Friday, December 14, 2012

Learning Through Family History

Stephanie Pitcher Fishman, Genealogist / Family Historian (and Homeschool Mom!), has completed her first eBook, Learning Through Family History. 

You can get a free copy of this quick guide for using genealogy to encourage active learning by subscribing to the Corn and Cotton Genealogy newsletter. Stephenie is hoping to inspire you to use fun projects and learning experiences with your kids and grandkids in the upcoming new year.

Check out Stephanie's site here.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

GeneTree Closing

GeneTree -> genealogy + dna + community (Image Link)

If you have a GeneTree account you should have already heard that they are discontinuing their service as of January 1, 2013. Following that date the website will  no longer be functional. They suggest you log into your account and download your DNA results and pedigree before the end of December. Once it is downloaded, you can load the results into an account at no cost. You can get additional information from and

I was not aware of  this until I reviewed my SPAM folder. My data is now downloaded, although I have not put it into Ancestry yet. The Ancestry process is a manual process, it does not upload the file directly.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Arizona Family History Expo 2013

The Family History Expo is coming back to Mesa Convention Center on January 18-19, 2013. Click here to register now.

Onsite registration will begin and the exhibit hall will open at 1 p.m. on Friday January 18th. The event will close at 9 p.m. Exhibits and registration will re-open at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The exhibit hall will close at 4 p.m. Prizes donated by exhibitors will be given away both days and Grand Prizes donated by sponsors will be given away at the closing ceremony. This event is sponsored by Family History Expos and supported by FamilySearch.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Jelly Beans

Jelly Bean finally showed up for my ASUS Transformer Prime. Now to test each of the applications.

First impression: FAST!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Midwest Family History Expo 2012

Kearney is a long way from Mesa, AZ. But, if you are in Mid-America here is your chance for a great two days of Family History information. September 7 & 8, at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Kearney, Nebraska.

Family History Expos teach people to trace their roots with modern technology and proven techniques. They bring people together in the name of one of the world's greatest assets-- families. Family history research heals. It aids in defining and refining who we are. Through our past, we all become one family. Family History Expos links the past and future through quality, affordable, accessible education.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to network, collaborate, and learn the tech to trace your roots in today's world of new innovations. If you have not already registered, please click here to register for the Midwest Family History Expo.

Personal note: To my nephew in Cozad, this is just down the street from you. Check it out and say hello to Holly for me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mesa FamilySearch Conference - Update

Just found out that the location will be at the LDS Church building on the southwest corner of Broadway and Solomon. The actual address is 977 E. Broadway Road. Click here for a map.

Again, don't forget to mark you calendars for Saturday, October 20, for the first Annual Mesa FamilySearch Conference.

The conference will be held from 8:00am to 3:15pm, sponsored by the Mesa FamilySearch Center.

The classes will be free and a catered lunch will be available for a small fee by advance purchase.

Send any ideas, topics or classes you would like to see presented to

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mesa FamilySearch Conference

Mark you calendars for Saturday, October 20, for the first Annual Mesa FamilySearch Conference.

The conference will be held from 8:00am to 3:15pm, sponsored by the Mesa FamilySearch Center

The classes will be free and a catered lunch will be available for a small fee by advance purchase. 

Send any ideas, topics or classes you would like to see presented to

Friday, July 20, 2012

FamilySearch Launches New Indexing Initiative

From Church News and Events: As the 1940 U.S. Census indexing project nears completion this month, FamilySearch is providing enthusiastic volunteers the opportunity to seamlessly transition into the next big genealogy initiative—the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Community Project.

Check out the project page.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

FHSA Meeting

This month's meeting of the East Valley Family History Society of Arizona is tomorrow evening, July 18.  We will be meeting in the ballroom at Palmas Del Sol , 6209 E. McKellips Rd. in Mesa.

Topics this month are:

6pm Quarterly User group meeting for Family Tree Maker, Legacy and Roots Magic software

7pm Debbie Kucharik on “Investigating Cluster Genealogy “

If you are in the East Valley, hope to see you there.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

1940 Census - Finding Families

Who is Marie Crager?

Leslie and Grace are my maternal grandparents. Sandra is my mother, although the enumerator shows her as a Crager. But who is Marie?

Leslie's parents were Thomas McMurdie and Anna  Marie Marcuson. Thomas died in 1916 and after that date I lost track of my GGM Anna. I could find no record of her in the 1920 or 1930 census. With this information I have found her in 1920 now married to Charles W Crager in Washington State. She is now using Marie, as she did in 1910, and her daughter is now Anita rather then Marie A.

More definitive research is needed, but this is a great start to a branch of the family I probably would have never found without the 1940 census.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Free Revolutionary War Documents on Fold3

Research Revolutionary War documents on Fold3 for free through July 15.

