Wednesday, January 25, 2012

RootsTech to Stream Live Sessions

I had been hoping that the RootsTech conference would stream some live sessions on the internet like they did last year, and now the announcement has come in the FamilySearch Researcher Help Community Newsletter:

RootsTech Live
“Can’t attend RootsTech 2012 in person? Join us online for RootsTech Live every day during the conference, Thursday through Saturday, February 2–4. All events held in room 155 of the conference hall will be streamed live on the conference home page. Check out the conference schedule to see which sessions are being held in room 155 and will be available for live-streaming on”

 I checked the schedule for all the presentations that will be held in room 155 and therefore will be streamed live on the internet. The following sessions will be available to all who want to participate virtually (all times listed are Mountain Time):

Thursday, February 2nd 
8:30 - 10:00 am  Keynote address  Inventing the Future, as a Community   Jay Verkler
11:00 am - 12:00 pm  Do I Trust the Cloud?   D. Joshua Taylor
1:45 - 2:45 pm   Effective Database Search Tactics   Kory Meyerink
4:15 - 5:15 pm  Eleven Layers of Online Searches   Barbara Renick

Friday, February 3rd
8:30 - 9:30 am  Keynote address Exabyte Social Clouds and other Monstrosities   Josh Coates
9:45 - 10:45 am  Publish Your Genealogy Online   Laura Prescott
11:00 am - 12:00 pm   Optimizing Your Site for Search Engines   Robert Gardner
1:45 - 2:45 pm  Genealogists “Go Mobile”   Sandra Crowley
3:00 - 4:00 pm  Google's Toolbar and Genealogy   David Barney

Saturday, February 4th
8:30 - 9:30 am  Keynote address Making the most of technology to further the family history industry   Tim Sullivan
9:45 - 10:45 am  Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101   Lisa Louise Cooke
11:00 am - 12:00 pm  Future of FamilySearch Family Tree   Ron Tanner
1:45 - 2:45 pm Privacy in a Collaborative Environment   Noah Tutak

I hope you are able to catch some of these presentations if you are not able to attend the conference.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Virtual Genealogy Education lecture links

Here are the is the handout with hyperlinks for the "Virtual Genealogy Education" lecture I gave at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

Factors to consider when choosing genealogy education programs:

·         Your educational needs – individual topics or comprehensive courses
·         Your time and availability – access online programs from home
·         Quality of the program and reputation of instructors

Education Strategies
·         Learn about the Records
·         Learn about a Locality
·         Learn Techniques and Methodology

“Virtual” or Online Educational Options
There are many educational opportunities available online and accessible from your home. These include webinars, recorded presentations, tutorials, classes, courses, and certificate programs. Note: All of the websites listed in this handout are also posted on my blog (address above) if you would rather click on the URLs than type them into your browser.

These live seminars held on the internet and generally last 60 to 90 minutes. You download free software and log in at the appointed time to hear the presentation and see the slides. These webinars are hosted by a variety of organizations and many are free, but some have a charge. Some of the webinars are archived and available to view later.

GeneaWebinars Blog – contains information on a variety of webinars including a master calendar of upcoming events (click on the “calendar” tab)

Genealogy software companies hosting webinars:
            Legacy Family Tree             

Genealogy societies hosting webinars or virtual meetings:
Southern California Genealogy Society – Jamboree Extension Series
             Friends of the National Archives-Southeast Region
             Utah Genealogical Association -- Virtual Chapter Meetings
             Illinois State Genealogical Society - New series of educational webinars. 
             Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania -

Commercial Companies hosting webinars:
Ancestry – Live and archived webinars
            FamilyTree University – Webinars for $49.95

Online Presentations
FamilySearch research courses and recorded lectures – over 300 available!
Favorites: “Inferential Genealogy” by Thomas W. Jones, “U.S. Courthouse Research” by Christine Rose, the handwriting series, and research principles topics.

New England Historic Genealogical Society – recorded presentations

National Archives - Know Your Records Programs

Online Tutorials
            Scottish Handwriting  
            English Handwriting   
            Immigrant Ancestors Project Script Tutorial

Study Groups
These study groups are similar to Special Interest Groups (SIGs) hosted by some genealogy societies and can be organized to study any genealogy topic. Some are formal like the ProGen Study Group, and others are more casual study groups.
            ProGen Study Group – for aspiring professional genealogists
            NGSQ Study Group – studying articles from the NGS Quarterly
                        Email Sheri Fenley for information
            Writer’s Group – reviewing the writing of group members

Formal Classes and Courses
National Genealogical Society Online Courses
Seven courses available including Family History Skills; Special Federal Census Schedules; Transcribing, Extracting and Abstracting Records; Working with Deeds; Religious Records; Social Security Sleuthing; and Civil War Research.

