Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The last minute shipping deadlines pass today. It has been a great Christmas season for us and we are so thankful for our wonderful clients. We appreciate how open you have been as you have shared your families with us and let us mirror them back to you. And we hope that the charts we have done for you this season will remind your family members of the love and heritage that envelops them. I am gratified to have made so many new friends in our associations with you. Thank you.
We so love genealogists--they are phenomenal people to work with.
As soon as we get the last orders off this morning, I'm going to make cookies with my kids for the rest of the day. I hope you and yours have a beautiful holiday season.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I'm so excited though. One of the things I really am passionate about is helping people improve their genealogy skills. I've grown tremendously with that the last couple of months and want to see others become better at it too. I'm amazed at how you can be a genealogist for many years and not necessarily get better at it. But UGA has been a wonderful source of genealogy education and I think it has even more potential ready to bloom.
So the first responsibility I've volunteered on for UGA is to tell you about Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and make sure as many of you as can take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. I've never been able to go because I was always working but I've always wanted to. But this is THE place for indepth knowledge taught by the experts. They have Paula Stewart Warren teaching the American Records track, Mary Hill teaching Mid-Atlantic Research, Kory Meyerink on Immigrant Origins, Tom Jones on Advanced Research Methodology and Craig Scott on US Military Records and several other wonderful instructors and topics. This is a great indepth look at these subjects. You can see the course outlines here. I'll be there. Hope to see you too.
Lisa Alzo has passed me the Genea-Speak award. Thank you so much Lisa for the kind words. I'm so honored to receive it from you. It is given "for excellence in writing, speaking, and the promoting of good genealogical practices." The requirement upon receiving the award is to pass it on to at least two deserving recipients. I am going to send it on to the two people who have completely inspired me this last couple of months. Ancestry Insider and Mark Tucker.
The Ancestry Insider keeps us up on two of genealogy's biggest entities Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.com. I am honored to know the identity of and be able to work with AI and it seems every time I get to talk to him I come away with a shift of paradigm. He is a brilliant person and I look forward to learning lots more from him.
Mark Tucker from the Think Genealogy Blog is another of the great thinkers in the genealogy world. He has a wonderful graphical mind that he has used to come up with good ways to help beginners understand complex ideas. He also turned me on to the book Slideology. I look forward to learning lots more from Mark as well.
Lisa Louise Cooke and James Tanner have also both passed me the Kreative Blogger Award. I so appreciate their recognition and highly recommend their blogs to you as well. With this award, I have to reveal 7 things you may not know about me and then recommend 7 more blogs to you.
1. I "know" (read: have studied) German, Greek, Contemporary and Ancient Hebrew, Standard and Colloquial Arabic and Egyptian Hieroglyphics.
2 My favorite sandwich is cream cheese and raspberry jam, and my favorite color is purple.
3. I spent a week in the Massai Mara Game Preserve. Giraffes are absolutely beautiful in the wild.
4. The last 5 months have totally overhauled my research methodology in genealogy. But I haven't talked about that much on my blog yet.
5. I've decided to write a book. Don't hold your breath, but I think I have something to say. You'll catch some of it here I'm sure.
6. I am going to begin teaching in the Genealogy Program at Salt Lake Community College in January.
7. I am astounded to have been elected last weekend as the Vice President of the Utah Genealogical Association for 2010 (more on that in the next post.)
For the Kreative Blogger Award, I pass the baton to:
Carolyn L Barkley Genealogy and Family History.com
Renee Zamora Renee's Genealogy Blog
Elyse Doerflinger Elyse's Genealogy Blog
Tom Kemp at Ask the Genealogist
Marlo Schuldt The Heritage Collector's Blog A brand new blog by a great writer.
Elizabeth O'Neal Little Bytes of Life (and she beat me barely so I'm counting it anyway.)
the Footnote Maven Shades of the Departed. (The master.)
Go check them out and tell them I said hi.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Out of that came a new/revised mission statement. It is strong and powerful to me and I'm so excited to share it with you.
Generation Maps exists to visually express a family's history, which helps spread throughout that family:
--the feeling of love that comes from knowing they are enveloped in a family.
--the confidence of realizing the potential embedded in their inherited traits.
--the nurture of emotional healing by creating more understanding of their family's past.
--and the spiritual power of family history.
We strive to make these things constantly present in the daily life of the family's members.
I'm also happy to report that this is exactly what I want to do with my life. I honestly believe that family history is vitally important and literally can solve the world's problems. I came home so energized that I couldn't wait to get back to work this morning--even more so than usual.
Thank you to Mary Hill, Robert Raymond, Erin Roudabush, Pat Carpenter, Bruce Buzbee, Holly Hanson and others who have helped me think things out and lay the ground work for our new direction.
And just wait to see what we have up our sleeves for 2010. You're going to love it.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
One of our treasured Thanksgiving recipes comes from rural Wisconsin where Kim grew up. Kim's mother taught us how to make it the way her mother made it and we are so grateful she did. We miss her now that she has passed on, but are grateful to remember her every year at Thanksgiving with this dish.
