Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia
I’m Patty Roy, also known as Dinah Larkham in Second Life.
Today is Monday February 8, 2016 and this is Episode 76.
RootsTech was held last week. Estimates for attendance are about 26,000 total, including about 7,000 youth, plus the 125,000 viewing the live streaming classes and 250,000 expected to see classes on Family Discover Days around the world. The attendance of 26,000 comes from about 8,000 attending the actual conference and the remainder coming only for the festivities on Saturday.
The theme for the conference was “Celebrating Families Across Generations” with an emphasis on stories.
The opening keynote speaker was president and CEO of FamilySearch International Steve Rockwood. He started out by talking about his father and past Christmases with him. His father died before his children were born but his children will know his father and grow up to be like him because he lives on in stories, pictures, and lessons his sons have been told.
When we talk about past family members it makes you feel strong and loved. Studies have shown that children who know about their family’s history have a better outlook on life.
A goal of FamilySearch is to reach as many as possible to help them feel the benefits of family history.
FamilySearch ’s vision is to continuously improve 5 types of experiences
Discovery – do this in the Discovery Centers
Family Trees – on FamilySearch.org. They have been expanding with partnerships with Ancestry, Findmypast, MyHeritage, and NEHGS.
Searchable records – Later this year they will be releasing millions of birth, marriage, and death records from Mexico and Italy
Memories – 10 million photos and stories are at FamilySearch.org
Contextual Help – help is available in many languages online and over the phone
He mentioned that those of us who do genealogy are heart specialists for society and your family.
Steve had open heart surgery when he was 8 years old. Before that he was very weak and had trouble walking up the hill to school.
His doctor didn’t try to impress him with what a good doctor he was and how much knowledge he had. He wore funny ties to put a young boy at ease.
You may need to use a different approach when talking to your family members about family history. Start small to reach their hearts by mentioning things that would interest them.
Don’t teach them how to research, start with stories.
RootsTech is a gathering of heart specialists, a train the trainer convention of family history heart doctors.
The vendors are there to help the attendees touch the hearts of their family members and society.
He thought everyone should be dressed for the part. Each chair had a surgical mask to get everyone ready for their role as heart doctors.
Steve Rockwood introduce Kathy Tarullo, a stay at home mom who recently went back to school and received her bachelor’s degree in Family History. She integrates family history into her every day life with her family.
She talked about how she served treats that were significant to family members at her graduation party. She also talked about her great grandfather’s history that was written down and how she plans to share it by making a book in poetry form as a kids book.
Next there was a little video about the history of Ellis Island. It was narrated by the host of BYUtv’s show American Ride, Stan Ellsworth. At the conclusion of the video, Mr. Ellsworth rode his motorcycle thru the crowd to the stage.
On American Ride they tell their own stories about history. Mr. Ellsworth is a history teacher and on the show he takes his Harley-Davidson across the country to find out more about American culture and people.
He stressed that every American family has their own unique stories and traditions to tell.
Next speaker was Paula Williams Madison. She talked about finding and connecting with her maternal grandfather in China.
She learned about FamilySearch.org about 3 years ago when she was trying to find her Chinese family. She typed in something about her grandfather at FamilySearch.org and found a manifest that showed where her grandfather went and the name of his new wife and children.
She was very thankful to everyone who helped create and index the records at the FamilySearch website.
She and her brothers grew up in Harlem. Their father was in and out of their lives and they only had each other, no aunts and uncles, no cousins, and no grandparents.
Thanks to FamilySearch they found their grandfather and all his family. When they traveled to China to meet them they were all welcomed into the family – all 300 of them.
She made a documentary “Finding Samuel Lowe from Harlem to China” that was shown at the conference. It describes the journey from Jamaica to Harlem to China to find her roots.
You can watch the documentary Finding Samuel Lowe on The Africa Channel. I’ll have a link in the show notes to where you can watch it.
The third keynote speaker on Thursday was Bruce Feiler. He is an author and New York Times family columnist. He told the story of how he came to be a person who talks so much about family stories.
He was in Japan and wrote stories home about his experiences. His grandmother made copies of the letters and gave them to other people. When Bruce returned home he heard from strangers how much they enjoyed his letters. He thought maybe he was good at story telling since his letters seemed to be so popular.