FamilyTree University – Online courses and virtual conference
Family Tree University is an online education program from the publishers of Family Tree Magazine. Courses are generally four weeks for $99 with new classes beginning monthly.

Pharos Tutors (Based in the UK) – Online courses in British records
These courses include advanced topics in English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish research 
 and can be taken individually or toward a certificate program.                   

National Institute for Genealogical Studies – Online courses and certificate program
Courses can be taken individually, in packages, or by certificate program. Certificates available in American, Australian, Canadian, English, German, Irish or Scottish records as well as Librarianship and General Methodology.

Boston University Center for Professional Education
Certificate in Genealogical Research – This fifteen week non-credit course is taught by excellent instructors who give feedback on the students’ work. The modules include: research foundations, problem solving techniques, technology, evidence evaluation and documentation, forensic genealogy, and professional Genealogy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Registration Now Open for FGS 2012 Conference

The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies:

Indians, Squatters, Settlers and Soldiers in the "Old Southwest" 
A Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists
January 16, 2012 – Austin, TX. Registration for the 2012 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, scheduled for August 29 - September 1, 2012, in beautiful Birmingham, Alabama, is now open. This year’s conference theme is “Indians, Squatters, Settlers and Soldiers in the ‘Old Southwest’,” and the local host is the Alabama Genealogical Society (AGS).
This year's FGS conference offers an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in researching their family history. Over 175 educational sessions and 13 luncheons are designed to balance the needs of genealogists at all levels, exploring a variety of records, strategies, and other tools available to those interested in researching their family history. Special sessions include a wide variety targeting members and leaders of genealogical and historical societies. In addition, special events, such as the Alabama Genealogical Society Opening Social at the Alabama Theater, the FGS Evening Social at the historic Sloss Furnaces, Spotlight on Societies, and daily sponsored lectures provide an excellent environment to meet and network with others interested in family history and genealogy.

Session sponsors include FamilySearch,,, the National Archives and Records Administration, and others.

Conference Highlights
  • Librarian’s Day: On Wednesday, August 29, 2012, ProQuest is sponsoring a full day of sessions designed for librarians, archivists, and other information professionals serving family history researchers.
  • Conference Sessions: A wide variety of genealogy-related lectures and workshops for all experience levels.  Topics include Southern research, Settlers and Indians, soldiers, strategies and techniques, technology, and writing.
  • Special Events: Include the AGS Opening Social at the Alabama Theater and the FGS Evening Social at the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark—all providing an excellent environment to meet and network with others interested in family history and genealogy. This exciting week of genealogy closes with a Farewell Brunch on Sunday.
  • Exhibit Hall: Filled with a wide array of vendors and organizations, Cyber Cafe and lounge area sponsored by RootsMagic, and a special Spotlight on Societies area will showcase local and regional genealogical and historical societies.
There are more activities and research opportunities too numerous to list. However, you can learn all about the 2012 FGS Conference and register for this exciting four-day event at Be sure to also visit or subscribe to the FGS Conference Blog at for more information and travel advice.  We look forward to seeing you in Birmingham in August!

Learn More and Stay Connected
About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit

Three New QuickSheets for Sound Research by Elizabeth Shown Mills

I received the following announcement from Genealogical Publishing Company and am very excited for these new Quicksheets from Elizabeth Shown Mills! 

January 17, 2012 - Genealogical Publishing Company Announcement:

Leave it to expert genealogist and prolific author Elizabeth Mills to hit the ground running with not one but three new installments in her immensely popular series of laminated research aids, the QuickSheets. In the style of her 2010 title, QuickSheet: Genealogical Problem Analysis--A Strategic Plan Evidence! Style, Mrs. Mills has culled a lifetime's experience studying source records and devised three original stratagems for advancing your research.

In QuickSheet: The Historical Biographer's Guide to Cluster Research (the FAN Principle), the author introduces the researcher to the concept of "Cluster Research" based on the FAN principle, the idea being that to prove identity, origin, and parentage, individuals must be studied in the context of their FAN club--family, associates, and neighbors. Historical information, Mills says, is like real estate: the true value of any piece of information is unknown until it is put into community context.

