Friday, October 28, 2011

FREE Webinars

When you click on the above photo, you'll go to the page at that lists their free webinars. A webinar is simply an online class (seminar), usually one hour in length, available to anyone who registers. To register, you only need to sign up with a username (email address) and password. You'll receive a notice by email that you're registered, and you'll receive a reminder email immediately prior to the webinar, so you won't miss it. The reminder email will include the link for you to join the live webinar. 

If we're interested in a topic that's offered in a webinar but aren't able to watch the live presentation, we can view the "archived" videos. The photo above takes you to the page where the archived videos are listed and available to watch. Webinars are available on topics such as: 
(1) Finding your Irish Ancestors in Ireland and America
(2) First Steps #1: Getting Started at
(3) First Steps #2: Tips for Successful Searches
(4) First Steps #3: Now What? How to use your discoveries to make your next big find
(5) Interviewing Family: Tips and Techniques
(6) Coming to America: Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors

If you haven't attended a webinar (by simply sitting at your computer watching a lesson presented by an expert on a topic related to genealogy research), I encourage you to watch one of these archived videos. Learning is easier when we're being shown a technique while we're being taught. Try it out!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Learn More on the Research Wiki

"Learn More" on the Research Wiki

By Caroline M. Pointer has over 2.5 billion records online, but did you know that by clicking the “Learn More” button featured with each record set, you can connect to additional information about the record sets on the FamilySearch Research Wiki? By clicking on the “Learn More” button you are instantly accessing a wealth of information on the FamilySearch Research Wiki that can add depth and insight to the records you are using for your family history research.

While the information provided can vary slightly, there are 10 types of basic information that are provided for each record group, including:
  • Collection Time Period—This indicates the time period the collection encompasses.
  • Record Description—The description tells the kinds of records a collection contains. If a record collection contains only baptisms and marriages and you are looking for a death record, for example, then looking in this record collection may not be the best place to start.
  • How to Use This Record—Have you ever wanted or needed instructions on how to use a record collection? It may sound silly, but it is important to know how to use a particular record collection. FamilySearch Research Wiki provides detailed instructions on how to use each collection in an easy to understand format.
  • Record History—Knowing the historical context in which the records were created as well as the reliability of the records contained in the collection can help in evaluating the records.
  • Related Websites—FamilySearch Research Wiki provides links to additional information for the collection.
  • Related Wiki Articles—If there are volunteer-contributed articles that pertain to a record collection, then the links to those articles are listed here.
  • Known Issues with the Collection—Record collections can have issues and concerns that come up from time to time, and knowing these can help in evaluating records. 
  • Contributions to This Article—This is where users can add any information they have on the particular record collection, adding more insight to the records.
  • Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections—No more worries on how to cite a record—examples are provided here.
  • Sources of Information for This Collection—Knowing the sources of a collection can affect users’ decisions about records.
As you can see, provides vast collections of records, but the FamilySearch Research Wiki provides added value to those collections by providing more information about them. Click the “Learn More” button while you research, and let the Research Wiki add depth to your family history records.

When she’s not using FamilySearch Research Wiki to evaluate records, Caroline M. Pointer can be found helping researchers use technology to further their genealogy research on her blog For Your Family Story.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Google for Genealogists on YouTube

I often advise our Consultants to have a Google account. Today this short paragraph was published in the Logan Family History Center newsletter:
Google for Genealogists on YouTube
Google is a "MUST" for genealogy research. To get the most out of Google, there are a series of 5 videos on YouTube that will help you learn how to use this powerful tool.  Part 1 discusses basic Google searches, Par1 2 explains techniques for finding genealogical information on the web.  Part 3 & 4 talk about organizing your genealogy and part 5 discusses publishing it.  Submitted by: David Winkler

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Changing Face of Genealogy

At the RootsTech 2011 Conference in Salt Lake City last Spring, Curt Witcher, Genealogy Director of the Allen County Public Library, presented a keynote address on "The Changing Face of Genealogy". It's an exciting, motivating and uplifting look at the current trend in genealogy to focus more on the STORIES of our ancestors. Click on this link to view the video coverage of his presentation.

FamilySearch Data Centers

Have you ever wondered WHERE all the data is stored that is provided by FamilySearch? Did you know ANY of these facts listed below? 

  • The FamilySearch website consists of about 6,000 servers
  • The general public will add 10 to 15 times the users to the new FamilySearch Tree
  • Each center has a robotic tape machine whose size rivals that of a a school bus
  • FamilySearch’s Internet connection is large enough to stream more than 75,000 movies simultaneously
  • FamilySearch volunteers index 1.5 million records a day
  • Each center has miles of cables
  • FamilySearch’s ViaWest data center consumes 5 million kilowatt hours annually
  • To guard against earthquake damage, the ViaWest data center is built on big shock absorbers
  • Instead of the 10 or 20 amp breakers you see in your homes, ViaWest uses a 5,000 amp circuit breaker
"The Ancestry Insider" is an otherwise unidentified employee of FamilySearch who writes a personal blog by that same name. Today he wrote an interesting and fact-filled post about Family Search that can be read here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Awesome RootsTech Registration Cost

I've written about the RootsTech Conference scheduled for Feb. 2-4, 2012 in Salt Lake City. It's an awesome conference and a wonderful opportunity for us to learn about all the new things in technology and genealogy that are available to help with our research. Larry and I registered last month when an offer came up for $99 each. Today we got this notice that Consultants are able to register for $89 if you register before Nov. 30.  After Nov. 30 the cost will be $189!!!! Please check it out and give it some thought. This is an exciting opportunity! The web site is

Important RootsTech Information

We are excited to announce the second annual RootsTech conference, sponsored by FamilySearch. It will be held on February 2–4, 2012, at the Salt Palace Convention Center, 100 South West Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah.

The RootsTech conference will have something for everyone. Genealogists of all skill levels will learn new technology-based approaches to their research. Researchers with a strong interest in technology will have the opportunity to test new products or solutions and provide feedback for technology creators.

The conference will also feature an exciting blend of speakers, workshops, and demonstrations. The speakers include D. Joshua Taylor, Lisa Louise Cook, Stephen P. Morse, Dan Lynch, Geoff Rasmussen, and others, as well as many experts from FamilySearch.

For Consultants

As a consultant, you can save on your conference registration fee if you register by November 30. The fee for early consultant registration is $89 (a savings of $100). The code to use for early registration is RT89. Just click here to register, click on Full Conference Pass, and use the above code.

There will be a limited number of free classes announced at a later time for consultants who do not wish to participate in the full conference.  Details on those classes will follow in a future notice.
We look forward to your participation in this second annual RootsTech conference.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Revamped FamilySearch Wiki Help Page

We've heard a lot about the Family Search Wiki and have even been taught by one of its developers, Fran Jensen.  But from my personal experience, I've found it hard to maneuver. I just didn't know how to get around the site. I was happy when I saw the news that the help page has been redesigned. Now there are step-by-step links on the same page. Click the photo above, check out the site and bookmark it. You'll want to return there many times.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The FamilySearch Weekly

I've written before about this excellent resource, and will likely write about it again and again. The FamilySearch Weekly was created by Steve Cottrell using a program available called If you subscribe to it by clicking on the "subscribe" link at the top right, you'll get a notice in your email each week when it's published. The email will include a link that will take you to the actual "newspaper". Many current articles are included and are available to read in full by clicking their headlines. 
As you can see in this thumbnail, today's edition contains articles about Indexing, publishing your family history through a blog, Family History Centers, and many other topics of interest to those of us who want to help others research their family histories. Click on the  picture above to go to the site and read the articles that are of interest to you. And "SUBSCRIBE" to stay up with current news and stay motivated to do our job well. 

Involve Children and Youth in Family History

"Many people desire to know where they come from, but a sense of belonging is especially important for children and youth. A knowledge about their family history gives children of all ages a sense of their place in the world. It can also give young people something to live up to—a legacy to respect. Family history also provides an opportunity for children and teenagers to make a meaningful contribution to something bigger than themselves. This lesson provides ideas about how to involve children and youth in family history activities. Children and youth who develop an interest in family history are more likely to participate in family history throughout their lives."
This is the Introduction on this Family Search Wiki page about how we can get children and youth interested and involved in family history. The page has excellent specific ideas for us to follow. Check it out!

Monday, October 17, 2011

RootsTech 2012: An Uncommon Conference

I'll be writing occasionally about RootsTech 2012, a family history and technology conference to be held in Salt Lake City, Feb. 2-4, 2012. RootsTech is not like ordinary genealogy conferences. The web site says "RootsTech is a leading edge conference designed to bring technologists together with genealogists, so they can learn from each other and find solutions to the challenges they face in family history research today. At RootsTech, genealogists and family historians will discover emerging technologies to improve their family history research experience. Technology developers will learn the skills to deliver innovative applications and systems. They will also have the opportunity to receive instant feedback from peers and users on their ideas and creations. Attendees will learn from hands-on workshops and interactive presentations at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced level." Click on the logo or link above and read more about it. Registrations are still open! Larry and I plan to attend and we'd love to see you there too! Becky Jamison

Google Alerts and Google Books

On Oct 6 I posted a short video about using Google for our genealogy research. Here's a link to that article:

Today, Devin Ashby has continued his instruction about using Google Alerts and Google Books in this video at this link: Or you can view it here:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Plans for Change at New Family Search