So he traveled and wrote books about his experiences. His advice was that when you’re working on your family stories, pick the best ones. Would your stories be of interest to those sitting around a camp fire? Do they have the passion and emotion to keep everyone engaged?
He also suggested some ideas for bringing families together – write a family mission statement, have story telling games in your family, and tell your family history.
Thursday night was the Freedmen’s Bureau Project Index-A-Thon. The goal was to index 900 batches in 90 minutes. It was held in the computer labs at RootsTech but anyone could participate. The results were better than expected with 1,867 batches indexed and arbitrated. That was double the goal that was set.
The next day, Friday, A.J. Jacobs, the organizer of the Global Family Reunion, came back to tell about the Global Family Reunion held in New York last summer. There were 3700 at the reunion in NY and over 10,000 at all the satellite locations. It broke the record for the largest family reunion.
The Global Family Reunion will be featured in season finale of PBS show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates.
A.J. is planning another Global Family Reunion for 2017.
The keynote speakers on Friday were Josh and Naomi Davis of Love Taza. The website and blog they write is called Love Taza.
Naomi started a blog to keep in touch with family and to share experiences about her newly married life. Now millions of people follow along to keep up with their everyday lives.
Naomi blogs about her thoughts of raising 3 children, good food, video of life in NY, and travels.
It’s a way to share and document their story. It’s important to share your stories with others now. And it’s OK to share with those you don’t know. Do it for a global family and community.
She mentioned that she wished stories from the past could have used the tools we have today. Technology did not exist for our ancestors. We do have those tools. Our posterity can have rich stories.
The next keynote speaker was David Isay, founder of Story Corps. He played a lot of stories about family that were created using Story Corps.
He talked about themes used to collect stories such as memories of 9/11.
Story Corps had the great Thanksgiving listen held last year. It encouraged high school history teachers to assign the app as homework over Thanksgiving weekend to interview a relative.
Nothing really happened on Thursday or Friday of that weekend so they didn’t think it was successful. But Sunday night was very busy, kids wait until Sunday night to do their homework that’s due on Monday.
50,000 interviews were uploaded in one night. It took 10 years to get to 50,000 stories.
After the keynote was the Innovator Showdown.
The judges were
Amy Rees Anderson – managing partner of REES Capital
David Bradford – chairman of the board of Fluent Worlds
Judy Russell – The Legal Genealogist
Joshua Taylor – one of the hosts of Genealogy Roadshow, President for the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and the President and Executive Director of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society
Dennis Brimhall – former CEO of FamilySearch International. He retired last year.
The judges choose 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. The audience votes on the People’s Choice award by sending a text message on their cell phones.
The winner of the People’s choice award wins $10,000. The first place winner gets $20,000 cash and $25,000 in-kind winnings which are things like services and consulting. Second place wins $14,000 and $15,000 worth of in-kind winnings. Third place wins $6,000 and $10,000 in-kind winnings.
Each contestant had two minutes to talk about their product and then the judges had four minutes to ask questions.
And the winners were
1st place, TapGenes. This an app that help families create a family medical history. DNA can’t tell you about medical problems but family history can. Family health history is a strong predictor for disease risk. Tapgenes helps families crowdsource their health history in one place so they can take action and live longer. Each family member can share their health history with other members of the family.
2nd place, Studio from Legacy Republic. This is a portable album scanner in a briefcase that takes high quality images of old photo albums using an iPhone6s. It uses propriety image processing algorithms to process photos in archival quality.
3rd place and the people’s choice award went to Twile. Twile combines interactive timelines with photos, text, and video. You can invite others to collaborate so they can comment on what you have posted and add stories and milestones of their own to the timeline.
Other products in the Showdown were
AncestorCloud – a marketplace for finding someone to hire to do genealogy related requests.
JRNL – a journaling app to write down and record your every day experiences and organize them.
The History Project – allows you to create timelines for you ancestors where you can learn more about your ancestor. It creates a life narrative. The History Project is a place you can make memories come to life. They have the rights to lots of music and video that you can add to your project to create a feel for the time your ancestor lived.