The second new Quicksheet, The Historical Biographer's Guide to Finding People in Databases & Indexes, contends that while databases and indexes are valuable tools for research, they can actually impede the research process. Why? Because historical records involve vagaries that defy technical formulas. Databases and indexes then become obstacles that actually block discoveries. Enter Elizabeth Mills who in this QuickSheet shows how to adopt pro-active strategies to overcome this problem and thus get the full benefit of databases and indexes.

Finally, QuickSheet: The Historical Biographers Guide to the Research Process advances four specific models for the science of genealogy:
  • The Research Process Model
  • The Research Analysis Model
  • The Identity Triangulation Model
  • The Reliability Model
If the objective of research is to reach conclusions and establish proof, this QuickSheet will get you to your goal with absolute confidence.

Like most of its predecessors, each of these new products is a four-sided laminated folder, lightweight and designed for durability, and retails for $8.95. For more detailed information on each of Elizabeth Shown Mills' new QuickSheets, please refer to the links below.

QuickSheet: The Historical Biographer's Guide to Cluster Research (the FAN Principle)

QuickSheet, The Historical Biographer's Guide to Finding People in Databases & Indexes

QuickSheet: The Historical Biographers Guide to the Research Process

Of related interest . . .

QuickSheet: Genealogical Problem Analysis--A Strategic Plan Evidence! Style

QuickSheet: Citing Online Historical Resources Evidence! Style. First Revised Edition

QuickSheet: Citing Databases & Images. First Revised Edition

QuickSheet: Citing Online African-American Historical Resources Evidence! Style

Monday, January 9, 2012

State Genealogical Societies Sponsoring Webinars

There are several state genealogy societies that have begun hosting webinars that are open to the public. Most of them are free, and some charge a nominal fee (which I think it worth it for the caliber of speakers that are presenting these programs). I have listed several that I know about here and if you are aware of other state genealogical societies hosting webinars please comment below so we can let others know about these educational opportunities. 

Illinois State Genealogical Society
The ISGS is offer a new series of educational webinars on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. These webinars are free and open to the public when they are presented live, and archived for ISGS members. See the ISGS website to register. The first program will be tomorrow, January 10, 2012 on "10 Ways To Jump Start Your Genealogy In 2012" and will be presented by Thomas MacEntee. 

Utah Genealogical Association
The Utah Genealogical Association is hosting monthly Virtual Chapter meetings. These online seminars are free and open to the public when presented live, and archived for members of the association. Upcoming topics include:

January 19th --  "The FamilySearch Wiki:  Exploring Its Treasurers"  presented by Wilma Adkins
February 16th -- "US Immigration 1820 – 1954" presented by Beth Taylor
March 15th --  "Getting Started With Fold 3" presented by Peter Drinkwater

Southern California Genealogical Society
The society that sponsors the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree is hosting a Jamboree Extension Series . These webinars are free to the public. Upcoming topics include:

Wednesday, January 18th  --  "The Two Sides of Interviewing" with Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, CG 
Saturday, February 4th -- "Seeing the Patterns: Organizing Your Information" with Michael John Neill
Wednesday, February 15th -- "The Key to the Courthouse" with Jana Sloan Broglin, CG 

Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania
This society is hosting two webinars with two national speakers at each one. There is a fee of $15 for GSP members, and $20 for others who wish to attend. See the GSP website for details and registration information.

Thursday, January 26th -- "Research Strategies and Evaluating Evidence." J. Mark Lowe will discuss research strategies and how to break down complex research problems into manageable segments. Amy Johnson Crow explain how to analyze evidence so that you get the most accurate information and find new research leads. 

Thursday, February 16th -- "African American Genealogy: Migrations and Manuscripts." Jim Ison, AG, CG will present "Migration Patterns: An Alternative for Locating African Origins" and Deborah Abbott, Ph.D will discuss "Voices from the Past: Using Manuscripts in African American Research."

“Know Your Records” videos now available on National Archives YouTube Channel

I am very excited about this announcement from the National Archives! I have been attending their "Know Your Records" series in Washington, D.C. for several years and had suggested that they put them online to reach a broader audience. They have overcome the hurdles of government regulations and are now posting some videos on YouTube. Here is the announcement:
January 4, 2012
National Archives Puts Popular Records Workshops Online for First Time!
“Know Your Records” videos now available on National Archives YouTube Channel

Washington, DC… For the first time, the National Archives has launched online videos of its most popular genealogy “how to” workshops.  These videos cover “hot topics” in genealogical research such as census, immigration and military records.  Now, these popular workshops led by National Archives experts are available on the National Archives YouTube channel
The National Archives-produced Know Your Records video shorts cover the creation, scope, content, and use of National Archives records for genealogical research. "The National Archives is proud to make our most popular genealogy lectures available online and ready for viewing by anyone, anywhere, at any time," said Diane Dimkoff, Director of Customer Services. 

