Tuesday, January 8, 2008

UVPAFUG Monthly Meeting - 12 Jan 2008


The next regular, second-Saturday-of-the-month meeting of the Utah Valley PAF (Personal Ancestral File) Users Group will be on Saturday, 12 Jan 2008, from 9 am until noon in the LDS "Red" Chapel at 4000 North Timpview Drive (650 East), in Provo. The main presentation will be by Barry J. Ewell on DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR GENEALOGISTS.

Barry Ewell lives in Riverton, Utah, and is a Senior Marketing Manager for IBM. He is a writer and researcher with extensive genealogical experience in Internet and field research, digital and software resources, and mentoring genealogists. His research interests and expertise include Eastern U.S., United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Germany, and Russia. He will discuss turning your digital camera into one of your most valued genealogical research tools to effectively acquire records and preserve documents. It will greatly cut reproduction costs and help you achieve more with your available time. He will also discuss how to preserve, catalog, and file images for easy access.

Following the main presentation there will be several classes taught concerning technology and family history. As usual, there will be something for everyone at all levels of expertise. The classes currently scheduled for this meeting are the following:

1. FamiliySearch Indexing and Record Search, by Duane Dudley
2. Installing and Configuring a PHPGedView Website by John Finlay
3. What Can I Do with SMGF DNA Test Data? by Gerhard Ruf
4. Video of the main presentation at the last meeting: FHL Internet Favorites by G. David Dilts
5. Individual Mentoring in the Family History Center by Lila Sowards and Sherry Stevens
6. Ancestral Quest by Gaylon Findlay
7. Legacy by Geoff Rasmussen
8. RootsMagic by Bruce Buzbee.

All meetings of the Users Group are open to the public whether members of the Group or not. The Users Group has the goal of helping individuals use technology to further their family history and there are usually 100-125 attending the monthly meetings on the second Saturdays. Several of the officers, including Gerhard Ruf, President; Brian Cooper, 2nd VP; Lynne Shumway, PAFology Editor; Kay Baker and Gerry Eliason working with finances and membership; and Bruce Merrill, Eileen Phelps, and Marie Andersen, working with the DVD & Video Library, will all be there. They will help with membership, questions, distribute the current issue of the monthly newsletter PAFology, and check out DVD's and videos of past presentations and classes to members of the group. Information about the Users Group, main presentations, classes, and class notes are available on the Group's website http://uvpafug.org. For further information contact President Gerhard Ruf at pres@uvpafug.org (801-225-6106), VP1 Elder Don Snow at snowd@math.byu.edu, or VP2 Brian Cooper at vp2@uvpafug.org.

Family History Library Internet Favorites by G. David Dilts

10 Nov 2007

Introduction of Speaker by Gerhard Ruf
Main Presentation: G. David Dilts – Family History Library Internet Favorites
Brother Dilts is an accredited genealogist who has worked and taught at Family History Libraries since 1975. He is currently a senior reference consultant in the US East and Canada Reference Unit. He is a past Commissioner of ICAPGen and past Vice-President of the Utah Genealogical Association. His recent presentations include conferences at ICAPGen, the Computerized Genealogy Conference at BYU, UGA, Grand Juntion and for the Silicon Valley Computerized Genealogy Group. He is accredited in LDS Research and German Research. He has articles on the FamilySearch Wiki include a brief abstract of this presentation. Which include the selected browsers and bookmark links which are available and being developed by the Family History Library and is updated periodically. This is going to be like getting the best of the best from Cyndi’s List, the sites that will help you the most in your genealogical endeavors. He will describe how you can get those for your own computers. You can have those links as your own bookmarks or favorites in your browser. How to install that and how they are structured.

G. David Dilts – Family History Library Internet Favorites

The internet is one of the best tools for finding your family history. Problem: Finding the right Internet site is often difficult and time consuming. Solution: FHL Internet Favorites!

Class objectives
At the end of class each student will be able to:
-Explain what FHL Internet Favorites are.
-Copy FHL Internet Favorites to a disk and load them onto a home computer.
-Describe how they are organized.
-Use Favorites to answer a variety of genealogical questions
-Explain 3 strategies for using the Internet to find information about ancestors.

I. Explain what FHL Internet Favorites are. FHL Internet Favorites are bookmarks (links) to the most useful sites on the Internet for family history researchers.
-thousands of links (bookmarks)
-selected by FH Library staff
-on each public computer at the FHL and some FHCs. They are available at the Red Chapel.
-organized somewhat like the FHL Catalog
-updated every few months

Why would you use them?
-They show the best of Internet genealogy
-They are convenient
-They save time
-Use them to discover useful new Internet sites

3 Ways to Access Favorites at FHL:
1. From the Patron Desktop menu (Find Ancestors / blue ribbon Favorite Sites)
2. From the Menu Bar (Favorites [sometimes under Links, sometimes not])
3. From the Toolbelt (Links folders) on the browser

II. Be able to copy Favorites to a disk and load them onto a home computer.
Step 1. On the FHL Desktop, click here for instructions about copying Favorites. Print them.
Step 2. Follow the instructions to copy FHL Favorites.exe from the D: drive to the A: drive.
Step 3. On your home computer unzip it by double clicking the a: FHL Favorites file. Be sure the “Unzip to folder” field says C:
Step 4. Follow your printed instructions to use your Internet Browser Import Export Wizard.

III. Describe how FHL Internet Favorites are organized.
A. Somewhat like the subject headings on the FHL Catalog: Place is important and/or Topics
B. Major divisions:
1. World sites covering topics significant to more than one nation
2. British Great Britian & Commonwealth nations Ire. Scot. Wales, Australia, NZ, India (sometimes down to parish level)
3. Canada & USA North American topics (usually not smaller than state level)
4. International Europe, Latin America & Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Pacific Islands
and/or Topics:
5. News of interest to genealogist
6. Search Engines tools for finding web sites using a key phrase of your own choosing (especially good for finding county and town sites not usually in Canada & USA file)

C. Most topic folders match FHL Research Outlines, or the FHL Catalog. Each such topic is defined in national research outlines.
D. The Major Subdivision sheet shows more examples of Internet Favorites organization
1. Bullet topics on the sheet are not normally in the FHL Catalog
2. Boxed topics on the sheet are examples of links that actually open Internet sites
E. General folders concern topics significant to more than one county, province, or state.
F. Some World and General files have three main subdivision:
1. Background Information = non-genealogy data about an ancestor’s culture, or instruction telling how to find him
2. Finding Aids = reference tools that help identify or locate genealogy sources
3. Record Types = sources that usually show genealogy data
G. Tools & Helps (part of World / Background Information) includes many useful sites. Such as:
Inflation Calendar, Birth Date Calculator, Calendar history, Currency converter, Genealogy Electronic Citation Guide, Kinship Charts, Roman Numeral and Date Conversion, Soundex Converter, etc.

IV. Be able to use Favorites to answer a variety of genealogical questions.
We located the answer to the following question and several others.
1. What does the name “Michael: mean? Looked: World>Background Information>Names Personal>Etymology>Behind the Name. Answer: Hebrew “who is like God?”

V. Explain 3 strategies for using the Internet to find information about ancestors.
A. Start looking for a family using broad worldwide Favorites searches. Then work down to national Favorites, and then to state or provinces.
B. On the first search enter relatively little search information, e.g. just a surname. Piece-by-piece slowly add data to new searches until you have a reasonable list of hits.
C. Use search engines to hunt for county or parish level genealogical sources.

Question and Answers:
1. The FHL Internet Favorites works just fine with Mozilla. You will not over write the links you already saved in your Favorites. It will create a new folder with the links.
2. If you want to update the FHL Favorites it is best to delete the old folder and then reinstall the new version of favorite links.
3. Why use favorites when you can use a search engine? Favorites are the best stuff and you do not have to search through all the search engine results to find the most helpful sites.
4. BYU has the FHL Internet Favorites loaded on their computers. They also have their own site with a list of favorites, which are different.

This presentation is available on DVDs #129 for UVPAFUG members to borrow or purchase.

