Monday, April 30, 2012

Wednesday's 1940 Census INDEXING Webinar is a MUST SEE

DearREADERS,
Mark your calendars, and join us WEDNESDAY for the 1940 Census INDEXING Update webinar. 

Register now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/484280840


Please share this link with everyone you know. THANKS for spreading the word.

Our goal is to encourage participation in this ground-breaking indexing collaboration.

Title:     1940 Census Indexing UPDATE
Date:     Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Time:     9:00 PM - 10:30 PM EDT
9pm Eastern US
8pm Central US
7pm Mountain US
6pm Pacific US


If you need a time zone converter, there is a great one located here:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html


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

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

iPad users may download the GoToMeeting App in the App Store.

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Debbe Hagner signs presentation on Castle Garden

DearREADERS,
 Debbe A. Hagner, AG is one of the few high profile genealogy presenters that "speaks" American Sign Language. Though she is profoundly deaf, she communicates well, and I've enjoyed our developing friendship throughout the years.

This past February, Debbe recorded an An Introduction to Castle Garden: Your Ancestors with FamilySearch under the "Branch Out" banner. 

The "AG" after Debbe's name indicates she has received credentialing from the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen). From Debbe's ICAPGen profile we read "...Debbe Hagner first attained an Associate of Applied Science Degree (with honors) in business technology; then, attended the Rochester (NY) Institute of Technology where in 1981 she graduated and was awarded a Bachelors of Technology from the College of Applied Science and Technology. Debbe later attended the Marist College (NY) where she accumulated 32 graduate credits towards a Master’s Degree in Information Systems. These educational achievements led to a business career with IBM where Debbe was employed as a System Test Analyst.

Debbe’s amateur-interest in tracing her family’s roots led her to pursue a professional career in genealogy. In 1996, she attended Brigham Young University and received a Diploma in Family History. She is one of the few professional and accredited genealogists in the Tampa Bay Area. Debbe is in private practice where she presents genealogy seminars and workshops on an on-going basis; conducts private and confidential family background research studies; and assists individuals on a one-on-one basis to research their family histories and develop supporting genealogy records. Debbe has been the president of West Pasco County Genealogical Society for several years and is currently a member of the Florida Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists."

 Here's a screen shot from Debbe's Castle Garden presentation. This is the link to the handouts.



Debbe, it's an honor to spotlight your work. I wish that more presentations would be recorded with ASL.

Contact Debbe Hagner, AG:

Deb's geographic specialties are the US midwest and Germany.  


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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont 












Ancestry.com didn't mean to exclude professional genealogists

DearREADERS,
Apparently the Terms and Conditions statement at Ancestry.com was part of last night's APG (Association of Professional Genealogists) webinar featuring The Legal Genealogist blog author Judy G. Russell. Ol' Myrt here first became aware of the concerns expressed last evening through Marian Pierre-Louis' Ancestry.com Restricts Access to Website blog post where she describes the policy restriction limiting the use of Ancestry.com's site for "personal research". This would seem to have excluded professional genealogists who would use the site on behalf of clients seeking to know more of their heritage.

Looks like Thomas MacEntee of High-Definition Genealogy and GeneaBloggers.com and Marian Pierre-Louis' requests for clarification were met swiftly by Ancestry.com. (Bravo to all involved!) Here is the official word, including a link to the revised statement.

Date: Thu, April 26, 2012 2:17 pm
From: Matthew Deighton Ancestry.com Public Relations
Good morning,
In a recent update, the Ancestry.com Terms and Conditions excluded “or professional” as part of the terms of service. This change was in no way intended to exclude professional genealogists from using Ancestry.com in a business or professional setting. Our legal team has reviewed the statement and has reinstated the original text to include “or professional” into Ancestry.com’s Terms and Conditions. We apologize for any misunderstanding. The statement is now updated and reads as follows:

“You may access the Website, use the graphics, information, data, editorial and other Content only for personal or professional family history research, and download Content only as search results relevant to that research.”     

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thoughts on Ancestry Conference call

DearREADERS,
Ancestry.com organized a conference call among genealogy bloggers to discuss today's announcement that Ancestry.com plans to acquire Archives.com. Ancestry.com's CEO Tim Sullivan and Archives.com Director of Product, Joe Godfrey made opening statements and fielded questions.

Genealogy bloggers on the call were Diane Haddad of Family Tree Magazine's Genealogy Insider blog, Ancestry Insider, Randy Seaver of GeneaMusings, Dick Eastman of Eastman's Online Genealogy News, Thomas MacEntee of High-Definition Genealogy and GeneaBloggers.com and Ol' Myrt here. You'll want to check those blogs for more comments.