Genealogy Introduction: Military Research at the National Archives: Volunteer Service (8:22) Archives specialist John Deeben discusses compiled military service records at the National Archives.

Genealogy Introduction—Military Research at the National Archives: Regular Service (6:11)  Archives Specialist John Deeben explains how to use Army and Navy registers of enlistment and rendezvous reports for research.  Archives Specialist John Deeben discusses how to research military service using pension records dating from 1775 to 1916.  Deeben shows samples of both Revolutionary War and Civil War pensions.

Archives Specialists Katherine Vollen and Rebecca Crawford provide an overview of immigration records from 1800 to 1957, including Customs Service and Immigration and Naturalization records, as well as records of ports and border crossings.

Genealogy expert Constance Potter shares tips and strategies for researching U.S. Federal Census Records 1790 to 1930, and explains how they can be used for genealogical research.
Background on “Know Your Records” programs
The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the Federal government. These include records of interest to genealogists, such as pension files, ship passenger lists, census and Freedmen’s Bureau materials. The Know Your Records Program offers opportunities for staff, volunteers, and researchers to learn about these records through lectures, ongoing genealogy programs, workshops, symposia, the annual genealogy fair, an online genealogy tutorial, reference reports for genealogical research, and editions of Researcher News  for Washington DC area researchers.

National Archives "Know Your Records" -- Voice Your Opinion

I received the following announcement from the National Archives and am very excited that they are trying to make more of their "Know Your Records" programs available for free online. It will be of value to many researchers to learn about these records so please take time to share your opinion on which programs are of the most interest to you. There are over 60 topics to choose from, and many of the genealogy topics are listed on page two of the survey. 

Help us put the National Archives Know Your Records program Online!
The National Archives and Records Administration hosted more than 370 Know Your Records talks on topics including genealogy, ethnic heritage, declassified records, Civil War, social media, and more over the past two years. We want to make them available to a wider audience by posting the videos online, and need your help to figure out where to start: which talks are you most eager to see posted to YouTube and iTunes U? Out of the hundreds, we narrowed it down to the top 60 lectures.  Read through the list of program summaries, vote on your favorites, and let us know what you think. This is just the start of an ongoing project, so we’re looking forward to hearing what you have to say.
All are invited and encouraged to participate.  You will need to sign up for an account in order to vote or comment.  Only an email address is needed and then you are in.

Note from Angela:
Below is just a sample of the program choices that may be of interest to genealogists. Please take a few minutes and share your opinion of which ones you would like to see put online.

Civil War Pension Files at

Laura Prescott from will discuss the Civil War pension files recently scanned and published online.

Documenting Death in the Civil War

John Deeben, genealogy archives specialist at the National Archives, explores death records created during and after the Civil War by the War.

Civil War Unit and Ship Records at the National Archives National Archives Records on

Sabrina Petersen will discuss National Archives files recently scanned and published online.

Passport Applications, 1795–1925

Rebecca Sharp and Katherine Vollen will discuss how to locate passport applications and how these records can enhance your genealogical research.

Veterans Records at

Sabrina Petersen discusses National Archives World War I and World War II veterans’ records available on

Access to Archival Databases (AAD) for Genealogists

Archives specialist Daniel Law will introduce electronic records and discuss how to access these records on our Access to Archival Databases.

Genealogy and New Deal Relief

The lecture examines the correspondence files of the WPA and predecessor agencies to discover information about the personal and family experiences.

The Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company: A Gold Mine for Black and White Genealogists

Susannah E. Brooks will present information on both African American and white depositors at the Freedman’s Savings and Trust.

Alien Files (A-Files) for Genealogy Research

Learn how the Alien Files are a rich source of biographical information for family research in a joint NARA and USCIS presentation.

Civil War Medicine

Archives specialist Rebecca Sharp and reference librarian Nancy Wing will discuss The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion.

Civil War Records on uses National Archives documents from recently added Civil War titles to create family histories.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Registration for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR)

I received the following notices regarding registration for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) and thought I would share them with those who are not on their mailing list. This institute is very  popular, so if you are planning to attend please read the instructions carefully and be prepared to register on January 17th.

Registration for this summer's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) will open on Tuesday, January 17, 2012.

