, slides, and tintypes. She gave many interesting details. When she explained about "silvering" which is when an old photograph gradually turns a silvery color I recognized that I have some photographs in which the silver is gradually coming to the surface. I need to quickly scan these photographs before they are completely obliterated! I liked seeing the photos of the Brownie cameras. About 1900 there were 250,000 Brownie cameras sold for $1.00 each. She referred us to the interesting web site of Northeast Historic Film http://www.oldfilm.org/. I learned I need to take my old photo albums and wrap them in washed unbleached muslin. Fortunately I have about ten yards of unbleached muslin.

Maureen Taylor was a very good speaker. She had technical difficulties when the bulb on her projector burned out. She showed poise and called someone to bring her another projector on her cell phone and proceeded with her lecture without her slides. Soon the projector was replaced and we were able to see all her excellent slides.

Monday, June 7, 2010

DNA Testing presented by Thomas H. Shawker, MD

Thomas H. Shawker, MD  is chairman of  the NGS Committee on Genetic Genealogy and a physician at the National Institutes of Health with over 200 scientific publications. He wrote a book titled Unlocking Your Genetic History: A Step-by-Step Guide to Discovering Your Family's Medical and Genetic Heritage.
I attended two sessions taught by him.

1. The ABCs of DNA Testing. This session was the basic introduction to DNA testing. We learned about the structure of DNA molecules and about the two types of ladder rungs T-C and G-A. We learned about the 23 pairs of chromosomes and the sex chromosomes (XX=female and XY=male). Y-Chromosome genetic testing is used to identify father-son relationships. It is useful but we need to remember that there are circumstances where it is not accurate.
We also learned about Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) which is DNA outside the nucleus of cells and is passed to children from their mother so it is useful to identify mother-daughter relationship also with limitations. We also learned about haplotypes, an individual's series of markers. Haplogroups are associated with ethnicity. They originated with Y chromosomes and mtDNA thousands of years ago and are defined by SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism). Dr. Shawker used the Irish Modal Haplotype (IMH) to show how groups of people migrated across Europe in pre-Roman times.
2. DNA Testing for Race, Ethnicity, and Ancestry. This class built on what was presented in the first class. We learned more DNA Markers which have Base Sequence Change  or Base Length Change. A SNP (Single Nucleotic Polymorphism) is the change of one base. A STR (Short Tandem Repeat) is a Base Length Change. Human DNA has a very slow mutation rate. The people of Africa have the most diversified DNA in the world. Groups like the Jewish people and the Amish people have the least diversity.

Dr. Shawker was an excellent speaker and showed interesting and entertaining slides. He explained things clearly. The group was very interested and asked lots of questions in the question and answer period at the end.

According to Dr. Shawker, DNA Testing is getting better and the price is dropping as time goes by. I do not see a need to do any DNA Testing in my immediate research work, so I will wait and see what happens with this revolutionary scientific field.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Doing Research in Real Time

Robert Raymond and David E. Rencher were listed in the syllabus as the presenters for this session. Alan Mann also helped and I think (if my memory is correct) that actually there were four men from Family Search who participated. All four had computers and were connected to the Internet. They also had cell phones and used them during the presentation to call four other people. One was at the Family History Library. One was at a court house in Alabama, if I remember correctly, and the others were at two different cemeteries in Alabama.
They used a blog to co-ordinate the research, but did not show it. They projected the results on a screen for the audience. We also saw the research questions and I was impressed when two people in the audience found information using their cell phones. A great deal of evidence was collected in a short period of time. It was transmitted digitally so we could all see it. Family Search Wiki has more information about this session at Doing Research in Real Time. You may need to register with Family Search to access this web page. I personally do not understand all the technology involved in this presentation, but I was impressed.

In their summary they wrote: "The desired outcome for this presentation is that you will take away the knowledge that research can be conducted in dramatically different ways than you may be used to doing. More people can participate, producing more artifacts and results in less time, making your valuable research time more productive."

