Friday, December 23, 2011

WEBINAR Muskogee County Genealogical Society

Those of you in the Muskogee, Oklahoma area are invited to attend the Muskogee County Genealogical Society's meeting on Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 6pm in the Grant Foreman Room, Muskogee Public Library, 801 W Okmulgee Ave, Muskogee, OK 74401.

Ol' Myrt here will be appearing "virtually" and presenting 7 Habits of Highly Effective Genealogists. This is a fun presentation, one that is sure to get attendees committed to upgrading their research and organization skills. (Now if I could just practice what I preach!)

The Muskogee County Genealogical Society was established in 1983 to provide education and support to those interested in family history research. The society contributes to the Local History and Genealogy collection at the Muskogee Public Library and other genealogy and history related projects and is a member of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

Muskogee County Genealogical Society's website:

Muskogee Public Library - Genealogy

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

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lazy blogger wins 2011 GeneaBlog Award

After the excitement of RootsTech 2011 last winter, we saw a sharp increase in genealogy webinars, and Ol' Myrt here experienced a similar spike in email requests about where to find these webinars - hers or just about anyone else's. So out of laziness, I created GeneaWebinars as the central place for genealogy webinar hosts to post in calendar and blog format. Thankfully, as GeneaWebinars gained popularity, my email box requests for information gradually declined.

Today's email brings news of an award from the not-too-easily impressed Tamura Jones.

He likes the GeneaWebinars blog enough to give it one of his four 2011 GeneaBlog Awards . He writes "One fun thing about the Genealogy Blog Awards is that it does not have fixed categories. Every year I look for blogs to highlight, and then create a fitting category just for them. There is no fixed number of awards either. This year, the Genealogy Blog Awards highlights just four genealogy blogs, but they sure are four worthy ones."

So the GeneaWebinars blog located at is one of Tamura's four to honor this year! Thank-you. In Ol' Myrt's opinion the award belongs to all of the contributors. I may have set up the blog and calendar, but it is those webinar organizers who contribute to the calendar and create the posts. Their content drives the popularity of the blog. They use webinar technology to provide software support, research methodology advice, and analysis of a variety of surviving record groups, in addition to how to organize and preserve this information for future generations.

So you could say that the GeneaWebinars Blog is a win-win for both the webinar organizers and the online genealogists who wish to learn more about their craft.

Best New Community Blog: GeneaWebinars
There are so many genealogy webinars nowadays, that it's hard to keep track of them.
In February, Pat Richley-Erickson, better known as DearMYRTLE, introduced GeneaWebinars to address that issue, and it's been an immediate hit. The trick to its runaway success is that GeneaWebinars is a community blog; DearMYRTLE gave webinar organisers permission to post their announcements directly to the blog.
The result is that practically every genealogy webinar is listed on GeneaWebinars.

To find out about the other three amazing 2011 GeneaBlog Award winners see Tamura's original blog award post: Congrats to Kerry Scott, Nathan Maling, and Judy Webster for their amazing and now award-winning work!


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

Elizabeth has gone .com

It is a great day in the world of genealogy when Elizabeth Shown Mills debuts a website generously sharing a sizable number of her research methodology articles, complete with "how to cite" directions. Today's that day!

Right away I could see a practical application for this site among my friends. Our genealogy study group over in Second Life will thrive with new content to discuss around the Just Genealogy fire pit. We plan to use an article each month.  

How about doing the same with your local genealogy society? Meet via a Google+ Huddle and discuss the specifics of an article, how your current research compares, and what steps you'd take to follow Elizabeth's example.

Visit  and check out the offerings.

iPad users will overlook the flash media issue on the home page in favor of the rich content of such articles as:

"Applying the Preponderance-of-the-Evidence Principle to a Southern Frontier Problem"

"In Search of ‘Mr. Ball’: An Exercise in Finding Fathers"

"Roundabout Research: Pursuing Collateral Lines"

We understand a busy person like Elizabeth doesn't have time to answer every email inquiry. This website goes a long way toward getting her work out of old published journals on dusty library shelves and into the hands of modern-day genealogists who wish to hone their historical research skills.

