Sunday, October 31, 2010

Atlanta GA: FHExpos Bloggers of Honor

If you haven't registered for the Atlanta Georgia Family History Expo, do so TODAY!
It will be held 12-13 Nov 2010 at the Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarload Parkway, Duluth, Georgia 30097.

The Atlanta Family History Expo 2010 is a success due to the support from the following Bloggers:

  • Lisa Ann Alzo, M.F.A., Speaker & Blogger. An avid genealogist for 20 years, Lisa currently teaches online genealogy courses for GenClass and the National Institute for Genealogical Studies.Blog:
  • Valerie Craft, Blogger. One of her favorite aspects of genealogy is old family photos. She always has enjoyed taking photos, and her research had introduced her to finding photos. She was surprised to find that her grandparents all had photos of their ancestors, be it one generation or many. She loves going through these photos and seeing her ancestors in their own time and place. A photo of an ancestor really helps her to feel connected to them. Blog:
  • Luckie Daniels, Blogger. A descendant of emancipated slaves from Washington-Wilkes Georgia. Shortly after the passing of her Maternal Grandmother, Fannie Louella Jackson Barwick, Luckie began her journey to preserve the memory of her family history by establishing in 1997. Luckie is also busy discovering more about her Alabama {by way of Cincinnati} roots via! By day, a Sr. IT Project Manager, Luckie is committed to genealogy preservation and utilizing all the benefits modern day technology affords in this effort. Blog: 
  • Mavis Jones, Blogger. This blog is dedicated to her ancestors and search for them. Even though she has been researching for 20+ years, she’s no expert but is willing to share knowledge as well as the trials and tribulations she encounters along the way. She’s proud of her family and loves to share pictures of her ancestors. Blog: and
  • Tonia Kendrick, Blogger. A banker by day and a family historian the rest of the time. Tonia loves the hunt and is thrilled when she finds connections among the different branches of her family tree. She writes about her research adventures and her ancestors at 
  • Thomas MacEntee, Speaker and Blogger. Thomas is a genealogist specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community. He writes and lectures on the many ways blogs, Facebook and Twitter can be leveraged to add new dimensions to the genealogy experience. Thomas created and manages Geneabloggers.
    Blog: Twitter: @geneabloggers. 
  • Linda McCauley, Blogger. Linda started regularly reading genealogy blogs a year or so ago and had been seriously thinking about starting her own for several months. Finally, on December 27, 2009, she jumped in with both feet. Her main goal was to tell some family stories she had accumulated and document her research trials, tribulations and successes with the hope of generating some interest in the family history within her family. Blog:
  • DearMYRTLE. “Myrt” Blogger, Speaker & Quthor. Nom de plume of Pat Richley, author of DearMYRTLE’s Joy of Genealogy (2006), The Everything Online Genealogy Book (2000), DearMYRTLE'S Genealogy Blog (since 1995), and Teach Genealogy Blog. Activein genealogy circles in Second Life.
    Blog: and
  • Drusilla Pair, Speaker & Blogger. Tracing her family history in Virginia and North Carolina since 1994, Drusilla has conducted various genealogical workshops at family reunions, churches, libraries, cultural festivals, and local and national genealogical societies for more than ten years. She works full-time as a Distance Education and Technology Coordinator at Hampton University.Blog: Twitter: @professordru
  • Angela Walton-Raji, Speaker and Blogger Author, lecturer and researcher. Member, Association of Professional Genealogists, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma Genealogical Society, Choctaw-Chickasaw Freedman's Association, Poteau Valley Genealogical Association, PAAC-Preservation of African American Cemeteries Blog: and
  • Ginger Smith, Blogger. Ginger loves to write, read books and blogs, chat and email with people to stay in touch. She is currently enrolled in the Master of Library Sciences program at the University of North Carolina with the hopes of achieving a dual degree with the North Carolina State University's Public History program. Blog: Twitter: @Smitty327

    Ol' Myrt will spend the better part of each day in the exhibit hall in the "BLOGGERS OF HONOR" (Booth#'s 605, 606, 607) area ready to help you set up your own blog, or learn new tricks to customize your blog.

    Register here for the Atlanta Family History Expo right now! Call 801-829-3295 to register by telephone. Click here for details.

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

    Saturday, October 30, 2010

    Atlanta GA: FHExpos Keynote features digital preservation

    Some of you have written to share that you've registered for the Family History Expo 12-13 Nov 2010 at the Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarload Parkway, Duluth, Georgia 30097.

    Ol' Myrt will spend the better part of each day in the exhibit hall in the "BLOGGERS OF HONOR" (Booth#'s 605, 606, 607) area ready to help you set up your own blog, or learn new tricks to customize your blog.

    The keynote address will be given by Executive Vice President and Head of
    Global Marketing, Josh Hanna, an avid family historian. His topic:

    Let Your Light Shine on Digital Expectations: Preserving

    Learn how technology will impact your search for family history answers now and in the future. From advances in imaging technology to ways in which organizations including are harnessing the contributions and expertise of the genealogy community, discover how your family story will continually become easier to find – and even more exciting to seek – all the time.

    Register here for the Atlanta Family History Expo right now! Call 801-829-3295 to register by telephone. Click here for details.

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

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    FindMyPast: Wales Parish Registers

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

    * 8,000,000 records to be indexed in two years
    * Records date back to the 16th century

    Family history website is making available online for the very first time fully searchable indexes and images of the parish registers of Wales. The project is taking place with the permission of the Church in Wales and Welsh Archive Services and is working with FamilySearch International, the world's largest repository of genealogical records, to digitise the records.

    Around 893,000 images containing 8,000,000 baptisms, marriages and burials from across Wales will be filmed by FamilySearch and transcribed by Some of the records date back to the sixteenth century, making it possible to find Welsh ancestors as far back as the 1500s. The records contain entries in English and Latin.

