20 August 2010

200 Million More Historic Records See the Light of Day

FamilySearch has given us a new gift! And it's a big one, at that! Over the last few months, FamilySearch has added over 200 million new searchable historic records representing 18 countries to its online database. There are now about 700 million records online..

The latest deluge of records includes 53 new or updated collections from the United States and over 100 million new records from Europe, Scandinavia and Mexico. The United States collections include the 1910 U.S. Census (this census is not complete yet) and states’ birth, marriage and death records. There are 10 million new records from New Jersey and Michigan, 4 million from Tennessee, an amazing 41 million from Massachusetts, and many more from other states. 

Currently, 350,000 volunteers worldwide log on to FamilySearchIndexing.org and use FamilySearch’s proprietary software to view digital images of historic documents of personal interest and type in the desired information. FamilySearch then creates a free, searchable index of the historic collections online for the public to use. So if you are not one of the 350,000 volunteers currently transcribing documents, consider giving a little of your time to this great cause. You will have fun!

<> You can read the entire article here.

<> These historical records can be found at http://pilot.familysearch.org and at http://fsbeta.familysearch.org/. Try both sites. There are some different records on each, some the same, and they use different methods of searching.

<> To see the entire list in the collection, go here.

13 August 2010

Free Monthly Seminars Offer Family History Help
Riverton FamilySearch Library to Host Classes on August 21

RIVERTON, UTAH—The new Riverton FamilySearch Library has been very popular with local family history researchers in the south part of the Salt Lake Valley since opening its doors in June of this year. The library is now expanding its services to include free quality seminars and classes for locals.

There will be eight free seminars and a keynote speaker on Saturday, August 21, 2010, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. No registration is required for these workshops. The library will also be open until 5:00 p.m. that day for patrons desiring to do individual family history research. For more information, please visit www.familysearch.org/fhc/riverton.

The keynote speaker will be Paul Nauta from FamilySearch. His presentation, “FamilySearch: Unlocking the World’s Genealogical Treasures,” will look at the state of the world’s genealogical records and demonstrate how FamilySearch can be used to preserve these records and provide online access to them. Nauta will share how he has been helped by volunteers, FamilySearch-provided records, and other surprising sources to discover his family history.

Nauta is the manager of Public Affairs for FamilySearch and travels extensively representing FamilySearch at events and conferences worldwide. He is also responsible for media relations and industry and community outreach. He received the Distinguished Faculty of the Year award in 2007 from the University of Phoenix.

Following the keynote presentation, there will be two blocks of four classes each that will cover both research and technology. 

Classes to be held during the first hour are:
1)      Advanced New FamilySearch—Loops, Editing, Etc. by Cathy Andregg
2)      Basic Irish Research by Dee Richards
3)      Basic English Research  by Marci Despain
4)      Capturing Your Computer Screen by Jon Bonnesen

The classes available for the second hour will be:
1)      Family History Books Online by Don and Diane Snow
2)      How to Synchronize Data in Ancestral Quest with nFS by Gaylon Findlay
3)      U.S. Military Records by DeAnne Shelley
4)      New Resources for Consultants by Tara Bergeson

Admission is free. The Saturday Seminars will be held on the third Saturday of each month. 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 International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. 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. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 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 renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

New RootsTech Conference to Bring Technologists Face-to-Face with Genealogists

SALT LAKE CITY­—Technologists and genealogists from around the world will gather at the first annual RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 10-12, 2011. The new conference, hosted by FamilySearch and sponsored by leading genealogical organizations, aims to bring technologists and genealogists together to help deepen understanding of current technologies and discover new ideas in applying technology to genealogy.  Learn more at rootstech.familysearch.org.

“When the users and creators of technology come together, innovation occurs,” said Jay Verkler, president and CEO of FamilySearch. “The RootsTech Conference will accelerate that innovation through panels, discussion groups, and interactive demonstrations.”

Josh Taylor, Director of Education and Programs for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, says the time is right for such a conference.  

“The collection of technologies present at the last National Genealogical Society Conference in Salt Lake City was so impressive that we see a need and opportunity for a strong annual technology genealogy conference to pursue solutions for the unique challenges facing genealogists,” Taylor said.

The RootsTech Conference is designed to foster innovation by bringing technology users and creators together in a meaningful way. Thousands of genealogists who use technology in pursuit of one of the most popular hobbies in the world will discover how new and emerging technologies can improve and simplify their activities. Genealogists will be treated to technology prototype demonstrations, interactive workshops, and opportunities to test innovative new product and service concepts. Technology providers will get the opportunity to demonstrate product concepts face-to-face to their customer—the family history enthusiast—and better understand their needs.

