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Thursday, February 25, 2010

10 Things Genealogists Can't Live Without

Tomorrow Ol' Myrt will present 10 Things Genealogists Can't Live Without at 10am at the St. George Family History Expo. I've waited all week to tell you about this big event, hoping the website would come back online. Don't let the inability to register online stop you form participating in this marvelous event.

So what are the ten things?

FamilySearch Certified Software
Bridging & Full-featured genealogy database software

wiki, Catalog, Record Search& Indexing

Wiggling leaf, scanned images

Online Book Access

FamilySearch Catalog, Google Books, WorldCat

Improved Search Engines

Google – Advanced, LiveRoots,, GenSmarts

Locality-Specific Websites

USGenWeb & WorldGenWeb,; Scotland’s People, Genline


Custom home page

Social Networking

Facebook, GenealogyWise, Second Life

Online File Storage

Mozy, Google Docs, Google Calendar

Distribution Methods, MyCanvas,, Picasa / Flickr, Skype

SO,come on down to the Dixie Center in St. George. The keynote address begins at 8am. The vendor hall is open to the public and the event runs Friday and Saturday this weekend.

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

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Make your OWN Generations Project

What are you doing on Monday nights? Ol' Myrt here hopes you are looking into Brigham Young University's new TV series -- The Generations Project. But more than watching this well-constructed show for the entertainment value, I'd like to see this series become a tutorial for creating your own family history video.

Danielle's quest in this week's episode can be an example of how each of us might document the challenges and joys of climbing our family trees.

Finding the obscure mention of Danielle's ancestor in a child's coloring book lead to locating US Patent Office documents in addition to census and other records supporting Danielle's link to this man.

Continuing the journey, Danielle discovers that in 1814, her 3rd great-grandfather paid for his freedom from slavery. Over the course of the next eight years, he paid for the freedom of his wife and 12 children. In emancipation documents, Godfrey's slave owner described Godfrey's dedication to family and freedom using the following phrases "I was influenced by the high character he supported for honesty and industry... incontestable proof of his unwearied industry... extraordinary merit."

This program is 'spot on' when it comes to interviewing Danielle and gauging her reactions as she encounters documents proving her ancestry and goes a few steps further by studying her ancestors in historical context. Unlike other family history shows, the research process is openly described.

Alternative content

How about showing one of these broadcasts at your next genealogy society meeting as a model for presenting one's family history in digital format? The non-genealogists in the family will find a family video more compelling than a printed book.

Using ideas demonstrated in this series, we could figure out how to readily combine:
  • source documents
  • family photos
  • heirlooms
  • field trips to family places
  • local history
  • personal recollections
and come up with an hour long video. It could even be uploaded in 9 minute segments to YouTube, at literally no cost for distribution. Just THINK of the possibilities!

So if the thought of writing and editing the next few chapters of your family history book seems daunting, why not swap out the paper for digital video?

Create your OWN generations project.

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

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Official: Who do you think you are? at NBC

Our friends at just told me that the official Who do you think you are? site is now available at the the NBC website

The website features bios of the celebrities featured in the show, photos, and several video clips as well as articles on how to get started in family history.

The family history-focused series will lead seven celebrities on a journey back in time as they discover more about the ancestors who came before them. Lisa Kudrow, who executive produced the show, will be featured in the episodes, along with Sarah Jessica Parker, Spike Lee, Matthew Broderick, Susan Sarandon, Emmitt Smith, and Brooke Shields. is a partner with NBC on the show. Tune into NBC Fridays 8/7c beginning March 5.

So this is sounding more real -- FINALLY! Spread the word.

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

APG & Second Life - 10 Feb 2010

A while back, Ol'Myrt here wrote about APG & Second Life as the initial idea about forming a chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Second Life was circulating in "RL" (real life).

Initial hesitation revolved around the Second Life premise of protecting the true identify of avatars (the graphic character a member creates to participate in Second Life activities.)

However, APG members currently participating in Second Life genealogy activities see no problem with informing APG officers of our true identities. In my view, my avatar's name is no different, and no more cryptic than sharing my email address. Remember when we were known as mere numbers on CompuServe? THAT was cryptic!

Now, plans are underway to hold an organizatonal meeting NEXT WEEK for a new APG Second Life chapter (APG-SL), and a notecard explaining the process in being circulated among genealogists in Second Life. It reads as follows:

I. What is APG?
II. Join APG in Real Life
III. Join APG-Second Life Chapter (APG-SL)
IV. Meetings
V. Encouraging others to join this chapter
VI. Contact

Association of Professional Genealogists

"The APG umbrella is more than just a brand. It's a powerful resource for networking, education, and arbitration. Our Code of Ethics sets the standard for professional conduct in genealogy.

Under the umbrella, our members blend their diverse backgrounds to create a strong, competent genealogy industry. Our clients trust APG members to adhere to professional standards, and rely on the APG Directory to find the right professional."


One joins by visiting the APG website. The fee is currently $65 annually. Once membership is processed, you will be added to the directory of members, and given access to the "members only" area of the APG website. See:

Second Life terms of service require the protection of your identity as an avatar owner. You are free to keep that info private or share it with others as you see fit.

However, if you wish to attend meetings and participate as a voting member of the APG-SL chapter, you'll need to choose an avatar and be willing to share that identity with APG's Executive Director, Kathleen Hinckley, Existing APG members who wish to change their chapter affiliation may notify Kathy of the change.

The APG-SL chapter will hold regular meetings, initially on the second Wednesday each month at 5pm SL time (same as Pacific US, daylight when applicable) at the Just Genealogy Fire Pit. If you need a teleport, see our contact list below. We will be happy to assist.

From the APG members-only website, we read "An APG Roundtable is an informal discussion sponsored by the Association of Professional Genealogists and held during national conferences. A roundtable is one of the best places to network with other APG members, to learn how other professionals market themselves, and to share ideas and methods."

The roundtables for 2010 are:

NGS Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

FGS Conference, Knoxville, Tennessee: Tuesday, August 17, 2009, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

The APG-SL Chapter provides a unique opportunity for members to gather regardless of their residence -- and the commute is nothing more than a mouse click away.

For specific directions for joining SL, and getting in sync with other SL genealogists, see DearMYRTLE's blog entry Interested in actually joining Second Life for step-by-step directions.


Krag Mariner
Clarise Beaumont
Genie Weezles
Leonard Greybeard

Founding Members, APG-SL Chapter.
So if you are interested in joining a chapter, our organizational meeting will be held NEXT WEEK 10 February 2010 at 5pm SL time, in Second Life around the Just Genealogy Fire Pit. We have much to do, including voting on by-laws, and turning in our formal organizational papers.

You'll see me there as Clarise Beaumont.

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