Tuesday, May 31, 2011

DearMYRTLE's FLASH WEBINAR "Setting up a Conference Blog" TODAY

Join us for a webinar TODAY, May 31 at 3pm.

Mr. Myrt wants to learn to use Blogger.com to set up a blog for his upcoming Fairfax Genealogical Society Conference to be held in March 2012. We'll discuss the challenges of creating a blog, determining the design and layout, and inserting pages (tabs across the top). And Mr. Myrt will do much of the actual work! AWESOME.

Title:     DearMYRTLE's FLASH WEBINAR "Setting up a Conference Blog"
Date:     Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Time:     3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EDT

(A FLASH WEBINAR is one that is created on the fly, with very little notice.)

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Space is limited.

Register now at:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011: A humble thank-you for your service

Honoring those who served is the focus of Memorial Day in the United States today. Mr. Myrt and I visited the Alexandria National Cemetery this past Saturday to reflect on the sacrifice of our servicemen and women, and to see the flags that adorn their grave sites.

As I walked among the tombstones, each adorned with a small flag, I was struck by this view in the photo below. 

Each serviceman supported a higher cause, represented by the large flag in the center of the cemetery. We spoke with other visitors who explained this flag is new and was raised in a ceremony held earlier that day in conjunction with a gathering of veterans and local Boy Scouts troops.

Thank-you to those who served for a cause greater than themselves.

Here are a few of the graves we visited:

Robert Dodd Jerolman
Pvt. Tank Corps
World War I
September 17 1884
April 19 1962

Thomas H. Roberts
(illegible second line)
Died Mar 22, 1864
Aged 17 years and 7 months.

George F. Nute
Co F
15 Regt
Vt Inf
Nov 25 1862

George William Gallahan
Cpl Btry C
385 Field Aty FN
World War II
July 6 1920
April 29 1962

John Robert Travers
Co K
3 Reg
VA Inf
Sp Am War
April 12 1873
Dec 23 1962

Marie Loretta Wright
2114 Base Unit AAF
World War II
Feb 7 1905
September 29 1963

Donald E Field
US Army
World War II
Aug 11 1912
Jun 4 1975

C. H. Downing
[We think this stands for US Secret Service.]

 Hugh Short
Pvt 115 CO
Coast Arty
Sp-Am War
April 1 1874
Jan 23 1965

James Bernard Farrall
US Marine Corps
World War II
Aug 12 1914
Jul 25 1965

US Soldier

Morris K. Barrett
1 Aux Surg GP
World War II
August 18 1900
April 6 1967

Joe Roger Held
June 23 1931
Oct 29 2007
[Animal Specialty Group, US Public Health Service]

Richard W Vanderstelt
US Army
July 18 1941
Jan 22 1997

 Hugh Dawson
Co A
1 Mich Cav
November 1 1862

Posting these pictures and typing the info from each tombstone has been quite an emotional experience for me.

This is a picture of my soldier, now retired, as he straightens a flag at the site of a fellow soldier's grave:

God bless America.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Creative webinar attendee - deafness is no obstacle with iwrelay.com

This past week's webinar caught the attention of a very motivated genealogist who shared this screen shot of how the webinar looked on her computer using iwrelay.com, a signing service for the deaf. This is the first time Ol' Myrt here has seen this service in action.

I recognized Debbe Hagner on the webinar attendee list as an accredited genealogist, from my old Florida days. She works hard to assist genealogists where she lives just north of Tampa.

Shown below on the extreme left are icons on Debbe's desktop, in the middle is Debbe's view of my computer screen during the webinar (where I explained how I scheduled a webinar using GoToWebinar.com). On the right is the iwrelay.com screen, with the interpreter's video stream, and Debbe's shoulder in the extreme right side of that window. (She minimized it on purpose.)

Debbe's feedback stated her only problem was when  I went to a "full screen" on my computer it obscured her view of the interpreter. I'll have to keep that in mind in the future.

Those who are interested in the signing service, be sure to visit http://cloud.iwrelay.com/index.php.

Debbe also shared a link to her article "How I Got Hooked on Genealogy" in the AG® News and Views Winter 2010. The newsletter is published by  ICapGen, the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists. Debbe's article begins on page 5. 