“Technology is driving a revolution in family history,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry.com. “We’re excited to participate in the RootsTech Conference, and we see it as a great chance to explore with genealogists how technology can help them even more in the future.”

The RootsTech 2011 conference will be hosted by FamilySearch and sponsored by Ancestry.com, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), Brigham Young University, and other leaders in the genealogy community.

“Brigham Young University is pleased to participate in this conference, which brings together the Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy and the Family History Technology Workshop under the same umbrella. We think this creates a new and unique national forum for genealogists, software developers, and researchers to move genealogy forward,” said Christophe Giraude-Carrier, Associate Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of Computer Science at Brigham Young University.

Technology creators will discover new and existing technologies and techniques to help their development practices and also see how they can be applied to the unique discipline of genealogy. Anticipated themes for the conference include: using social networking to collaborate as families and societies, data backup and digital preservation, using multimedia, records and media digitization, how to use cloud computing to deploy reliable, scalable systems, handwriting recognition and automated transcription, mobile computing devices and applications, GPS mapping, and much more.

10 August 2010

RootsMagic Classes

I know this is late, however, I am teaching a five-week series on RootsMagic software at the Riverton FamilySearch Library this month. I have completed the classes on the RootsMagic overview and using new FamilySearch features.

The classes are each Monday in August from 1pm to 3pm. Come join us! Next Monday, the 16th I will be covering sources and some of the tool features available in RM4.

Here is the map and directions on how to get to the Riverton FamilySearch Library. Come join me!

09 August 2010

New Updates in New FamilySearch

New FamilySearch has been updated! 

One of the best features added actually removed a feature, which I think is great! You can no longer add new disputes. I think disputes were overused from the very beginning because they was so easy to create. Some people would dispute a person because the birth date wasn't exactly what they thought it should be or because the name wasn't spelled the way they wanted it spelled. However, the record is still for the correct person.

The existing disputes are still in the system and whoever entered that dispute can remove it. Eventually all remaining disputes and their associated notes will be moved to the discussion boards.

So what you probably ought to do now is go in and remove any dispute that you may have entered. In its place you should add notes or start a discussion. Discussions were added about three months ago and they work much like an online forum or message board.

Don't forget to utilize the Combined Records. You can find them on the bottom of either the Summary Tab or the Detail Tab. Anytime you find a problem, go in and double check those combined records and make sure that all records have been combined correctly. Somewhere along the line a record may have been added to the folder incorrectly. You can remove that incorrect record from the folder.

Some changes have been made to accommodate the Russian and Italian languages. And other changes to accommodate Asian languages.

New tutorials have been added to help you learn to use the system. You will find them under HELP > Training and Resources.

And lastly, corrections and additions to the User's Guide have been made and the marked with a blue horizontal arrow for easier review.

Keep up the good work everyone!!!

06 August 2010

Time for Utah Valley PAF Users Group Meeting!

The next regular, second-Saturday-of-the-month meeting of the Utah Valley PAF (Personal Ancestral File) Users Group will be on Saturday, 14 Aug 2010, 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's website http://uvpafug.org and the press releases are at http://blog.uvpafug.org/ .

The main presentation for this meeting will be by Kara Wahlquist on ANSWERS TO WORLDWIDE RESEARCH PROBLEMS USING FAMILYSEARCH WIKI AND FORUMS. Learn how the Wiki, Forums, and Online Courses are valuable tools in finding family history answers faster than ever before! These
tools help connect researchers and sources all over the world. Family History Consultants don't have to know all of the answers – just where to find them! During the last year, Kara Wahlqjuist worked with the FamilySearch Wiki team preparing for the National Genealogical Society Conference in Salt Lake City, April 2010. She has been instrumental in teaching and infusing excitement for the Wiki and Forums by demonstrating how to use these new tools to their greatest advantage. Before joining the Wiki Team Kara worked as a consultant on the US/Canada Reference desk at the Family History Library. She worked for Ancestry.com and has been involved in British and U.S. Research for the past 30 years. Kara is a passionate, motivated genealogist who willingly shares her energy, experience and testimony to help others with their research.

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) Personalized Help with New FamilySearch and PAF, by Don Engstrom and Finn Hansen; (2) Family Insight, by Andrea Schnakenburg; (3) Q&A on the FamilySearch Wiki and Forums, by Kara Wahlquist; (4) Video of last month's main presentation, Are You My Mother? - Finding Maiden Names, by Bret Petersen; (5) Using Ancestral Quest to modify New FamilySearch, by Merlin Kitchen; (6) Legacy, by Joel Graham; and (7) RootsMagic, by Diana Olsen and Renee Zamora.

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.