18 May 2009

New Personal Assistance Option in the New FamilySearch Help Center

The following was received by FamilySearch Support. This will be a great benefit to all our consultants and patrons! If you haven't already registered, please do so soon.
May 15, 2009 News

New Personal Assistance Option in the New FamilySearch Help Center

To encourage closer interaction between Church members and their family history consultants, a new personal assistance option will soon be added to the Feedback page in the Help Center in the new FamilySearch.

When this new option is available, those who select it will see contact information (typically phone number and e-mail address) for:

· Family history consultant(s) in their ward or branch
· Local family history center(s)
· FamilySearch Support

Consultants’ contact information will only be displayed to members of their own ward or branch. The displayed contact information comes from the consultant registration information you provided on the Web site at consultant.familysearch.org. This new personal assistance option will be available to members in all areas of the world that use the new FamilySearch Web site.

You may experience an increase in your opportunities to help members of your ward or branch with their family history. To enhance the support you can provide to members, you are encouraged to enroll in and complete the new FamilySearch Web site training course and other consultant courses available through the Help Center.

If you are no longer serving as a family history consultant or do not want your contact information displayed in the Help Center to your local ward or branch members, contact FamilySearch Support.

Note: Consultants who live in European countries must contact FamilySearch Support to request that their contact information be displayed in the Help Center. If they do not do this, their contact information will not be displayed.

FamilySearch Support
U.S. and Canada: 1-866-406-1830

14 May 2009

Ancestry FH Library Edition - (still) Available at the FHC

Regular Family History Centers (like ours) still have access to the Library Edition of Ancesty.com. Only regional (large multi-stake) Family History Centers and the Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake have full access to Ancestry.

So, what good is it you ask? Well, there is still a great deal of information and helpful tools that will be of great benefit to you. As of May 2009 the following databases are available.

Census Records-Index Only

1841-1891 British Censuses
1841-1891 Wales Censuses

Census Records-Index and Images

1916 Canadian Census
1880-1920 US Censuses

Passenger Lists-Index Only
Atlantic Ports Passenger Lists, 1820-1873 and 1893-1959
Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948
Boston Passenger Lists, 1820-1943
California Passenger and Crew Lists, 1893-1957
Detroit Border Crossings and Passenger and Crew Lists, 1905-1957
Florida Passenger Lists, 1898-1951
Galveston Passenger Lists, 1896-1948
New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945
New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957
Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945
Seattle Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1957

Draft Registration-Index and Images
US World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
US World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

NOTE: There are a few of the above listed titles that you may find are missing from Ancestry’s list of available databases, but, you can still search for them and access the data.

Using Your Personal Subscription at the FHC
According to FamilySearch help (Document ID: 101501) a patron can access their own subscription at the FHC.
Accessing a patron's personal Ancestry.com subscription account:
Ancestry.com allows their individual subscribers to access http://www.ancestry.com/ from any computer that is connected to the Internet, even when visiting the Family History Library or a family history center. Part of the subscriber's agreement with Ancestry.com is that their personal account login information will only be used by the subscriber and not shared with another individual, and that the subscriber must log off their personal Ancestry.com account when they are finished.

If a patron is unable to login to their own personal Ancestry subscription while visiting a family history center, it is the responsibility of the patron to contact Ancestry.com at 800-262-3787 for support. It is suggested that they call from the family history center from where their personal subscription access problem took place.

Learn to use Genealogy Mailing Lists.

A genealogy mailing list is a very simple method for collaborating on the internet. You can network with other genealogists, share data, ask and answer questions, and share in the research process. Mailing lists are free and can help you learn more about genealogy, surnames, locations, types of records, research, and related software.

Join one or more lists
You can join any number of mailing lists depending on what you are interested in. Once you decide which one you want you can join the list by sending an email that automatically adds you to the subscriber list.

Decide on email mode
There are two modes of receiving email. The list mode will send you one email for every message that is posted to the list in real time. The digest mode sends one email per day with all the posts included. However, this mode can make it a little more difficult to follow a thread. (…not a spool of thread!...but rather, all the emails relating to a specific topic.)

As soon as you join a mailing list you will find a new world of help and support at your fingertips. Other people will be more than happy to answer your questions and, as you gain experience, you will be able to help others.

A few rules for success
1. It’s always best to enter a subject line that is specific. Some people won’t open an email unless the subject line is something they are interested in or feel confident about. So be specific and be brief. If someone using the digest mode doesn’t change the subject line, be sure to change it when you respond.

2. Be courteous in your request and don’t get upset with others for asking questions that don’t make sense or are not clear. Don’t write a message in all capital letters because this means you are SHOUTING!!

Old Message Archive
Most mailing lists maintain an archive of their old messages. This can also be a great resource because you can search old messages and look for answers to questions that have been asked previously. You can check out the archive before you subscribe to get an idea of how many emails are generated in a given month. Some only have a handful of posts each month and some can get 100 plus each day!

When you are finished reading the emails that come to your email box, just delete the ones you are not interested in.

Let’s take a look at a couple of lists that you might be interested in.

This is a list for the use of LDS family history consultants to exchange suggestions, guidelines, data, etc. related to their duties. You can discuss just about any topic that concerns the duties of a consultant, teaching Sunday School classes, and even how to get members of the ward involved in family history research and temple submissions.

