Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NGS Day One

Raleigh, North Carolina has rolled out the red carpet at the Convention Center to welcome attendees of the 2009 NGS National Genealogical Society's annual conference. Ol' Myrt here spent yesterday shadowing the exhibit hall volunteer, checking in vendors and seeing that the booth setups went smoothly. (Vendor chair will be my "job" next year when the conference is held in Salt Lake City.) Yesterday was also "Librarian's Day" with classes of particular assistance to those working with genealogists.

Today featured the opening session and a full day of classes. Noted among my travels:

1. Mark Lowe gave a presentation sponsored by the APG (Association of Professional Genealogists) titled "Making Yourself 'Priceless' in a Faux Market: A Guide for Professional Researchers". Though Ol' Myrt doesn't accept client research, it is a source of pride to see what fellow professionals are thinking when it comes to meeting and exceeding client needs.

2. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services is exhibiting with their historian Marian Smith, a department head and a staff researcher on duty to answer questions. Of particular interest is the process of requesting your ancestor's information, described in the USCIS Genealogy Program brochure. Marian reminds Ol' Myrt that the naturalization file number is different from the naturalization certificate number. The USCIS Genealogy Program offers two services:

Index Search: Using biographical information provided by the researcher, USCIS searches its historical immigration and naturalization record indices for citations related to a specific immigrant. Search results (record citations) are returned to the researcher, along with instructions on how to request the file(s) from USCIS or the National Archives. Fee: $20.00.

Record Copy Request: Researchers with valid record citations (USCIS file numbers), gained through a USCIS Genealogy Program index search or through independent research, may request copies of historical immigration and naturalization records. Fee: $20.00/$35.00 (depending on the record type).

Records available through the USCIS Genealogy Program:
  • Naturalization Certificate Files (C-files) from September 27, 1906 to April 1, 1956
  • Alien Registration Forms from August 1, 1940 to March 31, 1944
  • Visa files from July 1, 1924 to March 31, 1944
  • Registry Files from March 2, 1929 to March 31, 1944
  • Alien Files (A-files) numbered below 8 million (A8000000) and documents therein dated prior to May 1, 1951

3. Kathy Meade of showed options for those with Swedish ancestors. The site offers over 17.074.666 images (approximately 33,800,000 pages) in the Swedish Church Records archive. Genline now offers both low and high resolution versions of scanned images of original documents. This reflects the change since 2000 among users who now more typically enjoy high speed internet connections.

Just released today is the ability to TRANSCRIBE a portion of a Genline scanned image with the following options:

  • You specify the portion by dragging your mouse to create a box around the text in question.
  • A fill-in-the-blank screen pops up with data fields corresponding to the type of record you are viewing at the time.
  • Searchability of transcribed text.
  • Others may proof your transcription, giving it a higher likelihood of accuracy. Many hands do make light work.

Kathy also explained that 38% of the Household Examinations are currently indexed, with an anticipated 98% completion rate by the end of the year.

4. Sadly, FamillySearch and are not yet releasing the much anticipated new version of the Family History Library Catalog. Ol' Myrt here had hoped this would be released in time for the NGS Conference. This means that when I meet with you DearREADERS in Southern California in late June, we will be discussing some of the quirky things about the current catalog.

5. Dick Eastman has his wireless set up at the booth and when Ol' Myrt saw him last he was selecting the restaurant for meeting with his loyal readers.

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


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© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved. This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally. Happy family tree climbing!

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