I know you've probably already eaten this Thanksgiving, but this recipe is good with lots of different main dishes, or any other big dinner you might have coming up for the holidays.
Monday, November 23, 2009
- What are the most important lessons you've learned so far in your life?
- What was the greatest time of joy in your life? The greatest time of sadness?
- Who were your favorite relatives? Do you remember any of the stories they used to tell you?
- What has been your favorite family tradition?
- What personality traits do you admire and how have you tried to develop those traits?
- What was the biggest turning point in your life? Looking back, how would you have dealt with it if you had known what you know now?
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- What are you most proud of? Is there anything you have always wanted to do and haven't?
- How would you describe your sense of humor? What was your all-time favorite practical joke?
- What message would you like to leave your descendants? How would you like to be remembered?
These questions actually work after Thanksgiving too. In fact, did you know that next Friday is actually a National Day of Listening in the US? There is a wonderful National Day of Listening website set up by StoryCorps that can give you further ideas, including a Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide and Question Generator. And there are great stories that people have submitted too. Or try the easy to use software Personal Historian, a full featured software designed to help you capture the wonderful stories in your family's history.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Essential Features for Everyone
“Many of our users have told us that they have friends and family members who are interested in getting started in family history but aren’t ready to invest in a more comprehensive package like RootsMagic,” said Bruce Buzbee, president. “RootsMagic Essentials gives them the features they need to start researching and recording their family tree at a price that can’t be beat—free!”
RootsMagic Essentials shares many of the same features with the full RootsMagic software including clean and friendly screens, the ability to add an unlimited number of people and events, pictures and media management, the SourceWizard to write your source citations for you, powerful merging and clean-up tools, dozens of reports and charts, support for international character sets, FamilySearch integration, and the ability to share data with other people and software programs. The full version of RootsMagic is available for purchase and includes features not available in RootsMagic Essentials.
New FamilySearch Made Easy
As a FamilySearch certified application, RootsMagic Essentials bridges the gap between your personal family history data and the New FamilySearch internet site. It can seamlessly share your family tree with others through New FamilySearch as well as retrieve the information that you don't have. It also simplifies cleaning up, combining, and correcting information.
RootsMagic is the first software certified to reserve and request LDS temple ordinances. It identifies persons that need ordinances, checks for duplicate ordinances, and reserves ordinances for you to complete. When you are ready, RootsMagic will even print an ordinance request at home that can be taken directly to the temple to print the actual ordinance cards.
Perfect Upgrade for PAF
Users of the PAF genealogy software will discover that their software is unable to directly work with New FamilySearch. RootsMagic Essentials has all of the fundamental features of PAF combined with New FamilySearch integration and much more. It also makes the transition painless by directly reading all of your information from PAF.
Free and Available Now
RootsMagic Essentials is available now for free at http://www.rootsmagic.com. Users of other genealogy software products will find it easy to experiment with RootsMagic Essentials using their own data. RootsMagic Essentials can directly import data from PAF, Family Tree Maker (through 2006), Family Origins, and Legacy Family Tree. It can also read and write data using the popular GEDCOM format.
"We're excited to make RootsMagic Essentials available to the community," said Michael Booth, vice-president. "Our mission is to provide 'software to unite families' and our hope is that RootsMagic Essentials will encourage more people to record their family trees and connect with their family histories".
About RootsMagic, Inc.
For over 20 years, RootsMagic, Inc. has been creating computer software with a special purpose—to unite families. One of our earliest products- the popular "Family Origins" software, introduced thousands of people to the joy and excitement of family history.
That tradition continues today with "RootsMagic", our award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history fun and easy. "Personal Historian" will help you easily write and preserve your life stories. "Family Reunion Organizer" takes the headaches out of planning those important get-togethers. And "Family Atlas" creates beautiful and educational geographic maps of your family history.
For more information, visit http://www.rootsmagic.com.
Source: RootsMagic, Inc.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
- You are the master. It looks perfect.
- WOW!! and Fantastic!! Somehow these don’t even seem to express how great this is turning out to be. Your creativity and talent are amazing. (Plus your patience with all of our many additions and changes)
- I think it looks terrific! And the tree in the background sets it off perfectly.
Our online preview system is really personalized. Once you submit your chart and tell us what you are envisioning, we will put together the chart for you. Then you'll receive an email with a webpage link to your chart preview. At that point, you can request changes on anything and we will work back and forth with you until it is exactly what you are envisioning. And we can come up with anything you are envisioning too. Remember, the deadline for Christmas orders on our decorative charts is December 5th.
Friday, October 16, 2009
In case you missed them, here are the facebook statuses:
Day 2 of roadtrip with Mom and Daughter: Apparently nagging about the speed limit skips a generation in my family. :-)
Day 3 of roadtrip with my Mom and my Daughter. It is so beautiful to see my Mom laugh and watch my daughter soak up her Grandmother's praise. And later, so weird to have them both tune me out with their ipods.
