Thursday, April 29, 2010

Genea-Bloggers' Code of Conduct

Thankfully, Thomas MacEntee has today discussed an idea for a Genea-Bloggers' Code of Conduct. His blog entry describes his reaction to a genea-blogger's copyright infringement that took several attempts to resolve.

Ol' Myrt here has noted from time to time other genea-bloggers have "lifted" content from my site without attribution. While it is wonderful to spotlight the work of others, prevailing copyright law and common courtesy dictate that quotes should be brief with adequate source citations.

It took some calming discussions with fM to help me navigate a course through the murky waters. While I didn't want to discourage a genea-blogger, it isn't reasonable to permit unfair use of Ol' Myrt's materials.

Though I am not the "Miss Manners" of Genealogy, for some reason, other genea-bloggers have written privately for advice concerning copyright infringements of their blogs. They write, and I am glad they do, as I can be trusted to be the soul of descretion. Maybe folks think I know the offending party or parties in question. Perhaps they wish me to intervene to broker an amicable solution?

Twice in the past 2 years, I've personally noted fellow genea-bloggers have used my materials without attribution.

Nine times in the past 2 years I've heard from other bloggers about how to deal with specific copyright issues they've encountered.

In all cases the individuals who stepped on the other genea-blogger's toes failed to CITE THE SOURCE.


  • It IS pretty easy to say "I was reading so-and-so's blog, and that got me to thinking..." providing a link to the other blog's original entry.
  • Don't use anyone else's "stuff" without asking.

It is challenging -- figuring out how to deal with another genea-blogger's use of a our personal photos, or quote of multiple paragraphs.

Isn't ACCURATELY CITING SOURCES a criteria for competent genealogists?

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

NGS announces new course offerings

Ol' Myrt was innocently sitting in the exhibit hall at this week's NGS annual conference, when Pam Sayer, NGS Director of Education, came forward with a scoop.

The National Genealogical Society has a NEW American Genealogy Special Topics Series CD featuring:
  • Working with Deeds
  • Introduction to Religious Records
  • Social Security Sleuthing
In opening my copy of the CD, the courses are presented in .pdf format. Here I discovered easily navigable presentations, with clickable hyperlinks to pages within each course. NGS wisely points out that:

The URLs) provided in this course were current as of 20 April 2010. If a link no longer works, try performing a Google search for the topic or website name.

If you'd like to take these courses, contact the NGS Course Administrator at Information on ordering this CD should be up on the NGS website shortly as it has only just been announced.

3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22204-4370
(703) 525-0050 (800) 473-0060
Fax (703) 525-0052

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

Monday, April 26, 2010

NGS 2010: Opening Day

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: As a registered attendee, and local volunteer, Ol' Myrt here received the following communication today from the National Genealogical Society. Hope to see some DearREADERS, Second Life genealogists and meet new folks. As vendor chair, I'll be stationed at the entrance of the vendor hall , except when I step out to speak at the Utah Genealogical Association Luncheon on Thursday.

Dear Attendee:

We are excited that the annual NGS Family History Conference is about to begin, and delighted that you will be there to share this week with us.

The week begins with an amazing opening session that you will not want to miss. It starts at 8:00 am Wednesday morning, 28 April , in Room Number 155 in the Salt Palace Convention Center. Highlights include:

· Jan Alpert, NGS President, will kick off the conference and show the NGS documentary video, Paths to Your Past.

· Tributes and awards will be presented

· Jay Verkler, CEO of FamilySearch, will take us into the fascinating Granite Mountain Records Vault as a part of his keynote address. Be sure to not miss this rare experience.

· The “Opening Session” will end with two prize drawings: a seven-night stay at the Plaza Hotel, adjacent to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and a free registration for the NGS Family History Conference in Charleston, South Carolina, 11-14 May 2011. You must be present to win!

You will not want to miss the “Opening Session” that begins an unforgettable week of educational lectures and workshops, family history research, sharing experiences with other participants, viewing the latest offerings of genealogical products and services in the Exhibit Hall, and a number of special evening events.

- NGS Staff and Board

National Archives New York Moves to US Customs House

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the National Archives (US). Please address all inquiries through the website listed below.

National Archives New York Announces Move to U.S. Customs House

WHAT: National Archives and Records Administration officials will hold a public meeting to announce the move of the New York Archives from its current headquarters at Varick Street to the U.S. Customs House at One Bowling Green in the Fall of 2011.