With me, and I think with the rest of the audience, this goal was achieved. I want to use some of these new ways of doing research.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Power of Community and the Web 2.0: Tools to Foster Collaboration and Community by Jim Greene

Jim Greene is a product manager for Family Search focused on the technology required for building Family Search Family Tree.

In his class he explained the tools that are now available online to accomplish genealogical projects that were impossible previously. These tools enable the "community" to work together. Many hands make light work and many eyes make better conclusions. He told us more about the 300 million new names that were released by Family Search that week. This was possible because of the army of indexer volunteers. It is also amazing that new records are being digitized and indexed as they are created.

Tools that were discussed by Jim Greene were Wiki, Forum, Blog, Social Networking (Facebook and Twitter), Community Portals.

He gave three reasons to be an active community member and to use these tools.
1. To give back.
2. Pay it forward.
3. Leave your legacy.

I enjoyed this class and look forward to learning more about using Web 2.0 tools in my research.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Elizabeth Shown Mills

I attended three different classes taught by Elizabeth Shown Mills. She "wrote the book" on genealogical research. Actually she has written hundreds of books and articles. Quoting from her web site we read: Two of Elizabeth’s twelve books are considered "classics" and "essentials" to the field of genealogy: Evidence! Citation and Analysis for the Family Historian (Baltimore: GPC, 1997) and Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians (Baltimore: GPC, 2001).

Besides being such a great authority on her subject, she is a very good speaker. Her presentations are well-organized and entertaining. She prepares interesting visuals in her PowerPoint presentations. Here are the three classes:

1. What Kind of Document is This: Original? Derivative? Primary? Secondary? Or Whatchamacallit? In this class Elizabeth Shown Mills defined all of these terms and more. Her entry in the syllabus included a glossary. Here are just two of her quotes. "Sources contain information from which we select evidence ." Grandpa's Words of Wisdom are "When you drink from the water, remember the source!"

2. Hell on the Home Front: War-Time Damages & the Claims They Generated. This class focused on war involving the United States and primarily on civilian claims for war-time damages & confiscations. Elizabeth Shown Mills outlined a basic strategy for using these sources in your research and gave many suggestions. One note of caution were these wise words to remember "Where money is involved, truth flies out the door!"

3. Finding & Using Birth, Marriage, & Death Records Prior to Vital Registration. Elizabeth Shown Mills writes, "In many areas--perhaps most--the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths did not begin until the twentieth century." Therefore, documenting these events requires "an imaginative search for records" and "innovative methodology for linking facts." She then proceeded to explain how to accomplish these tasks by explaining the basic problems, the historical background, common pitfalls, safeguards, and ways to be successful.

I enjoyed my classes with Elizabeth Shown Mills and look forward to applying what I learned and to reading her book Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian (Baltimore, GPC, 1997).

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Research Reports: Meeting the Standards -- Claire Bettag, CG, CGL

I want to learn how to write good research reports, so I chose this class taught by Clair Bettag. She was extremely well-qualified and her class was very comprehensive.
She declared that both professional and hobbyist genealogists will want to report their work clearly, concisely, comprehensively -- for clients, family, or themselves.

I was introduced to The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual by the Board for Certification of Genealogists, Millennium Edition, Helen Leary, editor, Ancestry Publishing, Provo, Utah, 2000. And I later purchased this book at the NGS Conference in the NGS booth.

Clair Bettag explained the various forms that reports can take: letter, formal, memorandum, other forms and charts. She detailed what the content should be and talked about appendices and style. She was very clear about exactly what clients should expect from a report when they hire someone to perform research. She gave tips about how to write the report as you do the research thereby saving report-writing time.

Because of her class I now have a better appreciation for the work of professional genealogists and a resolve to write good reports for myself and my family.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What's New at the Family History Library by Alan Mann

There are numerous places on the Internet where you can learn more about the Family History Library. Here is one Family History Library Utah.

