Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chasing Women: Finding Your Female Ancestors

The following announcement was sent out by my friends at Legacy Family Tree regarding a FREE webinar:

Leland-100Registration is now open for a fantastic upcoming webinar: Chasing Women - Finding Your Female Ancestors. Hosted by Legacy Family Tree's Geoff Rasmussen and presented by's Leland K. Meitzler, you are in for a real treat. While the live webinar is not until Wednesday, February 16, 2011, space is limited to the first 1,000 attendees, so register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free.

Webinar Description
Locating the names of our female ancestors can be difficult – principally because their names changed upon marrying. However, women historically haven’t produced as many records as their husbands, since women’s suffrage largely didn’t exist until the twentieth century. This adds to the difficulty of finding their names, let alone the details of their lives.

There are two major search areas that we deal with in locating women’s names, the first being the search for their maiden names, and secondly, the search for their married names. One search can be as hard as the other, and you may find you’re doing both types of searches on the same women.

This webinar is very “source” oriented, giving detailed information on a wide variety of sources, starting with the obvious, and working its way through sources that you may not have thought of using previously. 

About the presenter
Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company, writes daily at, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour (now in its 27th year), and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983. 

Webinar time
The webinar will be live on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at:
2:00PM Eastern U.S.
1:00PM Central U.S.
12:00PM Mountain U.S.
11:00AM Pacific U.S.

 Other upcoming webinars
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - Google for Genealogists with Thomas MacEntee.
Friday, January 21, 2011 - Improving Your Use of New FamilySearch: Data Cleanup Strategies with Geoff Rasmussen
Saturday, January 22, 2011 - New FamilySearch Made Easy with Legacy Family Tree

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Learning While Giving Back

Have you ever done any FamilySearch Indexing? It is an excellent way to practice reading old handwriting and give back to the genealogical community at the same time. You can learn more about many types of records, develop transcription skills, and work to provide free record indexes all in your spare time. 


It is very simple to get started with FamilySearch Indexing:

  1. Log in to the website
  2. Choose a set of records you would like to work on
  3. Download a batch to your computer
  4. Type the information you see in the record into the form provided
  5. Submit your batch of records
Once the records are indexed they become available for free to the public at 
You can see the current projects, as well as some of the completed projects and future projects on the FamilySearch Indexing website. 


If you are new to indexing you may enjoy Jim Ericson's webinar on "Helping Unlock the World's Records." This presentation covers the purpose of FamilySearch indexing, the benefits of becoming an indexing volunteer, and tips and tricks on indexing records.


For experienced indexers there is a second webinar hosted by Legacy Family Tree on "FamilySearch Indexing for Power Users.This presentation by Katie Gale will show you how to simplify and increase your work without decreasing your accuracy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

IGHR Registration will open January 18, 2011

I received the following message from Beth Ashmore at Samford University:

Registration for this summer's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) will open on Tuesday, January 18, 2011.

To prevent an overload of the online registration system, the opening of course registration will be staggered with different courses being opened each hour. A full schedule of the time that each course's registration will be open will be sent out via this list, posted on the IGHR website and IGHR Facebook pages in early January.

The Institute itself will take place on June 12-17, 2011.

For more information, including the courses being offered and how to register on the Jan. 18, visit the IGHR website at

We hope to see you this summer!

Note from Angela: Many of the IGHR courses will fill on the first day, so watch the website and plan to be online when the course you are interested in opes up if you really want to attend. I will be doing the same.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vote For Your Favorite Genealogy Blogs


I am very excited that this blog has been nominated in the "New Blogs" category of Family Tree Magazine's survey of genealogy blogs. I am just getting started with all the ideas I have to write about relating to genealogy education, and appreciate those of you who read my blog. Family Tree Magazine has opened voting for one week only, so vote for your favorite blogs before December 20th.  There are eight different categories, and you can vote for five blogs in each one. You can even vote multiple times. The top 40 genealogy blogs will be named in the July 2011 issue of Family Tree Magazine. 

ProGen Study Groups

As the administrator of the ProGen Study Groups I guess it is time that I write about them for this blog.

The ProGen Study Program is organized for participants to study Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2001). The goal of the program is to help participants develop professional research, writing and business skills. 

The ProGen study groups are made up of professional genealogists, individuals working to become professional genealogists, and other serious researchers who want to conduct professional level research. Each ProGen group has a coordinator who manages the group, and a BCG certified genealogist who participates as a mentor. It takes many volunteer leaders working together to make this program successful.

Key Elements of the ProGen Study Program:
  • Quality textbook written by experts in the field
  • Guidance from a BCG Certified Genealogist
  • In-depth study and application of each topic
  • Peer review of monthly assignments
  • Live interaction through online discussions
  • Joint focus on business development and research practices
The study groups are based on a cooperative learning model where everyone works together. Members are expected to be dedicated to the program and make their group a positive learning experience. They are accountable to complete monthly assignments, participate in online group discussions, and provide feedback on the work of others in their group.