Share Your Genealogy and Collaborate with Relatives Online Using PhpGedView by John Finlay

13 Oct 2007

Introduction of Speaker by Brian Cooper
Main Presentation: John Finlay – Share Your Genealogy and Collaborate with Relatives Online Using PhpGedView
John Finlay graduated from BYU with a degree in Computer Engineering. He worked in the Information Technology industry for several years, developing systems for digital archives and preservation. He is currently a full-time faculty member teaching at Neumont University. In the summer of 2002, John created PhpGedView as an open source genealogy application. If you haven’t heard of Open Source, it means that the code for the program is made freely available to anyone who wants to look at it. You might compare it to the difference between sharing the sources of your family history research, or just sharing your conclusions. If your sources are open and available for review and update, other researchers can assist in the work and it can progress forward much faster than if only one person or group is working on it. PhpGedView is currently the largest and most active Open Source genealogy application. John is married to Melissa Corn Finlay, who holds a degree in genealogy and family history. They reside in South Jordan, Utah and have 5 children.

John Finlay – Share Your Genealogy and Collaborate with Relatives Online Using PhpGedView

There are a lot of new and exciting things like FamilySearch that are coming available. It’s always good to remember why we are doing it. This technology is to help us to remember our ancestors, those that came before us and are such a part of us.

How many of you have ever had to share GEDCOM files before? How many of you enjoy doing that process when you were doing? In general works this you have someone is maybe in Utah and another person in Washington, D.C. you are both relatives working on the same genealogy line. To share your data you have to send GEDCOM files back and forth. Once you do that you have to import it and take all the people and match theirs with yours and merge everything together. Doing that takes a lot of time. You could have hundred of people duplicated and it takes hours to clean up. It’s a mess. When I was working on PhpGedView this was one of the problems we wanted to solve. How can we make the process of sharing our data and working together better?

How many of you post your genealogy on a website? Not as many that share GEDCOMs but still quit a few. The advantages of that are you get people who are related, such as cousins. When people put it online people can search Google and find you.

How do you traditionally share your genealogy on the internet.
You – Genealogy application – Export HTML files – Upload to a Web Server – On the Internet – where you family can find them. The big problem here is if anyone has updates, and you will have updates, they have to send them back to you and you then have to start the whole process over again. This was another problem we wanted to address. How can we make this whole process of sharing your genealogy on the internet easier.

What is PhpGedView?
PhpGedView (PGV) is an internet based genealogy program that you can use to:
-setup your own genealogy website
-edit your data online
-collaborate with people working on the same family lines
-also great for surname studies or locality studies

It is an internet genealogy program it’s meant to be a full replacement of your desktop application. You set it up on a website. All you have to do is upload your GEDCOM file to it and it automatically shares your data on the internet in an editable and collaborative fashion. I will put my genealogy up there and its automatically for search engines and everyone to come find. I can give usernames and passwords to my relatives who also can work with the exact same data.

A lot of people also like to use it for surname studies or locality studies. A surname study is when you are doing all the Finlay’s for example or all the Finlay’s in a certain area, or maybe you are doing you small home town you grew up in. You could record all the people in that town and record all of their lives.

PGV can do all of the things that a typical desktop genealogy program can do, but it runs over the internet. It has all the sources capabilities and you can create all the reports you are used to having with your traditional program. It imports and exports GEDCOM files, so it is compatible with other genealogy software.

You don’t have to completely give away your traditional software if you want to use this. A lot of people still use it to share their genealogy online and they still do all their editing or stuff on PAF or tradition legacy program. You can continue to do it that way.

PGV Viewing Features
-PGV includes standard genealogy charts such as pedigree, descendant and family group.
-It also has lists, calendars, PDF reports, and several other charts.
-PGV supports photos, audio, and many other types of media.

Collaborative Scenario
-Suppose you have Aunt Edna who lives in New York working on her favorite family lines.
-Uncle Kobi lives in Israel and works on his favorite people.
-Leonid in St. Petersburg updates his part of the family
-You live in Utah and work on your favorite lines
-Give Aunt Edna, Uncle Kobi and Leonid the ability to edit online
-They keep their favorite lines up to date
-You keep the ability to review new data before it goes live on your site.

You would just give Aunt Edna, Uncle Kobi and Leonid a PGV username and password, they can come to your website, log in and edit and work the data directly online. I use these international countries because PhpGedView has full multi-lingual support. It supports Hebrew, it supports Russian, it supports Sweden and German. It supports 25 different languages that you can use. I recently helped someone set up a website; they were doing a Polish family reunion. One of the big things he was interested in was that it supports the Polish language so all his Polish relatives could participate.

So they are all working online on their data. There is no sharing GEDCOM files and matching and merging and all that stuff. They can all work together on this data. All of the editing stuff that goes in there you can set it up so you have review capabilities. Everything that they put on is not made public immediately. First it goes to a holding area. You will get an email notification that will say Hey they made this change. You can go in and look at it, edit it to meet your standards or you can accept it or reject it if you don’t agree with it. Some people don’t want that and they have everyone have full editing capabilities and that is completely possible. So it is up to you how you want to handle that.

Say you have relatives you trust doing genealogy and others you are not so comfortable because maybe they are not so good at doing sources yet. You can give some the ability to automatically enter their data and it goes public and you can give others the ability to be peer reviewed first before it goes public.

PHP is actually the program language that this was written in. When I created the program it was common in the industry if you were using PHP language to prefix it with the application PHP. That is where the PHP comes from most of the time now I abbreviate it to PGV. It also started out as a GEDCOM viewer so that’s how the name came about. But now it is a full featured way to edit you genealogy online. It stands for personal homepage tools, basically a programming language.
Brian mentioned that it is open sourced. Part of being open sourced means anyone in the world can help me work on it. I stated this as open sourced hoping that other people would help me develop it. I don’t get paid to work on this. I am a computer facility member at Neumont University, my day job is that I stand up and teach people how to program computers. Then I do this on the side. But I have people all over the world helping me to do this. I have people in Israel, France, Great Britain, four or five here in the United States. It’s been a very interesting and exciting thing not only to work with other programs around the world but other genealogists around the world. We have a great international community of people around the world all dedicated to helping this program succeed.

How PhpGedView simplifies Collaboration
Remember before how you had to take all these steps to get on the internet. Now all you have to do is put your GEDCOM file, your genealogy on a server with PhpGedView running on it. That web server with PhpGedView automatically makes it available. What you do is work with your data on the internet. Because it is on the internet you family can also log in and work with it on the internet and also the world can see it.

Privacy Settings
-PGV has many privacy functions built into it to protect personal information about living people.
-The default privacy settings will hide the names and details of living people from users who are not logged into the site.
-These privacy features can be adjusted by site administrators to meet their desired level of privacy.

You will notice that the world has a privacy filter on there. So all of you private data is not public to the world. So if you went to my website and tried to find me you could find me, I am a living person and privacy laws prevent us from sharing that. You have full privacy controls. Some people don’t want the world to find anything. They say you have to be logged into find anything. Other people say I don’t want any of my sources viewable to the public. I want all those kept private until they log in. You have full privacy control and control data once it’s up there and what people can see.

-PGV can be downloaded for free from the http://www.phpgedview.net website.
-It requires that you have some web-space that supports the programming language PHP and it will take some technical knowledge to set it up.
-There are also several hosting services that can set it up for you for a nominal fee.

Finlay Family Genealogy - http://finlayfamily.org/genealogy
You have full multi-media support you can upload pictures, documents and stories, full things video and sound files. Cool things about your family members that people like. One person sent me a note and said thank you for helping me help my uninterested family members become interested in genealogy again. Because they have the ability to share all this rich media with them.

The homepage is completely customizable you can change the way things are laid out. It allows you to save a list of favorites, like bookmarks, people that are your favorite people. It allows you to keep multiple GEDCOMs so if you are working on, say you divided up your family line into multiple files you can share them with different family trees. The look and feel of the homepage is also totally customizable. There are several themes you can use. If you know some HTML you can also change it to how you want it.

On the top of the homepage are icons one is to change the language it is displayed in. Hebrew is interesting because it is read from right to left. You have to switch everything around. As an administrator I can choose which language I want. I also has full support for entering the names of people in multiple character sets. If you have a Russian relative they will have a Russian name and then they will have a Romanized name. You would spell one in the Russian alphabet and then another in the English alphabet so you can record all of those names.