Day 3 the keynote was Michael Leavitt. He talked about family stories and stories in general.
He let everyone in the audience use their phones to decide what stories he would tell by sending a text message. He told stories related to his experiences in his career. He is the former governor of Utah and he was a cabinet member in George W. Bush’s administration.
The next keynote was Doris Kearns Goodwin. This was the only keynote that was not live-streamed. She talked about her work writing about Presidents of the United States and she emphasized stories that shaped the lives of the Presidents.
Now for some announcements that were made at RootsTech.
Findmypast will be adding lots of marriage records to its site. More than 60% of these records have never been published before.
It will be the largest online collection of U.S. marriage records. When the collection is completed it will consist of over 100 million records spanning 360 years from 1650 – 2010 covering 2800 counties in the U.S.
They have launched 33 million of these records already and anyone can access them for free until February 15.
Findmypast will be releasing more of these records quarterly with the goal of digitization all of the records by the end of 2017.
Another announcement from Findmypast was some new partnerships as part of their U.S. growth strategy. They have new partnerships with RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, FamilySearch, Family-Historian, Puzzilla, Billion Graves and RootsCity.
Findmypast will make its record collection available to customers via these partners. Customers of these partnership products will have Findmypast’s record collection embedded within the actual product as each partner determines what will benefit their customer.
In a video interview that can be found on YouTube Vice President of Operations, Ben Bennett mentioned that Findmypast will have the Canadian census later this year probably November or December. Once Findmypast gets the Canadian census they plan to add more record sets from Canada.
And still another big announcement from Findmaypast is the release next month of 10 million records from Irish Roman Catholic parish registers. These will be indexes to the images that are online at the National Library of Ireland’s website. The index will make the images easier to access. The records cover the entire island of Ireland, both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
Forever announced at the conference that it now supports PDF documents. Forever.com is a website where you can store your photos and now pdf files. As technology changes so will your files so the can always be accessed. No need to worry about how to read obsolete file formats. Subscriptions start at $5/month. They will invest this money so that it will cover the costs of having your files available through out the years.
Many people who attended RootsTech also do some research at the Family History Library. When they arrived they would’ve found some construction going on. The library is undergoing some remodeling.
They are adding more classroom space and getting rid of the library orientation room. Many of the books on family history will be removed since most of those books have been digitized. If the book you want has not been digitized, you will need to request it from librarian.
All of this is in preparation for adding a FamilySearch Discovery Center. Currently one is located at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building which is next to the library which has be overwhelmed with visitors. The one that will be in the Family History Library will be larger.
Construction should be completed by March 1st.
Unfortunately, the Family History Library was closed Thursday evening of the conference due to a power outage.
Next year RootsTech will be February 8 – 11, 2017.
Videos from this years conference can soon be found at rootstech.org and currently each entire day can be found at the Mormon channel on YouTube. Those YouTube videos are 8 – 10 hours long so you will have to find the time you want to watch; the video includes the break times.
Amy Johnson Crow made some videos with Periscope at the conference. You can find those at katch.me, search for Amy’s twitter handle @amyjohnsoncrow or I’ll have a link to them in the show notes.
Be on the look out for interviews on YouTube done by the RootsTech Ambassadors. They had access to the recording studio to be able to interview people at the conference.
And Randy Seaver created a blog post that lists all the other blog posts about the conference where you can read up on all their experiences at the conference.
Ancestry announced back in December that it was no longer going to develop and support its software Family Tree Maker. This program allows Ancestry subscribers to sync their data from their desktop program with their family tree stored on the Ancestry website.
Ancestry has now announced two options for those who use Family Tree Maker.
Family Tree Maker will continue to be developed and supported by Software Mackiev. The name may have to due with the company’s location, Kiev, Ukraine, and the mostly specialize in Macintosh software.
This company develops software that it sells as well as for other software companies. They are the ones that developed the Mac version of Family Tree Maker. They will continue development on the Mac version as well as the Windows version.
An interesting observation is that Software Mackiev had a booth at RootsTech. They must of know in advance that they would have genealogy software to promote at their booth.
