Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tender thoughts

Here's a big THANKS to Thomas MacEntee for covering for Ol' Myrt here as I was stranded at Flagstaff and couldn't get through closed roads to speak at the 2010 Mesa Arizona Family History Expo. We had 55 inches of snow according to the National Weather Service. We didn't and couldn't budge until late Saturday.

This brought forth a time to reflect on the precious nature of our relationships as genea-friends and family. For instance, I quite simply KNEW I could ask Thomas to sub for me. He is that type of guy. THAT says something in this day and age.

Such cooperation demonstrates a mutual respect and our continued commitment to helping others find their roots.

While stranded in the snowstorm, internet and cell coverage was spotty at best. I couldn't communicate well, and frankly gave up looking at my cell phone where even in the hotel room, it read "searching for service".

Somehow (miraculously!) my daughter Carrie was able to get through, and with her first word "Mom" I knew something was terribly wrong. Her mother-in-law Susan (Hatch) Keele had passed away unexpectedly. This meant I was even more anxious that the storm subside so that I could attend to our common grandchildren and somehow ease their pain. Susan and her husband were planning to leave for Moscow, Russia on a humanitarian mission for the LDS Church, with their farewell service scheduled in mid-February. How this happened, we just don't know.

It has been a tender time, watching my normally quiet son-in-law step up to be of comfort and support to his father and siblings. It was Taylor who dedicated his mother's grave. She was only 62. All this still doesn't seem real.

Watching the grandchildren sing at the funeral really brought home to me how important families are. We in the civilized world may pride ourselves in being so thoroughly modern, and mobile. But when it comes down to it, family is key. For those of us without family, it is dear friends that mean so much.

I bemoaned the lack of cell service and road access during the unprecedented storm to my dear husband Gordon. But soon, without internet, blogging or much time to FaceBook, my mind turned to recognize what's important in life... the legacy left by Grandma Susan.

She shall always be a strong influence for good -- and FUN -- in the lives of her children and grandchildren.

To lose Susan this early in their lives leaves a void that is only comforted by understanding that families are eternal.

So as I rested up, unable to budge from our hotel room, thoughts turned to happy times we've shared in our family.

I decided to appreciate how lucky we are to be able to have nearly instantaneous communication most of the time. Our ancestors had to wait months for a single letter from family back east to learn of the passing of a dear one. Wasn't I a silly girl for fussing so?

Once the Arizona DOT opened up 89-North, we took the semi-scary trip from Flag to tiny Castle Dale, Utah. We were most certainly warm, and well-fed, due to the comforts of 21st century 4-wheel drive SUV travel and roadside services. Though we bemoaned the hundred or so miles between civilization here and there in Arizona and southern Utah, we had adequate provisions on board, and enough traffic to ensure our safety should we have broken down along the way.

My daughter Carrie enlisted me in the scanning of about 300 family photos to create a slide-presentation to show at the viewing and at the family home after the funeral. Since Ol' Myrt here doesn't normally travel with 25 DVDs, we were fortunate to locate a Walmart some 30 miles north in Price, so copies of the pics and presentation could go home with each of Susan's children, her mother and siblings.

What meant the most to me was watching the grandchildren as they sang during the funeral. The oldest was 14, and the youngest just 4 months of age. )OK, she was too young to stand up with the others.) At the beginning of the song the oldest boy was so overcome by the intensity of the moment, he bowed his head and sobbed . His slightly younger brother noticed, and put his arm on his brother's shoulder. Together they faced forward to the crowd and sang their hearts out ,despite the tears running down their cheeks. They unashamedly provided the strength and singing support to the group, and were an inspiration to all who observed this tiny act of kindness.

Family values - love, support, perseverance, sticking together.

These are things worth cherishing.


St. George: Barring 55 inches of snow, Ol' Myrt will be there

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

St. George, Utah Here We Come!

Let Your Light Shine at the St. George Family History Expo

If you love family history, you’ll love the St. George Family History Expo! Our flagship event, the St. George Expo will feature nearly 80 classes for beginning researchers to professional genealogists, exhibits, and hands-on demonstrations to help you learn the tech to trace your roots!

The St. George, Utah Family History Expo 2010 will take place:

Friday 26 February 2010, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday 27 February 2010, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

At-the-door registration begins at 7 a.m. Friday and 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the The Dixie Convention Center (

1835 Convention Center Drive

St. George, Utah 84790

It’s free to enter our exhibit hall, opened to the public starting at 9 a.m. both days! You can also hear our prestigious keynote speaker, Bernie Gracy


at 8 a.m. on Friday absolutely free at our opening session!

This event is sponsored in part by Family Search,, RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, Generation Maps, Family Insight-Ohana Software, Ancestral Quest, and Genealogy Gems Podcast!