Clicking on any name will send you to the details on that person. You could see all his events, census details, sources. There is also full LDS support. The sources look very similar to what you do in PAF. You can attach a source to any fact or any person, and see a list of all those attached to the source afterwards.

There is a vanity counter on each page so you can see which of your ancestors is the most popular. You can search for people by their RIN number if you want or by name. The album is where you will see their multimedia. You can see all their close relatives and details on those. You can see a Google map of all of his events. There are a variety of charts you can look at. On the pedigree chart you can change the number of generations to view.

What people were very interested in when we were developing it was to see more information on it at a time. If you are researching something you generally want to jump back and forth between the data and see things. If you are researching the father you often want to see information on the children, dates, and possible locations for things you are going to research. One of the things you can do is on any of the boxes there is a zoom. You can expand his box and it fills in all of his details so you can see it right there. All of the boxes and charts have that capability.

The reports are printable quality you can do them in HTML you can have the full record of his life and print it out. The same way you could from your regular application. There are templates; it is a new thing I have been working on. When you log in you will get edit options on the page. You will see whatever features you have enabled for this option. For the templates we have the Research Assistant. It is designed to help you track and manage the research you are doing about a relative. We have several of the common search engines out there you can choose what data that you want to include in the search. It will automatically do the search for you on Ancestry or FamilySearch, etc. You can keep a research log you can decide what task you are doing and assign a task to a particular researcher, then you can attach it to a source. You can also attach multiple people to the task – say his whole family for the census. It helps you organize your research that way.

Once you have created a Research Task you can then choose a form you want to enter your data in. This is a very source orientated way to enter your data. The Census Form or template has all the fields that you would normally see on a census. Once you fill it out it will compare it against his record and help you to automatically choose some facts that you should probably add for him. From a census records we learn a lot of things about them, names, birth place, parents’ name, and their parents’ birth place. I can add immediately all the facts that comes from this source citation.

When you enter dates it will correct them to the right format. You can search for places to enter by your place list. When you add facts from the form or templates it will automatically add the source citation. When you add new information it will show up as blue. When you change something on a person’s data it will show up as red. Now you can choose to approve or accept the changes made to your database or undo and deny them. If you decide to remove facts afterwards you can just delete them. If you are signed in as an administrator you can deny all the changes you just made if you want to.
You have the option to even remove the Research Assistant if you don’t want it. You can pick and choose with features you have on your database. On the Individual List you can sort by any column in it. You can sort by birth or death date or name or places. You can also sort by last changed. If you want to know all the recent charges just sort on that column and you can see the last person with information changed.

You can import your GEDCOM file from PAF to PhpGedView or download from PGV to PAF. We have taken great care that the GEDCOM capabilities are the best. If you have some weird tag in there it will not be removed it just might not show it. You can keep as many GEDCOM files as you want on your database. You can download all of a GEDCOM or part using the Family Tree Clippings Cart. You can take clippings of your family tree and download parts of them.

Every page has a help icon on it. If you are confused and you click on the icon it will tell you about that page. Some items have help icons on them and they will them you what that item does. There is a lot of online help. Since this is open sources all the documentation is user contributed. So it is other users like your self helping to write the documentation for this. There is a Wiki to help people to that. You will find a users guide there. You can search through the entire users guide. A lot of this documentation has been translated into other languages.

You cannot search PhpGedView for other people’s sites; it is not a global site. You can only search in one person’s site with their unique URL for the individuals that they have. If you do a Google search it will pull it up if it is in a PhpGedView database on the web. I have had people use PGV with 50mgs of data – about 60,000 people, theoretically it can handle as large as you have.

Usually you will have to pay for a hosting service about $3-4 a month. An example is X-Mission in Salt Lake you can rent a hosting site from them for about $5.00 a month. Then you just load these files a GEDCOM and it goes. There are hosting services that will do it for you. There are four of them right now; they run about $7.00 a month. The links are on our site http://www.phpgedview.net/ The free ones are only for a couple hundred people. A hosting service will set everything up for you, you just send them a GEDCOM.

If you just want to see how it works you can download a demo and version and it will work on your computer. It will run like it’s a website on your computer. No one else will see it and once you shut down your computer it will turn off, but it will allow you to play with all the features and such. You can even put your own data into it, it comes already with some data in it.

Why would we go with this instead of waiting for New FamilySearch? I have been participating in the betas for new FamilySearch and they have done a great job. NFS has a lot of good features that are new in it. The reason I am not going to go to NFS for all of my data is privacy control. I can’t say don’t share this person with other people, even if he is dead. I don’t have that control at FamilySearch. Their source citation stuff is still a bit behind. They are going to work on that though. Another thing is that at least for the next couple of years only everything in NFS is LDS access. So if you have relatives that are out there and they are not LDS they will not be able to access it for a couple more years.

I also like to control the presentation of it. The way I present my family is import to me online. With FamilySearch you only have one way to do that. Finally NFS does not have any multimedia support. And they have no plans to every add that.

Now like I said I love what FamilySearch is doing, they are doing great work. They talked about how Ancestral Quest, Legacy, RootsMagic are going to work with NFS. I have also been in on a lot of those meetings. We are also looking to integrate with NFS. We will be integrating differently than those programs. What we are going to do is allow you, if you have already have a PhpGedView website, to link people in FamilySearch to your data it will automatically pull that data over and connect them up and keep them linked and synchronized between NFS and PhpGedView.

One of the goals of NFS is to not have duplicate people and to put the whole world into one big family tree. I think that is a great goal and I’m glad that the Church and FamilySearch is working on that. But when I want to work with my data I am interested in my people. Those are the reason I am not going with that but you might find it works for you.

If you choose to do everything online and work with multiple users at one time a lot of people are not comfortable doing that yet. You are fully welcome to continue to use PAF or your traditional program for that. Then you would upload your GEDCOM file when you want to update the site. It’s very easy. It will just replace what is up there and it won’t duplicate anything.

Now that other programs are use to these other options I have already been approached by Legacy to add integration. The same integration they will have with FamilySearch they will have with PhpGedView.

If you go into Google to search someone using PhpGedView you would type the name followed by PhpGedView and it will find it anyone is using the program working on your line. [Ezekiel Johnson PhpGedView] You could contact people and see if you can collaborate with them.

Demonstrated how to add multi-media, it supports all the formats you can normally put on a website. Demonstrated various charts on the program. There are backup capabilities with the program. It includes all your uses and media files, etc. not just the GEDCOM file.

You can also link people onto someone else’s site that is using PhpGedView or NFS. It will show that this person found is also in these other places. There are a lot of people looking at the code so they will find if there are security breaches. In their history they have had two security breaches and it was found and a patch was given within the day. This is one of the most secure programs out there because of that. It’s been over two years since they had any major security problems. You can also make a demo CD of your site and give it to family members.

When changes have been made my other uses you will be sent an email notification of the changes. There is also an option to have it show up on the homepage. It will list all the changes that have been made that need to be accepted. You can also show recent changes.

There is an option feature to add Message Forums. It allows people to post messages. If you want to have a family discussion about people or your genealogy you can enable the message forums. It works like any other message forums.

You can merge two people files together in the program but it is easiest to do it from within PAF or your other computer software, then upload it to the site.

There are tutorials online in the helps to walk you through the program but they are not connected to a live site – that is a great suggestion to have one.

There are 30 active contributors to the program but they are not all developers, a lot of them are translators. In any given week there are about 5 people submitting code, in a month about 10-12. Every quarter I get a group of students that work on this program. I will have them do different features. This quarter I am having them do an advanced search. The students also have to learn this they have 10 weeks to learn PHP, the architecture of the program; it’s a great learning experience for these students. Genealogy is one of the most complicated things from a computer science prospective but it is also someone can easily know. I know I can be related to people once you have to do that in computer science it is a fascinating problem.

I have been asked if I will do classes and I would be happy to set them up and have myself or one of my students teach them.

This presentation is available on DVDs #127 for UVPAFUG members to borrow or purchase.