And then the two that I was too busy and never got posted:
Day 4 Mom is better friends with my Family History Buddies than I am now.
Day 5 Who is this woman who has kidnapped my mother and replaced her with this lady who is spoiling my daughter? This is definitely not the mother I grew up with.
I had two Grandmothers who adored me. They made sure I knew I walked on water. My Grandmother Carpenter would parade me around to all her friends, showing them my cute new clothes, or having me play the piano for them. And my Grandmother Dana was the best listener that ever lived. When I was in the room, nothing else was important to her.
It was so wonderful this weekend to watch my daughter get the same treatment. I'm so blessed and thankful to have a wonderful mother and grandmother for my daughter. As a Mom, I'm always correcting, and guiding and pushing them to stretch and achieve more. Sometimes the love doesn't come across like it should. It was so good to listen to my daughter bask in her grandmother's love for her and let her feel that unconditional love that a grandmother has. And so nice to relax and let my mother pass on wisdom that my daughter needed, everything from cute hairstyles, to nutrition, and to what is right and wrong in the world.
Sometimes I think that it is too bad that we don't live longer so that we can know more generations of our family. I would have loved to have known my great great grandmother, or her mother. I think a Great-Great-Grandmother would love you just as much. And I hope I get to be a grandmother someday and get to pass on that unconditional love. Maybe I'll even get to meet some great-grandchildren. And hopefully my efforts in family history will be passed down so that my descendants--maybe even further down--will feel my love for them and know about my mother and my grandmothers and what wonderful women they were.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Lisa Louise Cooke just sent me an anouncement for an amazing interview. It is called Broken Branches in Your Family Tree.
Here is what Lisa said:
I have yet to meet anyone who has not had sad and painful stories surface during their research...relatives who committed crimes, were institutionalized, or ended their own lives.
In the case of one of my listener's, the broken branch was very close to home - her parents. And more specifically the mother who left her and her sister on a street corner one day, never to return.
Listen to episode 44 of Family History: Genealogy Made Easy to hear her incredible story. She shares the pain of her childhood, her search for her mother, and the healing and freedom that can come from exploring your family tree.
Friday, October 2, 2009
For Working charts, Canvas Giclees, or Gift Cards, orders will need to be placed by December 15th.
We have a great offer for you this year to help you get going on holiday gifts and get all organized early so that you can relax and enjoy the season knowing the gifts are taken care of. 20% off any order from October 1st to the 15th. And 10% off any order from October 16th to the 31st. Any rolled or framed pieces are included in the offer. Just use the promotional code below when you check out on the website, or mention it in any e-mails or free consults and the discount will be automatically deducted from your order.
Promotional Code: GM20Percent
Promotional Code: GM10Percent
Expires October 31st 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
We've been hearing some wonderful serendipitous stories from many of you lately. We are in a wonderful position in this industry where we get to talk to you after you have done genealogy research and gotten hooked. We count ourselves very lucky to get to work with such wonderful people and love to hear about your research.
If you listened to the podcasts I did lately you'll know serendipity has come up in my interviews quite a bit recently. And apparently the subject has been popping up other places with the people who interviewed me too. Lisa Louise Cooke just posted a new podcast talking about some serendipity stories, and I just happened to stumble across an old (new to me) podcast with George Morgan and Drew Smith that they talked about it too.
Besides the times we have talked about it on this site, snooping around a little more recently I've found a couple of other new to me sites:
Granduncle Mark's Genealogy Parlor
The Serendipity Listing on Cyndi's list
Serendipity on Genealogy Today
We've recently had our users tell us stories about searching records and having have a book open right to the marriage record of someone on different line that they thought was in another state. Or traveling to another country to find records and coming up blank, and then a cousin making a wild suggestion about a local place where the records eventually were found. Or having a business client mention someone they were looking for but hadn't been able to find and having that person turn out to be the business person's neighbor. We have heard many, many such stories this year. Thank you for sharing them with us, and if you'd ever like to share them further, we'd love to have you write an article for the blog.
And I have a great story I just realized I've never talked about here too: A couple of years ago we were displaying some of our charts at a genealogy conference. While we change the information on the living people, many of our display charts are of my own ancestry. As often happens, one lady came up and looked closely at the chart looking for people she was related to and she found Rosina Christina Gregerson, my great grandmother who died in 1934. When she said she had a book about my family and that she would sell me a copy, I was skeptical. But the book she brought in the next day was an incredible record of my family. I was actually in it as a descendant, and it ranged up through this line seven generations. It is an incredible 700 pages of stories and pictures and even included a chapter that my grandmother Hortense had written about her mother that we never knew existed. Needless to say I bought it from her and have treasured it. We often find distant cousins of mine at conferences. So if you ever need some help breaking through a brick wall, you can always let us display your chart at the conferences we go to. :-)
One of the important things to remember about serendipity is that the thing that makes these stories so great is how long the person has been looking for the information that has miraculously appeared. So don't get discouraged if you haven't had some serendipity in your research lately. There may be some right around the corner. Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, in her book In Search Of Our Ancestors, says that if you put 50 genealogists in a room, 45 of them will have had a serendipity experience. So if you haven't had one lately, don't worry. It's coming.
