Friday, September 23, 2011

Virtual Genealogy Education lecture links

Here are the links I mention in my "Virtual Genealogy Education" lecture to the Fairfax Genealogical Society.


Master Calendar:
            GeneaWebinars (scroll to bottom of the blog to see the calendar)
Genealogy Software Companies:
            Legacy Family Tree             
Genealogy Societies:
Southern California Genealogy Society – Jamboree Extension Series
            Friends of the National Archives-Southeast Region
            Utah Genealogical Association -- Virtual Chapter Meetings
Commercial Companies:
Ancestry – archived Webinars
            FamilyTree University – Webinars for $39.95
Professional Genealogists:
High Definition Genealogy – Thomas MacEntee gives “Explorinars”
            Michael Hait – recorded lectures for download

Online Presentations
FamilySearch Research Courses and Recorded Lectures – over 200 available!
Favorites: “Inferential Genealogy” by Thomas W. Jones, “U.S. Courthouse Research” by Christine Rose, handwriting series, and research principles
                New England Historic Genealogical Society – recorded presentations

Online Tutorials
            Scottish Handwriting  
            English Handwriting   
            Immigrant Ancestors Project Script Tutorial

Study Groups
These types of study groups can be organized to study any genealogy topic like SIGs.
            ProGen Study Group – for professional genealogists
            NGSQ Study Group – studying articles from the NGS Quarterly
            Writer’s Group – reviewing the writing of group members

Formal Classes and Courses
            National Genealogical Society Online Courses – Seven online courses available
            FamilyTree University – Online courses and virtual conference
Heritage Genealogical College – Online courses and degree program
Pharos Tutors (Based in the UK) – Online courses and certificate program
National Institute for Genealogical Studies – Courses and certificate program
Boston University -- Online Certificate in Genealogical Research or Genealogy
            Essentials Course

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Principles of Effective Genealogy Librarianship

It's time for another installment in our series of blog posts about the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG).  Today's guest blogger is Course 7 Coordinator, Drew Smith.

One of the biggest difficulties in being a genealogy librarian is that relevant education is hard to come by. Very few library schools offer a course in genealogical librarianship, and continuing education for genealogy librarians usually consists of a single hour or at best a one-day series of workshops covering a very limited number of topics. But what if you could experience a full five days of classes designed to carry you through the entire spectrum of issues faced by genealogy librarians? Now you can have that opportunity.

You already know the basics of librarianship, and you likely have a grounding in the basics of genealogical research. This course will take you further by addressing twenty different skills and knowledge bases that any modern genealogy librarian will need to develop as part of their profession. While many librarians engage in reference interviews, collection development, library instruction for their patrons, and professional development for themselves, this course will take each of those topics and look at them from the special viewpoint of a genealogy librarian.

We’ll cover in detail the kinds of resources most used by genealogists in the typical library, such as newspapers, published materials, and manuscripts, but we’ll also bring to light the other useful resources found in a typical library but not usually thought of as a part of the genealogy collection. We’ll discuss the new online tools that have become critical only in the 21st century, such as Ancestry Library Edition, HeritageQuest Online,, and social networking services. And we’ll address the importance of the genealogy library in leading the way in digitization projects for local materials.

Genealogy librarians, perhaps more than any other kind of librarian, need to understand how to work with volunteers and local societies, and we’ll learn about the best practices in these areas. What happens when patrons want to donate their own materials? How do you market your library’s genealogy resources and services so that they are used to the fullest? What kinds of ethical and legal issues are you likely to encounter as a genealogy librarian? We’ll address those questions, too. Finally, we’ll explore as a group the hot-topic issues of genealogical librarianship, drawing upon the interests and experiences of the students.

This course will also provide you with the unique opportunity to network with your fellow students, each of whom is very likely to bring to the course a wealth of knowledge and experience that they can share with us all. Of course, there will also be plenty of time during the week to enjoy the resources of the Family History Library. As a genealogy librarian, what more could you ask for?

Thanks, Drew!  If you are a genealogy librarian register for the course or check out more details here.

This article reprinted with permission of the Utah Genealogical Association. To learn more about the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) or the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), please visit their website at:

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Tech Savvy Genealogist

I guess I am a tech savvy genealogist. I scored 39 out of 50 on this genealogy and technology meme that I saw posted by Thomas McEntee and originated with Jill Ball of Geniaus.
The Tech Savvy Genealogists' Meme

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
  • Things you have already done or found: bold face type
  • Things you would like to do or find: italicize (color optional)
  • Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
Feel free to add extra comments in brackets after each item!

