Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bloggers' Summit 2: Pics



DearREADERS,
ABOVE: George G. Morgan (of the Genealogy Guys) who is moderating today's summit.

Ol' Myrt here is reporting from the 2009 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree to be held this weekend, Friday through Sunday 26-28 June, at the Burbank Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, Burbank, California. From

On the docket this morning:

Saturday 9:30am-noon ~ Summit 2: Son of Blogger Panel Discussion. Genealogy bloggers, podcasters and video casters use the Internet in ways that have changed communications to genealogists and family historians. This panel discussion will cover a wide range of topics include: How have bloggers changed the flow of information between vendors and their customers? How can family history blogs help to exchange information and locate cousins? What are the ethical issues of blogging? What tips do these pros have for starting your own blog? What tools are available to help bloggers get up and running.



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

© 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.

11x17 and odd sized document storage solutions

From: sethw@11x17.com
DearMYRTLE,

I was recently reading your blog for May 12th 2009 and as it so happens we are a manufacture that carries 11x17 filing solutions. We are a small family owned business and finding these products can be teeth pulling, but we seem to be greatly appreciated once found. It may make a great notation to you followers. We carry over 300 products for 11x17, letter, legal, 13x19, 24x18 and were adding stuff everyday. Well, best of luck, and if you have any questions don’t hesitates to call on us.

P.S. If you have any advice, or suggestions for products we can custom manufacture just about anything.

Seth W.
Office manager at 11x17 Inc.
www.11x17.com
sethw@11x17.com

DearSETH,
Thanks for this new info. I am sure my readers will be most interested in checking out your online catalog. Since you offer free ground shipping on orders over $200 to one address, it might be useful for a local genealogy society to sponsor an order.

By the way, my DearREADERS will be happy to note that Seth has a special 20% off offer --

20 % off plus 11x17.com's regular bulk discounts
USe coupon code DearMyrtle from now until July 10th 2009.

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

© 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.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Superfluous?

From: Hugh
DearMYRTLE,

Just a short informational note from a fairly serious genealogist. To be sure that I wasn't missing something personally or genealogically useful, I tried Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

My conclusions:

Twitter may be fun for the teenies but for me it's another Internet waste of time. I have seen little of real use for Twitter. I've concluded that there isn't much serious communications that can fit within the 140 character limitation. It's not for me. I disconnected.

YouTube: Potentially useful but needs improved content organization and better moderation. 80-90% of its content is not useful or informative. I continue access it weekly, primarily for news not covered by the net news distributors.

Facebook: A step better than Twitter but I don't like all the automatic "friend" sign-ups. The act of signing up my entire mailing list almost caused me to turn it off! I ended up with chatter from all the teens at my church and the crazies in some advocacy groups I watch. It does seem good for quick announcements to groups. Better than e-mail? I'm not so sure. I'll stay with it for a while before deciding.

Blogs: Selected blogs are not superflous at all. I subscribe to a number of genealogy blogs including yours.

Mailing lists: I've been on genealogy mailing lists since the early days of Rootsweb. It's dwindled since being taken over by a bottom line focussed company but not as badly as I had expected. Ancestry.com had a really bad name in those days - has it improved? Really?

The Internet: What can you say - it's revolutionized genealogy! What we need though is a more organized Cyndi's List of sources and websites. But how do we pay for it?

My 32 cents.

DearHUGH,
Thanks for your quick review of some Internet resources that may or may not be useful to family historians. Here is Ol' Myrt's feedback, plus a few additions:

Twitter: If you are accustomed to receiving text messages on cell phones, following the Tweets of specific bloggers, family members or news feeds can keep you on top of things. Clickable links are provided to the full text of items of obvious importance.

YouTube: As www.RootsTelevision.com has forged ahead with informative, thought-provoking videos, so too can individual researchers, bloggers and instructors. YouTube is a place for the videos to exist at no cost to the videographer. I heartily recommend anything by Lisa Louise Cooke or Robert Ragan.

Facebook: Ol' Myrt respectfully disagrees with you about Facebook. But then years ago when I joined when there was no one else in Facebook, so I had to call Bruce Buzbee of RootsMagic, and ask him to sign up just so I would have a friend. The beauty of Facebook is that unlike MySpace, you must first authorize a friend to your info. As a matter of fact, you didn't have to add your entire address book. Even now, you may discretely "ignore" updates from all those teeny-boppers at church. Alternately, you can remove them from your friend's list.

For me, Facebook is where I am receiving a lot of feedback on my various blog entries from fellow genealogists. Facebook is where I first learned a good friend's father passed away, and could therefore send condolences. Facebook is where the pictures of a newborn neice were first posted. Facebook is also where I play games with my grandchildren.

So for me, Facebook helps me keep up with the current news of the current generation.

I agree, Ol' Myrt here doesn't need to know whether someone drank coffee or orange juice before going out to fetch the morning paper.

Blogs: Ol' Myrt couldn't agree more that blogs are VERY useful. For family historians , it is a method to permanently honor ancestors. Blogs are an easy-to-use method for distributing information that instructors may use to share with their students. Blogs cost the blogger NOTHING, and THAT is good use of Internet technology. The blog format permits the addition of photos (of documents, screen shots, etc.), as well as text formatting to ensure ease of reading.

Mailing Lists: Ol' Myrt agrees that message boards and blogs coupled with advanced Google Search capabilities has made the old generic-looking mailing list postings nearly obsolete.

Internet: Yes, we do need a Family History Catalog that incorporates all that the Family History Library has plus all that is available in index or scanned image format plus the combined catalogs of all known libraries in the universe. Supposedly WorldVitalRecords (WVR) and FamilySearch are collaborating on such a project, but I have little hope for its seeing the light of day at the rate they are going. If I were Paul Allen, I would have had my WVR programmers make this catalog project JOB ONE. (But I digress.)

MORE: To your list of Internet resources useful to novice as well as serious genealogists, Ol' Myrt would add:

  • Flickr - Photo sharing at its finest. Yes, there are other places that offer this service.
  • Google Books - Scanned images of book mentioning your ancestor or the place where he once lived. Its all about adding meet on the bones.
  • Google Groups - Free calendar, file storage, message boards with distribution to members. This is a great resource for family organizations, reunion committees, etc.
  • Google Maps - In some cases street views are available that include an ancestor's home if it is still standing. Custom maps are useful if you are planning a family reunion, or you'd like to re-create an ancestral migration trail for future family retreats.
  • Second Life - A fun way to connect with other researchers by creating an avatar and interacting in a creative online environment where both typed and voice chats are possible. This medium is used by university professors, so it cannot be that far fetched.

