Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WEBINAR: Setting up Mr. Myrt's Twitter account today

DearREADERS,
Just a reminder about today's DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinar©

Mr. Myrt isn't sure WHY, but we're going to set up his Twitter account LIVE, and explore options there.

We'll also explore Ol' Myrt's Tweet Deck, which makes it a whole lot easier to keep up with several different feeds.

DearMYRTLE’s Twitter/TweetDeck Workshop Webinar©
Confused by Twitter, but want to know more? This live demo takes you through setting up a Twitter account, and setting up your Twitter page and learning about hashtags. Switch gears and explore the advantages of TweetDeck for easily managing your Twitter feeds.



30 March 2011 TODAY!
2:00 PM Eastern (U.S.)
1:00 PM Central
12:00 PM Mountain
11:00 AM Pacific
7:00 PM GMT
 
Register for this webinar now:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/515258592


Space limited to the first 100 who click to attend at the time of the webinar.

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

Monday, March 28, 2011

Genealogy makes GREAT television programming



DearREADERS,
Admittedly, it is difficult to imagine that one's genealogical brick walls can be demolished in a scant hour-long broadcast, complete with advertising breaks. Likewise, Ol' Myrt here is sure it takes the real CSI: Miami  team more than an hour to solve each horrific crime. Better than Dancing with the Stars and The Biggest Loser are two television shows with family history research as the theme for ~ The Generations Project and Who Do You Think You Are?

But television programming being what it is -- must sell advertising. And to do that, the shows must be entertaining and pull in large numbers of viewers. NOTE: The tv image above courtesy of Sony.com.

THE GENERATIONS PROJECT
The second season of BYUtv’s The Generation Project premiers tonight, Monday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m. MDT. The Generations Project is a reality-based family history show that uncovers the remarkable stories and family histories of everyday people. The people take a hands-on journey to learn about their ancestors, and in the process they discover more about themselves.
The second season of The Generations Project “takes you from Germany to Holland to New York's 'Little Pakistan' and everywhere in between, following eleven journeys into the past: the Denkes explore the origins of their children’s life-threatening genetic disease. Kerry hopes his ancestors will help him find his estranged son, and Ty delves into his complicated heritage as a son of Nazi Germany. They along with eight other guests engage with the past to understand the present.”

BYUtv is available through many local satellite and cable companies. In addition, The Generations Project can be viewed live online at http://www.byutv.org (you'll need to register for a free account to view the show live). All episodes are also available to be viewed immediately after airing at http://www.byutv.org/thegenerationsproject/episodes (no registration required).



NBC's WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? (in the US)
Well into the second season we've received word that the show has been extended for a third season. Perhaps more popular in England, the next episode, airing this Friday on NBS stations nationwide, will feature Gwyeneth Paltrow's ancestral quest.


The teaser just says this Oscar-winning actress "is expecting a journey... but what she gets is an awakening,"  so we'll have to tune in to learn more of Gwyneth's discoveries.

MAKE YOUR WISHES KNOWN
So QUIT GRIPING about the one hour limit -- at least a few genealogy research principles are illustrated during each broadcast. Its about time we voted with our time by watching genealogy-oriented television programming. It's also time to write to network execs and let them know you appreciate this sort of television. Support the advertisers, and somehow let them know you heard about it during the broadcast.

Network execs know we have a choice when it comes to television programming and they need to know we appreciate their work.

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

DearMYRTLE’s Twitter/TweetDeck Workshop Webinar©

DearREADERS,
Confused by Twitter but want to know more? This live demo takes you through setting up a Twitter account, and modifying your Twitter page and learning about hashtags. Switch gears and explore the advantages of TweetDeck for easily managing your Twitter feeds. TweetDeck is what Ol' Myrt uses to view several columns of tweets at once without going cross-eyed.