    The records will be made available over the next two years at with an index search available on Free access to the images on will be made available through all Archive Services in Wales*.

    Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at, said: "It is fantastic that we will be able to make these records available to search online for the very first time. By making these records available family history researchers, old and new, can discover more about their ancestors and where they lived. We are looking forward to working with Welsh Archive Services and FamilySearch on such an important project for Welsh ancestry research."

    David Rencher, FamilySearch Chief Genealogical Officer, added "Genealogical research in Wales has been very difficult for years and the opening of this amount of data for baptisms, marriages and burials will be a tremendous resource for those with Welsh ancestry. We commend all of those who have worked so diligently to make this happen and in such a dramatic fashion."

    Catherine Richards, the County Archivist at Powys and Chair of the Welsh County Archivists' Group commented: "We are very excited to work with and FamilySearch to make our parish registers available online. Making our records accessible to as wide an audience as possible is one of the main objectives of Archive Services across Wales. Records of baptisms, marriages and burials are a major resource for family historians and can reveal fascinating and surprising secrets back through the generations." was the first company in the world to put the complete Birth, Marriage and Death indexes (BMDs) for England and Wales online in April 2003. Previously these were only available offline on microfiche or in registry books, at a selected number of locations. This landmark achievement was recognised in 2007, when won the Queen's Award for Innovation.

    For more information log on to

    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    FamilySearch Update: Ghana, Germany, Norway, Puerto Rico among newest publications

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

    Over 2 million records from 6 countries now available

    People with ancestors from Ghana now have free online access to valuable census records, the first images from that African country to be published on FamilySearch. Other new collections include over two million indexed records from Germany, Norway, Puerto Rico, and three U.S. states: Arkansas, Idaho, and Minnesota. Search these records now at

    See the chart below for the complete list of newly added or updated collections. 

    Indexed Records
    Digital Images
    Germany, Ludwigshafen Church Record Extractions and Family Registers

    New indexed records
    Germany, 1890 - Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census

    Additional images added
    Ghana, 1982-1984 - Census

    New indexed records
    Norway, 1875 - Census

    Additional images added
    Puerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1836-2001

    Additional images added
    U.S., Arkansas County Marriages, 1837-1957
    Additional records and images added
    U.S., Idaho, County Marriages, 1864-1950
    New indexed records and images
    U.S., Minnesota State Census, 1905
    New indexed records and images
    U.S., Minnesota, State Census, 1865

    New indexed records

    OK - More about Dropbox

    There have been several listener and reader responses to the casual mention of Dropbox during Ol' Myrt's Blogging webinar a week ago. This morning's glance at Google Reader brings to view Dick Eastman's article Dropbox: File Syncing & Sharing Made Easy. I heartily recommend reviewing this if you'd like another opinion in favor of the service.

    Dropbox is available for a variety of platforms - Windows, Mac, Linux and Mobile. When  you first visit the site, take the time to view the orientation video, as it describes the use of the service quite well. Ol' Myrt here is sure you'll find the Dropbox service indispensable, even if you aren't planning a trip to Africa.      

    Initially Dropbox is a free service for your first 2 gigabytes of file storage space. This is good for testing out the service, and for sharing a large file that won't transfer via email, such as a GEDCOM file of your genealogy database. You can specify a password-protected file, so that the recipient cannot access other files in your Dropbox.

    Dropbox has a plan for inviting friends and in exchange you can receive up to 16 GB additional free storage space. Right now, you can see I've earned 1.50GB of the maximum 16GB. Notice I've blocked out the full e-mail addresses of the friends I've invited to join Dropbox using the referral system in this screen shot of my account below:

    If you require additional storage space, then upgrade to Pro 50 (50GB for $99 per  year) or Pro 100 (100GB for $199 per year). Payments may also be made in monthly installments.

    I've organized my Dropbox folder with sub folders for major surnames in my compiled genealogy, and merely move each file I unearth to the appropriate folder. As I move back and forth between our home out west and the one here in Virginia, I take the time at each computer to look for those stray scanned images and downloaded source documents about my ancestors, and move them to a surname folder in my Dropbox.

    One Dropbox, many computers.

    Lately I've been adding scanned images from several ancestors' US Civil War pension and service files I've been researching at the National Archives in Washington, DC. The next time I turn on my computer back in Utah and connect to the internet, Dropbox automatically syncs all the new folders and files I've added, so both computers have the same content. 

    The green circle w/ check mark means the file or folder
    is synced to the online Dropbox folder.

    When I turn on my laptop these updated files and folders will also be replicated on my laptop's hard drive. This also works well when adding scanned images on my laptop at a library or archives. When I return home, I'll see that my desktop computer has already been synced by Dropbox, since it is always connected to the internet. Next, I'm ready to crop out the excessive black borders of the scans, and attach them to ancestors in my genealogy database. For such image fine-tuning, I prefer using an external mouse rather than my laptop touch pad. (And then of course, there is no time like the present to insert appropriate source citations, while things are fresh in my mind.)

    If you'd like to try Dropbox, do use this Dropbox link, as it will help Ol' Myrt here earn her full 16GB of free storage space. I've got a lot of my ancestor's source documents to scan from my old 3-ring binders.

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

    FindMyPast: 2nd Boer War Records

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


    • Boer War Deaths 1899-1902 now available to search on
    • Details of over 260,000 names of the men and women who served the British Empire forces
    • Includes the most up to date casualty list of 59,000 casualties with more background than ever before

    Leading family history website has published online the Register of the Second Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, recording individual servicemen, nurses and civilians who served with the British Imperial Forces during the Second Anglo-Boer War.

    This register includes very rare and out of print documents, creating a single record for each participant in the war, making it the most unique database of its kind for amateur genealogists, military historians and medal collectors to research. The database includes 260,000 entries, including the casualty roll with details of over 59,000 individuals.