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

© 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, June 25, 2009

Live Roots Search Experience, Release Two

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friend Illya at LiveRoots.com. Please address all inquiries to editor@genealogytoday.com. Please note that LiveRoots.com is one of Family Tree Magazine's 101 best web sites for 2009.

Live Roots Search Experience, Release Two

BURBANK, Calif. - June 25, 2009 - Genealogy Today announced the second release of the Live Roots search experience. Included in this release are project management tools to help visitors keep track and organize the genealogical resources that they discover while using the search engine.

Throughout the Live Roots search experience, registered members will now see Follow, Comment, Record and Share buttons. These buttons let the members conveniently interface with the new project management tools. Follow is an active bookmarking feature; Comment allows members to post comments on resources; Record lets members make entries in a dynamic research log; and Share is a way to send notices about resources to friends and family via e-mail.

All members will be given a , and may create additional projects as they wish to organized the resources that they wish to track.
Within each project, the following features will be accessible:

Recent Activity -- a running history of your interaction with the Live Roots features.

Ancestor Notecards -- profiles of your brickwall ancestors. These profiles are accessible throughout the Live Roots search experience, reducing the times you need to retype the names that you frequently search for.

Related Resources -- items that are "followed", providing a quick method of revisiting them, and when transcriptions are followed, a unique way to search across the items you find most relevant to your research.

Research History -- the dynamic research log. Capture all of your online and offline research activities, whether it be searching an online database or mailing away for documents from an archive.

Personal Library -- catalog your own private collection. A convenient way to simplify research log entries and also a way to share access to your unique resources via lookups.

Research Notepad -- a simple notepad for recording miscellaneous items related to your research: clues, follow-up todo lists, anything you like.

External Resources -- allows members to configure links to their research activities on other websites (e.g. Flickr, Scribd, Twitter, etc.).

"While we are all very passionate about working on our family histories, the reality is that life frequently interrupts us," commented Illya D'Addezio, owner of Genealogy Today. "With the addition of these new features, Live Roots is better equipped to assist genealogists when these interruptions occur. Follow items that you may want to return to; Post comments to remind yourself what you intended to search for; Record activities that you completed to avoid doing them over again in the future; and Share items with fellow researchers that may have the time to investigate them when you don't."

In order to access the project management section and the follow/comment/record/share buttons, you will need to become a Team Roots member. This free service was launched in 2001 to provide visitors of GenealogyToday.com with password-protected access to special features and content, and is also available on the LiveRoots.com web site.

For additional information, visit
http://www.liveroots.com/genealogy/research.html

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SoCal Jamboree 2009: On my way




DearREADERS,
As we speak, Ol' Myrt here is in the middle of the desert with her car packed to the gills, on the way to participate as a speaker and exhibit hall vendor at the 2009 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree to be held this weekend, Friday through Sunday 26-28 June, at the Burbank Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, Burbank, California. From the Jamboree website:

Jamboree has several speakers who form the core of the lecture faculty and who are frequent presenters at the conference. These speakers include Jana Broglin, CG; Bruce Buzbee; Bill Dollarhide; Arlene Eakle, Ph.D. FUGA; Wendy Elliott, Ph.D., FUGA; Bennett Greenspan, Leland Meitzler, Geoffrey Rasmussen, George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, and Elaine Alexander among others.

A number of speakers will be making their Jamboree debuts this year: Tony Burroughs, FUGA; DearMYRTLE; Maureen Taylor; Jean Wilcox Hibben, Ph.D., CG; Feargal O'Donnell of the Irish Family History Foundation; Tom Kemp; Lisa Alzo, and many others. David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA will return after a few years' absence.

The Friday night banquet keynote will be delivered by Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, one of the stars of PBS's series, "History Detectives." Other activities will be this year's version of the very popular "Effective Society Management" panel discussion on Saturday morning, dinner with David Rencher on Saturday evening, and "The Art of Mourning - A Victorian Obsession" for a cheerful start to the day on Sunday.

Last year's Blogger Summit was such a success that it is being repeated in 2009. "Blogger Summit 2: Son of Blogger" will feature many of the leading information leaders in the geneablogging community today: Lisa Louise Cooke; DearMYRTLE; Dick Eastman; Leland Meitzler; TheAncestryInsider; Craig Manson; George G. Morgan; Stephen Danko, Ph.D.; and Schelly Talalay Dardashti.


Of particular interest are Friday sessions:
  • Librarians (with geneablogger friend Thomas J. Kemp)
  • Beginning Genealogy (Beverly Truesdale and Lynne Parmenter)
  • Kids' Family History Camp (Starr Campbell, Hailey Campbell, Michael Melendez, Maureen Taylor and Jeanne Wilcox Hibben, Ph.D., CG) I wonder if Jeanne will be playing her guitar?

The Jamboree blog is your source for all the details -- speakers, lectures, exhibitors, hotel, travel and directions, registration online and by mail, events, etc.

Ol' Myrt's classes are geared for beginning genealogists:

  • Friday 1:30om-2:30pm ~ Finding Digital Items in the Family History Library Catalog. With indices and scanned image collections residing at BYU, FamilySearch and a variety of state-sponsored websites, researchers are in a quandary as to how to locate the collections. The answer is to look in the Family History Library Catalog, a logical place for genealogists to start.
  • Saturday 9:30am-noon ~ Summit 2: Son of Blogger Panel Discussion. Genealogu bloggers, podcasters and video casters use the Internet in ways that have changed communications to genealogists and family historians. This panel discussion will cover a wide range of topics include: How have bloggers changed the flow of information between vendors and their customers? How can family history blogs help to exchange information and locate cousins? What are the ethical issues of blogging? What tips do these pros have for starting your own blog? What tools are available to help bloggers get up and running.
  • Saturday 1:30pm-2:30pm ~ The Winter of our Discontent: Three Months to Better Organization. We've heard about marathon runners. How about a marathon to finally get organized? Myrt quickens the pace of her 12-month program and asks you to devote a mere 12 weeks to the process. You can do this! Includes sorting, filing, data input, scanning photographs, documenting artifacts and creating family history experiences for the non-genealogists in the family.
  • Saturday 3pm-4pm ~ Seven Habits of Highly Effective Genealogists. The class focuses on feedback from other genealogists who would do things differently if they were starting over from scratch. Handouts include research log, research checklist, a plan for filing paper documents and information leading to proper source citation.

So come on down! Hope to see you at the Jamboree.

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

© 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.

ScotlandsPeople: 1881, OPR & Coats of Arms

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at the Federation of Family History Societies. Please address all inquiries to exec.member.rl@ffhs.org.uk.

