Saturday, January 31, 2009

FamilySearch Records Update: Much anticipated international records posted

30 January 2009

Since the last update on January 5, 2009, FamilySearch added over 40 million new records to its Record Search pilot. Individuals with international roots from Argentina, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, and the Philippines will find some nice surprises in the newly added collections.

Birth, marriage, and death records were added for the Netherlands and Ireland. Irish researchers in particular have been anxiously awaiting the 23 million records from the Irish Civil Registration indexes. These records date from 1845-1958 and are also known as the Statutory Registration Records. Statutory registration for Protestants began in 1845 and for Catholics in 1864.

Many thanks to the thousands of online FamilySearch Indexing volunteers who helped make these wonderful records available.

See the chart below for more details. The new records can be searched for free at
(Click Search Records, then Record Search pilot).


1869 Argentina National Census
Indexed Records: 232,853
Digital Images: 157,133
Comments: New

California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records 1835-1931
Indexed Records: 43,407
Digital Images: 61,017
Comments: New

Canada Census 1916
Indexed Records: 1,811,736
Digital Images: 36,263
Comments: New

Costa Rica Church Records 1595-1992
Indexed Records: 1,387,505
Digital Images: 260,367
Comments: New

Germany Burials 1500-1900
Indexed Records: 3,633,851
Digital Images: 0
Comments: New

Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958
Indexed Records: 23,023,320
Digital Images: 70,971
Comments: New

Mexico Aguascalientes Catholic Church Records 1616-1961
Indexed Records: 0
Digital Images: 601,572
Comments: New

Netherlands Births and Baptisms
Indexed Records: 1,350,335
Digital Images: 0
Comments: New

Netherlands Marriages
Indexed Records: 374,659
Digital Images: 0
Comments: New

Netherlands Deaths and Burials
Indexed Records: 206,477
Digital Images: 0
Comments: New

Philippines Marriages
Indexed Records: 2,224,877
Digital Images: 0
Comments: New

1920 United States Census
Indexed Records: 2,437,479
Digital Images: 50,364
Comments: Added Alabama

1850 United States Census
Indexed Records: 1,425,756
Digital Images: 0
Comments: Added Alabama and Indian Population

1850 United States Census (Slave Schedule)
Indexed Records: 869,079
Digital Images: 0
Comments: Added Alabama, Missouri, and South Carolina

1850 United States Census (Mortality Schedule)
Indexed Records: 37,993
Digital Images: 0
Comments: Added Louisiana and Indian Population

1870 United States Census
Indexed Records: 7,954,406
Digital Images: 0
Comments: Added Pennsylvania

Friday, January 30, 2009

At-Home Indexing Rapidly Increasing Genealogical Records Access

“In 30 minutes you can help people find their ancestors.” That’s the promise prominently displayed on the front page of the Web site. Since the indexing program began, over 150,000 people have volunteered to help make genealogical research easier for others and thousands more are volunteering each month.

Family history indexing is the simple process of extracting names from digital images of historical documents and creating online searchable indexes from the previously gathered information. FamilySearch has provided a way for anyone with an Internet connection to assist in the monumental task of indexing genealogical records. The initiative is working, and rapidly expanding the number of records easily accessible.

The bulk of two and a half million of rolls of microfilm, all housed in the Granite Mountain Record Vault near Salt Lake City, are scanned and converted to digital images by high speed processors, and then indexed by volunteers on home computers to eventually provide easy access online. “At the current rate of scanning,” reports Paul Nauta, FamilySearch Manager of Public Affairs, “it will take between eight and ten years to complete the microfilm scanning.” The records collection contains significant historical records such as numerous censuses and birth, christening, marriage and death records from more than 110 countries; the records are then organized in meaningful lots that will serve as one indexing project, such as the 1900 U. S. Census.

According to Nauta, more than 150,000 volunteers, of all ages with access to any online connection, download a selected project or batch and transcribe each entry to an index. The work is resulting in hundreds of millions of names being added to genealogical databases—about a million per day. The online application is also available in Spanish.

A million names in a year, all indexed in the processing system, seems like a realistic goal for Leslie Dicou of Salem, Utah, who has the assignment in her local congregation at Brigham Young University to encourage fellows members to do genealogical work. Implementing a FamilySearch indexing project seemed timely for Dicou.

“We needed a direction in family history for our students,” Dicou recalled in describing her plan. “Indexing is the perfect answer for making a genealogy impact on our students. The students come and go quickly; some stay with us only a few months and others for two to three years. I thought if we taught them indexing, they could get involved in family history work quickly; it only takes a few minutes to learn the computer process and the actual work can also be done in small increments of time.”

Kimberly Seegmiller, Provo, Utah, accepted Dicou’s challenge; she indexes every day during her baby’s nap. “However long she sleeps, that’s how long I index. When I prioritize like this, it’s amazing how much I can accomplish during a day,” the young mother reported. Daniel Stewart, another member of the student congregation, often holds his toddler as he works on the data processing. “My son’s learned how to press the ‘enter’ key,” Stewart said, “so we’re teaching him family history as well. My wife, Rosemarie, and I are hooked on indexing—you can immediately see the results of the work you did. That doesn’t always happen with other genealogical research.”

Other advantages to the indexing work surface. Nauta noted that volunteers become better overall researchers as they become more familiar with the historical documents available and with the type of information each contains. Seegmiller admits that her indexing resembles a treasure hunt as she unravels the unusual handwriting or the unique locations described in a document. Stewart, who’s worked on records from a particular Mexican state, now knows the geography of the area as well as cultural mores defining how specific names are entered on a record or how a family group is organized. “These details form a pattern, and once you uncover that pattern, you are much more efficient at the indexing,” he explained.

Dicou emphasizes the ease of the whole indexing process. “To participate as a volunteer, you simply sign up at, click through a tutorial provided in both English and Spanish and then select the project you want to work on. There’s an online help desk if you have questions, or you could go to a local family history center and get individual instruction. Once you are online, you recognize that the work of one person makes a contribution, no matter how much time they have to give.”

“If a hundred thousand people indexed only five names—which would only take a few minutes,” Nauta said, “that’s 500,000 names we didn’t have before – and that’s a chunk of progress in processing those millions of microfilms!”

From early in its history, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraged its members to research their family history. In 1894 the Genealogical Society of Utah (now FamilySearch International) was established for that purpose. Recognizing that millions of people throughout the world have their own reasons to be interested in family history, the Church makes its collections of microfilmed and digitized records freely available to everyone.

LDS Account Update

I stumbled upon Ben & Joy's Family Blog and learned some interesting information. It appears that Ben manages the LDS Account project. Ben defines the LDS Account as:
"The official user name and password that members and non-members will be able to use to access most church applications."
Ben also goes on to give us a little update on the project.
Stake and Ward websites are moving to LDS Account very soon and will follow after. In the not so distant future all members of the church who either go on missions, use or familysearch will have an LDS Account. We estimate 2 million accounts will be created this year alone.
Sounds like it won't be long before I can access FamilySearch, FamilySearch Indexing and new FamilySearch all with one login. This is fantastic news. Keep up the good works guys!

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

Family History Library to Test a New Delivery Method for Training - The Course is Full

To: English-speaking family history consultants

We have received an overwhelming response to yesterday’s message regarding the testing of a new delivery method for training. As a result, the limited number of registrations for Saturday’s Handwriting Series have been filled. We appreciate your willingness to participate and look forward to receiving your help in future training activities.


FamilySearch Support

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Important message for all FamilyInsight users

The following email is from Ohana Software.

If you do not use FamilyInsight, please accept our apologies and ignore this message.

