Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Publishing family bible records

From: jddaz@comcast.net
DearMYRTLE,
I recently obtained the original Family Bible records from the mid-1800s. I want to scan them in *.pdf format and publish them on the internet. Do you know if
www.USGenWeb.com publishes Family Bible records? I couldn't find a link on that site for publishing this kind of record. Do you know of a site I could publish them on?

DearJACK,

Indeed, you should scan those precious pages in the family bible - to share them with others while preserving the delecate originals. Be sure to also include the title page, and the copyright page, if available. It would also be good if you transcribed the cryptic handwriting, so that the information would be searchable once online.

Be sure to see the official USGenWeb Archives Project, right on the main page of www.USGenWeb.com. The advantage of having the pages there is that the web space if free, and they can be searched for ALL US not just the state where you plan to share them. The contact emails are available at this site. Start discussions before you scan, as there will most likely be suggestions from the coordinators that will save you time and effort.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

Blogs:
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.TeachGenealogy.com

Podcasts:
DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour
http://podcasts.DearMYRTLE.com

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts
http://fhexpos.libsyn.com

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
http://www.new.facebook.com/board.php?uid=2960625373
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com . Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Trouble IS brewing here…

DearREADERS,
We’ve got watchdogs among the genea-bloggers. Sometimes Ol’ Myrt gets it – like the previous posting about MyFamily, where the reviewer was simply unaware of default settings and some customary practices. But, even I (the great Myrt?) sometimes miss the boat. See:

Randy Seaver was right to call me and Dick on the carpet for merely cross-posting an announcement from Ancestry.com, without researching the projects listed therein. Randy and Dick Eastman’s readers are on top of the issue concerning Ancestry.com and MyLife.com. I’ll leave this game to them, and travel to Virginia to attend this weekend’s Fairfax Genealogical Society’s annual Conference. You’ll find me at the society’s booth in the vendor hall at the Fairfax Marriott at Fair Oaks. Check the society’s website for details.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

Blogs:
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.TeachGenealogy.com

Podcasts:
DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour
http://podcasts.DearMYRTLE.com

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts
http://fhexpos.libsyn.com

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
http://www.new.facebook.com/board.php?uid=296062537 3
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com . Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

Trouble brewing re: MyHeritage Family Tree? NOT!


DearREADERS,
From time to time websites overstep their bounds, and Ol’ Myrt wondered if problems were cropping up again, because of a genea-blog posting titled MyHeritage Family Tree [Builder] hijacks Google homepage by James Tanner. It seems he was frustrated when installing the simplistic MyHeritage Family Tree program on his personal computer, because the program automatically changed his home page from his preferred iGoogle to MyHeritage.com.


Ol' Myrt here downloaded the 20.1MB free Family Tree Builder file from MyHeritage.com to see if the problem James describes could be replicated.

The problem isn’t a problem
Frequently the installation of a program (genealogy or otherwise) offers the user the OPTION to make changes in one’s home page. The phrase used by James “the program is close to being a virus” is unnecessarily inflammatory. Ol' Myrt's review of the installation process shows James clearly accepted the default installation, making MyHeritage his default home page as shown in this installation screen shot above.

So, DearJAMES. Let's next tackle your complaint that during the uninstall, the MyHeritage Family Tree Builder takes you out to it’s website to ask why you wish to uninstall. I think that is reasonable to request feedback about dissatisfaction with software. If you as an individual don't like it, you can opt out, and close the web questionnaire. It doesn't affect the uninstall in the case of MyHeritage Family Tree Builder. Nor has it for any other program I've chosen to uninstall over the years.

As to James' other complaints, how about considering that a freebie program is a freebie program. The beauty of the free market system is that if one program doesn’t have the desired bells and whistles, merely try another one.
PS - NO, I do not work for MyHeritage. Just wanted to clear up a little confusion. Perhaps an apology to MyHeritage is in order, DearJAMES?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

Blogs:
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com
http://blog.teachgenealogy.com

Podcasts:
DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour
http://podcasts.dearmyrtle.com

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts
http://fhexpos.libsyn.com

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
http://www.new.facebook.com/board.php?uid=2960625373
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/ . Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

FamilySearchIndexing: Push to complete Cheshire

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Our friends at FamilySearchIndexing.org are making a plea for additional help as the following communique, sent out yesterday afternoon, indicates. Please address all inquiries to: support@FamilySearchIndexing.org.

FROM: FamilySearchIndexing
Dear Volunteers:
We greatly appreciate your contributions to Cheshire projects that have been indexed in the past. FamilySearch indexing is now uniting volunteers who have previously worked on Cheshire projects to help complete the UK - Cheshire Parish Registers part 1 project by March 31st.

If you have any questions regarding this project or about indexing in general, please contact Indexing Support toll-free in the U.S. and Canada at
1-866-406-1830 (click here for other international toll-free numbers), or by e-mail at indexing@familysearch.org.

Thank you again for all of your efforts! We have seen great things accomplished when volunteers work together toward a common goal.

Warm Regards,
FamilySearch Indexing

Friday, March 20, 2009

COLD Genealogy?

DearREADERS,
“The confusion about Charles’s vitals can be explained through the fact that the sources were created at different times by different people. The more time that has passed between the original event and the record of an event, the more likely there is to be an error.”


Now NONE of us have anything like misconstrued information about ancestors, do we?

If you’d like to follow along with the methodology of “how to do” family history research, you’ll want to check out www.findyourdead.com as they are currently discussing (with footnotes for references no less) how to determine more about a certain Mr. Scholefield -- the Charles mentioned in the quote above.

Ol’ Myrt here recently met with www.findyourdead.com researchers Arwen Newman and Sharon Scott at the 2009 Mesa Arizona Family History Expo, where they explained “We adopted the term "Cold Genealogy" from Donna Potter Phillips article in the December issue of Internet Genealogy. As a part of an advanced genealogy class, she assigned her students a randomly selected family from the 1930 Census to research. We have taken that idea of coming upon a family "cold," knowing nothing because they aren't even our own relatives, researching them, and then posting our results on our blog.”

Let’s hope these fine folks at www.findyourdead.com will “cold canvas” your ancestor and help you leap over brick walls in a single bound.

At the very least the rest of us will learn how to do a better job reasoning out the whys and wherefores of research methodology.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

Blogs:
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.TeachGenealogy.com

Podcasts:
DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour
http://podcasts.DearMYRTLE.com

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts
http://fhexpos.libsyn.com

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
http://www.new.facebook.com/board.php?uid=2960625373
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com . Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Microsoft: Internet Explorer 8 released today

DearREADERS,
TODAY Microsoft released IE 8 (Internet Explorer 8), the newest incarnation of this web browser. Many in the genealogy community are reporting this, but Ol’ Myrt here has spent time reading her techie blogs for clues about the advisability of upgrading. Remember that I prefer Mozilla’s FireFox, except for viewing Ancestry.com images, where IE is the browser of choice. ZDNet is one place Ol’ Myrt turns to when I want to read professional yet independent opinions about mainstream software, operating systems and the like. The following three posts are from my favorite ZDNet Blog:

See Ed Bott’s comments which read in part “Earlier today, Microsoft released the final version of Internet Explorer 8 for public download. Many of the reviews I’ve read so far have focused on raw speed (page rendering and Javascript execution, in particular). The subject of performance isn’t nearly as cut and dried as those benchmark results would suggest, however. One factor they don’t measure, for example, is browsing efficiency. Page load time is irrelevant if you can translate a paragraph of text or see a list of search results without having to open a separate page. I’ve been using IE8 and FireFox daily (occasionally dabbling with Google’s Chrome as well) for several months, as it wound its way through beta versions to a release candidate and finally to... ” View article IE8 focuses on usability.

