Monday, July 20, 2009

Great post on getting children involved in genealogy

Elyse Doerflinger has written a great article on involving children. She mentioned some of the ideas we have talked about here. Take a look. Elyse's Blog.

Friday, July 17, 2009

And the winner is....

My daughter and I had a great time this afternoon. Wish you could have been here.

We wanted to be transparent and fair. I was worried about that because there are so many people on these lists that I know and love--those that I have actually met and those who I only know online. I'd have loved to swing this contest for any of you. We had to do it right and cut up all the names and put them in a hat. My daughter helped and she drew the names (note the 4th of July fingernail decor.) We used her Easter bonnet. She made quite a show of it--making sure they were all stirred up well in between drawings.

If you saw my twitter posts this afternoon, you saw that there is no good way to get a list of fans out of facebook. GenealogyWise did something right on that account--I just printed the list there. But for Facebook I ended up transcribing them to be able to make the slips. I learned a couple of things again
  1. I was overwhelmed at the number of supportive people we have for this company. Thank you all so much for appreciating what we do.
  2. I was overwhelmed at the good friends we have made. Again--we so love genealogists.
  3. Reflecting back, I was overwhelmed at how many people we have helped print and display their genealogy research already. I am so passionate about that, and grateful to be doing something every day that I believe is so important.
  4. And finally--My Mom-though my friend on facebook,isn't a fan :-) Ok. She just got back from a month in Europe Tuesday, and really it wouldn't have looked very good if she had won, but we'll have to rectify that. She is a genealogist, and she certainly has been happy with some charts we have done for her. Good grief.
So. To the part you have been waiting for.....without further rambling...(but that's what geneabloggers are supposed to do)....The Winners Are:

$25 gift certificate from GenealogyWise Generation Maps group: Kathryn Doyle

$25 gift certificate from Facebook Generation Maps group: Diana Wilkes
$25 gift certificate from Facebook Generation Maps group: Fran Jensen
$25 gift certificate from Facebook Generation Maps group: Debbie Starr Jackson
$25 gift certificate from Facebook Generation Maps group: Tami Glatz

and the winner of the $100 gift certificate from both groups is: Dae Powell. He writes the ShoeString Genealogy Blog. I can't wait to get to know him better.


I've alerted each of these people on their respective pages. Go congratulate them as well.

And we are going to do some more fun offers in these groups so stay tuned. In fact lets start with one now. (I was telling my best friend the week before we decided to start this company that I could never run my own company, because if I didn't believe in what we were doing, I couldn't promote it, and if I did, I would want to give it away.)
So...The first 2 people to email me at with their mailing address will win a free blank genealogy chart.

Just doing our part to help the genealogy community.
Thanks to all our friends for the great summer we have had. Let us know if we can print you any other charts.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

One more day on the Generation Maps Social Networking contest.

Well, it has been an interesting week in the Genealogy Social Networking Scene.

As you know, we have been running a contest. 1 $25 gift certificate for a person drawn from our Facebook group, and 1 $25 gift certificate drawn from our Genealogywise group. And tomorrow at 5pm we'll draw a winner from the people who have joined both groups for a $100 gift certificate.

GenealogyWise has been an interesting experiment. It is amazing how fast something viral can grow, but it still has to prove worthwhile in order to maintain its viability. This new social network has had some serious hiccups--lots of bugs, having problems with their domain this morning, backpedaling their contests, and now censorship/policy discussions this afternoon. Great explosions of users can move both ways. We have been pleased at how we've been able to network with our users on GenealogyWise this week. But it looks to me like "Facebook is still Facebook for Genealogists." (Tamura Jones).

I think we've learned two things so far:
  1. You have to have a really good product. I think we at Generation Maps are ok there.
  2. We have the best users/friends in the world. I just love the genealogy community
So I think we'll take a cue from GenealogyWise and tweak our contest. We have had a great summer and we are feeling generous. We are going to award 4 $25 gift certificates to anyone in our Generation Maps facebook group. And we are still going to award 1 $25 gift certificate to one person in our Generation Maps genealogywise group. And we'll still award the $100 gift certificate to one person who is in both groups. Not that big of a difference. Just make sure you are in our facebook group. And you can tell your friends, because there are plenty of prizes to go around.