You know I think the word I like the best in genealogy serendipity is "miracles." I think genealogy brings all sorts of miracles into your life. It certainly has brought miracles into my life and it gives me this amazing sense of awe. It's just one of the many things that makes genealogy so exciting and fun.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The developers of the new FamilySearch Family Tree database are hoping to change that statistic in the members of the church. They are hoping that alot of new people will be trying out genealogy for the first time and that this database will make that easier for them. To help these newcomers to genealogy, the church has recently published a couple of new manuals for using the new database. They can be purchased here, here, and here, or downloaded here and here. They are--as to be expected, and as they should be--very general and mostly spiritual in nature.
(If you are not LDS, access to the new database as discussed earlier will be forthcoming shortly. I know what the projections are but I can't tell you--more of that 'under certified affiliate contract' stuff. It won't be long though.)
But, I have recently learned about another great resource for members of the LDS church who are looking to become involved in genealogy. When George Scott first approached me about reviewing his book I have to say I was skeptical--until I delved into this document. Then I went back and looked at his qualifications and he is probably one of the best people to write the book having extensively been a user of New FamilySearch and writing from that perspective. He has obviously done his research and not only could I not find anything wrong with what he put forward. I even learned a little. He has created the most comprehensive manual for dealing with new FamilySearch that I have seen in print. He didn't hold back--outlining every step for beginners, expressing his opinions (which I mostly agree with), warning of the pitfalls and criticizing where criticism was due. It is well worth a read if you are LDS. And I hope you follow his suggestions with regard to the database.
I have one main concern with the new genealogists that will be approaching this database. I am afraid that beginners will have a hard time distinguishing between real research (libraries, archives, real documents, primary sources) and derivatives/pointers to real research (databases and research of other people, aka NFS). After all, New FamilySearch Family Tree is the ultimate secondary source until the sources and documents are linked in. I am afraid new users will use the database as a sole repository for their research and consider what they find there a reliable source without checking. I think for many coming to this new database, the huge amounts of data will be overwhelming. And I hope they can approach it carefully.
George put it extremely well.
"Generally it is best to stay within the bounds of your own research and allow the researchers who submitted the records for earlier centuries to clean those records" (pg 16)
He further explains:
"You have millions of ancestors. Even if you just go back to the year 1500, you may have 100,000 members of your ancestral families. If you spent night and day for your entire mortal life performing genealogical research, you could never build your entire family tree alone. So define your niche, and let PAF chronicle your niche. [He hadn't gotten to talking about certified affiliates yet]. Then, let New FamilySearch serve as a superstructure over your niche, expanding the family tree beyond the bounds of your personal research" [emphasis mine.]
He also called it right on the certified software:
"The third-party software firms advertise that you can combine New FamilySearch records and separate New FamilySearch records using their software. Please do not do so at this time... you generally can not see as much information as you can when you are working directly in New FamilySearch. When you see less information, you make a less-educated decision. (In the future this will likely change, as the third-party vendors continue to expand the features of their programs.)"
He advocates combining records first in New FamilySearch and then syncing the data you have researched using certified software. He convinced me he is right--for the time being. The API that the software is using to talk to the database doesn't allow syncing of sources and only allows 300 characters on the notes (until the first of next year). Most of them have holes in what they show you while you are trying to sync (like the contributors, notes and sources, relationships, details and etc.) While the software is great for keeping track of what is going on in the database with the people you are working on, the developers and the API have more to do before everything is working perfectly. It's coming. It will be better the first of next year. It just isn't there yet.
George gives wonderful suggestions on how to decide whether to combine or dispute information (pg 19 or so). And I really appreciated his plea for civility and using the golden rule in collaborating with other people on the database (pgs 7-8, 39-41). At first I thought his step by step process was a little turned around, but as he walked me through it, I was convinced he had the process right. I wish he had spent a little time talking about the difference in good and bad sources/research and going back to the original source (my clarion call on the subject) but that wasn't really what he was trying to do here. He talks about "your research" and "the database" but doesn't really distinguish what "your research" is. I think a discussion on good research would help. And he had some interesting (albeit kind of sidetracked IMHO) stuff at the beginning about we really are all related to each other and the Most Recent Common Ancestor studies that have been done.
I have three criticisms though. The biggest one is that he suggests standardizing all the names of places in your file before syncing the data. You will lose some of the fine points (such as farm names and cemeteries) in your geographical data if you do that. That is the perfect example of why you should use certified software and what could be left in your personal files and not synced with the database. Secondly, he calls the pedigree interface on NFS a "fan chart" (pg 13). Only the Chart Chick would argue with that one. This is a fan chart, the NFS interface is a left to right hourglass chart. And third, Generation Maps charts should have been added to chapter 9 "A Perfect, Inexpensive, Christmas Gift." :-)
Whether you are new to genealogy or not, his new Appendix "E" is a must read about how to resolve major problems in New FamilySearch--such as wrong gender, incorrect relationships, loops and quarantines. If you are LDS and looking to try out or teach the New FamilySearch database, this book is well worth a look.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Jenn, (furthest left) is my sister who was married two weeks ago. The two little girls on my right are my sisters Amy and Emily. Amy, closest to me in the picture, got married this last spring. The comparison between this family picture and our most recent one is so striking to me. I'm not getting older but everyone else sure is ;-)
Lindsey, Kim's niece on his left, is married and has a child of her own. And on her left is her younger sister Madison who is getting married next week. Craig, Kim's nephew on Madison's left was married last year too.