See also Zack Whittaker: “The next generation of Internet Explorer, once the leading web browser in the world, has just been updated to version 8 and released at Mix 2009. While many will rejoice at the new browser; updated features, porn mode, tab recovery and better web standards, the last one has been a controversy from day one. The web standards debate has sparked mass protest and anger from thousands, if not tens of thousands of people. To break it down simply, previous versions such as Internet Explorer 6 and 7 have not had web standards compatibility installed, and most web developers optimise their websites for IE6, IE7 and Firefox - the three main web browsers used on the market - and are customised...” View article IE8 released at Mix; will it cripple the web-user experience?

One issue that has kept people from using IE is the reproted vulnerability to hackers, and traditional thought pointed to Mac computers as impervious to challengers. Yet, Jason D. O’Grady reports “Charlie Miller came to Vancouver's CanSecWest security conference to defend his title in the PWN 2 OWN hacking contest. Last year Miller took home the MacBook Air and a $10,000 cash prize Thursday after breaking into the machine. This year Miller's MO was the same, bring the target MacBook to its knees and pocket $10k (and the MacBook). Zero Day's Ryan Naraine explains that the details of the exploit aren't being released: TippingPoint’s Zero Day Initiative has acquired the exclusive rights to the vulnerability and coordinate the disclosure and patch release process with Apple. Technical details of the vulnerability will not be released until a patch is ready. Miller boasted “It took a couple of seconds. They clicked on the... ” View article MacBook and Safari succumb to hackers.

So if the bad guys can now hack Macs, I guess the best defense is a continuously-updated, comprehensive anti-virus software that includes robust anti-spam, firewall and internet security.

As for the IE8 upgrade, Ol’ Myrt here is holding off for at least a month and graciously allowing everyone else to suffer through the growing pains of a new Microsoft product.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

Blogs:
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/
http://blog.teachgenealogy.com/

Podcasts:
DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour
http://podcasts.dearmyrtle.com/
Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts
http://fhexpos.libsyn.com/

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
http://www.new.facebook.com/board.php?uid=2960625373
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com. Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

Seeking Michigan: 1897-1920 death records

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: I've delayed releasing information about a new website, since recent traffic has overwhelmed the servers. Hopefully things have calmed down a bit. Please address all inquiries to rzepczynskik@michigan.gov.

18 March 2009
An update below regarding yesterday's launch of the Seeking Michigan web site: http://seekingmichigan.org. Everything should be back and fully functioning shortly, including the Michigan death records, 1897-1920. Thanks for your patience!

Kris Rzepczynski
Michigan/Genealogy Coordinator
Library of Michigan
517.373.9456
rzepczynskik@michigan.gov

ANNOUNCEMENT
The Michigan Dept. of History, Arts and Libraries issued the following release this morning:

RECORD NUMBER OF MICHIGAN HISTORY ENTHUSIASTS OVERWHELMS 'SEEKING MICHIGAN' WEB SITE

The Department of History Arts and Libraries (HAL) yesterday launched the Seeking Michigan Web site, and by midnight - due to vast interest in these unique historical resources - the site saw an increase in traffic of 2,600 percent, overwhelming the capacity of its servers.

Michigan Historical Center Director Sandra Clark said that staff members are working today to transfer the materials to new servers, with plans to be up and running with a much greater capacity by the end of the week.

"The response to our announcement of the Seeking Michigan Web site was remarkable," said Clark. "We are sorry to disappoint those who are excited about the site, but confident that it will soon be able to respond to this incredible interest in Michigan's history."

The Seeking Michigan Web site (www.seekingmichigan.org) features a growing collection of unique historical information that - through digitized source documents, maps, films, images, oral histories and artifacts - creatively tells the stories of Michigan’s families, homes, businesses, communities and landscapes. The project is a collaboration that has long been in the making between the Archives of Michigan and the Library of Michigan. Site design and digitization of resources were funded through various grants. The Archives of Michigan is part of the Michigan Historical Center. The Michigan Historical Center and the Library of Michigan are agencies within the Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL).

Dedicated to enriching quality of life and strengthening the economy by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan’s heritage and fostering cultural creativity, HAL also includes the Mackinac Island State Park Commission and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. To learn more, visit www.michigan.gov/hal.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ProGenealogists, Inc. Helps Trace President Obama’s Irish Roots, Assists Clients in Obtaining Dual Irish Citizenship

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at ProGenealogists.com, one of the leading research firms here in Salt Lake City, Utah. Please address all inquiries to kjbetit@progenealogists.com.

Salt Lake City, Utah - As the descendants of the Irish Diaspora and their friends celebrate St. Patrick’s, ProGenealogists, Inc., announced today that it helped trace President Barack Obama’s Irish roots back to Moneygall, County Offaly, Ireland with Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak.

The research tracing Obama’s Kearney ancestors from Ohio back to County Offaly was featured in Ancestry Magazine. In her article, “The Quest for Obama’s Irish Roots,” Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak wrote that she worked with Irish genealogy expert, Kyle Betit of ProGenealogists, Inc., to research President Obama’s family records in Ireland. President Obama wrote of his County Offaly roots in a letter for the dedication of the memorial of Annie Moore, a young Irish woman who was the first immigrant to enter America through Ellis Island in 1892. ProGenealogists, Inc., also assisted in the quest for the real Annie Moore with Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak!

In addition to offering genealogy research, ProGenealogists, Inc. is also currently assisting several of its clients to obtain dual Irish citizenship. ProGenealogists, Inc. Irish genealogy expert, Kyle Betit, leads a team of researchers in the United States and Ireland to help descendants of Irish immigrants gather the necessary documents needed to obtain an Irish passport. After working with several clients whom he has assisted in gaining dual citizenship, Mr. Betit reports that these clients can now live, work and travel freely in Ireland and the European Union. Many of these clients also feel a closer bond and connection to their Irish ancestral homeland by also being citizens of Ireland. More information about ProGenealogists, Inc. and their dual citizenship services can be found on the company’s website (http://ireland.progenealogists.com/citizenship.htm).

PLEASE NOTE NEW DEVELOPMENT REGARDING DUAL IRISH CITIZENSHIP: Under current law, deriving Irish citizenship by descent from an Irish-born great-grandparent is possible only in special circumstances. Comments by the Irish Prime Minister, Brian Cowen, suggest that the current guidelines used in granting Irish citizenship may be altered to include accommodations to some descendants of Irish-born great-grandparents. Mr. Cowan is visiting the United States this week and met with President Obama.