It’s not too late to get in on the early registration

( for this event. Register by 1 February 2010 and save $10 off the cost of a full registration. Early registration is just $65 to attend informative classes and workshops by some of the country’s top genealogists. The cost of registration prior to the event and at the door is as follows:

$75 for both days, $40 for a single day, or $12 per class

Register online and get immediate access to all class syllabi! Note: Online class syllabi are available only to those who register online.

Learn More about the Expo

Learn all about Expo presenters and the powerful, inspiring topics they teach at (

Visit our homepage and click on the St. George Expo banner.

On the event page you will find orange boxes that will lead you to information about presenters, the schedule, exhibitors, event highlights and door prizes! With the help of our sponsors, great give-a-ways are awarded throughout both days.

We can’t wait to see you at the St. George, Utah Family History Expo! Family History Expos, Inc. is a beacon to guide you through a sea of family history information. The more people participate, the brighter our light shines.

If you have questions or comments about the St. George Family History Expo (,

contact us at:

Family History Expos, Inc.

P.O. Box 187

Morgan, UT 84050


© Family History Expos, Inc. 2010. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

2011 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Join the Utah Genealogical Association in Salt Lake City for the 16th annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy to be held 10-14 January 2011 at the downtown Radisson hotel.

Participants will register for one course featuring some 20 hours of instruction, with time to research at the nearby Family History Library. The official press release with course titles is forthcoming.

UGA has asked me to serve as Director for years 2011 and 2012. For 2011 Warren Bittner will serve on the team as Assistant Director.

Where in the world... Mesa next weekend

It's about time this genealogist got some sunlight -- and what better place this time of year than in beautiful, warm Mesa, Arizona at the 2nd annual Family History Expo?! Thursday we'll head down and set up. The doors open Friday morning with lots of new things for everyone.

  • 11:30am, Jan 22 in the Conference Theater
    FINALLY Get Organized! (Beginner-Experienced)
    This is very interactive, and some 13 people will accept assignments and report back to Ol' Myrt within the next six months. Invariably those chosen at random are uniquely matched to their assignments. Not sure how that works -- something like serendipity. There are no coincidences.
  • 9:30am Jan 23, Palo Verde III
    Getting from the Index to the Original Document (Beginner)
    Tips and tricks for effective use of the Family History Library Catalog & more.

Thirteen genea-bloggers will participate in the Family History Expo, and Ol' Myrt is honored to be chosen as one. Those of you who won't be able to attend may follow our blog/tweets during the event.


Mesa, Arizona Family History Expo 2010

Mesa Convention Center
263 N. Center Street
Mesa, Arizona 85201
Ample Free Parking

Friday January 22nd, 2010. 8 AM to 6 PM
Saturday January 23rd, 8 AM to 6 PM
At the door registration begins at: 7 AM Friday & 7:30 AM Saturday

Exhibit Hall: Open free to the public
Keynote Address: Open free to the public
Classes and Workshops:
Online Registration: $75.00
Single Day Registration: $40.00
At the Door: $75.00 for both days, $40.00 for a single day, or $12.00 per class

See you in Mesa!

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

NGS: Helen Leary video series

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received yesterday from our friends at the National Genealogical Society. Please address all inquiries through the NGS website..



The National Genealogical Society announces a series of interviews with Helen Leary, whose recognition in the field of genealogy includes Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists and Fellow of the National Genealogical Society. See the interviews at at the Videos and Publications tab.

Helen Leary’s many scholarly publications include the seminal National Genealogical Society Quarterly study “Sally Hemings’s Children: A Genealogical Analysis of the Evidence.” Hear Leary discuss the research and analytical techniques she used to arrive at the conclusion that Thomas Jefferson was the probable father of several of Sally Hemings’s children. Find a copy of her article adjacent to the video at at the Videos and Publications tab.
In her interview Helen talks about the value of bringing our ancestors back into memory.

“I once studied the history of genealogy and the rise and fall of genealogy through the ages. And I discovered that the renaissance in genealogy comes when there is economic unrest. Somehow when our economic life begins to shake, it’s like being in an earthquake. We don’t know exactly where we stand. But it’s comforting to know who our people were and, you know, as one person said, ‘you don’t know where you’re going for sure if you don’t know where you’ve been and where you’ve come from ...’ I think people right now are just unsure of who they are and where they are going and what’s going to happen.”

Other video segments include how Leary became a genealogist as well as stories about her family and the importance of close connections with extended family today. In “Stories from My Research” she talks about how tiny and mysterious clues can reveal family relationships.

While visiting the National Genealogical Society website at you may also view the documentary Paths to Your Past produced by award-winning cinematographer Allen Moore and filmed in part at the 2009 Family History Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. More video clips from the conference will be added throughout 2010.

The National Genealogical Society was founded in 1903 and is the largest national organization for all family researchers, including beginner, intermediate and professional genealogists, interested in expanding their research skills and preserving their family history for future generations.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Goodbye to a friend: Ancestry Magazine

Ancestry Magazine has been a standard bearer in the genealogy magazine genre for 25 years. Innovations include being one of the first to use full color layouts, looking more like Smithsonian Magazine than a glorified newsletter.