Each month group members study one or two chapters and then work on a written assignment on the topic. These assignments are designed to refine skills such as writing research plans, analyzing evidence, transcribing documents, writing research reports and formulating proof arguments. On the business side, participants write a mission statement, contract, business plan and marketing plan. For many professional genealogists this is the first time they have taken time to plan out their business strategy.   

In order to study all 29 chapters of Professional Genealogy, the program takes 19 months to complete. This is a long program, and takes dedication on the part of each participant.

Many participants in the ProGen Study Groups also take advantage of other educational opportunities and meet together at genealogical institutes and conferences. This is an opportunity to meet “online friends” in person and network with colleagues from other ProGen study groups. See ProGen events for more information on upcoming gatherings and photos of past events. 

Once participants have completed the ProGen Study Program they are included on the alumni page of the website. These individuals have shown a dedication to improving their skills, and a commitment to complete the 19 month program. They have given constructive feedback to their colleagues and continue to network with other genealogy professionals. Feel free to use the alumni list when you are in need of a researcher.

The first ProGen study group was organized in March 2008 by Lee Anders and a group of enthusiastic genealogists. We wanted to go beyond “reading” Professional Genealogy, and take the time to really study and apply each concept. 

As others heard about our study group and asked to participate, additional ProGen study groups were formed. I stepped up as administrator of the ProGen Study Program in November 2008. The program continues to grow and gain recognition, and we now have eleven ProGen study groups with over 250 participants from five countries.

If you are interested in participating in the ProGen Study Program, please visit the waiting list page to learn of the commitment involved, background experience required,and detailed instructions.

Friday, December 10, 2010

FamilySearch Wraps Up Genealogical Gifts for the Holiday Season

The announcement below was posted on the FamilySearch blog. I am very excited about all the new indexes and images FamilySearch is making available to researchers, and hope that you have a chance to use the collection in your research.

Nearly 4 million images added from 7 countries

Nearly four million new digital images are now available on These collections include the first images from South Africa, as well as records from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Guatemala, the Netherlands, and the United States. About 1.7 million of these records are indexed.

See the chart below for the complete list of newly added or updated collections.
Project Digital Images Indexed Records Comments
Brazil, Catholic Church Records 100,110 0 New images added to existing collection
Canada, Quebec Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1900 85 79,936 New records linked to images; most images already published
Germany, Hessen, Darmstadt City Records, 1627-1939 55,528 0 New images
Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-1934 0 22,448 New records added to existing collection
Netherlands, Civil Registration, 1792-1952 1,505,610 0 Images added to existing collection
Netherlands, Zuid-Holland Province Civil Registration 6,349 0 New images
South Africa, Orange Free State, estate files, 1951-1973 79,466 15,879 New records linked to images; multiple images per record
U.S., Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1792-1983 62,763 0 New images
U.S., Minnesota Territorial Census, 1857 342 156,888 New records linked to images; most images already published
U.S., North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 39,836 45,204 New records linked to images; partial collection, with more images to come
U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 2,040,944 1,371,394 New records linked to images; includes the states of Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. 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. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NGS Conference Registration Opens

The following press release was issued by NGS:

Where the Past is Still Present

America's fascination with ancestry is increasing because of the recent television series "Faces of America" on PBS and "Who Do You Think You Are" on NBC. The National Genealogical Society is pleased to announce that registration opens today for next year's conference, which will be held at the Charleston Area Convention Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, SC 29418, 11-14 May 2011. The Society selected Charleston because of its significance in American history. In addition to attending the NGS 2011 Family History Conference, participants will have an opportunity to tour Charleston's historic buildings, churches and homes as well as its many museums and research facilities. The National Genealogical Society anticipates 2,000 genealogists from around the country will attend next year's event. Read more.
April 2011 will mark the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War at nearby Ft. Sumter, so the four day family history conference will feature talks on both Revolutionary War and Civil War records.  More than seventy-five nationally recognized speakers will provide over one hundred and eighty lectures on a wide variety of topics including research in South Carolina and the surrounding states, migration patterns, religious records, research methodology, and problem solving. The conference program will also include lectures about researching various ethnic groups including Germans, Cherokee, African Americans, Huguenots, Irish, Scots, and Scots-Irish.
Special Saturday workshops include an all day beginner's workshop, "Genealogy 101: Getting Started with Family History" and a "Kids' Kamp" for children and young adults ages eight through sixteen.
An exhibit area with more than one hundred exhibitors will be open and free to the public Wednesday through Saturday including the latest in genealogical software, online research providers and DNA testing services.
Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records.  The Arlington, VA-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.  Please visit the NGS Pressroom for further information.

For press information:
Jan Alpert