We have been asked by FamilySearch to contact all of our customers with the following message:

The FamilySearch team has discovered that certain search requests can have a negative impact on performance of the New FamilySearch system. The effect of this disables all access from third-party products, including FamilyInsight. The FamilySearch team is investigating this problem and expects to have a solution in place in the near future.

As an interim measure, we have added some safeguards to FamilyInsight to help alleviate this problem. It is essential that everyone who is using FamilyInsight update to the latest version (2009.1.23.0 or later).

To see which version you have, open FamilyInsight and go to the Help menu on the menu bar and click on About FamilyInsight.

To get the latest version, go to and click on the Download button on the bar at the top.

If you need assistance with this please contact us at or go to and click on the Live Support box in the left column to chat with a support representative.

Please update immediately so everyone can continue to work with without interruption.

Thank you,
John Vilburn
Ohana Software LLC

Family History Library to Test a New Delivery Method for Training

The following email is from FamilySearch Support.

To: English speaking family history consultants

A new way of delivering Family History training is being tested beginning with a series of classes on handwriting. These will be taught in person at the Family History Library on January 31st and at the same time will be broadcast over the Internet. Interested persons need to register for the classes by sending an e-mail message to with the words “Internet Broadcast” in the subject line. Registered persons will receive instructions through e-mail on how to attend the event. Those attending the class through the Internet will be able to see the computer presentation and hear the presenter’s voice. They will also be able to ask questions by typing the question into a chat “pod.” The submitted questions will be relayed in person through the broadcast host and then answered by the presenter. The number of computers that can join these classes is limited, and registration will end no later than Friday, January 30 at 4 P.M. (MST). Below are the classes that will be offered.

Early American Handwriting
9:00 A.M. (MST)

Older English Handwriting
10:30 A.M. (MST)

Germanic Scandinavian Gothic Handwriting
1:00 P.M. (MST)

FamilySearch Support
U.S. and Canada: 18664061830

International toll-free phone numbers may be found on the Internet at

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Book about Google Demonstrates Worldwide Interest in Genealogy & Family History

Book Reveals Deep Connections between Google and Genealogy Research

PROVO, Utah, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Google Your Family Tree, a popular new book designed to provide individuals with specialized tips for finding family history information on the Internet has generated worldwide interest since it began shipping just two months ago. Within the first 30 days following commercial availability, orders for the book were shipped to customers in all 50 United States, every Canadian province, and more than 20 other international locations. Visitors to the website have come from 81 different countries spread across every continent - a testament to the worldwide popularity of both genealogy and Google.

"I've always felt that Google was an exceptional tool for many different aspects of genealogy," said Dan Lynch, author, Google Your Family Tree. "I couldn't be more pleased with the feedback from customers around the world - beginners and professionals alike - who are just now discovering the hidden power of Google to uncover clues relevant for their family history research."

With nearly 5,000 copies shipped to date, Google Your Family Tree is believed to be among the fastest selling genealogy titles of all time and is quickly becoming a standard reference for individuals and libraries alike.

"I thought I was a Google expert, fully familiar with the search engine's operation. However, I learned a number of new tricks by reading Dan Lynch's book. I bet you will also," said Dick Eastman, editor, Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter. "If you want to conduct more effective searches on Google, be it about genealogy or nearly any other topic, reading Google Your Family Tree will increase your expertise."

While Google Your Family Tree was designed specifically for genealogists and family history enthusiasts, the content in this book can be readily applied to anyone who uses the Internet. "Whoever uses Google must get this book, whether you are a genealogist, a student with a homework assignment, or a cooking buff looking for a recipe," said Gary Mokotoff, author, lecturer and leading expert in the field of Jewish genealogy. "Google Your Family Tree is a must for every household, not merely for family history research, but for every family member that uses the Internet to glean information."

Google Your Family Tree is packed with useful content such as search engine basics, effective query structure, advanced search techniques, blog searches, language tools, how to get started in genealogy, and much more. "And, that is the magic of this book. It takes one of the most common Internet experiences--a Google search--and puts it in a new light, making it seem brand new," said Paul Allen, CEO,, Inc. "I vouch for its usefulness for both the serious web searcher as well as someone that is new to the world of Google."

The book is 340 pages, carries ISBN 978-0-9820737-1-1, and sells for $34.95 (USD). To learn more about the book, read reviews or to purchase a copy, visit:

Renee's Note: I've read the book and it is fantastic and lives up to the hype.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing: Week 71

It's been a wonderful day. I joined my fellow genealogists at Scanfest today. Between the chatting I scanned 30 pages of photographs. I would load each page up with various size photographs and then scan them. So, I don't know in total right now how many pictures are scanned. I still have to go through the images and crop the individual photos to size. It really felt good to get some of my scanning done. There are plenty more still to do!

It's snowing here in Utah and I am nice and toasty next to my space heater. I have my fluffy bathrobe and fuzzy slippers on. It really does seem like the perfect time to do some FamilySearch Indexing. As always I will look for any new messages for us.

We have only one this week:
From: Headquarters
Subject: Guerrero - Censo de Mexico de 1930
Date: 20 Jan 2009

El Censo de Guerrero Mexico 1930 contiene registros de Hidalgo. Por favor indexen esos registros y los envien. La administracion esta consciente de esta situacion. Se corregira antes que llegue a Record Search.

The Guerrero - 1930 Mexico Census project contains records from Hildago. Please index the records and submit them. Indexing Administration is aware of this situation. It will be taken care of before it reaches Record Search.
Sorry that I don't have the accents on the Spanish words. I haven't a clue where to find them on my computer/keyboard to type them.

Last night I was reading my Robert Ragan's Treasure Maps Genealogy Newsletter and found this interesting item I thought I would pass along.
Video Lesson about the New FamilySearch Pilot Site

Here's the link to the my video lesson on the "FamilySearch Record Search - Pilot Site" that was mentioned in the December issue of Treasure Maps. This online resource, to free copies of original genealogy records, is so important, I want you to see exactly how it works.

If you didn't try searching for genealogy records about your ancestors after reading the article about the Record Search Pilot site last month, then this video should inspire you. It is such a
fantastic resource. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth...?

* See:

NOTE: As you can see, the above link it is a mile long. So if it breaks into two lines in your email message, you can use this short link to get to the exact same page on Treasure Map's site:


This short link is safe. I set it up personally.

Enjoy, and TRY searches for your ancestors. ;-)

I watched the video and he did a really good job on it.

Well, it's time for me to choose which indexing project to work on this week. I worked on the Illinois 1920 US Federal Census last week. I see that is it available again this week so I picked that. Wrong! No current batches. So, I think I will try the Connecticut 1920 US Federal Census.

I downloaded three batches at one time. Just my luck to get a census taker that wrote really tiny and scribbled. They were tuff. One of my batches didn't even have the county filled out on the top of the page. I went to the previous page and that one wasn't filled out either. Since I had been indexing the same batches and they were almost in numeric order I could of guessed the county. I didn't because the next indexer wouldn't necessarily have that information available to them. That would be an arbitrators nightmare I am sure. So, I left it blank.

While I was indexing tonight I tried out a new internet radio station. It's called Your LDS Radio at It was a great station. It had a mixture of LDS artist, country artist and pop-rock. Not exactly what I was expecting. The variety kept it interesting. It fit right into my indexing mood. If your looking for some mood music while indexing this station will keep you alert.

Three batches were enough tonight. I indexed 150 names for a grand total of 10,473 indexed to date. Now I am going to go back to cropping my scanned images until it's time for bed.