ABOUT PROGENEALOGISTS, INC.
ProGenealogists, Inc. is a consortium of professional genealogists who specialize in genealogical, forensic, and family history research. The firm, in business for over 10 years, services thousands of professional, government, media, and individual clients worldwide. ProGenealogists, Inc. assists clients in several countries using its network of over 725 U.S. and International agents. The firm’s Irish research capabilities can trace diverse types of Irish ancestry from Scots-Irish Presbyterians (many of whom came to colonial America in the 1700s) to Irish Catholics (who fled the Great Famine in the 1840s and 1850s in huge numbers to New York City and other American and Canadian ports) to later immigrants of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. With Ireland’s diverse history marked by conflict, research and record finding can prove to be difficult, especially when trying to find elusive towns or parishes of origin in Ireland.

Finding these difficult records is a ProGenealogists, Inc. specialty; many records from Ireland are obtained at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and various repositories in Ireland. Irish Research Web Pages are maintained on the company’s website (http://ireland.progenealogists.com ) and include articles, pointers, techniques, links, and resources for tracing Irish ancestors.

Ancestry.com: Post-1930 info, improved 1880, USPRI & more

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Thanks to Anastasia, my contact at Ancestry.com for this news update. Please address all inquries to support@Ancestry.com .

We’re excited to tell you about two collections that provide post-1930 family history information on a national scale.

The first is an update to our 1940 census substitute. Last week Ancestry.com launched more than 2,000 U.S. City Directories, representing more than 45 states, for 1940 and surrounding years. Forerunners of phone books, city directories typically list head of household with address and occupation. Look for additional directories to be launched in the coming months.

Second -- in the next few weeks, we’ll be launching more than 525 million names, dating from 1950 to 1990, in U.S. Public Records Index database. See below for more details on this update.

New Ancestry.com Content
Last week we posted the improved 1880 U.S. Federal Census. This update includes new, higher-quality images that, in many cases, fix completely illegible images. (Chris Lydiksen, Product Manager for U.S. content at Ancestry.com, includes sample before and after images in his blog post here.)

The improved 1880 census is the second of the U.S. censuses we will be updating, through partnership with FamilySearch, over the coming months with improved images and indexes. (The 1900 census was the first, released 2008.) The updated 1880 index was not part of this release, but will be coming in the next few months.

Other content additions and updates include:

You can view the full list of recently added databases, extending back a couple of months, at http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/recent.aspx.

U.S. Public Records Index Update
In the next few weeks, Ancestry.com will be adding to the U.S. Public Records Index (USPRI) database more than 525 million names, addresses, ages, and possible family relationships of people who lived in the United States between roughly 1950 and 1990.

This information, which will be available online for the first time, is an excellent resource in discovering information about ancestors who lived after 1930 – often a challenging area of research because many records are not yet publicly available.

The soon-to-be-added records will replace the existing USPRI records, which contains recently compiled public records dating back to about 2000 and are primarily used for searching living people. As part of this change, you might notice that some search result pages on Ancestry.com include basic search results for records on MyLife.com. We have partnered with MyLife.com, a leading subscription-based people search service. We believe that MyLife.com, which includes current public information and more than 700 million profiles of living people, is better equipped to offer these services than we are.

While we will no longer serve post-2000 USPRI records on Ancestry.com, members who have already saved records from the database to an online tree will retain free access to those records.

Website and Product Information


Messages—A New Way to Connect with the Ancestry.com Community
Last week we launched a new site feature – Messages – to help members connect with each other. Found in the upper right corner of almost every page on Ancestry.com, the Messages link is your portal to sending and receiving messages to and from other Ancestry.com members. Ancestry.com product manager David Graham discusses this new feature here.

Free Webinars
  • March 19 – Conquering the Challenge of Reading Handwritten Document; Part 1 – 6 pm ET; Part 2 – 8 pm ET. We all encounter source documents that can be difficult to read if the handwriting isn't "clear." In addition, contributors to the World Archives Project take on the task of reading hand-written documents and keying the information that will become an index that researchers will use. Whether you are a beginning researcher, a more seasoned researcher, or a keyer we invite you to join us for an hour of learning and sharing tips that will improve your skills in deciphering handwritten documents. You can register for this webinar here.

Archives Webinar – Family Tree Maker 2009 New Features Demo
Join the Family Tree Maker 2009 team for a tour of the new features just added to Family Tree Maker 2009. Learn tips and tricks to get the most out of the new features. Program developers from the Family Tree Maker team will answer some of your questions. You can view this archived webinar here.

Note: To register for a webinar or view an archived webinar, click on the Learning Center tab on the Ancestry.com home page. Then Keep Learning and, finally, webinars. http://learn.ancestry.com/LearnMore/Webinars.aspx

Highlights from the Ancestry.com Blog
The Ancestry.com blog is a great place for site updates and info, as well as tutorials. Here’s what Ancestry.com employees have been talking about:

Newberry Library 1-day closure 20 March 2009

DearREADERS,
If you are planning a trip to do research in the Chicago, Illinois area, make note that "The Newberry Library reading rooms will be closed on Friday, March 20, for a staff in-service day" according to the library's website and recent blog entry. Here are some useful links to help you prepare:

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

Blogs:
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.TeachGenealogy.com

Podcasts:
DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour
http://podcasts.DearMYRTLE.com

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts
http://fhexpos.libsyn.com

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
http://www.new.facebook.com/board.php?uid=2960625373
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com . Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

Legacy Family Tree update available (7.0.0.90)

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at LegacyFamilyTree.com. Please address all inquiries to Geoff@LegacyFamilyTree.com.

We have a great new update for you to download. This update adds new historical timelines and fixes a few minor problems you have reported.

What's New
Historical Timlines
• Canada - Census . A chronology of when the census was taken in Canada.
• U.S. - Oklahoma History . History of Oklahoma, by M. La Nell Shores.
• U.S. States and Territories - Dates of Organization and Admission .

These historical timelines are utilized in the Chronology View . When they are turned on, the historical events will be inserted into the ancestor's personal timeline, giving the researcher a sense of the ancestor's place in history.
  1. In the Chronology View, go to Options button > Include tab > Select Background Timelines > Add a Timeline File.
  2. Select the desired timeline from the list and click OK > Save.
  3. On the Include tab, be sure to place a checkmark next to Select Background Timelines and click Save. The timeline now appears embedded into the ancestor's timeline. It also displays the age of the ancestor at the time of each event.
What's been fixed
For a list of what has been fixed, click here

How to Update
For our Deluxe Edition users, all you have to do is connect to the Internet, start Legacy 7.0, and click on the "Install and Download Now" link on the Legacy Home tab .