WHO: Assistant Archivist for Regional Archives Tom Mills
Northeast Regional Administrator Diane LeBlanc Assistant Regional Administrator David Powers, Director of Archival Operations, Nancy Shader, Public Program Specialist, Dorothy Dougherty & other New York staff

WHERE: Naval Officer's Room, 3rd floor
Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House
One Bowling Green
New York City

WHEN: Tuesday, May 4
10:30 AM and repeated at 5:30 PM

The National Archives New York facility will:

  • Occupy space on the 3rd and 4th floor of U.S. Customs House Building;
  • Store the most popular original records and microfilm holdings;
  • Provide access to National Archives New York records;
  • Continue to provide certified copies of National Archives holdings;
  • Increase the number of public access computers so that patrons can access online resources;
  • Continue to make available online subscription services including Ancestry, Footnote, Heritage Quest, ProQuest, free of charge; and
  • Provide additional outreach programs to increase awareness of National Archives resources in New York, the Northeast Region, and nationwide.

For more information, visit website:

Natl Institute for Gen Studies Graduation, etc.

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: This is also just in from The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Congrats to the graduates. Please address all inquiries to

From: Louise St Denis,

National Institute for Genealogical Studies

* Graduation Ceremony

* Upcoming conferences - we need help!

* Ontario Genealogical Conference

* FREE magazine offer from Internet Genealogy



We will continue to celebrate our 10th anniversary on Friday, the 14th of May as we honour Graduates of the Certificate in Genealogical Studies program. This will take place at 5:45pm, just prior to the Ontario Genealogical Society's opening ceremony at the DoubleTree Hotel.

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies invites you to come celebrate with us, with our students and our graduates and our instructors. Graduates: invite your family to attend - everyone is welcome!

May 14th, 2010 at 5:45pm

Doubletree by Hilton-Toronto Airport

655 Dixon Road

Toronto, Ontario

To reserve your complimentary tickets,

please go to the, click on LOGIN (top right hand corner), type your e-mail address and your password, click OK, click on SERVICES & TIPS (on the left under Other Products), click on National Institute for Genealogical Studies, Click on Graduation Ceremony, click on ADD TO CART, click on SHOPPING CART, in Quantity: change the number of tickets you would like, click on UPDATE, click on CHECK-OUT STAND, Click on PAY BY CHEQUE.

There will no charge. This will simply complete the request.

Or if you prefer, call us at 1-800-580-0165 or if local to Toronto 416-861-0165.

Hope to see you on Friday, May 14th...



We need help? If you are attending any of the conferences listed below and have some time to spare, please let us know. We could use a hand at the booth --- even if just a couple of hours, it would help. For every four hours of assistance, receive a complimentary course...

STUDENTS or GRADUATES or SUBSCRIBERS: if you are attending one of these conferences, let us know. If appropriate, we can try setting up a 'get-together'. Send us an e-mail ( to let us know...



  • National Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah: 28 April to 1 May
  • Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto, Ontario: 14-16 May
  • Southern California Jamboree, Burbank, California: 11-13 June
  • Federation of Genealogical Society, Knoxville, Tennessee: 18-21 August
  • Kelowna & District Genealogical Society, Kelowna, British Columbia : 24-26 September

If you would like to look after a booth for the National Institute at a local event, please contact us to discuss the particulars: 1-800-580-0165.



Canada's largest annual gathering of family historians, the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference, focuses in 2010 on "Essentials, Innovations & Delights". Essentials, because we all need to know the basics when we're embarking on a new area of research. Innovations, because every day there are changes in the availability and accessibility of resources. Delights, because we all need the inspiration of seeing how others have successfully solved their problems. OGS Conference 2010 will be the most star-studded yet, with top-ranked speakers from across Canada and the United States. Three full days, May 14-16. More sessions than ever before. Outstanding keynote speakers. A 10,000 sq. ft. marketplace area. Complimentary Wi-Fi access to Ancestry's global resources throughout the venue. And consider adding Thursday, May 13, for a day of pre-conference activities, including a one-day workshop hosted by the Ontario Library Association, ideal for librarians who work with family historians (or for family historians who work with librarians!). For complete program and registration details, visit:



To help the National Institute celebrate its 10th anniversary, the folks at Family Chronicle are offering our subscribers a FREE copy of their popular magazine INTERNET GENEALOGY. Internet Genealogy, published since 2006, is the magazine for people who look to the Internet for the latest in sources and methods for researching their ancestors. Some of the best experts in online genealogy research are regular contributors and they bring new and interesting ideas to each new issue. These include reviews of new and often obscure sites, online databases, censuses, newspapers online, new software, hardware, the latest in search techniques and more. To download a complete FREE issue, visit, or to check out our subscription specials visit http://internet-genealogy/institute_specials.htm

If you are going to be at the NGS conference in Salt Lake City, visit Ed and Rick at their booth...