News is sadly noted that the March issue of Ancestry Magazine will be the last.

In this author's humble opinion, a better move would have been to .pdf format. A variety of viewpoints is necessary in popular and scholarly genealogy periodicals. Though Ancestry Magazine tended to spotlight most frequently resources, the Ancestry voice will be sorely missed in print periodical media.

Subscribers will be reimbursed for balances due after the distribution of the March 2010 issue.

Source: Ancestry Magazine discontinues publication

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

Thursday, January 14, 2010

MORE: Who Do You Think You Are?

Here are more details about what will become as compelling as the Alex Haley's Roots, and a sure impetus for a continued ground swell of interest in family history research:

"Who Do You Think You Are?" premieres Friday, March 5 (8-9 p.m. ET) and gives viewers an up-close and personal look inside the family history of some of today's most beloved and iconic celebrities. Among the celebrities featured are Matthew Broderick, Lisa Kudrow, Spike Lee, Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, Brooke Shields and Emmitt Smith. is NBC's official partner on the series. From executive producer Kudrow ("Friends," "The Comeback") - in conjunction with her production company Is or Isn't Entertainment and the U.K.'s Wall to Wall productions - "Who Do You Think You Are?" is an adaptation of the hit BBC television documentary series created and executive-produced by Alex Graham.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" is produced by Wall to Wall productions (a Shed Media Company) in association with Is or Isn't Entertainment. Alex Graham and Lucy Carter from Wall to Wall and Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky and Don Roos from Is or Isn't Entertainment are the executive producers. Bryn Freedman is the co-executive producer. "

Source: NBC Presents Post-Olympics Prime Time Schedule.

As soon as Ol' Myrt here can get a link to a copy of the expanded ads for this special series, I'll post it here.

Tell your friends -- everyone you know!

Tell NBC what's important by tuning in, and bringing in the numbers.

This is a lot more interesting than the Conan-Jay decision over the Tonight Show.

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

FINALLY: Who Do You Think You Are - 5 Mar 2010

During the Blogger Day sponsored by a week ago, attendees saw previews from the 7 episode Who Do You Think You Are to broadcast on March 5, 2010 according to the following report titled NBC Presents Post-Olympics Prime Time Schedule.

More in just a bit.

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

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

SoCal Genealogy Jamboree: 11-13 June 2010

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: This is just in from our friend Paula Hinkle of the Southern California Genealogy Society.

It's Time For Jamboree!!

Registration is now open for the 41st Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, which will be held Friday through Sunday, June 11-13, 2010, at the Marriott Los Angeles Burbank Airport Hotel and Convention Center in Burbank, California.

The 2010 Jamboree follows the longstanding tradition of delivering the perfect mix of lecture sessions, exhibitors, networking and social activities. This year's Jamboree offers nearly 130 quality classes conducted by the most knowledgeable and experienced genealogy speakers from the US, Canada and points beyond. The geographic focus for this year's Jamboree is North America -- Canada, Mexico, and all regions of the United States. DNA and technology will also receive special emphasis in 2010.

The exhibitors represent the leading organizations and commercial companies who provide products and services to today's genealogists and family historians, as well as local, regional, and national genealogical societies.


1. Thursday Evening Registration. Many of our attendees requested that they be allowed to pick up the syllabus and other registration materials on Thursday evening. We listened, and in 2010 we will have a Jamboree check-in period on Thursday evening. Thursday night's check-in will be for pre-registered attendees only, and no walk-in registrations will be processed until the registration desk opens Friday at noon.

2. More Seats. In response to last year's post-conference satisfaction survey, we are expanding our seating capacity by adding a pavilion that will be situated adjacent to the Convention Center. The pavilion will hold 300 seats, will be fully air conditioned, with wireless internet access. Jamboree will take over the Marriott Hotel as well as the Convention Center and hold sessions in both buildings as well as the pavilion.

3. Mini-courses. We will be running a track of hands-on computer lab workshops throughout the weekend. About 20 people per course will bring their laptops and go through hands-on workshops on using Excel, Word, blogging software, Skype, Google Earth, etc. These mini-courses are open only to paid Jamboree registrants. A special online registration for mini-course attendees will open on May 1.

4. Free Friday Forenoon sessions will ensure that in these economically challenging times, expense will not be a barrier to learning. Several concurrent sessions, each lasting three hours, include a Genealogy Librarian's boot camp, a repeat of last year's highly popular Kids' Family History Camp, and beginner and advanced beginner genealogy sessions. Registration is required to attend the Free Forenoon Friday sessions.

5. The "Small World" round table discussion has been expanded to three hours and moved to Friday morning. The session affords an excellent opportunity to network, to explore research tactics for specific geographic regions of the world, and to exchange tips and techniques on an informal basis. A complete list of round table discussion topics will be announced at a later date. There is no charge to attend the Small World session, but registration is required.