THANKS, Debbe, for sharing. This technology is amazing -- opening up worlds of information for
those with hearing impairment.

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

Inferential Genealogy Study Group in Second Life

DearREADERS and fellow members of Second Life,
Tuesday,  31 May 2011, we'll begin our study of the INFERENTIAL GENEALOGY course by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS available for free at FamilySearch. Here's the direct link to the video file: http://broadcast.lds.org/elearning/fhd/community/cbig/player.html.

Note that while the intro is fairly straight forward, Tom will take us through one case study, then we must make notes on the second and third case studies to compare with his notes. This could get interesting!


1. Please view the INTRO to the course before the first meeting to be held Tuesday, 31 May 2011 at the Just Genealogy Fire Pit in Second Life at 6pm Second Life time, same as Pacific US time. Also print out the 3-page handout for this course. Please don't rush ahead. Follow along with the rest of the group, and observe as our discussion leads to greater insights about genealogical research.

2. Please come to the session with a definition of INFERENTIAL GENEALOGY as you understand it thus far. At the conclusion of our several week's study, we will compare this statement, with your understanding of the term at that point.

3. When we meet on Tuesday night, we will discuss the intro, and I'll provide a list of things to look for in CASE #1, which is to be viewed prior to our second meeting to be held Sunday, 5 June 2011, at the Family History Centre in Second Life at 5:15pm Second Life time.

We will meet at the following dates, times and places in Second Life to share our work in this course:
  • Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 6pm at the Just Genealogy Fire Pit (Intro)
  • Sunday, 5 June 2011 - 5:15pm at the Tabernacle near the Family History Centre (Case Study 1)
  • Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 6pm at the Just Genealogy Fire Pit (Case Study 2)
  • (Note we will skip a week as several participants of the study group will be attending the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.)
  • Sunday, 19 June 2011 - 5:15pm at the Tabernacle near the Family History Centre (Case Study 3)
  • Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 6pm at the Just Genealogy Fire Pit (Conclusion and Feedback) 

Genie Weezles
Clarise Beaumont
Be sure to log in to Second Life on Monday nights when Tami Glatz (Genie Weezles in Second Life) hosts a "Meet and Greet" for beginners -- those new to genealogy and those new to Second Life. Genie starts her meeting at 5 pm SL time at the Just Genealogy Fire Pit. You may send her a Facebook message or send her an IM in-world and she will give you the landmark and offer a teleport. (Not to worry, this is FUN!)

FOLLOW OUR GROUP on Facebook for meeting reminders.

REMEMBER, Ol' Myrt's avatar is a svelte blonde named Clarise Beaumont. 

By the way, I spoke with Tom about our study group when I saw him at the NGS Conference in Savannah. He is interested to see how this works out for us. I'm sure we will have some worthwhile feedback for him. Thanks to FamilySearch for providing this course for free.

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

Friday, May 27, 2011

More on AncestorSync

So last Friday, Ol' Myrt here introduced you to AncestorSync and Geni during the GeneaBloggers BlogTalk internet show. Now you've got two more AncestorSync-related items to further your understanding of this technology and how it will assist you with your genealogy database management.

Genealogy techie Tamura Jones has written a well-illustrated and insightful explanation of what AncestorSync is and what it does. See: http://www.tamurajones.net/HowAncestorSyncWorks.xhtml

Join Geni.com and AncestorSync in their webinar which begins in 45 minutes. They will demonstrate phase one of the syncing options, and take live questions and answers. Here's where you go to sign up for the webinar: http://geniwebinars.com.

According to Geni - "No more need for messy GEDCOM import/export where data gets mangled and lost. Let AncestorSync and Geni be your seamless interface for moving your family tree data anywhere you would like without losing any of your important data. Sources, photos, and documents are all kept in tact. Best of all, AncetorSync will keep your desktop software in sync with Geni.com automatically. GEDCOM is so yesterday."  

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

DearMYRTLE's Twitter/TweetDeck Workshop Webinar WED

UPDATE: The recorded version of this webinar is now available at Lulu. See:

Confused by Twitter but want to know more?
This live demo takes you through setting up a Twitter account, and modifying your Twitter page and learning about hashtags. Ol’ Myrt prefers TweetDeck as an easy way to view mentions, direct messages and tweets from all friends.