ScotlandsPeople has announced that the following records have been added to their site:

1. New 1881 census indexes and images: this now completes the set of Scottish census records 1841-1901, uniquely available on ScotlandsPeople. Please note that this new version is in addition to the current LDS version of the 1881 census (which does contain images)

2. Old Parish Records (OPR) Deaths & Burials indexes and images have also been added from 1538 to 1854

3. Coats of Arms 1672-1907 (free to search) have been added.

More modern Birth, Marriage and Death (BMD) records have also been added to the site. This now increases the range of statutory records, so you can trace your more recent ancestors:

Indexes of Scottish births and deaths now run from 1855 to 2006 with marriages from 1855 to 1933. Indexes to modern marriages will be added later this year.

Images of births are now available from 1855 to 1908, marriages from 1855 to 1933 and deaths from 1855 to 1958.

The address of their website is http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ .

Roger Lewry
FFHS Archives Liaison
exec.member.rl@ffhs.org.uk
19 June 2009

The Federation of Family History Societies is a Company Limited by Guarantee
Company Number 2930189 (England & Wales) - Registered Charity Number 1038721
Registered Office: Artillery House, 15 Byrom Street, Manchester, England M3 4PF

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

GeneARTogy.com




DearREADERS,
Ol’ Myrt here just received an email from John Groberg of www.geneartogy.com.

That is GeneARTogy.com [emphasis added.]

Being ever the curious type, Ol’ Myrt here wondered how this wall art website worked, in comparison with other genealogy chart printing services. What distinguishes this website is that YOU do the designing, using templates and fields for typing names and dates. YOU upload previously digitized photos, though, of course, Geneartogy will help you with that if necessary.

So, www.geneartogy.com has a cool interface where you simply choose a template (one of three background designs) then select:

  • Size (20x24, 24x30, 30x36)
  • Finish (not stretched, ready to frame, framed, etc.)
  • Font (don’t worry, chose one, and the font style shows up in the next space. I cycles back through them, bit by bit, to see which I preferred.)
You have 25 spaces to label the family tree, so “Gramma Pat’s Family Tree” would not fit. I still have to think about this. One might wish to make it something like:

Player-Froman
(my father's surname - mother's maiden name)

Then you add photos, names and birth/death dates.

Positions on the resulting family tree are a little confusing UNLESS you click “Preview Family Tree Position” and print it out, so that you know where each image will appear on the family tree. For instance, I always advise people to put themselves as #1 in their genealogy management software like RootsMagic , Legacy, Master Genealogist or Ancestral Quest. But you won’t be appearing on the family tree, unless you wish to also have your spouse listed as number 2. Since my future spouse has nothing to do with my grandchildren’s pedigree, I’ve made another choice.

I elected to start with my father as number 1, and my mother as number 2.

The resulting family tree will include 4 generations, with photos, or silouettes for a total of four generations on both sides.

Oh, I’ve solved the problem of 20 spaces for the title of the tree. In looking at the preview of the resulting family tree, I see that “Family Tree” is already part of the design, so I can then use “Gramma Pat’s” as the title of the family tree to be printed on the final canvas. Using the websites project interface, it was easy for Ol' Myrt here to change the tree name.

Ol' Myrt noticed photo retouching and restoration services are available. From the pricing page we read the standard photo retouching service includes:

1-Proper Sizing/Cropping and Resolution for best fit in photo frames.

2-Background Replacement- makes all photos clean and consistent by removing
the differing backgrounds and replacing them with a standard one designed to work with the art.


3-Sepia Color Correction- converts all photos to a common sepia tone that will make the photos look like they all belong together. Due to differing densities of each photo, there will still be some variation, but they will look much better together than otherwise.

We recommend you select this option for all your photos so that they all come
out looking like they belong together in a single piece of art. If you order multiple copies of the same project, the photo editing service fees only apply to the first copy, not any additional copies.
The examples of before and after photos are mighty convincing. Such a service is necessary, especially if the photo you have of great-grampa would otherwise include the suit or dress of the person standing behind him in the family portrait.

While Ol' Myrt here has not yet seen the final product, I think this www.geneartogy.com service merits consideration.

COUPON CODE
Type into the cart at checkout that will save them 10% off any order. The code will be MYRTLE10. You may use it for both photo retouching and for final product purchase savings. Shipping is free as well (continental US ground). The code will expire Sept. 30 2009 and may be used by my DearREADERS up to 5 times before it expires.

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

© 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, June 22, 2009

Footnote.com: membership increase Aug 2009

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received over the weekend from our friends at Footnote.com. Please address all inquiries to Justin@footnote.com.

I wanted to let you know of an upcoming change in our Annual Membership fee. On August 1, 2009, the cost of a Footnote Annual Membership will increase by $10 (about 83 cents per month). This slight increase will help us to continue to add more valuable content to Footnote and make things easier to find and use.

To help our current Footnote Members with this transition, we are offering a window from now until the end of July where they can take advantage of a reduced price of $59.95 (a $20 discount off the new price). This will be a great opportunity for those that have not joined Footnote, or are currently a Monthly Member, to upgrade to an annual membership.

Our Annual Members can also take advantage of this special offer by extending their current membership for another 12 months at this discounted rate. I would appreciate if you would let your visitors and members know that they can get this special offer by going to: http://go.footnote.com/loyalty.

GenealogyBank.com: 17 June update

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

Family History Information from 84 Newspapers and 22 States Just Added

Good news!

We've just digitized millions of historical newspaper articles, obituaries and documents to help you discover new and exciting details about your ancestors.

Renew with GenealogyBank now

The latest addition to GenealogyBank provides access to new family history information from 22 states and more than 84 newspapers, including:
  • Maxwell Mail (NM)
  • New Mexican Mining News (NM)
  • Estrella de Cuba (NY)
  • Daily Leader (IL)
  • Washington Times Herald (IN)
  • Raynham Call (MA)
  • Booneville Daily News (MO)And many more!
Did you know that GenealogyBank is the largest online newspaper archive for family history research? We now have more than an estimated one billion names from 1690 to the present day. With millions of newspaper articles and obituaries added each month, there's always new information on your American ancestors just waiting to be discovered.

As a special "thank you" to our past members, for a limited time, annual memberships are at their most affordable—save 30%! Subscribe before June 30th for $48.95—that's only $4.08 per month.

Renew now. Our new and expanded historical newspaper content may help you find fascinating facts about your family's past!

