Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fold3: Black History Month

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at Fold3.com (formerly Footnote.com). This open access is welcome news. Please address all inquiries to support@ancestry.comsupport@ancestry.com, the parent company.

Fold3 is proud to announce Free access to our Black History Collection in honor of Black History Month. This collection includes many enlightening historical records documenting African American achievements since the earliest days of our nation, and will be available the entire month of February.
As soon as black soldiers were recruited to serve the Union in 1863, records were generated to document their service including Compiled Service Records for the U.S. Colored Troops and, ultimately, pension files. The pension file index cards, like this one for Joel Bedenbaugh, include a soldier's rank, company, and regiment within the U.S.C. Infantry, his pension numbers, and sometimes a death date, 24 August 1913, in this case. Private Bedenbaugh's 16-page service record also includes his enlistment record from when he joined up in Dayton, Ohio, in 1864.
Southern Claims Commission files are petitions by southerners who lost property to Union troops during the Civil War, including many blacks, like William and Louisa Ferguson. Though freeborn, Louisa was not only the wife of a slave, but also the daughter of George Washington's carpenter, also a slave. Their claim for compensation of $150 for the loss of a horse was denied, but Louisa's tales of Union and Confederate troops in the vicinity includes her encounters with the rebels and her service to the Union hospital nearby. A transcription of her file is here.
Explore these and thousands of other records documenting the history of African Americans in the U.S., from before the Civil War to the War in Vietnam. Join us as we recognize Black History Month and provide free* access to the Black History Collection on Fold3.

Monday, January 30, 2012

DearMYRTLE radio LIVE appearance Tuesday

DearREADERS,
Listen live and call in Tuesday! Ol' Myrt here finalized details to appear as a guest on KCPW radio LIVE tomorrow and I'd like my DearREADERS to tune in wherever possible. Here are the details:
 


TUESDAY
Jan. 31 from 9-9:40 a.m  Mountain US time.

Ol' Myrt here will appear on "CityViews. They do invite listeners to call in.   There will be someone from Ancestry.com and most likely from Family Search. Host Jennifer Napier-Pearce asked Ol' Myrt here to join the show for a "user point of view" about this week's upcoming RootsTech 2012 conference. 

HOW TO LISTEN


From the station's website we read:
"KCPW’s CityViews features conversations about news and events happening in and around Salt Lake City. Hosted by Jennifer Napier-Pearce, CityViews tackles all topics local, from education and the arts to politics and the environment. "
CALL IN, EMAIL OR TWEET THE HOST
During the show, pose your questions and comments as follows. (This may be a way to open up interest in a permanent feature at the radio station?!! Ya never know!)
THANKS for helping us out!

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

RootsMagic RootsTech2012 iPad contest

DearREADERS,
You hear of all sorts of scams on Facebook and Twitter about winning an iPad, but this is for real. Our friends at RootsMagic are running a contest that begins on Thursday with TWO iPads to give away -- one for RootsTech attendees and one for non-attendees.

It’s been a tremendous last few months here at RootsMagic. We’ve been busy with the new releases of Personal Historian 2 and RootsMagic 5. We're also excited to participate in one of the largest genealogy events in North America- RootsTech!

We want to celebrate these momentous events with you, our loyal users! And what better way to celebrate than with a treasure hunt where you could win one of many prizes including an iPad 2!

Online Treasure Hunt

We've partnered with 15 of the best and brightest genealogy bloggers who will be reporting at the RootsTech conference. Each blogger will place one of 15 clue words on their website

From Thursday, February 2 through Wednesday, February 8, 2012, visit http://www.rootsmagic.com/treasure for a complete list of the blogs where the 15 clue words can be found. Visit each blog, collect all 15 clue words, and you could win software, prizes, or an iPad 2!

Enter at RootsTech or at Home

At RootsTech - Once you've collected the clues there are two ways to enter. The first is at the RootsTech conference itself. Pick up an entry card at the RootsMagic booth (#224) in the Exhibit Hall. Write the clue words on the back of the card and return it to the RootsMagic booth in the Exhibit Hall by Saturday, February 4 at 1:20 pm. At that time, we will hold the prize drawings. You must be present to win.