During the webinar, we will set up a Twitter account for Mr. Myrt. He's not sure WHY we would be doing this, but he is most certainly a great sport!

We'll also discuss TweetDeck as a great way to manage Twitter with multiple columns. It is Ol' Myrt's preferred method for tweeting.

(We're going to try this webinar again, and hope Twitter doesn't go down during the live event this time.)

Remember, DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinars are not just about PowerPoints...

Title:     DearMYRTLE’s Twitter/TweetDeck Workshop Webinar ©
Date:     Wednesday, June 1, 2011

9pm Eastern US
8pm Central

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements

PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Space is limited.

Register at:

WikiTree Cousin Connector appointee Tami Glatz

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: This is great news ~ a genealogy website hiring a genealogist. Imagine that! It is wonderful to hear our friend Tami will be helping researchers over at WikiTree.

Welcome The New WikiTree Cousin Connector

WikiTree (http://www.wikitree.com/) is excited to welcome Tami Osmer Glatz (http://relativelycurious.blogspot.com/) as our official Cousin Connector. Tami will be helping to connect distant cousins and facilitate their enjoyable, productive genealogy collaborations. She will be suggesting merges so that WikiTree fulfills its mission to be a worldwide shared family tree. And she will be improving the quality of merged ancestor profiles by demonstrating and explaining good genealogical methods.

Tami Osmer Glatz is a long-time lecturer and researcher, specializing in the use of computers and the Internet for genealogy. She is the author of the Relatively Curious Genealogy blog (http://relativelycurious.blogspot.com)and/ the creator of the Relatively Curious Internet Toolbar (http://relativelycurious.ourtoolbar.com/). She is also the president of the Second Life virtual chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (http://www.apgen.org/chapters/secondlife/index.html ).

About WikiTree: WikiTree aims to strike the perfect balance between collaboration and privacy. It gives families a free and easy way to privately share information and organize their facts, memories, and photos. At the same time, it enables distant relatives and strangers to grow a worldwide family tree and create a valuable resource for future historians. Join the free community at http://www.wikitree.com/.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

FamilySearch: Complete 1930 Mexico Census

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at FamilySearch.org. Please address all inquiries to support@familysearch.org.


Complete 1930 Mexico Census Now Available Online for Free!

25 Million New Records and Images for 19 U.S. States and 16 Countries

The FamilySearch volunteers did it! With the completion of the state of Veracruz, they indexed the entire 1930 Mexico Census—almost 13 million records. Add the census to the millions of Mexico church records FamilySearch also has online for free, and FamilySearch patrons now have a phenomenal, fundamental asset for their Mexico ancestral research. There were 59 collections updated in this release, comprising 25 million new images and records for 19 U.S. states and 16 countries. See the table below for more details. You can search all of these updated collections now for free at FamilySearch.org.

If you are enjoying the steady stream of free records added weekly, please consider “giving back” as a FamilySearch volunteer. You can start and stop volunteering at any time. Find out more at indexing.familysearch.org.