Ancestry has made an agreement with RootsMagic, another desktop software program for keeping track of your ancestors. This program should be able to connect with Ancestry to sync the tree from the desktop program to the tree at Ancestry by the end of 2016.
RootsMagic will also be able to search for records at Ancestry and if you have an account you can access those records. RootsMagic already does this with MyHeritage and FamilySearch.
These new features will be available later this year as an update to the current version of RootsMagic.
MyHeritage has added the 1901 in 1911 Irish censuses. Both censuses are free for anyone to search and include images. Clicking on an image will take you to the National Archives of Ireland website to view the image. Viewing the image is also free.
In Ireland censuses were taken every 10 years from 1821 to 1911. However, many of those censuses no longer exist. The 1901 census is the earliest complete census that exists.
If you are a subscriber to MyHeritage these new collections will be available with SuperSearch and you will receive notifications about any records that match someone in your family tree through record matching.
MyHeritage has announced a new feature to its mobile app. You can now do audio recordings. This new feature will allow you to interview your relatives directly from their profile in the MyHeritage family tree and store the recording in your MyHeritage family site.
You can record yourself or other relatives talking about ancestors who are deceased and associate the recording with those ancestors.
The MyHeritage app is free and it’s available for iOS and Android. You will need a MyHeritage account to use it.
MyHeritage has released a new version of it software Family Tree Builder, version 8. The program has been totally rewritten and now supports very large trees up to 500,000 individuals. It’s also faster and more responsive. You’ll still find all the old features that were available in the previous version.
A new feature is that changes are saved immediately, no need to click the “Save” button any more.
The new infrastructure in this version will allow the program to evolve in the future with new features and improvements.
The Windows version is available now and there will be a Mac version using Crossover coming out next month.
Findmypast has added some new records. They have added many more articles to their Irish newspapers collection. And they’ve added brand-new title- The Dublin Shipping and Mercantile Gazette.
They’ve added many records to the Isle of Man, Births and Baptisms 1600-2010, Marriages 1598-1979, and Deaths and Burials 1598-2011.
Parish records from Norfolk, England have been added to Findmypast. They are fully digitized and indexed from 546 parishes across the rural English county of Norfork. They consist of baptisms, marriages, and burials.
And there are indexes for New Zealand births, marriages, and deaths.
Lots of records from 48 different locations across the historical county of Middlesex have been added to the Greater London Burials Index.
There have been over 39,000 records added to the Queensland Funeral records collection.
February is Black History Month and to celebrate Fold3 has free access for the month to its Black History collection. There are more than a million rare photos and documents in the collection.
The collection is broken down into categories of Slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction & Jim Crow Laws, the World Wars, and the Civil Rights Movement.
Another set of collections that will be free for the month of February is from American Ancestors. You will need guest access at AmericanAncestors.org and then you can access
Hampden County, MA: Black Families in Hampden County, 1650-1865
People of Color in the Massachusetts State Census, 1855-1865
Massachusetts: 1855 State Census
Massachusetts: 1865 State Census
Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States in 1830
AmericanAncestors.org is the website for the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS). They have announced a new portal for researching you African American Ancestors at their website.
At the portal you will find a webinar – African American Resources at NEHGS, study guide about African American genealogy, hints on using the online databases, and articles on several important African American historical figures.
The portal is located at AmericanAncestors.org/AfricanAmerican.
The Library of Virginia has launched a new digital collection called Virginia Untold: The African American Narrative. The collection will contain pre-Civil War experiences of African Americans that can be found in the Library’s vast collection of primary source materials.
Some documents contain the only written account of a narrative told from the free or enslaved person’s point of view.
The project began in 2013. So far more than 100,000 names have been index and nearly 40,000 digital images have been created. The initial release contains almost 5,000 records.
The images can be freedom suits, freedom certificates, coroners’ inquisitions, certificates of importation, deeds of emancipation, petitions to remain in the commonwealth, petitions for re-enslavement, apprenticeship indentures, cohabitation registers, tax lists, and requisitions for public use during the Civil War.
Virginia had two of the largest populations of free African Americans in the Mid-Atlantic states prior to 1860 in Alexandria and Petersburg. Free African Americans were required by law to register in the locality where they lived. Through the Virginia Untold collection, you can trace the migration of free African Americans from one locality to another through the freedom certificates they received when they registered with local government officials.
