Friday, February 21, 2020

New front page for our website

Congratulations to Alex, our super programmer for another accomplishment that the rest of us think is magical.  Often his magic is spread behind the scenes, but this time it is out front where you can enjoy it too.  We have a beautiful new front page.  Check it out:

Go to to check out the full effect.  I think it shares our message better.  Let us know what you think in the comments below, and be sure to send in your family information for a free consultation so that we can get started on a chart for you!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Creating a Digital Will.

Next week I'm presenting a new lecture entitled "Creating a Digital Will" at RootsTech.  The topic comes from a need I found last year.  As I presented another lecture entitled "Heirloom, Documentation and Junk: What to Keep and What to Toss" across the country, I had dozens of people come up to me after every lecture asking about more information on digital wills.  Clearly, genealogists had been digitizing their family history but had not thought enough about how to preserve their digital past.

So I proposed this lecture to RootsTech and it was accepted.  It is something we all need to be talking about so that our digitized information is safe for future generations. If we don't preserve our digital life, our great grandchildren may know more about our great grandparents who wrote regular letters than they do about us and all of our emails.  To avoid a digital dark age in this generation, we must ensure that our records are accessible in the future with attention and a plan. Our digital footprint is subject to constant change and items are easily lost or destroyed when a subscription runs out, a bill is not paid, there is too much information to digest or even just a computer crash.

Of course I'm not a lawyer so this lecture is a general survey.  Participants are encouraged to consult a lawyer in their local area to ensure that they are working within any laws that effect where they live.  A digital will should never be included in a Last Will and Testament because once the testator dies, the will becomes a public document.  Likewise, digital assets change so quickly, a digital will needs to be updated without having to formally change a will.  A digital will can be referenced in a will but should be a separate document.

The lecture discusses what needs to be included in a digital will, and the survivorship policies of the popular websites for genealogists.  But the actionable part of the lecture is the six steps you can do to secure your digital legacy.  
They are:

  1. Collect a list of all your digital assets.  
  2. Once you have a complete list of digital assets, fill out the list with logins and passwords.  Add answers to security questions, pin numbers, account numbers, and security codes for all web assets and hardware
  3. Leave instructions for your wishes and designate an heir for each asset.  List which assets should be archived and saved, which should be deleted or erased and which should be distributed to family, friends or business colleagues.   
  4. Secure your list of assets, logins and passwords.  Because digital assets are subject to constant change, a digital plan must be easy to maintain so that it is kept up to date.  In some cases a good old fashioned piece of paper and locked case may be more secure.
  5.  Appoint a Digital Executor.  A digital executor will work with the executor of your Last Will and Testament to distribute your digital assets.  
  6. Whenever possible, digital information concerning family history can and should be disseminated among family members now for additional preservation whenever possible.
There is a lot to talk about concerning how we protect our digital history.  I hope you'll join us next Wednesday at 9:30 for the full discussion.  When you have a plan and get organized, you can make sure your family history assets and current history are preserved for future generations.  

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Annual Favorites 2020: Special Occasions

We love helping you celebrate your family's special occasions.  Anniversaries, birthdays, engagements, weddings, or any family milestone can be commemorated with a family history chart.  These charts tell the origin story of your family and how you all came to this place.  And charts make a wonderful unique gift.  Your family history is something you share with the recipient that no one else outside the family shares with them; it is unique to your bond.  

Be sure to click on any of the charts to see a larger version with all of the details.  And join us at any conference this year to see the actual prints.

A birthday present for the researcher's brother showing the brother and sister and the brother's son with all the family's photos.
A baby gift from Grandma showing a little girl's maternal line.

A beautiful birthday present for Mom showing off her Eastern European heritage.

This chart could be a beautiful present for Mom and Dad from their daughter.  With color coding for each of the family branches and the gorgeous water color tree in the background it is a family history to be proud of.

Let us help you celebrate your family bonds with one of our amazing custom family history charts.  It is simple to send in your information for a free consultation with no obligation to purchase until it looks perfect.  Just send the information to  One of our designers will help you come up with the perfect chart to mark your special occasion.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Annual Favorites 2020: Unique Favorites

When we advertise that we can create any kind of chart, we get unique requests.  We love it when a client has a specific vision for their chart.  Our designers put their extensive talent and experience to work creating unique masterpieces that really tell the family story.  And with our online preview system for custom charts, each designer works closely with the client to realize their vision.  It is so satisfying for the client and the designer when they come up with unique masterpieces such as these.  

Be sure to click on any of the charts to see a larger version with all of the details.  And join us at any conference this year to see the actual prints.

One of our favorites this year.  These cousins found each other through DNA and celebrated their kinship with a beautiful chart showing their unique relationship.  

An amazing chart showing the lifespan of a couple and their families'  origins.  It includes documents, gravestones, stories, and a timeline fore each of their lives, and it encompasses the whole story in a captivating chart.

A simply beautiful chart with the focus on an elegant background photo and the clean ancestral lines.

The dark background makes the color coding on this chart pop off the page.  A tribute to the popularity of the Finding Your Roots TV show.

This brilliant client created two matching charts (above and below).  She hung her family and her husband's family side by side in her home.  But then she gifted her husband's family copies of their chart and her family copies of her chart.  Each of the charts work as a stand alone piece, but together they unite her heritage with her husband's.

This beautiful chart shows off a direct line that splits and then comes back together.  Showing all of the family on the bottom was tricky, but we fit them all in.  
Our designers can also come up with an amazing, unique display of your family history.  Anything you can dream up, they can do, and they'll work with you until it is perfect.  Just send your information in for a free consultation at and they'll get started on your family masterpiece.