Austria, Vienna, Population Cards, 1850-1895 36,82337,409Added images and index to existing collection.
Brazil, Catholic Church Records 0211,410Added images to existing collection.
Canada, Lower Canada Census, 1831 03,259New browsable image collection.
Canada, New Brunswick Provincial Deaths, 1815–1938 92,00996,135Added images and index to existing collection.
Canada, Quebec Notarial Records, 1800-1900 054,920Added browsable images to existing collection.
Chinese Genealogies 0750,021Added browsable images to existing collection.
Czech Republic Church Books, 1552-1935 020,237Added images to existing collection.
Germany Church Records, 1544-1945 0140,265New browsable image collection.
Germany, Baden, Church Book Duplicates, 1810-1869 43,5600Added records to existing index collection.
Germany, Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census, 1867 0253,140New browsable image collection.
Germany, Miscellaneous City Records 07,102Added browsable images to existing collection.
Guatemala Civil Registration, 1877-1934 0978Added browsable images to existing collection.
Italy, Civil Registration, 1806-1940 0985,543Added browsable images to existing collection for several provinces, including new images for Bologna and Genova.
Mexico Census, 1930 1,126,587538Added the state of Veracruz. This completes the 1930 Mexico Census!
Mexico, Jalisco, Catholic Church Records 05,772,188New browsable image collection.
Mexico, Morelos, Catholic Church Records, 1598-1969 0914Added browsable images to existing collection.
Mexico, State of Mexico, Catholic Church Records 0269,871New browsable image collection.
Mexico, Tabasco, Catholic Church Records 0121,419New browsable image collection.
Netherlands, Passenger Lists Holland-America Line, 1900-1974 0113,050New browsable image collection. Includes passenger lists for the Holland-America Line (Holland Amerika Lijn), which transported numerous refugees from war-torn Europe to the United States prior to 1941.
New Zealand, Immigration Passenger Lists, 1855-1973 85,349152Added images and index to existing collection.
Peru, Civil Registration, 1874-1978 015,354Added browsable images to existing collection.
Philippines Civil Registration, 1945-1996 01,809,282New browsable image collection.
Poland, Roman Catholic Church Books, 1600-1950 0843,095Added browsable images to existing collection.
Poland, Roman Catholic Church Books, 1600-1950 1,002,15581,805Added index records and images to existing collection (indexes for Tarnow; browsable images for Lódz and Kielce).
Portugal, Braga Catholic Church Records, 1530-1890 0520,913New browsable image collection.
Puerto Rico Civil Registration, 1836-2001 8,7123,599Added images and index to existing collection.
Russia, Samara Church Books, 1869-1917 052,170New browsable image collection.
Spain, Cádiz, Passports, 1810-1866 019,802Added browsable images to existing collection.
Spain, Municipal Records 098,118Added browsable images (Leon and Lugo).
U.S., Alabama, County Marriages, 1809-1950 216,021128,241New index collection.
U.S., Alabama, County Probate Records 056,738New browsable image collection.
U.S., Arkansas, Draft Registration Cards, compiled 1948-1959 031,882New browsable image collection.
U.S., California, San Mateo County Records, 1856-1967 053,404Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., District of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1959 103,160106,382New index collection.
U.S., Georgia Headright and Bounty Land Records, 1783-1909 035,881New browsable image collection.
U.S., Illinois, Probate Records, 1819-1970 0126,521Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., Louisiana, First Registration Draft Cards, compiled 1940-1945 026,821New browsable image collection.
U.S., Maine, State Archive Collections 073,678Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940 6,488151,200Added records to existing index collection.
U.S., Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1792-1983 05,137Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., Michigan, County Marriages, 1820-1935 0292,239New browsable image collection.
U.S., Minnesota, Death Records, 1866-1916 383,230173,016New index collection.
U.S., Mississippi, Tippah County Records, 1836-1923 038,645Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891 06,399Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., New York State Census, 1865 021,307Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., New York, Orange County Probate Records, 1787-1938 059,885New browsable image collection.
U.S., New York, Queens County Probate Records, 1899-1921 034,382New browsable image collection.
U.S., Ohio, Stark County Court Records, 1809-1917 037,995Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., South Carolina Probate Records, Bound Volumes, 1671-1977 0222,728New browsable image collection.
U.S., South Carolina Probate Records, Files and Loose Papers, 1732-1964 0652,423New browsable image collection.
U.S., Tennessee County Marriages, 1790-1950 219,217198,208Added images and index to existing collection.
U.S., Texas, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Membership Applications, 1892-2010 026,147New browsable image collection.
U.S., Texas, Gonzalez de la Garza Genealogy Collection 098,801New browsable image collection.
U.S., Vermont Enrolled Militia Records, 1861-1867 4,3500Added records to existing collection.
U.S., Virginia Births and Christenings, 1853-1917 1,422,8550New index collection.
U.S., Virginia, Danville City Cemetery Records, 1833-2006 04,093New browsable image collection.
United States, Civil War Soldiers Index 6,282,3600New index collection.
United States, Naval Enlistment Rendezvous, 1855-1891 262,74234,965New index collection.
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 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. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Webinar in archive and a little recording fix

DearREADERS and webinar attendees,
THANKS to those courageous souls who ventured into my "Setting up a Webinar" webinar last night. Your questions showed a keen interest in pursuing webinars as an education tool for your organizations.