If you are a Standard Edition Legacy user, you will need to visit our website. Go to http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/DownloadUpdate.asp and follow the instructions.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

2009 FamilySearch Software Award Recipients Announced

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at FamilySearch.org. Please address all inquiries to support@FamilySearch.org.

2009 FamilySearch Software Award Recipients Announced

SALT LAKE CITY—FamilySearch announced the recipients of the 2009 FamilySearch Software Awards at the FamilySearch Developers Conference in Provo, Utah. The 12 recipients were recognized for their outstanding and innovative work in advancing products and technologies that integrate with FamilySearch’s emerging suite of products and services.

The annual FamilySearch Software Awards has been established to encourage and recognize software development that benefits the family history and genealogy industry. “We are excited to announce the recipients of the 2009 FamilySearch Software Awards. The awards formally recognize the software achievements of those developers and companies that are making important contributions to the family history and genealogy industry,” said Gordon Clarke, FamilySearch Web services product manager.

The Best Features awards this year were decided by a panel of judges for the industry. The Develop Choice Awards are decided by the vote of members of DevNet.FamilySearch.org, an online community of developers. The awards were given for the categories of best Application (API) Library, Most Useful to Developers, and Potential Future Impacts.

The following recipients were announced and presented at the FamilySearch Developers Conference:

Desktop Productivity
· Incline Software’s Ancestral Quest for the “Best Listing Tool”
· Ohana Software’s FamilyInsight for “Best Standardizer”
· RootsMagic’s RootsMagic 4 for “Best Dashboard”

Desktop Syncing or Tree-Cleaning
· Incline Software’s Ancestral Quest for the “Most Comprehensive Syncing”
· Ohana Software’s FamilyInsight for “Best Person Separator”
· RootsMagic’s RootsMagic 4 for “Easiest to Sync”

Desktop Use of Media
· Progeny Software’s Charting Companion for the “Best for Desktop Printing”

Web Productivity
· US Family Tree’s Grow Branch for the “Best Web Site Feature for Publishing”

Web Use of Media
· Generation Maps for the “Best Web Site Feature for Printing”
· TreeSeek for “Best Web Site Feature for Mapping”

Developers Choice Awards
· David Pugmire’s fsapi.net for the “Best API Library”
· Ben Godard’s fs-ubiquity for the “Potential Future Impact on the Genealogy Industry”

To learn more about the award recipients and respective products in each category, visit the FamilySearch Developers Network website.

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 can access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Americans need access to our heritage

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Thanks to Joy Rich for bringing Ol' Myrt here up to speed on this issue before the US Congress concerning funding for preservation of historic documents.

From: "Robert de Berardinis" r-e-deb@sbcglobal.net
Subject: [APG] PAHR Legislation
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2009 13:42:56 -0500
Dear All,
Texas State Archivist Chris La Plante, Secretary of the Society of State Archivists, asks that this be forwarded to as many genelogical list servs as possible and to contact your representatives. Thanks, Robert de Berardinis

Now's the time to step up for PAHR. Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D, NY) and Congressman John McHugh (R, NY) have just sent a "dear colleague" letter to the members of the House of Representatives inviting them to sign on as original sponsors for the "Preserving the American Historical Records" bill.

What can I do? Before March 20th, fax, email, or call your Representative and urge him/her to respond to the Hinchey-McHugh Dear Colleague Letter by signing on as an original sponsor for the PAHR bill.

Ask them to contact Mike Iger in Congressman Hinchey's office (202-225-6335) or Jason Miller in Congressman McHugh's office (202-225-4611).

Tell them in a few sentences why PAHR will benefit their constituents-that means you, your organization, and your researchers. Send them the attached explanation of PAHR, and explain why PAHR will benefit your state and your institution. It is essential to have a strong set of co-sponsors for this bill for it to succeed. The level of support we get right now will tell Congress whether the bill is viable, or just one of those bills introduced to please a constituent but not taken seriously. And if you can do a little more.

Encourage others to contact your Representative as well. Genealogists, local government officials, researchers of all kinds, teachers, veterans, and even your favorite aunt can make the case. If you need help or more information:

* visit http://www.archivists.org/pahr/ - you'll find the PAHRfact sheet, a copy of the bill, draft letters and resolutions and other materials to help you understand and encourage your Representative to support PAHR. *

Contact us at pahr@statearchivists.org for any other help or information you need

Please take a few minutes in the coming week to make a call, pay a visit, or send a fax/email/letter to your Members of Congress. It's time to tell Congress that what we do matters a great deal to this country and its inhabitants.

Americans need and deserve the resources to ensure access to our heritage.

We can do this-with your help!

Contact us at:
PAHR Joint Task Force pahr@statearchivists.org

Council of State Archivists: Kathleen Roe, David Carmicheal, Karl Niederer, Vicki Walch

Society of American Archivists: Steven Hensen, Sue Hodson, Ben Primer, Nancy Beaumont

National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators: Tracey Berezansky, Jelain Chubb

Eakle: Tennessee Blog launched

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Our friend Arlene Eakle sent the following annnouncement about her brand spanking new Tennessee genealogy blog. Please address all inquiries to arlene@arleneeakle.com.

From: Arlene Eakle
Importance: High

Loyal and Gentle Readers,

Please accept this special invitation to be the first genealogists to read my NEW Tennessee Blog"...reared in the common cause of family..."

This new blog launches 17 Mar 2009.

The 17th of Mar 1775 and all the days leading up to it and the aftermath of it created one of the most pivotal events in the history of Tennessee and Kentucky. And it changed forever the developing history of the United States of America. Keep in mind--as Tennessee goes, so goes the rest of the country.

You won't want to mss even one episode in this important saga for your genealogy--tune in, and register to receive all issues, and to be able to add your comments and questions.

See you tomorrow.
Your favorite Tennessee genealogist,
Arlene Eakle
http://www.arleneeakle.com

WWI: Red Cross archive in Geneva

DearREADERS,
Haven’t even unpacked yet, but already I’ve signed online in Second Life to see what's new. A few minutes after arrival, I was deep in discussions with other genealogy hosts who’ve added new displays and are calendaring additional voice chat events.

Then I received an in-world (within Second Life) IM (instant message) from a gentleman who lives in the greater London, England area with a link to this phenomenal news in digital video format from the BBC:

13 Mar 09
"A British historian has stumbled across records from World War I that have been virtually untouched for 90 years. The records contain the personal details of soldiers who died in the war and may reveal the final resting places of many of them. Peter Barton showed Robert Hall some of his findings at the Red Cross archive in Geneva.” See: In the Red Cross war dead archive

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

Blogs:
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.TeachGenealogy.com

Podcasts:
DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour
http://podcasts.DearMYRTLE.com
Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts
http://fhexpos.libsyn.com

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
http://www.new.facebook.com/board.php?uid=2960625373
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com. Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

Genealogy Today Releases Live Roots Gadget for Second Life

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: While attending a good friend's funeral in Florida this past week, much has happened in the world of genealogy. Here is one announcement Ol' Myrt is particularly excited to share. Thanks to our friend llya D'Addezio for creating this new tool for genealogists who venture over into Second Life. When you log in to Second Life, look for him as Constantine Kyomoon. See also my two avatars: DearMYRTLE Writer and Clarise Beaumont. There is much to see and several other genealogy hosts waiting to welcome you to Second Life.