6. Ancestry Scanning. Ancestry will be bringing four high-speed scanners and scheduling free, 15-minute scanning sessions. Ancestry has provided this service at other conferences, and we are thrilled that they will be scanning documents and photos for Jamboree attendees.

As in years past, registration discounts are available for SCGS members and early-bird registrants (before May 1).

Get all the details at
Posted By Paula Hinkel

Friday, January 08, 2010

Census: 1790-1840 every field index

It's hard to stay awake after lunch at any conference, let alone this Bloggers' Day event at

Something that woke me up is the PLANNED 2010 release of an every name, every column transcription of the 1790-1840 US federal census records.

(Yes, I asked for permission to blog about this!)

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :) Bloggers' Day 2010

Its that time of year again -- when invited genea-bloggers to visit the data center and corporate headquarters.

At first blush, Ancestry's high security facility data center has visibly grown since last year. The financial commitment to a seamless, uninterrupted user experience are found in redundancy systems, 3 backup generators.

Who's else is here?
Craig Maison
Leland Meitzler
Ancestry Insider
Dick Eastman
Kimberly Powell
Thomas MacEntee
Diana Haddad
Lisa Louise Cooke

Digitizing in progress
We just got back from touring the digitizing lab here in Provo, Utah. we saw a portion of the 700 English post 1858 will books being scanned. Kew had planned to throw the books out. The books were cut open, so each side could be double-side scanned in a matter of seconds.

BEST argument for off-shore indexing
Chinese indexers must know 2200 characters to read their newspaper, so training them to read 26 characters isn't a stretch. And as Thomas MacEntee points out, the price point for membership would be prohibitive if Ancestry paid for domestic US indexers.

More later.

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

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Boston: Family History Day 20 Feb 2010

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at

Join NEHGS and for Family History Day 2010 in Boston and the New England Historic Genealogical Society are excited to sponsor Family History Day 2010 -- Saturday, February 20, 2010, from 8 am to 4 pm. Held at Westin Copley Place, Boston, Massachusetts.

Join us for a full day of:
  • 6 fantastic classes to help you grow your tree
  • experts on hand to answer your questions
  • One-on-one consolations with NEHGS genealogists
  • Opportunity to have photos and documents scanned on professional scanners

The cost for attendance is $30, which includes parking. Learn more or register today for Family History Day 2010 in Boston!

FamilySearchIndexing: 5 Jan 2010 Update

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

5 January 2010 Update

As the 1920 U.S. Census project wraps up and the final states are published, FamilySearch has now opened up indexing for the 1910 U.S. Census! Patrons can freely search the indexes for the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, and 1920 censuses at the FamilySearch Record Search pilot. Additional international indexing projects were added in December 2009 for Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, France, Germany, and the U.K.

Note: The last of the states for the 1920 U.S. Census will be posted to the Record Search pilot online as they go through the final stages of publishing preparations.

New Projects in December 2009

  • · Argentina, Balvanera—Registros Parroquiales, 1833–1934 [Parte 2]
  • · Argentina, Santa Fe - Registros Parroquiales 1634-1926 [Parte 2]
  • · België—Burgerlijke Stand, 1851-1900 [Deel 2]
  • (In partnership with Algemeen Rijksarchief en Rijksarchief in de Provincien)
  • · Belgique—Registres Civile, 1851–1900 [Partie 1]
  • (In partnership with Algemeen Rijksarchief en Rijksarchief in de Provincien)
  • · Colombia, Bucaramanga—Registros Parroquiales, 1649–1959
  • · Deutschland, Baden, Achern—Kirchenbücher, 1810–1869 [Part 1]
  • · France, Paris—Registres Protestants, 1612–1906 [Part 3]
  • · U.K., Norfolk—Parish Registers, 1538–1900
  • (In partnership with International Society for British Genealogy and Family History)
  • · U.K., Warwickshire—Parish Registers, 1754-1900 [Part 1]
  • · U.S., Alabama—1910 Federal Census
  • · U.S., Arizona—1910 Federal Census
  • · U.S., California—1910 Federal Census
  • · U.S., Colorado—1910 Federal Census
  • · U.S., Connecticut—1910 Federal Census

(See below for a complete list and current status of all indexing projects.)

Recently Completed Projects

(Note: Recently completed projects have been removed from the available online indexing batches and will now go through a final completion check process in preparation for future publication.)