To join this list you subscribe by sending the one word message “subscribe” (without the quotes) to LDS-WARD-Consultant-L-request@Rootsweb.com. Replace the “L” with a “D” if you want the Digest mode rather than the list mode.

You can search the LDS Ward Consultant archives for this list or browse the archives.

PAF-5 Software
There is a mailing list for users of PAF5 software.

Again, to join this list, send the one work message “subscribe” to paf-5-users-l-request@rootsweb.com. Search the PAF 5 archives or browse the archives.

RootsMagic Software
A terrific list for users of RootsMagic software is ROOTSMAGIC-USERS. If you have a question just send an email and you get a response, usually within minutes. Subscribe the same way at rootsmagic-users-l-request@rootsweb.com. Search the RootsMagic archives or browse the archives.

If you want to find other genealogy related mailing lists, or any mailing list for that matter, check out the following:

Here is a great list of Genealogy Resources on the Internet.

And here is the list of all Mailing Lists hosted on RootsWeb’s website.

Yahoo also hosts some mailing lists, but, they call them Groups rather than lists. You can reach their index at Yahoo Groups.

07 May 2009

Read and follow Blogs?!

Wikipedia (other topic for later) says that a blog (a contraction of the term weblog) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries.

So lets narrow this down to our area of interest -- genealogy blogs. There are hundred's, if not thousands of genealogy related blogs out there -- some better than others. Some are written by various genealogy related businesses, some by professionals, and some by avid everyday genealogists.

Some bloggers have specific areas of interest and may write about internet genealogy, news, specific locals, cemeteries, photo's, tips for beginners, military, or specific surname studies. You can find just about anything you want. The trick is knowing what you want to find and then narrowing down the best ones. Then you can "follow" the blog(s) you are interested in.

You can follow blogs in a number of different ways. For instance, if you already have a Google account you can follow other blogs from your Blogger reading list or in a reader you can create on your home page, like iGoogle.

You can also subscribe to blogs using a site feed. This is what I have done with the blogs in the column to the right --->, entitled "Genealogy Blogs - News Feeds". I have set up a news feed to display a link to each blog, and to display the most current post or article by the blog author. I added some of the best ones for overall interest.

Each blog post will bring that blog link to the top of the feed or list. So if you look at the top listing to the right you will see at the bottom of that feed how many minutes, hours or days ago the posting was made. Clicking on the title of the feed will take you to the full blog. Clicking on the title of the article will take you directly to that article.

So you can come back to this blog every day and see new postings in the blog feeder. Scroll down through the list to see articles that you may be interested in.

Now go out and create you own feed and follow the blogs that are of interest to you!.. Especially this one!

RootsMagic 4 - Additional nFS Certification

In a past posting I declared my preference for RootsMagic 4 software for my personal genealogy database. Today, FamilySearch Support sent an email to FH Centers announcing that RootsMagic 4 is now certified to "reserve and submit ancestral names to temples to print LDS temple name cards using FamilySearch Web services".

The email went on to explain: "As an application that is certified to reserve ordinances, RootsMagic 4 has the ability to link people in your desktop genealogy file with matching people on the new.familysearch.org Web site. Once linked, a simple click on the temple icon next to a person’s name will display that person's official temple ordinances, complete with dates, temple name, and status. Incomplete temple ordinances may then be reserved to be performed at a later time. Your own file may also be updated with ordinances that are already completed. RootsMagic 4 can select reserved ordinances and print a Family Ordinance Request (FOR) form to take to the temple. Once at the temple, a worker will scan the bar code on the form and print all the desired temple name ordinance cards. Once the ordinances have been completed, RootsMagic will be updated with your ancestors’ new ordinance status."

For more product information about the certification go to RootsMagic's web site. And for those of you that are local, contact me for more info.

04 May 2009

Now you understand the PC, how about Operating Systems and Windows?

Here's the next step in this computer thingy! You haven't quite yet gotten a handle on that funny language spoken by your kids or grandkids? What does OS, GUI, RAM, BIOS mean? What's the difference between Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer? Well, I have another class I put together a few years ago. It doesn't talk about Vista, because it wasn't a hot item then. But most FHC's have Windows XP and this focuses mostly on it. So take a few minutes of your time and brush up on PC language. Get to know how your operating system really helps you function. It will finally start to make some sense.

Click here to get to the class in PDF format "Operating Systems and Windows"! Enjoy!

01 May 2009

Having Trouble Understanding Your PC?

So many of us did not have the opportunity to grow up with a personal computer (PC) on the ends of our fingers like young people today! My grandchildren have no apprehension when it comes to using the modern tools of today. We went from "type class" in Middle School to High Tech in what seems like overnight. Well, just in case you still struggle with what that box sitting in front of you really does, I have a little bit of help for you.

Several years ago I put together a Powerpoint class on the basics of understanding the PC. It's still out there, and it's a little outdated, but it will still help you understand what you are dealing with. (We don't often see floppy disks and zip drives any longer....but....)

So, click here to get to my class that's now in PDF format "PC Computing - How to Make it All Work Together!" Of course, I'm not there to narrate but you'll still get the picture!