These are Ol' Myrt's reactions to the meeting.

I was impressed by Tim and Joe's "reaching out" during this conference call. Does this signal a re-dedication to outward communication with end user genealogists thru bloggers, lost particularly after the departure of Andrew?
Tim stated at the start that Archives.com will be treated like Fold3.com, as a separate entity, etc. Yet in response to Dick Eastman's questions, Tim stated the employees at Archives.com would come into the Ancestry.com employment family.


Ancestry doesn't know when the acquisition will close, owing to federal anti-trust regulatory review.
In response to my comments that individual indexers are sending me private text messages concerned about the volunteer work they are doing part of the 1940 census consortium, Tim appeared somewhat perplexed.  (They express concerns that their volunteer efforts will end up behind Ancestry.com's paid membership wall.) Quickly rebounding, Tim stated "The University of Minnesota 1940 census index contract is distinctly different from the 1940 Census Indexing consortium." He applauded the consortium's massive indexing effort, mentioning that this sort of project wasn't in Ancestry.com's plans. He also commented that it's good for genealogists to have more than one 1940 census index, created and presented by various sites using a variety of user interface tools. (I agree.)
Diane asked about duplication of record groups across the Ancestry.com and Archives.gov websites. Tim felt the user experience is a decided difference, and did not see existing overlapping record groups as problematic to that user experience. (We didn't talk membership price points, but that certainly comes to mind here.) 

Toward the end, Tim opened up the floor for any questions, and Ancestry Insider inquired about Genealogy.com. Tim acknowledged that they haven't put any focus on Genealogy.com, being busy with so many other projects. He referred to the site as having "legacy" technology. (I think that is code for outdated technology.) Thomas suggested that it be used as the "education" portal for Ancestry properties. and mentioned difficulty in finding educational support on the Ancestry.com site. I stated it wasn't that Crista Cowan or Juliana Szucs Smith weren't doing a good job, its just that site navigation proves difficult for finding access to the live webcasts and the archives of their work. 
I see the Ancestry.com properties as a "house" and that "many doors" should provide access to content without compromising any one of the distinct entities. (Nothing says "genealogy" like a domain called "genealogy.com" and this is being ignored in favor of the Ancestry.com domain perhaps unnecessarily.) I think this opened Tim's eyes to some new possibilities as he mentioned discussing this in a future focus group.

We shall see...

I know Randy asked a few good questions, so be sure to check his blog for commentary.
Ol' Myrt here is on the road, and can't remember every point made during the call. We just passed the West Virginia - Kentucky border, and will drive another two hours before calling it a night. I am thankful Mr. Myrt is able to do so much of the driving.

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont

Ancestry.com to acquire Archives.com

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

“Simple and Affordable” Fast-growing Start-up Adds Complementary Offering to Ancestry.com–

PROVO, Utah, April 25, 2012 – Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Archives.com, a family history website, for approximately $100 million in cash and assumed liabilities. 

This transaction will enable Ancestry.com to add a differentiated service targeted to a complementary segment of the growing family history category. In addition, Ancestry.com will welcome a team of talented engineers, digital marketers, and family history innovators into the Ancestry.com fold and also gain access to a proprietary technology platform that has supported Archives.com’s rapid growth.

Archives.com is owned and operated by Inflection LLC, a Silicon Valley-based technology company.  Since Archives.com’s launch in January 2010, the site has rapidly grown to more than 380,000 paying subscribers who pay approximately $39.95 a year.  Archives.com offers access to over 2.1 billion historical records, including birth records, obituaries, immigration and passenger lists, historical newspapers, and U.S. and U.K. Censuses. 

“Archives.com has built a fantastic and fast-growing business that we think is highly complementary to Ancestry.com’s online family history offering,” said Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry.com. “We love their focus on making family history simple and affordable, and we are excited to help the talented Archives.com team continue to grow alongside Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, and Family Tree Maker.”

“Family history remains a dynamic and growing online category,” added Sullivan. “Archives.com’s focus is consistent with our mission to help everyone discover, preserve and share their family history, which will help continue our efforts in delivering amazing discoveries to an even broader audience.”

Over the past two years, Archives.com has partnered with multiple well-known family history organizations that have helped build out Archives.com robust collection of family history records. Most recently, Archives.com partnered with the U.S. National Archives to provide free digital access to the recently released 1940 U.S. Federal Census.

