Thursday, August 09, 2007

New FamilySearch Video

I finally got around to looking at a new website "Master Family History". This is how webmaster John Willis, Assistant Director of the Concord/Walnut Creek, California FHC describes the site.

"Mastering Family History is a free website that contains e-learning videos on selected computer programs and websites that are useful in building a family history. The videos are designed for persons who want to learn how to prepare and maintain family history or genealogical information. The videos currently available are listed below. Additional videos will be added in the future. Click on the title to view the videos on your computer. (To view the videos you must have a high speed internet connection and your computer must have a sound card. It may take up to 10 seconds for the video start in you browser window)"

Beta new FamilySearch - 15 minutes

Introduction to Family History - 10 minutes
Compiled Genealogies - Introduction - 5 minutes
Pedigree Resource File - 9 minutes
Ancestral File - 15 minutes
OneWorldTree - 12 minutes
Internet Searches - 5 minutes
Downloading and Importing Gedcom files - 10 minutes

Genealogical Research - 18 minutes
Documenting Research Findings - 15 minutes

PAFInsight - 18 minutes
PRFmagnet - 5 videos from 5-7 minutes each
U.S. Cities Galore - 12 minutes

John Willis does a wonderful job presenting each video. From listening to his voice I can tell he is a more mature man. He speaks slowly and in a clear voice. You are able to watch him use the sites or programs as he discusses different facets about them. Anyone new to genealogy would find these lessons very appealing and not overwhelming them with to much information.

The video on new FamilySearch gives a fantastic feel for the program. I have seen PowerPoint presentations on NFS but you really need the voice behind it. I wanted to make just a couple of notes on the video. Since John said he has pioneer ancestry and is not a first generation church member his info on what a new member would find on NFS is not totally correct. A new member will find the names of their parents listed, since that information is on their baptismal record. Also the names of any spouse or children will be added if they also joined. Of course if a new convert has submitted anything to PRF it will linked to him also.

The other two things I would love to see him add to the video is the need for documenting sources, especially when adding information. And, after entering a new person in NFS make sure you check for duplications. Yes, NFS will check if temple work has been done or not but you also have to do your part by checking if anyone should be combined and hence already had their work done.

I also understand the John could of left some of these things out for the sake of time. Trying to describe and demonstrate NFS in 15 minutes is pretty impressive. In fact I don't think I've ever seen anyone be able to do that!

My hat is off to John and this wonder service he is providing to the genealogy and church community. Keep up the good work. I will be bookmarking the site and checking back often to see if more videos come available.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

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