Many more documents will be added to this collection in the future.
The Smithsonian Institution will open the National Museum of African American History and Culture on September 24 in Washington D.C. The museum will contain 11 exhibits that trace the history of slavery, segregation, civil rights and highlight famous African Americans.
President Barack Obama will lead the dedication ceremony. Afterward a week of celebrations are being planned including opening the museum for 24 hours straight.
The newspaper the Daily Pennsylvanian is the University of Pennsylvania’s independent student newspaper. It covers news and sports from the University and from around the Philadelphia metro area.
The newspaper started in 1885. Many of the older issues are now available online. So far over 49,000 pages have been digitized and archived, out of the 158,000 that will eventually be added.
Archives from 1885 to 1900 and 1965 and 1992 are available online at the Daily Pennsylvanian digital archives section of the University of Pennsylvania’s library website.
You can search the collection or browse by date. You can view individual pages or download the entire issue as a pdf.
The New York Times has its past issues available to home delivery and digital subscribers at a site called the New York Times TimesMachine. The recently expanded the site to include issues published between 1981 to 2002.
Now you can search and view the newspaper from its first issue in 1851 through 2002.
TimesMachine was launched in 2014 so users could access the entire newspaper as a pdf and they could see all the news for the day. Prior to that time you could search and display only the article where there was a match, not the entire paper.
The Library of Congress will be each month be highlighting on its blog new collections that have been added to their website. This month they’ve announced the acquisition of the New Hampshire Public Radio’s digital collection of interviews and speeches by presidential candidates from 1995-2007. This entire collection is now online.
The Salmon P. Chase Papers are a collection of papers from the Ohio governor, Lincoln cabinet official, and Supreme Court justice Salmon P. Chase that span the years 1755-1898.
They have also added the papers of General William Tecumseh Sherman. The collection consists mostly of correspondence during the Civil War and Mexican War.
The Library of Congress American Memory collections are being updated to use new web technology. Recently updated are the American Folklife Center’s Captain Pearl R. Nye: Life on the Ohio and Erie Canal Collection, featuring 75 recordings from 1937-38 of songs documenting life on the canal. Also updated is The Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860 Collection, featuring materials drawn from manuscripts and books associated with the Dred Scott case and the abolitionist activities of John Brown, John Quincy Adams, and William Lloyd Garrison.
And something that might be fun is s An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals, ca. 1490 to 1920, which contains social dance guides dating back to 1490.
The Library of Congress is also re-digitizing many films that have been available on the video portal.
Your Family Tree magazine will change its name to Your Family History in the UK. This is the name the magazine is known as in other parts of the world.
In the UK there was already a magazine called Your Family History. That magazine ceased publication a couple of years ago. New management for the Your Family Tree magazine has decided the time is right to rename the magazine Your Family History to be consistent with the name of the magazine everywhere.
The National Library of Scotland website has a new viewer that can compare Scottish land use from 1930 to today. This was done in collaboration with Historic Environment Scotland. They are allowing the 1930s Land Utilisation Survey maps to be compared to the 2015 Historic Land Use Assessment Layer.
The Historic Land Use Assessment Layer has been colored to match the categories in the 1930s Land Utilisation Survey for easy comparison.
You can zoom in and use sliders to control the opacity to place the maps on top of each other to see the changes.
The Ulster Historical Foundation has added about 51,000 Roman Catholic baptisms, marriages, and burials to its databases at ancestryireland.com. Most of these records are from Belfast covering the years 1929 – 1930. This is a subscription website where you pay credits to access the records and until February 14th the records are 50% off.
A new website has been launched about South Australia. It’s called “Passengers in History.”
The Passenger database was created by volunteers at the South Australia Maritime Museum from passenger lists held at the State Library of South Australia. The records cover the years between 1836 – 1964.
From the passenger lists you can link directly to the ships logs. There are three volumes of logs. Currently the first volume has been digitized and linked.
Plans are to continually add to the site. Users can also contribute to the site. Once you register you can add entries such as ships, ports, or passengers to your account.