At home - We didn't want those who aren't able to attend RootsTech in person to feel left out so we're holding a second drawing and giving away more prizes including a second iPad 2. To enter this drawing, visit http://www.rootsmagic.com/treasure anytime between Thursday, February 2 and midnight MST on Wednesday, February 8, 2012. Fill out the online form to be entered into the second drawing. You may enter both drawings but one entry per person, per drawing. Winners will be picked at random and notified via e-mail by Friday, February 10, 2012.

Remember, the treasure hunt doesn't begin until this Thursday. Good luck!

You might want to check out http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com for one of the clues, it's easy to find! I do hope my DearREADERS take the opportunity to get this iPad even if you aren't able to attend RootsTech 2012.

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

BillionGraves Saturday RootsTech presentation

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: I barely have time to walk away from my computer with all the news relative to this week's RootsTech 2012 conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

BillionGraves at RootsTech 2012

Dear BillionGravers,
RootsTech 2012 is coming up this week. If you are lucky enough to be traveling to Salt Lake City for it, you are sure to be inundated with cutting edge information about genealogy and technology.
 
Technology and genealogy come together to teach and learn from each other at this conference. From February 2 to the 4, you will have a chance to learn about the newest family history resources from genealogists and technologists alike. BillionGraves will be there: we’re holding a session titled, Geo-caching for Ancestors: Using Smartphones & GPS to Crowdsource Cemetery Data Collection. We would love for you to come to our presentation.

Saturday, February 4
1:45-2:45 PM
Room 255B, Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City

You can also stop by our booth anytime during the conference to talk with us and learn more about our cemetery database project.

In conjunction with our RootsTech debut, we've updated the Dashboard to improve your experience on BillionGraves.com. Log in to your account and check out the new features on the Dashboard.

One new feature we’re excited about in particular is the Request Board. From the Request Board, you can Request a Cemetery. This means if there is a cemetery or specific headstones you would like to see documented and included on BillionGraves, you can put out a request. Then, people living in the area of the cemetery can accept the request and visit that cemetery and take pictures for you. You can keep track of the requests you’ve submitted and accepted on the Manage My Requests page.

Go try out these new features! We appreciate your efforts, and we are always working hard to improve your experience with BillionGraves.

Thank you,
The BillionGraves Team

List of LIVE RootsTech 2012 Sessions

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Those who attended my webinar this morning were anxious to hear about the titles of the live streaming sessions from RootsTech 2012. Fortunately this note just arrived in my email box, so I won't have to transcribe from the list myself.

RootsTech Conference Will Broadcast Select Sessions Free Online
SALT LAKE CITY—RootsTech, a leading family history and technology conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 2-4, 2012, announced today that fourteen of its popular sessions will be broadcasted live and complimentary over the Internet. The live broadcasts will give those unable to attend worldwide a sample of this year’s conference content. Interested viewers can watch the live presentations at RootsTech.org. The second-year conference has attracted over 3,000 registered attendees.
The free online sessions include the keynote speakers and a sampling of technology and family history presentations. Following are the fourteen broadcasted sessions and speakers. All times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST):
Thursday, February 2
8:30-10:00 am, Inventing the Future, as a Community (Keynote Address) by Jay L. Verkler
11:00 am-12:00 pm, Do I Trust the Cloud? by D. Joshua Taylor  
1:45-2:45 pm, Effective Database Search Tactics by Kory Meyerink     
3:00-4:00 pm, Twitter – It’s Not Just “What I Had for Breakfast” Anymore by Thomas MacEntee  
4:15-5:15 pm, Eleven Layers of Online Searches by Barbara Renick     
Friday, February 3
8:30-9:30 am, Exabyte Social Clouds and Other Monstrosities (Keynote Address) by Josh Coates
9:45-10:45 am, Publish Your Genealogy Online by Laura G. Prescott     
11:00 am-12:00 pm, Optimize Your Site for Search Engines by Robert Gardner    
1:45-2:45 pm, Genealogists “Go Mobile” by Sandra Crowly  
3:00-4:00 pm, Google’s Toolbar and Genealogy by Dave Barney      
Saturday, February 4
8:30-9:30 am, Making the Most of Technology to Further the Family History Industry (Keynote Address) by Tim Sullivan and Ancestry.com Panel
9:45-10:45 am Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101 by Lisa Louise Cooke    
11:00 am-12:00 pm, Future of FamilySearch Family Tree by Ron Tanner
1:45-2:45 pm, Privacy in a Collaborative Environment by Noah Tatuk   

Ancestry.com, BehindTheName.com, and WeRelate.org tackle variant name spelling

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from Matthew Deighton. Please address all inquiries to him at mdeighton@ancestry.com.