Unbelievable. This picture is only from 1994. My children are now older than the children in this picture. My family marches on through the years. I don't see it as much as I work on family history several generations back because it seems more distant. This closer family history seems to be rushing by faster, and yet if you were to lay it all out together, I'm sure it is *all* rushing quickly.
I tend to want to capture life and put it in a bottle--it all seems to be moving on so fast. Whatever did they do before cameras? But cameras don't seem to be enough. Does anyone else have this fleeting sense of life? How do you hold on to it all?
No wonder I'm a genealogist.
We've talked on this blog alot about the dangers of making sure digital files survive. Brook and Tara help you out with that using only the highest quality materials. But following the Library of Alexandria rule, once the items are digitized you can share and disburse them, and of course we can help you make extra printed copies--all of which is much easier in digital format.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I finally got to meet Miriam Midkiff. I had been so looking forward to that. And she was just as wonderful in person as she is online. She bent over backwards to help us with a couple of vendor's issues we had. But somehow we never got a picture together. We'll have to try again at the next conference.
But I did bring you a bunch of other pictures. The conference this year it was held in the fabulous Davenport Hotel in Spokane Washington. You can't help but take pictures of that beautiful hotel. There just aren't enough gorgeous historical places like that.
You should see this place. The vendors were up on the balcony above the beautiful victorian lobby. Apparently the Davenport was *the* place to be, having been built on the money coming from the silver mines in Western Montana and Northern Idaho. The balcony was lined with pictures of the glory days--fabulous pictures of turn of the century parties and weddings and etc in this beautiful building. Tons of famous people have stayed there, presidents and celebrities. But it suffered in the 50s, 60s and 70s, eventually closing for many years. Thankfully, Walt and Karen Worthy bought the building, re-opening in 2002 after an incredible restoration project. They restored all of this history and added great technology too. The classrooms were all equipped with huge built in projection screens and the internet was free and fast.
Kudos to the Washington State Genealogical Society. A perfect place to have a genealogy conference.
The kids were having too much fun in the pool to notice the gorgeous Trompe-l'oeil surrounding the room. We let them order room service--creme brulee, french fries and chocolate lava cake--they thought they were in heaven. They loved going on the tram across the waterfall a couple of blocks away, and we all enjoyed going out with Bruce and Laurie Buzbee to some great local resturaunts and walking around the park along the riverfront.
I think I fell in love with the Davenport because it reminded me alot of the Hotel Utah, now the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. My High School senior prom was there, and Kim and I had our Wedding Reception there. I don't know if you can see it but the glass ceilings in the lobby are very similar, along with all the turn of the century opulence.
(Dating myself with the hairstyle--oh well.)
Anyway, the conference was wonderful. Thanks to the Washington Genealogy Society. A great time was had by all.
Friday, September 11, 2009
He wrote that it "Appeared today on:
The click-to-listen link is:
It will also appear on the FM100.3 website this week only, on yourLDSradio.com for the week, and will be broadcast on FM100.3's "Soft Sunday Sounds" stream online this Saturday at Noon, but none of those are permanent links."
Thanks Steve. It was great to talk to you. Hope we can do it again sometime.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
And of course we enjoyed the beautiful scenery all weekend. I had only been through the Honolulu airport on my way to Japan, never stopped in Hawaii. Kim laughed at me because all weekend I kept saying "Now I understand why Ohana Software uses the Plumeria flowers in their logo." They are so beautiful in person. Everything there is. I don't know if I fit in in Hawaii very well--I never slow down that much. But it was nice. Missed FGS but I found out Kim loves snorkeling and I'm more of a sit on the beach and read person. I hope we get to go back again soon.
Well, we are home for exactly 52 hours this week so I'm amazed I actually got this blog post in. You wouldn't believe what we are trying to cram into that 52 hours to try to keep up with everything. We are on our way tomorrow to the Eastern Washington Genealogy Society conference in Spokane. Thanks to everyone who is holding the fort down the last couple of weeks while we have had several conferences. I'm looking forward to a little break after this weekend but then I'm sure I'll be looking forward to our next conference in Redding, California too. Hope we'll see you soon.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
FYI, 2010 Census Cautions
Be Cautious About Giving Info to Census Workers
With the U.S. Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft. The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way, as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country. Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States and will gather information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data. The big question is - how do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a con artist? BBB offers the following advice:
If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice.
Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you do not know into your home. Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census. While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, it will not ask for Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers nor will employees solicit donations.
Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at home. However, they will not contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census. Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.
For more advice on avoiding identity theft and fraud, visit www.bbb.org
Craig D. Thomas
West Valley City | Public Relations Division | Neighborhood Services Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com
UPDATE 9/1/09 10pm:Apparently Millennia Corp jumped the gun in their excitement and are not "officially certified" until the product is shipping. It looks like they will be waiting until they meet the requirements for several other certifications to release the software. Here is their revised statement.
Received this from Geoff Rasmussen today.
SURPRISE, Arizona – September 1, 2009 – Millennia Corporation today announced that its family tree software, Legacy Family Tree, has received official certification from FamilySearch.
Users of Legacy will soon be able to synchronize with, backup, and publish their information to FamilySearch’s Family Tree. These capabilities will be included in Legacy’s Standard (free) and Deluxe Editions. It will also soon provide support for LDS members including ordinance reservation and requests.
“We are excited to provide these new tools for the genealogy community,” said Dave Berdan, president of Millennia Corporation. “Our goal with our FamilySearch integration software was to make it drop-dead simple for brand new users to get started with their family history but also robust enough that it would appeal to advanced researchers. We think we have succeeded in both areas.”
Legacy's new tools help you and your family set goals, plan, and organize projects for working with your family trees in FamilySearch. A simple step-by-step workflow guides your family with constant monitoring of your progress and feedback measured against your goals. As family members collaborate to clean up and grow their trees, Legacy will help each family member share so that the whole family can enjoy their family tree.
Anyone with access to http://new.familysearch.org will be able to utilize Legacy’s new integration software. Initially, only members of the LDS church have access until the FamilySearch system is thoroughly tested. Later, FamilySearch will be open to the public.
Legacy’s new FamilySearch software will be available before the end of the year – as a free update to both the Standard and Deluxe editions of Legacy 7.
“Legacy currently has “Access” certification”, explained project manager, Geoff Rasmussen, “meaning it will automatically search and read information from new.familysearch.org and compare it side-by-side with the user's Legacy data. Once it receives Sync and Update certifications, it will be released to the public. We hope to have it in our customers’ ‘virtual hands’ very soon. Watch or subscribe to our blog at http://www.legacynews.typepad.
Free Standard Edition Available
Anyone can download the free, standard edition of Legacy from http://www.LegacyFamilyTree.
Users of other genealogy software applications can easily experiment with their own data in Legacy 7. Legacy can directly import data from Ancestral Quest and PAF, as well as data in a GEDCOM format.
About Millennia Corporation
Millennia Corporation is located in Surprise, Arizona. The company strives to provide top-quality genealogy software so people can record and track their family history. It is also the publisher of Legacy News, an online newsletter bringing genealogists tips and tricks about genealogy (http://www.legacynews.
Thanks to Lisa Alzo for tweeting my "Serendipity and Other Miracles: Why you need Family History" lecture. I learned a couple of things from her as well:
1) It is always good to give the twitter name for your presenter (@JanetHovorka, or @GenerationMaps) so that people can go follow them as well and hear what they have to say directly, or what they might respond about their lecture.
2) Tell them great job! (When deserved of course.) There is nothing more awesome than having someone appreciate your work and tell everyone else that they appreciate it too. Lisa came up to me after the conference and said she really loved the lecture. I particularly appreciated her feedback this time because I have struggled with that lecture more than any of my others. I absolutely love the topic, so I'm really critical of myself and I had just reworked the slides again. So I completely soaked up her compliments. That was a wonderful ending to the conference for me. And when I saw that she had been so generous on Twitter, that made my day too. So now that she has recommended it to you--you'll have to catch that lecture sometime. And I'll keep working on it so that next time it can live up to my expectations too.
Also on this topic, take a look at Ancestry Insider's tweeting policy at http://ancestryinsider.blogspot.com/2009/08/tweeting-presentations-policy.html. He has some good usage guidelines. I also think that offering to make corrections is a good best practice. But I hope AI doesn't ever dislike a lecture of mine :-), I think I will personally reserve the right to change opinions too. And I hope claiming copyright of his tweets doesn't get AI thrown out of some lectures ;-). But I do agree with him that he is the originator of those tweets and thus he owns them. Same as a newspaper reporter--it is his take on the situation.
Looking forward to reading the FGS tweets this week. I'll be reading them from the beach in Hawaii while attending my sister's wedding. If you are wanting to read them too, but don't know where to look, take a look the people I follow here or here and follow some of them yourself. Or search for the hashtag #fgs-09. Happy tweeting.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Especially since I am going to be in Hawaii at my sister's wedding during FGS, I'm looking forward to hearing about the conference via social media channels. I hope everyone will be generous in letting me know what is going on so I won't feel too left out. (I won't be sobbing in Hawaii, but I *will* miss you guys.)
In the spirit of the twitter movement, I'll keep my ideas to a numbered list. We'll see if I can keep them to 140 characters.