  • · Italy, Trento—Baptisms, 1784–1924 [Part 2]
  • · Perú, Lima—Registros Civiles, 1910–1930 [Parte 3]
  • · U.K., Warwickshire—Parish Registers, 1754–1900 [Part 2]
  • · U.S., Arkansas—1910 Federal Census
  • · U.S., Massachusetts—Deaths, 1913 [V 50–53]
  • · U.S., Minnesota—1875 State Census
  • · U.S., South Dakota—1935 State Census [Part 1]
  • · U.S., South Dakota—1935 State Census [Part 2]

Current FamilySearch Indexing Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion

  • Argentina, Balvanera—Registros Parroquiales, 1833–1934 Spanish 15%
  • Argentina, Balvanera—Registros Parroquiales, 1833–1934 [Parte 2] Spanish (New)
  • Argentina, Cordoba—Matrimonios, 1642–1931 Spanish 86%
  • Argentina, Santa Fe—Registros Parroquiales, 1634–1926 Spanish 6%
  • Argentina, Santa Fe - Registros Parroquiales 1634-1926 [Parte 2] Spanish (New)
  • Belgium, Antwerp—Foreigners Index, 1840–1930 English 77%
  • Canada, British Columbia—Deaths, 1872–1986 [Part 3] English 56%
  • Canada, Québec, Montreal—Régistres Paroissiaux, 1800–1900 French 10%
  • Česká republika, Litoměřice – Matriky 1552-1905 [část 1] (Tschechien, Litomerice—Kirchenbücher [Teil 1]) German 20%
  • Chile, Concepción—Registros Civiles, 1885–1903 [Parte 2] Spanish 8%
  • Chile, Concepción—Registros Civiles, 1885–1903 [Parte 3] Spanish 1%
  • Colombia, Bucaramanga—Registros Parroquiales, 1649–1959 Spanish (New)
  • Colombia, Marinilla—Registros Parroquiales, 1815–1959 Spanish 10%
  • Deutschland, Baden, Achern—Kirchenbücher, 1810–1869 [Part 1] German (New)
  • Deutschland, Brandenburg—Kirchenbücher, 1789–1875 German 90%*
  • Deutschland, Mecklenburg—Volkszählung, 1890 [Div 39–69] German 18%
  • España, Avila, Madrigal y Garganta—Registros Parroquiales, 1530–1935 Spanish 20%
  • España, Avila, Navalmoral—Registros Parroquiales, 1530–1935 Spanish 47%
  • España, Lugo—Registros Parroquiales, 1530–1930 [Parte 1] Spanish 30%
  • France, Cherbourg—Registres Paroissiaux, 1802–1907 French 9%
  • France, Coutances—Registres Paroissiaux 1802–1907 French 5%
  • France, Coutances, Paroisses de la Manche, 1792–1906 French 90%
  • France, Paris—Registres Protestants, 1612–1906 [Partie 2] French 93%
  • France, Paris—Registres Protestants, 1612–1906 [Partie 3] French (New)
  • France, Saint-Lo—Registres Paroissiaux, 1802–1907 French 21%
  • Guatemala, Huehuetenango y San Marcos—Registros Civiles, 1877–1900 Spanish 21%
  • Italia, Napoli, Castellammare di Stabia—Atti di Morte, 1809–1936 Italian 18%
  • Jamaica, Clarendon—Births, 1878–1930 English 50%
  • Mexico, DF—Registros Parroquiales, 1898–1933 [Parte 3] Spanish 16%
  • Mexico, Hidalgo—1930 Federal Censo Spanish 66%
  • Mexico, Jalisco—1930 Federal Censo Spanish 39%
  • Mexico, Michoacan—1930 Federal Censo Spanish 10%
  • Mexico, Nuevo Leon—1930 Federal Censo Spanish 18%
  • New Zealand—Passenger Lists, 1871–1915 English 72%
  • Nicaragua, Managua—Registros Civiles, 1879–1984 [Parte 1] Spanish 37%
  • Russland, Sankt Petersburg—Kirchenbuchduplikat, 1833–1885 German 2%
  • South Africa, Cape Province—Church Records, 1660–1970 English 18%
  • Sverige, Södermanland—Kyrkoböcker, till 1860 [Del 1] Swedish 5%
  • Sverige, Uppsala—Kyrkoböcker, till 1860 [Del 1] Swedish 18%
  • Sverige, Örebro—Kyrkoböcker, till 1860 [Del 1] Swedish 1%
  • U.K., Cheshire—Parish Records, 1538–1850 [Part 2] English/Old English 64%
  • U.K., Essex—Parish Registers, 1538–1900 [Part 1] English 2%
  • U.K., Warwickshire—Parish Registers, 1754-1900 [Part 1] English (New)
  • U.S., Alabama—1910 Federal Census English (New)
  • U.S., Arizona—1910 Federal Census English (New)
  • U.S., California—1910 Federal Census English (New)
  • U.S., Colorado—1910 Federal Census English (New)
  • U.S., Connecticut—1910 Federal Census English (New)
  • U.S., Indiana, Clark County—Marriages, 1811–1959 English 48%
  • U.S., Indiana, Dubois County—Marriages, 1811–1959 English 38%
  • U.S., Indiana, Harrison County—Marriages, 1811–1959 English 56%
  • U.S., Indiana, Marshall County—Marriages, 1811–1959 English 39%
  • U.S., Rhode Island—1905 State Census [Part 2] English 73%
  • U.S., Rhode Island—1935 State Census English 71%
  • Venezuela, Mérida—Registros Parroquiales, 1654–1992 [Parte 1] Spanish 94%
  • Venezuela, Mérida—Registros Parroquiales, 1654–1992 [Parte 2] Spanish 2%
  • Österreich, Wiener Meldezettel, 1890–1925 German 6%
  • Украина, Киев—Метрические Книги, 1840–1842 Russian 59%

(*Percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.)