ANCESTRY.COM, BEHINDTHENAME.COM, AND WERELATE.ORG ANNOUNCE AN IMPROVED APPROACH FOR FINDING VARIANT NAMES

Ancestry.com, BehindTheName.com, and WeRelate.org announce an improved approach to finding variant names in genealogy searches.  Up to now, most genealogy websites have had to rely upon Soundex to return variant names in response to searches. These approaches often miss variants that should be returned, or include variants that aren't very similar.

Ancestry.com, BehindTheName.com, and WeRelate.org have created an open-source database of name variants that is free for any website or genealogy software developer to use. Tested against pairs of names provided by Ancestry.com, it reduces the number of missed name variants by over 25% in comparison with Soundex.

How you can help: A large portion of genealogical expertise involves learning variant spellings for the surnames in your tree. Why not share your knowledge with others? By adding your variant spellings to the database, searches on any website that uses it will include your variant spellings automatically. You can review and add variant spellings here: http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Special:Names

In addition, we need people to review the changes that others have made to the database, to make sure that we have multiple pairs of eyes reviewing the names that are being added and removed. You can review changes that others have made here: http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Special:NamesLog

If you are a website or software developer: The database and source code are available at: https://github.com/DallanQ/Names

In addition to the database of name variants, the source code also includes a function to return the similarity score between any two names. This function has been found useful in duplicate detection.

More information about the project can be found at: http://www.werelate.org/wiki/WeRelate:Variant_names_project

FGS Society Central LIVE at RootsTech BRAVO

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: It is refreshing to see how the Federation of Genealogical Societies is reaching out to member organizations outside the classroom at RootsTech. In other genres, the exhibit hall booths ARE the classrooms. I wish more genealogy "vendors" would adopt this idea. Just saying...

Experience FGS society central live during rootstech
Discuss Genealogy Society Issues with Genealogy Leaders at the FGS Booth



January 30, 2012– Austin, TX: The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces a new feature at during RootsTech this year: FGS Society Central LIVE!

Stop by the FGS booth in the Expo Hall starting Thursday, February 2, 2012 and spend time with a variety of FGS board members who are leaders in the genealogy community. You’ll have an opportunity to discuss issues ranging from technology to attracting new society members.

FGS Society Central LIVE sessions are not “formal” lectures but casual conversations with subject matter experts. Show up at the FGS booth with your questions and get advice that you can take back home to your genealogy society.

The FGS Society Central LIVE schedule includes these sessions:

·         Going Green: Convincing Your Society to Go Digital with Randy Whited
Thursday February 2, 2012, 9:45 a.m. − 10:45 a.m.

·         Tech Initiatives to Jump Start Your Society with Thomas MacEntee
Friday February 3, 2012, 10:00 a.m. − 11:00 a.m.

·         Volunteers for Your Society's Tech Projects: Finding, Keeping, and Motivating with Paula Stuart-Warren Friday February 3, 2012, 2:00 p.m. − 3:00 p.m.

·         Youth, Technology, and Your Society with D. Joshua Taylor
Friday, February 3, 2012, 3:00 p.m. − 4:00 p.m.

·         Why Your Society Needs a Computer Interest Group with Drew Smith
Saturday, February 4, 2012, 10:00 a.m. − 11:00 a.m.

·         War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Project with Curt B. Witcher
(please stop by the FGS Booth for info on the exact date and time)

Even if you don’t have time to attend a session, please take a minute to stop by the FGS booth in the Expo Hall and say hello during RootsTech!

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.

brightsolid hires Josh Taylor to support move into US market

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Randy Seaver gets the credit for breaking this news, as he noted Josh's email address is@brightsolid in RootsTech2012 syllabus materials. We are pleased to see brightsolid chose Josh for the US team. Please address all inquiries to Carolynne Bull-Edwards cbull-edwards@brightsolid.com.


News Release – January 30, 2012 – For Immediate Release

brightsolid hires top genealogist D. Joshua Taylor to support move into US market

• He’s helped stars find their roots on TV’s “Who Do You Think You Are?”
Now, he’s helping brightsolid’s US launch as business development manager
and media spokesperson

• Taylor is one of several new appointments to the new US operation
of UK’s major online genealogy business

January 30, 2012. SANTA MONICA, CA: brightsolid online publishing, a leading online provider of historical and genealogical content, today announces that top genealogist D. Joshua Taylor has joined its new US operation with immediate effect, as business development manager and media spokesperson.