I'm not so sure I would really recommend GenealogyWise yet but we have yet to see what happens there. But I know I would recommend Facebook to anyone and I'll probably stay there more because it has all of my friends, not just the genealogists--that way we can convert more people to genealogy :-). I love getting to know people by the newsfeed there. Facebook is great for spreading your family history to the 20 something generation (although that demographic on FB is rapidly changing), AND anyone who wants to talk to genealogists. I actually heard a story this week about a grandfather who, after much prodding, got on to facebook only to find his grandaughter who had run away a couple of years ago. Facebook is a wonderful way to connect with people. Period. Go sign up so that you can talk to your living family members more. And then come play with us genealogists and we'll help you find out about your past family members.

Two more blog mentions today.

Randy Seaver has apparently thrown down the gauntlet. He has a great file that I got to take a peek at at SCGS. If he'll let me, I'd sure like to see how big his new combined file would be to plot out.
We brag about being able to do ANYTHING. If you have a huge file you'd like to print, you KNOW where to come.

Also, another mention about my class at the BYU conference in a few weeks.
He says he would come to my Comparing Softwares for NFS but I'm really excited about the other class I'm teaching. It's a new one that goes much deeper than this description:
"38. Basic Research Practices in the Age of New FamilySearch
Janet Hovorka
Grounding yourself in the foundations of good research can help you be a more effective genealogist, whether in the library or on the Internet. We’ll discuss primary and secondary sources, original and compiled records and how to track your research effectively. In the Internet age source centricity is more important than ever and so are your methods of citing sources. And now that you can work on the new FamilySearch Family Tree, we’ll discuss keeping a private copy of your research and how to work with FamilySearch Family Tree without laborious syncing."
You can take a look at the classes here. If you are going to be in the area, be sure and come visit, even if you don't come to classes. We'll be in the hallway with all the other vendors that you can talk to too. (I always learn more from the vendor hall than the classes anyway.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A little love from Dear Myrtle

Thanks Myrt for the great recommendation.
We really can do ANY kind of chart. Send it to us for a Free Consultation. We'll get back to you with ideas and size and pricing options.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Generation Maps Social Networking Contest

It has been fascinating tonight to watch a new genealogy social networking site get started. I signed up for late this afternoon, and in just a few hours, I had dozens of friends and dozens of fans on the Generation Maps group. We'd love to have you join us. It will be interesting to see where this site goes and how it develops.

I've loved all the fun we have had on facebook over the last year socializing and getting to know the fun genealogists there. We haven't really utilized the Generation Maps page there as much as we could but are still pleased to have lots of fans there. With the growth of social networking, we have lots of exciting ideas to use both of these tools for future announcements and special events.

So I've been cooking up an idea. We are going to have the mother of all genealogy contests. For every Generation Maps fan on facebook and everyone who joins the Generation Maps Fans group on Genealogywise we will hold a drawing. Next Friday, July 17th we will award a $25 gift card to one random person in each group. Join both groups to increase your chances of winning.

But wait, there's more ;-). On the 17th at 5pm Mountain time, we will collect the names of every person who is a member of both groups for a special drawing. The winner of this contest will win $100 in credit from Generation Maps (two $50 gift cards.) You can use it for one of our beautiful canvas giclee fine art prints (genealogy chart or photo reproduction) or a whole bunch of working genealogy charts to draw all over and analyze your information with.

So take a look at and become a fan.
And while you are on facebook, go to the Generation Maps fan page at We'll look forward to seeing you there. And good luck in the contest.

And if you're not already, don't forget to become my friend too. Janet Hovorka on Genealogywise, and Janet Hovorka on Facebook.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Awesome Salt Lake Conference coming up

I thought I would pass along an email I just received from Family History Expos because it is a great opportunity to come to a conference in Salt Lake, catch a world-class conference and get some time in at the library. This conference center is out in the suburbs of Salt Lake, so parking and hotel costs are cheaper than when the national conferences come to town, but the library is a short ride on Trax, Salt Lake's above ground subway system. You can enjoy this conference for less, and have more money to be able to stay longer and enjoy the library.

Hope the info is helpful to you.

From Family History Expos:

Remember, next month, August 28-29, 2009, is the Salt Lake
Family History Expo to be held at the South Towne Expo
Center in Sandy, Utah. We just wanted to send you this
little reminder.

Full conference details can be read online at

You may be interested to see the list of classes being
offered! Look here

Did you know that we give away tons of door prizes? The
list is just beginning to grow, check it out here

Pre-register today and save! Go to our Web site at
You’ll be glad you did!