Genealogy Today Releases Live Roots Gadget for Second Life

Genealogy Today (www.genealogytoday.com) announced the release of a software gadget for residents in the Second Life (SL) virtual world. This new tool, called the Genealogy HUD, allows SL residents (also known as avatars) to seamlessly access many of the resources at LiveRoots.com from within the virtual reality environment. HUD stands for Heads up display, and is type of object that can be worn, functions like a control panel, but cannot seen by other residents.

"Many people think Second Life is all about games and role playing, which there is plenty of," commented Illya D'Addezio, owner of Genealogy Today. "But, there are also an increasing number of genealogists joining, dozens of genealogy content areas developing, and numerous voice chats taking place on a regular basis. The Genealogy HUD is a free tool that will allow more dynamic interaction between genealogists in Second Life."

The Genealogy HUD functions in parallel to the www.LiveRoots.com website; SL residents may Search, Navigate and Discover genealogy resources in a similar manner. Using the HUD, they may also preview search results from many of the Live Roots database partners. As new features are added to LiveRoots.com, they are also available through the HUD (without requiring any software upgrades).

Aside from accessing the LiveRoots.com website for real-time information, the Genealogy HUD allows residents to compile a list of the surnames they are researching and compare them with any other residents wearing the HUD. This feature is optional, and the SL resident has complete control over whether their information many be shared.

The Genealogy HUD also makes it easy to locate and visit genealogy related areas within Second Life, including new areas as they are developed. Information entered into the HUD may be backed up and restored, avoiding having to reenter it whenever a new HUD version is released.
"Second Life takes social networking to another level," added Illya. "Hanging out with some friends around a campfire for a genealogy chat (either text, voice or both) is so much more enjoyable than the traditional 'chat rooms' that offered a generic text-only interface with no visual interaction. More and more genealogists are showing up each week to the scheduled chats that are hosted by experienced genealogists."

To obtain a copy of the Genealogy HUD, SL residents should visit the club house in the Live Roots Genealogy Zone (building with the Live Roots logo above the door). The HUD (when not worn) is a small rectangular cube with the Live Roots logo on all sides. It's currently located inside, and to the right of the entrance.

Live Roots Genealogy Zone (to obtain the HUD)http://slurl.com/secondlife/Assiettes/172/28/50

For a complete list of the HUD commands, visit http://www.liveroots.com/about/genealogy_hud.html

The Live Roots ambassador in Second Life is Constantine Kyomoon.

About Second Life
Linden Lab launched Second Life, an acclaimed 3D online world, in 2003. Inhabited by hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe, the Second Life virtual world has a fully functioning economy and empowers its users to create content, interact with others, launch businesses, collaborate and educate.

A single Basic account is FREE. You must be 18 years or older to join the Second Life virtual world. When you register and become a Resident of Second Life, you choose a unique name for your new digital persona (i.e. avatar). Other Residents will only know your real identity if you choose to tell them. To get started, you will need to download the Second Life viewer (see system requirements link below).

To join Second Life, visit:http://www.secondlife.com/

Second Life System Requirementshttp://secondlife.com/support/sysreqs.php

About Genealogy Today
Genealogy Today has been serving genealogy enthusiasts since 1999 with its unique collection of databases and search tools, original articles from experienced genealogists, and directory of local genealogy. With more than 76,000 registered members, Genealogy Today helps connect researchers with common family lines through its free Team Roots program.

Based in New Providence, NJ, it develops and markets online resources that help researchers track and organize their family history projects. The Genealogy Today web site also provides a marketplace of family tree products and gifts. Genealogy Today LLC is a member of the Better Business Bureau and participant in the BBB Reliability Program.

Visit our "contact us" page for additional inquiries.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

1, 5-10 year possibilities (Part R) FGS focuses on RPAC

DearREADERS,
My friend Lisa Alzo queried Ol’ Myrt and a number of other genealogy writers for input about trends we see coming down the pike in the world of genealogy. She plans to work the feedback we provided into an article for Family Chronicle magazine. However, her request did not preclude the cross posting of my thoughts on the subject here in my blog over the next few days. I look forward to reading what my colleagues think the future holds for family historians when Lisa’s article goes to press.

In response to What do you foresee happening in the field in the next 5 to 10 years?, Ol’ Myrt's final reply may raise a ruckus.

FGS FOCUSES ON RPAC
If the Federation of Genealogical Society thinks through its unique perspective; it will focus energy on RPAC (Records Preservation and Access Committee) to promote open records and likewise promote the involvement of local and regional genealogical and historical societies. With currently over 500 local member societies, FGS is uniquely qualified to hear at the grassroots level what’s happening with the old records not yet preserved via microfilm or digitization.

In Ol’ Myrt’s, view saving millions of pages of historic documents for future generations is vastly more important than providing a conference that benefits only about 1,200 people annually.

NOTE: Conferences are great, but are NGS and FGS duplicating efforts? Imagine if those same FGS conference volunteer hours were spent on records preservation projects. WOW!

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

Blogs:
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/
http://blog.teachgenealogy.com/

Podcasts:
DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour
http://podcasts.dearmyrtle.com/

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts
http://fhexpos.libsyn.com/

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
http://www.new.facebook.com/board.php?uid=2960625373
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com . Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

RootsMagic 4 Receives FamilySearch Software Awards

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at RootsMagic.com. Please address all inquiries to support@RootsMagic.com.

Leading Genealogy Software Receives Awards for “Best Dashboard” and “Easiest to Sync”

PROVO, Utah. — March 10, 2009 — RootsMagic, Inc. today received two 2009 FamilySearch Software Awards at a banquet held in conjunction with the 2009 FamilySearch Developers Conference at Brigham Young University. The purpose of the awards is to publicly and formally celebrate the software achievements of those developers and companies that are making important contributions to the Family History and Genealogy Industry.

Both awards were for features in RootsMagic 4, the latest version of the award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history easy and enjoyable. On hand to accept the awards were Bruce Buzbee, president and Michael Booth, vice-president.

Easiest to Sync
In the Desktop Syncing or Tree-Cleaning category, RootsMagic 4 received an award for “Easiest to Sync”. RootsMagic 4 has the ability to link people in your desktop genealogy file with matching people on the New FamilySearch website. Once linked, RootsMagic 4 makes it easy to share data between your personal file and New FamilySearch. With a few clicks, you copy facts and events between the two systems and dispute incorrect information. You may also add, link, combine, and dispute fathers, mothers, spouses, and children, all on the same screen.

“We’re very gratified to receive the ‘Easiest to Sync’ award because that has been our focus from the very beginning,” said Buzbee. “We know how overwhelming it can be for people working with the New FamilySearch system. Our goal has been to take what could be very complex and difficult chores and make them into simple, friendly tasks. This award validates our goal.”