    This is the first time that these records have come together in one place, making it easy to find ancestors who took part, with only a surname needed to begin the search. The published casualty records that previously existed were often imprecise, due to lack of familiarity with the Afrikaans language, use of names that have passed out of usage and the location of the records. For example, many of the casualties of the Battle of Biddulsphberg are shown in the casualty roll as Senekal; this is the place where the troops retired to and where the casualty roll was prepared rather than where they actually fought.

    This new online version can help you:
    . Find the unit with which your ancestor served
    . Quickly research a medal before you buy or bid for it
    . Find the many units with which a soldier served
    . Learn about the place they became a casualty
    . Find the medal roll reference and for some records the clasp entitlement
    . Locate which war memorial they appear on
    . Learn about a mention in a book
    . Find what honours and awards they received

    In the course of consulting various sources to compile this new register, many errors and conflicting information were discovered, demonstrating the need for a comprehensive database such as this Register. The database has a huge advantage over the printed source, as the information can be refined, corrected and represented to the researcher instantly.

    Boer War research can be confusing as there were two Boer Wars. The First Boer War was fought from 1880 to 1881, whereas the Second Boer War lasted longer, from 1899 to 1902*. The Register released today focuses on the second Boer War and brings together information from over 330 sources.

    The main sources used to build the Register are the Official Casualty Rolls**, A Gazetteer of the Second Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, Medal Rolls, Anglo-Boer War Memorials Project, Winifred Scott's Anglo-Boer War Index and Kevin Asplin's rolls for the British cavalry, Imperial Yeomanry, Imperial Yeomanry Hospital, and the Lovat's Scouts and Scottish Horse records.

    The Gazetteer is the biggest innovation in regard to the documents used. The location of many casualties is linked to the gazetteer entry that provides information on the geographical location and the military context to that casualty. The work on the revised casualty roll has introduced a further 300 entries and this now makes the gazetteer contained within this database the most comprehensive ever for the Anglo-Boer War.

    Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at, said: "By hosting this unique Register of the Second Anglo-Boer War, is the only place where people can come and easily search these records online. A great amount of work has been put into creating this Register, by people who live and breathe the Boer War, so we are very pleased that they want to share it with us and our members, making it easier than ever before to find those who took part."

    Meurig Jones, creator of The Register commented: "The Register adds real value to research by using powerful technology. For the researcher The Register will save time by combining information from many varied sources at the click of a button." was the first company in the world to put the complete Birth, Marriage and Death indexes (BMDs) for England and Wales online in 1 April 2003. Previously these were only available offline on microfiche or in registry books, at a selected number of locations. This landmark achievement was recognised in 2007, when won the Queen's Award for Innovation.

    For more information log on to

    * The First Boer War began when farmers of the Transvaal Republic fired upon a British army garrison which they perceived to be invading their territory. The war escalated with further attacks being made on British credits stationed throughout the Transvaal.

    Due to the stealth of the Boers and their unconventional rifles, combined with the easily identified bright red uniforms of the British soldiers, the Boers retained the upper hand throughout. William Gladstone, then Britain's prime minister, signed a treaty allowing the Boers to self-govern the Transvaal.

    The Second Boer War followed a heavy influx of foreign gold prospectors to the Transvaal and the determination of Britain to gain control of the region.

    The Boers in the Transvaal joined forces with the Orange Free State and the war lasted for two and a half years, leaving 75,000 casualties in its wake. The Transvaal and Orange Free State were both annexed into the British Empire and the Union of South Africa was formally created in 1910.
    Of those killed in the Second Boer War, around 22,000 were British soldiers, either having perished in battle or died from disease.

    ** The Official Casualty Rolls are published in two sets: The Natal Field Force (NFF) (October 1899 to October 1900) and the South African Field Force (SAFF) (October 1899 to May 1902). Neither is easy to use, both are arranged by unit and SAFF is divided into six sections by date.

    Leading UK family history website (formerly was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003.

    Following the transcription, scanning and indexing of over two million images, the company launched the first website to allow the public easy and fast access to the complete indexes, which until then had only been available on microfiche film in specialist archives and libraries. The launch was instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy seen in the UK today. has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 750 million records dating as far back as 1538. This allows family historians and novice genealogists to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.

    In November 2006 launched the microsite in association with The National Archives to publish outbound passenger lists for long-distance voyages departing all British ports between 1890 and 1960.

    As well as providing access to historical records, is also developing a range of online tools to help people discover and share their family history more easily, beginning with the launch of Family Tree Explorer in July 2007.

    In April 2007,'s then parent company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement. was acquired in December 2007 by brightsolid, the company who were awarded The National Archives' contract to publish online the 1911 census, which it launched in January 2009.

    Free Q & A for "accidental archivists"

    NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received yesterday from our friend, the Practical ARchivist. Please address all inquiries to Sally Jacobs

    The Practical Archivist Is Offering a Complimentary Q&A Web Chat Just For "Accidental Archivists"
    An Accidental Archivist is someone who inherits a large family photo collection and is unsure what to do next.
    Madison, WI October 25, 2010 - The Practical Archivist announced a new Q&A web chat happening on Friday, October 29, 2010 from Noon-1pm Central Time. The chat will be hosted on Sally's Practical Archivist blog,

    There is no charge to participate, no pre-registration required, and no software to download.

    Keepers of ancestor photos are encouraged to bring questions about how to organize, preserve and scan these treasures. Not sure what kind of box to use? Wondering whether slip-in sleeves are a good idea? Skeptical about whether an ink pen is the right tool to mark the back of a photo? Confused about the difference between ppi and dpi? Sally can help.

    "I'm offering this no-cost session to celebrate Family History Month and Archives Month while educating Family Archivist and encouraging them to do the best job they can," explains Sally J. (The Practical Archivist).

    "Early in my career as an archivist, I realized the vast majority of historical documents would never be cared for by a professionally trained archivist. I took it as a personal challenge to reach out to family historians and help become better family archivists."