GenealogyBank.com - Unique Content for Documenting Your Family Tree by Thomas Kemp

8 Sept 2007

Introduction of Speaker by Gerhard Ruf
Main Presentation: Thomas Kemp – GenealogyBank.com – Unique Content for Documenting Your Family Tree
Thomas Jay Kemp is the Director of Genealogy Products at NewsBank. A well-known librarian and genealogist for more than 30 years, he is the author of more than two-dozen books. His numerous articles regularly appear in state and national library, archival and genealogical journals.

He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Utah Genealogical Association; and ALA Delegate to the International Federation of Library Associations. He is a life member of the Association for the Bibliography of History, the New England Archivists, the New Hampshire Library Association and the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society.

His most recent books include: “Virtual Roots 2.0: A Guide to Genealogy and Local History on the World Wide Web”. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2003. 311p. with CD-ROM and “The 1920 Census: A Reference and Research Guide”. North Salt Lake, UT: ProQuest, 2003. 250p.

For many years he was the director of Godfrey Memorial Library. Many of us used that to get a cheap subscription to Heritage Quest’s Census Records on the Internet. He is all the way from Connecticut to make presentations in the area and for us.

Thomas Kemp – Unique Content for Documenting Your Family Tree

The minutes are currently being edited by the presenter.

This presentation is available on DVDs #124 for UVPAFUG members to borrow or purchase.

A Brief Introduction to LDS Record Sources at the Church History Library by Jay Burrup

11 Aug 2007

Introduction to Speaker by Gerhard Ruf
Main Presentation: Jay Burrup – A Brief Introduction to LDS Record Sources at the Church History Library
Jay Burrup is a native of Downey, Idaho. He served an LDS mission in Milan, Italy, and graduated from BYU with B.A. in History (1982) and Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (1984). He has been employed as an archivist and information specialist at the LDS Church History Library since 1985. In recent years he has completed over 150 oral history interviews with LDS Church leaders and members in the United States and Europe. Jay is a certified archivist with the Academy of Certified Archivists and has published numerous articles regarding archival and family and local history topics. He is married to the former Dorothy Anderson of Taber, Alberta, Canada, and they are the parents of four daughters, two of whom are attending Utah State University. The Burrups reside in West Valley City.

This presentation provides an introduction to the purpose of the LDS Church History Library and focuses on research sources available there for documenting and enhancing LDS ancestral biographies and local histories. Many of the sources, such as the Brigham Young papers, minutes of LDS congregational meetings, and thousands of diaries, manuscript collections, and photographs are unique to the Church History Library.

Jay Burrup – A Brief Introduction to LDS Record Sources at the Church History Library

LDS Church History Library, 50 E. North Temple St, 100 EW-COB, SLC, UT 84150, phone: 801-240-2272. Contact us at: churchhistorylibrary@ldschurch.org

Handouts where passed out

Application for Research Privileges
You must fill out this form before you come up to do research in the Church History Library. Because we are an archive, a special collections area, we do have rules of use.

Application for a copy of a Patriarchal Blessing
You may obtain a copy of a patriarchal blessing of yourself, your spouse, a direct line descendant, or a deceased direct line ancestor. We have between 2 ½ -3 million patriarchal blessings on file. About 100 people per week have applied for a lost patriarchal blessing.
LDS Church History Library Survey for the UVPAFUG please fill it out and return it to the address on the back of the form.

Selected LDS Family and Local History Sources at the Church History Library
Buff colored handout, four pages, and an outline of his presentation and gives a brief description of many of the sources in his presentation.

The purpose of this presentation is to acquaint you with sources that can document and enhance the life stories and histories of your LDS ancestors and the areas where they were members of the church. We hope through these sources you will be able to add detail and color to your life histories of your ancestors.

Currently we are located in the east wing of the Church Office Building. Many times we are simply confused with the Family History Library. We are not the Family History Library we have different purposes. Our purpose is to document the history and growth of the LDS Church and its members throughout the world. That is our focus. The Family History Library focuses on the genealogies of all mankind. We’re focused on the LDS Church and its members.

We have some doctrinal backup
D & C 69: 7&8 – John Whitmer was the second church historian, after Oliver Cowdery. John Whitmer wasn’t sure what he should to document the history and growth of the Church. This section in the D&C elaborates to him he needs to preach, expound, write, and copy, select and obtain records related to the church. The rising generations mentioned here are all of us, our children and grandchildren. They will benefit from knowing what happened to the early founders and members of the church.

D&C 85: 1&2 – We have a huge treasure trove in the Church History Library of diaries, journals, church records that testify of the manor of life, faith and works of the early church members and members clear up today. We also have the largest anti-Mormon collection on the face of the earth. We are to document our apostates who give us a hard time. Sometimes you will see members of our staff pausing at the gates of temple square to gather materials from the decedents that gather there. They don’t know what we are doing and we don’t tell them. We just pick things up and take them in.

When you come into the Church Office Building we are in the east wing. The entrance right now is at the end of the mural in the foyer of the office building. You will be greeted by a friendly church security officer; they are trained not to smile. You will need to bring one form of photo ID to identify who you are. All visitors to the Church Office building need to wear a badge with your photo on it for security purposes. All services have been combined we are no longer on the second floor. The new building will be north of the building near the conference center. It will be completed in the spring of 2009. We have been waiting for a building since 1959; we are excited about a new building.

We don’t allow any briefcases, hand bags, etc. to be taken into the area where you are going to be actually looking at the records. We have free lockers for you to use. We ask that you turn off your cell phones. We don’t allow any food or drink. Pencils only, we do supply you with pencils and scrap papers. You can bring your laptop in to take notes. We ask you to use care when you are handling the items. Most items have been microfilmed. We don’t allow instantaneous photocopying of our archival and rare materials. If you want a photocopy you will have to fill out a form and we have to check it to make sure it’s already been filmed, that there aren’t copyright problems, or issues of private, sacred or confidential information in that document. Such as bishop court minutes, temple ceremonies, and things like that.

At this time our computer catalog is not accessible through the internet. You will have to come up to the Church History Library to use it. We hope that someday it will. We are going through a major change right now reorganization. That is one of our priorities but we don’t know exact time it will be available.

You can search by Author. A Subject search will pick up anything written about an individual. If a person is in a photograph the author is actually the photographer. The people in the photograph are subjects. That is an important thing to remember when you are searching in an archive. After you find something in the catalog you will fill out a call slip, with your name the call number and the title. Bring the slip up to the front desk. We will order it down and in about 10-15 minutes it will be ready for you to look at. We can scan a photograph to a CD or make paper copies for you, about a couple dollars for each. It is fairly economical. You can search the content notes in any of the bibliographical sources. You can use the keyword search.

Three major collection types:
Published Sources – books, newspapers, magazines
Online Sources – databases
Unpublished Sources – diaries, histories, hand-written records, etc.

Published Sources
We have a lot of Daughters of Utah Pioneers series books. There are over 70-80 volumes that have been published over the years. They provide information and stories regarding early LDS members and Utah pioneers and their accomplishments, as well as stories connected with the settling and developing of Utah and areas of the western United States, Canada, and Mexico. Diaries, manuscripts, life sketches, photographs, newspaper articles, published local histories, and many other sources are cited.
Multi-volume sets Chronicles of Courage, An Enduring Legacy, Hearth Throbs of the West, Our Pioneer Heritage, Pioneer Pathways, and Treasures of Pioneer History.
-Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude – published by the DUP, four-volume set contains a large collection of life sketches and photographs of Utah pioneer women; one of few sources that helps identify and document early LDS women.
-Conquerors of the West – published by the Sons of Utah Pioneers, this four-volume set contain a large collection of life sketches and photographs of pioneer-era men.
-Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia – Compiled by Andrew Jenson, four-volume set includes a large collection of life sketches and photographs of early members of the Church; includes selected women’s sketches and photographs; information is current to ca. 1936.
-Encyclopedic History of the Church – Compiled by Andrew Jenson, this large compilation contains brief histories of branches, wards, stakes, conferences, districts, missions, localities, Church publications, and miscellaneous subjects; information is current to 1941.
-Church Chronology – Compiled by Andrew Jenson, this volume consists of brief chronological entries of Church-related historical events, 1805-1914.
-Pioneer and Prominent Men of Utah – Published by Frank Esshom in 1913, this volume contains a large collection of about 5,900 photographs and thousands of brief life sketches of early Utah and Intermountain West pioneers and settlers.
-A Database of the Mormon Battalion – Compiled and edited by Karl V. Larson, this volume provides rosters of members of the Mormon Battalion, with accompanying genealogical and biographical information compiled from a variety of sources; bibliography and index are included.
-Mormon’s and their Neighbors – indexes life sketches that appear in local county, city histories published in the intermountain west, Canada and Mexico.
-Mormon Immigration Index – It has thousand of names that appear on the official Church rosters as they are coming across the ocean. Available at the Church distribution center for $5.00
-74 DVDs of Early Church Documents – about 400,000 pages of early church documents. Originally it was priced at $1,500 it’s down to a thousand or less now at the BYU Bookstore.