Thank-you, Elizabeth for sharing your experience with us.

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

Thursday, December 15, 2011

RootsTech admits mistake

By now you've read accounts of RootsTech 2012 reversing it's position on book vendors in the exhibit hall. (That's the power of blogging!) The announcement below was posted on the RootsTech Facebook page:

RootsTech 2012 Update:  Book Vendors in the Exhibit Hall
We greatly appreciate all the recent comments and concerns related to book vendors being present at RootsTech. We’ve been listening. One of our top goals has been to help introduce a very different kind of family history conference, which certainly requires a balancing act—bringing technologists together with genealogists to inspire important technology solutions for the industry.
It has become clear that there is indeed demand from the community to have book vendors at RootsTech, and we are pleased to extend book vendors an invitation to exhibit at the conference.

Thanks again to the community for all the great feedback. We look forward to seeing you in February!
Alls well that ends well.

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


MyHeritage has an App

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received across the news wires from our friends at My Heritage.

World’s largest family network introduces new mobile experience for connecting families to their past and sharing special moments in the present


PROVO, Utah & LONDON & TEL AVIV, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MyHeritage, the most popular family network on the web, announced today the release of version 1.0 of its new mobile app that enables families to access their family tree and share special moments on-the-go. Available for free on iPhone, iPad and Android, the MyHeritage family tree app combines advanced touch-screen features and unique social aspects to help bring memories to life for the entire family.

Take your family tree with you
As the trusted home on the web for families wishing to explore their family history and keep in touch, so far more than 21 million family trees containing 900 million profiles have been created on MyHeritage. The new MyHeritage app enables family members to access their family tree on-the-go, offering the most advanced smart phone and tablet capabilities for an intuitive user experience. For example, the Pinch Zoom feature enables easy viewing of detailed information about ancestors and relatives, and touch-screen panning can be used to visit any area of interest on the tree. The app shows up to seven generations with photos in stunning graphics, and displays a rich profile for each individual as well. One year in the making, the app was built from the ground up using the most cutting edge HTML5 technologies.

A tool for family communication
The MyHeritage app transforms the family tree into a useful tool for family communication: users can call or email relatives in just one tap and upcoming birthdays and anniversaries are highlighted within the tree. The app also enables users to capture and share family photos instantly – ensuring special moments will never be missed regardless of how far apart family members live. Using sophisticated face recognition technology, the app automatically identifies family members taken in the photo and suggests sharing the photo with them in one easy tap.

Ideal for family get-togethers
With beautiful graphics and all the latest touch-screen features, the MyHeritage mobile app is ideal for people to impress their relatives with their family tree and photos at family gatherings. The MyHeritage app automatically syncs all data, including photos taken at family reunions, weddings and other family events, to users' family sites on MyHeritage - ensuring that all special memories can be shared and preserved for the future. Families can also enjoy the app's fun celebrity look-alike feature based on MyHeritage's face recognition abilities.

“We recognize the growing importance that families place on tablets and smart phones for entertainment and keeping in touch. Our new MyHeritage app shows our commitment to creating the best possible experience for families on mobile devices”, says MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet. “The app is a natural extension of our consumer offering and supports our mission of enabling families to connect to their past and to each other. Version 1.0 is just the tip of the iceberg – we look forward to adding significant new features in the near future.”

The MyHeritage mobile app is available for free on the App Store and the Android Market. To get started, download the app and log in to your MyHeritage account. New users can sign up for free on, build their family tree and begin an exciting journey into their family history. Version 1.0 supports 14 languages and additional languages will be added in subsequent releases. Further development on a more advanced version, including the ability to edit the tree and sign up to MyHeritage from within the app, has already begun.