    Ermadene Able is currently enrolled in Sally's Joy of Organizing Photos program, and wants other family archivists to hear her tale of narrowly-avoided disaster: "Before, my precious ancestor and family photos, movies, videos and linen heirlooms were vulnerable to damage due to the way I was storing them. Sally taught me how to store them all properly. This was good because not long after I moved them to a new location, our hot water heater flooded where some of the photos had been. How is that for timing? Thank you, Sally!"
    Sally Jacobs has a Master's in Library Science with a Specialization in Archives Management, and has worked at the Library of Congress Prints and Photos Division, the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, and American Girl. Her online CV is here:

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Questions from the Blogging for Beginners webinar

    Here are many of the questions not directly answered during Ol' Myrt's BLOGGING FOR BEGINNERS webinar hosted last week by our friends at Legacy Family Tree. For the webinar, we used the example of Google Reader to pull in and read blog entries and to create a blog and to make blog postings.

    "IT WAS ABSOLUTELY THRILLING for me and very excellent! This is my very first such seminar, and I am brand new to Genealogy. Frankly, I am completely overwhelmed and don't know where to begin. I love the new technology and am learning more about this. This Blogging is new to me too, and not sure where or how to start really. I will re-watch this. It's overwhelming, and sorta feel like a baby who is just learning to stand up! Thanks for keeping it as easy as possible for those of us who are total 'rookies'."

    Q: = a question from a webinar attendee
    A: = an answer from the Legacy Family Tree team.
    Myrt: = Myrt's answers in this blog entry, not covered during the webinar.

    Q: How to select name of Blog?
    A: - unanswered -
    Myrt: Any name will do ~ perhaps pertaining to the topic, the ancestral name, your personal family history journey, etc. Just go for it! The one I am doing using my friend's WWII and Korean conflict letters is titled "Elsie Says..." owing to our personal history

    Q: What are the caveats about using your real name (and/or home address) on a website?
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: My blog has a snail mail address hosted by the UPS Store. I've had issues with an stalking individual, but consider that highly unusual. It is a good practice to use a mail service. The use of real names is a matter of choice.

    Q: What about using a blog to help identify family photos?
    A: Another great idea.

    Q: Is there any way to recall a blog if you publish it accidentally?
    A: Yes, you can delete it.

    Q: I have a Google ID but do not use Gmail, do I still need Gmail to use for my blog?
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: Your Google ID will permit you to log in to and set up a blog.

    Q: Does Blogger allow you to download the blog to your computer for backing up?
    A: -- unanswered --
    Myrt: doesn't have its own backup option. However, here are links to several suggestions:

    Q: Any possibility for a webinar on "What genealogists need to know about copyright, " especially as related to images, blogs, websites data, etc.?
    A: -- unanswered --
    Myrt: A great idea. Who could teach this?

    Q: I have Windows 2000 can I still watch/listen to Webinars coming up?
    A: -- unanswered --
    Myrt: Current technology calls for the following system specifications, see:

    To organize or attend an online meeting, webinar or training session, the following is required:
    For PC-based participants:
    • Internet Explorer® 7.0 or newer, Mozilla® Firefox® 3.0 or newer or Google Chrome 5.0 or newer (JavaScript and Java enabled)
    • Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
    • Cable modem, DSL, or better Internet connection
    • Minimum of Pentium® class 1GHz CPU with 512 MB of RAM (recommended) (2 GB of RAM for Windows® Vista)
    For Mac®-based participants:
    • Safari 3.0 or newer, Firefox® 3.0 or newer or Google Chrome 5.0 or newer (JavaScript and Java enabled)
    • Mac OS® X 10.4.11 – Tiger® or newer
    • PowerPC G4/G5 or Intel processor (512 MB of RAM or better recommended)
    • Cable modem, DSL, or better Internet connection
    Participants wishing to connect to audio using VoIP will need a fast Internet connection, a microphone and speakers. (A USB headset is recommended.)

    Q: How large can your blog be in Blogger for the free option?
    A: I don't believe there is a limit. However, there is a limit on the total space you are using (pictures/videos, etc.)
    Myrt: Each blog entry can be about any length. I've not hit the limit in all these years. You may need to add space to host your graphics and videos expanding your free Google account. 

    Q: How do you and others connect together on a blog?
    A: -- unanswered--
    Myrt: As folks perform internet searches, they will find your blog entries which are spidered (every word indexed) by Google within minutes of your blog post going live. As they post comments, you'll begin to communicate and definitive family relationships will emerge. Sharing the photo you've posting in your blog may encourage someone to share the pages from the family bible they inherited. Neat, huh?!!

    Q: Will Myrt talk about dealing with spam on her blog?
    A: Pre-screening the comments helps. Or its built-in spam prevention helps too.
    Myrt: All comments must be approved by me before they go live.

    Q: So you are saying that if we are going to use Blogging to connect family, use just one large blog instead of several individual blogs - is that correct - will the blog become too LAYERED? and too hard to find the information - so is  a blog searchable?
    A: -- unanswered--
    Myrt: You are thinking of a blog like a multi-page book, forgetting that search engines do better at finding a unique word on a blog entry than we are at tabbing through an index in a book. Let technology work for you. I am constantly surprised to receive comments on a blog post I made so long ago I barely remember it. So, basically I am saying GET IT OUT THERE, and don't worry. If you build it, they will come!

    Q: Do you have to get permission from a website such as Ancestry or just cite that the document comes from Ancestry?
    A: If they have the copyright on the digital image, then you'd need their permission. However, I'm not a copyright lawyer...
    Myrt: I have permission from websites like to show a document since I am describing the process of how to use the site to obtain the results. But I learned it is always best to give credit where credit is due.