Online Sources
-Mormon Pioneer Overland Travelwww.mormontrail.lds.org – Database of searchable indexed rosters of pioneers who traveled to Utah (1847-1868) and the companies to which they were assigned; includes bibliography of sources – journals entries, letters, newspaper clippings. Many overland trail accounts are transcribed and can be printed from the site. Database currently contains over 40,000 names – an estimated 20,000 names are missing because of incomplete rosters. An option is available on website to submit missing ancestral information and corrections for inclusion in the database. You can submit information if you ancestor does not appear in this database.
-LDS Church Periodical Indexwww.chperiodicals.lds.org – Index to database containing authors, titles, subjects, and abstracts of articles from periodicals published by the LDS Church as well as from other journals and magazines from 1976 to the present.
-Mormons and Their Neighborshttp://w3.lib.byu.edu/Ancestry/ - Index to over 100,000 life sketches published in many local and regional history books relating to northern Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, southern California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and southwestern Canada. Includes sketches of selected non-LDS pioneers and settlers; index also indicates if a photograph accompanies life sketch.

Unpublished Sources
For access to unpublished sources, see a staff member at the reference desk.
-Journal History of the Church – Chronological day-by-day “scrapbook” compilation of Church history form 1830 to present; focus of pre-1990s volumes is events and personalities in Intermountain West region. Card index available for early years; electronic index available from approximately 1990 to present. Card Index (hard copy) and electronic indexes available only at CHL. Microfilm version available at FHL (1830-1973 and index).
-Church census records, 1914-1962 – First Church census was taken in 1914, next one in 1920 and thereafter every five years until 1960. No census conducted during 1945 (World War II). Census for 1962 available only for branches, districts, and missions. Census information helps locate ward/branch in which members were living (especially useful for large cities). Also available at FHL.
-Deceased member records, 1941-July 1988 – Beginning in 1941 a deceased member’s record was sent to the Historian’s Office for filing. Record usually contains complete list of priesthood ordinations –very useful for tracing priesthood line of authority. Also available at FHL.

Local unit records (for branches, wards, stakes, districts, missions):
-Manuscript histories (Series 2 and 3) – Unpublished historical compilations for local units; initial information was gathered by Historian’s Office staff starting ca. 1890s; histories compiled ca. 1906+. Quarterly historical reports (1925-1967) and annual reports (1968-1983) were added to previous Historian’s Office compilations. Annual reports (1984-1999) were submitted only from stakes, districts, and missions; current annual reports (2000+) from wards are submitted collectively by the stake and added to previous compilations. Information includes descriptions (in varying degrees of completeness) of historical events and activities, lists of calling and releases, newspaper clippings, newsletters, programs, ward/stake conference sustaining sheets, occasional photographs, etc. Available only at CHL.
-Record of Members – Membership records kept in varying degrees of completeness and organizations; few pre-Utah era records exist for members in U.S. Call numbers differ between CHL and FHL – consult registers at CHL and Register of Genealogical Society Call Numbers, Volume 2, by Laureen R. Jaussi and Gloria D. Chaston at FHL. No master index is available; many volumes are indexed internally. Available at both CHL and FHL; however, CHL may have recent acquisitions not available at FHL.
-Annual “Form E” (ward) and “42-FP” (mission) reports – Reports begin in 1907 and end in 1983; consist of statistical summaries and lists of members born, blessed, baptized, confirmed, married, divorced, ordained, set apart for missions, returned from missions, etc. during the year in specific local unit. Call numbers differ between CHL and FHL – see comment above under “Record of Members” to obtain correct call numbers. Microfilm copy available at FHL, 1907-ca. 1948; reports beyond that date are available only at CHL.
-Annual “Officers, Historical, and Statistical” reports – Reports begin in 1907 and end in 1937; consist of statistical summaries and lists of current ward officers and brief historical notes regarding local events. Available only at CHL.
-Minutes of meetings – Minutes recorded by designated clerks. Local unit auxiliary minutes (e.g. Relief Society, Sunday School, Primary) were sent to Historian’s Office until 1973 and general minutes (Sacrament meeting) until 1977; minutes have not been submitted to Church headquarters sine 1977. Minutes provide insight into ancestor’s activity level – prayers, talks, callings, remarks offered during fast and testimony meetings, etc. Early Intermountain West units’ minute books may contain sporadic miscellaneous information (e.g. membership records, cemetery maps and burial records, funeral proceedings, school attendance records, irrigation information, business records, personal financial notations, diary entries, etc.); many local units’ records at CHL have sporadic and/or significant record gaps. Available only at CHL. Other university, state, or private historical institutions may house volumes of minutes and other local unit records that should have been sent to Church headquarters but were not forwarded and have been acquired subsequently by other entities.
-Other local unit records – Wide variety of records potentially available for local units – newsletters, dedicatory papers, programs, histories, photographs of ward members and buildings, etc. Many items available only at CHL, but other historical institution may also house similar items.

Other Useful Collections
-Selected Collections from the Archives of the Church
-Brigham Young papers, ca. 1840s-1877
-Missionary recommendations and call, 1877-1918
-Patriarchal blessings
-Nauvoo Temple carpenters time book, 1842-1846
-Seventies quorum membership records and autobiographies (Nauvoo era)
-High Priest of Nauvoo and Salt Lake City
-Iowa branches, 1839-1859
-Perpetual Emigration Fund, 1849-1887
-Rebaptisms in Great Salt Lake Valley, 1847-1854
-Public Works, 1850-1893
-Photographs – 1 million images
-Journals, diaries, autobiographical and biographical sketches, and autograph books (published and manuscript)

This presentation is not available on DVD.

Your Genealogy in Your Pocket - PDAs by Beau Sharbrough

14 July 2007

Introduction to Speaker by Brian Cooper and Robert Raymond
Main Presentation: Beau Sharbrough – Your Genealogy in Your Pocket – PDAs
We have had Beau here before and he has spoken on a number of good topics. I remember your digital photography class very well. Beau worked for Ancestry and now works for Footnote.com. Beau is one of the foremost genealogical experts in the nation. He was early on one of the instigators of the genealogical data model. He had a role in the push towards the standard interchange format which the Church finally answered with GEDCOM. The organization was GenTech. Beau is a nationally know figure and it is quit a treat to have Beau talk to us.

Beau Sharbrough – Your Genealogy in Your Pocket – PDAs

I now work for Footnote and my job is to decide what content we are going to acquire and put on the site. I do have the best job in the world. We have a license agreement with the National Archives and that is a fairly big candy store to turn a genealogist loose in. In May we also signed a license agreement with FamilySearch. Two weeks ago we signed a similar agreement with the Allen County Public Library. The more these things happen the easier my job gets. People that wouldn’t take my calls a year ago call me now and say they think they have things that will look good on the Footnote site as well. Footnote is a history website with a strong focus on original records. There are more Nationalization records on that site than any where else in the world.

My last PDA was a Tungsten T3, it has an expansion slot that wasn’t bad for watching a movie. The battery life wouldn’t get you to the end of the movie. Other than the shortcoming it was nice little guy. I refer to things as gadgets because there are too many technical terms for them. There are handheld computers, smart phones, PDA, they come in so many groups that I don’t want to confuse you.