Closing of Conrad WEISER homestead

DearREADERS,
THANKS to Al Achtert who sent Ol’ Myrt an article from The Reading Eagle Newspaper titled Buildings at Conrad Weiser Homestead in Heidelberg Township could reopen quickly. Reporter Erin Negley explains:
“The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission voted Wednesday to close
the buildings at the 26-acre Heidelberg Township historic site and make similar
operational changes at five other sites across the state. The changes are part of an effort to comply with an $8.8 million budget cut requested by Gov. Ed Rendell. The state will only maintain and secure the grounds at the homestead, which was established as a park in 1928 to honor Conrad Weiser, an important interpreter of the local American Indians' language and Berks County's first judge.”

According to the newspaper article, my ancestor’s homestead is still open to the public, but one may not enter the actual restored home without a docent.

Read the entire article to see what the Friends of the Conrad Weiser Homestead is attempting to do to retain the site’s part-time custodial guide.

Needless to say, Ol’ Myrt here is distressed. It was quite a thrilling thing to visit the home of Conrad Weiser in person with my three young daughters and I would certainly wish to do with my grandchildren.

See the Weiser Family Association’s website for pictures of the homestead taken by some of Conrad Weiser’s descendants.

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

© 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.

Eakle: New Kentucky blog launches

From: arlene@arleneeakle.com
DearMYRTLE,
My NEW Kentucky blog is launching tonight, 19 June 2009. This is a very significant date in Kentucky history, which I will tell you all about later on. My preliminary blog describes the chronic problems of Kentucky genealogy. My first post is an example of the kind of thorough research that solves the chronic problems for Kentucky genealogy--about the Hanks ancestry of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. President Lincoln said, "I, too, am a Kentuckian."

I hope you enjoy this example, and if you happen to have a Hanks line, find it useful.

Join in the fun with this blog. You will get in each episode and mini-sode that I post, examples and sources that will increase your genealogy success in Kentucky!

Arlene Eakle, your favorite Kentucky genealogist. http://www.arleneeakle.com. Follow the link on my new Home Page.

DearARLENE,
You are one busy gal. In addition to doing client research, running a research library, teaching all-day seminars and giving one-hour lectures, you've got several other irons (er... blogs) in the fire. Just to remind my DearREADERS, here's the list:

Upcoming blogs soon to debut include:

  • Scots-Irish
  • New York

Newbies may not know that you are the president and founder of The Genealogical Institute, Inc. and a professional genealogist since 1962. From your bio page, one learns that you also hold both MA and Ph.D. in English History (University of Utah) and an Associate degree in Nursing (Weber State University). The history training has prepared you well for genealogical research. What I didn't know is that you received training as a nurse from Weber State University. Also quoting your bio:

"Dr. Eakle was one of the founders and original trustees of the Association
of Professional Genealogists serving as president, 1980-1982, and as editor of
the APG Newsletter and Green Sheet, 1982-1985. She edited the only periodical
for genealogy teachers, Teaching Genealogy, 1988-1989. She currently edits four
serials: Research News, Immigration Digest, Virginia Genealogy Notebooks and
Researching Your Roots in New York (with Linda E. Brinkerhoff).

A prolific writer with more than 90 titles, she was general editor, with
Johni Cerny, of the award winning The Source: Guidebook for American
Genealogy
(1984), and author of three chapters - “Census Records,” “Court
and Probate Records,” and “Tracking Immigrant Origins.” The American Library
Association recognized The Source as one of the Ten Best Reference Works of
1984. She is the author of “Court and Probate Records,” The Source, revised
edition (1997). She co-authored the national best-seller Family History for
Fun and Profit: The Genealogy Research Process
and Genealogy in Land
Records
with Linda E. Brinkerhoff and Ancestry’s Guide to
Research
, with Johni Cerny."

It is my pleasure to spotlight your work, and I wish you well with the new blog. Those with Kentucky roots will surely benefit from your research experience in that locale.

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

© 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.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Entire 1911 census online

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at FindMyPast.com. Please address all inquiries to debra.chatfield@findmypast.com.


ENTIRE 1911 CENSUS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE FOR THE FIRST TIME

Records for Wales, Channel Islands and Isle of Man and military serving overseas now online

Following the initial release of the Southern English records in January 2009, 1911census.co.uk now hosts the complete 1911 census records for people living in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. What's more, for the first time in a British census, full details are available of British Army personnel and their families stationed overseas. There were 135,866 people serving in the British Army and 36,804 people serving in the Royal Navy across the British Empire in 1911, including 69,785 serving in India.

The http://www.1911census.co.uk/ website service has been developed by UK-based family history website findmypast.com, owned by brightsolid, in association with The National Archives. Completed by 36 million householders on Sunday, 2 April 1911, the census records show the name, age, place of birth, marital status and occupation of every resident in every home as well as their relationship to the head of the household and the online records include images of our ancestors' own handwriting.

For the first time the enumerators' summary books for the whole of England and Wales have also gone online today, recording details of all properties in the country in 1911 - a great resource for anyone interested in local history or house histories. The 1911 census records have been released three years earlier than the scheduled 2012 date as a result of public demand for the 1911 census, which will be a key resource for family historians.*

Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at findmypast.com, says: '"We're delighted that the final records from the 1911 census have been published online including the military records and the records for Wales, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands. We hope people of all ages will gain a huge amount of valuable information about their ancestors by consulting the records and that they'll discover new chapters of their family history that they previously knew very little or nothing about."

Oliver Morley, Director of Customer and Business Development at The National Archives, commented: "It's wonderful to see that so many people are discovering a new passion for family history through the 1911 census. Bringing this project to completion has been one of the most exciting events for us this year, and to know that so many people have been able to access part of their personal history online shows how valuable it can be to make these records available via the web."

*In line with data protection legislation, certain sensitive information relating to infirmity and to children of women prisoners will be held back until 2012. The 1911 census is a special case at the request of the Information Commissioner all records of infirmity as listed on the records (e.g. 'deaf', 'dumb', 'blind', 'lunatic' etc.) have been obscured and will not be available to view until January 2012.

About findmypast.com
Leading UK family history website findmypast.com (formerly 1837online.com) was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003.

Following the transcription, scanning and indexing of over two million images, the company launched the first website to allow the public easy and fast access to the complete indexes, which until then had only been available on microfiche film in specialist archives and libraries. The launch was instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy seen in the UK today.

Findmypast.com has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 650 million records dating as far back as 1538. This allows family historians and novice genealogists to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.

In November 2006 findmypast.com launched the ancestorsonboard.com microsite in association with The National Archives to publish outbound passenger lists for long-distance voyages departing all British ports between 1890 and 1960.

As well as providing access to historical records, findmypast.com is also developing a range of online tools to help people discover and share their family history more easily, beginning with the launch of Family Tree Explorer in July 2007.