    Q: How do we get the societies to use blogs - would be much easier?
    A: Yes, it really just starts with educating the board members. Have them watch this webinar later at
    Myrt: It also might help to explain that it costs nothing to do a blog. Contrast this with the high cost of producing a society newsletter (paper, copying, postage, bulk mailing permit, etc.)

    Q: Are all your blogs through the one Google account?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Why do you say yes to the show email post?

    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: This permits readers to send a copy of my blog entry to another person via email.

    Q: You mentioned you have different Gmail accounts - why and how does that work?
    A: Some will have a Gmail account they use only for doing online shopping. Some will sign up for another Gmail account to use for genealogy correspondence. So, lots of reasons I guess.

    Q: I would like to blog primarily, to assist with researching my family.  Is this a reasonable use of blogging?
    A: Absolutely. This helps "market our ancestors". Others will find your blog and get in touch.

    Q: What kinds of things do people blog about?
    A: Being answered right now...

    Q: Would Google Documents work in place of Dropbox?
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: Dropbox automatically updates the dropbox folder on my three computers as soon as I open one. I really like that option since I don't have to think about it.

    Q: Where can I purchase the Quick Sheets on the Legacy website? I went to the store and can't find them.
    A: --unanswered-
    Myrt: Here are the laminated Quick Sheets won by three attendees of the live webinar:

    Q: How do you upload the Google Reader?
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: Google Reader can check a website that you specify (I used as an example during the webinar) and see if there is an RSS feed. Google Reader resides on the internet, not on your local computer, so all you need to do is go, login, and then select "Reader" near the upper left.

    Q: Picassa on your desk top will easily up-load from your photo files.
    A: --unanswered --
    Myrt: Yes, it will automatically sync all your photo files, however I've turned this option off, because I prefer to work through the 15 extra shots Mr. Myrt took before he got his favorite good shot.

    Q: I assume pre-screening comments ensures you never are bothered by spam postings?
    A: Yes, but blogging services also have built-in spam protection.

    Q: How do you find blogs that you might want to subscribe to?
    Myrt: Perhaps because geneablogs are growing so fast, many of us are not listed on Cyndi's List. I'd just go to and look through the types of blogs, as Thomas is pretty much on top of things.

    Q: I post a lot of pictures on Facebook and have had family members suggest that I set up a blog instead.  What would be the advantage of doing so other that more control of viewers.  Also, if I'm wanting to share pictures, would they just go through a Picasa album to download.
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: Facebook is limited to those who have elected to join. What if a distant relative (the one with the family bible) doesn't know to search for you by name? A blog entry about your ancestor will bring folks right to you.

    Q: If I post pictures, what will be the resolution of the files for family members that want to download them?
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: Admittedly, photos are reduced in quality to make it less expensive to host these photos and blogs for free. But at least, the individual has learned who you are, and you can share photos with them directly in higher quality .tiff format one on one or using a service such as a password protected Dropbox file.

    Q: Is there a way to block people from taking your pictures off your blog.
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: There is a technical way to go in and modify the html code to block copy/paste. However, I just don't worry about it. I am more interested in sharing information with other researchers.

    Q: has a Blog Counter.

    Q: How do we set up the Google Reader to begin?
    A: Go to and either create an account there or sign in.
    Myrt: If you have a google account, all you have to do is select the Reader from the list of available Google resources. Then review the webinar to see how to add a blog.

    Q: I have  family diary to transcribe. Any comments/tips about doing this on a blog?
    A: Excellent idea for a blog entry. It will also help others find you.
    Myrt: I am sure that the diary is regarding pre-1900, or that you have permission from the individual to transcribe anything later? Other than that, attempt to provide links to place that letter in historical context. For instance, if the letter refers to a railway disaster, provide a link to an online newspaper report of the accident, etc.

    Q: I always have a hard time getting multiple photo images to be included in my blog text the way I want them.  Whether I put it left, middle, or right justified, they seem to have a mind of their own, especially on the preview or when published.  That seems to be the most difficult thing for me when blogging because I always add images from my hard drive. 
    A: I agree. I personally use Typepad and it's actually a bit easier there. But then it's not free like Blogger.
    Myrt: I don't have trouble with multiple graphics if I restrict myself to 1 graphic per paragraph if using left or right justify. Otherwise, there is no problem if using the center option, and placing a line of text and a blank space before and after the graphic. Good luck!

    Q: Does a blog have numerous pages on just one with all the posts; how is content, links, etc added
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: A blog has numerous pages, one for each post, so that they can later be referred to one by one. There are several ways to find the content: monthly archive, using the search option, using the label option.

    Q: Is this blogging mostly just useful for  gene pros or can people simply researching their family use this method successfully or are the social networks better.
    A: Anyone can blog about anything - about cooking, gardening, genealogy, learning, etc.
    Myrt: I couldn't agree more. My daughter blogs about her health team, a friend blogs about her chocolate baking recipes, and my sister blogs about tablescapes she creates. Professional genealogists may elect to have a blog as a portfolio of work describing his/her capabilities.

    Q: Can you place your tree on a blog like a regular webpage?
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: You can copy/paste any sort of text to your blog.

    Q: Can people respond to me thru my blog or add to it?
    A: Yes, if you want. They can either add comments, or you can add others as authors.

    Q: Is it easy to unsubscribe (when you've subscribed too zealously and are overwhelmed)?
    A: Yes, Google Reader, and others, let you easily unsubscribe.

    Q: Does google search the data/names in a blog or just the title entries?
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: By default, Google searches for strings of text, but you can use the advanced Google search option to specify the date range of a blog entry's posting date.

    Q: Do you have to have a Gmail account to use 'Google Reader'?
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: Its my understanding what once you sign up for Google, you get all options available.

    Q: Are there ways to promote one's blog, to help readers find it?
    A: You could advertise in many places - submit it to search engines, Google should find it,, etc.
    Myrt: If it is a genealogy blog, tell the folks at They've got the largest list, and it is categorized. Also review the webinar to view the setting that sends info about your blog to search engines.