“We are proud of the experience we’ve built with Archives.com and believe strongly in its future potential,” said Matthew Monahan, CEO and Co-Founder of Inflection.  “Combining with Ancestry.com positions Archives.com to best capitalize on that potential, pairing complementary visions of the marketplace and the opportunity.  We’ve long admired Ancestry.com’s content and technology and the innovations that the Ancestry.com team continues to bring to market.  We’re excited to see how this transaction expands the reach of family history to an even larger audience.”

Upon completion of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration of the HSR waiting period, Ancestry.com will continue to operate Archives.com separately retaining its brand and website.  Multiple Inflection employees, including key product and engineering executives are expected to join the Ancestry.com team.



About Ancestry.com
Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with more than 1.8 million paying subscribers. More than 9 billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 34 million family trees containing approximately 4 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site, Ancestry.com offers several localized Web sites designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

About Archives.com
Archives.com is a leading family history website that makes discovering family history simple and affordable. The company has assembled more than 2.1 billion historical records all in a single location. Archives also partners with other leading family history websites to provide a comprehensive resource for researching your family history. Archives.com is free to try for seven days, allowing anyone to explore the benefits of membership without risk or obligation. For more information and to start discovering your family history, please visit http://www.archives.com/.

About Inflection
Inflection is a Big Data and e-commerce startup headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley. Leveraging its proprietary technology platform, the company has built innovative data services like Archives.com, PeopleSmart.com, and Identity.com. Inflection was founded in 2006 and is backed by tier-one venture capitalists Matrix Partners and Sutter Hill Ventures.

Whose minding the store?

DearREADERS,
Mr. Myrt is just finishing up with loading the GeneaMobile, and we'll soon be departing for Topeka, Kansas where Ol' Myrt here will be speaking Saturday. Here's a handy reminder blog post to "sit" on my home page while I am AFK for a bit. (We will see how long THAT lasts, eh?)



REMEMBER the 1940 Census INDEXING Update Webinar 
Wednesday, 2 May 2012
9pm Eastern US
Registration info located here. Our panelists include:


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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont

Legacy Road: Offering help to frustrated family historians

DearREADERS,
Many moons ago, I met Jay from Legacy Road Communications at a Family History Expo in St. George, as our exhibit hall booths were situated across the aisle from each other. During the few quiet breaks, we began talking, and since then I've followed his career and his relationship with his cat. (Facebook does come in handy for things like cat-tales.)

Aside from being a gifted writer, Jay is inventive. He's branching out to offer a new service of particular interest for genealogists - Private Printings: The Gift of Legacy.

When Jay approached me about this project, I was jazzed, because ultimately genealogists want to publish a personal history.  We quickly get stymied, worried about how to compose chapters and questioning just how to word things. And then there are the headaches of figuring out how to actually publish the darn thing.

My friend Jay will help you with all that stuff. He writes:
   
Maybe you've heard the term "private printing." It's a tradition that gives you a book of your own, personally written just for you. It's a limited printing, just enough copies for you and your family and selected friends. And it's all under your control.

If you have a soft spot for books and love all the favorite family tales, then you'll want to have your stories collected in your own privately printed, hardbound volume.

You must have questions, so get in touch for a no-charge consultation. Tell him Ol' Myrt sent you. (No, I don't get a kick-back, I just want you to know about this service.)
CONTACT:
Jay Speyerer

Legacy Road Communications
Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association-Pittsburgh
e-mail: jay@jayspeyerer.com
http://www.jayspeyerer.com/
Twitter: @jayspeyerer
412.429.3432



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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

NGS: Robert Raymond appointed to Board

The National Genealogical Society Announces New Director: Robert Raymond
Arlington, VA
24 APRIL 2012
: The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the appointment of Robert Raymond to the Board of Directors. Robert, a resident of Utah, was selected to serve as an NGS Director at Large by President Ann Christnacht Hilke. Ms. Hilke stated, “We are pleased that Robert Raymond has agreed to join the board of NGS as he adds to the breadth of excellent business, technology, and genealogical skills our organization has set as goals for our future board development.”

Robert Raymond is a deputy to FamilySearch Chief Genealogical Officer, David Rencher, helping to increase genealogical soundness of FamilySearch products and improving relationships with the genealogical community. Additionally, Robert helps set the record acquisition and publication strategy.

Robert is a popular speaker and writer. His blog (authored pseudonymously) has won many awards and recognitions and is consistently ranked among the top ten genealogical blogs. He is the author of an acclaimed family history website where he has published hundreds of digitized genealogical records and personal histories, written numerous articles, and created several maps. Before FamilySearch, Robert worked at Ancestry.com and before that he was vice president of an award-winning technology company.