 
DearMYRTLE’s Twitter/TweetDeck Workshop Webinar©

30 March 2011
Wednesday
2:00 PM Eastern (U.S.)
1:00 PM Central
12:00 PM Mountain
11:00 AM Pacific
7:00 PM GMT
 
Register for this webinar now:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/515258592


Space limited to the first 100 who click to attend on the 30th. 

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

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Scanfest TODAY 11am-2pm Pacific US Time

DearREADERS,
Each month this year my Monthly Organization Checklist followers have been participating in SCANFEST over at Miriam Robbins Midkiff's blog in a special chat room. Its a place for you to hang out while waiting for you scanner to do the second pass.  The March 2011 Scanfest will take place at AnceStories on Sunday, March 27th, from 11 AM to 2 PM, Pacific Standard Time. 

When Ol' Myrt here last attended, there were all sorts of sample scans, discussions about optimum resolution, and graphic file types. Some were considering new scanners, and it was a great time to compare notes.

So in about twenty minutes, log in to the chat room that will be appearing shortly at:

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







Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday stuff

DearREADERS,
It seems genealogists do research during the week, and on the weekends we like to talk about it. This weekend in no exception from Ol' Myrt's vantage point.

FAIRFAX GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY CONFERENCE
Today marks the first day of the Fairfax Genealogical Society's annual spring conference. We got a sneak peek at the work of Warren Bittner, CG who spoke at our general meeting last night about federal land records at NARA. As a result of Warren's presentation there was a flurry of new registrations for the weekend conference which begins today. Registration is online through Eventbrite. See: www.fxgs.org/conference.html

An interesting component of the FxGS conference is  Speaker Consultations, where participants sign up in advance, submit paperwork and receive advice for future research. Additional presentations today include:
  • Impossible Immigrants! Case Studies in Tracing Immigrant Origins, presented by Warren Bittner, CG (4:30 PM to 6:30 PM) Enjoy an evening learning to solve "brick wall" immigrant problems. Learn how studying neighbors and relatives in the U.S. can lead to finding their places of origin. Then follow families in European records when they are not found in the towns where they were supposedly born. Learn techniques to correctly identify difficult families.
  • Mini Lecture #1 - What's New at Ancestry.com (7:15 PM to 7:45 PM) with Sabrina Peterson head of Ancestry.com's Global Digitization team. She is also the education chair for FXGS this year, and has done a masterful job arranging speakers and topics for general meetings.
  • Crossing the Ocean with the Internet, presented by Leslie Albrecht Huber (8:00 PM to 9:00 PM) With more sources coming online all the time, tracing your ancestors across the ocean to their European hometowns has never been easier. Familiarize yourself with some important websites for making your cross-continent connection. - Back by popular demand, Leslie spoke last fall at a general meeting, followed by a Saturday workshop.
  • ProGen12 participants are meeting at the BCG booth in the vendor hall Saturday during the first break.

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
Finally, a new episode! And I'll have to catch it on the DVR, darn it. NBC announces "Steve Buscemi The Golden Globe-winning actor embarks on a journey to discover the rogues and villains of his ancestry."

Tune in tonight - Friday, March 25th 8/7c, and catch the preview online.

During the show you can talk with other genealogists in a variety of ways --


AFTER THE TV SHOW, tune in for Thomas MacEntee's GeneaBloggers BlogTalk Radio Show. Its free, and its on the internet, so turn up those speakers -- or better yet, use a headset, so you can call in with your questions. GeneaBloggers Radio will be broadcast this evening, Friday, March 25, 2011 starting at 10PM EST, 9PM CST, 8PM MST and 7PM PST! Thomas tells us "the two hour show will feature special guest Megan Smolenyak who will discuss the latest television programs with a genealogical theme. In addition, we will have a panel of experts including Mark Lowe and Gayle Gresham to discuss how to find your black sheep ancestors." For details on how you can listen and even use the chat room, click here.