Ol' Myrt here discovered a VERY  interesting anomaly, undocumented officially, but noted by GoToWebinar. I spent 45 minutes last night with tech support figuring out why I got a cryptic "TRANSCODING INITIALIZATION ERROR" the past two times I've recorded a webinar. (Earlier efforts were fine, the file transcoded perfectly after I ended the webinar, and everyone who has downloaded those files from my lulu.com store has been able to view the files.)

The result is that certain machines cannot read the file I've uploaded to lulu.com. This was seriously cutting into my revenue stream as I charge a nominal amount for the archived version of DearMYRTLE webinars to offset the cost of my GoToWebinar account.

If one copies and pastes a webinar title (as I recommended during last night's webinar) when setting up a GoToWebinar.com event, your recording will fail to properly "transcode" (whatever that means!) I have copied and pasted from MS Word, where I create the text for my webinar description, etc. Unfortunately, Word has all sorts of additional code that goes along with a simple line of text that messes up the recording.

The fix for those "broken" files you have already recorded is found at http://support.gotomeeting.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=5641&task=knowledge&questionID=5289

GoToWebinar recommends typing (not copying and pasting) the name of the webinar when creating a new webinar. A fellow webinar host suggests copying/pasting from Notepad as an alternative, but this wasn't mentioned during my tech support call last night.

Ol' Myrt here has uploaded the recording of the "Setting Up a Webinar" webinar, and it is available here in case you  missed it!

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A few links for tonight's "Webinar" webinar

DearREADERS and webinar participants,

Here are some important links I'll be using during the "Setting Up a Webinar" DearMYRTLE's Workshop Webinar tonight. As usual, we will begin the "pre-webinar warm up" 15 minutes prior to the official recording the webinar.

Late registrants can sign up by going to: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/535092497 Attendance is limited to the first 100 computers that log in when the webinar begins at 9pm Eastern US, 8pm Central.

We'll use the example of setting up a webinar using the "GoToWebinar" service provided by Citrix, a fee-based service located at http://www.gotowebinar.com/ . The service supports Windows and Mac platforms.

501C Non-Profit Organizations will benefit from registering for GoToWebinar at a substantial discount. Today the TechSoup.org website is down for scheduled maintenance.

http://www.geneawebinars.com/ is the central place for genealogists to find info about online genealogy seminars (webinars). This site includes blog postings announcing upcoming events, a Google calendar, listing of webinar hosts and virtual presenters. Virtually all known genealogy webinar "givers" have been invited to belong to this organization. When your group is ready, please send Ol' Myrt your Gmail address, so you can have administrative rights to the calendar and author rights to the blog. I recommend setting up a special "webinars" gmail account for your society, so that you'll be able to pass on the access to future webinar coordinators fairly easily.

This is the link to the webinar survey form: http://blog.geneawebinars.com/2011/05/survey-your-feedback-on-webinars-needed.html


From GoToWebinar User Help
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

BCG provides downloadable Application Guide

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Please address all inquiries tooffice@bcgcertification.org.

The Board for Certification of Genealogists is pleased to announce that one of its key publications, The BCG Application Guide, is now available as a free download from BCG’s website.

The Application Guide, in which the Board describes its requirements for certification, was previously available only in print form by purchase. The decision to provide it to all interested parties at no cost is a significant change in approach for the certifying body. It means individuals will more easily be able to answer questions they may have about the certification requirements and process. The change may especially benefit individuals as yet only casually interested in certification.

The 32-page Guide is also newly revised and replaces an edition published in 2007. It features a new “Getting Help” appendix that organizes in one place material previously scattered throughout the publication.

Changes in the 2011 edition include elimination of a five-year waiting period for board-certified associates who want to apply for the board’s lecturing credential. Certification in the Board’s research category—Certified Genealogist (CG)—remains a prerequisite for those who seek the teaching credential—Certified Genealogical Lecturer (CGL). However, associates may now apply for the second credential as soon as they like after they have earned the first. Other changes are primarily aimed at helping new and renewal applicants to choose stronger work samples.