The library catalog is online so you can prepare at home by making a list of the items you want to search. Here is the library page at Family Search which is packed with useful information.

Alan Mann's class was filled with things I did not know about the Family History Library even though I live in Salt Lake Valley and have been there many times.
I was just continually amazed during this class at all the resources that are now available to help me with my research. It will take me a long time to take advantage of them, especially since genealogical research in not my full-time occupation. I have to find the time to do it. But I believe these resources will save me a lot of time!

Here are just a few of the things I learned about:

Research Wiki

Family Search Indexing

Online Research Classes

Family Search Forums

Family Search Labs - New Features

This was a very helpful class for me to attend. Thank you Alan Mann.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Blog Your Way to Genealogical Success

I was anxious to go to this session so I could learn the identity of The Ancestry Insider. I have been following his blog for some time now. Now that I know -- I am not telling.

There is no way I could report all the interesting information that he shared in this presentation. He took us step-by-step through the process of creating a blog at blogspot.com. It is very easy and takes just minutes.

I learned some new words:
blogosphere -- the community of bloggers
Google-ize -- publicize your information so others can find it through Google.

His presentation focused on three uses of blogs (there are more, of course).
1. Blogs are an easy way to publish information on the Internet. While you are writing a book, share your information on your blog.
2. Publish genealogical inquiries. Previous to blogs, this was done through newspapers and newsletters and message boards.
3. Blogs make a great research log. You will always have a copy wherever you go. It can be private, doesn't have to be public. I created one myself after the class.

I liked his basic principles for blogging such as KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid!), use free resources, and never divulge information about living people. I want to get a blog editor (for example Microsoft Live Writer ) and an image editor (for example Get Paint ) like he suggested. Except I am already using Picasa and that may do everything that I need to do.

Here is the blog that The Ancestry Insider created for this presentation that demonstrates what he taught http://claytonraymond.blogspot.com/

Here is his signature blog The Ancestry Insider. Recently there have been some very interesting posts about sources, evidence, and conclusions. Is it possible to design software that will examine the evidence and make genealogical conclusions???? Follow The Ancestry Insider and maybe we will find out.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ann Carter Fleming -- Your Genealogical Bucket List

My next session for Wednesday April 28 was by Ann Carter Fleming entitled "Your Genealogical Bucket List." See her web biography. Her NGS Conference speaker biography reads "Ann Carter Fleming, CG, CGL, FNGS, a former NGS president, is vice-president of BCG, a course coordinator at IGHR, and co-author of Research in Missouri.
I have not seen the movie The Bucket List but it sounds intriguing. I haven't written my genealogical bucket list yet either. To be honest, I was thinking more about the genealogical research of my father than my own during this lecture. I decided that his research will be preserved and that I will work with my family to organize all his materials and preserve them. This is the first item on my bucket list. The second item is to organize my own files.
Ms. Fleming suggests a three-step process:
1. Organize
2. Analyze
3. Distribute
These steps apply to documents, photos, books/periodicals and heirlooms.
Following her suggestions can be the most important thing I can do after attending NGS Conference.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

George R. Ryskamp -- Locating and Using the Law in Family History Research

For my next Wednesday April 28 session I attended "Locating and Using the Law in Family History Research" taught by George R. Ryskamp.
His speaker biography states "George Ryskamp, JD, AG, Associate Professor of History, BYU has more than 40 years experience in legal, historical and genealogical research worldwide."
He gave us advice about visiting law libraries to research genealogy. He told us a brief history of the laws in the United States and how they originated from English Common Law except in Louisiana and parts of the Southwest where the laws are based on French or Spanish law. It was interesting to learn that many law codes are online at Google Books.
This session was jam packed with ideas for searching for family history in legal history. For example he suggested that Black's Law Dictionary 1910 edition online at Google Books would be more helpful in our research than a more modern law dictionary.Click here. All of this information was new to me and I was overwhelmed with the possibilities for research.
I learned that BYU Independent Study has a course for this subject The Family and the Law in American History. While searching for this link I realized that BYU Independent Study also offers free online courses and that many of them are family history courses.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Keynote Address by Jay Verkler, CEO of Family Search

The first session of the National Genealogical Society the morning of April 28, 2010 was the keynote address by Jay Verkler of Family Search. The title of the speech was "From Granite Mountain to the Ends of the World.
I was very impressed with Jay Verkler, CEO of Family Search and with the enthusiasm of all the Family Search personnel in the exhibit hall. I was impressed with all the ways that technology is being used .
Jay Verkler started his presentation with two disclosures. One was the reason the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is so interested in family history. It is because of church doctrine and the belief that families can be united for eternity.
The second disclosure is that he is not a genealogist. He is a technologist.
Jay Verkler mentioned four main ways that technology can help family historians:
1. to gather and protect records.
2. provide records to enable discovery.
3. to facilitate, document and consolidate conclusions.
4. to organize and share knowledge.

We were told the history of Genealogy Society of Utah, precursor to Family Search and were given a video tour of the Granite Mountain Vaults near Salt Lake City. It can be viewed at Granite Vaults Part One and Granite Vaults Part 2
I believe that if Jay Verkler were a CEO of a profit making company that he would be much more famous. He would be featured in all the business magazines and newspapers. He is doing a great job.

I was touched by the pictures of the Japanese cemetery and hearing about the ties between his children and their Japanese grandparents.

I think everyone was excited when Jay Verkler announced that 300 million names would be added to Family Search Beta during NGS Conference. See here for the List of Collections

Also in this opening session the President of National Genealogical Society, Janet A. Alpert, gave a welcoming speech and gave some awards and introduced the officers of the society.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Niue - a tiny island in the South Pacific

I have been very busy the last 1 1/2 weeks since the NGS Conference ended. But I still want to write brief reports about what I learned at the conference. It will help me remember and use the information and maybe it will be helpful to someone else.

The very first event of the conference was a brief video from Family Search that was shown just before the opening session on Wednesday morning 28 April 2010 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah.

This brief video was about a typhoon that struck the island of Niue in 2004. The devastation was terrible. All the government offices and records were destroyed. Their museum was a total loss. Fortunately, in 1994 the Niue had contracted with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to microfilm important documents. The microfilms were stored in the Granite Mountain Vaults near Salt Lake City.

After the typhoon the LDS Church presented the people of Niue and their government with 28 rolls of microfilm. According to the LDS Church Newsroom: "The records on the reels of microfilm include birth, death and marriage records from as early as 1899; immigration records; and genealogies of Niuean property owners. The records are an important part of land ownership laws in Niue, because property ownership is often established and granted through the genealogical records of families."

It was impressive and reassuring to hear that all the records had not been lost. We were happy for Niue and the importance of preserving family history records was reinforced in our minds. For more information and to view the video online go to Niue Typhoon 2004

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Recommended Blogs

Just in case I do not get timely posts about NGS Conference on my blog --- I still have a lot of catching up to do around my home and farm, because I was gone last week and because it is Spring--- I am going to recommend these blogs.

Find My Ancestor

The Ancestry Insider

I have more confidence in these other bloggers to post timely reports of the Conference than I do in myself. While I am recommending genealogy blogs I would also like to recommend two more. Actually GeneaBloggers will connect you with a multitude of Genealogy Blogs.

Genealogy Insider -- Family Tree Magazine


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Family History Library Online Class on Research Logs

Since the National Genealogical Society Annual Conference in Salt Lake City last week more online classes have been added to the Family History Library and Family Search web sites.
I am a fan of David Dilts and have had the privilege of being his student for this class in person at the Family History Library. I was happy to see it added to the online curriculum.