Why would I want a gadget?
1. If you have to ask, maybe you don’t.
2. Reference
-Genealogy (there is a palm version of PAF, its free.)
-Flight times, movie info, etc
3. Navigation
-Finding the hotel
4. Communication
5. Creating sources
-Photos of gravestones and other places
-Movies of people

What’s a PDA?
1. A Personal Digital Assistant. This is a handheld computer.
2. They can be used in genealogy to
-collect research
-look up information
-work as a PC replacement for basic office applications, and
-as an organizer
3. Don’t let the size fool you – these are serious machines
My current PDA is a Treo 650, I’ve had it over a year. 60mg of memory built in and I have a 1 gig expansion card. I have more processing power and storage space available to me than someone that owned an IBM 360 computer in 1971.

1. Forget the keyboard. You enter information by transferring it from another computer, by scribbling in “Graffiti”, or by pecking at a virtual keyboard.
2. They’re all in color now.
3. “Beaming” is sending addresses, business cards, and appointments wirelessly, using an infrared port.
4. You can sync your information from your desktop to your PDA.

Palm vs PocketPC
1. There are two “operating systems” used for PDA’s: Palm and Pocket PC.
2. Palm started the game, and Microsoft, as usual, wants in.
Palm has announced that they are not going to make any more PDAs using the Palm operating system. They are going to use Unix. Right now the choice is Palm or Windows CE operating systems. You need to decide which one you want to go with before you buy it.
3. If you use a Mac, and like PDAs, you won’t be using a PocketPC.

How much and how big?
1. Chevy. $100 and less. These are great for note-taking, phone numbers, and appointments. Your basic organizer.
2. Buick. $300. These are good for running PDA applications, like Office, and genealogy programs.
3. Cadillac. $500 and up. Wireless. Lots of memory. Better add-ons. Bigger screens.

You can put your genealogy on an iPod.

Get a bigger memory card -
1. Amazon has a 1GB Secure Digital (SD) card for $12.99
2. 2GB for $19.48
3. There are bigger ones (4 GB $40.98)

Peripherals Accessories
1. GPS. A PDA is not too big to be used as a combination compass and map. They are good for walking trips. He showed a BlueLogger from DeLormay, a Bluetooth GPS.
2. Camera. Built in camera and add-ons have exceeded a megapixel.
3. Storage. There are generally expansion slots for more memory. And soon, hard drives.
4. Chargers. You will want a couple of these.
5. Modems. They make them with phones in them now – mine is Cingular.
6. External keyboards. For that long plane trip when your laptop battery can’t keep up. They make virtual and they make mechanical ones.

1. All have a PC part (a computer program) to read GEDCOM, some read others. It creates a PDA compatible file.
2. Hotsync downloads the file.
3. The PDA side (a computer program) uses it.
4. Some allow updates and changes, that can be uploaded – the Personal Reference Boundary.

Reference Boundary
I update stuff on this side of the boundary
-Phone numbers
-To-Do lists
-My desktop genealogy
I don’t update stuff on this side of the boundary
-My PDA genealogy

They can all read GEDCOM and some can read other file formats than GEDCOM. One of them uses The Master Genealogist’s GenBridge program. I find that when I go to the FHL I can’t really carry all of the three rings binders that I have. If I go there to work on the Tuckers and I find something on the Sharbroughs I don’t have my three ring binder for them. If I don’t know if I already know who that guy is or not I like to be able to look up everyone in my record on my PDA.

The PAF version for the PDA is read only. You can’t put new people in it. It’s reference only. Some of these programs will let you put information into your PDA. Then when you upload it to your computer it might make a mess of it.

The guy that makes MyRoots says you can update this stuff but don’t try to hot sync it back into your desktop program. Instead sort the entries you made by date and then key them again into the desktop program. Use it as a tablet, a way to right down the things that you come across. It’s fairly easy to carry a laptop to the FHL these days.

PDAs Review

List of PDA Manufactures
-Garmin ique
-Rim blackberry
-Palm Treo
-Palm Tungsten
-Palm Zire
-HP / Compaq ipaq

PDA Report of how the companies are doing and which sell the most.

Smartphones pass pdas

PDA Gen Software

You can also browse the internet with some PDAs. Beau has surf the internet while on TRAX. Ancestry.com is difficult to read while on your PDA. I have never heard of a virus attacking a PDA. The cost of the phone and internet service: Cingular charges $40 a month for unlimited data use and about a $40 a month for phone service and roll over service. For my laptop I have a Verizon wireless card, unlimited broadband for $80 a month.

I use Palm for my PDA because I use Microsoft products a lot. You might say but doesn’t Microsoft write the operating system? They write the PocketWord and PocketExcel. But those things loose all there formats and all their fonts when you look at the PDA version of them. If you change them and upload them back up those hosed format go back up to your desktop. There is a program called DocumentsToGo that I use with my PDA. It lets me use all my office documents, Word, I can do PowerPoints on it. I can do all those things on my PDA in their native format, when I upload them back up it will update the version on my desktop and it doesn’t loose the formats, fonts or anything. A non-Microsoft company can do it better than Microsoft can. DocumentsToGo is the only program that will read Vista documents on a PDA.

This presentation is available on DVDs #118 for UVPAFUG members to borrow or purchase.

Introduction to Footnote.com: An Online History Research Library by Justin Schroepfer

9 June 2007

Introduction to Speakers by Gerhard Ruf
Main Presentation: Justin Schroepfer – Introduction to Footnote.com: An Online History Research Library
Justin Schroepfer is the Marketing Director for Footnote.com, with 14 prior years in Marketing and Advertising experience. He used to work for Franklin Covey, Ancestry.com and a number of other companies. He received his BS and MSA degrees in Business from the University of Utah’s Business School. Footnote.com specializes in the preservation of historical data by subscriptions is a subsidiary of iArchives which is a document digitalization service for companies, industries, educational and governmental organizations. They help them access their historical data.

Justin Scheoepfer – Introduction to Footnote.com: An Online History Research Library

Through some recent discussion and a partnership that we created with the Church, Footnote is now going to be available in all the family history centers across the world. This will be a resource that we hope many of you will utilize in accessing some records that have never been on the internet before. We are pretty excited about that. We are really young and the website has only been out there five months.

Background – Where We’ve Been
1. History of iArchives
-Pioneering movement from paper to digital since 2000.
-Developed patented OCR know as OWR
-Wide range of digitization projects

Footnote stems from what was iArchives, it’s a digitization company. We were basically in business to digitize documents. It started in around 1999, 2000. We were primarily focused on digitizing trucker forms, medical forms doing that sort of type of documents. We created our own OCR technology and we patented it and called it OWR. We started to do that for those businesses. They would provide us with some documents and we would put it through our OWR software and index it for them. Now they would be able to search all these documents and find things a lot easier.

We started to do historical newspapers as well. We started to work with a few entities, universities, locally BYU and University of Utah and some others across the nation, as well as some libraries and organization. We are involved in the National Digital Newspaper Program. As we started to do this, the thought came to us, we are digitizing a lot of great content, especially historical newspapers, NewsBank had been one of our biggest clients. We would digitize, index it and then send it back. We thought wouldn’t it be fantastic if we created our own website so that we could put this information out to the public? Footnote started from that idea. We started conceptualizing the website back in January of 2006 and within a year we launched the website.

Transition to Footnote
-Build off of conversion core competency and host the data
-Create content repositories available through the internet
-Create a website that allows people to save, build, and share their discoveries.

Mission Statement:
Develop an online community for individuals who are passionate about collaboratively viewing, contributing, and preserving rich content.

That includes everyone from the casual family historian to the really hard-core genealogist, to those that are just interested in history. We see ourselves not just a genealogy site, we have information on there that is really dealing with all sorts of history. Of course, genealogist and family historians being historians we know that they will find a great amount of value in that.

In conjunction with our launch back in January this year we basically entered into a partnership with the National Archives. We have been talking with them for many, many months. We knew they had some amazing content and we wanted to be able to digitize that.

The National Archives and Records Administration
-Truly unique – no other organization is partnering with NARA in this way
-Working on digitizing the entire holdings in the National Archives
-Over 9 billion records

We are first going after the content that hasn’t been out on the internet before. The censuses are great records but they are already out there.