The Board’s transition to the new Guide will be carried out with the usual consideration for preliminary applicants who may have already prepared materials using the old Guide. Individuals who have submitted preliminary applications may continue to use the 2007 version of the Guide. New preliminary applicants and those who request extensions will be required to use the 2011 edition.

The Guide can found on the Submission Requirements page of the BCG website at http://bcgcertification.org/certification/requirements.html

BCG is an independent credentialing body; its name is registered with the USPTO. Founded in 1964, the board’s mission is to foster public confidence in genealogy by promoting an attainable, uniform standard of competence and ethics among genealogical practitioners, and by publicly recognizing persons who meet that standard. For more information visit http://www.bcgcertification.org/ .

TODAY: "Giving a Webinar" Workshop Webinar© 9pm Eastern

Is your society considering webinars as an alternative education platform?

Join DearMYRTLE as she walks through the process of setting up a live webinar using the GoToWebinar.com service. Also included is information about adding events to the GeneaWebinars.com Calendar, and making a post at the GeneaWebinars blog. 

Particular attention will be given to creating a welcome page with a custom logo, recording the webinar, handling questions during the presentation, using the poll option, answering questions after the webinar, and publishing the webinar in archive format at Lulu.com. 

Title: DearMYRTLE’s "Giving a Webinar" Workshop Webinar© 
Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 
Time: 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM EDT 9:00 PM Eastern (U.S.) 8:00 PM Central 7:00 PM Mountain 6:00 PM Pacific

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar. 
Register now: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/535092497 

Seating is limited to the first 100 computer connections than click to join the webinar.

Ancestry.com Web Search is a winner

For over a year, the programmers at Ancestry.com have worked on the newly released "Web Search" involving members of the geneablogging community such as Ol' Myrt here in the "thinking" process. Entries in an Ancestry.com "hit list" for your progenitor may include items on other websites that may mention your ancestor. You'll have to go to that other website to obtain all related information. Please also note:
  • Each web entry on the hit list is clearly labeled with the prefix Web:
  • Each web entry on the hit list has an "external link" icon, as shown above.
  • When clicking to view the Web Search information, researchers are faced with a page that explains the item to be visited is on another website.
Some geneabloggers are concerned, yet Ol' Myrt feels Ancestry.com has this Web Search 99% right. (Yes, Ancestry Insider, there are always problems with citations, aren't there?) Ancestry explains:  "We follow web standards for restricting crawling (robots.txt files). If a website has a robots.txt file that prohibits crawling the genealogical records, we don’t search those records. If records from your website are included, but you would like them removed, simply send your request to websearch@ancestry.com or call our member services team at 1-800-262-3787."

The genealogy community has become more internet savvy, and is accustomed to Google searches since Ancestry.com's publication of the very different (100% scraping!) Internet Biographical Collection that went down in flames several years ago.

Here's an opening screen shot I took this morning of an Ancestry.com Web Search page.

From this screen shot above:

Note the use of the prefix  "Web:" (circled twice) clearly indicating this is not Ancestry's content.
A = Reference to the location of the data, including clickable URL for the non-Ancestry.com site.

B = Explanation of Web Search, including a clickable link to more information including answers to such questions as:
  • Do I need to register or pay in order to access Web Records?
  • Which records are included in Web Search?
  • What if you wish your website to be included (or excluded) from Ancestry.com's Web Search.
C = This icon clearly tells the story that the content is external to the Ancestry.com web site.

When I searched for the marriage of Mr. Smith Brown and Lorene Wilson circa 1925, I received this detail:

LEGEND for the screen shot above:
1 and 3 = While it is possible to save the "record" to my tree or shoe box, any responsible researcher prefers to get to the "source" of the information, and not take the deriviative information summarized in this page.

2, 5 and 6 = This is clearly labeled as being "not from Ancestry" and that a new page will open. 

The following is a screen shot of the notice "You are about to view a Web Record" page, again stating that this record is not from Ancestry.

Once on the Marion County, Indiana website, I typed in the name of S Wilson and found the following marriage entry, listing the reference to new information, not found on the Ancestry.com website: Reference Book 126, page 72. With this book and page number, I can obtain the marriage record from the Marion County Circuit Court clerk. (Responsible genealogists don't rely on indexed entries, but strive for the first, original publication of info on events in an ancestor's life.)