Invite a friend to come along with you. Be sure to let
everyone you know hear about this awesome opportunity to
attend the Salt Lake Family History Expo 2009. You will be
hearing from some of the top genealogists in the country,
staff from the Family History Library, and top industry
leaders all in one place to teach you what’s new, what’s
coming, and how to make the most of your research time and

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The *last* post on SCGS

Mine has to be the last post on SCGS. With catching up on the work we came back to, I'm a bit slow posting these pictures. Or at least it seems that way. When you are running with the geneablogging crowd--which is a very fast crowd--you have to post it now, or someone scoops you. (I still hold the scoop for Footnote Maven's picture though--and don't you forget it.) Now I know what it was like to be a news reporter. And, work with the funnest group of people in the world.

I also had to re-arrange my reader to make sure I was getting the latest feeds on all these fabulous people. Let me show you:

First, Denise Levenick from the Family Curator. What a sweetheart she is. I was so glad to get to know her. She did welcome goodie bags for all of us and the treats were a wonderful fill in for lunch when we couldn't get away from the booth. She let us participate too, with a coupon for all the geneabloggers. I'm so glad we did, because then they all came to see us at the booth when I couldn't get out to hang with them in the lobby. Many thanks Denise.

Then, a picture of the blogging summitting going on the hall. Left to right, Drew Smith (new blog), Kathryn Doyle, Elyse Doerflinger (Love Elyse's stuff on youtube. So glad to get to print a chart for her.) Dick Eastman (What can you add about Dick?), Randy Seaver (Thanks for the mentions again Randy), Bruce Buzbee (as you know), and me.
Got to meet and print a chart for Gini Webb. Hadn't known about her blog before. Excited to be reading it now. What a nice lady.
Printed a chart for Elizabeth ONeal too--a big one starting with her daughter. She had an impressive file. I've followed Elizabeth for quite a while, and love her status reports on facebook and in twitter. I love that she is a Mom doing genealogy. Like her, I'm passionate about passing this down to my kids and making sure they know where they come from. That is such a strengthing, grounding thing for children. Here we are with the chart coming off the press.
Honored to be interviewed by the Genealogy Guys. George Morgan and Drew Smith. There wasn't anyone else standing around in their interview/conference room, so I just snapped a quick one of them. The nicest guys. They are branching from podcasts into video now so we tried showing some charts. I remember hitting it off long ago with Drew in the Nashville airport. We librarians have to stick together. I'll let you know when the interview is posted.
One of the highlights too was another new, long lost friend Kathryn Doyle. I've followed her on facebook and love her posts. Now I'll be following her blog closer too. I've already seen that she is one smart cookie. She is in real life too.
We had a great time at the facebook social. Aparently Drew had a *really* great time. LtoR Bruce, Drew, Thomas MacEntee (Thanks for the great post Thomas. We loved printing that chart for you), and Michael Helmantoler
One of the interesting things about this conference was really solidifying in my mind the way different people do genealogy differently. Some genealogists are purely ancestor people, looking for who they came from. Some are purely descendant people, looking for people to have family reunions with. And some are really picture people, like FootnoteMaven and Maureen Taylor. And then there are the story people, like my Mom and Susan Kitchens. What a kick she is. And what a great story teller. Here she is hamming it up with Thomas.
And a big thanks of course to the engine behind it all: Kim, who held down the booth while I flitted about with the geneabloggers. I suppose if you were being a bit too sentimental, he is the "wind beneath my wings." But really, we talk about how at Generation Maps he is the database engine and I am the GUI--or the graphical user interface. He is the incredibly hard worker and I am so glad he lets me be the flitterdegibbit (The Sound of Music is my all-time favorite movie.)
Finally, Sunday night, after everyone had mostly left, I got a few minutes to sit in what had become the bloggers lounge at the Marriott and try to get some work done. I got to soak in the vibes they left I guess. Luckily Lisa Alzo was still there and we had a great talk. I'm so glad to have gotten to know Lisa in Colorado and at SCGS. She is a great asset to the Genealogy community. Ask her about best practices for conference attendees--she's seen every side of a genealogy conference and has some great ideas. And someday I'm going to get to one of her Eastern European Genealogy classes so that I can find more on our Hovorka line. You would think I should be a specialist in that--I'm not, but I know where to find one--in Lisa.
A few more bloggers that I got to meet but didn't get pictures of: Amy Coffin--another genealogist/librarian. Steve Danko (actually got to talk to him more last year, but go read his stuff. Good to see him again.) Schelly Talalay Dardashti *The* authority on Jewish Genealogy, Sheri Fenley the funniest, best writer of us all, Cheryl Palmer, Sheri's good friend for good reason, another great writer, Craig Manson an icon. Oh, so much fun to get to be with these people. You all have a place to stay, and a good restaurant guide when you come to the library in Salt Lake, Ok? Hope to see you again soon.