Current FamilySearch Partner Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion

  • Australia, Victoria—Probate Records, 1853–1989 English 81%
  • België—Burgerlijke Stand, 1851-1900 [Deel 2] Dutch (New)
  • België, Mechelen—Overlijdens Registers, 1851-1900 Dutch, Flemish 69%
  • Belgique—Registres Civile, 1851–1900 [Partie 1] French (New)
  • Belgique—Registres Des Décès—En Français, 1796–1910 French 74%*
  • Canada, Ontario, Toronto—Trust Cemeteries, 1826–1935 English 2%
  • Deutschland, Bremen—Schifflisten, 1904–1914 German 92%
  • France, Quimper et Leon—Registres Paroissiaux, 1772–1909 [Part 1] French 21%
  • Norway—1875 Census [Part 1] Norwegian 88%
  • Perú, Lima—Registros Civiles, 1910–1930 [Parte 4] Spanish 28%
  • Philippines, Lingayen, Dagupan—Registros Parroquiales, 1615–1982 Spanish 5%
  • U.K., Norfolk—Parish Registers, 1538–1900 English (New)
  • U.S., Ohio—Tax Records, Post 1825 [Part 2] English 95%
  • U.S., Ohio—Tax Records, Post 1825 [Part 3] English 1%
  • U.S., Utah, Salt Lake County—Birth Registers, 1890–1908 English 1%
  • U.S., Utah, Salt Lake County—Death Registers, 1848–1940 English 28%

(*Percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.)

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 or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Utah: Professional mentoring from ICAPGen

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following is cross-posted with permission from our friends at ICAPGen. This may be just what Utah area genealogists are looking for when attempting to fine-tune plans for becoming accredited through this well-regarded organization.

From: Tristan Yeayman Tolman
We would like to make you aware of some mentoring classes sponsored by the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen). These classes are geared to help genealogists choose a research project, prepare an acceptable application, and prepare to take and pass the accreditation exam.

There will be two different mentoring groups offered, one in Utah County and one in Salt Lake County. Both will be taught by Accredited Genealogist professionals, both will meet monthly, and both will follow the same basic schedule, which is as follows:

1 – Filling Out The Application – Hours of Experience (local and national areas), Using Repositories

2 – Reference Materials and Document Recognition: State-Specific Research Portfolios; Original Sources; Complied Sources

3 – Documents: Extract, Transcribe, Translate, and Analyze

4 – History, Geography, Maps, and Transportation

5 – Choosing a Project; Methodology

6 – Online Resources

7 – Evidence and Citations

8 – Pedigree Analysis

9 – Report Writing

10 – 1 ½ hour research projects

11 – Application Review and Oral Defense

12 – Make-Up Class (if Needed)

The Utah County mentoring group will be held at BYU in the Harold B. Lee Library, in the Learning Resource Center on the south end of the fourth floor, room 4826. The group will meet on the second Tuesday of each month from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

The Salt Lake County mentoring group will be held at the Family History Library at 35 S. West Temple Street, on floor B2 in room B-2. The group will meet on the second Wednesday of each month from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

There is no charge to participate in either mentoring group, and anyone is invited to attend, but space is limited, so if you are interested, please contact Tristan Tolman, ICAPGen Public Relations, through facebook to reserve a spot. Please provide your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address, and indicate which group you would like to join and what area you are planning to accredit in (if known).

We anticipate these mentoring groups to be a great success. If you have questions about them, please direct them to Tristan Tolman or Kelly Summers through facebook.

The ICAPGenSM service mark and the Accredited Genealogist® and AG® are registered marks of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Starting your own blog: Why

You've probably wondered about how a blog could possibly enhance your personal genealogical research.

Well, a Second Life friend writes:
"I'd like to invite you to visit my new blog, Desperately Seeking Meglones, covering the Kentucky Meglones. I have been busy at work trying to determine my family's Meglone heritage and now have enough research accumulated to share with others and get their feedback."
This new blogger has talked about the use of and the pros and cons of creating your own blog while sitting around the fire pit at Just Genealogy and on the porch at the Family History Centre (both destinations in Second Life). The following points have emerged:
  • is a free blog site, so your blog will cost you NOTHING.
  • provides an easy interface to design the colors & layout.
  • Blogger is owned by Google, so your live (not draft) postings will be indexed by Google often within 5-7 minutes of your clicking the "publish" button.
  • Your Google Gmail account also provides for tons of graphic image storage space.
  • Adding scanned images of documents is a cinch with the Blogger interface.
  • Adding hyperlinks to other websites is also just a click away.
  • Your blog can be private, invitation-only or public. You decide.
  • Comments can be allowed, moderated by you, or disallowed. You decide.
  • Advertising is allowed or disallowed. You decide.
  • If "public", your blog may unearth another research working up the same family tree.
  • You may edit or delete blog entries. You decide.
NOTICE there are a lot of "You decide" options?