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the most popular family network on the web. Millions of families around the world enjoy having a private and free place for their families to keep in touch and to showcase their roots. MyHeritage’s Smart Matching™ technology empowers users with an exciting and innovative way to find relatives and explore their family history. With all family information stored in a secure site, MyHeritage is the ideal place to share family photos and preserve special family moments. The site is available in 38 languages. So far more than 60 million people have signed up to MyHeritage. The company is backed by Accel Partners and Index Ventures, the investors of Facebook and Skype. For more information visit

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Booksellers banned from RootsTech2012: No Way

Ol Myrt here is dumbfounded to read Book Venders Banned from the RootsTech Exhibit Hall  posted today by Leland Meitzler. FamilySearch has made a huge blunder here, painfully hitting these vendors quite literally in the wallet. I'd even characterize this as an unfair business practice.

Mr. Myrt and I felt it was so important that Martha Mercer of Mia's Books also vend at RootsTech 2012 that we offered her space in our downtown time-share condo to compensate for her coming all the way from her Ohio base of operations.

Leland, Martha and other book and magazine vendors have already beefed up their inventories in anticipation of high sales volume from what we all calculate to be the single largest conference in our field this year, if last year's RootsTech debut is any  indication. This capricious RootsTech decision to exclude booksellers leaves these vendors with high inventories and no place to vend.

For FamilySearch to have actively recruited Leland's RootsTech 2012 participation as recently as the September 2011 FGS Conference and now renege on the deal three months later is unthinkable.

There was room last year in the RootsTech vendor hall for a large Microsoft display with ping pong, foosball and pool tables. What does that have to do with genealogy and/or technology? Were the Microsoft video games more relevant to genealogists than offerings by book, magazine and genealogy tee-shirt vendors? I think not.

If I am wrong then perhaps we are to scan and immediately destroy our first edition Book of Mormon, along with the three family bibles from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I think not.

Last year we excused away a lot of logistical problems, but into year two, RootsTech should definitely have it's act together.

I can only anticipate an immediate apology from FamilySearch, and a move forward to include any genealogy, history or preservation vendor.

FamilySearch - the ball is in your court. Let's play nice.

PS - I am currently listed as an "Official RootsTech 2012 Blogger" but this blog post may place that status in jeopardy. Even so, I remain in support of all genealogy product vendors.

Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Pearl Harbor 70th Anniversary

This day brings tender memories for patriotic US citizens and our friends across the globe as we remember those who suffered or died in the attack on Pearl Harbor 70 years ago."December 7th 1941 a date which will live in infamy" was President Roosevelt's description as he addressed a joint session of Congress the following day.  During a local news radio talk show this morning, others expressed feelings of respect and admiration for the strength and fortitude of fathers and grandparents, most of whom have since passed away. 

Whether they served during WWII overseas or on the home front, we tend this day to honor all of the Greatest Generation and appreciate their sacrifice and service. "The Greatest Generation" is a term coined by journalist Tom Brokaw to describe the generation who grew up in the United States during the deprivation of the Great Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II, as well as those whose productivity within the war's home front made a decisive material contribution to the war effort."

I once asked my Dad how he heard about Pearl Harbor; he was in medical school in Portland, Oregon at the time. He said everyone was glued to their radio sets listening for any tidbit of news. He said the impact of the attack served to galvanize the country as we faced entry into the Second World War. It was a short while later that one of his fellow students, a Japanese American, was taken to an internment camp, though this classmate's family had lived as responsible citizens in the US for two generations. Dad told me that the Army needed doctors so badly that they stepped up the studies suspending spring and summer breaks just to get the physicians graduated and into the service.

The Today Show reported a Pearl Harbor veteran who recalled bewilderment of the attack. "For Gore, a resident of Seattle, this week marks his first visit to Hawaii since the 1960s, and his first opportunity to personally show his two sons, his daughter and a granddaughter where he was on the morning of the attack."

WikiPedia explains "The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day (December 8) the United States declared war on Japan."

The following was received from our friends at
Pearl Harbor attack photo courtesy  of
Today is the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, we are featuring a video produced for FamilySearch about this historic day on our YouTube channel: Even though it is only a couple of minutes long, the video does an excellent job of illustrating family connections across generations. It also conveys the deeply personal and meaningful aspects of heritage. This inspiring depiction of the enduring importance of family and heritage is set against one of the seminal moments in world history.

We do have one remaining WWII vet in our family ~ Uncle Jack served at Guadalcanal. 


Thank-you for your service.