To prevent an overload of the online registration system, the opening of course registration will be staggered with different courses being opening at different times. Please see the schedule of times below. Once open, registration for each course will remain open until the course is full. All times are Central Standard Time.

PLEASE NOTE: Before a course has opened for registration, it will show up on the registration website as FULL. Don't panic. Once the course opening time has passed, it will no longer appear full (until the course is actually full, of course).

PAYMENT NOTE: In order to be in compliance with federal laws, we will not be able to take any credit card numbers over the phone this year.  If you wish to use a credit card to register, you will need to register online.

Opening at 10:00 a.m. CST:
Course 1: Techniques and Technology
Course 4: Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis

Opening at 10:30 a.m. CST:
Course 3: Research in the South, Part I
Course 5: Writing and Publishing for Genealogists

Opening at 11:00 a.m. CST:
Course 2: Intermediate Genealogy and Historical Studies
Course 7: Virginia's Land & Military Conflicts
Course 9: Military Records Research III: 1821-1919

Opening at 11:30 a.m. CST:
Course 6: Advanced Library Research: Law Libraries & Government Documents
Course 8: Researching African-American Ancestors
Course 10: Tracing Your English Ancestors

The Institute itself will take place on June 10-15, 2012.

For more information, including more information on the courses being offered and how to register on the Jan. 17, visit the IGHR website at

I've received an e-mail from a previous attendee who expressed concern that we may be "asking too much" at the time of registration due to the rate at which courses have been filling up the past few years.  Returning attendees, she reasoned, might have an unfair advantage over first-timers as they might be able to submit their registrations more quickly.

To make the online registration process easier/smoother we introduced the downloadable registration guide to the IGHR website:

This guide is a step-by-step walkthrough of the entire process, from the moment you click on the link to the confirmation e-mail you get afterwards.  We've even made efforts to keep the file size relatively small to make downloading easier and designed it so that you wouldn't use up quite as much ink when printing.

If you're planning on registering for this year's IGHR,  we strongly recommend you download and read through this guide beforehand.  Print it out and scribble some notes on it if you want.  That way you can avoid spending precious time reading over information at the time of registration.  Even IGHR veterans should gain some benefit from it as we have introduced some new options for those staying on campus or purchasing a meal ticket.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

RootsTech Conference Schedule Posted

I know many of you are looking forward to the RootsTech Conference hosted by FamilySearch in Salt Lake City on February 2-4, 2012. The daily schedule has now been posted at

New APG Webinar Series - Tax Considerations for Your Genealogy Business

I have known that a webinar series has been in the planning stages at APG for some time, but am excited to see that the first webinar will be next week. It is open to the public, so if you are interested in creating your own genealogy business you will want to attend. Here is the announcement from the Association of Professional Genealogists:

Professional Development for APG Members and the Genealogy Community

6 January 2012 – Westminster, Colo., With the increased demand for professional development options for genealogists, the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) announces a new webinar series for 2012. APG webinars will cover topics of interest to professional genealogists with a focus on tools and best practices for running a genealogy business.

Tax Considerations for Your Genealogy Business (U.S.)
Wednesday, 11 January 2012 -
8:30 PM - 9:30 PM EST

The first offering in the APG webinar series, Tax Considerations for Your Genealogy Business, will be presented by nationally-known genealogist, educator, and writer, James M. Beidler, on Wednesday evening, 11 January 2012, at 8:30 P.M. Eastern time.

hether you earn your income from research, teaching, writing, or another form of genealogical activity, there are many tax decisions which affect your genealogy business. Should you form a sole proprietorship or an LLC? Take a deduction for your home office? File a 1099 for subcontractors? Jim Beidler, a Senior Tax Advisor for H&R Block and owner of his own genealogy business, will share his strategies for maximizing the deductions on your 2011 tax bill while planning ahead for 2012.

To kick off our webinar series, this first APG webinar is FREE to the public as well as to members of APG. Those wanting to attend are encouraged to register at since space is limited. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

APG Professional Development

APG will be offering future professional development webinars to its members, and occasionally to the genealogy community, on a variety of topics related to genealogy as a profession. In addition, APG members will have on-demand access to webinar recordings as well as to syllabus materials via the Members Only Section of the APG website.

About the Association of Professional Genealogists
APG (, established in 1979, represents more than 2,400 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers, and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring, and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy and history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada, and thirty other countries. APG is active on LinkedIn, Twitter (, and Facebook (

APG is a registered trademark of the Association of Professional Genealogists. All other trade and service marks are property of their respective owners.