Would I have found this entry without Ancestry.com Web Search? Probably. But I'd have to know the marriage took place in Marion County, Indiana, AND I'd have to figure out where to find this index on the web. Both components of that equation often elude researchers.

Does Ancestry.com's Web Search simplify things for researchers? Most definitely.

Ancestry Insider says "I think web page owners will be more amenable to Web Search than to the Internet Biographical Collection. And I think Ancestry.com haters and conspiralists will like it in their own way; it gives them more fodder." 

Ancestry.com explains  that if you have a website with family history records, Ancestry.com wants your feedback on their message board. If you would like Ancestry.com to consider linking to records on your family history site, contact websearch@ancestry.com.

Say what you will, conspiralists -- I think the new Ancestry Web Search is helping researchers by pointing to possibly relevant ancestral hits throughout the internet, and clearly providing links to that information. It is important to me that the bulk of the info to be obtained remains on that other website. Wisely, Ancestry.com is keeping access to Web Search free.

THANKS, Ancestry.com for making internet genealogy research easier for this dedicated family historian.

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

Friday, May 20, 2011

GeneaBloggers Radio – Episode 17

TONIGHT's the night! Ol' Myrt will be sitting in for our friend Thomas MacEntee. He has asked me to host the 17th episode of the GeneaBloggers Radio.

Friday, May 20, 2011
10pm-12:00am Eastern US
9-11pm Central US
8-10pm Mountain US
7-9pm Pacific US
3am London UK (sorry Audrey!)
12pm Saturday Sydney AUS

Here's the link to the show, so you can listen. (If you log in you can chat!)

For instructions on using Skype or the chat room, click here.

Embracing Technology – Where To Turn Next?
Our special guests will include Tami Glatz of the Relatively Curious About Genealogy blog, Bruce Buzbee of RootsMagic, and Earl Mott of SharingTime & Noah Tutak of Geni discussing AncestorSync.


Tami Glatz
Tami Glatz
Tami Glatz is a lecturer, author and researcher, specializing in the use of computers and the internet for genealogical research, following industry-accepted standards and principles. She is the president of the Second Life chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, which meets in the virtual world Second Life. Tami is the creator of the Relatively Curious Internet Genealogy Toolbar, a free downloadable toolbar with hundreds of great genealogy websites http://relativelycurious.ourtoolbar.com.

Bruce Buzbee
Bruce Buzbee
Bruce Buzbee is the founder and president of RootsMagic, Inc., and the author of RootsMagic genealogy software. For over 20 years Bruce has been writing genealogy software, having originally written the popular Family Origins program. Bruce has taught thousands of users the ins and outs of RootsMagic, from the basics for beginners to advanced topics for the genealogy professional. Bruce currently serves on the board of directors for the Federation of Genealogical Societies and is a member of the FGS Technology Initiatives Committee.

Earl Mott
Earl Mott
Earl Mott graduated from Brigham Young University in 1974 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.  He became involved in computer systems long before the personal computer burst on to the scene.  He has worked with computer systems for such companies as John Deere, Haworth, Black & Decker and i2 Technologies.  In 2005 he returned to BYU and received a Master of Business Administration degree.  Earl founded Real-Time Collaboration / SharingTime in 2010 so that he could apply his long experience in computer systems to the problems faced by genealogists.  In February of 2011 Real-Time Collaboration / SharingTime combined with Ohana Software to marry desktop technologies with web technologies.  Together these two companies have even better tools to try and solve the issues facing the genealogy world.
Noah Tutak
Noah Tutak
Noah Tutak, CEO of Geni, joined Geni as a user on launch day in January, 2007 and joined the Geni team shortly thereafter. Through Geni he has discovered and met a number of new cousins from all over the world, including members of the Geni community and other Geni employees. Noah was born in Los Angeles and has a degree in Math and Computer Science from Cal State University, Northridge.

Genealogy News
So join Ol' Myrt tonight as we have a full two hours of time to discuss how 21st century genealogists can embrace technology. (I kinda live in the 1820s, but with indoor plumbing!) 

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