Over 1.7 million people in the UK have researched their family trees and findmypast.com has over 800,000 active registered users, revealing the mass appeal of genealogy and findmypast.com's position as the leading family history website based in the UK.

In April 2007 findmypast.com's then parent company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement.

Findmypast.com was acquired in December 2007 by brightsolid, the company who were awarded The National Archives' contract to publish online the 1911 census.

About The National Archives
The National Archives, http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/, is a government department and an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). As the official archives of the UK government, it cares for, makes available and 'brings alive' a vast collection of over 1000 years of historical records, including the treasured Domesday Book.

Not only safeguarding historical information, The National Archives also manages current digital information and devises new technological solutions for keeping government records readable now and in the future.

It provides world class research facilities and expert advice, publishes all UK legislation and official publications, and is a leading advocate for the archive sector.

At the heart of information policy, The National Archives sets standards of best practice that actively promotes and encourages public access to, and the re-use of information, both online or onsite at Kew. This work helps inform today's decisions and ensures that they become tomorrow's permanent record.

The National Archives brings together the Public Record Office, Historical Manuscripts Commission, the Office of Public Sector Information and Her Majesty's Stationery Office. See also http://www.opsi.gov.uk/

NARA: YouTube channel showcases film holdings

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the National Archives, and serves to tell us that YouTube.com has become a mainstream tool in this hi-tech world. Please address all inquiries to Public.Affairs@nara.gov.

NATIONAL ARCHIVES LAUNCHES YOUTUBE CHANNEL US National Archives Channel to highlight upcoming events and showcase film holdings

Washington, DC. . . On Friday, June 19, the National Archives will formally launch a YouTube channel to showcase popular archived films, inform the public about upcoming events around the country, and bring National Archives exhibits to the people. The launch will coincide with the National Archives 75th Anniversary. The URL is www.youtube.com/USNationalArchives.

Every week the National Archives will roll out a new film on one or more of its YouTube channel playlists. These include the following:

* From the Archives to the Moon: This video playlist features footage from the start of the space race through the landing of a man on the moon.

* Favorite Things - What's at Your Presidential Libraries: Over a series of 14 videos, directors from 12 separate presidential libraries discuss their 'favorite things' from their respective Presidential Libraries including Air Force One and the famous rooftop staircase from the embassy evacuation in Vietnam.

* Tracing World War II: Released in chronological order, these War Department reels follow American progress through World War II from the bombing at Pearl Harbor to Armistice.

* Touring 1930s America: Combining well-crafted, first-hand accounts from the Great Depression and sweeping footage from the Department of Interior taken in the 1930s, this playlist guides viewers through Depression-era America.

To contact the National Archives, please call 1-866-272-6272 or 1-86-NARA-NARA (TDD) 301-837-0482.

OneGreatFamily.com: Research & Collaboration

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: the following was just received from our friends at OneGreatFamily.com. Please address all inquiries to claire.labeaux@onegreatfamily.com.

This Father’s Day, OneGreatFamily.com Finds Famous Personalities
Hiding in Your Family Tree


OneGreatFamily.com Enables Serious Research and Collaboration with Other Genealogists, Plus Gives Tools for Finding Fun Information in Your Tree

June 17, 2009, Springville, UT – Here’s a fun idea for Father’s Day – figure out what famous personalities might be hiding in your family tree. While we realize that finding “famous” connections isn’t the ultimate purpose of true genealogy research, finding those family ties is interesting, and Father’s Day is a perfect time to do it.

Explore the Details of Your Family Tree: Find Famous Relatives and More

OneGreatFamily.com doesn’t just offer powerful search tools; the “Family Dashboard” at the site also gives users the ability to explore the information in their tree in new and fun ways. Just a few of these include:

Relationship Calculator: with a simple click, outline relationships in your own tree, or find out how you’re related to various people in the OneGreatFamily database. For Father’s Day, you may want to explore these connections:

  • Do you have a “Presidential” background with a link to Barack Obama or possibly George Washington or Abraham Lincoln?
  • Is showbiz “in your blood” through ties to celebrities like Bill Cosby (the true “Fatherhood” expert), Tom Cruise, or even Elvis Presley?
  • Do you have a passion for inventing that came through your connections to Albert Einstein or Benjamin Franklin?
  • Do you love exploring – could be you’re related to Christopher Columbus or astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin!
  • The Migration Map shows your family's movement through the world over time.
  • Identify common first names and surnames in your tree and in the US.

Connect Branches of Your Family Tree While Verifying Conflicts in Others

At www.OneGreatFamily.com, users can publish and edit their trees online, either starting from scratch or uploading a GEDCOM file. The system immediately and continuously checks the "handprint" of data (considers not just names, but also dates and the web of relationships) against all other trees that have been contributed. When it finds a match, the two trees are merged. If it finds a conflict or a possible match, it flags that individual and allows each user to do further research to verify their facts. OneGreatFamily maintains all views, or versions, of differing data unless a user chooses to change or merge another person’s facts with their own.

Our goal in merging trees is to eliminate the frustration of online research, where for example a user does a search on an ancestor's name and turns up hundreds of leads for the same person – they all turn out to be the same tree downloaded and re-posted – but it takes hours and hours of manually going through the results to determine that. We automate the search, fine-tune it by considering the "handprint" of data, continuously search on all data entered, and maintain differing views of data until the conflicts are resolved by the users themselves.

About OneGreatFamily.com
OneGreatFamily.com, LLC, was founded in 1999 by Alan Eaton with a vision to match and merge all of the separate family trees created by genealogists into one single unified worldwide family tree. This single family tree would remove all duplication while maintaining all differences in conclusions genealogists would draw from the research evidence. Today more than 196,000,000 individuals have been submitted to OneGreatFamily.com in family trees.

OneGreatFamily also publishes Relatively Me, an application for Facebook, as well as the new GenealogyCloud. The company is privately held, based in Springville, Utah and has approximately 25 employees.

FHExpos.com: Call for presenters

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

Full details for submitting proposals to Family History Expos are available on our Web site at:

www.fhexpos.com/events/call_for_papers.php

  • Redding, California submission deadline is this Friday, June 19th, 2009.
  • Mesa, Arizona submission deadline is July 20th, 2009.
  • St. George, Utah submission deadline is August 31st, 2009.

Don't delay, submit today!

Please share this call with others you feel could benefit our Expo attendees.