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS is one of America’s most prominent genealogists – a prolific genealogical researcher, speaker and author, who has also received numerous awards for his work. Adept at media interviews, he has twice been featured on the NBC series ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, helping both Sarah Jessica Parker and Ashley Judd trace their family trees.

“We’re thrilled to have recruited such a dynamic and talented genealogist to represent us both to the media and the wider genealogical community”, says Neil Curtis, brightsolid’s new Senior Vice-President (SVP) of North America.

Speaking about his appointment, Taylor says: “Having seen what brightsolid has achieved on the UK genealogy scene, I’m excited about helping them fulfill their huge potential in the US.”

British-owned brightsolid has itself been at the forefront of technological innovations in family history for over three decades. It hosts over a billion genealogical records across its family of brands and was this month voted Best Genealogy Organization in the online Gene Awards. 

As part of its move into North America, brightsolid is sponsoring RootsTech 2012, the major family history and technology conference, taking place in Salt Lake City from February 2-4 2012, where Taylor himself will be giving three talks. They will cover, respectively, the need for a universal standard in online digital archiving; best practices for using Cloud computing in family history research; and a forecast for future genealogy software developments.
Other new appointments to brightsolid’s new US operation:

D. Joshua Taylor is just one of several new appointments for brightsolid, following the opening this month of its new US operation, based in Santa Monica, California. 

• Neil Curtis moves from his role as brightsolid Corporate Development Manager to focus on the US market as Senior Vice President (SVP) of North America.

• Rachel Denning joins as the General Manager of North America, after 14 years experience in the IT and web industries.

• Brian Speckart joins as Marketing Manager of North America, after a varied 15-year career in marketing and public relations, including teaching New Media Marketing at UCLA Extension.

• Katy Curtis will focus on North America as Finance Manager, after previously working as a director at KPMG.  


More About D. Joshua Taylor

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS has been passionate about genealogical and historical research since his youth. He has continued to show this passion during his 15-year year career in the genealogy industry.

He has received numerous awards for his work, including RootsTech’s Distinguished Presenter Award, the Federation of Genealogical Societies Award of Merit and the Rubincam Youth Award from the National Genealogical Society. 

He is the current Vice-President of Administration for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), where he also serves as chairman of the Conference Planning Committee. He previously held the role of Director of Education and Programs at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the nation’s oldest genealogical organization (founded in 1845).

He was a regular columnist for ‘Digital Genealogist’ and has published prolifically in ‘America Ancestors’ and ‘Association of Professional Genealogist Quarterly’, amongst other titles. He is also a frequent speaker at genealogical societies and events, including GENTECH, the National Genealogical Society Annual Conference and RootsTech, where he’ll be speaking again this year.

He holds an MLS (Archival Management) and an MA (History) from Simmons. In the medium-term Taylor will be based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He will be giving three talks at RootsTech 2012, February 2-4:
  • A User's Perspective: Developing a Universal Metadata Structure for Genealogical Content Providers
  • Do I Trust the Cloud? - Cloud Computing and Family History
  • Software Forecast 2.0 - What Genealogists Need for the Future


• About brightsolid

Since 1994, brightsolid group has been delivering online innovation and pioneering the expansion of the genealogy market with leading family history websites including the global network of findmypast sites, plus ScotlandsPeople, GenesReunited, and britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk, together servicing over 18 million registered customers worldwide.

The sites connect people via their innovative family tree software and deliver access to over a billion records dating as far back as 1200. Family historians can search for their ancestors among global collections, relating primarily to people with UK and Irish ancestry, of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, newspapers, as well as birth, marriage and death records.

brightsolid is proud to be part of the 1940 US Census Community Project, a joint initiative with Archives.com, FamilySearch and other leading genealogy organizations, which aims to make the 1940 census searchable as quickly as possible after its release in April 2012. The completion of the project will allow anyone to search for their ancestors in the 1940 census for free online. Learn about this exciting new project at www.the1940census.com and volunteer to help today!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Speaker test for the Google Reader webinar tomorrow

DearREADERS,
If you are new to the webinar world, and have heard about Monday's DearMYRTLE Google Reader webinar, you might want to read GoToWebinar's Audio Checklist for tips on using your computer's microphone and speakers with GoToWebinar before joining in.If you only have speakers, you may certainly type your questions and send them to me in the GoToWebinar interface.