    Q: Will Google recognize my blogs if someone searches?
    A: Yes, if you have a public blog, others will be able to search at Google at locate your blog. Myrt will probably explain that you can also have a private blog.
    Myrt: YES, since Google owns, it spiders your blog entry shortly after you click to the publish button.

    Q: Doesnt' using RSS use a lot of bandwidth?  I pay per mb.
    A: If you are subscribed to lots of blogs, potentially. Unless you're using an online RSS reader like Google Reader.
    Myrt: I agree that if you are reading a lot of blogs via email, then you will use a lot of mb. However, if you are viewing through Google Reader, this should be minimized. However, this is a small price to pay for the amount of information you'll be learning.

     Q: I use, but so far no matter what words I use for searches, Google never lists it.
    A: Look through your Blogger control panel. I believe there is an option to make your blog public and/or searchable through Google.
    Myrt: Remember, I set a Google Alert for the unique word "DearMYRTLE" found in every blog entry. Google returns an alert for the blog entry with 5-7 minutes of each posting's publication.

    Q: How do you set Blogger to e-mail you comments?
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: On your Blogger control panel for your blog, click SETTINGS, then select COMMENTS. Toward the bottom of the page is where you specify the email address where you wish to receive comment notifications. This is also the page where you specify to always moderate comments.

    Q: Is it free?
    A: Yes, Google Reader and are free.

    Q: How do you go about obtaining your own domain name, especially if your actual is already taken in order to stand out?
    A: Places like,, etc.

    Q: Can you create multiple blogs on Blogger with the same googleID..and if so how many?
    A: Being answered live...

    Q: Is it better to be specific in your interests or is it better to go with general interest areas to begin with?
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt:  There is no right or wrong way to go. Sometimes Ol' Myrt's blog entries are very detailed (like analyzing William Warner Player's baptismal 1793 entry) and other times I write about how to make jam.

    Q: If you switch blog providers, like Wordpress to Blogger, are the postings transferable or do you basically start new?
    A: --unanswered--

    Q: Is a blog the proper place to post a 3-generational family questionnaire?
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: This sounds like a great idea, provided the info does not include living individuals. Otherwise, make it a private blog, and only specify those individuals you wish to view the blog.

    Q: I don't understand how to create the account in the first place.  I have Verizon.  D I go into Google and ask for or start with or what?  Once I get that done, I am pretty sure I can do 2 and 3.
    A: Yes, go to and either create a new account or sign in there.

    Q: This may be ridiculous, but I am not sure WHY one would use a Blog?  I seem to be doing quite well with e-mail.
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: Email is great for one time use. However, imagine having that same paragraph honoring an ancestor out there in your blog for all other relatives to discover? It multiplies the usefulness of your work, since a blog doesn't require knowing the potential reader's specific email address. If you know all your relatives, hidden and remote, you are right, you don't need a blog.

    Q: If you upload newspaper articles do you still need to worry about copyrighted info?
    A: Probably. It depends on its time period though. We should have another webinar on copyright issues.
    Myrt: You are probably safe with pre-1923 items, unless the copyright has been renewed.

    Q: Do you respond to every comment? How much time do you spend on Dear Myrt Blog? Writing and responding? Say daily or weekly?
    A: Are you wondering how much time Myrt spends writing her blog?
    Myrt: My response during the webinar was to ask Mr. Myrt how much time I spend on my blog. When not driving to and fro across our beautiful country, I spend anywhere from 20-60 hours a week on my blog. Sometimes I take a break to have two crowns installed. Life happens. Go figure!

    Q: How do you determine what comments you will respond to?
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: Sometimes I just cannot help myself. ;-)

    Q: Should we have a blog for the whole family or divide into blogs for different lines?
    A: --unanswered--
    Myrt: There is no need to divide your blog into different family lines, since they tend to intertwine anyway. Just get started. The hardest part is getting the first blog started.

    "Dear Myrtle was outstanding. I would love to hear her again. I now plan to do a Blog. Before I had no idea how to even start. Thank you this was wonderful."

    "I was delighted to learn about blogging, Google Reader, RSS feeds, etc. I have been wondering how to subscribe to RSS feeds, what that entailed as well as what that would do for me. So wow, you have opened a bunch of new doors for me. Unfortunately, I was late signing on and missed the first 15 minutes and details about setting up my own blog, but I know to go back and revisit this broadcast. Meanwhile, I've already found Google Reader and subscribed to your blog as well as Dick Eastman's. Thank you!!!"

    "Thank you for making this available free of charge! I'm very interested in blogging but the technicalities (can people "steal" stuff from your blog?), time commitment, and privacy are the concerns holding me back. I look forward to watching this on the archives and spending more time with it. Great presentation!"
    "Some of the presentation was over my head, but at least I feel like I can start now. I really appreciated being able to ask questions."

    "Good timing since I have to decide how I am going to handle Google dropping Google Group Page and File options. Not sure I wanted to transition to Google Sites or Blog for our family organization communication and sharing research. Probably we will do both."

    "It was extremely informative and very easy to understand.  Thanks for making it SIMPLE!"

    "Excellent -- THANK YOU for making these quality webinars available free."

    "Very smooth. Nice transitions from subject to subject. I hope that an "advanced" webinar will be offered in about 30 days,"

    "Very good. Pertinent topic. Good clear instructions along with a lot of resources. Well planned sequence of presentation."

    "Very helpful to learn about blogging which may be helpful in my research."
     "I am more interested in seeing an actual blog that contains pictures of ancestors, stories or histories about the person. How is the best way to organize your information on a blog? Can you put census records, etc? Well, I know that you can put any jpg, but I am interested in the best way to organize your information. Is there a blog that I can go to and view and would show me the way?"