Thanks,
Holly Hansen
Family History Expos.com
PO Box 187
Morgan, UT 84050
801-829-3295
expos@fhexpos.com
www.fhexpos.com

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ancestry.com: finding connections with research

DearREADERS,
Tuesday afternoon saw Ol' Myrt and her 11-year-old grandson at The Generation Networks offices in Provo, Utah for an appointment with Product Development Manager David Graham. My grandson is currently editing the video interview, but here are some highlights of what's coming down the pike at Ancestry.com's website.

MEMBER CONNECT will debut later this summer, but the "landing" page is available today. For those members who elect to upload their family tree (GEDCOM file format is allowed), information from research others are doing on the site will come to your attention at the new landing page based on:
  • Record based - a record you both have attached to an ancestor.
  • Tree based - you have likely matches on your uploaded family trees.
  • Activity based - you and another member have completed a shoebox save, combined ancestors in family tree files, updated info on a common ancestor, etc.
This new MEMBER CONNECT interface will eventually allow you to collaborate with another researcher, and combine information. You can have multiple items for birth, marriage and death, so if your common ancestor's birth date conflicts with info on the other Ancestry.com's member tree, you can keep both sets of birth info, until you determine which is correct.

Rather than receiving an email notice, any new MEMBER CONNECT information will be collected and presented on your Ancestry.com "landing" page when you login. This is very much like RSS feeds of blogs that go to your iGoogle or Bloglines page. The information is there when you go to the website to view them.

THIS IS MARVELOUS!
Researchers won't have to go searching all over Ancestry.com for possible matches. Instead we'll let the Ancestry.com computers do the searching behind the scenes, so we'll have more time to research elsewhere, attend a family reunion, or organize our computer rooms. (Eating and sleeping are optional, as every avid genealogist knows!)

Here's a screen shot what the new MEMBER CONNECT "landing" page will likely look like:



BELOW note what the page will look like if you are viewing a census record, and decide to leave a comment about the image. The soon-to-be released MEMBER CONNECT interface will list other Ancestry.com members who commented on the document, attached it to an ancestors in their online tree or saved it to their shoebox. It is likely you'll want to communicate with those other Ancestry.com members to coordinate research efforts. Ancestry.com provides security of communication based on your choice of privacy levels.






BELOW is a sample page of how an individual ancestor's page will look, with the green text on the far right indicating a "new" link to another Ancestry.com member’s research. This provides the opportunity for collaboration to share additional research and avoid errors or duplication of effort.




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

Blogs:
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com
http://blog.teachgenealogy.com
http://blog.internet-genealogy.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.

101 Best Genealogy Web Sites - 2009

DearREADERS,
After publishing three new blog posts this morning, Ol' Myrt decided to review a few of the genea-blogs before heading out to the Family History Library for a bit of research.

Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings blog noted Family Tree Magazine has just published it's 101 Best Web Sites 2009, so I scrolled down to see what Randy learned about the award winning websites.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Not a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, but a mention of DearMYRTLE!

Funny how Randy always seems to learn about things before Ol' Myrt does! :::giggle:::


Ok, that is 100, what's the 101st? In a class by itself is http://www.ancestry.com .

Ol' Myrt here is honored to be listed in the category of 10 Best Cutting-edge Web Sites! Thank-you, Family Tree Magazine. This is the second time you've mentioned my work in your annual list, the first being back in 2000. Oh, the changes we've seen since then.

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

Blogs:
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com
http://blog.teachgenealogy.com
http://blog.internet-genealogy.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.

FamilySearch: New Louisiana & Idaho records added

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

17 June 2009
Six million new records were added to the FamilySearch Record Search pilot this week. The much anticipated Louisiana and Idaho death records are now available. The states of Delaware, District of Columbia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New Mexico were added to the 1920 U.S. Census collection. Digital images of church records were also added for Mexico (Baja California, and Baja California Sur).

These collections can be searched for free at the FamilySearch.org Record Search pilot (click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot).

Special thanks to the FamilySearch volunteers who help make these collections freely available.

Collection Name
Indexed Records
Digital Images
Comments


1920 US Census
5,477,143
Added Delaware, District of Columbia, New Mexico, Michigan, Nevada, and New Hampshire)
Note: Images will be added at a later date when additional features are available.
Louisiana Deaths 1850–1875; 1894–1954
664,511
Note: Images will be added at a later date when additional features are available.

Idaho Deaths 1911–1937
106,484
Mexico, Baja California and Baja California Sur, Church Records 1750–1983
29,063
Browsable images only—no index.

About FamilySearch
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

FamilySearchIndexes: Changes in user interface, etc.

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

16 June 2009
Significant updates were made recently to the FamilySearch Indexing application and Web site. Batch Sharing seems to be the most popular of the new features. Following are brief descriptions of the updates:

Batch Sharing. This exciting new feature appeals to indexers who enjoy online social networking capability. It allows two volunteers (indexers or arbitrators) to collaborate on a batch. Both indexers can view the same batch, and using the indexers’ preferred instant messaging tool or phone, they can discuss and index the batch together. One indexer will have read-write capability and the other will have read only.

Tip of the Day. A dialog box will greet indexers when they sign in to the indexing application. Best practices and other quick time saving tools will be shared.

Project Selection Dialog Box. This feature (which appears when you click the Download From… button) will have the option to show all projects or only those that match an indexer’s preferences. It will also display the difficulty level of each project.

Fields Marked for Review. Indexers can choose to display either a red wavy line or colored background in fields marked for review. The color and transparency of the background can also be changed.

Image Type. This will now be the first field in every batch. Indexer will select the description of each image (Normal, Blank, or Duplicate) from the list provided.

Header Data Tab. A new tab in the data entry area will enable indexers to enter information that applies to an entire document just once. Not all batches will include this tab. It will open first when a batch is downloaded.

New Icons. The icons used to mark a field or record “unreadable” will have a blue question mark on them instead of a red slash.

Volunteers can register anytime and begin indexing immediately at Indexing.FamilySearch.org.

New Indexing Projects

New indexing projects added this week are:

  • Argentina Censo 1869—Santiago y Santa Fe
  • Australia, Greenwich—Genealogical Records, 1776–1980
  • Australia, NSW—Bounty Immigrants, 1824–1842 (This is a regional project.)
  • Pennsylvania—1920 U.S. Federal Census
  • U.K., Cheshire Parish Records [Part 2], 1538-1850

(See the chart below for a complete list and current status of all indexing projects).

Recently Completed Projects

(Note: Recently completed projects have been removed from the available online indexing batches and will now go through a final completion check process in preparation for future publication.)

