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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More about 2009 FGS Conference NEXT week

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) via Ann Staley.

We will be seeing you in just 7 short days. Can you believe it! The Conference is almost here.
Enjoy this latest bit of information about the conference.

High-Speed Scanners - September 3-5, 2009 is excited to provide FGS conference attendees the opportunity to have their family records scanned, for free, on high-speed scanners. The scanners will be available for up to 15-minute scanning sessions on Thursday, September 3, through Saturday, September 5, during the exhibit hall hours. Scanning-session signs-ups will open each morning-sign up Thursday morning for a Thursday time slot, Friday morning for a Friday time slot, and so on. The scanning machines and sign-ups will be located in the Toltec Lobby registration area of the Statehouse Convention Center.

Will you be bringing items to scan? Please help us finalize our plans by visiting the following URL and letting us know if you'll be bringing items with you to scan:

Details about Scanning
  • imaging specialists will operate the scanners
  • is bringing two scanners to the conference: a high-speed, loose-leaf scanner that will scan documents and photographs in full color and a planetary scanner for books and more fragile items
  • Attendees will be able to scan about 100 family photographs or documents during a 15-minute session
  • Scanned images will be saved to flash drives (provided at no cost by and given to attendees. (Note: Scanned images will NOT be uploaded to the website by personnel.)
  • Due to anticipated demand, conference attendees will be able to sign up for only one scanning session during the conference
  • There is always a possibility that damage to older, more fragile documents may occur during the scanning process. urges patrons to use their best judgment when choosing documents to be scanned.

The latest Press Release by Paula Stuart-Warren tells about StoryCorps coming to the conference. This is another fabulous opportunity. She say that StoryCorps is "an independent nonprofit project whose mission is to honor and celebrate one another's lives through listening." They will be at the conference recording our oral history. She says "Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to take home and share, and is archived for generations to come at the Library of Congress."

Reservations are required. Contact Sara Thompson at or 501-320-5718 by September 1st. You can also visit the FGS Conference Blog for more details on this wonderful program.

Bringing a laptop? What to know how to get around the area? (The trolley is wonderful!) Driving and need to know about parking? Want something to do before/after the conference or need to entertain a non-genealogist traveling companion? Answers to all of these questions - and many more - can be found on the blog at

In my last email I noted that "Pre-registration is required." Didn't finish the sentence! Should have said "Pre-registration is required to exhibit. To look at the displays - that's free; roam as much as you like in the area."

Society Meetings: Use online training videos for workshops

In an email yesterday to Family History Consultants, our friends at announced the addition of several important free online training classes to an already noteworthy collection known as Research Series Classes Online:
  • Reading German Handwritten Records includes two lessons taught within a self-paced, interactive experience that includes narration and several learning and practice activities.
  • The Italy Research class introduces the major record types available for researching Italian ancestors, as well as how to find and use such records. It also addresses historical events that affected the record keeping practices in Italy.
  • The Principios básicos para la investigación genealógica en Hispanoamérica (México) series is given in Spanish and includes an introduction to the key sources for family history as well as instruction regarding Parish Registers and Civil Registration.
  • Russian History, Geography, Records and Resources is a great introduction to the peoples and events important to genealogists researching ancestors in Russia.
  • The U.S. Military Records classes cover the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and Pre-World War I Pension Applications. The first two classes introduce the many types of military records, their relevance to the particular war, and how to use and find them. The last class discusses the value of military pension records, the many records included in pension applications, and how to find or acquire pension applications.

Ol' Myrt here has a suggestion for genealogy society program chairs. Use a few of these training classes for your workshops and discussions during the next year. This will provide top-notch info for your membership at an affordable price. All you'll need is a computer, computer projector and internet access. Most public libraries have meeting rooms with such equipment.

Happy family tree climbing!

Myrt :)

Your friend in genealogy.