Certainly there are alternatives to Blogger for those wishing to start a blog. It is just that Ol' Myrt here got started with Blogger on the advice of an old friend, Bret Lang. I've stuck with Blogger throughout the years. And it is easiest for me to discuss Blogger.

SO, back to the WHY of creating your own blog and how it relates to Desperately Seeking Meglones: You can see that in December 2009, 29 entries were posted, yet the announcement about the new blog only came out today. GREAT idea -- get a few blog entries under your belt. Blogging about an lineage problem can often help you work through it "on paper" so-to-speak. Also others may spot something you hadn't with the very documents you've included as evidence in a blog posting.

Blogging about ancestors is one of the BEST ways of honoring an ancestor by describing his life and times - and providing this information so others can freely benefit.

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

Pre-1500 lineages: serious genealogists usually won't buy 'em


In response to a Susi's blog posting titled Madness on Monday Genealogy Research Chatter, Ol' Myrt here weighs in on the questions posed:
"How often do you open a web page and find data back to Abraham in American trees? Is this a normal, are they exposed to more records than we are? Is access to some of this knowledge more readily available in Europe and Asia?"
Certainly the Chinese lineages go back thousands of years, but scholars in that field will tell you those genealogies are quite male-dominated, meaning females are often eliminated from the family history unless they marry into a powerful family.

Other "ancient" lineages were distilled by the Medieval Families Unit from the old royal houses of Europe genealogies. See Gary T. Hatcher's 2001 posting Medieval British Isles Families at Gary's title isn't as geographically broad as is the content of his article. Such old genealogies were based on the need to be related to someone who owned land, so as to be entitled to an inheritance. Unfortunately, all sorts of political intrigue, illegitimate births and bribery of ancient church officials have rendered those genealogists suspect.

Some folks wish to tout big numbers, don't they?

Others reconsider,
and start over with only the immediate family lines back to the beginning of church records (say 1500ish in England) to be certain that lineages are based on documents that meet the Genealogical Proof Standard.

Lately, Ol' Myrt here has been rethinking everything, including my maternal grandmother Frances Irene (Goering) Froman McDonnell history. If I know some stories, and don't work this problem out, how will others be able to do it in 100+ years?

Basically, Susi, we do what we can as competent genealogists. As we grow in understanding sound research practices, we must review and rework our lineage assumptions to be sure they will bear up under scrutiny. Provide scanned images of original documents, and as Elizabeth Shown Mills recommends: cite sources. Then hope other researchers will spot your blind side.

NOTE: Graphic above of Karl I. der Große (Charles the great, Charlemagne, Carolus Magnus) with Popes Gelasisus I. and Gregory I. from the sacramentary of Charles the bald (ca. 870) (identified: ) from WikiPedia. This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Commons is a freely licensed media file repository.

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

READERS' RESPONSE: Census "view maps" at

Last week's blog entry titled Census "view maps" links no good, solicited several reader responses.

FIRST: Ruth Himan (via FaceBook) said: "I know I should post the errors I find in software. But sometimes I do not know if it is just the user. But I need to slow down a bit and correct and make aware when I can---worse case someone can correct my thinking and all is right again. My findings will always go in as an inquiry with samples. Thanks for sharing and especially sharing with a "fix". Your Genealogy Cousin (I know somewhere we will hook up)."

SECOND: Randy Seaver gave a shout out citing Ol' Myrt's blog entry in his Best of the Genea-Blogs - 27 December 2009 to 2 January 2010.

THIRD: GEOLOVER posted a response to my blog on Randy's site just a little bit ago this morning:
Geolover said...

Thanks for this: [Randy wrote] "Census "view maps" links no good, by Pat Richley on the DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog. Ol' MYRT finds a problem with the map function - it points to the county as if it's a city or town. Well done, MYRT - this slipped past everyone else!"

However, when the maps were rolled out there were many such critical comments in the blog announcement.

The core of the problem is the gedcom-format failure to distinguish between villages and Township-type municipalities by the same name. Even googlemaps does not handle this well: try to get it to come up with a Madison Twp. in Ohio and it comes up with Madison, Wisconsin, without telling you, and incorrectly linking the tree place/event. Similar problem with Bowling Green Twp, Licking County, Ohio; 9 times out of 10 you get Bowling Green, Kentucky.

It is not entirely the mappers' programs' fault. It is the gedcom-format failure to designate what unit of government is referred to.