Robert is a genealogy technologist with more than forty years experience in genealogy, and thirty years in technology. Robert holds over a dozen technology patents and earned a masters degree in electrical (computer) engineering from Brigham Young University where he was honored as a Kimball Scholar. He is a volunteer at a FamilySearch Family History Center where he can be found in the trenches every Wednesday night.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records.  The Arlington, Virginia-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.

1940 Census INDEXING Update 2 May 2012

DearREADERS,
OK, it will have been one month since NARA released the unindexed digital images of the 1940 US census population schedule. So let's gather on 2 May 2012 and hold an UPDATE webinar specifically to focus on the collaborative indexing project:

-- Did you sign up for indexing at www.the1940Census.com?
-- Have you been notified that your state is available for indexing yet?
-- Quick tips on Indexing
-- What's same house vs same place?
-- Sharing views
-- Arbitration issues



Title:     1940 Census Indexing UPDATE
Date:     Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Time:     9:00 PM - 10:30 PM EDT
9pm Eastern US
8pm Central US
7pm Mountain US
6pm Pacific US


If you need a time zone converter, there is a great one located here:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

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

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

iPad users may download the GoToMeeting App in the App Store.

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont

If you were designing a webinar lineup

DearREADERS,
This past week, Myrt firmed up a sponsor willing to support the larger "room" capacity of 1,000 ~ a great improvement over the limit to 100 attendees to my current GoToWebinar subscription. This means I'll be doing a lot more webinars -- either as a presenter or a host to other presenters. My question for you is...

WHAT would you like to see in genealogy webinars?

I'm already considering:

  • A 1940s Census Indexing Support Group, with a panel of leading specialists.
  • Regular DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinars, with a lot less PowerPoint and a lot more demos.
  • A three-way series spotlighting Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic and Family Tree Maker 2012 genealogy management software.
  • An expanded English Research series where you have homework during the week to view specific online how-to-videos, with follow-up instructions from a Family History Library British Isles reference specialist.
  • A multi-week study of Tom Jones' revised Inferential Genealogy series from FamilySearch.org in a similar homework, then discussion format.
  • Joint presentations with Carrie Keele, my daughter who blogs at NotYourMothersGenealogy.com
  • Touring various genealogy websites from a "user" point of view, with input from an official rep from that site in the wings to answer questions.
Some of the webinars I'm considering involve experts where we haven't yet sealed the deal. Some support will go to foreign-language webinars hosted by companies with genealogy managers in various countries.

An important component of this work will be periodic access to the archived version of a webinar, and the option to purchase archived webinars in digital or DVD format for a nominal fee.

I firmly believe that live streaming of conference sessions (like RootsTech 2011 & 2012) and webinars are the best way to reach a large number of people at nominal cost -- and it's perfect for the "category" of genealogy. 

Ol' Myrt here wishes to support every instance of genealogy webinars, globally, in any way I can. There are tricks to "finalizing" the GoToWebinar recording that have been worked through over the years of using the service. Geoff from LegacyFamilyTree.com and Mike from RootsMagic.com have been particularly helpful in sharing their experiences in this regard. GoToWebinar is just like any other service -- they try to provide tech support, but we all get by with a little help from our friends. I still see that service as providing the most stable platform at the best price for hosts.

I encourage all hosts and presenters to contribute to the GeneaWebinars calendar and blog.


I'd like to see societies embrace this technology by incorporating virtual presentations into the lineup for at least half of their regularly-scheduled meetings. I'd also like larger organizations like the Washington DC Family History Center use webinar technology to expand the reach of their annual conferences beyond the confines of the meeting room walls. (Can FamilySearch assist larger FHCs by providing access to FamilySearch's webinar software? They do it for the Riverton FamilySearch Library.)

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont








Where in the world is Myrt? Topeka this Saturday

DearREADERS,
Mr. Myrt has just returned from getting the F150 serviced in prep for our trip to Topeka, Kansas for the Topeka Genealogical Society's annual conference where I'll be speaking on Saturday. The event is open to the public.

9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Kansas Historical Society
6425 SW 6th Street, Topeka, KS 
 
My topics are:
  • The Winter of Our Discontent:  3 Months to Better Organization
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective Genealogists
  • Where to Look Next
  • Medical Practices of the US Revolutionary and Civil Wars 
Though I've reworked "medical practices" since the early 1990s, Ol' Myrt's presentation has been spiffed up with recent discoveries from my work using NARA's Carded Medical Records (not yet digitized) and the original hospital registers from which the carded medical records were created. I'll be bringing about 20 reference books for browsing, and have added images from our recent trip to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. A BIG thanks to Marie Melchiori for assisting me in finding The medical and surgical history of the war of the rebellion (1861-65) in NARA's library. Only one of this multi-volume set is fully viewable at Google Books.

