Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Teaching Family History With Back-to-School Traditions

As a child, going back-to-school shopping was one of the most anticipated days of the year. My younger sister and I would make a list of all the school supplies that we needed and present them to my mom, who would always chuckle and put them in her purse until the long-awaited day. When the day finally came, it felt like Christmas. Upon entering Walmart, we would rush to the back-to-school section of the store where the fun would commence. It was always a madhouse with children running every direction, holding backpacks and binders and lunch boxes, staking claim on the trendiest ones. There was typically at least one child crying over an out-of-stock binder or a set of pens that were too expensive. Despite all the chaos, there was something magical about it. The feeling of summer being over and a new phase of life beginning was pure bliss for my young self.  

The excitement of back-to-school shopping is what sparked my love for school when I was a child and is a tradition that I want to pass on to my children. Likewise, German parents give their children a special gift bag to aid in igniting the passion for education. This tradition is called a Schultüte School Bag. On the first day of school, German children receive this bag filled with books, pens, toys and candy. It is given by parents to help them feel important and loved on this special day. 

What are your back to school traditions? How do you keep them alive from one generation to the next? 

If you don't have any back-to-school traditions, start them now! Learn how to make your own Schultüte bags in the link below.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Introducing the newest members of our team

Amberley Wallace was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and raised in Idaho Falls, Idaho. She is the second oldest out of seven children. Five girls and two boys. From the time she was young, she has had a passion for learning and educational excellence. She was valedictorian of her high school and from that point decided to further her education by attending Utah State University in Logan, Utah. She received an Associate’s degree and Bachelor’s degree in art with a minor in multi-media. She loves to spend her time painting, drawing, sculpting, reading, hiking and playing games with her family. She also has an adventurous side and enjoys traveling on her own, motorcycle rides, and trying crazy things like cliff jumping and skydiving.

 She found a love and appreciation for genealogy when her father was able to find out who his biological father was after fifty years of wondering thanks to DNA testing and family history. After he found him, they were able to connect and communicate via email correspondence.  And Amberley was able to fly out to Denmark and meet her biological grandfather for the first time last year. She is excited to learn more about her family tree, make new connections, and be a part of the family history journey for others as well. 

Katherine Ward joined the Family ChartMasters' team earlier this summer and loves working with such incredible people. She is taking on the role of marketing manager at Family ChartMasters. She is a Tennessee native, but is currently living in Provo, Utah where she is in school at Brigham Young University studying graphic design. Before Joining Family ChartMasters, she worked for BYU Student Wellness as their lead marketing manager and graphic designer. Aside from school and work, Katherine enjoys skiing, hiking and hanging out with her 6 nieces and nephews. Joining the Family ChartMasters' team is an exciting new endeavor for her and she is excited to learn from the expertise of the other members of our team.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Family ChartMasters Annual Retreat and Camaraderie

A few weeks ago, we took our team up to Park City, Utah for a weekend retreat in the mountains. We started the weekend with afternoon tea at the Grand America Hotel where we enjoyed good company and gourmet tea. Then, we headed up into the mountains to explore all the beauty that Park City has to offer. We concluded the evening with team bonding and get-to-know-you games. Saturday morning we woke up to Janet's homemade pancakes and took some time to discuss our goals for Family ChartMasters.
In our discussion about what the company wants to do better, we talked a lot about camaraderie (which is very hard to spell, by the way!) and what that means to us and to Family ChartMasters. Camaraderie is at the root of any successful company because without it, showing up to work wouldn't be nearly as easy. As a company, Family ChartMasters strives to emulate that camaraderie in all of our interactions with fellow employees as well as our customers. Each of you reading this has interacted with one of us in some way, shape or form and we hope that you feel like not only a valued customer, but also a cherished friend. We are so grateful for the friendships that Family ChartMasters has helped cultivate through the years and we just wanted to take a second to thank each one of you for your love and support. After all, Family ChartMasters wouldn't be here without you, so THANK YOU!!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Will Your Stories Survive the Digital Age?

The fast-paced, ever-changing digital age that we live in has revolutionized the way we do genealogy work. Historically, family history has been the luxury of nobility and the very rich.  Digitizing, and especially the Internet, has democratized genealogy. Much family history is now available to everyone at all hours of the day. Now every ancestor is important, the most humble servant, the slave, the indentured servant, etc--but the only ancestors that can be found are those whose records have survived.
What documents will our descendants be able to find of our lives?  In some ways the records we are creating now are even threatened more than the records of the past. We are creating a Digital Dark Age every day as our digital correspondence and records are lost, so here are some tips to make sure you're creating a lasting and meaningful digital history. 
1. The Library of Alexandria Rule for Genealogists:  The more copies there are of something, the more likely it is to survive.  Share, Share Share--with relatives, databases and libraries and archives. Keep files in as many places as you can.  Always have electronic and print copies.  Never keep anything in only one format.
2. Replicate in different formats: Make copies in the most common digital formats, .jpg, .tiff, .txt, .ged, .csv, .rtf, .pdf.   Paper is still the most durable format. Store larger files, and smaller stripped down files of the same data when possible (such as different sized scans).  Who knows what you might want to do with the information in the future?
You can make a difference in your family.  To avoid a Digital Dark Age in this generation, we must ensure that our digital records are accessible and useable for the future.  The way we manage the records we create has to keep pace with our digital record creation.  You can make a difference in your family by doing your best to preserve your own documents.  With attention and a plan, we can preserve our records and not become the Digital Dark Age generation.