Here is a link to this wonderful class:  Family History Library Online Classes Research Logs Part 1

Here is a link to a list of all the online classes: Family History Library Online Classes

Monday, May 3, 2010

National Genealogical Society Annual Conference

All last week I was busy with "Family History Week" in Salt Lake City. On Monday April 26, 2010 I went to the Salt Palace and helped prepare the registration packets for the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Annual Conference. On Tuesday April 27, 2010 I went to three hours of training by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for family history consultants. I also toured the Church History Library.  In the evening I attended a fireside in the Tabernacle where Elder Alan Packer was the speaker. From Wednesday April 28, 2010 through Saturday May 1, 2010 I attended the NGS Conference. It was in the Salt Palace except for Thursday evening there was a Celebration of Family History in the LDS Conference Center featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and speakers President Henry B. Eyring and historian David McCullough. It was a week packed with new and exciting information about family history.  I hope to report more on what I learned in this blog. Even if no one else reads the blog it will help me remember what I have learned.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Myriads of Ancestors

"Any man has had countless myriads of ancestors and among them any number of rich men and beggars, kings and slaves, Greeks and barbarians"—Plato

This is the Favorite Genealogy Quote of Martin E. Hollick. Martin wrote an excellent article about medieval genealogy for Achives.com


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Find Your Place in the Grand Scheme of Things

“Being able to find your place in the grand scheme of things--there’s something empowering about that. By going on this journey, I feel more complete as a person.”  --  Brooke Shields (from Who Do You Think You Are?)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Finding the Information is Incredible

"It's wild. It's challenging. It's heartbreaking. But just finding the information is incredible."
Emmitt Smith (from Who Do You Think You Are?)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Immigration Family History Expo

On Thursday March 18, 2010 I attended the Imigration Family History Expo at the historic Masonic Temple at 650 East South Temple in Salt Lake City. It was a very interesting and very full day.
I heard keynote addresses by Lew Cramer and Elizabeth Goryunova from the World Trade Center about the importance of immigration to our nation's economy. Holly T. Hansen told us the fascinating history of her ancestor Matthew McBlain Thompson who was a Mason. I got many research ideas from Kory L. Meyerink and Arlene H. Eakle. I was fascinated by the research results now available online MormonMigration.byu.edu about Mormon immigrant ships presented by Fred Woods. I have ordered the book When the Saints Went Marching In by Fred Woods and Tom Farmer about the history of Latter-day Saints in St. Louis. My ancestors William and Susannah Hurst and their family spent three years in St. Louis preparing to come west to Utah. I watched the documentary film Forgotten Ellis Island and heard its creator Lori Conway speak about it.
At the end of the day I had marvelous feelings of appreciation for all those who immigrated to our wonderful country. I am so thankful that my ancestors came here. I also am excited about pursuing their history.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Family Search Classes at Salt Lake City Family History Library

This week I completed the four-part series of classes on New Family Search at the Family History Libary. Sister Catherine Anderegg is an excellent teacher and I learned a lot. I will not fully know the software until I work with it more. But I feel confident enough now to keep working in it and to start teaching it to others. I hope I can motivate our ward members to sign up and start working in New Family Search as well as in Family Search Indexing.

My opinion of New Family Search is that it is a good thing. There are a lot of problems presently but after the problems are worked out we will have achieved three important things.

1. There will be a mostly accurate, evidence-based database of our ancestors on the Internet.
2.  Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be able to participate in Family History and perform temple ordinances for their ancestors without having to adopt the expensive time-consuming hobby of being genealogists.
3. Families will be able to learn about their ancestors and they will be able to co-ordinate their research and temple work with extended family members which will bring everyone closer together.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

National Genealogical Society Annual Conference

The National Genealogical Society Annual Conference will be held in Salt Lake City at the Salt Palace Convention Center April 28 -- May 1. I have registered and am excited to attend. More information can be found here:  NGS Conference -- Follow Your Ancestral Trail

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are? TV Series

And here’s the episode lineup for the NBC Series Who Do You Think You Are?:

March 5: Sarah Jessica Parker

March 12: Emmitt Smith

March 19: Lisa Kudrow

March 26: Matthew Broderick

April 2: Brooke Shields

April 9: Susan Sarandon

April 23: Spike Lee

It will be on NBC - KSL Channel 5 in Utah at 8:00 PM on Fridays

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rollins Family Research

On Saturday February 27, 2010 I went to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and started research on the Rollins Family lines. I focused on the family of Augustine Rollins/Rawlins and Elizabeth Wells. They were married 30 May 1776 in  Kirkby Green, Lincolnshire, England. I searched the parish register and bishop's transcripts for Kirkby Green and found records of the christenings of their children including Henry Rollins my  direct ancestor. The missionaries and the consultants at the library were very helpful.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are? New NBC Television Show

I am excited about the new TV Show Who Do You Think You Are? I have enjoyed listening to some interviews with Lisa Kudrow who is one of the producers. Here are some links to articles and online video clips about this new show:

Web site for Who Do You Think You Are?

Sarah Jessica Parker and Salem Witches

Trailer and Invitation from Lisa Kudrow

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 81  This is an hour long podcast by Lisa Louise Cooke. Part of her program is an interview with Lisa Kudrow. The two Lisas have an interesting conversation about how the new show is patterned after another show called Who Do You Think You Are? which has been popular in the United Kingdom. Lisa Kudrow talks about her father who has had an interest in genealogy for a long time and about her experience making the episode telling about her relatives in Poland and the holocaust.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Top 40 Genealogy Blogs from Family Tree Magazine Poll

I hope it was OK to copy this article from the Family Tree Magazine Blog Genealogy Insider. It was written by Diane Haddad.  I just want a copy of the list and I want to share it with any one who reads my blog. If you click on the link Genealogy Insider it will be better because links to the Top 40 Genealogy blogs can be found there, whereas I just have the names of the blogs. Here is the article:

"The May 2010 Family Tree Magazine is on its way to subscribers, so it’s time to reveal the listing of the 40 genealogy blogs you all nominated and voted as favorites.

That’s not to say, of course, that there aren’t many more stellar blogs among the hundreds family historians use to chronicle their successes and brick walls, share history, offer genealogy guidance and more. All their legions of posts add up to an extraordinary store of collective knowledge about how to discover, preserve and celebrate your family history.

We’re hoping this look at the genealogy blogosphere inspires you to go exploring for more blogs to add to your reader.

See our online article for more on the "FT40," as well as tools to find more genealogy blogs.

Congratulations to the following Family Tree 40 bloggers (listed in alphabetical order by category). We admire their writing, research and photography skills, and applaud their work to promote the pursuit of family history. I hope their blogs will proudly wear the Family Tree 40 logo!

Creative Gene by Jasia Smasha
footnoteMaven by footnoteMaven
GeneaBloggers by Thomas MacEntee
Genea-Musings by Randy Seaver

The Association of Graveyard Rabbits by several authors
Granite in My Blood by Midge Frazel

Ancestry.com Blog by various authors

Genetic Genealogy
The Genetic Genealogist by Blaine Bettinger

George Geder by George Geder
Scottish Genealogy News and Events by Chris Paton
Small Leaved Shamrock by Lisa
Steve’s Genealogy Blog by Stephen Danko
Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog by Schelly Talalay Dardashti

Family Matters by Denise Barrett Olson
Genealogy Guys by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith
Genealogy Tip of the Day by Michael John Neill
The ProGenealogists Blog by various authors

Local & Regional
California Genealogical Society and Library Blog by Kathryn Doyle
Sandusky History by the staff of the Sandusky (Ohio) Library Archives Research Center
Midwestern Microhistory by Harold Henderson

News & Resources
The Ancestry Insider by theAncestry Insider
DearMyrtle by Pat Richley-Erickson
Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter by Dick Eastman
GenealogyBlog by Leland Meitzler

Photos & Heirlooms
The Family Curator by Denise Levenick
Shades of the Departed by footnoteMaven