Essentially you'll be looking at my computer screen and watching what Ol' Myrt does LIVE to set up Google Reader to pull in the blog feeds of interest to you. In my own case, I subscribe to a lot of free genealogy blogs, but also have folder to pull in:
  • Quilting blogs
  • Decorating blogs
  • Techie Stuff blogs
Now for the details on the webinar. Space is limited. One registers by visiting
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/961142449

Google Reader UPDATE with DearMYRTLE
Monday, January 30, 2012
10-11:30 AM Pacific US

Time zone Converter: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

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

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ancestry.com: Questions from Ol' Myrt

DearREADERS,
Like Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings, Ol' Myrt here has been working on questions to ask Ancestry.com during the upcoming RootsTech 2012 conference. I've already sent most of these questions to Ancestry with the hope these topics will be discussed during the Saturday AM panel discussion session with Tim Sullivan. Alternately, I expect to visit the Ancestry.com booth in the exhibit hall at the Salt Palace as many of the department heads should be on hand.

WORKING WITH OTHERS
  • How about contributing to the GeneaWebinars.com calendar, so that your web events aren't scheduled at the same time as other genealogy webinars?
FOCUS ON EDUCATION 

Sometimes a single document doesn't answer the question "Who are the parents?"
  • What efforts are planned to bridge the gab between "casual visitors" to Ancestry.com and the more "thoughtful researchers" who understand principles of the Genealogical Proof Standard? Inferential genealogy is a buzz-word among genealogists of late, but beginning researchers just assume one document will suffice for proving each generation. 
  • Alternately, is your focus simply to provide scanned images of old records leaving the analysis to others?
  • Doesn't an Ancestry.com "hit list" imply some analysis, albeit via computer, which may or may not be accurate?
  • Doesn't the weighted / analyzed "hit list" lead to a responsibility to educate Ancestry.com members about more than the mechanical use of the site?

MEMBERSHIP RETENTION
  • Historically, what percentage of Ancestry.com membership is retained year over year?
  • Is that trend improving?
  • What is being done to encourage renewals and avoid membership cancellations? (I think it would be educating your members.)

ADD A USER EVALUATION OPTION
When the "shaking leaf" suggests looking at trees submitted by other researchers, they are listed in order, higher to lower in relation to the number of attached sources and records.
  • Would you consider having a "user weighted" evaluation, with both stars and comments option, on Public Member Trees, so that users can rate the research conclusions expressed in those trees? We see this on Amazon.com and eBay about products and services.

USER DEMOGRAPHICS
  • What percentage of your members are researching US/Canada/England versus other countries of the world?  
  • How does this compare to the localities represented in the Ancestry.com collection?

ANCESTRY'S SMALLER FOOTPRINT AT CONFERENCES,
AND THAT EDUCATION THING...
I've noticed Ancestry has pulled back from participating at regional multi-day seminars (Family History Expos for example) and has decreased it's "footprint" in the exhibit hall at US national conferences. Additionally, Ancestry.com purchased Genlines.com to add to to your Swedish collection, and subsequently released from employment the North American Genline rep who was adept at teaching in regional and national conferences.
  • How high a priority is educating Ancestry.com members in the use of your records?
  • Distinguishing "selling membership" from "education about analysis and use of indexes and scanned images", what percent of your annual budget is dedicated to teaching members how to use your records in compiling a family history? 
  • What percent of Ancestry.com's annual budget is spent in transporting and staffing a display at genealogy conferences in the US and internationally?
  • Do you consider it more cost effective to advertise on radio and television, and to sponsor shows like Who Do You Think You Are? and leave the methodology discussion to others?

FAMILY TREE MAKER SYNC NOT WORKING
The FTM 2012 (win) was released last year, touting the ability to sync both ways with Ancestry member trees. The beta board has been removed documenting the frustrated users who see this as a unreliable option -- working once or not at all.
  • What is the time frame for getting that sync option to work seamlessly?
  • Note: Tech support advised me to create a new GEDCOM file to upload to my Ancestry Public Tree. By doing that I lose all the photo, document and collaboration links in my existing tree that I've worked so hard to develop over the past few years. 
 