Having been twittered and then twittering a lecture at the last conference there are some things I would do different. I've learned:
- It goes without saying that credit should be given. List the lecturer's blog, twitter, facebook, possibly even an email spelled out.
I would argue that you don't need permission any more than a movie or restaurant reviewer. But it would be nice of you to ask. Distinguish your comments by using "quotes" for what the lecturer said and (parenthesis) for what you are adding. Use your own words and give a review not a regurgitation. Think live news reporting not videotaping. Posting later to your blog is nice and extends the discussion. Think newspaper reporting. Use the hashtag for the conference to be able to participate in the community. Like: #SCGS09, #FHX09, or #BYUgen University professors are appreciating how the social networking turns a class into a community--participate in the gen conference community Twitter is a great place to ask questions. It saves the question for later and doesn't interrupt the lecturer's train of thought. Twitter can be an extension of the question and answer period. A lecturer might answer later or you might get an answer from the community. A competent lecturer will enjoy continuing the conversation on their blog or on twitter. Check their social networking avenues for responses But be patient, conferences are very busy for lecturers and they may not get to it--even for a couple of days.
- You might even RT or link to a lecturer's responses so that your readers will get the answers along with the questions.
Hopefully you can help twitter change appropriate lectures from show&tell to a conversation-universally accepted as a better teaching method
- And finally, try to keep your tap, tap, tapping somewhat quiet. Don't bother the person next to you.
- Your ideas?
The Twitter Experiment UT Dallas on You Tube. And the professor's analysis. The professor there used it as a discussion tool when the class was too large for everyone to participate in the discussion. Likewise, it could be used at genealogy conferences as an extension of the question and answer period where shy people might be able to speak up, and the lecturer could continue to answer questions later on and into the next day. The Cabinet Office in the UK has posted a Twitter Strategy Paper for government departments in the United Kingdom. Interesting to see how Her Majesty's government thinks they should use twitter. Especially interesting was the tools they are using to track who is talking about them--useful for a lecturer to track what is being said. And interesting what they thought the guide rules should be for appropriate content--no mention of copyright.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Yesterday I received birthday wishes on Facebook, GenealogyWise, my blog, and even on Twitter. It was so awesome to feel the love from such good friends. But some of them I didn't see right away--and hopefully that's ok. With many many blogs I like to read, lots of people to follow on twitter and facebook, there is tons out there that I don't want to miss. Some days I'm able to read it all, and some days I can't. So the solution I've found is that some days I do and some days I don't. But I can usually catch back up pretty good when I do find the time.
One of the greatest things about social networking is the democratization of publishing. There are some fantastic writers out there that I might never have heard of in the newspaper/book age. But now because of the internet , the cream has really risen to the top. And you can even become great friends with these people. There is some great genealogy information out there in the social networking arena--I learn so much--and I've decided that is definitely worth my time.
There was a great article posted a little while ago about this issue.
http://gretabog.blogspot.com/2009/07/researching-blogging-social-networking.html You'll notice that a bunch of the comments are from some really great bloggers.
I think the key is to keep it all in perspective with each other. Before the networking, before the blogging, even before Generation Maps, I had to set priorities between kids, and volunteer work, and my husband, friends, projects and all sorts of things that demanded my time. You really have plenty of time for anything you want to. Sometimes people even tell me that they don't have time for genealogy--imagine that! It makes me sad for all the great benefits of genealogy that they are missing. Sometimes you just have to sit down and remember what those most important things are to you, and then divy out your time accordingly.
I guess it was twittered best tonight by @ TheGenealogue "I should really tweet more and eat and sleep less..." Well maybe eat less anyway.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
And the kicker? My sister asked for it to have "birthday" spelled wrong, and it was supposed to be for "Jan, It, and Matthew." At first, when she picked it up she was all upset. But then--she realized it was a REAL cake wreck. So cool. Thanks Kristen.
And thanks to everyone with all the birthday wishes on facebook. I'm soooo grateful to have so many great friends. Appreciate you!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Genealogy Companies on Twitter
Monday, August 10, 2009
As is common on the APG list, a great discussion ensued. As a lecturer who was "tweeted" by an audience member at the conference in question, and an audience member who "tweeted" another lecture, I have three ideas to share on the subject.
My lecture "Basic Research Practices in the age of New FamilySearch" was tweeted by Ancestry Insider and then posted to his blog. My tweets and those of Ancestry Insider concerning Mark Tucker's lecture were posted to my blog. (And I'm sure glad I asked AI if I could repost our tweets together--now *that* would have been copyright infringement :-)
I believe it was Elizabeth Mills' comment on the APG list that mentioned that it is hard for a lecturer to respond sufficiently to a twitterer's comments in this fast paced world. There were some comments that I would have liked to have made about Ancestry Insider's review of my lecture. My concern is that I can not--in today's incredibly fast world--respond sufficiently. By the time I was even aware that AI had tweeted my lecture, the tweets had already come and gone in most people's readers. Those who have read his blog post about the lecture won't be returning to read the comments. In order to respond effectively, a lecturer would have to spend 24 hours a day tracking what had been said and be able to respond immediately. Likewise, different people read Ancestry Insider's work than read mine. So most likely, those people will not see my response here. And many of them would not know if I commented on twitter even if my response had been immediate because they may follow Ancestry Insider but not me.