Some of these documents are found nowhere else on the Internet. Take this opportunity to check out details about individual soldiers, read letters penned by the Founding Fathers, view documents from The Continental Congress and more.

SEARCH FREE: 65 million records from the 13 colonies

Did your family fight for your freedom or work to establish our great nation? FREE through July 8th, make your connection to early American ancestors in nearly 65 million carefully selected historical records from the 13 original colonies and more, including:

  U.S. Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970
  Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900
  Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage & Death Announcements, 1851-2003
  And many more is offering free access through July 8th.

Check it out at Ancestry..

Friday, April 27, 2012

Preserving Digital Photos

Preservation Week Banner

Yesterday, the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) presented a webinar on "Preserving Your Personal Digital Photographs" by Bill LeFurgy.  This very nice introduction into digital preservation can be viewed as an .wmv file at this link.

A slew of great preservation information can be found at the ALCTS Preservation Week website. This includes webinars from this year, plus past years. These webinars cover topics such as Taking Care of Family Textiles, Archival 101 and Mold Prevention and Remediation.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Families App for Legacy

I purchased this app when it first came out for my Droid phone. I now have it on both my Droid X2 and ASUS Transformer Prime tablet. It wasn't until today that I really discovered the real power of it. How did that happen?

I attended the Legacy Family Tree webinar today with Malcom Green, the Families developer.  He gave a live demonstration of the app and provided detailed instructions on setting it up. I was finally able to transfer my Legacy files to my tablet.

I discovered that Telgen even has a user forum at their website. That would have been useful a couple of weeks ago.

Great application for Legacy users of iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Android phone or tablet, including the Kindle Filre and Nook.

Get more information and listen to the webinar at the Legacy News page here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

20 Minute Genealogist

Beta site shows you a quick 6 generation interactive ring chart that shows which ancestors are missing information in FamilySearch.

The information is taken from data already in FamilySearch so you do not need to enter any additional names. 

Clicking in a segment shows you summary information about that individual:

Clicking on the circle icon in the upper right of the information panel shows a ring chart for this individual. The rectangle icon provides profile information for the same person:

Clicking on the pencil icon takes you to nFS and where you can edit the information. Once you return you click on the synchronize icon and the information on the ring chart is updated:

Notice the original profile showed that he died in St. Louis City, in Missouri Territory. Actually, it should have been St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.

Nice application, a quick easy way to see where your holes may be. Additional information is available for the LDS community.

Note: You must have an valid login for to utilize this site.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

1940 Simulation

Did you register to index the 1940 Census yet? Have you downloaded the software and don't know what to do next?

Open up the software, log into FamilySearch Indexing, and check out the 1940 simulation file. Just click the Download button and select the *SIMULATION* 1940 US Census.

This will walk you through a session inputting data from a 1940 Census form. 

Try this out, get your fingers warmed up. There are on 15 days to wait!

Friday, March 9, 2012

1940 Census Needs You

132 million people were living in the United States in 1940. Millions of these individuals are still alive and many of them are known as the Greatest Generation. These are people who:

  • Survived the Great Depression
  • Fought in the Second World War
  • Innovated technology (TV, Microwave)
  • Sacrificed in the name of freedom
  • Practiced thrift and compassion
  • Understood hard work and industry
Start today! Sign up at and be a part of history.

If you would like a little more instruction, head over to Legacy Family Tree and view Thomas MacEntee's webinar on navigation the 1940 Census. At this webinar learn the strategies needed to find the images you want, especially during the first few weeks before the images are indexed. Besides tips and tricks, you'll also learn what information was collected during the 1940 U.S. Census and how it can help your genealogy research. This webinar will be posted for free access until at least March 19th. 

So what are you waiting for? 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Family Search Indexing on Your Mobile Device

At Rootstech last month Family Search released their Beta application for indexing on mobile devices. The app works on IPhones, IPads, and Android phones and tablets, including the Kindle Fire.

Once downloaded you will be asked to login using your LDS or FamilySearch account. After logging in you will see a screen similar to the one below. Instead of downloading a complete records, you get snippets.

In this case, you type in Grundy Mary Jane and touch the submit button. A new name will appear. It is actually that easy. BTW, capitalization is not required in the mobile app.

The toolbar at the top has five options:
  1. Indexing - the indexing page itself
  2. History - shows the names you have indexed. This resets if you log out of Indexing.
  3. Guide - a helpful set of hints for the mobile app
  4. Stats - shows the number of names Submitted, Skipped, and Matched Consensus. Also resets if you log out. Currently your indexing numbers with the mobile app are not included with your desktop indexing numbers. 
  5. Settings - under settings you can set your Preferred Difficulty, Offline Queue Size, and History Queue Size. 

Sometimes it helps to see the entire page, in those cases you can switch between the snippet and its original page. Just touch the page icon in the top center above the image. As in this case for Rachel:

We need to see the full page to get the surname:

We zoom in and see that her surname should be Finkelstein

This dittos (  "  ) or sometimes written as " do ", can catch you. The record I indexed before Rachel was not her traveling companion. If I had just assumed it was the previous record I would have typed the incorrect name. When you see a ditto make sure you double check the full record.