ANCESTRY TECH SUPPORT 

Having toured the facilities in Provo, Utah I am aware that tech support is divided in categories of expertise. Is all tech support handled through that facility?
  • What percent of tech support staffers are full time employees? Part time?
  • What plans are in the works as you reach out a global audience of visitors and members who live in different time zones and who speak different languages?

So, DearREADERs, what additional questions would you like me to ask of Ancestry.com?
 
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy. 

 

 

FamilySearch: Questions from Myrt

DearREADERS,
Like Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings, Ol' Myrt here has been formulating her questions for FamilySearch. I'll be interviewing several top employees in the video booth during RootsTech 2012 and would like to include some of my DearREADERS questions. Here's what I have so far:

1. On your home page, can you promote "browsing" over "searching" at http://www.familysearch.org/, There are a greater number of images that are not indexed than those indexed. A search for an ancestor by name won't return hits in those unindexed record groups and may lead people to believe you don't have relevant records.

2. Can you distinguish between "hard" source citations, and the link to citations in the FamilySearch Wiki? I simply don't like citations about the source of a record group being determined by those other than the FamilySearch team that pushed the record group through the pipeline. It is true that a link to the wiki is valuable so that users can provide additional information -- like "this set of scanned images is a lot clearer than those located at the " or "The two missing images from this collection are available at ..."  There should be a difference between well-crafted citations from FamilySearch and ancillary info provided by end users.

Ancillary "Providing necessary support to the primary activities or operation of an organization, institution, industry, or system."

3. THANK-YOU for adding the "Batch Number" search. In English parish record research, it is imperative to sort for others in the same IGI batch. Why? In a given locality there may be more than one church parish record group. However, typically a batch is for a single church. This is helpful for finding others by a common surname in the region but only in that same church.

What questions would you have Ol' Myrt ask of FamilySearch?

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

Friday, January 27, 2012

#RootsTeach 2012: Live broadcasts of 14 sessions

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Here's the official word from FamilySearch about the availbility of internet streaming of live RootsTech 2012 session. This announcement does not include specific directions for viewing, other than to direct internet viewers to RootsTech.org.

SALT LAKE CITY—RootsTech, a leading family history and technology conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 2-4, 2012, announced today that fourteen of its popular sessions will be broadcasted live and complimentary over the Internet. The live broadcasts will give those unable to attend worldwide a sample of this year’s conference content. Interested viewers can watch the live presentations at RootsTech.org. The second-year conference has attracted over 3,000 registered attendees.
 
The free online sessions include the keynote speakers and a sampling of technology and family history presentations. Following are the fourteen broadcasted sessions and speakers. All times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST):
 
Thursday, February 2
8:30-10:00 am, Inventing the Future, as a Community (Keynote Address) by Jay L. Verkler
11:00 am-12:00 pm, Do I Trust the Cloud? by D. Joshua Taylor  
1:45-2:45 pm, Effective Database Search Tactics by Kory Meyerink     
3:00-4:00 pm, Twitter – It’s Not Just “What I Had for Breakfast” Anymore by Thomas MacEntee  
4:15-5:15 pm, Eleven Layers of Online Searches by Barbara Renick     
 
Friday, February 3
8:30-9:30 am, Exabyte Social Clouds and Other Monstrosities (Keynote Address) by Josh Coates
9:45-10:45 am, Publish Your Genealogy Online by Laura G. Prescott     
11:00 am-12:00 pm, Optimize Your Site for Search Engines by Robert Gardner    
1:45-2:45 pm, Genealogists “Go Mobile” by Sandra Crowly  
3:00-4:00 pm, Google’s Toolbar and Genealogy by Dave Barney      
 
Saturday, February 4
8:30-9:30 am, Making the Most of Technology to Further the Family History Industry (Keynote Address) by Tim Sullivan and Ancestry.com Panel
9:45-10:45 am Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101 by Lisa Louise Cooke    
11:00 am-12:00 pm, Future of FamilySearch Family Tree by Ron Tanner
1:45-2:45 pm, Privacy in a Collaborative Environment by Noah Tatuk   

NGS: Voices of Genealogy Video Series

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received this morning from the National Genealogical Society. Please address all inquiries to arlenevj@earthlink.net.