-World’s largest holder of genealogical information
-Footnote will be available for free in all 4,500 Family History Centers
-First project – 3 million Revolutionary War Pension Files

We are working with FamilySearch in helping to digitize their content as well. We have about 150,000 digitized Revolutionary War records on the website right now. We are moving really fast, there are 9 billion records just in the National Archives alone and we now have this part FamilySearch and we even have other partnerships that we are working with. There is so much to do.

We are actually putting on our site an average of about 2 million records per month. We have had all that experience from that digitization that we have been able to apply this concept to other projects, that way we can really pump out the information. We expect big things to hit the site on a regular basis.

Vision – Where We’re Going
-The Footnote difference.
We didn’t want to just be a records repository or a database of records that you could go and get. We thought to be different we could take the records of the images, digitize and index them, so they are searchable. We wanted to add community on top of that, to allow people to add their own comments and content and to be able to get in touch with other people that might have the same interests. I really think that is where genealogy is going to start to take off.

I recently worked at Ancestry.com and worked there for about 4 years. One of the things that surprised was we had about 800,000 paid subscribers to the site at the time. What percentage of the 800,000 subscribers to you think were LDS? It was about 3-5%. That shocked me. There is just a huge amount of people out there that are interested in genealogy that are doing this. Maybe not for the same reasons that the LDS church are but there are a lot of people doing this.

If I have done something on my Schroepfer line and I put something out on the internet and somebody finds a Schroepfer line they are interested in maybe they have some additional information that I can build out my tree. It’s helping each other that is really going to help spread this work. We have the community and tools to help people talk together to progress the work.

We have great content around the Revolutionary War, the founding fathers and the letters they wrote. We have a lot of content that goes beyond just genealogy work. We are currently working on a new search tool on the site. That should show up in the fall. We put all our indexed out on the internet for free. We don’t charge for people to access that metadata. We will provide a thumbnail of the record itself. So we can give people a better idea of what they are about to look at.

We are a subscription website and basically the only thing we require a paid membership for it is to look at the actual documents that we have digitized. Membership is $59.95 a year or $7.95 a month and that gives you access to everything. In a family history center is it all for free.

The Demonstration
We group our titles by time era for you so you can get into specific time periods or collections you are interested in. From “Early America: Before 1775” to “Post War: 1950 and After”, there are also “News and Town Records” and “Photos” collections too. You can click on a collection and then choose down a list of sub-categories to find your items. There is a search engine on the bottom of the page that will search on any of the collections or sub-categories you have highlighted.

The interesting thing about the information we have been able to go after is what a lot of genealogist may not be familiar with. Dick Eastman has written a variety of stories about our collections. It’s been interesting to read based on his perspective as a genealogist. For example we have a collection called the Bureau of Investigation files that preceded the FBI. About 1908-1922 they are basically case files that the government kept. They will report on people suspect of supporting Germans or pro-abition, things of that type. That doesn’t necessarily sound like a very strong genealogy type database, but people have been able to go in there and what they find is amazing. It gives very detailed information on the people, where they lived, their occupations, family relationship and what they were doing at that time frame. Along with contextual information there is a lot of vital information as well. We are excited that people can access these records on the internet instead of having to order a microfilm or visit a National Archive on their own.

For typed records we can use OCR to read and index them for hand written documents we will digitize them and then we send them to get indexed for primary names, etc. We also allow our members to annotate the documents.

More partnerships to come

Content Providers
-National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP)
-University of Utah
-The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
-Tundra Time

After digitizing records for many people we thought this is great content wouldn’t it be nice to put it on the internet.

The transcription to this presentation is not yet completed.

This presentation is available on DVDs #116 for UVPAFUG members to borrow or purchase.

WorldVitalRecords.com and FamilyLink.com: Social Networking in the Genealogy and Family History Space

12 May 2007

Introduction to Speakers by Brian Cooper
Main Presentation: Yvette Arts, Whitney Ransom, and Jason McGowan – WorldVitalRecords.com and FamilyLink.com: Social Networking in the Genealogy and Family History Space
Yvette Arts is currently the Vice President of WorldVitalRecords.com. She has tremendous credentials. She has worked in corporation communications and research. Interests include development of human potential and the creation and the retention of working knowledge. Her interest in genealogy began when her great-grandmother encouraged her to keep a book of remembrance.
Whitney Ransom is the director of communications at WorldVitalRecords.com. She is currently getting her master’s degree at BYU in Instructional Psychology and Technology. She loves her family and doing genealogy. She is thrilled about the advances in technology that enable individuals to build connections and find the resources they need.
Jason McGowan is from Alberta, Canada though his roots are in England. He is the product manager of FamilyLink.com. He has been with this project from it’s inception to its launch. He is their tech specialist. At the age of sixteen he managed a restaurant which consequently provided him with opportunity to be on a cooking show for six episodes were he was the assistant to the chef. He is also the former owner of ElderMissionary.com and SisterMissionary.com. He is excited to discuss the technical aspects as well as the benefits of FamilyLink.com.

Yvette Arts, Whitney Ransom, and Jason McGowan – WorldVitalRecords.com and FamilyLink.com: Social Networking in the Genealogy and Family History Space

Yvette Arts
It is great for us to be here to share some of the things we are doing with two different websites that were started by Paul Allen. He was one of the former founders of Ancestry.com and MyFamily.com. These are two new additions to the Genealogy and Family History space. WorldVitalRecords came on in October of last year and FamilyLink we are just still in beta testing of that website. That website is a social networking site.

Brian mentioned that my great-grandmother got me interested in genealogy and family history. What she did for each of her grandchildren (I call her my grandmother) was make a book of remembrance. This was not only the pedigree charts and the family group sheets, this was family histories and photos. This was before scrap booking was big; it was clear back in the 60’s & 70’s. We people just cut out their own things and did not buy dye cut things. It was little pieces of material or little buttons, something that really meant a lot to her, that were hooked to these pages. I came to realize through all of this, the generations of time, it’s the little mementos that meant something to her and her family that we live in and through each other. As was mentioned in the prayer, help us find our kindred dead, I love that word kindred, people that we love, we are out to find them. Hopefully we are in the mean time keeping our own histories and keeping track of all the records associated with ourselves and our immediate family.

When we talk about today the technical aspects of these two websites, keep in mind the idea of the social networking. Social networking is talking to each other; some teenagers do get in trouble with that, such as with website as Facebook or MySpace. Social networking when you gather together as a group, we have reunions, we get together and talk to each other and share some of the things that are important to you. With technology it is becoming easier to do that because most of us have access to the internet and computers. There is something called Web 2.0 it has features that allow this social networking to take place. Just like when Brian was talking about the new features of FamilySearch where you can do your work on the internet and print out your own information that you take to the temple. Those are some of the features that are allowed through this new technology, that allow us to hasten the work. We want to talk about some of those tools that hasten the work.

We are a very small company right now. We have a lot of phases that we still intend to go through on developing this technology; that will allow you to integrate with what the Church is doing with our technology and have a nice social networking space were you can interact with genealogists all over the world and find out what they are doing.

Like with my grandmother, her books were on paper. They were not done on the computer, they were handwritten. So there is only one copy of that book. Now with technology of course those pages can be scanned and images can be viewed. We all know of the Church’s program that is all over the world, photographing those records and the extraction program that helps bring those records to light.

-Presenters (Yvette, Whitney and Jason)
-Mode of Discussion (raise your hands with questions)
-Handouts (follow the printed presentation)
-Ways to provide feedback to WVR/FL (feedback@worldvitalrecords.com)
-Paul Allen (founder)

Say you only had the names Hyrum Bogart and Henrietta and you didn’t have any pictures of them. You do a search for them and you found a photograph associated with those two names. Then you find their vital records, maybe some land records, etc. A lot of that searching now is done on the internet, indexes that can point you to where you can go in the county or somewhere in the world where you can go to get that record. With some of the features we are going to show you today you can make that easier.