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

Friday, January 23, 2009

Upload Your GEDCOM at We're Related on Facebook

The following announcement is from

We're Related on Facebook has just added a major site enhancement, which will be available by noon on Friday. Now, individuals can upload their Gedcom files (up to 8 megabytes). The process is smooth and easy. The family tree section on We're Related is also much easier to use. Plus, every person on We're Related now has their own profile page that their relatives can view. We're Related is growing rapidly. We're Related currently has more than 19.2 million users with 10.5 million monthly active users. It is the number five application on Facebook for the "most active users." We're Related on Facebook is free. Join today!

Renee's Note: I am excited for the enhancement and can't wait to get home from the Family History Center to upload a current version of my GEDCOM.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

NEHGS Adds About 5 Million Seachable Names Online

Improved databases provide access to nearly 400 years of information.

Boston, MA – January 2009 – New England Historic Genealogical Society is pleased to announce the addition of about 5 million names to its databases during 2008 to help its more than 20,000 members around the country with their family history research.

NEHGS has more than 100 volunteers around the country who help scan and digitize the vast collection housed at NEHGS’ 7-story research library located at 99 Newbury Street in Boston.

Sam Sturgis, NEHGS Coordinator of Website Database Development, said, “Our goal is to digitize one or two databases every week and make them available on our Web site. Last year we achieved that and more and we are grateful to our volunteers for their assistance with this enormous task.”

The NEHGS Web site,, contains the most complete set of electronically searchable pre-1910 Massachusetts vital records available anywhere. This past year these databases were expanded and improved. Scans of 46,431 record pages were added to the 1910 database, and volunteers corrected errors in about 60,000 records. In the 1850 database 32,422 record pages were added, and an estimated 100,000 errors corrected. About 1,134,770 records in this database were checked for errors, and the project, begun in 2007, is now about 80% complete. On top of these improvements, 2008 also saw the addition of 1,316,076 names to the website’s databases. Another 3,683,712 names were added to the Social Security Death Index database. This brings the grand total of new names added to 4,999,788.

The NEHGS Web site,, has been providing access to important research information including vital records, published genealogies, manuscript archives, and other records since 1999. The site receives more than 15,000 hits per day.


The New England Historic Genealogical Society, founded in 1845, is the country's oldest non-profit genealogical organization. With more than 20,000 members nationally, NEHGS collects, preserves, and interprets materials to help make accessible the histories of families in America. Located at 99-101 Newbury Street in Boston, the NEHGS research library is home to more than 12 million books, journals, photographs, documents, records, and microfilms. NEHGS also boasts one of the largest genealogy manuscript collections in the country, covering more than four centuries of local and family history.

NEHGS And CSG Team up to bring Popular Journal Online

CSG Nutmegger now available as online searchable database.

Boston, MA & East Hartford, CT – January 22, 2009 – The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the Connecticut Society of Genealogists (CSG) announce today the first phase of bringing the CSG’s flagship journal The Connecticut Nutmegger online as a searchable database, available to members on both organizations’ Websites.

The Connecticut Nutmegger has served as the “journal of record” for the CSG since 1968. During this time it has captured a wealth of information for genealogists such as vital records, probate records, bible records, headstone records, memorials and other useful records. The Nutmegger also presents well-documented family histories and genealogical articles, covering hundreds of families – mainly with Connecticut ties. Published articles include commentary on and corrections to previously published family lines, vital records and town histories. Book reviews, research tips, queries and other valuable tools for genealogists are also available.

Dick Tomlinson, Chair, CSG Publication Committee, said, “This project cuts new ground in cooperation between the Connecticut Society of Genealogists and the New England Historic Genealogical Society. It benefits the members of both organizations by bringing forty years of accumulated genealogical treasures off the bookshelves and into digital databases.”

NEHGS President and CEO, D. Brenton Simons, said, “We are pleased to work with CSG in this way. The Nutmegger is a marvelous resource for those researching in Connecticut and we know countless people will benefit from having it available online.”

This database will be released in stages over the next year, starting this week with volumes 1-6, which cover the years 1968, its first year, through 1973. Additional sets of five volumes will be added periodically throughout this coming year. The database search facility is very similar to that of the NEHGS Register and allows searches by last and/or first name, or by subject keywords. Images of the original pages may be seen from the search results page. It is also possible to browse the pages of the Nutmegger by entering a Year (or volume number) and a page number. This first installment indexes 12,347 names and 477 subject records.

For more information on The Nutmegger, visit the CSG Website, or the NEHGS Website,


The New England Historic Genealogical Society, founded in 1845, is the country's oldest non-profit genealogical organization. With more than 20,000 members nationally, NEHGS collects, preserves, and interprets materials to help make accessible the histories of families in America. Located at 99-101 Newbury Street in Boston, the NEHGS research library is home to more than 12 million books, journals, photographs, documents, records, and microfilms. NEHGS also boasts one of the largest genealogy manuscript collections in the country, covering more than four centuries of local and family history.

About CSG

The Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc. was founded in 1968 to serve those interested in genealogy and family history and has a particular focus on Connecticut. CSG is a non-profit genealogical organization with more than 3,300 members nation-wide. Through meetings, seminars, classes, publications and other resources, CSG seeks to aid its members and to make genealogical data more readily available. It maintains a research library, including more than 18,000 member charts, at 175 Maple St. in East Hartford, CT that is open to the public M-F from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mailing address: P.O. Box 435, Glastonbury, CT, 06033. Phone: (860) 569-0002. For more information visit

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Related to Barack Obama or to other VIPs? – Search for relatives now on dynastree

New York - Jan. 20, 2009. Searching one’s family roots can have surprising results. For example, America’s new president Barack Obama and actor Brad Pitt are ninth cousins. The mightiest man in the world is not the only VIP with a special familial relationship. In recent times, the connection between Hillary Clinton and Angelina Jolie and Victoria Beckham’s German roots have been reported on. The ex-Spice Girl is a Swabian! Her great-great-grandfather, Carl Heinrich Pfänder (1819-1876), comes from Heilbronn, Germany.

For the users of the family network dynastree ( it has become even easier to search for relatives all over the world and trace their potentially famous roots. Only 18 month after launch, more than 70 million entered persons can be found in the database.

By means of the simple search function, the data of more than 5 million family trees worldwide can be searched for relatives or friends in a matter of seconds. Especially the high popularity of the US platform leads to a large number of users from the States who have built or uploaded their family tree. Getting into contact is simple due to an easy-to-use messaging system so that famousness-factor and possible familial relationships can be researched directly.

About dynastree
Apart from the English site, the services are available in Germany (, in Poland (, Spain and South America (, Portugal (, Brazil (, the Netherlands (, Italy ( and France ( The platform will continue expanding to other European countries as well as worldwide. dynastree is supported by leading Business Angels, Hasso Plattner Ventures and Neuhaus Partners, a well-known venture capitalist.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing: Week 70

This past week my mind has been obsessed with finding a replacement for my Google Notebook. I've used it to organize my genealogy research and my life. I was devastated when Google announced that they would stop development of it this week. They said they would continue to let those that have a Google Notebook use it, but to me the handwriting was on the wall.

I have looked at and compared so many different replacements that I am blurred eyed. I found nothing that compared to my Google Notebook setup. The other thing I was worried about with an online storage of my notes is that this same scenerio could happen with another company. This lead me to wish my old TreePad Plus program would run on a flash drive. I just assumed it wouldn't. It does have an ebook creator that could at least give me access to my notes. After-all this is the method I was using until I turned into a Googlite.

I hopped on the TreePad website to see if there had been any new updates. While poking around I read somewhere that it ran on a flash drive. This was exciting news to me, it could possibly be my answer. After some experimenting I was delighted to find out how well it works off the flash drive. After a week of moaning now I have peace and joy.