APG Professional Management Conference 2009

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Online registration ends August 26th for the 2009 FGS 2009 Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, including APG's Professional Management Conference (PMC) to be held Wednesday, September 2, 2009. Limited seating may be available to walk-in registrants. For PMC program details and schedule, go to

To register, go to

For event information on Facebook, go to

2009 APG Professional Management Conference Program

Writing Professionally—A Two Hour Workshop

Thomas W. Jones, PhD., CG, CGL, FASG

Solving Mysteries for Money: the Forensic Genealogist and Private Investigator

Mary Ann Boyle, Ph.D., CG

The Bachelor: Reconstructing a Solitary Life Using Obscure & Far-Flung Records

Mary Penner

Talking to the World

Sherry Irvine, CG

Elements of a Good Client Agreement

Richard Camaur, JD, CG

The Genealogy Consumer: Who Pays for Professional Research?

Natasha Crain

Publish! And Supplement Your Income

Desmond Walls Allen

Bull’s-eye! Planning and Delivering a Winning Marketing Campaign

Heather Henderson

Get Paid For Your Passion: Becoming a Professional Genealogist

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Myrt's away: FGS among other things

Yes, the wedding took place on Saturday, and all is well. Now the blushing bride and handsome groom are off the the annual FGS Federation of Genealogical Societies conference. This year it will be held in Little Rock Arkansas. There is still time to register.

If you'd like to stop by the Utah Genealogical Association's booth to advertise Salt Lake Institute, I'll be hanging out there most of the time. We're even planning to have a little wedding cake to celebrate, and you are invited! Note I'll have a new banner for Genealogists in Second Life.

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

Help Bring Historic Sweden Church Records Online

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received last Thursday from our friends at FamilySearch Indexing. Please consider joining in this massive volunteer effort. If Swedish isn't in your range of capabilities, look for other indexing possibilities at

Volunteers to Bring Historic Sweden Church Records Online

400 million names included in largest indexing effort to-date

FALKÖPING, Sweden—FamilySearch and Svensk Arkivinformation (SVAR), a division of the National Archives of Sweden, announced today the launch of the largest online indexing initiative undertaken to-date. The two groups unveiled plans to engage Swedish volunteers throughout the world to help create a highly searchable, free online index to the historic parish registers of Sweden—200 years of recorded Swedish history as documented in the Sweden church records—comprising over 400 million names.

In 1608 the Archbishop of Sweden asked the clergy to begin making records of births, christenings, marriages, and burials of all the residents of Sweden. By 1686, they were conducting regular examinations of the population of each parish. The church records (often called “parish registers” or “church books”) span over two centuries and chronicle the vital life events of an estimated 418 million people who moved in and out of parishes in Sweden.

“The church records are a key source for genealogists seeking Swedish ancestors because nearly everyone who lived in Sweden was recorded in a church record,” said David Rencher, FamilySearch chief genealogical officer. “The challenge now is to make those records, which are written in Swedish, available to researchers worldwide,” concluded Rencher.

“We are very pleased with the excellent cooperation we have enjoyed for many years between FamilySearch and the National Archives to microfilm and scan the Swedish church records. Now we are going to create an index that will revolutionize the genealogy research in Sweden. The simplicity of finding and reading about one’s ancestors on the Web in the millions of scanned records will attract many beginners of all ages,” said Anders Nordström, director of SVAR. “To the academic researcher, this is an entirely new means. It makes it possible to do research within disciplines on a micro level, an extent that was never possible before now,” added Nordström.

The way Swedes passed on a family name throughout the centuries is another reason why the indexing initiative is so important to family historians. “Imagine being in a Swedish community 200 years ago and 10 out of 100 people have the same first and last name as you. That’s how small the naming pool was in Scandinavia,” said Jeff Svare, FamilySearch Scandinavian collection management specialist.

If you were Anders Andersson, your father could have been Anders. Your brother could have also been named Anders, as well as your uncle. To help distinguish which Anders Andersson you were referring to at the time, locals added the name of the farm (residence) of an individual to keep them straight. “Otherwise, when you’re trying to search for Anders Andersson today, your ancestor falls into the proverbial fog of same-named people and you don’t know who they are without the additional context,” added Svare. The FamilySearch index will include the residence or farm name from the individual’s vital record. This information has been extracted to assist patrons in identifying their Swedish ancestor.