SATURDAY it's Lisa Alzo's Webinar
From GeneaWebinars.com we learn that Lisa is giving a fantastic webinar titled Life Stories: How to Write a Compelling Family History Narrative and its free! When: Sat, March 26, 10:00am – 11:30am "Life Stories: How to Write a Compelling Family History Narrative - 1:00 P.M. EST (March Madness Series)  A family history narrative is so much more than just the collection of names, dates, and places. You don’t have to be a professional writer to write a compelling family narrative. Learn about key techniques and tools to document your ancestors’ lives, or your own life story. Don't let charts and facts overwhelm you. Discover your creative muse and tell a story your relatives will want to read! Saturday, March 26, 2011 1:00 PM Eastern Time (US) 12:00 PM Central 11:00 AM Mountain 10:00 AM Pacific 2:00 PM Atlantic 6:00 PM GMT Advanced Registration Required. Space is limited. Click here to register.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Those WikiTree Widgets are officially out of beta

DearREADERS,
In previous blog posts, Ol' Myrt here experimented with WikiTree.com and some embeddable widgets. See:
With today's email comes news that Chris Whitten the genuis behind WikiTree has made the embeddable family tree widgets available for all bloggers and website owners:
22 March 2011 - WikiTree.com
WikiTree is proud to announce the release of its new “widgets” that enable you to freely display a family tree or pedigree chart inside any web page or blog post.

You can start the tree with yourself or any ancestor, as long as you set the Privacy Levels to allow it. There are more than a dozen formatting options with different dimensions and content levels. Most include thumbnail photos of ancestors. Some have background images tailored to families from Chicago, New York, Boston, Nova Scotia, England, France and Italy.


Names in widgets are linked to the full profiles and extended pedigree and descendant charts on WikiTree.  Posting an incomplete tree on a blog may entice family members or distant cousins to help fill in the blanks. When they do, the widget is automatically updated with the most current information.

Finally! My ‘collaboration’ brick wall is knocked down thanks to Wikitree and its Family Tree Widgets! For years, I’ve struggled with the ability to share my research in tree form with my family via my blog. Up until now, the best I could do was to insert an image without any dynamic links. Now … I can easily embed the data from my tree and have it display visually. No more image capturing, cropping and uploading. No extra work! I’m happy and so are my blog readers!” Thomas MacEntee, GeneaBloggers

About WikiTree: WikiTree's mission is to create a rich worldwide family tree resource by striking the perfect balance between collaboration and privacy. It gives families a free and easy way to privately share information and organize their facts, memories, and photos. At the same time, it enables distant relatives and strangers to grow a worldwide family tree and create a valuable resource for future historians. WikiTree was started in 2008 by Chris Whitten, the creator of WikiAnswers - one of the top 50 websites in the US. Content on WikiTree is owned and edited by its contributors. Join the free community at http://www.WikiTree.com.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR GENEALOGISTS?
Now you can
  • update your genealogy info on one genealogy site (WikiTree.com), and have it automatically update through the WikiTree Widgbet to your blog or website. 
  • improve access to your compiled genealogy by linking it to your blog.
  • invite participation through the use of these nifty online family trees.
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

If I only had a clue

My apologies to the Wizard of Oz folks.

IF I ONLY HAD A CLUE…

I could while away the hours
Consulting with some web sites
Of family history fame

I could save the data to my disc
Share it with my Uncle Fritz
If I only had a clue.

There’s my mother’s second cousin
Our e-mails would be buzzing
If I could understand

How to trace things back to Adam
Or at least beyond my Gramma
If I only had a clue.

OH WHY, just tell me why
The internet is popular with some?
I can’t find a thing perhaps because
I am all THUMBS….
And haven’t begun.

I’d be absolutely grateful
When tackling this plateful
Of family history sites

If you’d be so very gentle
When discussing things potential
So I’d surely get a clue!

BACKGROUND
Years ago, when working with the Manasota PAF Users Group, I'd occasionally attempt to scare the gang away by singing -- (yes, singing) a bit of a parody with a genealogy theme. Ol' Myrt here just ran across this one, and thought her DearREADERS would get a kick out of it.

We were all beginners once.