Best Dashboard
RootsMagic 4 received a second award in the Desktop Productivity category—“Best Dashboard” for its “FamilySearch Central” screen. FamilySearch Central is a feature in the RootsMagic desktop genealogy software which brings together all of its powerful FamilySearch tools into one convenient screen.

“FamilySearch Central puts it all at your fingertips,” said Booth. “No need to hunt around through endless screens to find what you’re looking for. It shows you the status of your work, what’s new on FamilySearch, and what tasks you still need to do. And it’s all in plain English. This is something my mom can use and understand.”

Free and Available Now
RootsMagic 4 is currently in public beta and is available for free at http://www.rootsmagic.com/preview. “We’re so excited about this new release, we wanted to give everyone a risk-free option to try it for themselves,” said Buzbee. Each person who wishes to participate will be given a registration key which will allow them to download and experience the software for the duration of the public beta period.
Users of other genealogy software products will find it easy to experiment with RootsMagic 4 using their own data. RootsMagic can directly import data from PAF, Family Tree Maker (through 2006), Family Origins, and Legacy Family Tree. It can also read and write data using the popular GEDCOM format.
For those interested in using RootsMagic 4 with the New FamilySearch system, a series of video tutorials is available at http://www.rootsmagic.com/fs.

About RootsMagic, Inc.
For over 20 years, RootsMagic, Inc. has been creating computer software with a special purpose- to unite families. One of our earliest products- the popular “Family Origins” software, introduced thousands of people to the joy and excitement of family history.

That tradition continues today with “RootsMagic”, our award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history fun and easy. “Personal Historian” will help you easily write and preserve your life stories. “Family Reunion Organizer” takes the headaches out of planning those important get-togethers. And “Family Atlas” creates beautiful and educational geographic maps of your family history.

For more information, visit www.rootsmagic.com .
Source: RootsMagic, Inc.

1, 5-10 year possibilities (Part Q) - Virtual appearances

DearREADERS,
My friend Lisa Alzo queried Ol’ Myrt and a number of other genealogy writers for input about trends we see coming down the pike in the world of genealogy. She plans to work the feedback we provided into an article for Family Chronicle magazine. However, her request did not preclude the cross posting of my thoughts on the subject here in my blog over the next few days. I look forward to reading what my colleagues think the future holds for family historians when Lisa’s article goes to press.

In response to What do you foresee happening in the field in the next 5 to 10 years?, Ol’ Myrt replied:

VIRTUAL APPEARANCES
To save travel expenses and time, local and regional genealogy societies will host meetings where professional genealogists appear virtually using such interfaces as http://www.gotomeeting.com/ . See Ol’ Myrt’s article in the Dec 2008 APG Quarterly which reads in part:

“PANIC sets in as you realize doctor’s orders preclude flying to Atlanta for your speaking engagement at the National Archives next week. “GoToMeeting” provided a viable win-win solution this past spring when an APG member found himself in just this situation. GoToMeeting should be considered as a cost-effective tool for genealogy speakers to provide real-time presentations to remote gatherings on a regular basis. Winner of PC Magazine Editors’ Choice Awards 2 years running, GoToMeeting is the product PC Magazine termed “One of the most effective ways to get things done.” (July 2, 2007). This [APGQ]article describes how technology can assist APG members to meet their professional goals, with the added component of increasing revenue while reducing costs.”

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

Blogs:
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/
http://blog.teachgenealogy.com/

Podcasts:
DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour
http://podcasts.dearmyrtle.com/

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts
http://fhexpos.libsyn.com/

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
http://www.new.facebook.com/board.php?uid=2960625373
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com . Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

1, 5-10 year possibilities (Part P) - Magazines go digital

DearREADERS,
My friend Lisa Alzo queried Ol’ Myrt and a number of other genealogy writers for input about trends we see coming down the pike in the world of genealogy. She plans to work the feedback we provided into an article for Family Chronicle magazine. However, her request did not preclude the cross posting of my thoughts on the subject here in my blog over the next few days. I look forward to reading what my colleagues think the future holds for family historians when Lisa’s article goes to press.

In response to What do you foresee happening in the field in the next 5 to 10 years?, Ol’ Myrt replied:

MAGAZINES GO DIGITAL
As we seek to reduce printing costs, postage fees, and shelf space, magazines and society newsletters will go completely digital. The advantage is that .pdf files are every-word searchable, so adding such versions of magazines to our online file storage area will greatly augment the search capabilities. Right now, we’d have to remember there was an article about how to search for Orphan Train children from New York City in the 19th century and then try to find it again. With .pdf file format, we won’t have to sort through miss-filed magazine stacks to discover how to proceed.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

Blogs:
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/
http://blog.teachgenealogy.com/

Podcasts:
DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour
http://podcasts.dearmyrtle.com/

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts
http://fhexpos.libsyn.com/

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
http://www.new.facebook.com/board.php?uid=2960625373
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com . Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

UPDATE available: RootsMagic 4 public beta

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following announcement arrived late last evening from our friends at RootsMagic. Please address all inquiries to support@RootsMagic.com.

We have just released an updated version of the RootsMagic 4 public beta. This new version fixes a number of bugs, including an issue where incremental search sometimes doesn't work right. This particular bug requires us to rebuild the database indexes when you open an older file, so please be patient when that happens (especially on really large databases where it can take awhile). Rebuilding the indexes is a one time occurrence and will only be done the first time you open the older file.

This new version also includes a new "RootsMagic News" feature which will display on startup and show any "news" or information about whether there is an update available for download. This way we don't have to send an email every time there is a new update posted... you will be alerted as soon as an update is available.

If you decide to turn off the RootsMagic News screen, you can always turn it back on later on the Tools > Program options screen. You can also just access the News screen directly from the "Internet > RootsMagic News" menu.

You can download and install the update from:
http://www.rootsmagic.com/preview/download.aspx

19th & early 20th century southern Swiss migrations

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following came across the news wires this morning. Please address all inquiries to Dale Bechtel, Project Manager, Swiss-Italian Migrations Dale.Bechtel@swissinfo.ch.


"We Shall Not Stay Long" - swissinfo Special on the Largest Ever Wave of Emigration From Southern Switzerland

BERN, Switzerland, March 10/PRNewswire/ -- swissinfo.ch is launching a multimedia networking platform for Italian-speaking Swiss emigrants and their descendants. People from around the world who have their roots in Ticino and the valleys of the southern Graubunden tell of their ancestors. In its Swiss-Italian Migrations special, swissinfo.ch - the international voice of SRG SSR idee suisse - takes an in-depth look at this wave of emigration.

The 19th and early 20th centuries saw tens of thousands of people emigrate abroad from remote areas of Ticino and the Italian-speaking valleys of Graubunden. They journeyed to Australia, the United States and to other countries in Europe in search of a better life.

swissinfo.ch is devoting a multimedia special - in English and Italian - to this emigration wave. The reports, with many videos and slideshows, explain the historical reasons behind the outflow of people from Switzerland. Included are interviews with migration and genealogy experts. Background information and documentary features give readers a clear impression of southern Switzerland then and now. swissinfo.ch also visits descendants of emigrants and reports on how they live now.