FOR FURTHER READING
Medical Service Records at the National Archives (US) (.PDF)

Plante, Trevor K. An Overview of Records at the National Archives Relating to Military Service, Prologue Magazine Fall 2002, Vol. 34, No. 3. Available online and includes a paragraph about carded medical records, Record Group (RG) 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office 1780-1917, entry 534.

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Archived Webinar: 1940 Census WHAT to do with it?

DearREADERS,
Rick had it right -- you could hear Ol 'Myrt here beaming with pride as my daughter Carrie, of the Not Your Mother's Genealogy blog, debuted as a presenter during last night's 1940 Census: Now that I've Got it, WHAT Do I Do With It? webinar. See below for the "KICKER" as I learned a thing or two about effectively sharing info with my family members. 

If you missed it last night, I have set up a brand-new archives to hold this and future webinars.

1940 Census: Now that I've Got it, WHAT Do I Do With It?

Carrie Keele
To DOWNLOAD, right click on .mp4 Version and select "Save as..." to save it to your computer's hard drive. 

This webinar is in .mp4 format and can be viewed by Windows Media Player, iTunes and most other media players. Tech support has advised me of this free program that will also play the downloaded webinars.

THE WEBINAR DETAILS
Ol' Myrt took everyone through the process of locating an image in the 1940 Census at the official Archives.gov website. We discussed downloading an entire enumeration district, or just a single page. There was discussion about using free photo editing software to also make a zoomed in and cropped view of a family group including SnagIt and Paint among others.

We saved the file, giving it a more understandable name. I like this naming scheme:

1940USPlayerShirley______.jpg

the "______________" stands for the roll number found in the original file name.

We then opened my RootsMagic 5, created an event for the 1940 census and attached the image to my grandfather Shirley Player. Noted were variances in abbreviated forms for the locality known as Seattle, King, Washington. There was also a discussion about how events are sorted by date, not the alpha order of the event title. We talked about the adaptability of genealogy software to be used in a variety of ways by individual users. I mentioned the upcoming Creating a 1940 Census Citation Webinar that RootsMagic is offering on the 17th of April.

We toured live a bit of Elizabeth Shown Mills' New Website, where Ol' Myrt obtained a .pdf version of her book Evidence Explained, 2nd Edition: https://www.evidenceexplained.com

Russ Worthington
My cousin Russ Worthington shared his thinking behind using his custom Excel Worksheet to extract info about household members in the 1940 census. He is the author of A Worthington Blog, the FamilyTree Maker User Blog and is co-founder of the BetterGEDCOM Project. You may contact Russ for permission to view and save his Excel worksheet via Google Docs.

He also mentioned several blog posts about how he has worked through issues with the 1940 census, specifically using Family Tree Maker 2012.

Russ also mentioned:
It's important to note that we each take transcribing and analysis of info a bit differently. For some, it is writing things down in long hand on a form, for Russ it's using a digital worksheet.

GenealogyDoug shared that Legacy Family Tree has a 1940 template built in. He also pointed us to the Navigating the new Census Tools Webinar in the archive at http://legacyfamilytree.com/Webinars.asp 

At 68:57 (min:sec) into the webinar we begin with Carrie's segment about attaching photos to Google Maps, including creating a family Google Map. The example she showed is what she developed about Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, where our 1940 Census family of Shirley and Myrtle Player resided. 


Carrie Keele's new blog www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com

Be sure to see Carrie's follow-up blog post titled Using a Custom Google Map to Share Your Genealogy.  And view our map live at Myrt & Carrie's Family History. She even discussed using the "line drawing" option to create a self-guided tour to various family locations including two schools, two homes and the cemetery where Shirley and Myrtle now rest.

HERE'S THE KICKER
When Carrie told me she was working through Google Maps to find the address in the 1940 census for the Player family in Seattle, I sent her pictures I had of everything up on Queen Anne Hill, or so I thought. When she reviewed her work, I realized just giving her the tombstones of Shirley and Myrtle Player wasn't enough. I had forgotten about the picture I took a few months before Dad died, where he and his brother and sister stood at their parents' grave sites. 

The tombstones were cool enough, but I also needed to share that
family pic at the cemetery.
So even as an experienced genealogist, I see there is more to share than I realize. 

Two weeks out from the debut of the 1940 census images finds many genealogists have downloaded the images, but are still in the process of attaching the images to ancestors in their genealogy programs, transcribing data and citing the source of the image. In Carrie's case, she relates on a different level to all things 1940 including old-timey pics, and where things mentioned then may appear on a current map, Google to be specific.