  • Argentina Censo 1869—Corrientes y Entre Rios
  • Canada, British Columbia Births, 1854–1903
  • Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1916–1922 [Part 1]
  • Mississippi—1920 U.S. Federal Census
  • Rhode Island—1920 U.S. Federal Census
  • UK, Cheshire—Land Tax, 1778–1832
  • Vermont—1920 U.S. Federal Census

Current FamilySearch Indexing Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion

Argentina, Buenos Aires 1855 Census
Spanish
35%

Argentina Censo 1869—Jujuy Salta Tucuman
Spanish
23%

Argentina Censo 1869—Santiago y Santa Fe
Spanish
(New)

Arkansas County Marriages VI, 1837–1957
English
29%

Australia, Greenwich—Genealogical Records, 1776–1980
English
(New)

Austria, Wiener Meldezettel, 1890–1925
German
1%

Belgium, Antwerp Foreigners Index, 1840–1930
Dutch, Flemish
38%

Brandenburg Kirchenbücher, 1789–1875
German
64%*

France Registres Protestants, 1612–1906 [Part 1]
French
54%

France Registres Protestants, 1612–1906 [Part 2]
French
1%

France, Coutances, Paroisses de la Manche, 1792–1906
French
88%

France, Paroisses de Cherbourg, 1802–1907
French
1%

France, Paroisses de Coutances, 1802–1907
French
1%

France, Paroisses de Saint-Lo, 1802–1907
French
2%

Germany, Mecklenburg 1890 Volkszählung, Div 24–38
German
16%

Indiana, Adams County Marriages, 1811–1959
English
18%

Indiana, Allen County Marriages, 1811–1959
English
10%

Indiana, Blackford County Marriages 1811–1959
English
74%

Italy, Trento Baptism Records, 1784–1924
Italian
82%

Jamaica, Trelawny Births, 1878–1930
English
9%

Mexico, Censo de 1930—Mexico
Spanish
3%

Mexico, Censo de 1930—Tamaulipas
Spanish
89%

Mexico, Censo de 1930—Yucatan
Spanish
25%

New York 1905 State Census
English
32%

Nicaragua, Managua Civil Records, 1879–Present
Spanish
52%*

Pennsylvania—1920 U.S. Federal Census
English
(New)

Peru, Lima—Registros Civiles, 1910–1930
Spanish
30%

Russia, St Petersburg Kirchenbuchduplikat, 1833–1885
German
1%

South Carolina—1920 U.S. Federal Census
English
82%

Spain, Avila, Moraleja de Matacabras, 1540–1904
Spanish
34%

Spain, Lugo—Registros Parroquiales [Part 1], 1530–1930
Spanish
19%

U.K., Cheshire Parish Records [Part 2], 1538-1850
English
(New)

U.K., Warwickshire Parish Registers, 1538–Present
English
2%

Ukraine, Kyiv, 1840–1842
Russian
19%

Venezuela, Mérida Registros Parroquiales. 1654–1992
Spanish
20%

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

Current FamilySearch Partner Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion

Arkansas Marriages IV, 1837–1957
English
35%

Belgique—Registres Des Décès—Charleroi, 1851–1900
French
28%

Belgique—Registres Des Décès—En Français, 1796–1910
French
22%*

België—Overlijdens Registers—In het Nederlands, 1796–1910
Dutch, Flemish
88%*

België—Overlijdens Registers—Kalmthout, 1851–1900
Dutch, Flemish
63%

België—Overlijdens Registers—Mechelen, 1851–1900
Dutch, Flemish
8%

Bremer Schifflisten, 1904–1914
German
56%

Flanders Death Registration, 1796–1900
French, Dutch, Flemish
79%*

Indiana Marriages, 1882 to April 1905
English
91%

Norway 1875 Census [Part 1]
Norwegian
38%

Nova Scotia, Antigonish Church Records, 1823–1905
English
84%

Ohio Tax Records—2 of 4, Post 1825
English
77%

Ohio Tax Records—3 of 4, Post 1825
English
1%

Vermont Militia Records, 1861–1867
English
43%

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

Current FamilySearch Regional Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion
(These projects are being indexed by volunteers in specific areas of the world.)

Australia, NSW—Bounty Immigrants, 1824–1842
English
(New)

Australia, Sydney Cemetery Inscriptions, 1800–1960
English
6%

Australia—Victoria Probate Records, 1853–1989
English
65%

Canada, British Columbia Marriages, 1859–1932
English
7%

Quebec—Trois-Rivières IC, 1800–1900
French
52%

About FamilySearch
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

RIP John Fuller (GFSJohnF)

DearREADERS,
It is with great sadness that I report receipt of a note from RootsWeb administrators that our long time friend John Fuller passed away this past Sunday. Those of us from the former Genealogy Forum on AOL remember John for his strong presence and keen interest in help others. He adapted well from the AOL environment, quickly learning the ins and outs of the Internet back in the days when we were all barely venturing out on the WWW.

John has kept us informed about Internet genealogy mailing lists on RootsWeb, Yahoo & elsewhere via a New-GenList mailing list and at his website since the early days of the Internet (1995). His site was last updated 23 May 2009.

I know I speak for many whose hearts go out to John's family and close friends.

God speed, dear friend. You shall be missed.

Myrt

A marker without a Civil War battle?

DearREADERS,
"... markers were installed last week at the home of President Andrew Jackson and the Confederate Soldiers' Home and Cemetery.

The purpose of the trails program is to raise awareness of the roles that states played in the Civil War and to create driving tours of battle sites. Other states participating include Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and West Virginia."


To find out why a marker was placed at Andrew Jackson's home, even though no battle was fought there, see Historical markers link Tenn. sites to Civil War Trail from USA Today.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

Monday, June 15, 2009

DE: "A Family History Event" 1 Aug 2009

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: How delightful to receive this notice from our friends in Wilmington, Delaware. Please address all inquiries via the website: http://www.afamilyhistoryevent.org/contact.html

The Wilmington Delaware Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is pleased to present "A Family History Event" on Saturday, August 1, 2009, from 9 am to 4 pm, at their meetinghouse in Newark, Delaware (500 W. Chestnut Hill Road), with the theme: "Around the World in a Day: Let Your Fingers Do the Searching." Free.

Keynote speakers include:

Classroom sessions, interactive exhibits and cultural rooms will focus on various online research sources and geographic regions of the world.

Come for an hour or stay for the day! For the beginning genealogist to the professional. For additional information and to register, please visit: www.afamilyhistoryevent.org

Announcement attached; please share with others who may have interest.