The dossier allows people who live abroad but have Italian-Swiss roots to find out more about their ancestors. In addition, swissinfo.ch offers a blog in which they can swap family histories in text and photo form. A genealogy database enables users to search for people and families with roots in Italian-speaking Switzerland. swissinfo journalists reporting Australia, California and Britain will be blogging about their own experiences.

Link to the swissinfo "Swiss-Italian Migrations" dossier

English:
http://www.presseportal.de/go2/swissinfo2
Italian:
http://www.presseportal.de/go2/swissinfo1

swissinfo is one of the enterprise units of SRG SSR idee suisse, Switzerland's public-service radio and television broadcaster. Its remit is to inform Swiss people abroad of what is going on at home, and to raise awareness about Switzerland beyond its borders. In doing so, swissinfo operates a news and information platform in nine languages at http://www.swissinfo.ch .

Monday, March 09, 2009

Ohio Memory – Next Generation website launches

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Thanks to Marsha McDevitt-Stredney for her posting on the public Gen-Librarian's mailing list.

The State Library of Ohio and Ohio Historical Society are pleased to announce the March 2nd launch of the Ohio Memory – Next Generation website (www.ohiomemory.org). The website, a redesign of the Ohio Memory project, features 75,000 historical images and information from 330 archives, historical societies, libraries and museums. The new site has been improved to make it easier to find and contribute images, information, and documents. Users can search and browse all collections or an individual collection by subject, place or contributor.

“People are used to one-stop shopping and retrieval of information. The new website allows users to find documents, portraits, and photographs on any given subject quickly and easily,” said State Librarian Jo Budler. “It is wonderful that our partnership with the Ohio Historical Society allowed us to move our collections to a new and improved platform.”

The Ohio Memory – Next Generation site is a collaborative project of the State Library of Ohio and Ohio Historical Society. In addition to all of the resources on the original website, the State Library has contributed part of its Ohio documents digital collection that includes a vast selection of publications produced on the web by state agencies. The publications include many annual reports, health and population statistics, natural resources guides and pamphlets including: Trails for Ohioans a plan for the future, 20 Questions to ask a lender or mortgage broker, and 2006 population estimates for cities, villages & townships.

“We are beginning to scan print materials from our rare Ohio state government collection. The staff is scanning annual reports from the 1800s to early 1900s. Current titles include: Annual Report of the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors Orphans’ Home; Ohio Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb; and Annual Reports of Longview Hospital,” said Jim Buchman, head of Patron & Catalog Services at the State Library of Ohio. “These publications include rosters of individuals and will be of interest to the genealogy community.” For example, a recently scanned document is the Known military dead during the Spanish American War and the Philippines Insurrection, 1898-1901.

Ohio Memory began as a state bicentennial project in 2000 to build a searchable database of digital images celebrating Ohio’s history. Hundreds of historical societies, museums and libraries from all over Ohio contributed more than 25,000 images to the project. The collection continues to grow. “The [new] site increases access to Ohio’s past and the individual stories that make up the fabric of our nation’s and Ohio’s history,” said Angela O’Neil, manager of Preservation and Access Services at the Ohio Historical Society.

The Ohio Memory project was originally funded by the Ohio Public Library Information Network, Ohio Bicentennial Commission and a federal Institute for Museum and Library Services/Library Services Technology Act grant awarded by the State Library of Ohio.

For more information contact Jim Buchman, Head Patron & Catalog Services, State Library of Ohio: jbuchman@sloma.state.oh.us

FamilyTreeTemplates.net

DearREADERS,
Since September 2008, I have been remiss by not telling my DearREADERS about a great resource for creative family tree templates. With family get-togethers over Easter, upcoming weddings and the family reunion next summer, this is just the sort of thing Ol' Myrt here needs to tell our family story in a format the non-genealogists in the family will appreciate.

Recently that site added seven more designs. From recent communications with the owner, we learn:

www.FamilyTreeTemplates.net features printable family trees and has recently added seven more printable family trees and genealogy charts. Now, there are more than 25 family trees and charts at FamilyTreeTemplates.net, all free to download and print in PDF format, or users can pay $4 to instantly download a version in .DOC format that is fully editable in Microsoft Word and similar programs.

There are simple trees, family trees for kids, and genealogy charts in variations all the way up to seven generations. Some are in full color while others are graphics-free. The new additions are a direct result of site visitor requests and fill the needs of non-traditional families, such as step families, adoptive families and families in which there are many siblings. There's also a new family group sheet.

If you have any questions, contact Kevin Savetz, CEO Savetz Publishing, Inc. www.SavetzPublishing.com email: kevin@savetzpublishing.com.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

Blogs:
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.TeachGenealogy.com

Podcasts:
DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour
http://podcasts.DearMYRTLE.com

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts
http://fhexpos.libsyn.com

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
http://www.new.facebook.com/board.php?uid=2960625373
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com . Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

MORE about microfilm access online

DearREADERS,
Regarding DearMYRTLE'S 1, 5-10 year possibilities (Part G) - microfilm access online.

My original blog posting about the future of genealogy included a prediction (without any insider knowledge) that perhaps the Family History Library will allow access to microfilm online, without waiting for things to go through the FamilySearchIndexing.org process.

One can always hope.

Reader Diane responded as reported in my follow-up blog entry Sponsoring microfilm access online. Her comments referred to a presentation at the St. George Family History Expo on the new Family History Library Catalog, and the possibility of sponsoring microfilm access onlined iscussed during a WorldVitalRecords/FamilyLink class session .

Since that time, Myrt has exchanged emails with WorldVitalRecords.com’s Jim Erickson, the intended presenter of the class in St. George. He was called to London to attend the Who Do You Think You Are? Live conference the same weekend. As his email explains, his replacement explored ideas, to get feedback from class participants. Nothing about online ordering of microfilm is etched in stone. It just happened that Ol’ Myrt’s suggestion in 1, 5-10 year possibilities (Part G) - microfilm access online AND this class asking for participant feedback came out at the same time by coincidence on the very same topic.

Here is some of my communication from Jim Erickson followed by additional comments from Ol’ Myrt here.

From Jim Erickson
DearMYRTLE,
Thanks for your recent blog and message regarding what we are trying to accomplish through a Web 2.0 implementation of the Family History Library Catalog through our collaboration with the FamilySearch team. I wasn’t in attendance at the conference in St. George, Utah last weekend, but my associate Scott Spencer presented a vision of what we hope to accomplish.

I’d like to clarify a couple points that may not have been clear in the presentation that was made and to add a little more information that seem to have created some confusion on your recent blog postings.

We announced the relationships we formed with the LDS Church to enhance the current implementation of the Family History Library Catalog last year and included some of the details we plan to include through this implementation. The announcement by Paul Allen on his personal blog is found at
http://www.paulallen.net/family-history-library-catalog-20.