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont



Monday, April 16, 2012

What's a blog for, anyway?

DearREADERS,
When Bret Lang (of Internet development fame) first explained the concept of blogs to Ol' Myrt, I was intrigued. The Internet was just beginning to earn it's place as a tool for genealogists. Back in the 1990s "genealogy" had a few websites of note that contained mostly message boards and transcribed indexes of original records.

Bret was producing DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour in it's original carnation, through live Internet radio streaming. After Hurricane Charlie devastated our offices in Port Charlotte, Florida, things changed radically. I tried valiantly for about 12 months to produce podcasts on my own, and truly learned how much work Bret did on the technical side of the production.

But thanks to Bret's suggestion, blogging seemed the way to go to produce rich, fully searchable "how-to" content and get the word out beyond my usual set of DearREADERS who were primarily from within the AOL environment. (Gosh, that was eons ago, wasn't it?) I had the DearMYRTLE.com domain, but blogging is a lot easier than creating a web page for each post.


Blogging has become my life, through thick and thin. During hospice caregiving and personal health issues, my posts were less frequent, but the medium was still blogging. Turning on "comments" in a moderated format, brought a new dimension to my posts as reader feedback moved from my in-box to the blog post in question.

Inviting conversation about a genealogy topic means people may actually use the tool, research method or record group being discussed.

I got into Second Life just to keep in touch with how other family historians do their work, and thinking that I'd find a younger crowd. As it is, genealogists are amazingly adaptable to technology and we now have an official Second Life Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.


On reflection, for several years even before RootsRech 2011's live video streaming, I'd been moving my efforts into demonstrating via the Internet rather than talking about how to do something. It's a natural extension of speaking with interactive PowerPoint screens. Webinar technology has enabled this to extend on a broad basis. I like to see demonstrations of a process rather than read a long blog post with screen shots. I realize reflects my personal preference for audio and visual demonstrations. It's how my brain works.

During a webinar, the interaction with attendees is invigorating, especially when they report back to the group that they just tried what we were talking about and it works! That's real-time learning.

Blogs and webinars each have their place. For instance, a process described in a blog might then lead to a webinar on the same topic. Also, it's probably easier for someone to scan a blog post for interesting content than to listen to a 60 or 90 minute webinar where only 15 minutes might prove useful. For folks like my friend Elsie, having a print-out to follow when learning a new process is the way her brain assimilates information.


Lately, I've been thinking  about using Twitter and Facebook on a dedicated basis. Why? To once again, get the word out beyond my usual set of DearREADERS. Just as there are probably thousands of my DearREADERS who don't use Twitter or Facebook, there are probably thousands of Twitter and Facebook users who don't know about DearMYRTLE. Reaching more people fosters conversations among groups with diverse interests. I didn't realize how differently researchers "think" in other countries until my work with the BetterGEDCOM group.


It didn't dawn on me until a week ago to use the #DearMYRTLE to field questions during a webinar, since the Twitter feed can outlive the limits of a 90 minute webinar. That Twitter feed can also invite participation among those who didn't attend the webinar.


WHAT THE GOAL HERE?

Getting people talking is Ol' Myrt's #1 goal. Brainstorming new ways of research, and embracing technology are subsets.


Content development is Ol' Myrt's #2 goal, but thankfully, I don't have to do it all myself. There is much worthwhile content being created every day by others. Ol' Myrt here cross-posts many press releases from the big players in the industry, either on DearMYRTLE or GeneaPress. But it is just plain quicker to send my followers a link via FB or Twitter posts, so they can read posts I consider worthy of their attention.  FBing and tweeting are a lot quicker than  composing a blog with an enticing quote about that person's post, inserting a link for further reading

SO WHAT'S A BLOG FOR?
Whatever the author wants it to be. It can be public or private. It can be formal, complete with footnotes. Or informal, though always giving credit where credit is due.

Ol' Myrt shall continue to blog, but note that you may also follow me on Facebook and Twitter for content that doesn't make it to my blog, but is no less noteworthy.

My cell phone number, however, remains private so my grandchildren can have immediate access.

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont

Friday, April 13, 2012

GeneaPhone connects to GeneaBloggers Radio TONIGHT

DearREADERS,
Time to tune in to GeneaBlogger's internet radio show tonight. We start in about 20 minutes.  Here's how I'll connect:



Unlike many GeneaBloggers radio episodes, this one will focus on YOUR FEEDBACK. So call in to speak with us at (213) 286-6709 (US)  during the show to share what the 1940 Census means to your family history research and how your take on the indexing project.