Louise St Denis

National Institute for Genealogical Studies

TNIGS course offerings

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: If learning more about how to do research is a priority, the following announcement from our friends at The National Institute for Genealogical Studies will be of interest. Please address all inquiries to

Two new INTENSIVE SHORT TERM COURSES are starting on May 3rd. Registrations are accepted until May 9th.

For students who have been waiting for a long time for a new course on JEWISH research, we have a new INTENSIVE SHORT TERM course on this subject. Please welcome Micha Reisel, a new instructor for his course called: Research Jewish Genealogy on the Internet. Micha is from Isarel and helps genealogists publish their Jewsih family Histories. To learn more about Micha, please go to our site at, click on menu item INSTITUTE, click on FACULTY, & click on his name name.

Lisa Alzo has another new course for you --- it is an INTENSIVE SHORT TERM course called: Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your Family Story. Her last course BRICKWALL Research, was very popular. Register early for the next offering of BrickWall Research, it will fill up quickly. The next start date is August 2nd.

Both of Linda Rakita's 'Investigate' courses are running again this month --- Investigate: Adoption Records & Investigate Lost Friends and Family Records.

Two courses that became compulsory courses for the Canadian Certificate program after the program started are Canadian Geography and Maps and Canadian Immigration Records. You may want to consider these two courses if you did not take them during your program.

Dr. Penny Christensen's English Court Records-Criminal, Civil & Ecclesiastical course has gotten some very good reviews. Lots of valuable information which may be handy when you are hitting brickwalls in your English research.

The US: Military Records with Beverly Rice has also received some very good comments. Consider this course if you need tips researching in these records.

Here's a short description of the above courses. For a more detailed description go to our site, click on COURSES, click on COURSES again, click on INTENSIVE SHORT TERM & NON-CREDIT COURSES, & click on the name of the course.


RESEARCH: JEWISH GENEALOGY ON THE INTERNET: This course provides detailed information about search engines, general genealogy sites, Jewish genealogy sites, JewishGen, Holocaust research, archival research sites and many other resources accessible from the comfort of your home. You will learn how to go about searching these sites and what to expect from the searches.

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO WRINTING YOUR FAMILY STORY: You don't have to be a prize-winning novelist to capture your familyʼs story on paper! This course will cover how to document your family's story in simple manageable steps. Learn how to conduct an oral history interview-including what questions to ask, when and how to record an interview, how to handle privacy issues, how to write from family photographs and documents, and how to blend genealogical and historical facts with family stories to produce a compelling and lasting narrative.

INVESTIGATE: ADOPTION RECORDS: Learn successful methods for gathering information from those who hold the keys. Once contact information is attained, you will be gently guided through your important first contact. This course provides not only instructions of how to search, but addresses the emotional aspects that affect such a deeply personal and poignant endeavor.

INVESTIGATE: LOST FRIENDS AND FAMILY RECORDS: Have you ever wanted to locate a lost love or missing relative? Reminisce with a military buddy or childhood friend? Tried and failed because those distant cousins you just discovered have appear to be impossible to find? Do not let another year pass without that special someone back in your life! Invaluable techniques and tricks of the investigative trade will help you turn that question mark into an exclamation point!


Remember, the registration fee for the Intensive Short Term courses is under $50!


CANADIAN: GEOGRAPHY AND MAPS: If you plan to be a successful family historian you must learn to look at maps and extract the basic, secondary, and even the third level of information they offer, and then evaluate that information. Some older maps show former political divisions and place names, where old roads, canals or railways once ran, perhaps ownership of land, or city plans that show every building, including the one where the emigrant ancestor was born. Is what it shows accurate, up to date or obsolete, misleading or intended to deceive? Maps can be many things and the more you know the fewer traps will catch you.


ENGLISH: COURT RECORDS-CRIMINAL, CIVIL & ECCLESIASTICAL: The former importance of ecclesiastical courts is emphasized. Civil ones comprising manor courts, petty, borough and quarter sessions as well as chancery and exchequer courts are covered. Criminal assizes and records of prisoners & convicts, gaols & transportation are discussed. The availability of original records and indexes to the researcher situated anywhere in the world and their relevance to genealogical investigations is explained.

US: MILITARY RECORDS: Discussions will include the various types of records created by military service, such as service records, muster rolls, pension records, and draft registration. The content of the records and their usefulness for genealogy and immigration research is described. Records of conflicts of the United States and colonial America from the early colonial wars of the seventeenth century to the Second World War are included. The Army, Navy, and other branches of service are detailed. History of military action in America as it relates to records is also included.


This message is also to let you know that 77 online courses are starting on Monday, May 3rd. Registrations are accepted until May 9th. Please see the list of courses below and instructions for registrations.


Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program-Part 1 Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program-Part 2 Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program-Part 3 Electronic Resources: Using The Internet Genealogy and Copyright Guidelines Genetics and Genealogy Methodology - Part 1: Getting Started Methodology - Part 2: Organizing and Skillbuilding Methodology - Part 3: More Strategies Methodology - Part 4: Effective Searching and Recording Methodology - Part 5: How To Prove It Methodology - Part 6: Professional Preparation and Practice

Palaeography: Reading & Understanding Historical Documents



Canadian: Census Records - Part 1

Canadian: Geography and Maps

Canadian: Immigration Records

Canadian: Land Records - Part 1

Canadian: Land Records - Part 2

Canadian: Local History & Special Collections

Canadian: Migration Patterns

Canadian: Vital Statistics - Part 1

Canadian: Vital Statistics - Part 2

Canadian: Wills and Estate Records - Part 1


English: Court Records-Criminal, Civil & Ecclesiastical

English: Land & Property Records Including Manorial Documents & Maps

English: Occupations - Professions and Trades

English: Parish Registers

English: Probate Records

English: Understanding Names in Genealogy


German: Church Records

German: Civil Registration Records

German: Introduction to German Research for North Americans

German: Locating Places in Germany

German: Reading the Records

German: The Language


Irish: Archival Repositories

Irish: Census & Census Substitute Records

Irish: Civil Registration in Ireland

Irish: Conformist & Non-Conformist Church Records

Irish: Electoral & Taxation Records

Irish: Estate, Plantation & Settlement Records

Irish: Major Printed Sources

Irish: Monumental (Gravestone) Inscriptions

Irish: Understanding Ireland, History & Source Records


Scottish: Special Aspects of Scottish Research


US: Cemetery and Mortuary Records

US: Census Records

US: Institutional Records

US: Land Records

US: Migration Patterns

US: Military Records

US: Religious Records - Part 1

US: Religious Records - Part 2

US: Vital Records, Understanding & Using The Records


Librarianship: Developing a Genealogy Web Site

Librarianship: Developing Successful Genealogy Collections

Librarianship: Genealogy Reference Interview

Librarianship: Handouts, Brochures & Online/Multi-Media Reference Tools

Librarianship: Programming and Marketing Your Services

Librarianship: Specialized Genealogy Sources

Librarianship: Twenty-First Century Genealogy Services



Electronic Resources: Family Tree Maker

Planning a Research Trip Including Preparing for Salt Lake City Protect Your Precious Documents

Research: Acadian Ancestors

Research: Canadian Ancestors

Research: French Canadian Ancestors

Research: Irish Ancestors

Research: Newfoundland and Labrador

Research: Polish Ancestors

Research: Slovak Ancestors-Part 1

Researching French Forts of New France

Writing Your Family History Book



Investigate: Adoption Records

Investigate: Lost Friends and Family Records

Research: Jewish Genealogy on the Internet Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your Family Story


If you would like to register for any of the above courses, please do so by logging on to our site at

If this is the first time you are accessing your Private Student Briefcase and you have not entered your own password, click on Login, enter your e-mail address and the password: institute. Naturally, if you are receiving this e-mail, you have a Student Briefcase. Therefore, if you do not remember your password, click on PASSWORD FINDER found at the bottom of the LOGIN window. Your password will be sent to your e-mail program.

To continue the registration process:

Click on Course Calendar (please be patient: this page can take a few minutes to load, since courses are listed up to 2012) Click on Chronological View then Scroll down Click on Register (for more details about the course, click on the course name) Complete the registration

Keep in mind, you can register and pay online to save time. These courses are starting on May 3rd, 2010. Please register as soon as possible. If you are past the start date, you can still register for one of the above courses, but simply choose the next date available. If you are within 7 days of the start date, once your registration is processed, go to your Briefcase area, click on the future date of the course, change the date to the current date. If you have any difficulties or you are later than 7 days from the start date, simply send us an e-mail or call 1-800-580-0165 (North America) or 020 3239 3835 (United Kingdom).

PLEASE NOTE (For students with packages of courses): If you have courses remaining in a package of course, click on the link to View/Register Courses beside the name of your package found at the bottom of your briefcase area. Complete the registration process. (Note: Librarianship courses can only be taken from the Librarianship packages.)

PRINTED COURSE MATERIALS: If you have an elective binder kit and would like to receive the printed materials for a course, please go to our site, click on the menu item OUR STORE, Login (right hand top corner), click on INSTITUTE MATERIALS on left hand side, click on the appropriate department, click on Select Course for Elective Kit, click on the appropriate course. You will only be charged the shipping costs.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to either call us:

1-800-580-0165 toll free in North America 020 3239 3835 in the United Kingdom

416-861-0165 Toronto area

LouiseStD for a SKYPE call

or send us a message at:

Louise St Denis

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies