27 August 2010

Back from FGS Knoxville

My week in Knoxville for the FGS Conference went by way too quickly. I wrote about its success a few days ago. When I return from a major genealogy conference or institute, I do a number of things in the first few days.
  • Get extra sleep
  • Laundry
  • Send thank-yous to the planners, volunteers, etc.
  • Pay bills
  • Review my lecture PowerPoint and syllabus materials to change things that didn't work as well as I had hoped and to add new details I learned at the conference or from someone at the event.
  • File all the business cards, brochures, and fliers I collected. I do have a couple of business cards that

WDYTYA? Emmitt Smith episode replay tonight.

The rerun of Who Do You Think You Are? tonight features football great Emmitt Smith and his search for his slave ancestors. It's on NBC. For me here in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area that means 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. on channel 11.

25 August 2010

Ancestry.com and NBC Team Up for a Second Season of WDYTYA?

A press release from Ancestry.com:

World's Largest Family History Web Site Continues Sponsorship of Critically Acclaimed TV Series That Takes a Personal Look at Celebrity Family Histories

PROVO, Utah, August 25, 2010 – Ancestry.com is pleased to announce it has extended its relationship with NBC for the second season of the “Who Do You Think You Are?” television series.

Ancestry.com worked with NBC on the first season of “Who Do You Think You Are?” that debuted in March 2010. The company provided important family history research for the show, including tracing the roots of the seven celebrities featured, and collaborated with NBC to promote the series. Each episode took

January 2011: Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

I will be at SLIG. I hope to see you there, too! SLIG provides five days of learning in a chosen course. Then you can walk over to the Family History Library and put your knew knowledge or methodology to work!

The 2011 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy will be held 10-14 Jan 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah at the downtown Radisson Hotel located at 215 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah.

2011 SLIG Course Descriptions: Click here.
2011 SLIG Evening Course Descriptions: Click here.
2011 SLIG Course Instructors: Click here.

22 August 2010

The FGS Conference was a fantastic success!

FGS 2010 welcomed more than 1800 participants throughout the week's activities. Participants included more than 1000 conference registrants, 169 librarians, and nearly 100 volunteers. We were also joined by 500 eager beginning genealogists during Saturday's Ancestry.com events. Others included 102 registrants at the Association of Professional Genealogists Professional Management Conference and countless area residents who visited the Exhibit Hall. Special events for attendees included "Come & Sit a Spell" with Sheila Kaye Adams on Wednesday evening which drew 300 individuals and Thursday night at the Museum of Appalachia with more than 400 in attendance.

Exciting door prizes offered by conference vendors such as a cruise for two to Bermuda, an IPad, Deluxe Ancestry subscriptions, week-long stays in Salt Lake City hotels, and others brought a boisterorus crowd to

12 August 2010

Churches Have Anniversaries, Too!

We seek out church records of our ancestors, either in the original format, online, or on microfilm. The records of a family member’s christening, marriage, burial, or the names of parents and witnesses help fill in blank spots on our family tree. For some religious denominations we may only find minutes of a church committee or ruling body. We wish for something more and there is one more resource in existence for many churches and synagogues.

Churches often celebrate 50, 75, 100, 150 or more years in existence. A get-together might mark the occasion and a local newspaper might cover the event, complete with a short history of the congregation. Many churches also publish a separate anniversary booklet filled with important details.

The beginnings
Generally a history of the church congregation and buildings is included in such a booklet. The variety of details often include where the early services were held (maybe in your ancestor’s home?), when the first

A bit of neglect

This blog has been suffering from a bit of neglect. The last couple of months have been filled with family, the FGS Conference News Blog, and some client projects. Next week is the FGS Conference in Knoxville and once I am back and caught up on other things you will see more postings here.

If you are a reader of this blog and are going to be in Knoxville for the FGS Conference, please introduce yourself to me.

11 August 2010

Who Do You Think You Are? Repeats!

This message just received from Suzanne Russo at Ancestry.com. I am glad to see that at least some are being repeated. 

"As you may have already heard, NBC is planning to re-air four episodes of the Who Do You Think You Are? series starting on Friday, August 13 at 8/7c.

As a sponsor of NBC during the show, we wanted to make sure that you didn’t miss this Friday night affair, where you can expect to see the repeated episodes that feature Lisa Kudrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Emmitt Smith and Brooke Shields.

For those of you who may have missed a few episodes of this family history-focused series, now’s your chance to experience it. You’ll see the celebrities take an amazing voyage to discover more about the ancestors who came before them. Or maybe you’ve already seen all the episodes. If that’s the case, it will still be worth the time to pop some popcorn and sit back to relive the heart-warming journeys that each of the celebrities experienced.

So don’t forget to tune-in to the reruns of Who Do You Think You Are? starting on Friday, August 13 at 8/7c and enjoy the show!"

FamilySearch indexing is exploding

Over at the Ancestry Insider you'll find a whole list of FamilySearch indexing statistics. Two of the numbers:

  • 354,328 -- number of registered indexers as of 30 July 2010
  • 118,140,160 -- records indexed this year as of 2 August 2010
A vital part of this massive indexing project is that each record must be keyed twice and revisited a third time when the first two are not the same. Greater accuracy is the aim.

To view the indexing results click here and here. Those millions of rolls of microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City are getting closer and closer to being all indexed for us by our fellow genealogists. Anyone may volunteer to help and you don't have to leave home to do it! The website have instructions.

08 August 2010

Last day to register online for FGS Knoxville!

You read that correctly! Today, Sunday, 8 August 2010 at midnight is when online registration for the 2010 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference closes down. The same is true for registrations by regular mail. This also includes registration for special events, luncheons, and the land workshops. Click here to register today. You may also view the entire program at that website.

If Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday (you get the picture) comes and you decide you do want to attend the conference but missed this deadline, we still welcome your registration at the conference in Knoxville. You may write a check or charge it to your Visa, MasterCard or Discover card at onsite registration. Don't worry, you will still receive the syllabus on CD, tote bag, and door prize tickets. Click here for registration hours.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies along with the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Kentucky Historical Society look forward to seeing you in Knoxville!

06 August 2010

Tulare genealogy collection is in the NEW library

Last October I reported on the situation in Tulare [California] Public Library. When the city was building a new library there was no space in the plans for the collection of the Sequoia Genealogical Society that had been housed in the old library. That post is here.

Public reaction to this had a good result -- room was made. Today people are using that collection in that new library. Read the update here.

Tech companies volunteer to digitize Arlington National Cemetery records

 The newspapers this summer had been full of stories about the horrible situation at Arlington National Cemetery. The records and some burials at Arlington in Northern Virginia are a mess. I can't imagine the pain that the families of the military dead are suffering since finding out that stones are missing, some may not be buried where they thought they were, and that the records are not clear nor in great order.

Today's Washington Post reports that a consortium of high tech companies in that area have offered to help digitize the records.

As the article states "Warner (D-Va.) reached out to the tech council after the Army's inspector general released a report in June that found that poor record-keeping and mismanagement led to the mislabeling of dozens of graves. As a result, the cemetery's top two managers were forced to resign."

"Kilberg said the companies would look at adapting the system used by the Department of Veterans Affairs at its cemeteries. Senate investigators, probing about $8 million spent on automating Arlington Cemetery's system, said that officials from Veterans Affairs thought their technology could be used at Arlington, but cemetery officials declined to use it, saying they needed to build their own system from scratch."

Click here to read the entire article.

Click here to read one of the earlier articles.

ProGenealogists acquired by Ancestry.com

Wow -- interesting news release that just arrived from Ancestry.com:

Ancestry.com to Acquire Professional Genealogy Firm ProGenealogists, Inc.

PROVO, UTAH (August 6, 2010) – Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOM) announced today that it has acquired leading professional genealogy research firm, ProGenealogists, Inc.

Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, ProGenealogists specializes in genealogical, forensic and family history research. During its 10-year history, the firm has become a trusted name in professional genealogy, finding great success with client research and expanding both its domestic and international capabilities.  As a part of Ancestry.com, ProGenealogists will continue to provide premier family history research to its existing clients while extending the Ancestry.com reach across the genealogy value chain.

“We are delighted to welcome ProGenealogists into the Ancestry.com network,” said David Rinn, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development for Ancestry.com. “With this acquisition Ancestry.com can better serve subscribers who are seeking dedicated, personal support in their family history research. As a natural service extension for Ancestry.com, we expect the addition of ProGenealogists will also enhance and expand the professional research offerings currently available through Ancestry.com Expert Connect.”

“Ancestry.com is definitely in a class by itself in the genealogy industry,” said Natalie Cottrill, CEO of ProGenealogists, Inc. “We are excited to become part of the Ancestry.com family and look forward to finding new ways to help more people interested in learning about their roots.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Ancestry.com does not expect the acquisition to have a material impact on its financial guidance as issued in connection with its second quarter earnings release on July 29, 2010.

ProGenealogists and Ancestry.com have worked together on several initiatives over the past few years including driving the research for the NBC television program, “Who Do You Think You Are?” which traced the family histories of celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker, Lisa Kudrow, Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon, Emmitt Smith, Matthew Broderick and Spike Lee. Ancestry.com will continue leveraging the expertise at ProGenealogists for similar initiatives in the future.

02 August 2010

Dublin Evening Mail rare newspapers donated

Even though it's still August 2d where I live, the August 3d edition of Irishtimes.com is reporting about some rare newspapers being donated to the Dublin City Library!

"RARE EDITIONS of the former Dublin Evening Mail dating back over 170 years are to be presented to the Dublin City Library tomorrow by an east Galway archivist and town councillor. The 157 issues of the newspaper date from February 5th, 1838, to December 31st, 1855, and have been part of the personal collection of Cllr Norman Morgan (Ind), a printer and member of Loughrea Town Council. First published in 1823, the Dublin Evening Mail was the longest running evening newspaper in Ireland when it last appeared in 1962.
Mr Burke purchased the issues some years ago at auction."

Let's hope they are indexed and/or digitized at some point. 

Important updates about the FGS Knoxville Conference

The 2010 edition of the annual four day genealogy conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies begins in just 16 days in Knoxville, Tennessee. There are sessions for family historians of all levels of knowledge and with ancestors from just about anywhere. You might even find a distant cousin among the many conference registrants.
  • Online Registration closes at midnight August 8th. Walk-in registrations will be welcome at the conference.
  • The Conference Syllabus is online for registered attendees to print handouts for sessions in advance of the conference.Click here for instructions.
  • Some printed syllabus copies will be available at the conference but the supply is limited. Copies are $30. All registered attendees will receive a syllabus CD.
  • There will be a few tickets for luncheons available for sale at the Registration Desk. Tickets for the Thursday evening banquet at the Museum of Appalachia are close to sold out. Order your tickets very soon!
  • The FGS Conference News Blog has had many news updates in the last two weeks.