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

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Take off those rose-colored glasses

DearREADERS,
My simple reminder posting about last night's NBC television broadcast of Who Do You Think You Are? inspired a brisk reaction. Anonymous posted this comment:
"I caught the depressing Rosie O'Donnell episode when it first aired several weeks ago. Quite a depressing episode and a dubious time investment is my take. Sorry if pointing out this stinker of an episode offends anyone, but I gotta call 'em like I see 'em, Myrt."



Among the tasks we have as genealogists is to determine the facts of an ancestor's life from surviving documents of the time period. Then we must put that life in historical perspective to gain a better understanding of just who those ancestors were.

Sometimes it is hard to view our ancestors' lives without a prejudicial eye because we enjoy 21st century comforts, the likes of which our progenitors never could have dreamed.

Revealing Rosie's Irish ancestral roots, including the workhouse tour poignantly illustrate the harsh life that many of our Irish and English ancestors endured.

Unraveling the mystery of a grandfather who disappeared 70 years ago was a similarly tender experience for Kim Cattrell.

We cannot all have French royal roots like last season's Brooke Shields since, it takes a lot of commoners to pay for a monarch's lavish lifestyle.

Wish that I could wrap up my family history in a nice bow, complete with tales of stately mansions, castles and chivalrous knights, but for most folks like me, life wasn't like that for our progenitors.


So are ancestral tales of living a meager existence, high infant mortality rates, short life spans, wars and rumors of war, political unrest, crop failures, dust storms, plagues without benefit of antibiotics, earthquakes, volcanoes, pelting rains and flash floods, taxation without representation, fires in tenement buildings depressing? Yes they are. But one or more natural or man-made disasters surely affected our ancestors.

To this Mr. Myrt adds "Life was dirty, muddy, unhealthy, wet, dangerous, brutal and short. If you don't like that, don't study history -- family or otherwise."

Ol' Myrt here agrees with "Anonymous" that we must call 'em like we see 'em, but we must also take care to remove those rose-colored glasses first.

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

Friday, March 18, 2011

WDYTYA? and GeneaBloggers Radio shows tonight

DearREADERS,
Friday nights are a welcome break from a hectic week, thanks to NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? broadcast and the Geneabloggers Radio show.

WDYTYA?
Celebrate St. Patty's Day with an emotional journey to the homeland to discovery Rosie's roots.
Rosie O'Donnell
Friday, March 18th 8/7c
(TV-PG)

Watch a preview »



GENEABLOGGERS RADIO
Starting with this week’s episode of GeneaBloggers Radio,Thomas will be posting  “show notes” for each upcoming episode. Thomas says "This way you’ll be able to get a sneak peek as to content, special guests and door prizes. Also, the notes will contain hyperlinks to websites and blogs discussed during the show and also give some promotional exposure to our guests."

GeneaBloggers Radio – Episode 7 - Irish Roots

Call In Number: +1 213 286 6709
Friday, March 18, 2011
10pm-12:00am Eastern US
9-11pm Central US
8-10pm Mountain US
7-9pm Pacific US
GMT -5 (2-4am Dublin)

Find out more by checking out Thomas' show notes for this week.

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

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Random thoughts about genealogy conferences

DearREADERS,
Having two roaming national genealogy conferences is highly desirable in the eyes of many researchers who dislike the thought of consolidating NGS and FGS annual conferences, and I can understand why.

Both NGS and FGS meet in different cities each year, bringing genealogy experts to folks in various parts of the US year over year. There are regional experts brought on board for some sessions at both conferences. My friend Roger explained such a merger would translate to a five year rotation, where the conference would be held in the east, west, north, south, and middle US, restricting access to a national conference for residents in any single region to once in five years.

This desire for local access to national conference venues speaks to the high cost of travel expenses on top of what genealogists consider hefty conference admission fees. Actually, the conference registration fees for NGS or FGS are a steal compared to what realtors spend at annual conferences for continuing education. I'm sure the comparisons would run similarly in other genres. 