Which of these apply to you?
  1. Own an Android or Windows tablet or an iPad
  2. Use a tablet or iPad for genealogy related purposes
  3. Have used Skype for genealogy purposes
  4. Have used a camera to capture images in a library/archives/ancestor's home
  5. Use a genealogy software program on your computer to manage your family tree
  6. Have a Twitter account
  7. Tweet daily
  8. Have a genealogy blog
  9. Have more then one genealogy blog
  10. Have lectured/presented to a genealogy group on a technology topic
  11. Currently an active member of Genealogy Wise (Note: I am a member but not active)
  12. Have a Facebook Account
  13. Have connected with genealogists via Facebook
  14. Maintain a genealogy related Facebook Page (ProGen Study Group)
  15. Maintain a blog or website for a genealogy society
  16. Have submitted text corrections online to Ancestry, Trove or a similar site
  17. Have registered a domain name
  18. Post regularly to Google+ (I have joined but do not post regularly)
  19. Have a blog listed on Geneabloggers
  20. Have transcribed/indexed records for FamilySearch or a similar project
  21. Own a Flip-Pal or hand-held scanner
  22. Can code a webpage in .html
  23. Own a smartphone
  24. Have a personal subscription to one or more paid genealogy databases
  25. Use a digital voice recorder to record genealogy lectures (use one to record family interviews)
  26. Have contributed to a genealogy blog carnival
  27. Use Chrome as a Web browser
  28. Have participated in a genealogy webinar
  29. Have taken a DNA test for genealogy purposes
  30. Have a personal genealogy website
  31. Have found mention of an ancestor in an online newspaper archive
  32. Have tweeted during a genealogy lecture
  33. Have scanned your hardcopy genealogy files
  34. Use an RSS Reader to follow genealogy news and blogs
  35. Have uploaded a gedcom file to a site like Geni, MyHeritage or Ancestry
  36. Own a netbook
  37. Use a computer/tablet/smartphone to take genealogy lecture notes
  38. Have a profile on LinkedIn that mentions your genealogy habit
  39. Have developed a genealogy software program, app or widget 
  40. Have listened to a genealogy podcast online
  41. Have downloaded genealogy podcasts for later listening
  42. Backup your files to a portable hard drive
  43. Have a copy of your genealogy files stored offsite
  44. Know about Rootstech (attending in 2012)
  45. Have listened to a Blogtalk radio session about genealogy (have been a guest on the show)
  46. Use Dropbox, SugarSync or other service to save documents in the cloud 
  47. Schedule regular email backups
  48. Have contriibuted to the FamilySearch Research Wiki
  49. Have scanned and tagged your genealogy photographs
  50. Have published a genealogy book in an online/digital format

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Midwest U.S. Research at SLIG with Kory Meyerink

Our SLIG guest blogger this week is Kory Meyerink, coordinator for Course 5:  Research in the Midwestern United States.

Researching in the Midwest states is one of the most important areas to learn about when doing U.S. genealogy for several reasons. That’s why the Midwest course has been one of the most popular courses in the history of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. In fact, Midwest research is important even if you don’t have research in the eight states included in this course!

That’s a strong statement; can I back it up? Certainly. But first, let’s identify the eight states covered in the 2012 Institute course: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri. Well, what’s so special about those states? That list includes two of the most populous states in the nation (Ohio and Illinois) as well as an ethnic diversity that can’t be found elsewhere in America. More immigrants settled in the Midwest than any other region in the country and, since all Americans are descended from immigrants, the discussion of immigration sources and strategies will pertain to all American research. 

In addition the Midwest (especially Ohio and Missouri) is the gateway to the west. The vast majority of families who settled west of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers came through the Midwest and often lived there for several years. But, beyond that, the record collections and research strategies for Midwestern research pertain to almost all of the “western” states. Consider the following: Land records in the Midwest are all public domain lands, just as they are in the western states. Vital records in the Midwest set a pattern followed by most of the western states. The same is true of newspapers and other published records, including local histories and biographical sources. Their commercial success in the Midwest encouraged their development in the west, and even in the southern and eastern states. 

But, it’s not just about the west. Many of our ancestors lived in large cities all over the country, but the Midwest has the most. Once you’ve learned about research in Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, etc., then you’ll be prepared for any other city, from New York to Atlanta to New Orleans. You see, it’s not about specific localities, but rather research principles that pertain to the Midwest that apply elsewhere. Ports of arrival may not be in the Midwest, but we certainly will be discussing passenger lists because of the flood of immigrants to the Midwest. The same principles for research ethnic and religious records in the Midwest pertain to other U.S. research areas. 

Paula Warren’s discussions of research repositories and manuscript collections will open everyone’s eyes and make you think about similar collections elsewhere in America. Yes, it’s true. Midwestern research is a foundation for your successful research in the rest of the U.S. and even elsewhere (consider Canada, Ireland, Germany, England, etc.). It’s also a favorite area for people taking the Accredited Genealogist exams, because so many potential clients have Midwest ancestry. 