    To this last webinar attendee, Ol' Myrt here says just dive in -- there is no right or wrong way to do honor an ancestor. You can decide to spotlight an individual, a couple, a family group, 3 generation of men running the same farm, a great-grandmother's recipe for chicken noodle soup -- whatever.

    Listen to the recorded version of the Blogging for Beginners webinar here.


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

    Happy 4th,

    NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Congratulations to our friends at GenealogyBank on their 4th birthday. Please address all inquiries to Kevin Celebrates Fourth Anniversary!
    Reports Over 700 Million Family History Records Now Online.

    Naples, FL (NEWSBANK, INC.) October 26, 2010 – GenealogyBank, a leading online newspaper archive for family history research, reports explosive growth in its collections. Celebrating its fourth anniversary, GenealogyBank now has over 700 million family history records and is actively digitizing more newspapers—adding records daily.

    "We've added over 570 million records since our launch in 2006," says Tom Kemp, Genealogy Director for Newsbank, inc. "We're excited about the rapid growth of our newspaper archive and the vast breadth of family history information we have available. GenealogyBank provides exclusive access to more than 300 years of important genealogical information and is an ideal resource for exploring the real stories behind the lives of past generations."

    GenealogyBank features over 4,500 newspapers in all 50 states, including substantial runs from big-city dailies, regional weeklies and small-town newspapers.

    To celebrate its expansion and success over the past four years, GenealogyBank is now offering a 20% savings on annual memberships through 10/29/2010.

    About GenealogyBank:
    GenealogyBank, a division of NewsBank, inc., supplies individuals interested in family history research with over 300 years of U.S. newspapers, government documents and other historical records in all 50 states. GenealogyBank contains over 700 million family history records including: obituaries; birth, marriage and death notices; and much more. GenealogyBank can be found at:

    Update on New National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis

    NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the new National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. Please address all inquiries to

    Update on New National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis

    St. Louis, MO. . . The National Archives and Records Administration’s National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) will relocate more than 100 million records to a new $112 million modernized facility. Crews broke ground on the 474,000 square-foot facility on November 16, 2009.

    According to the St. Louis County Economic Council, the project is expected to pump $435 million into the local economy and involve more than 300 construction jobs. NARA will lease the facility for twenty years from The Molasky Group of Companies through the General Services Administration (GSA). Located in North St. Louis County, the facility will open its doors in May 2011, which is also when the workforce of 800 will start moving in. The entire move of personnel and records will take about seventeen months.

    The new location will store approximately 2.3 million cubic feet of records currently housed at three different St. Louis area facilities. The building will be certified under the Leadership in Energy and  Environment Design (LEED) program and will also be compliant with the stringent Federal standards for archival and non-archival records.

    Records will be housed in climate-controlled stack areas designed for long-term preservation. As well, archival storage bays will have particulate and ultraviolet filtration. Paint, sealants, caulking and the powder-coated finishes for the shelving will be certified for minimal off-gassing of volatile organic compounds. The facility will also offer new research rooms, meeting rooms equipped with the latest video-conferencing technology and tenant office space for other area federal agencies.

    Several move teams are working to ensure that each and every record is accounted for when moved and that NPRC’s important services to veterans continue with little delay. Many of the records are currently stored on 10-high shelving units in an old 1950s facility at 9700 Page Avenue in Overland, Missouri. This location was ravaged by a 1973 fire that was one of the worst in U.S. history. The fire destroyed the building’s sixth floor and an estimated 16 - 18 million individual military personnel records. The records lost include those of Army personnel discharged between November 1, 1912 and December 31, 1959, and Air Force personnel discharged between September 25, 1947 and December 31, 1963 with names alphabetically following Hubbard, James.

    Some records were salvaged from the disaster; these fire-damaged records have been stored in a climate-controlled area where specially trained preservation technicians treat the records for mold and delicately piece together whatever they can save. Despite the very fragile state of the burned records,  preservationists have been able to retrieve valuable information in an effort to reconstruct portions of a service member’s personnel file. At the current Page facility the Preservation Branch, also treats several thousand records that have been exposed to the harmful rays of the sun and to other  contaminants that shorten a record’s life span. In the new building, all of the records will be housed in climate-controlled record storage bays.

    NPRC is comprised of three organizational divisions: Civilian Records, Military Records and  archival Programs. Visiting researchers are encouraged to schedule an appointment prior to making a research visit.

    With headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Archives at St. Louis’ NPRC is one of 44 NARA facilities located throughout the United States. Unlike other collections, however, the records held in St. Louis impact nearly every family in the United States. These holdings represent a priceless piece of history and are a critical source of information for genealogists, family members,  scholars, veterans and researchers in many fields of knowledge.

    For more information or questions please contact:

    Wanda T. Williams
    Archival Programs Division, Archivist
    National Archives and Records Administration
    9700 Page Avenue, Room 2005
    St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
    314-801-9313 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              314-801-9313      end_of_the_skype_highlighting wk

    Ancestral Quest new 12.1 build 26

    NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just in from our friends at Ancestral Quest. Please address all inquiries to Gaylon Findley at

    We just released a new build of AQ 12.1. This is build 26.

    This is a free update for those with AQ 12.0 or 12.1.

    To get the build:

    If you are using one of the recent builds of AQ which show the NewsLine,  get the update from the NewsLine window by clicking on the link. (If  your NewsLine window has closed for the day, you can view it again from
    the Help menu of AQ.)

    If you don't have the NewsLine window, go to AQ's 'Internet' menu
    (between 'Tools' and 'Collaborate'). Select the option for "Check for
    Latest AQ Release".

    Below is the list of enhancements and bug fixes in build 26:

    (Note to Family History Centers: The new build for Family History
    Centers is not yet available -- we hope to make it available soon. If
    you have an urgent need to upgrade to this build, contact me directly at

    Gaylon Findlay
    Incline Software

    Changes in Build 26 (10/22/2010)
      General Enhancements
    * Photos/Images: You can now view scrapbook photos and source images in
    an external viewer. This will let you zoom and edit the photo. Enable
    this feature either from the Scrapbook tab of Preferences, or from the
    Scrapbook screen of AQ by checking the box for 'Use External Viewer'.