The goal is to engage the Swedish community in creating a highly searchable, free online index to the Sweden church records. When complete, the index will be the single largest point of access to information contained in the historic parish registers of Sweden. The free index will link to images of the original records hosted by the National Archives of Sweden (SVAR). In addition to the free public index that will be made available, SVAR might charge a nominal fee for public patrons who want to view or print the images.

FamilySearch is the global leader of online indexing. It launched its online indexing program in 2008, and tens of thousands of volunteers recently helped reach another major milestone by indexing their 250 millionth name. FamilySearch currently has 65 online indexing projects underway.

For this project, FamilySearch will create digital images of the Sweden church records provided by SVAR. Volunteers worldwide will then use FamilySearch’s Web-based indexing tool to view the digital images and extract only the desired information from the image. That data will then be processed and published online in searchable indexes linked to the digital images.

Volunteers need only Internet access and the ability to read Swedish to contribute to this historic effort. A unique quality control process ensures a highly accurate, finished index. Each document is transcribed by two different indexers, wherever they are in the world. Any discrepancies in their two extractions are then forwarded to a third volunteer—an arbitrator—who makes any needed corrections between the two interpretations.

The project will start with records from Örebro, Uppsala, and Södermanland counties. Indexing will begin with the earliest year available for each parish and continue through 1860. A typical downloaded “batch” (group of records) will take a volunteer about 30 to 40 minutes to complete. The indexing utility has built-in tutorials and helps. Anyone interested in volunteering for the Sweden Church Records project can do so at

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

FGS: Blogging, Social Networking, and Podcasting

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: In addition to a personal invitation to participate in this event, Ol' Myrt here just received the following announcement from our friends at the FGS Federation of Genealogical Societies.

Open Forum: Blogging, Social Networking, and Podcasting

Federation of Genealogical Societies 2009 Conference
Wednesday, September 2, 2009 from 5:00-6:00 PM
Statehouse Convention Center, Governor’s Hall IV

The Federation of Genealogical Societies is pleased to host an open forum for everyone interested in meeting, networking, and discussing blogging, social networks, and podcasting.
Everyone is invited, beginner to experienced!

Drew Smith, author of the new landmark book, Social Networking for Genealogists (Genealogical Publishing Co., 2009), will kick off the session. He will briefly describe each of the tools and then open the floor to questions and discussion. Drew will be joined by co-facilitators: Jim Ericson and Gena Ortega of, whose services include and Genealogy Wise, the new genealogy social network; and George G. Morgan, blogger and co-host of The Genealogy Guys Podcast. In addition, bloggers and podcasters will be invited to attend and share their wealth of knowledge and experience.

Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and get to know one another. Everyone will make new friends and connect with people they’ve perhaps only met online. There will be some surprises as well.

Start your FGS Conference experience by “living social” with other attendees. You won’t be disappointed! For more information about the FGS Conference and to register, please visit the website at update 4 Aug 2009

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at Please address all inquiries to

4 Aug 2009
We've just digitized millions of historical newspaper articles, obituaries and documents to help you make more exciting discoveries about your ancestors.

The latest additions to GenealogyBank provide access to new family history information from 34 states and more than 89 newspapers, including:

  • Frothingham's Long Island Herald (NY)
  • Cincinnatti Volksfruend (OH)
  • Fredonian (OH)
  • Aurora General Advertisier (PA)
  • Public Ledger (PA)
    And Many More!

    Search Now

With over two million records added each month, there's always new information on your ancestors just waiting to be discovered.

GenealogyBank now has over 298 million family history records—an estimated 1 billion names found in:

  • Historical Newspapers (1690-1980) More than 186 million articles from 2,600 titles – updated monthly
  • Obituaries & Death Records (1690-Current) Over 130 million obits and death records – updated daily
  • Historical Books (1801-1900) Over 11,700 items – updated monthly
  • Historical Documents (1789-1980) More than 241,000 military reports, lists and government documents
  • SSDI (1937-Current) More than 84 million death records – only site updated weekly

Now, for a limited time, annual memberships are at their most affordable—only $48.95. That's only $4.08 per month! Subscribe before August 14th and save 30% off the regular rate of $69.95.