I suppose I have more opportunity to respond than I do if a newspaper reporter published their take on my lecture. But what if the issue I wanted to comment on had been a major one?
AI says in his tweets that the wifi went out in the conference center during the talk and he missed tweeting a good portion of the end of the talk. (It looks to me like he missed about the last 1/2 of the lecture.) In my humble opinion (take that for what it is worth), he missed tweeting some of the main points--A)Part way into the lecture, and especially at the end, I strongly asserted that the problems with sources that I was talking about in New FamilySearch were being addressed by the developers and that I believe the database will become a fantastic resource in the future. B)The whole point of the lecture was that we--the users--are responsible for how useful this database will become in how we deal with sources there. and C)I highly recommended using the certified software to keep track of your sources while we wait for sourcing issues to get better in New FamilySearch. I think those things came across in the lecture. I'm not so sure they did in the tweets. That's ok. I later talked with someone who had to leave after the first 20 minutes. He didn't get the main point either. But he wasn't broadcasting that to the world. And Ancestry Insider certainly wasn't treading on my Intellectual Property if he didn't get the main points. What he did was report his take on my lecture--not record what actually happened. And that would be true of another twitterer if they had missed those points, or misconstrued my points accidentally or intentionally.
I suppose I could get all worried or excited about what people think of me or my lecture based on those tweets. I might worry that future conference organizers may base an opinion about my lecturing skills on a twitter report. But couldn't they do that on word of mouth or a newspaper or blog report? I appreciate that AI liked my lecture. But I shouldn't be crushed if he didn't--I agree with the APG list that tweets should be seen as constructive criticism and used to produce a better lecture. Based on AI's tweets (and our conversations at the conference), there is a slide that slipped through my review process that I need to fix. He caught it and I appreciate that. Anyone who is going to be terribly worried about what everyone thinks should get out of the lecturing business all together and stay away from any kind of public life. People will always have opinions about what you do or say. Those opinions can be expressed alot of different ways, and twitter is just one of them.
By no means do I feel like my tweets of Mark Tucker's lecture, or even my tweets and Ancestry Insider's together, would violate Mark's intellectual property. If/when he ever gives that lecture again, I would highly recommend that you go. It was a fantastic lecture. I didn't even begin to scratch the surface of his good examples, and great stories, and the readers on twitter certainly missed his fantastic visuals and engaging personality. In tweeting the lecture, I think Ancestry Insider and I were simply trying to spread the wealth--reporting on the fantastic opportunity of being in a good class. But really, you should try it yourself. And as you can see above, I don't feel like the tweets of my class began to scratch the surface of my class either. It was simply an audience member's review of my class. You really should come the next time I give it.
Overall, I'm flattered to have been tweeted by such an illustrious blogger as Ancestry Insider. It gives me a broader reach for a topic I care about. I think that only a person who wasn't there would feel like a tweeted lecture was copyright infringement. If you were there, you would know how much more comprehensive the lectures were. I think tweeters are just trying to share the experience they are having. And if that eventually entices more people to come to these great genealogy conferences or learn more from these great speakers then so much the better.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
We talked about inheriting genealogy and my passion for keeping your genealogy information out where it can inspire you and give you perspective on life.
My interview (above) is a special excerpt version of the Genealogy Gems Podcast Premium Episode #28 currently available to Genealogy Gems subscribers. http://www.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Don’t Miss Generation Maps in Salt Lake City
Come join the party
Join Generation Maps at the Salt Lake Family History Expo for two days of family history, classes, exhibit halls and much, much more.
2009 Salt Lake Family History Expo
August 28-29, 2009
8 AM – 6 PM
South Towne Exposition Center, Sandy, Utah
Expo Classes - Expo registration required to attend
Register today to attend both days of Expo classes, which include more than 100 family history classes taught by 50 of the nation’s top family history experts and speakers.
I will be teaching:
- Serendipity and Other Miracles: Why You Need Family History
- Digitally Enhancing Your Photos
Register today to attend the expo and take advantage of the special pre-registration discount (pre-registration deadline is August 24).
Exhibit Hall – Free to the Public
Visit us at the Generation Maps booth in the Expo’s exhibit hall and experts will be on hand to print your Family History Charts onsite and answer questions about chart printing. Don’t miss special conference discounts on various Generation Maps products such as gift certificates and blank charts.
The Exhibit Hall also features family history vendors from across the world. The Exhibit Hall is free to the public and is open:
Win Door Prizes!
One of the more lively aspects of the Expo is the prize drawings. As a Sponsor of the Salt Lake Family History Expo, Generation Maps has donated the following gifts for the drawings.
Door Prizes Donated by Generation Maps:
Generation Maps Gift Certificate (Value $25.00)
Generation Maps Gift Certificate (Value $25.00)