I just might start wearing that flash drive around my neck. On it will be my TreePad database and in the near future a copy of RootsMagic-To-Go. This will be heaven, to have my genealogy at my finger tips wherever I go.

Now you wonder what all this has to do with FamilySearch Indexing. Not much, I just can't focus well on indexing when my mind is full of clutter. My computer time right now would have been spent focusing on a solution to my problem, if it wasn't already resolved. Hopefully my little side trip and discovery will be of some use to you also. Problem solved, NEXT!

As I always begin my FamilySearch Indexing I check for any new messages from Headquarters. There are two this week. The first one is on My Messages in the program.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Indexing Tip - Zoom Out
Date: 13 Jan 2009

Every time you download a batch, zoom out to see the full image and find all of the records on the document. Sometimes an image contains a two-page document and the second page may not be visible when zoomed in at 37% or more. For example, most images in the Arkansas Marriage III project contain two pages.

To zoom out and view the full image:
  1. On the toolbar, click the magnifying glass icon with the minus (-) sign.
  2. Continue to click the icon until you can see the entire image.
Note: To zoom back in to index the records, click the magnifying glass icon with the plus (+) sign.
Our second message is off the FamilySearch Indexing website.

January 16, 2009: Administrative Reports Available

Administrators and stake extraction directors can run their reports again. Refer to the broadcast message in the indexing application for more information.
I don't see any broadcast messages in the indexing application so it must only be available to administrators and directors. I'm sure some of you will find that note useful. I never see/hear any reports on how my stake is doing in indexing. Guess I'm in never, never land over here.

Last week I tried to work on the Illinois 1920 US Federal Census because they mentioned them in a message from headquarters. It was available so I downloaded two batches. My second batch was funny and sad at the same time. The funny part was it was sheet 1 and family 1 for that town's census. You could see the census taker's handwriting very legible and then slowly it got worse down the sheet. You could see what duplication of the same entry did after a while. The sad part was it had 6 widows or widowers on that one sheet. It was sad to see all these families with children without one parent. It made me wonder what could of happened to so many adults. World War I or the flu epidemic could be a possibilities.

I had more time so I did one more batch of the Illinois 1920 US Federal Census. The ink on the page would get really clear and then fade to almost nothing. It made me wonder what type of pens they were using in 1920? Whoever it was they made sure they got every drop out of their ink before they re-dipped or reloaded the pen.

So, the total today is three batches of 50 each, making it 150 individuals indexed. My grand total to date is 10,323. This was a nice break for me for the week. Indexing is really relaxing when you let yourself just focus on what you are reading. Well, I'm off to go transfer some Google Notebook items into my TreePad database.

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

Friday, January 16, 2009

Family Pursuit Announces the Release of Private Family Trees

Renee's note: The following press release is from Family Pursuit. I just signed up for a private tree and look forward to learning more about the site. My sister-in-law wants to begin to do genealogy and I think this is the best avenue for us to share our information and work on the database at the same time. I will keep you informed of our progress.

All the major problems have been worked out, so now it’s time for a press release! We announced the following today:

Provo, Utah, Jan. 14 - Family Pursuit, a leader in online collaborative genealogy research tools, today announced the release of Private Family Trees. Designed specifically for collaboration, this unique wiki-based website is now available for private use for the genealogist who is looking for a better way to work with others. Family Pursuit’s private family trees allow researchers to share not only conclusions, but their ongoing research, sources, extractions and theories with those invited to join the trees. They are the perfect solution for sharing research with the entire family, interacting with other family genealogists, or working within a family organization or one-name study.

Some of the collaborative tools available for private family trees include:
  • Inviting an unlimited number of family members to join a private tree
  • Organizing and sharing ongoing genealogy research
  • Creating and assigning tasks
  • Sharing research logs and extractions
  • Adding living individuals
  • Keeping all information about living and deceased individuals private
  • Involving and mentoring family members
  • Participating in family discussions
  • Receiving notifications of changes made by tree users
  • Rolling back and forth any change made by any user
  • Advanced merging and unmerging
Along with these new private trees, Family Pursuit continues to offer its Community Tree which has been created for genealogists to share research with the genealogy community to reduce duplicate efforts, accelerate research, and network and connect with distant relatives.

“We have found that many genealogists feel more comfortable working privately with those they already know. A Private Family Tree offers this security,” said Mike Martineau, founder of Family Pursuit. “When genealogists feel confident in their research conclusions, they will be able to easily copy their conclusions to the Community Tree for others to view and add to. A Private Family Tree also allows the inexperienced genealogist to be privately mentored by more knowledgeable relatives. We are excited to offer a bridge between those who are overwhelmed by the amount of research and those who want to help but don’t know how. We look forward to continuing our progress in developing these important tools, and being a part of bringing more people into the work.”

About Family Pursuit

Started in 2004, Family Pursuit, a Provo, Utah company, provides web-based applications to accelerate family history work by providing a framework for genealogy researchers to work together in their efforts and to easily share their ideas, theories, research and conclusions. Family Pursuit enables genealogy enthusiasts to involve family members who have never engaged in family history work, bringing families together in sharing the rewarding experience of researching, exploring, and creating a personal understanding of their heritage. Visit for more information.

1911 census of England and Wales

Renee's note: The following was written by a good friend, Henry Mantall, in England. He is doing a fantastic job indexing and I asked him to give us a little insight into the project.

1911 census (document references RG14 and RG780 form a large collection occupying 2 kilometres of shelving at the National Archives. It consists of 8 million householder schedules and a further 38,000 enumerator summary books and is estimated to contain 36 million individuals living in England and Wales in April 1911

The digital collection when complete will create 18 million digital images, roughly 14 times the 1901 census.

Unlike the earlier collections of enumerators schedules (1841-1901) you will view the householder schedule completed in many cases by your own ancestor.

Householders are asked to provide the length of their marriage and how many children in total, how many alive and how many dead. Unlike previous census, enumerators have space to tallyor record their data and are required to use coloured ink. This makes the earlier problems of obliteration by overwriting rare in my experience of beta test images. The digital image quality is high and downloaded jpg enables magnification so entries are legible.

Prior to the September quarter of 1911 registration of Births in England and Wales did not require the mother’s maiden name to be recorded.

The 1991 census is a precise genealogical tool which points to:

Year of marriage (with no enumerator rounding )

The total family size and disclosure of deceased children, which is unprecedented..

The discovery of deceased children requires family historians to devise a research strategy to identify previously unknown children.

My personal strategy is to examine the known family group on a timeline from date of marriage and consider potential earlier births/deaths predating the marriage. Where significant gaps are found between children, which might permit pregnancy and live birth I search for deaths. I do this both through and where available the index of primary registration in local registration district within the county. London registration districts for common surnames represent particular challenges where the surname is numerous. I request searches at local register office to try to identify the correct parent. If a death is identified the registrar is often able to identify a registered birth. It helps if the family are resident in only one registration district! It should be borne in mind that year of birth and year of registration may be some years apart and a death certificate may be male/female for an unnamed child. Each quarterly index also has male/female registrations without surname which need to be considered too (these are available on microfiche or microfilm or online image collections if you look at the pages following Z.)

One potential difficulty with the 1911 census is the national boycott called by the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

Women were called to boycott the census as a means of peaceful protest by holding parties on the evening of the census absenting them from home. Until the census is completely available it is difficult to estimate the size of boycott. In beta testing I have found mother and daughters absent from home as anticipated due to the known and recorded role of mother in the Movement. Images record write in protests from women(and men) The scale of this problem is difficult to estimate.