What *is* the mappers' fault is failure to map Township-type subdivisions in order to distinguish between Counties and towns by the same name. The mapper-programmers are fundamentally city-based, and unable to provide maps that account for the fact that most of our ancestors did not live in cities.

I post here because there is no way to comment on the post on Dear Myrtle's site.

Monday, January 4, 2010 10:16:00 AM PST

ITEM: Regarding no comments at Myrt's blog: Ol' Myrt here doesn't permit even moderated comments on my blog, due to an overabundance of spam comments -- time consuming to reject, and not the way I'd like to spend my days. Readers merely click on my email at the bottom of a posting to send an email. Lately, responses have also come via FaceBook email or wall postings.

ITEM: GEDCOM in my view has nothing to do with the problems Ol' Myrt reported. GEDCOM is a file format that facilitates sharing of compiled genealogy data between genealogy software programs. Neither Bing nor Google maps are GEDCOM file format compatible.

Ol' Myrt here totally gets that the problem isn't the map site's problem, but it's in the character string sent by the user (be that you, me or a site like

The case I cited concerned sending a character string (from the label of their census page, NOT through a GEDCOM file) to maps at where:

The three fields were broken down by Bing as:


But users know to be:
state can easily overcome this for the "view map" option on census index pages -- without regard to anything GEDCOM. Their coders merely need to strip out county names when requesting a search at a linked map site (be it Bing or Google), though I still prefer Google Maps at this point.

ITEM: Township versus city. You are entirely correct that modern day maps don't handle historic places well (such as townships, mentioned in your comment). Ghost towns will also be problematic. We agree it is difficult at best to plot an ancestor's place of residence on 21st century maps without benefit of GPS.

ITEM: Blog - Indeed the blog got quite a few upset responses (from a total of 167!) to the announcement back on 20 Nov 2008 titled See People In Your Tree on a Map. THAT data being sent to an external map website from IS GEDCOM based, since the data came from users' compiled family trees which may have been uploaded as a GEDCOM file, instead of typed in letter by letter at the website. But this isn't entirely a GEDCOM file format issue, either.

It's also a user issue.

GEDCOM file format doesn't require users to type the town, county, state and country when specifying an ancestors' event location. People frequently type the state or country in the first field, because that is all they know at that point in their research. So even GEDCOM isn't at fault. Its just plain difficult to track how users will employ a piece of software.

SUMMARY: The problem Ol' Myrt described was an ' census index page link to an external map site' error -- something is quite different from an 'user input on trees linking to external map site' error.

Try saying that three times fast, after eating four Saltine crackers without a drink to wash 'em down first.

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

NGS 2011: Call for papers

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the National Genealogical Society. Please address all inquiries through the NGS website as indicated below:


The National Genealogical Society announces the Call for Papers for the 2011 Family History Conference, “Where the Past is Still Present,” to be held 11-14 May 2011 in North Charleston, South Carolina. The deadline for submitting proposals is 1 April 2010.

Charleston is a city which is rich in history. Since 2011 is the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War at nearby Ft. Sumter, lectures about Civil War records or other military records are encouraged. We also invite lecture submissions on topics about Native Americans, African Americans, and other ethnic immigration groups including Scotch-Irish, German, Huguenot and Jewish; research in South Carolina and the surrounding states; migration patterns from South Carolina to Georgia, Tennessee and the other Gulf States; general genealogical topics including methodology, skills building, record analysis, problem solving and writing family history; and lectures for the GenTech track which should focus on technological innovation in genealogy.

Sessions are generally limited to fifty minutes plus a ten-minute question-and-answer session. Syllabus material (PDF files), due in early 2011, is required for each lecture or workshop presentation.

Proposals should include the following information:

  • Speaker’s full name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address.
  • Lecture title, not to exceed fourteen words, and a brief but comprehensive outline
  • Short summary of the lecture; word count not to exceed twenty-five words, which will be used in the program, if selected.
  • Speakers are expected to use an electronic presentation program and provide their own digital projectors. NGS will provide the VGA cable, cart and power strip projector support.
  • Brief speaker biography, not to exceed twenty-five words.
  • Resume of recent lectures given by the speaker. Those who have not spoken previously at a regional or national conference are encouraged to submit an audio or video tape of a recent lecture.

Individuals may submit an unlimited number of proposals. NGS members will be given first consideration as speakers. Selected speakers will be notified in the fall of 2010. Speakers will receive complimentary conference registration with CD syllabus, compensation, per diem, lodging based upon the number of lectures given, and transportation expenses based upon the speaker’s home address.

Proposal guidelines can be viewed at Proposals should be submitted online through the NGS website between 1 January and 1 April 2010, using the subject of this press release.

Organizations wishing to sponsor a lecture or track of lectures at the 2011 Family History Conference in North Charleston, South Carolina, can see the details and sponsor requirements at

The National Genealogical Society was founded in 1903 and is the largest national organization for all family researchers, including beginner, intermediate and professional genealogists, interested in expanding their research skills and preserving their family history for future generations.