Hearing from nationally-ranked speakers is also facilitated by large regional conferences like SoCal's Jamboree, New England Regional Genealogical Conference and the Ohio Genealogical Society
annual conference. Additionally, most state genealogical societies feature a "name brand" speaker to pull in the numbers at annual conferences.

Today's difficult global economy means minding every dollar is a real factor for potential conference attendees. It also cuts the profit margin for genealogy vendors who invest a great deal for booths in the hopes of increasing product awareness. They pray they will recoup their booth & travel expenses.


THE COMDEX STORY
WikiPedia describes the rise and fall of Comdex, a well-regarded computer industry conference held “in person” as we do with our NGS and FGS conferences. The Wikipedia entry explains Comdex had some severe cutbacks. “In 2000, major companies such as IBM, Apple, and Compaq (now merged with Hewlett-Packard) decided to discontinue their involvement with COMDEX to allocate the resources more efficiently. To reduce costs, many would-be exhibitors stopped renting out or scaled back official COMDEX booths on the convention center floors, and set up invitation-only suites in various Las Vegas hotels. This also allowed exhibitors to concentrate their efforts on industry attendees rather than the general public.” 

Hmmm... allocating resources more effectively. Is this what Ancestry.com has begun to do by reducing its footprint at NGS and FGS, and by pulling out of the vendor area at Family History Expos all together?

VIRTUAL PRESENTATIONS
The impact of “virtual” presentations changed the face of Comdex. Though the  2004 "in person" Comdex was canceled, now there is www.comdexvirtual.com . The November 2010 event drew 5,000 attendees with 100+ speakers at 50 sessions. The “on-demand” sessions are available through mid-May 2011, and the next ComdexVirtual will be held in mid-November 2011.

There has been much talk about how RootsTech 2011 virtual presentations are influencing genealogy conferencing. Because they are easy to set up, we’ve seen a proliferation of genealogy webinars including those hosted by individual presenters, larger regional societies and genealogy vendors.

But NGS and FGS "in person" conferences are planned years in advance. Venues have been selected, contracts have been signed. Will NGS and FGS incorporate virtual technology into their annual conferences? Will this “bring the conference” to the masses?

DECLINING CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE
Ancestry Insider, in his post South Davis Fair in the Aftermath of RootsTech, describes NGS and FGS Conference attendees as "professionals." In my non-scientific observations, the majority of attendees go to both NGS and FGS conferences, except during the past two years. (After all my years of teaching, it is nice to be retired and able to attend these conferences I've only heard about in the past.)

Smaller, less expensive regional conferences such as those provided by local family history centers (usually free) or Family History Expos (very low admission fees) are more readily within the reach of the average genealogist, at least from the traveling expense point of view.

Ancestry Insider noted a 600 person year-over-year drop in attendance at the recent South Davis, Utah annual conference, sponsored by local Family History Centers. The numbers for the 2011 St. George Family History Expo were hard for me to judge, but I know attendance wasn't as high as in the past. Ancestry Insider cites "back-to-back national conferences in nearby Salt Lake City, Utah: the 2010 National Genealogical Society Conference and the 2011 RootsTech Conference" as the reason for declining attendance at these Utah venues.  

SUMMARY
Me thinks Ol' Myrt here has talked herself in circles. I can see arguments for and against combing NGS and FGS conferences in light of RootsTech's success as not only a techie but a "how-to" conference. Ol' Myrt here understands why NGS and FGS probably won't combine their conferences. It will be interesting to observe the changing face of genealogy conferencing over the next few years.

FOR FURTHER READING (in no particular order)
I couldn't agree more. Thanks, Amy.


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

WikiTree: 5 generation updatable pedigree widget BETA

DearREADERS,
For fun today, I've been emailing back and forth with Chris of WikiTree.com. He asked me about what changes I'd like to see on my interactive pedigree chart widget. He reminds me this is just in BETA, and that I'll be the first to test this out on my DearREADERS. Be sure to give your feedback on how you like the look of the widget by posting a comment below this post on my blog.