The 1911 census is exclusively available through and its dedicated website which has a good deal of information about the project. And what information is being withheld until 2012. the project will be made available online in 2009. At the conclusion of the beta test more than 50% of English Counties are completely available mostly in the South of England. For those awaiting Cheshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and the populous cities of Lancashire Yorkshire and the North East there is the message “coming soon”. Welsh counties will follow completion of the English collection.

Update: The 1911 census went public Jan 12, 2009,
Additional counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and West Riding of Yorkshire have been added (along with others) greatly expanding the cities in the collection. Some search facilities are off to protect the server from overwhelming demand.

FamilySearch Wiki

There is a little known project going on over at FamilySearch Labs, it's called the Research Wiki. Some of you might be familiar with it by another name FamilySearch Wiki. I have attended several presentations on the FamilySearch Wiki, the last being just last week at the UVPAFUG monthly meeting. This little article about them is way over due!

If you go the the FamilySearch Wiki website at you will find the best description of what it is: "Free family history research advice for the community, by the community".

The wiki has been set up to gather information on localities, where to find records, who to contact, etc., it is not for actual genealogies or family information. You wouldn't find your great-grandfather's birth date there, but rather it is the place for posting information about doing actual genealogy research. Think of it as an encyclopedia for genealogists.

This will replace the old 'Research Guidance', simply put, all that information is static, and much of it is actually rather stale, as in some cases addresses changed, locations that records are at were moved, etc., so a wiki is the best way to get the latest information on repositories, research strategies, etc., out to everyone.

The beauty of it is that all the information can be updated at any time by any user. Information will be kept current and fresh. The big process now is getting actual materials into the wiki. Much has been done, but it's now time to contribute the knowledge you have gained from your own personal experience in doing research with others.

I received this call for help from the FamilySearch Wiki team yesterday.
Dear FamilySearch Wiki member,

Here's a quick note to tell you about a project being developed by the FamilySearch Wiki community: the Maryland Barn Raising. A wiki barn raising is a short, focused community effort to create or revise content relating to a single topic such as "genealogical research in Maryland." During this barn raising, we will revise the Maryland Portal and all the Topics pages it links to. At the end of the barn raising, the wiki will contain information about all the latest and best records to use to find Maryland ancestors.

The wiki community needs your help to make this effort a success! We'd love it if you would pitch in and contribute a few edits to the Maryland pages. You don't need to be a Maryland expert to contribute, but experts are certainly welcome! To see a list of pages we plan to update and also a list of simple tasks that non-experts can do, take a look at our Maryland Barn Raising Tasks page at

This first barn raising is proving to be a lot of fun, and we're learning things that will be foundational to barn raisings for other areas of the world. Hope to see you soon on the wiki!


Michael Ritchey
Community & Content Coordinator
Community Services Team
The community, and that means you, have been invited to help build the wiki. The barn raising has begun. So, bring your dictionaries and grammar books with you, if that is your specialty. If you have actual experience in Maryland research then bring your brains. Your talents are needed and the party is just getting started. Hope to see you there.

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

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How will I live without Google Notebook.

What am I going to do now? I just organized my genealogy to-do list for the year and Google Notebook was a part of it. I am in shock and distraught over the demise of Google Notebook. I can't tell you how I feel after reading the following blog article:
Stopping development on Google Notebook
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 6:30 PM
Posted by Raj Krishnan, Product Manager, Google Notebook

At Google, we're constantly working to innovate and improve our products so people can easily find and manage information. At times though, we have to decide where to focus our efforts and which technologies we expect will yield the most benefit to users in the long run.

Starting next week, we plan to stop active development on Google Notebook. This means we'll no longer be adding features or offer Notebook for new users. But don't fret, we'll continue to maintain service for those of you who've already signed up. As part of this plan, however, we will no longer support the Notebook Extension, but as always users who have already signed up will continue to have access to their data via the web interface at

If you haven't used Notebook in the past, we invite you to explore the other Google products that offer Notebook-like functionality. Here are a few examples, all of which are being actively improved and should meet your needs:
  • SearchWiki - We recently launched a feature on Search that will let you re-rank, comment, and personalize your search results. This is useful when you've found some results on Google Search that were really perfect for your query. You can read about how to use SearchWiki in this blog post.
  • Google Docs - If you're trying to jot down some quick notes, or create a document that you can share with others, check out Google Docs.
  • Tasks in Gmail - For a lightweight way to generate a todo list or keep track of things, we recently launched Tasks in Gmail Labs.
  • Google Bookmarks - For a tool that can help you remember web pages that you liked and access them easily, take a look at Google Bookmarks. You can even add labels to your bookmarks to better organize and revisit them.
While it's hard for us to make this announcement we believe it's the right decision for our users in the long run. And we're excited about all the new ideas we have for Docs, SearchWiki, Bookmarks and other products.
I don't feel Google's options to replace it will totally work for me. Since I already have a Google Notebook I can always still use it, but I feel it is just a matter of time before they don't support it any more. I need some options.

I don't want Evernote because I want a hierarchical list and not tags. Google Notebook gave me the option to have many different notebooks and then break them down into sections. It was so easy and quick to move around in. There are definite places to use tags and lists and I want both options. Besides, I think I would outgrow the free version really quick. I don't want to be at the mercy of a subscription and run the risk of loosing all my notes.

I guess I could always stay with TreePad, it's just that the information is not available online. At least you can make ebooks of my TreePad files to read on the flash drive, but you can't edit them once they are created. To bad TreePad doesn't run off a flash drive.

It appears I need some time to mourn the loss of Google Notebook. There has to be another options I just don't know what yet. If you know of an option for me pass it along, I would love to consider it.

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

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing: Week 69

I missed indexing last week. What a way to start out the New Year. It took me a week but I did write down my goals for the new year. Much of it is organizing. This week I was organizing my schedule and planning out when I would get things I want to do accomplished. It appears I have no time now to do anything, which isn't hard to do when you work 4 hours a day and then come home and sleep 4 hours.

I wanted to accomplish more scanning of my documents on Sundays. You can do a lot of pondering and thinking over the great questions of life while you wait for the scanner to do it's job. Since church isn't until 12:30 p.m. I thought I could fit in a couple of hours of scanning in the morning before church. I actually accomplished something in this area this morning. I didn't actually run the scanner though. I was working on gathering all the photos together.

When I moved a couple of years ago I put all my photos that weren't in albums in a large three drawer plastic storage organizer that is on wheels. I had some miscellaneous photos in my file cabinets that I worked on pulling out today. Next week I will work on sorting the photos. I can just roll the storage organizer/container to the kitchen table and go to town. Then I can work on scanning the photos. Gotta put in some prep time to be the most productive in the long run.

What an example the Church is to us on the importance of preserving precious family history documents and making them more accessible to others. I hope that my personal scanning project will someday be useful to others too. I tell you I won't have a restful nights sleep until all my photos and documents have been digitized and shared with family members and fellow researchers. Then let the fire, floods and earthquakes come because I will have copied and backed up all my precious mementos off-site with others.

Church was good today and my nap was very restful. Now it's time to start working on my FamilySearch Indexing. First things first. Here are the messages from Headquarters.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Indexing Support Hours Changing
Date: 30 Dec 2008

Beginning January 2nd, the hours for Indexing Support will be changing. Continue to contact us toll-free at 1-866-406-1830.
  • For help with the indexing program, or specific projects, hours are Monday-Friday from 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M., and Saturdays from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. (MST, GMT-7).
  • For help with UDE, extraction inventory, or to place an order, hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. (MST, GMT-7).
  • For help with administration and leadership for indexing and extraction, hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. (MST, GMT-7).
The Support page of FamilySearch indexing Web site will be updated to reflect these changes soon.
Note: The Indexing Support offices will be closed on January 1st, New Year's Day.
Second message:
From: Headquarts
Subject: Indexing Support Hours Changing
Date: 30 Dec 2008

Currently, we are indexing the states of Massachusetts and Illinois in the 1920 US Federal Census, and we still need to finish indexing these before we will move on to the other states.