    * AQ Newsline: Adjusted the new Newsline window so you could choose an
    option to view it daily or weekly.

    * Check/Repair: Check/Repair has been enhanced to find and fix more
    items in both AQ and PAF databases.

    * Translation to non-English Languages: Fixed some issues in the
    Translation editing, and moved several text items to the translation

    * Family View, Children List: The '*' which indicates a Christening date
    rather than a birth date was too far separated from the date. Adjusted.
    Also, if you displayed LDS ordinances for children, the birth date was
    too crowded with these codes. Adjusted.

    General Bug Fixes
    *Search for Marriage Screen: If you edited a marriage while on this
    screen, then looked at it again while on this screen, it would appear
    that the marriage updates hadn't taken place. The marriage data now
    refreshes properly.

    * Custom Report: If you had saved a report definition, sometimes it
    would not re-load properly, causing problems with the report. Fixed.

    * Move Scrapbook Items: If you used this tool to update not only the
    path of one folder, but the paths of all subfolders of that folder, the
    subfolders were not properly adjusted. Fixed.

    * Family Group Record: If you had set the event type of a custom event
    to "Private", any event of that type should not print unless the private
    flag was overridden for the event. This was not working. Fixed.

    * Custom Event Sentences: When printing a book report or generating web
    pages, and the sentence for the event used the ability to use a
    different verb depending on whether the person was living or deceased,
    AQ always used the deceased option. Fixed.

    * Bookmarks: If you had defined some bookmards, then closed the file,
    and after restarting AQ you used the shortcut to activate the bookmark
    prior to viewing the list of bookmarks, AQ would give a warning message
    and not activate the bookmark. Once you displayed the 'Search' menu, the
    bookmark shortcuts would then work. Now you don't need to show the
    'Search' menu prior to using keystrokes to go to the bookmarked individual.

    * Startup: If you tried to open AQ, and a database was not initially
    opened, and you had disabled the ability to show nFS data (this is a
    very rare situation), AQ would crash. Fixed.

    Enhancements to nFS Features
    * Logging In: nFS now allows AQ to remember your ID and password. This
    has been implemented.

    * General Public: nFS is preparing to allow the general public to have
    access. AQ has implemented the general login, so AQ is ready when nFS
    allows public access.

    * Pedigree View: links overlapped the nFS icons. Fixed.

    * nFS Marriage Notes: The nFS API has a bug when retrieving marriage
    notes. FamilySearch provided a work-around in the June release of nFS.
    AQ now takes advantage of the work-around to better retrieve marriage
    event notes from nFS.

    * Combine Messages: Improved the messages given to the user when a
    combine fails on nFS.

    * LDS Ordinance Sync Screen: This screen (found when using the 'LDS'
    button on the match screen, or the 'Ordinances' button on the ORTS
    screens) now lets you update the local LDS Confirmation and Initiatory

    * GEDCOM Export: If you downloaded LDS Confirmation and Initiatory
    ordinances from nFS, then exported your data to a GEDCOM file, yet you
    unchecked the option to include LDS data, these ordinances were still
    exported. Fixed.

    * Reports: If you print book reports (Modified Register/Ahnentafel),
    FGRs or generate web pages, and you didn't want the LDS ordinances to
    show, the new LDS Confirmation and Initiatory ordinances still showed.
    These reports have been enhanced to treat these new events as LDS
    events, and will not show when the option to show other LDS ordinances
    is disabled.

    * Reserve List: If you added someone to the reserve list (either from
    your database, or an individual from nFS who was not in your database)
    who was not linked to the corresponding nFS person, and you later linked
    the person from some other screen, AQ will now acknowlege the link in
    this screen.

    *Reserve List: In the August 2010 release of nFS, FamilySearch
    introduced a bug in the API that AQ uses to get the complete reserve
    list. This made it so that AQ could no longer reload portions of the
    reserve list using either the 'Reconcile' button of the 'Manage Batches'
    screen, or the 'Add All Reserved Records' to AQ's reserve list. AQ has
    been enhanced to work around this bug in nFS.

    * Create Batches/Reserve Ordinances Screen: Added a progress bar when
    groups of records are being processed.

    * Possible Problems Report: If you added LDS Confirmation or Initiatory
    events to individuals, this report would most likely flag these as
    problems. These events are no longer checked for the problem report.

    Bug Fixes to nFS Features
    * Marriage Event Notes: If you added a note to a marriage event on the
    nFS side of the spouse/children Sync screen, it didn't add to nFS. Fixed.

    * nFS Notes: If you loaded notes/sources for nFS parents, then closed
    the event screen and reopened it, you'd have to load the notes/sources
    again. Fixed.

    * nFS Dates: If a date came from nFS in the format of 'YYYYMMDD' (ie
    18661101), and if you had your preferences set to European date entry,
    the date would be interpreted as 'YYYYDDMM' (ie Jan 11 1866 rather than
    Nov 1 1866). Fixed.

    * ORTS Review Batch Screen: If a card was associated with a person whose
    individual ordinances were not done, but the Seal to Spouse was
    completed, the card could not be reprinted. Fixed.

    * LDS Ordinance Sync Screen: This screen (found when using the 'LDS'
    button on the match screen, or the 'Ordinances' button on the ORTS
    screens) had a bug wherein if you had an nFS parent set with only one
    parent, then tried to select that set of parents, AQ would crash. Fixed.

    * Family Sync Screen: If you added parents from your local file who were
    already linked to nFS parents, after the child was linked in nFS to the
    existing parents, as AQ tried to also add the marriage event, AQ would
    crash. Fixed.