As he was tinkering around a WikiTree widget that would work with width of my blog (which is very close to the Blogger.com default), Chris asked if I wanted dates, or ranges of dates, etc.. Having too much information for each ancestor will look crowded on the 5th generation that he added since my initial blog post featuring his experimental widgets with just 4 generation pedigrees. I then replied:

What genealogy software programs do is truncate fields or eliminate them on the 5th generation. Does this sort of thing make sense? Will one be able to pick and choose which options they prefer?
  • names only
  • years only
  • full dates
  • full locations
  • full dates and locations
Chris' response was to explain eventually there might be justification for providing options, but queried me for which ones did I prefer. I suggested:
  • Full names
  • Full dates
  • Full places
  • even if it means only 4 generations
I also told him I love the photo pedigree, and the little clickable links on each side of the ancestors' names that lead one to descendants and ancestors. Since I started with my father's side of the family, my 5th generation doesn't have a lot of photos. I would favor not having photos there in favor of more info on the ancestors.

HERE IS THE MARVELOUS RESULT

updated live from the WikiTree free online family tree


NOTICE THE "UPDATED LIVE" AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PEDIGREE?
This means that when I change an ancestor's info on WikiTree.com, it will automatically update the widget on my blog, or any other website where I've placed the widget. Kewl option, huh?

MISSING INFORMATION
The WikiTree widget below starts with my paternal grandmother,and I've included it here so you can see how "missing" information looks. I just don't know anything about Dolly Yockey's parents -- my biggest brick wall. With Dolly's father, I "estimated" his birth year and place, but in the case of her mother, I left out information entirely. I figured these are two likely methods for dealing with information in your usual personal computer database and I wanted to see how it looks at WikiTree.


updated live from the WikiTree free online family tree


WikiTree has gotten a lot of great press lately. Randy has been doing some great work, so be sure to see:

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

Volunteers are the backbone of our genealogy societies

DearREADERS,
Something odd has come to my attention. There is a mistaken belief that because Ol' Myrt here favors joining FGS and NGS conferences into one annual event, I am not acknowledging the tremendous volunteer effort it takes to create those conferences. A dear friend brought this concern to my attention and this blog entry is to clear the air.

I specifically take umbrage at comments that Ol' Myrt here doesn't appreciate volunteer efforts.

BACKGROUND
My Anne Roach blog comment and my blog post NGS and FGS: Rethink your policies in light of RootTech have nothing to do with devaluing volunteer efforts. 

The idea that I "don't understand how hard volunteers work" seems odd. Having served as VP of UGA (the NGS 2010 local conference society) and as NGS 2010 Vendor chair, it might  just be that I know a bit about how hard those dear, dedicated NGS 2010 volunteers worked. Without the extraordinary assistance from local UGA volunteers and FamilySearch volunteers, NGS 2010 couldn't have run as smoothly as it did.
 
In my old Florida days, I witnessed the work of others who diligently provided programs and library services for other genealogists. As a past president of the Manasota Genealogical Society, instructor for the Manasota PAF Users Group, and working at three family history centers, I learned a great deal about the commitment of wonderful volunteers. It always seems the jobs fall to a few who take up the task ever so willingly. 
 
There's just something about rolling up your sleeves with others, and not being afraid to get in the trenches to get the job done, that builds friendships and makes life interesting. You learn a lot about people at these less-than-glamorous times, behind the scenes at a conference.

BOTTOM LINE: Myrt appreciates volunteers.
 
People can agree to disagree on the timing of change. People can agree to disagree on just about anything.

But to accuse someone of not appreciating volunteers is unkind. That is an attack on the person, not on his or her wacky ideas about remote possibilities of combining NGS & FGS annual conferences.

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

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Massachusetts Jewish Cemetery Records at NEHGS

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: This was just received from our friends at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Please address all inquiries to amagno@nehgs.org.