The year 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of publication of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. To celebrate this anniversary and to honor the history of the Quarterly, NGS Video Productions has created a historical archive of some of the most appreciated genealogists of our time called Voices of Genealogy.
In the coming year, NGS members can look forward to exclusive interviews with leading scholars in the field of genealogy. These are somewhat more extended pieces than those in our earlier Paths to Your Past video series. They are reflective, inspiring, and informative. They describe the history of our discipline in the twentieth century as well as the stories of our subjects.  Beautifully filmed and produced by award winning filmmakers Kate Geis and Allen Moore, these video portraits capture for posterity the irreplaceable legacy of genealogists who have greatly impacted scholarship in genealogy.
The first episodes with George Ely Russell, CG, FASG, FNGS, are currently available to all NGS members on the NGS website at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.  George was the editor of the NGSQ from 1971-1976. Interviewed at his home in Maryland by Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG, FASG, current co-editor of the NGSQ, George reflects on the value he finds in genealogical research, how he started as a researcher, his work as editor of the Quarterly, and his activities today.
To view the George Ely Russell video visit http://www.ngsgenealogy.org, select the Members Only tab, log into your account, and click the Videos link in the menu on the left of your screen.
More information about the interviews is available in the January-February-March issue of the NGS Magazine. As always, we welcome your comments on the videos.  Please contact the executive producer, Arlene V. Jennings, at arlenevj@earthlink.net
Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records.  The Arlington, VA-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Facebook Timeline facilitated by ShoeBox from 1000memories

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: This was just received from our friends at 1000memories.com. Please address all inquiries to support@1000memories.com.

ShoeBox App Now Fills Facebook Timeline’s Early Years With Scanned Photos Of The Past
Photo-sharing Platform 1000memories Makes First App To Add The Past To Facebook Timeline

SAN FRANCISCO, January 26, 2011 — Photo-sharing platform 1000memories is today announcing the Facebook Timeline integration of ShoeBox, the iPhone app that allows you to quickly scan and socially share old paper photos, making it the first app that lets people easily fill their Timeline gaps, as well as the Timelines of their family and friends, with pre-Internet photos from the past.  

1000memories’ ShoeBox app now allows individuals to instantly scan paper photos directly onto their Facebook Timelines, as well as those of family and friends, filling the gaps with photos and stories from pre-Facebook (and even pre-Internet) times.  Additionally, all photos on 1000memories (regardless of whether they were scanned with ShoeBox) can now be pushed to the appropriate dates on Facebook Timeline at any time from 1000memories.com.

“It's easy to forget that Facebook is only 7 years old, which means most of our photos and memories are not online yet. The introduction of Facebook Timeline has made clear the huge gaps in our life stories - most obviously from our birth dates to the invention of Facebook in 2004,” says 1000memories Co-Founder, Rudy Adler. “We built ShoeBox to finally get these photos from our past out of the closet and online where they can be enjoyed by everyone.”

ShoeBox’s scanning technology can auto-detect the edges of a photo and then quickly crop, automatically adjusting for parallax. Users can then add information typically written on the back of old photos - such as dates, names, and locations - before sharing with friends and family.  With this update, ShoeBox users can now tag their Facebook friends in photos directly from the ShoeBox app - these tags will automatically transfer when ShoeBox photos are shared to Facebook Timeline.  Additionally, you can now find and follow the ShoeBox scans your friends via your Facebook and iPhone contacts, as well as those who are already using ShoeBox and 1000memories.com.

Users can access, edit and organize their ShoeBox photos online at any time on 1000memories.com. All public content is preserved in partnership with the Internet Archive to ensure that photos will be saved for future generations.

Backed by Y-Combinator and Greylock Partners, 1000memories is a past-tense photo-sharing platform with a focus on bringing the albums, scrapbooks, and photo-filled shoeboxes out of the closet and into an online, shareable space where you can always enjoy them.  Since its launch, the ShoeBox app by 1000memories has been both featured in the iTunes store and a top-3 free photography app since its October 2011 launch. For more information, visit 1000memories.com/shoebox.

About 1000memories
1000memories is the best way to organize, share and discover the old photos and memories of your family and friends.  Founded in 2010 in San Francisco, California, 1000memories helps bring the albums, scrapbooks, and photo-filled shoeboxes of our lives out of the closet and into an online, shareable space where you can always enjoy them.  For more information, visit 1000memories.com.

Historical Society of PA and Ancestry.com Partnership

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from Ancestry.com. Please address all inquiries to support@ancestry.com.