A free online course will be offered by the University of Tasmania called “Introduction to Family History.” According the web page for the course
“You will learn how to research family history accurately and efficiently using the growing range of online family history resources. “
The course starts February 22.
Another course offered by the University of Tasmania is called “Convicts Records.” This course is also free and it will begin April 25th. In the course you will access a wide range of records related to convicts who were transported to Australia.
The National Genealogical Society has a new online course called Researching Your World War I Ancestors. It’s a nine module, self-paced course, and it was developed by Craig Roberts Scott, a well-known expert in military research. It cost $45 for members and $70 for nonmembers.
There’s a new discussion group starting in Second Life about DNA. The first meeting will be Sunday, February 21st at 6PM SL time, that’s Pacific time. It will be held on the porch of the Family History Centre located in Second Life.
A new TV show will debut on TLC. It’s called Long Lost Family and its a show about those who have been separated from their parents and families for most of their lives. This includes parents looking for children they gave up for adoption.
The first episode includes a mother looking for the son she gave up for adoption, a daughter who was placed in social services looking for her parents, and two sisters looking for their father who disappeared when they were little girls.
The show is sponsored by Ancestry and they provide the family history research to help those featured on the show find their family.
The first show airs Sunday, March 6th. There will be eight episodes.
Monday, February 8, 5PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Adding Sources to the FamilySearch.org Family Tree
presented by James Tanner
Tuesday, February 9, 2PM Eastern
Spanish Records Indexing Workshop
Tuesday, February 9, 9PM Eastern
Illinois State Genealogical Society Webinar
Reconstructing Black Community Life Through Benevolent Societies
presented by Angela Walton-Raji
Wednesday, February 10, 4PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Find Your Ancestors at the BYU Family History Library
presented by Terry Dahlin
Wednesday, February 10, 2PM Eastern
The Scots-Irish in America
presented by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen
Thursday, February 11, noon Eastern
Migration Routes Across America
Thursday, Feb. 11, 1PM Eastern
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Webinar
Genealogy Program Introduction
Thursday, Feb. 11, 9PM Eastern
Second Life APG Chapter meeting
Friday, February 12, 3PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Proven Ways to Find Your Immigrant Ancestors
presented by James Tanner
#genchat – Pursuing Society Databases
Friday, February 12, 10PM Eastern
Monday, February 15, 8:30PM Eastern
Association of Professional Genealogists
The Art of Client Management: From Soup to Nuts: Part Two
presented by Jeanne Larzalere Bloom
Tuesday, February 16, 2PM Eastern
Portuguese Records Indexing Workshop
Wednesday, February 17, noon Eastern
British & Irish Military Records Study Group with DearMYRTLE
This will run for four weeks.
Wednesday, February 17, 2PM Eastern
Getting Started with Microsoft Word
presented by Thomas MacEntee
Wednesday, February 17, 3PM Eastern
Online Ortsfamilienbücher (Village Lineage books) Genealogy.net
Wednesday, February 17, 4PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Printed Sources for German Research
presented by Milan Pohontsch
Wednesday, February 17, 4PM Eastern
Using Metasuche or Metasearch on Genealogy.net
Wednesday, February 17, 9PM Eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society Webinar
The Family Historian’s Publishing Primer
presented by Nicka J. Smith
Thursday, February 18, 3PM Eastern
Using the US Federal Census
presented by Lindsay Fulton
Thursday, February 18, 8PM Eastern
Florida State Genealogical Society Poolside Chat
Family History – From a Pile of Pieces to a Puzzle Picture
presented by Donna M. Moughty
Thursday, February 18, 9PM Eastern
Utah Genealogical Association
Facebook: A Tool for Genealogy Research
presented by Thomas MacEntee
Friday, February 19, 2PM Eastern
Problem Solving with FANs
presented by Beth Foulk
Friday, February 19, 3PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Update on MyHeritage.com
presented by James Tanner
You can find all the webinars mentioned and more at the calendar at Geneatopia.com.
And that’s it for this episode.
You can send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find links to things mentioned in this show in the show notes at Geneatopia.com as well as a transcript. The transcript can also be found in the Geneatopia Flipboard magazine.
This is episode 76.
Thanks for listening.