So, review the course listing for the Midwest course and sign up. We’ll see you in January!

Visit the  UGA website for more information about how to register for Course 5 (or any of our other offerings at the 2012 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy).

If you enjoyed this article we invite you to share it via your favorite social networking media using the appropriate icon below. You may also reprint this article in any email or print newsletters you wish to distribute provided you include the date of original publication and the following text:
This article reprinted with permission of the Utah Genealogical Association. To learn more about the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) or the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), please visit their website at:

Monday, September 12, 2011

FGS 2011 Conference Review

I invited Darcie M. Hind Posz, a friend from my APG chapter and the ProGen Study Group, to write a review of the FGS conference as a guest author on my blog. I wish I could have attended the conference, and appreciate her sharing her perspective.

Darcie writes:

It was reported that approximately 2100 people were attending by Saturday.  Five countries and 48 states were represented, including Alaska and Hawaii.  This is a great success for FGS and ISGS whom have been working diligently for over 18 months! Bravo to the FGS President, Co-Chairs, ISGS, FGS Board and all for putting together one of the best conferences I have attended! 

There were so many wonderful lectures that are now accessible to those who could not make it to Illinois: individual lectures can be purchased from Fleetwood On-Site in CD-ROM format or MP3 for $10 - $15, or you can own the whole conference for $379!

One presentation of interest for me was the “Plenary Session: How Will Our Society Survive? Do We Alter, Mutate, Modify, Shift or Switch?” presented by David Rencher.  FGS is 35 years old now but by 2011, 1/3 of the charter societies that belonged to FGS in 1975 are out of business.  I found this statistic startling.  But examples were given of how these societies can become sustainable; one was that, because these societies possess knowledge and the desire to share it, they must look at various formats of sharing, be it FaceBook, websites, or e-newsletters.  Also, these societies should have a board that reflects their members: both distance members and local members could enhance their society. 

A new award, the Genealogy Tourism award, was presented to the first recipient, Curt B. Witcher.  This award recognizes those whom serve “the interest of the genealogical community by their efforts in promoting genealogical tourism.”  The entire presentation can be read at:

The ProGen study group dinner was held at Bennigans on Tuesday evening and most attended the APG Round Table after.  The President of APG reported that UK membership has gone up 24%!  The APG booth at the IAJGS Conference in August was also mentioned.  The night’s lively roundtable discussion was led by Mark Lowe onThose Difficult Situations. . .how do I come out smelling like a rose.”

I attended An Old Fashioned Prairie Social on Wednesday evening.  The period music was lovely, Lincoln and wife looked a little too real and I enjoyed Geneopardy so much! 

Some of my favorite lectures included:
  • Scott Simkins’ Saturday discussion on conservation.  He had mentioned some Japanese preservation techniques that I will be looking into. 
  • Paula Stuart-Warren’s Native American discussion had some wonderful methodology. 
  • Lisa Alzo’s “Writing a Family History Step by Step,” encouraged me to add 15 minutes a day to write my family history.  Just the push I needed!
  • Melinde Lutz Byrne’s mentoring presentation was fantastic and was just the motivation I needed to hunker down and focus on a specific genealogical plan for my future. 
  • Tom Jones did a new presentation on correlation: Solid Gold!  If you can get the MP3 for this presentation, do so!
  • Linda Geiger’s presentation on Territorial Papers and Kris Rzepczynski’s 1890 gap presentations were great also! 
The level of skill for the presentations (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) were on the conference guide, which was helpful in choosing which to attend.  In the future, more advanced options and workshops would be of interest. 

I am sure I am leaving out something, but if you are on Twitter, there should be a timeline for hashtag #FGS2011.  Those official bloggers kept us all up to speed on events! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

103 Things Genealogy

I have seen this genealogy meme on other blogs, but it was the post on Sheri Fenley's blog, The Educated Genealogist, that got me to decide to participate. Sheri credits the original author Becky Wiseman, the Traveling Genie and author of Kinexxions, who came up with this meme as sort of a self-evaluator of one's genealogical experience. The things I have done are listed in royal blue. I think 88 out of 103 is a pretty good score. What is your score?
99 103 Genealogy Things  