The Family Search Service Missionaries in Salt Lake City recently had a training session with Jeff Hawkins, who is the "Man at the top" of Family Search. The training session was recorded and is available for us to watch at this link:
It is 1 hour 44 minutes in length. You can pause it and listen in smaller chunks of time. Jeff reveals many changes that are in the design and planning stages for New Family Search. If you want to get an idea of what's ahead next year, check it out. 
I've watched the entire presentation and am very excited about some new features that will be available at the site. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Why Do I Need an LDS Account?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers a lot of online information and services, much of which is personalized to your identity and Church calling.
For example, on you can sign in and view your ward directory and calendar. You can access resources specific to your calling. You can view Church buildings and sites near your location. There’s even a Study Notebook where you can highlight passages and create journal entries. In fact, there are dozens of new Church websites offering similar personalized experiences. To access these and other resources, you need an LDS Account.
What Is LDS Account?
Your LDS Account provides you with a single user name and password to access all Church websites. One of the benefits of having an LDS Account is that it uses your membership record number to access information about your calling, location, ward, and family. Church websites draw upon this data to personalize the information shown to you and to expand the resources you can access.
What Sites Are Using LDS Account?
Most Church sites have a sign in link that accepts your LDS Account. The following are the most popular sites using LDS Account:
  • Directory (
  • Calendar (
  • Leader and Clerk Resources (
  • Study Notebook (
  • It’s About Love (
  • LDS Jobs (
  • LDSTech (
  • LDS Maps (
  • Online Store (
  • YW Personal Progress (
  • Duty to God (
  • LDS Youth (
Your LDS Account gives you access to all of these resources and more. Without an LDS Account, you’re missing a huge part of the online Church experience. You may be able to see some website information without signing in, but often more personalized information appears after you sign in. (See a list of all the LDS websites.)
For example, after executive secretaries and clerks sign in to, a new option Clerk Resources appears on the Tools menu. Clerk Resources is a portal with training, tools, and information specific to clerk callings. A similar portal appears for stake presidents, bishops, Relief Society presidents, stake technology specialists, and others.
For Young Men and Young Women leaders, after signing in to the Personal Progress or Duty to God sites, they can track the progress of the young men or women they are called to serve.
How Do I Sign Up for an LDS Account?
  • Go to
  • Click Register for an LDS Account.
  • Complete the required fields. One of the required fields asks for your membership record number (MRN). You can find this on your temple recommend or on your Individual Ordinance Summary. If you don’t have either of these, ask your clerk for your MRN number. Figuring out this number may be inconvenient for some, but it ensures that only the right people have access to Church information, such as the ward directory and calendar. You can sign up without your MRN, but your access will be limited on some sites.
  • Click the link in the confirmation e-mail sent to you.
Anyone who is 8 or older may sign up for an LDS Account. However, children under 12 need their parent’s permission.
Selecting Your Interests
When you sign up for an LDS Account, you can select your interests using the Subscription tab. The Subscriptions tab presents several check boxes you can select, such as keeping updated about new Church websites, meetinghouse technologies, beta software, or Mormon Messages. Selecting your interests allows leaders at Church headquarters to provide you relevant information.
Adapted from the LDS Tech article “Why Do I Need an LDS Account?” by Tom Johnson.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Successful InService Gathering

Fifteen Consultants gathered in our Family History Center this evening for our October InService meeting. Becky Jamison reviewed the details of this blog so it can be utilized as a research tool. And Bessie Lancaster gave a good presentation on Family Search Indexing, with step-by-step instructions on how to get started and how to contribute to this worthwhile program. The need for Indexers is so great that Ken Orchard told the group that a plea was given for Indexers in each of the classes he attended at the Family History Expo last June in Loveland, Colorado. 
Our next InService meeting will be Thursday, November 10th at 7:00 pm. Put it on your calendars now and plan to join us for an enlightening training session in our Family History Center. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fold3 Training Center recently changed its name to Fold3. It's available in the Online Portal at each computer in our Family History Center. New video tutorials are available to help us learn how to use Fold3. 

Fold3 Training Center

Three new video tutorials and a variety of help topics are now available in the Fold3 Training Center. The first of several planned video tutorials include:
Each video is 4-5 minutes long and designed to provide tips and strategies to help you make the most of your Fold3 membership.
Report to the Fold3 Training Center to find one-page explanations of the most common how-to topics. Look for Uncle Sam on the lower right of the home page, or start directly from Keep checking back as we add more video tutorials and help topics.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Google Genealogist

On the excellent Tech Tips section of FamilySearch, a new video was provided today by Devin Ashby called "Google Search Tips for Genealogists". It's a brief 10 minute video --the first of a series Devin will present--and offers some good tips that will help with successful searches for genealogy. We  recommend this short lesson so the time we spend searching online can bring better results. Click HERE to check it out!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FamilySearch Weekly

This week's edition of Family Search Weekly is out. Click this link: to read the news from many different articles/blogs/newsletters. If you haven't checked it out, take a few minutes to look at all it has to offer. It's quite possible that you'll find help for your research in at least one of the articles.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

We are the Chosen

We are the chosen. In each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.

Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the story tellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us, "Tell our story!" So, we do.

In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before? How many times have I told the ancestors, "You have a wonderful family; you would be proud of us." How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love for me? I cannot say.

It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do. The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish, how they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family.

It goes to deep pride that the fathers fought and some died to make and keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us. It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us birth. Without them we could not exist, and so we love each one, as far back as we can reach. That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do.

With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are they and they are the sum of who we are. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to the one called in the next generation to answer the call and take my place in the long line of family storytellers.

This is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and restore the memory or greet those whom we have never known before. So we do.

Author Unknown
posted by the Jones Genealogist, Nov. 12, 2010