The Illinois project is 68% complete and Massachusetts is 84% complete. We have already completed the states of California and Alabama. Keep up the great work!

After we finish these two states, we will remove the Township field from the rest of the 1920 US Federal Census project. The township information will be collected here at Headquarters.

Arbitrators: As we work to complete the Illinois and Massachusetts projects, do not spend a lot of time arbitrating the Township field. Simply choose the option (Key A or Key B) that is the most correct.
Third message:
From: Headquarters
Subject: Semimonthly Message
Date: 02 Jan 2009

Here is a tip to start your new year:

Save to the Server

Use the Save to Server feature to save your work online to the FamilySearch indexing computers. When you do this it means that any indexing work you are able to do on a batch - be it 5 minutes or 5 names - will not be lost.

If you run out of time, cannot complete the batch within seven days, or have issues with your computer that keep you from completing the batch, your work will be saved and another indexer will be able to pick up wherever you left off.

Also use the Save to Server feature if you do indexing on more than one computer. If you are working on your home computer and cannot finish your batch before you need to leave, save the batch to the server. Then when you start indexing again at work, at the library, or elsewhere, you can open the batch and pick up where you left off.

This feature is found in the File menu while you are working on a batch or you can use the Save to Server icon (a floppy disk next to a computer) on the toolbar in the middle of the indexing screen.

Note: Always remember to submit your batch when you have finished indexing all of the records on the images(s).
Fourth message:
From: Headquarters
Subject: Internet Explorer 6
Date: 06 Jan 2009

There have been some issues with the display of the FamilySearch indexing Web site for users of Internet Explorer (IE) version 6. This version of IE is no longer supported by Microsoft, and users should either update their Internet browser to version 7 or download a different free browser, such as Mozilla Firefox.

To update or download one of these new browsers, follow one of the links below:
For Internet Explorer 7, click here. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page and follow the instructions under the heading, "Get Internet Explore 7")

For Mozilla Firefox, click here. (Then click the green button in the middle of the page and follow the instructions.)
If you use Windows Internet Explorer, but you do not know which version it is:
  1. Open the Internet Explorer.
  2. Click Help on the menu bar.
  3. Click About Internet Explorer.
  4. Look for the version number on this page.
Note: If the version is below 7, then you need to update to the newest version of Internet Explorer by clicking on the link above.
Final message is from the FamilySearch Indexing website.

January 5, 2009: Happy New Year!

We cannot say enough to thank all those who contributed to the FamilySearch indexing program over the past year. In 2008, we indexed over 115 million names. That is more than the current population of Mexico. What a great achievement!

We are very excited to see how our numbers grow in 2009.
Wow, that was a lot of message. That's what happens when you skip a week indexing. Now the big questions for the week is what batches am I going to index from. There is quit the variety of languages and projects to chose from.
  • Dutch, Flemish (1)
  • English (13)
  • French (1)
  • German (2)
  • Italian (1)
  • Norwegian (1)
  • Russian (1)
  • Spanish (8)
I guess by now you know me, it has to be an English project. I was hoping that the Massachusetts 1920 US Federal Census was still available but it's gone. I do see the Illinois 1920 US Federal Census available so I picked that. Darn, no projects. Ok, what else to pick? Since I love working in New York or the New England states, I decided to pick the Massachusetts 1865 State Census.

The handwriting was very clear for it being 1865 and all. My batches went pretty quick. I did two of them. It gave me a total of 168 names indexed today. I now have a grand total of 10,173 names indexed to date. I think I am getting used to indexing. It's been a long day and I will close for now.

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

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mark Your Calendars - UGA Meeting!

The January Meeting will be held on January 16 -- it comes early this month!!

Our Speaker will be Bruce Buzbee who will be talking about Roots Magic 4. After the speaker we will be holding annual elections, so please plan to come and to stay until 8:30 so you can vote.

The meeting is held at 7 pm at the South Area Family History Training Center at 85 N 600 East in Provo.

See you there!!


For questions, contact:

Thursday, January 08, 2009

UVPAFUG New Location Reminder

To the members of the Utah Valley PAF Users Group living in Utah,

This is to remind you that this Saturday's monthly meeting is being held in a new location. The "red chapel" building, where we have been meeting for much more than a decade, is being completely renovated.

Beginning in January we will start meeting in the Edgewood/Riverside LDS building at 3511 North 180 East, in the river bottoms area of Provo. The only access to this area is from 3700 North. See for an online map of this location.

Meetings will still be held on the second Saturday from 9 am to Noon. In case you missed the press release for this meeting, you can read that at

We look forward to seeing you here during 2009.

Utah Valley PAF Users Group.

FamilyLink Application on Facebook Becomes Fifth Most Popular Application

Connecting with family outpaces playing poker, writing bumper stickers, or posting videos.

PROVO, Utah, Jan 08, 2009 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- We're Related, a service developed by, Inc. to connect Facebook users to other family members, just became the fifth most popular application on Facebook Platform. The We're Related application surpassed Texas HoldEm Poker, Bumper Sticker, and Video by Facebook as well as more than 52,000 other Facebook applications in terms of active monthly users. "We are thrilled with the momentum of We're Related and are looking forward to future growth and the new functionality we will offer our loyal users," said Paul Allen, CEO,, Inc. "As the number of We're Related users increases, so does the number of connections people are making to their families."

We're Related was launched in October 2007 and is currently the most popular Facebook application for families with more than 16.5 million users., Inc. also recently became one of the Top 500 Web companies in the world, based on Quantcast statistics.

"I'm just excited to see that families really want to connect with each other on the Internet. Our next goal is to grow to 50 million users by the end of this year to help even more individuals stay connected to their loved ones," said Jason McGowan, VP Product,, Inc.

Connecting families is also important to the top three family sites on the Internet, which include,, and In addition to the 5.8 million monthly visitors using We're Related on Facebook, these three websites attract an additional 2.6 million monthly visitors who connect with their families online, according to statistics published by Quantcast, a service that measures online audiences.

Those who use the We're Related application also share their excitement through online comments and reviews:

"It's good to get all of my family in one place. I'm slowly adding people who I didn't even no I was related to and finding people that I haven't seen or heard from in years. We even found a cousin we had never spoken to," said Neka Towers.

"So far so good! It's great to connect with relatives I don't get to see more often!" said Kathie Smith, a Facebook user from Massachusetts.

"Awesome app ... Makes keeping up with the fam easier," said Junius Simon from Texas.

"Just joined and it has helped me find family I never knew existed. 5 stars!" said Tom Davies, new user on We're Related.

"This application is amazing ... I love being able to show who I am related to. Keep up the excellent work," said Willow Bigelow from Colorado.

We're Related was created to help individuals stay in touch with their families through photo sharing, a news feed, birthday reminders, etc. Individuals can also build their family tree using We're Related. For example, more than 100 million relationships (of living people) have been defined on We're Related. The most common relationship, by far, is cousin. This relationship is often defined in We're Related using the terms cuz, first cousin, or my cousin.