WHOHost Thomas MacEntee
Co-Host DearMYRTLE
Guest: Jim Ericson of FamilySearch (one of the sponsors of the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project)

WHATLIVE internet radio streaming & chat room

WHEREhttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/geneabloggers/2012/04/14/1940-census-success-stories

WHEN
Friday, 13 April 2012
9pm Eastern
8pm Central
7pm Mountain
6pm Pacific

YES, use the #DearMYRTLE during the show, as I'll be monitoring that for your comments and links to your #1940census blog posts.

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

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How NARA creates custom storage boxes

DearREADERS,
This is a fascinating short video report of how NARA makes custom archival boxes for odd sized items in its vast warehouses.

I like how despite the high tech measuring systems, it still takes a human to lay more than one box onto one of those large sheets before the items are custom cut. It just goes to show there is no substitute for human ingenuity.





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

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fold3: All WWII Content free through April 30

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: This was just received from our friends at Fold3. Please address all inquiries to support@Fold3.com.

In 1940, Americans were recovering from the Great Depression and on the brink of entering a world war. The recently released 1940 U.S. Census gives us data snapshots of people and families poised between two of the most devastating world-wide events of the 20th century.
After you locate someone in the 1940 Census (on Ancestry.com), use that information to find records on Fold3, especially within the World War II Collection. Then build their personal histories with images and other details you've discovered.
Examples of what you might find include:
  • "Old Man's Draft" Registration Cards. Any man between the ages of 43 and 62 in 1940 would be required to register in 1942. It's called the "Old Man's" draft because it was a registration of an older generation with skills that would be useful on the home front, not in military action. (Hint: You can also use the addresses on these cards to help you search for people on the census before the index has been created.)
  • Missing Air Crew Reports recount riveting tales of planes shot down with and without survivors. Some of these reports include names and addresses of family members back home, as in this example for the men in this crash report.
  • War Diaries are official Navy accounts of command units' strategies and actions in battles on land, sea, and air, as well as between engagements.
  • European Theater Army Records. Shortly after the 1940 census, millions of Americans were serving in Great Britain and Europe. These records include virtually all administrative and strategic documents relating to U.S. operations in the European Theater during World War II.
There are also many compelling records and images within WWII Photos, the Interactive USS Arizona Memorial, WWII Hero Pages, and Holocaust Records. Pair the people you find in the 1940 Census to their service in World War II through documents, pages, and photos in Fold3's World War II Collection.

GeneaBloggers Radio 13 Apr 2012 NEEDS 20 CALLERS

DearREADERS,
Thomas MacEntee has enlisted Jim Ericson from FamilySearch.org and Ol' Myrt here to join him for this Friday's GeneaBloggers Radio Show. You can go there now, and set a reminder. I recommend logging in with your Facebook account. If you don't have Facebook, you can create a freebie account at the BlogTalk internet radio service.

Our topic? The 1940 Census, naturally.


WE NEED TWENTY (count 'em! 20) CALLERS
Unlike many GeneaBloggers radio episodes, this one will focus on YOUR FEEDBACK. So call in to speak with us at (213) 286-6709 (US)  during the show to share what the 1940 Census means to your family history research and how your take on the indexing project.

WHOHost Thomas MacEntee
Co-Host DearMYRTLE
Guest: Jim Ericson of FamilySearch (one of the sponsors of the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project)

WHATLIVE internet radio streaming & chat room

WHEREhttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/geneabloggers/2012/04/14/1940-census-success-stories

WHEN
Friday, 13 April 2012
9pm Eastern
8pm Central
7pm Mountain
6pm Pacific

YES, use the #DearMYRTLE during the show, as I'll be monitoring that for your comments and links to your #1940census blog posts.

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


#1940Census: What's a Genealogist to DO? 16 April 2012



DearREADERS,

On overload? Exhausted from intense searches of the unindexed 1940 US Census images? How about stopping by next Monday's

1940 Census UPDATE: What to do with this now? with DearMYRTLE, Your friend in genealogy
Carrie Keele, Not Your Mother's Genealogy
& Cousin Russ Worthington, FTM Users Blog & A Worthington Weblog


REGISTER for this webinar:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/718893264

9pm Eastern US
8pm Central US
7pm Mountain US
6pm Pacific US

If you need a time zone converter, there is a great one located here:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html





System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
 

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

 
iPad users may download the GoToMeeting App in the App Store.
 

There is also an app for Android.

BE SURE to use the #DearMYRTLE for posing questions during the webinar, and to continue the conversation beyond the confines of our 90 minute discussion.


Happy family tree climbing!

Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

BU: Genealogy Essentials & Certificate summer programs

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: This just arrived from our friends at Boston University. Please address all inquiries using the online contact form at http://genealogyonline.bu.edu.



Join us this May to take a step toward improving your genealogical research skills.

The summer sessions for the online Genealogical Essentials Program and the Certificate in Genealogical Research
begin on May 8, 2012. The deadline for enrollment is April 18, 2012.
 


You can enroll online by clicking the link below, or by calling an Enrollment Advisor at 877-290-9005. Enroll Now
 
These popular sessions fill up quickly, so please sign up soon to secure your seat.
 
We look forward to having you as a student this summer.
 
Our very best,
 
The Boston University Online Genealogy Programs Team
Telephone: 877-290-9005
Boston University Online Genealogy Programs

NARA: Rare slave petitions from DC Emancipation Act

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the National Archives (US). Please address all inquiries to Public.Affairs@nara.gov. [Embedded video added.]

National Archives Shares Rarely-seen Slave Petitions from DC Emancipation Act
Emancipation documents offer rare glimpse into slaves’ lives for Act’s 150th anniversary

WASHINGTON, DC. . .  In commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the DC Emancipation Act, the National Archives today shared rarely seen original records pertaining to the Act, including petitions from slaves in Washington, DC.   National Archives archivists Damani Davis and Robert Ellis, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln scholar Kenneth Winkle discuss the significance of these documents in the National Archives “Inside the Vaults” video short at http://tiny.cc/DCEmanc.  



In the video, archivist Damani Davis discusses the petitions filed by owners and enslaved persons under the Act and the details they reveal about the enslaved African-American community at the time.  Archivist Robert Ellis explains how the process worked.  And Kenneth Winkle of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), explains how the UNL scholars have scanned, transcribed, and made these petitions available online at the UNL Civil War Washington website (www.civilwardc.org). 

The film series is free to view and distribute on YouTube channel at http://tiny.cc/Vaults. These videos are in the public domain and not subject to any copyright restrictions.  The National Archives encourages the free distribution of them.

“These petitions show a fuller portrait of the people who were slaves in the District.  These documents reveal information about who the slaves were, how they lived and how slavery and emancipation changed their lives,” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.  “We are grateful to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for making these documents more accessible to the public.”

“Slaves at this time were generally anonymous,” said Kenneth Winkle, UNL’s Sorensen Professor of American History and co-director of the project. “Now, with these petitions, they have documented lives that we can interpret, study and share with scholars, students and the public. We can tell their story, which has been largely overlooked. And it is a remarkable story.” 
          
Background on the DC Emancipation Act
More than eight months before the Emancipation Proclamation broke the bondage of slavery across the South, a much more singularly focused experiment in equality was playing out in the country’s capital. The Compensated Emancipation Act, signed in April 1862, ordered all slaves in the District of Columbia to be freed.  It was the first time the U.S. government had officially liberated any group of slaves – and unlike the Emancipation Proclamation, it permitted their former masters to petition the government for compensation in exchange for their slaves’ freedom.

Though controversial, the act produced exceptionally rare documentation of the era: Namely, reimbursement petitions that showed the names, ages, histories and descriptions of an entire community of 3,200 African-Americans.  These records contain personal information such as names, ages, physical descriptions, and places of residence, as well as collateral information casually provided in recorded testimonies.  These records also contain difficult truths – because the forms were used to establish a slave’s value for compensation, they share physical details that often underscore the brutality of slavery.  
The original act, signed by President Lincoln, is on loan to the Capitol Visitor Center through September 9, 2012.

About the National Archives
The National Archives and Records Administration, an independent federal agency, is the nation's record keeper. Founded in 1934, its mission is unique -- to serve American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. It supports democracy, promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives meets a wide range of information needs, among them helping people to trace their families' history, making it possible for veterans to prove their entitlement to medical and other benefits, and preserving original White House records. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at http://www.archives.gov/
.

About Civil War Washington
Civil War Washington is UNL's interdisciplinary digital project examining the nation's capital during the pivotal Civil War period.  Created by Susan Lawrence, Kenneth Price, and Kenneth Winkle of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at UNL, this project allows users to study, visualize, and theorize the complex changes in the city of Washington, DC, between 1860 and 1865 through a collection of datasets, images, texts, and maps. The site illustrates how Washington and its people responded in dramatic and distinctive ways to the four years of war.   

The Compensated Emancipation Act project, part of Civil War Washington, was made possible through a three-year, $220,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant to examine how race, slavery and emancipation affected the capital during the war.  For more information, contact Steve Smith, UNL University Communications, at 402-472-4226, or ssmith13@unl.edu.