Make sure you check out LDSTech for more information. 

The apps can be downloaded from the appropriate store, just search for FamilySearch Indexing. For the Kindle Fire, view this page on your Fire and click the link below to directly download the .apk file.

That's it. Have fun and show this to your kids. The youth I have shown it to love it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Don't Let Them Close the SSDI!

We need to save the SSDI from government closure. This valuable resource to genealogists is being threatened by the bureaucrats in Washington. Sign the petition at

We still need over 20,000 signatures on the petition. We only have 2,609 signatures as I type this. I know more genealogists then that care about this valuable asset.

See FGS's page on the Records Preservation and Access Committee for more details.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Flip-Pal at Rootstech


I didn't think they could improve this wonderful liittle scanner but they did. They are showing it this week at Rootstech using an Eye-Fi memory card. When you scan an image it saves it on both the memory card and your computer. What a great idea, I wish I had this a year ago when I was traveling and scanning.

Check them out at and

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rootstech App

Not spending much time on the net today, but just noticed the posting at Genea-Musings about the Rootstech 2012 app. Thanks Randy.

This app for both iPhone and Andriod show My Schedule, Maps, Events, Speakers, Conference Documents, Photo Gallery, Videos, Twitter (#rootstech), Friends, News, and People. Randy describes each in his blog above.

I am having some issues with some of them, I will check them out more later this evening.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mesa Family History Expo - Day 2

Long day yesterday and today is not shaping up much better. In any case, I thought I had better get these notes from yesterday taken care of.

I realized this morning that I left the last presentation from Friday off the blog. It was Social Media - How New Technologies Increase Success.

I had to come back and add this, I almost forgot about it. This turned out to be a panel discussion with Holly, James Tanner, Biff Barnes, and myself. I briefly discussed the origination of this blog and blogging in general. James discussed blogs and showed us his daughters genealogy blog that was absolutely wonderful. Unfortunately I cannot locate the URL for it, when I get it again I will post it. He also did a very good discussion on Google+. Biff covered Twitter and its use in genealogy and did a great job.

Saturday started off with Rudy Morris and Making Grandma's Pictures Presentable. Rudy was using Adobe Photoshop Elements to enhance old photographs. Two good books were recommended for using Elements, Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 Classroom in a Book and Photoshop Elements for Dummies.

The second hour followed with Bivouac of the Dead - Military Cemeteries with William Atkinson. Interesting presentation. I had not realized that there are over 300 cemeteries worldwide that honor those that served our nation.

The last two sessions I spent listening to Geoff Rasmussen on Improving Your Use of New FamilySearch and an Insider's Guide to Legacy. Geoff discussed the ways Legacy can assist you with New FamilySearch and their tools for keeping your files in sync. Geoff reminded us to use standardized locations to keep our files in order. has a Standard Location lookup application if you want to keep your locations standardized with FamilySearch.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mesa Family History Expo - Day 1

A great day yesterday. A few take aways from the conference:

It started with Arlene Eakle's excellent keynote.
Brick walls -
1. Organize your information both offline and online - this makes you analyze it once again
2. Searches are often incomplete, we are not looking at enough records. We tend to daisy pick our searches.

Tombstones can often reveal the background of the person. Different nationalities and religions had traditions for headstones.

Second was the demo by DNA Consultants presented by Dr. Yates.

They recommend autosomal testing, it is a non-sexed link look at your DNA. Their testing includes 18 distinct markers for specific backgrounds, such as Native American. Check

Third was The FamilySearch Wiki by James Tanner.

For some reason the wiki and forums are well hidden on the website. An easy to way to get to the wiki is to go to the record collections on and click on Learn More. This will help you know the reliability of the information and additional information on the collection. A direct link to the wiki is here.

Forth was Immigration: The Journey to America by Shirley Hodges.

Albion's Seed - Four British Folkways in America - David Fisher

Less the 20% of people in the US, today, have British ancestry. This presentation was so interesting I stopped taking notes.

Now back to the conference.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Family History Society of AZ

For those of you in the East Valley, don't forget tomorrow night's meeting of the Family History Society of AZ, East Valley Chapter. The meeting is held at Palmos Del Sol which is located at 6209 McKellips in Mesa. On McKellips just east of Recker.

This month's meeting will be:

            6:00-7:00 pm 'User Group Discussions' -- Legacy, Family Tree Maker, and RootsMagic
            7:00-8:00 pm 'The Forgotten War - The War of 1812' with Bryon Bailey

Hope to see you there.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Arizona Family History Expo - Mesa

Only four days before the FH Expo at the Mesa Convention Center.

There a a lot of great classes available, you can check the schedule here.