1. Belong to a genealogical society
2. Joined a group on Genealogy Wise.
3. Transcribed records.
4. Uploaded headstone pictures to Find-A-Grave or a similar site
5. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents)
6. Joined Facebook.
7. Cleaned up a run-down cemetery.
8. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group.
9. Attended a genealogy conference.
10. Lectured at a genealogy conference.
11. Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society/local library’s family history group.
12. Joined the National Genealogical Society.
13. Contributed to a genealogy society publication.
14. Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society.
15. Got lost on the way to a cemetery.
16. Talked to dead ancestors.
17. Researched outside the state in which I live.
18. Knocked on the door of an ancestral home and visited with the current occupants.
19. Cold called a distant relative.
20. Posted messages on a surname message board.
21. Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet.
22. Googled my name (and those of ancestors)
23. Performed a random act of genealogical kindness.
24. Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it.
25. Have been paid to do genealogical research.
26. Earn a living (majority of income) from genealogical research.
27. Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.
28. Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
29. Responded to messages on a message board.
30. Was injured while on a genealogy excursion.
31. Participated in a genealogy meme.
32. Created family history gift items.
33. Performed a record lookup.
34. Took a genealogy seminar cruise.
35. Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space.
36. Found a disturbing family secret.
37. Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking).
38. Think genealogy is a passion and/or obsession not a hobby.
39. Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person.
40. Taught someone else how to find their roots.
41. Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure.
42. Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology.
43. Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher.
44. Disproved a family myth through research.
45. Got a family member to let you copy photos.
46. Used a digital camera to “copy” photos or records.
47. Translated a record from a foreign language.
48. Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record.
49. Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer.
50. Used microfiche.
51. Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
52. Used Google+ for genealogy.
53. Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors.
54. Taught a class in genealogy.
55. Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
56. Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century.
57. Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century.
58. Can name all of your great-great-grandparents.
59. Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer.
60. Have found many relevant and unexpected articles on internet to “put flesh on the bones”.
61. Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
62. Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.
63. Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC.
64. Have an ancestor who came to America as an indentured servant.
65. Have an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or Civil War.
66. Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.
67. Can “read” a church record in Latin.
68. Have an ancestor who changed his/her name, just enough to be confusing.
69. Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
70. Created a family website.
71. Have a genealogy blog.
72. Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone.
73. Have broken through at least one brick wall.
74. Done genealogy research at a court house.
75. Borrowed microfilm from the Family History Library
76. Found an ancestor in an online newspaper archive.
77. Have visited a NARA branch.
78. Have an ancestor who served in WWI or WWII.
79. Use maps in my genealogy research.
80. Have a blacksheep ancestor.
81. Found a bigamist amongst my ancestors.
82. Attended a genealogical institute.
83. Taken online genealogy (and local history) courses.
84. Consistently (document) and cite my sources.
85. Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don’t live in) in search of ancestors.
86. Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes.
87. Have an ancestor who was married four times.
88. Made a rubbing of an ancestor’s gravestone.
89. Followed genealogists on Twitter.
90. Published a family history book.
91. Offended a family member with my research.
92. Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts.
93. Have a paid subscription to a genealogy database.
94. Submitted articles for FamilySearch Wiki.
95. Organized a family reunion.
96. Converted someone new to the love of all things genealogy.
97. Have done the genealogy happy dance.
98. Visited the DAR Library in Washington D.C.
99. Have done indexing for Family Search Indexing or another genealogy project.
100. Visited the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
101. Had an amazing serendipitous find of the "Psychic Roots" variety.
102. Visited the Library of Congress.
103. Belong to a lineage society

Friday, September 9, 2011

FGS Lectures to Order on CD

This week I wish I was at the national Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Springfield, Illinois. Many of my genealogy friends are there along with some of the best genealogical speakers in the country. I made my "wish list" of lectures to order on CD (which I do for every national conference). For this conference there is a new company recording the lectures,  Fleetwood Onsite Conference Recording, Inc. According to Dick Eastman's blog the recordings will be available for download as well as on CD and can be ordered at once the Fleetwood employees return home from the conference. 

Here are my picks for the sessions I wish I could have attended and may order on CD. For those attended the FGS conference I would love to know what you thought of these presentations, and also what presentations were your favorites.

Reasons for Not Serving in the Civil War by Craig Roberts Scott, CG  T218

Going Beyond the Bare Bones: Reconstructing Your Ancestors' Lives by Thomas W. Jones, CG  T236

Researching Your Indian Wars Ancestor Before the Civil War by Craig Roberts Scott, CG  F320

Using 'Correlation' to Reveal Facts That No Record States by Thomas W. Jones, CG  F333

After Mustering Out: Researching Civil War Veterans by Amy Johnson Crow  F304

Developing Genealogical Skills: Mentoring from Novice to Expert by Melinde Lutz Sanborn  F341

Apps Galore for the Professional Genealogist by Pam & Rick Sayre    F349

Lessons from a Snoop: Collaterals and Associates by Debra Mieszala  F350

Researching Your New York Ancestors Through by Christopher Child  S421

Evidence: Guidelines for Evaluating Genealogical Sources by Linda Woodward Geiger, CG  S422

Online, On Microfilm, and in Print: Finding Ancestors in Newspapers by James L. Hansen  S432

The Genealogical Proof Standard: What It Is and What It is Not by Thomas W. Jones, CG  S443