Ancestry.com Partners with Historical Society of Pennsylvania to Bring the State’s Rich History Online
Family History Leader Adds Millions of State Birth, Marriage and Death Records to its Pennsylvania Vital Record Collection


PROVO, UTAH – (January 26, 2012) – Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, announced today that it has added over seven million records detailing more than 300 years of Pennsylvanians’ life history spanning from 1593-1908 to its already expansive collection of Pennsylvania state records. Presented in partnership with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, these latest additions cover pivotal years, when the Keystone State was not only growing itself, but contributing to the overall development of the country. This comprehensive collection includes details about the lives of everyday Pennsylvanians as well as those who helped forge the state’s rich historical past, with records for the Hershey family, Benjamin Franklin, John Coltrane and many others. 

“Ancestry.com is committed to the continued expansion of our existing collections and increasing the breadth of information for all Americans looking to learn more about their past,” said Josh Hanna, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Ancestry.com. “Pennsylvania was a crucial state during the formation of our country and these records detail the daily lives of its citizenry during these critical years. We look forward to continuing our work with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and allowing people to learn more about this state’s rich past.”

Research conducted by Harris Interactive within the United States revealed that four in five Americans have an interest in learning about their family history and three out of four Americans claim that knowing their family history is important to them. Working with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Ancestry.com is easing the burden of those with Pennsylvania roots who want to learn more about their family history by bringing records that were traditionally created and maintained locally, online. Research that previously required countless hours of time, finances and travel to make discoveries can now be done with the click of a mouse.

As the foundation of family history research, civil vital records – recordings of births, deaths and marriages – serve as an essential tool for the millions of Americans who are beginning or continuing their family history research. The newest vital record additions, containing information from each county in the state of Pennsylvania, include:

  • Pennsylvania, Births, Church and Town Records, 1593-1708: The documents in this database contain records from churches, funeral homes, cemeteries, newspapers, historical societies, as well as personal records and other various sources.
  • Pennsylvania, Naturalizations, 1794-1908: This database contains records created as immigrants applied for U.S. citizenship through Pennsylvania courts. They include petitions for citizenship, certificates of citizenship, court naturalization lists, country of origination and more.

“The Historical Society of Pennsylvania decided to partner with Ancestry.com to make more than seven million of our vital records more accessible to family historians,” said Kim Sajet, president and CEO of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. “Through this partnership, our records will reach millions of people who are searching for their ancestors. The vital records we have posted to Ancestry.com are just a small portion of the genealogical records here at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. We welcome anyone interested in family history to visit our library in Center City Philadelphia.”

These new vital record databases are available to current Ancestry.com subscribers and can be found at www.ancestry.com/vitals. As always, Ancestry.com is free of charge for 14 days to all new users.

About Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com)
Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with more than 1.7 million paying subscribers. More than 8 billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 30 million family trees containing over 3 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site www.ancestry.com, Ancestry.com offers localized Web sites designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

About the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Founded in 1824 in Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) is one of the oldest historical societies in the United States. It is home to some 600,000 printed items and more than 21 million manuscript and graphic items. Its unparalleled collections encompass more than 350 years of America’s history—from its 17th-century origins to the contributions of its most recent immigrants. The Historical Society is one of the largest family history libraries in the nation, has preeminent printed collections on Pennsylvania and regional history, and offers superb manuscript collections renowned for their strength in 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century history. The Historical Society’s remarkable holdings together with its educational programming make it one of the nation’s most important special collections libraries: a center of historical documentation and study, education, and engagement.



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

FHL: African American Research Series 11 Feb 2012

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Please address all inquiries to FHLClassReg@familysearch.org .


25 January 2012

Free Research Series on African-American Research
The Family History Library Hosts Events in February.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH Genealogists and family history enthusiasts looking for help with African-American research will be interested in African-American classes held at the Family History Library in February. A free African-American Research Series will be held on Saturday, February 11 at the Family History Library. The classes will include:

9:00 a.m.    “Four Key Resources for Research”
10:15 a.m.  “Genealogical Proof Standard for Solving Research”
11:30 a.m.  “Southern Plantation Records”

To view the class schedule online, go to www.familysearch.org.  Classes will be held in the Main Floor classroom of the Family History Library.  The library is located west of Temple Square on West Temple between North Temple and South Temple Streets in downtown Salt Lake City.  On Saturdays, parking is free to library patrons and is located behind the Church History Museum.  To register for these free classes, send an email to FHLClassReg@familysearch.org or call 1-801-240-4950. 

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 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City.