Access Program Part of collaboration with
Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts and
American Jewish Historical Society

Photo from NEHGS.
Boston, MA–March 2, 2011 –The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) today announced that, together with the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts (JCAM), and the American Jewish Historical Society of New England (AJHSNE) have made available for the first time online access to a growing database that currently includes 13 Massachusetts Jewish cemeteries, with approximately 5,000 records. More records are being added weekly until all 106 JCAM cemeteries, which include more than 100,000 total records, are online.

The names in this extensive database cover the years 1844 to the present, and, when completed later this year, will offer access to more than 100,000 names of Jewish Americans buried in Massachusetts.

NEHGS President and CEO, D. Brenton Simons, said, “For genealogists and researchers, this database is a tremendous resource and provides unique access to a set of names vital to Jewish family research. We are pleased to work with AJHS and JCAM in this way. The Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts is a marvelous society for those with Jewish ancestry and we know countless people will benefit from having it available online.”

“This is one of the first of many benefits that will accrue as a result of our strategic partnership with NEHGS,” said Justin Wyner, chair of the Boston Board of Overseers of the American Jewish Historical Society. “This additional resource is of significant genealogical importance. AJHSNE now makes its home inside the NEHGS research center in downtown Boston.

According to JCAM’s Executive Director Stanley Kaplan, “This partnership with NEHGS and AJHS provides people with access to where their loved ones are resting, a source that is known for genealogy,” said Kaplan. “We have broadened …our reach within the community.”

For more information, visit the NEHGS website at www.AmericanAncestors.org , the American Jewish Historical site at www.ajhsboston.org or visit the Jewish Cemeteries Association of Massachusetts at http://www.jcam.org/.


About NEHGS
Founded in 1845, New England Historic Genealogical Society is the country's leading resource for family history research. We help family historians expand their knowledge, skill, and understanding of their family and its place in history. The NEHGS research center, located at 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, houses millions of books, journals, manuscripts, photographs, microfilms, documents, records, and other artifacts that date back more than four centuries. NEHGS staff includes some of the leading expert genealogists in the country, specializing in early American, Irish, English, Italian, Scottish, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, and Jewish genealogy. Our award-winning website, www.AmericanAncestors.org, provides access to more than 135 million searchable names in 3,000 collections.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Twitter/TweetDeck Workshop Webinar©

DearREADERS,
Thanks for the positive feedback about today's workshop webinar. It's fun to do things "LIVE" and set aside the PowerPoint presentation, isn't it? Here's the next offering on Myrt's docket:

DearMYRTLE’s Twitter/TweetDeck Workshop Webinar©
Confused by Twitter, but want to know more? This live demo takes you through setting up a Twitter account, and setting up your Twitter page and learning about hashtags. Switch gears and explore the advantages of TweetDeck for easily managing your Twitter feeds.

30 March 2011
2:00 PM Eastern (U.S.)
1:00 PM Central
12:00 PM Mountain
11:00 AM Pacific
7:00 PM GMT
Register for this webinar now:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/515258592
Space limited to the first 100 who click to attend on the 30th. 

FOR FURTHER READING


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

GeneaWebinars update 15 March 2011


DearREADERS,
February 25th we launched the GeneaWebinars.com site complete with a calendar and blog posting space to spotlight upcoming genealogy webinars. All known genealogy webinar hosts and presenters have access to the blog and the calendar. Reader response has been overwhelmingly positive, so positive that we now have a dedicated Facebook page.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
The Scrappy Genealogist said... 
This is a very cool and timely blog idea. It was such a smart move to make it possible for others to update. Just last night I put links in my search bar for Legacy and California webinars so that I would periodically check them, but this is much more convenient. Love it!
Angela said... 
I love having the calendar and contact information all in one place!  
 