Personal & Family
Ancestories: The Stories of My Ancestors by Miriam Midkiff
Apple’s Tree by anonymous
BeNotForgot by Vickie Everhart
Educated Genealogist by Sheri Fenley
Greta’s Genealogy Blog by Greta Koehl
Heritage Happens by Cheryl Fleming Palmer
Herstoryan by Herstoryan
Janet the Researcher by Janet Iles
Kinexxions by Becky Wiseman
Little Bytes of Life by Elizabeth
Our Georgia Roots by Luckie Daniels
WeTree by Amy Coffin
West in New England by Bill West
What’s Past is Prologue by Donna Pointkouski

Family Tree Magazine articles
Genealogy Web Sites

Monday, February 22, 2010 5:12:25 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00) Comments [0] "

Thursday, February 4, 2010

CSI & Genealogy

I’ve always thought of genealogy as CSI without the icky bodies. Mysteries. Dead people. Detective work. -- Thomas MacEntee

Here is a link to Thomas's genealogy blogs:


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

E-learning courses at New Family Search

I signed up for the e-learning at New Family Search. The lessons are interactive. They are fun and they will help me be a better ward family history consultant.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Family Search Support

Today I called support at family search and asked for the new family search division. I had a question about removing incorrect information in my family pedigree. It was a good experience. The woman who took my call was very helpful. I was able to give her the PID numbers of the individuals I had questions about and she was able to look at the new family search screen and the same information that I was viewing. She guided me through what I needed to do. Doubtless I will be calling new family search support for more help in the future.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Family Search Indexing

Yesterday I became a volunteer indexer for Family Search. It is easier than the three family history programs I am learning and fairly interesting work. It makes me feel like I am accomplishing something at the computer. Any one over age 12 can do indexing. Go to this link and click "Volunteer." You can download the program and start immediately. You can do indexing for just a few minutes at a time. I indexed a few death records in British Columbia and now have a batch from the Georgia census.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Last week I went to evening classes of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy at the Raddison Hotel in Salt Lake City. The classes were part of the convention of the Utah Genealogy Association. They were very helpful and interesting to me. Last night our stake had a fireside for high priests and spouses about New Family Search. I am excited to get busy and do more family history work.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


When you drink from the water, remember the source.

-- an old maxim that applies to genealogy research and other things in life.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Family History Library Series for Beginners

On Saturday January 9, 2010 I attended four classes at the Salt Lake Family History Library. It was the Getting Started Research Series. The classes were:

1. Starting your Family History -- Blaylock
2. How to Guess Where to Start -- Dilts
3. Research Logs a Tool for Organizing -- Dilts
4. Family History on the Internet -- Blaylock

We had survey cards to fill out for each class and one of the questions was "Would you recommend this class to a friend?" I would recommend all the classes. In fact, that is what I am doing now. I think maybe these classes will be repeated and I would recommend them to any one. The instructors were knowledgeable and helpful. It was a motivating experience for me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

100th Wedding Anniversary

Today is the 100th Wedding Anniversary of Oscar Whitaker Rollins and Zina Pearl Bybee Rollins. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on January 12, 1910.

We will celebrate their anniversary by attending the Salt Lake Temple and by posting histories on the family Google Group.

Ward Family History Consultant Calling

On Sunday January 10, 2010 I was sustained as ward family history consultant. I am excited about this new calling. I also feel a tremendous responsibility. I will need to balance this calling with all my other responsibilities. I will need the help of my family to fulfill my responsibilities. As I work on prioritizing and organizing my time I will think of this quote from Elsie Geneva Cook Pace, co-author of A Book of the Bybee Families by Elsie Geneva Cook Pace and Zina Pearl Bybee Rollins (my grandmother).

"It is not so important to know everything as to know the exact value of everything, to appreciate what we learn and to arrange what we know."
by Hannah More

This applies to my responsibilities in my temporal and family affairs as well as to research information.