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.