This project will be launched within the next few months by FamilyLink.com, Inc. (owner of WorldVitalRecords.com) under the GenSeek.com brand. We are also working with the folks at FamilySearch to determine an integration schedule to enable the same catalog functionality through FamilySearch. Some of the functionality Scott presented and discussed during his presentation last week will not be made available immediately with the launch of the enhanced catalog; however, we are hoping to add the functionality as soon as possible.

The concept of scanning and bringing microfilm online is something that has been discussed, but no implementation details have been agreed upon. We have presented the concept at two conferences as a means to gather audience feedback on possible implementations, but any final decisions will be made after conducting additional research and consulting with the Family History Department of the LDS Church.

The purpose of this presentation was to let people know about the exciting functionality that is forthcoming as well as to share our vision of what is possible to accomplish through this implementation of the Family History Library Catalog. As with many such presentations, the line between today’s reality and tomorrow’s vision can become blurred, especially when presenting a large concept in a short amount of time.

Thanks again for mentioning us in your blog and for all you do to promote family history research.


DearJIM,
Ol’ Myrt here appreciates your clarification about online availability of digital versions of microfilm, and the possibility of also ordering online.

The opportunity to get out from behind our collective desks to interact with genealogists who experience real life research challenges is a benefit of attending conferences and expos such as provided by www.fhexpos.com through their recent St. George event.

Genea-bloggers such as Ol’ Myrt here tend to collect ideas, wishes and dreams of a better research experience from our readers, and take occasion to discuss them in our blogs. The idea of viewing microfilm online in digital format seems a reasonable 21st century alternative to ordering microfilm and paying for snail mail.

In recent conversations on this topic with Gordon Erickson, FGS board member, past President of the Fairfax (VA) Genealogical Society, and current 27-28 March 2009 Conference chair, several additional thoughts have emerged:
  • Archives and courthouses could elect to “sponsor” the immediate scanning of existing microfilm, expediting the digitization process.
  • Said archives and courthouses may elect to “house” the digital version on their respective websites as a means of making truly public the so-called public records they are charged to archive.
  • Said digitized microfilm goes into a “queue” for eventual FamilySearchIndexing.org attention. It obviously takes less time to scan than to index a film.
  • Links in the new Family History Library Catalog would lead a researcher to the online “house” site of the digital images, in addition to providing references to the microfilm at the Family History Library.
  • Individuals and local genealogical societies could access the “queue” to index the digitized pages.

Gordon also discussed a possibility of local societies sponsoring digitization of local courthouse records not yet available on microfilm format, as a function of that society's committment to preservation and public service.

Ol' Myrt here is sure that this discussion isn't over. As emerging technologies expand possibilities, the genealogy community will continue to explore how these can be applied to records access and preservation.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

Blogs:
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.TeachGenealogy.com

Podcasts:
DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour
http://podcasts.DearMYRTLE.com

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts
http://fhexpos.libsyn.com

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
http://www.new.facebook.com/board.php?uid=296062537 3
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com . Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

WorldVitalRecords: March additions

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Readers of WorldVitalRecords eNewsletter will note they have been adding titles from GPC - Genealogical Publishing Company. Here is a listing of what they've added since the first of the month. Experienced researchers will note some of these are classic secondary reference works leading to original documents.

GeneTree out of Beta

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at GeneTree. Please address all inquiries to jacob@sorensoncompanies.com.

GeneTree’s Free Family Web Site Now Out of Beta with Fresh Graphic Interface, Thoughtful Tools
  • After More Than a Year of Development, GeneTree’s Free Web Site Provides Easiest Way for Families to Communicate on an Everyday Basis; to Share and Store Family Photos, Video and Documents; and to Build Extended Family Trees.
  • Simple and Powerful Genetic Genealogy Options Also Allow Families to Explore Ancestral DNA and Discover Previously Unknown Relatives and Ancestors on Both Maternal and Paternal Sides through World’s Most Extensive Correlated Genetic Genealogy Database.

SALT LAKE CITY (March 9, 2009)—GeneTree today announced its free family Web site has completed beta testing and now offers those who sign in a simple, intuitive way to regularly communicate with their extended family and to securely share and store family contact information, personal profiles, photos, video and ancestry documents. Advanced features now available through GeneTree’s redesigned graphic interface include GEDCOM file-format import for family tree collaboration, paternal line genetic genealogy and an all-new family tree building tool.

“We are very pleased to provide families with this fun and easy way to regularly connect and stay close to each other regardless of how scattered they may be geographically,” said GeneTree President and COO Matt Cupal. “GeneTree has the most complete set of features available for sharing family stories, but we go further by fully integrating genetic genealogy options for those who would like to use family DNA to search for living relatives and ancestors.”

A new Y-DNA genetic test enables individuals to research paternal line connections of a male relative, and complements GeneTree’s existing maternal line mtDNA test. Y-DNA results show ancestry and connections to DNA cousins within the past few hundred years.

The opportunity to find and connect with “lost” or unknown extended family members through the world’s most extensive correlated genetic genealogy database is a compelling GeneTree feature. “My 82-year-old mother was almost in tears when I told her we had found a branch of our family that we had lost touch with long ago,” said Rosemary Totton, of Auckland, New Zealand. “Now we are back in contact and I’m excited to learn one of my cousins has old family photos to share with us. In the future we may look at our family’s Y-DNA, as well. This has opened a new door for me.”

Another powerful new GeneTree feature promotes collaboration on ancestry information by allowing the upload of GEDCOM files. GEDCOM is the most common genealogy file format used by all major family history Web sites and software applications. The all-new family tree builder allows an individual to choose a preferred layout, create trees of more than 1,000 relatives and to invite others to join the network and view the chart.

Powerful photo- and video-sharing tools organize a family’s digital media into albums and allow them to be seen by others. Family members can collaborate on identifying people in photos and photo tagging allows a person easy tracking of all photos in which they appear. Tagging photos automatically sends out invitations to people named.

A new GeneTree family news feature keeps relatives continuously in the loop. Family members update their own news daily and at the end of the week a digest is automatically emailed to others on their list. A birthday reminder automatically sends out a birthday greeting on the morning of a relative’s birthday. In addition, a feature unique to GeneTree allows users to record a biological relative’s DNA profile as their own for purposes of searching for DNA cousins and to extend their own genealogy chart. Families can divide the cost of testing one member and then share results.

“We believe every family should take advantage of our free Web site,” said Cupal. “This is the best way for relatives to stay connected, share memories, build family trees and securely share and store documents. With GeneTree, it is easier than ever to build a lasting legacy for your own family.”

About GeneTree
GeneTree (www.genetree.com) is a free family Web site enabling relatives to easily communicate on an everyday basis; to securely share contact information, personal profiles, photos, video and other family documents; and to build family trees. GeneTree also provides individuals with the option to integrate industry-leading DNA testing into family history research for a scientific window into their ancestry and to find living relatives for whom no paper records exist. GeneTree users are linked to the world’s most extensive correlated genetic genealogy database.