We're Related is a free application on Facebook. It can be downloaded through Facebook at:

About, Inc., Inc. is a family of services that includes (, (, (, and the We're Related ( and My Family ( applications on Facebook. The focus of the company is to bring families closer through innovative online services. A combined global audience of 11.5 million unique individuals visits the Web properties owned and operated by, Inc. each month to generate 28 million monthly page views. We're Related is one of the fastest-growing social networks for genealogists as well as other family members. The application helps individuals find relatives on Facebook, keep in touch with family members through news and status updates, build family trees, and share photos. Those who use We're Related actively participate in guiding the product roadmap through an online forum and direct feedback.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

My Genealogy To-Do List for 2009

Alright, so it's not the 1st of January, but I did want to set some goals for this New Year. I also wanted to go over what I accomplished with my to-do list for last year. I tried really hard to make this article appear on the 1st but family matters got in the way of things. This article has been a whole week in the making so hopefully it going to be an extra special year.

First I looked over my Genealogy To-Do list of 2008 and I can honestly say I did a lot of thinking about it throughout the year. Now saying that I accomplished everything is a totally different story.

I did have fun watching new FamilySearch roll-out to the majority of the temple districts around the world. Then the release stalled over the Asia temple districts and the Wasatch Front. Looks like I won't be seeing new FamilySearch my way until late 2009. I expect it to be bigger, better and faster when it comes though. Good things come to those that wait.

I was excited to see the commercial genealogy software developers show off their API to interface with NFS. Ancestral Quest and FamilyInsight are now up and running. I really need to spend the time this year to get to know them personally. RootsMagic 4 will be coming out soon and I will be able to play with that one too. I haven't heard anything about Legacy's API but I know they are planning on interfacing with NFS so I expect it will be down the road later this year.

My new job at is letting me know the company better. Funny how I mentioned that I wanted to try them out last year. Never would of expected I would be working for them too.

Now I am going to use the To-Do items from last year and let you know how I did on them and if any have to move on into the New Year.

1. Move from Legacy to RootsMagic as my genealogy software of choice.
I am still in the process of moving over. Any new databases I create for others I use RootsMagic 3. It's just my big main database in Legacy that I haven't rolled over, and that's the most important one! In my discussions with RootMagic's creator, Bruce Buzbee, I was able to determine it was wiser for me to wait for version 4 of RootsMagic. He is working on a special direct import feature from Legacy to RootsMagic. This is wonderful news for me. All these little concerns I had of how the gedcom over from Legacy to RootsMagic would go have now all flittered away. Just as soon as RootsMagic 4 comes out I am moving on over. Thanks so much Bruce for taking care of this to-do item for me. I really see this to-do item being completed early this year.

2. Organize my files on my computer
I think this year I have spent the most time pondering over this process. I did some minor organizing of my files structure but I don't have the big picture in place yet. I have bounced back and forth between using Mary E. V. Hill’s Color Coding System on my four main family lines (blue, green, red, yellow). I wanted to implement everything Mary Hill does with paper and folders and transfer that digitally with all my records. Some rules I had thought of are:
A. File by last name, first, date, and document type.
B. When I file by locality I will go from the Largest to the smallest locality.
C. Keep a digital log of where everything is located
I think it was the digital log part that threw me. I kept wanting to refine it and simplify the file names or code them. Then a funny thing happened along the way. The gas prices went up and I decided to save some money by lowering my DirectTV plan to basic and taking out all the receiver boxes except for the one in the living room. Then I got sick and was in bed for a few days, without TV. I was tired of all my DVDs. But, I had the desire to watch all my old Dr. Quinn tapes but there was just one problem. I had numbered all the video tapes and they had no titles on them, just numbers. For each video tape I had numbered I made a corresponding file card for them and kept them organized in a file box. But, since we had moved a few years ago I had no idea where the file box of cards were. Without the file box to unlock my coding system I was up a creek.

My mind was still working and I was clever enough to realize the irony of all this. My file box was like the digital log I had been wanting to create. My video tapes were like my computer files. If I make my files so cryptic that I can't see at a glance what they contain then some day my descendants will look at my computer files just like I was looking at stacks of VHS tapes with numbers on them - meaningless. Unless of course they are lucky enough to find the master key, which would be unlikely.

I determined that my computer files will have no codes or digital logs to unlock the clues of what the files contain. I was going back to part A & B of my original plan, but now I understood exactly how and why this is the best plan for me. I haven't implemented it fully yet. In the mean time I was really excited to see that Miriam Robbins Midkiff on her AnceStories blog has written a wonderful series on Organizing your Digital Files. I am so much in harmony with what she has described in her articles on the subject. It is exactly what I had decided to do for my files.

I really hope by the end of 2009 that I will have this to-do item up and running. I've done the pondering part now it's time to put it into action.

3. Transfer everything in my Treepad database over to EverNote.
I didn't do this one and for a good reason. I pondered over EverNote and it didn't fit the bill for me. I decided to become a Googlelite instead. I am now using Google Notebook to organize my research and reference materials. I even used Google Notebook to store information on my computer system setup and was able to successful go through two computer hard drive reformats this past year somewhat painlessly. I am so organized now with using Google Notebook and I love how it's available 24/7 as long as I have access to the internet.

Not everything is out of Treepad. Some items like links to websites I am actually moving into GMarks or better known as Google Bookmarks. I can access my bookmarks now from any computer with internet access once again. I love how I can add all these notes to the bookmarks too. It's just a very time consuming process moving all the old stuff. I have been faithfully using Google Bookmarks for everything new I want to save.

Some other things in Treepad like correspondence I have left alone for now. I was waiting for my move to RootsMagic to take place so I can use their correspondence log. Then I wanted to make sure I had my computer filing system in place because some of them need to be organized that way. I want to link the actual letters to my RootsMagic database so if I create a shareable CD the correspondence materials will go with it. It just wouldn't happen if I kept them saved in TreePad.

Once again I hope to transfer everthing from TreePad over to files or programs by the end of the year. The main point is moving forward, and I am getting an A+ on that.

4. I need to have a Scanning Party – 2008 is going to be the year that I finally go digital.
This is what I said about it last year!
First I think I will join Scanfest (you can read about it here) The target date to begin scanning is January 27th 2008. Hopefully with a little help from my friends I will develop a new habit, find a consistent time to work on my scanning and get lots accomplished. I am planning on not only scanning all my photographs, documents, letters but also all my old genealogy magazines and paper syllabuses that I just can’t bring myself to throw away. After I finish scanning the magazines and syllabuses I plan on donating them to my local Family History Center. Wow, will I have some more space!

I was successful at joining Scanfest. I totally under-estimated how much time it took to scan one large syllabus! This project is going to take me forever. I think I would feel better if I make this an on-going project - more like a well honed habit than to ever think I will have everything in my computer room digitized in one year. As for the syllabi and magazines I have decided I won't scan the whole thing only the articles I have an interest in.

I did accomplish one area of digitizing and that was to scan all the important documents on my immediate family members. I now have items like our birth certificates and drivers licenses copied onto a flash drive in case of emergencies. I also have everything on my hard drive backed up with Mozy. Being prepared this way has brought a lot of peace of mind.

5. Document and organize everything I have scanned and record where it is located.
This is what I said about it last year!
All my photos will get labeled and put into albums or scrapbook pages. Then I will link the scanned images to individuals in my genealogy database. Scanned magazine articles and syllabus class outlines will be listed in a spreadsheet document so I can actually search and find them by subject. While I am at it I should do an inventory and catalog all my books so I can find all the resources I have on one single subject.

As you probably guessed I didn't finish this either. But, I did decided that I will use Google Books to catalog all my books. I would love to get this part of the project completed this year. Scrapbooking would be wonderful but my priority is going to be digitizing the photos for now. Same for magazine article and syllabus class outlines. Not a priority, just I wish I had it this way. It would be best to just get them digitized then I can make all the spreadsheets I want.