Thank you,
Flora McConkie
Director of Public Affairs
Wilmington Delaware Stake
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

CONGRATS: Honoring Our Ancestors Grants Program


DearREADERS,

Congratulations is long overdue for one of genealogy's most beloved professionals -- Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak. (Yes, that's her name!). Among many worthwhile pursuits is her Honoring Our Ancestors Grants Program that has been going strong for 9 (count 'em!) nine years.

"Nine years ago -- back in May 2000 -- I started the Honoring Our Ancestors Grants Program. It's a modest program run and funded by myself with the help of my good-natured husband, Brian. Folks take about five minutes to complete a brief form on my personal website and once a month, I print out all the latest applications. Brian and I then head to a coffee house along with new applications and all the others from the previous five months (they remain active for six months). Then we pick one and I write a check. That's the whole process. It's that simple. The only requirement is that they be for some sort of genealogically-oriented initiative."

When asked about the size of the grants, Megan replied:
"Re: the grants, they’re all over the place. I think the least I’ve given was about $150 and the most $1,000 – though I’ve given more in a single month (I’ve done multiple grants in a single month a couple of times to celebrate this or that). I can’t help the folks who ask for $100,000 so they can quit their jobs to travel and research their family (I get some entertaining applications!), but I can help lots of others. From the beginning, I decided that it was a water-on-a-stone kind of situation – that even if I gave smallish amounts, but did so consistently, they would eventually make a bit of a difference. That’s why it was so wonderful to get that streak of thank-yous. To have that happen everywhere from New Zealand to Alaska, and from grants ranging from 2001 to 2009 – just really cool."

Ol' Myrt here couldn't agree more -- this is REALLY COOL. Thanks Megan for the support you and your husband give to genealogy work throughout the world. This is a not-so-random act of genealogical kindness that is much appreciated. The ripple effect from each project cannot adequately be gauged. It goes beyond the recipient and the honored ancestor, and affects entire communities.

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

Blogs:
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com
http://blog.teachgenealogy.com
http://blog.internet-genealogy.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.

British Postal Museum closes for AC repair

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at the Federation of Family History Societies. Please address all inquiries to info@postalheritage.org.uk.

6/15/2009
The Search Room at The British Postal Museum & Archive will close from 29 June to allow urgent work to take place on the air conditioning system. It is expected that the work will take at least 8 weeks although it may take longer.

They will continue to deal with email, letter and telephone enquiries during this time but it may take slightly longer to respond than usual.

If you are planning to visit us in July or August please contact the Search Room in advance of your visit by emailing info@postalheritage.org.uk or telephoning 020 7239 2570 to check the current status. Updates will also be posted to the website www.postalheritage.org.uk.

Philippa McCray
Administrator (Acting)
Federation of Family History Societies
PO Box 8857
Lutterworth
LE17 9BJ

Email: admin@ffhs.org.uk
Tel: 01455 203133
www.ffhs.org.uk

The Federation of Family History Societies is a Company Limited by Guarantee
Company Number 2930189 (England & Wales)
Registered Charity Number 1038721
Registered Office: Artillery House, 15 Byrom Street, Manchester, England M3 4PF

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bing vs. Google

DearREADERS,
There has been much ado about the new Microsoft search engine “Bing” attempting to give “Google” a run for its money. I don’t think Microsoft can stand that anyone else is #1. Somewhere I read that Bing was focusing search algorithms efforts to work specifically on news, entertainment, sports and local search improvements. (Cannot find the link for that info, sorry.) But apparently the $80-100 million spent by Microsoft for advertising Bing may work, since Garrett Rogers of ZDnet thinks “Bing passes Yahoo, steals share from Google?

THINKING OUT LOUD
In Ol’ Myrt’s opinion Bing isn't as good with results yet when compared to Google, and of COURSE Bing doesn't include GoogleBook results in the search. Those Google Book results are important in my personal family history research and probably are in yours if you have US ancestral research.

See my test search comparisons below, which are by NO MEANS scientific, just my initial comparison.

Below my search results are the THREE THINGS I LIKE about BING.

TEST SEARCH RESULTS

EXAMPLE ONE:
Looking for: http://www.weiserfamily.org/

GOOGLE:
Search for: Conrad Weiser – not found in first two pages
Search for: Weiser Family – first two entries on first page

BING:
Search for: Conrad Weiser – not found in first two pages
Search for: Weiser Family – not found in first two pagesSearch for: Weiser Family Page – not found in first two pages
Search for “Weiser Family Page” – not found in first two pages

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EXAMPLE TWO:
Looking for anything on my Revolutionary War Soldier Paul Froman, who married Hans Joist Hite/Heydt’s daughter and settled in the Shenandoah Valley before moving west to die in Lincoln County, Kentucky

BING:
Search for: Paul Froman - 10-10 hits, including all the usual RootsWeb and Ancestry message board postings.

GOOGLE:
Search for: Paul Froman – 4 of 10 on the first page including some interesting links to Froman in Google Books with scanned images of more pages to research:

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EXAMPLE THREE:
BING:
Search for Dick Eastman – 5 of 10 on first page

GOOGLE:
Search for Dick Eastman – 8 of 10 on first page

=====
EXAMPLE FOUR

BING:
Search for: DearMYRTLE – all of first page

GOOGLE: Search for: DearMYRTLE: - all of first page

THREE THINGS I LIKE ABOUT BING

HIERARCHAL SEARCH HISTORY
Being curious, Ol’ Myrt here began using BING, and right away there are some interesting new options including a new way of looking at your search history. It is clearly labeled on the left side of the screen as shown below:



EXPANDABLE SEARCH LISTING
If you wish to expand that list of searches, it shows the places you’ve gone as a result of that search. This would be terribly useful if you searched and wish to back down a previous search path for additional study.



MOUSE ROLL OVER PREVIEW OF CONTENT
When your mouse rolls over the right portion of a hit list entry, up pops some text from the site in question as a preview to help you decide if you'd like to visit the site.

So far, BING has got to get better on their search results for me to be switching from Google.

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

Blogs:
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/
http://blog.teachgenealogy.com/
http://blog.internet-genealogy.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, June 13, 2009

National Archives (UK) back online



DearREADERS,
There has been an avalanche of emails from my DearREADERS who attempted to use the National Archives (UK) website late Thursday and into Friday of this week. Fortunately from the site's blog we learn:

"12 June 2009
We apologise to anyone who experienced problems with The National Archives' website between 22:30 on 11 June and 08:00 on 12 June. The problem has now been corrected and all online services are back to normal."

It seems that even the best of genealogy websites sometimes experience service interruptions and outages. We must be patient. Seems we've grown accustomed to fast-as-a-mouse-click service these days.

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

Blogs:
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com
http://blog.teachgenealogy.com
http://blog.internet-genealogy.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.