Alice Kane said... 
Thank you, Myrt, for setting this up! The cross-pollination opportunities for the genealogy community are staggering!
WHAT'S A WEBINAR?
Webinars are any type of online seminar including those described on the How it works tab at GeneaWebinars. Some webinars require a fee, others are free. Many webinars are archived for viewing later. A society or company may sponsor a webinar, but individual presenters are now moving into producing their own webinars.
There are two types of live events:

#1 The "1 computer to many computers" model where individuals can tune in from any computer with internet access to view the distant presenter's computer screen.

#2 The "1 computer to 1 computer" model where attendees physically gather in a meeting room equipped with a single computer with internet access to view the distant presenter's computer screen.

THE FUTURE
As members of the GeneaWebinars  group, we can share information about technology. With one calendar, we can ensure we're not stepping on toes when it comes to scheduling webinars. As a lobbying group, we can influence our industry.

We invite prospective attendees to check out the offerings - over 25 this month alone!


We invite prospective webinar hosts and virtual speakers to join GeneaWebinars to get the word out about their upcoming events. Isn't technology wonderful?

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

Monday, March 14, 2011

Don't forget: Blog Tweaking Workshop Webinar TOMORROW

DearREADERS,
Tomorrow is the third class session in a series from yours truly about how to do a blog. During DearMYRTLE’s Blog Tweaking Workshop Webinar© Ol' Myrt here will tweak one of her own blogs live, and then work through other Blogger.com challenges and solve problems for several other bloggers. The problems we're going to solve are typical of those beginning and intermediate bloggers have in the blog creating process. The selected bloggers have applied in advance for Myrt’s assistance, and have given Myrt author and admin rights to their blogs (temporarily). Each of these bloggers will be able to interact with an open mic during his or her portion of the workshop.

15 March 2011
2:00 PM Eastern (U.S.)
1:00 PM Central
12:00 PM Mountain
11:00 AM Pacific
7:00 PM GMT
 
Register for the event but remember that seating limited to the first 100 who click to view the webinar tomorrow:

ARCHIVE
I am going to take Brewster Kahle at his word (at RootsTech 2011 about putting everything online) and use the Internet Archive as a place to put the recorded version of the workshop webinar over at Archives.com. I am not sure if this will work, but I'll experiment, and I'll let you know of the file's availability.

FOR FURTHER READING

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

RootsTech 2011 Select Presentations Available for Free Online

DearREADERS,
I have been dying for you all to have access to the "official" RootsTech 2011 Videos. There have been copies here and there, but this is the official line-up


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

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's Friday: This must be #WDYTYA & GeneaBloggers Radio night!

DearREADERS,
Mr. Myrt and I await 4 new "hip replacements" for the Ford Van in Des Moines, Iowa. So what better time to blog a reminder about watching tonight's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? on NBC? Tonight it will be an encore presentation of Kim Cattrall's ancestral quest. This time I plan to just relax and enjoy the show, without taking notes or tweeting or anything. 



So set your TV to tune in tonight, Friday, March 11, 2011 at 8:00pm EST/ 7:00 pm CST. Mr. Myrt and I will be sure to watch it from our hotel room, and yes, he assures me Des Moines is in the Central Time Zone. (Gosh, it sure is easy to get turned around.)  

For my US/Canada readers, here is the link to the archives of this season's shows. Looks like the availability of these episodes expire next September.

GeneaBloggers Radio

Listen to internet radio with Geneabloggers on Blog Talk Radio
Good news! Thomas MacEntee will host another episode of GeneaBloggers Radio this evening even though the WDYTYA broadcast is a repeat. Tune in to his show tonight, Friday, March 11, 2011 starting at 10PM EST, 9PM CST, 8PM MST and 7PM PST.

Thomas’ two hour show will feature special guest Noah Tutak, CEO of Geni.com. They will be discussing the role of social media in genealogy, how genealogists and family historians collaborate on genealogy research, and about the Geni.com website and its services. In addition, Noah will be available to speak to callers about Geni.com and the genealogy industry. And there will be door prizes: tune in to win one of several great door prizes generously provided by Geni.com including a LIFETIME PRO account! 

If you need info on how to listen and chat during the online radio show, click here

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