I think it best to give this a 5 year goal that goes hand in hand with number 4 on the list.

6. Something old - Move all my old Live Journal blog articles over to the new Blogspot address. It bugs me that I haven’t completed this project. I just want to make it easier to search for my old articles and finding anything on Live Journal is a joke.

I actually did part of this. It's a behind the scenes type of work. What I would really like to do while I am copying the articles over is to also copy them into a document and make a e-book out of my articles. One e-book per year of blogging.

It would be nice to say I will complete this in 2009. It's not pressing but it's do-able.

7. Something new - Learn to write research summaries and keep a better research log of my failed online database search attempts.
I think this will just get better as I begin to use RootsMagic 4. I didn't do a lot of original research this year because I was waiting for the move over. I still don't feel ready to write research summaries but I need to start doing that because I am working on some genealogy for other people right now. Only pratice will improve this skill.

I looks like 2009 will be another organizing year for me. At least now I feel confident in the direction I want to take in various areas. So, it took me a year to figure out what I wanted to do - it was worth the time it took. I think I will be much more productive in what I accomplish for it.

I have narrowed my to-do list for the year 2009 down to.
  1. Move over to RootsMagic 4 - WAHOO!!!
  2. Organize the files on my computer
  3. Spend time scanning documents and photos once a week and during Scanfest.
  4. Once a month work on moving items out of my TreePad database.
  5. Once a month work on moving old LiveJournal blog articles over to Blogspot. Also copy the articles into a document and make a yearly e-book out of them.
  6. Learn to write research summaries and keep a better research log of my failed online database search attempts.
2008 was the year of pondering. 2009 should be the year of action. I am excited to see what I can accomplish in this new year.

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

FamilySearch News: President-Elect Barack Obama Inherited Speaking Skills?

President-Elect Barack Obama Inherited Speaking Skills?

Popular Turn-of-the-Century Census Now Free Online

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—FamilySearch International continues to feed the growing appetite of family historians and researchers worldwide with the release of its free 1900 U.S. Census online. The free collection allows users to search the entire population of the U.S. in 1900—over 76 million people—and view high quality images of the original census at (Go to, then click Search Records, then click Record Search pilot).

Using the online census, President-Elect Barack Obama would learn that public speaking skills and stage presence run in his family—his maternal great-great-grandfather, Charles Payne, was noted as an auctioneer by profession in the census. With just a few keystrokes, he’d find that Charles and his wife Della were born respectively in Missouri and Ohio and living with their six children in Johnson County, Kansas, in 1900. Obama’s great-grandfather, Rolla, was listed as their second child.

Famous inspirational writer and lecturer, Dale Carnegie (1888 to 1955), can be found as a mere 10-year-old farm boy in Nodaway County, Missouri. Researchers might notice that Mr. Carnegie’s family name was spelled Carnagey in the census. He would later change the spelling of his last name, perhaps to capitalize off of the popularity of tycoon Andrew Carnegie (no relation).

“The 1900 U.S. Census is such a significant collection for several reasons,” said Paul Nauta, public affairs manager for FamilySearch. “The 1890 U.S. Census was mostly destroyed in a fire. The 1900 census included information not captured from other censuses—like the exact month and year of birth of every person enumerated, years married, the number of children born to the mother, how many were still living, and how long an immigrant had been in the country along with their naturalization status,” added Nauta.

Researchers can also explore when and where a person was born, as well as the place of birth of that person’s parents. Such information is particularly helpful in trying to determine or document ethnic origins.

The 1900 U.S. Census is also a very important collection for Native Americans because it was the first to include separate Indian Population Schedule sheets for a county. Native Americans living in the general population were enumerated there. The 1900 census included the individual’s Indian and English name, tribal affiliation for the individual and his or her parents, percent of Indian blood in the individual and the parents, education, and land allotment information.

FamilySearch manages the largest collection of genealogical records worldwide. In 2007 it announced plans to begin digitizing and indexing its collection for broader, more economic online access—starting with popular collections like the U.S., Canada, and U.K. censuses. FamilySearch has created free online indexes to date for the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1900 U.S. Censuses. FamilySearch is working with The Generations Network to provide enhanced, free indexes for the remaining U.S. censuses.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Mark Your Calendars - Orem Public Library FH Series!

The Orem Public Library is beginning a family history class series to go along with the New Year! Here are some of the exciting events we will be offering this winter:
  • Family History for Beginners with family history specialist: Ben Beeson.January 12th / 7 PM / Media Auditorium
  • Heritage Quest Webinare with Louise Wallace. January 29th / 1 PM / Internet Training Room
  • Kory Meyerink, MLS, AG, will guide you through the maze of online resources to trace your family tree. A teacher of family history research at BYU, Kory has been involved in nearly every aspect of genealogy for the past 20 years. He is a highly regarded accredited genealogist with specialties in German, Dutch, and U.S. records.February 9th / 7 PM / City Council Chambers
  • Intermediate Family History Part I with family history specialist: Ben Beeson. March 23rd / 7 PM / Media Auditorium
  • Intermediate Family History Part II with family history specialist: Ben Beeson. March 30th / 7 PM / Media Auditorium
Please do not hesitate to email or call with any questions, comments, or suggestions.
Christy C. Hughes

Monday, January 05, 2009

FamilySearch Indexing Update: New International and State Census Projects

5 January 2008

New International Projects/Two New Languages

Several new international projects were added to the list of active FamilySearch indexing projects (see chart below). There is now a need for volunteers with an interest in or knowledge of the new Norwegian and Russian records—Norway 1875 Census and Ukraine Kyiv 1840–1842.

The indexing program’s interfaces have not been translated into Norwegian and Russian yet; however, the instructions for the Ukrainian project are available in Russian and English.

State Censuses

New state census projects were added for Florida (1885 and 1935) and Massachusetts (1855 and 1865).

Additional online volunteers are always needed. Patrons or indexers are encouraged to forward these updates to anyone they feel will be interested in helping to index the current projects. New volunteers can register quickly online at

Current Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion Status

Argentina Censo 1869 - Buenos Aires 2



Argentina Censo 1869 - Cordoba y San Luis



Arkansas Marriages [Part 1]



Arkansas Marriages – Part 3



Arkansas Marriages IV



Belgique – Registres Des Décès (Français)



België - Overlijdens Registers - In het Nederlands

Dutch, Flemish


Belgium - Antwerp Foreigners Index


12% (New)

Brandenburg Kirchenbücher



Bremer Schifflisten



España Lugo Registros Parroquiales [Part 1]



Flanders Death Registration

French, Dutch, Flemish


Florida 1885 Census


6% (New)

Florida 1935 Census


19% (New)

France, Coutances, Paroisses de la Manche



Guerrero - Censo de Mexico de 1930



Illinois - 1920 US Federal Census



Indiana Marriages, 1790 – Apr 1905



Massachusetts - 1855 State Census


4% (New)

Massachusetts - 1865 State Census


1% (New)

Indiana Marriages, Apr 1905 – Dec 1957



Massachusetts - 1920 US Federal Census



Massachusetts Marriage Records 1906-1915



New Hampshire - Early to 1900 Deaths



Nicaragua, Managua Civil Records



Norway 1875 Census part 1


1% (New)

Nova Scotia Antigonish Church Records



Ohio Tax Records – 2 of 4



Queretaro - Censo de Mexico de 1930



St Petersburg Kirchenbuchduplikat 1833-1885



Tlaxcala - Censo de Mexico de 1930



UK - Cheshire - Church Records



UK - Cheshire - Land Tax



Ukraine Kyiv 1840-1842



Venezuela Mérida Registros Parroquiales



(*This percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.)