The internet of course is kind of a family thing. Everyone has their own things they are doing on the internet. We are trying to show you that with the internet and some of the tools that we have that it can help you find some of the things you are looking for. The WorldVitalRecords website we have over 300 free databases online right now. We add at least a database a day.

Whitney Ransom
This is a good group. When we designed this site this is the kind of audience that we pictured. You have a good spirit about you and we are happy that you have come today. Hopefully what we have to say will be of use to you. That you will be able to go home and get on WorldVitalRecords.com and find some information that you really need.

The background of WorldVitalRecords.com - why it exists, and what we are trying to do. I need to tell you a little bit about Paul Allen. I think of Paul like 1 Nephi 2:11 – a visionary man. Paul is one of the founders of Ancestry.com and MyFamily.com. He has a lot of great ideas. He was at Ancestry and MyFamily for a while and decided to try some other business adventures. Paul has an entrepreneurial spirit, so he did that for a while. In the past year he will tell you that he had a compelling need to get back into the genealogy industry. That is how we got started; he felt the need to do more in genealogy. He is very compelling, he told others his ideas and we started to follow because we felt this would help other people.

Paul’s Vision:
-Love of genealogy
-Fill some needs in genealogy that aren’t being met
-Alternative to other companies
-Really helps genealogists

Paul loves genealogy. He has been involved in a lot of different business ventures but genealogy is something close to his heart. He feels there are needs in genealogy that are not being met. We hope to be able to fill some of those needs. We are not claiming to fill all of those needs but are trying to help where we can.

Paul also feels there needs to be an alternative to some of the other companies. If you ask him he will tell you that competition in and industry is very healthy. It helps keep prices lower, it helps people get out and do new and innovative things.

Paul really wants to help genealogists. One thing that we are working on in the process is building a search probability engine. What that will do is you will get on the site and type in the name of the person you are searching for and it will give you a whole list of names. It will tell you names and places it won’t just be at WorldVitalRecords.com but also other websites. It will tell you the percentage or likely hood that that person you are looking for will be found in that database. That will really help genealogists. If we don’t have the information that you are looking for we are not afraid to say go find it here, or it’s with this company. I think that is kind of the idea that Paul wants, maybe we won’t have the records you are looking for but if we know where to find it we are going to tell you. The probability search engine is in the works and I wish I could kind of tell you the technicalities of it the algorithms is pretty complex and we are not going to go there today.

Paul is really big in understanding who our audience is and what our audience wants. We frequently send out polls. Trying to found out what are our needs of our genealogists. How experienced are they, what do they look like, what are they looking for, and what software do they currently use? A couple of weeks ago we sent out in a poll:

Which Country Should WorldVitalRecords.com Prioritize Next? (After U.S., Canada, England, and Germany)
-Ireland (19%)
-Poland (19%)
-Scotland (10%)
-Slovakia (10%)
-Belarus (5%)
-France (4%)
-Czech Republic (4%)
-Sweden (3%)
-Denmark (2%)
-Italy (2%)

We had a couple thousand people respond to this poll. We are focusing more heavily on the results that came in first – Ireland and Poland. These results were not just from the polls it was from other comments to our sites also.

What Distinguishes WorldVitalRecords.com?
-International Focus (Content, Communities)
-Web 2.0 Features (Cemeteries, GoogleBooks, Newspapers)

Paul really feels that a lot of people are right now priced out of being able to do their genealogy. It costs too much money. People are sometimes on limited funds and can’t afford to spend tons of money to do something that they love. That’s one thing that Paul really wants to have is low prices. Right now we have a two membership for $48.00, which is $24.00 a year. I think that is pretty low priced. You also get a download of Everton’s Handybook and Ancestral Quest 12, software that you can use. That is just one aspect the price – something that is affordable. One of the other reasons it is lower is because we don’t have every database that you want. We just started; we launched our subscription site in October 2006. We have only been out for seven months so you kind of have to give us a little break. We are going as fast as we can. We are downloading the information from indexing and scanning as quickly as we can. We have only been out for seven months and with this two year offer we are basically saying “Maybe we don’t have every record you want right now but we are adding content every single day. If we don’t have it right now maybe in a couple of months we will. Or maybe in a year or two we will. We might have as many databases as other companies but we are growing.

The other aspect is an International Focus. We want to go out and find records and databases that are unique, records that other companies might not have yet. Yvette will speak more about content. I wanted to speak on the International Genealogy Communities. This is something that we have put up in just the last couple of months. We have 48 different countries here. You will go to the country and type in the search engine the information you are looking for.

We have programmed it to find the most relevant websites dealing with that word. If you go on Google you are going to find thousands of results. This will give you results that are most relevant to your word. Some will be in English or another language depending on what community you are searching. If you want to look for specific sites this is a good place to look. It’s free you can just go on and take a look. It might give you some URLs or websites that you haven’t come upon. These ones are specifically dealing with genealogy and family history, that’s in the International Search Communities.

The next aspect is the web 2.0 features. Yvette talked a little about what web 2.0 is, I am going to show you some sites.
Cemeteries – search a name and place, they showed the Social Security Death Index. Once you click on a record it is going to show you a map of the area. It will show you little tombstones where cemeteries are located in that area. It will show the name of the cemetery and where it is located.
See Neighbors – near the nearby cemeteries in the search results. These are people that died in the same time period and place as the person you are looking at. This is just another resource. A pending item coming is a percentage to tell you the chance of this person being related to you searched individual.
Googlebooks – search an individual and in the results you will see Book Results. GoogleBooks is implementing this feature right now. They are scanning millions of books and they are putting them on the web. It depends on the publisher and the book. Some you can view every page for free. Some you can see a couple of pages, it gives you a teaser and then you have to buy the book. We have taken all the books they have scanned and we have put them on our site. If you really like the book you can download a PDF of the book for free. This is just something that has been recently implemented. There are a lot of rare and unique books that have never been scanned and they are doing that right now. You can go home and try this out and maybe you will find ancestors you are related to in books.
Newspapers – All the newspapers that come from SmallTownPapers Company on WorldVitalRecords are free. We have a partnership with them. There are several hundred newspapers from them on the site. You will find the newspapers available in the results of your search. When you click on a newspaper it will come up in the basic viewer. It’s very simple and you can go from page to page. There is an enhanced viewer that will give you a few more options. The name you searched for will be highlighted on the newspaper page. In the enhanced viewer you can highlight a section and then share it with others or even send it to yourself. You can also find all the newspapers by viewing all databases on the main page. You can pick a category and view all newspapers in Texas. If you are from a certain area and you don’t see newspapers from that area, you can contact the local newspaper and tell them about SmallTownPapers and ask if they will do it too. SmallTownPapers will work out an agreement with these newspapers to scan their archives. The newspaper will ship their archives to them to be scanned quickly, two pages at a time. The images are then read by OCR and it will do the best job it can reading the newspaper. It will remember the coordinates for those words. When we get the material we take the output XML, an OCR scanning of the words, put it into a database and then match it with the image. We get a hundred thousand pages a month from SmallTownPapers that we process. It’s millions of dollars that SmallTownPapers has invested and they have not seen a return on their investment yet. WorldVitalRecords pays them a royalty every time a page is viewed. You can also view all the years and dates a newspaper is available for by clicking on the link for the newspaper name while viewing a page for a newspaper.

We are still developing our Probability Search Engine so you will not be directed to other paid sites from our website. When we have the Probability Search Engine we will have the index of main of those sites and it will say you can find this at…and it will give you the probability of it being a correct match. The hope is that we will get enough partners to get indexes to their records and direct people to their records.

Yvette Arts
-WorldVitalRecords.com Databases
-Each new database free for 10 days
-Newsletter/Blog/Press Releases
-How to find records (Title, Category, Browse, Search features)
-Partnerships – Everton, SmallTownPapers, Quintin, Susan Easton Black, Shauna Anderson
-Content Acquisition
-GED COM and Photo Uploads
-FAQ, Accounts/Login/Logout, Sitemap, Chat

We have over 500 databases on the site. We just signed an agreement where we will acquire 10,000 more. Quickly you will see a surge on the content we have on here. It will take at least six weeks to find those databases, if not two months. Each new database that we offer under subscription is free for the first 10 days. You can search that database and see if it has what you want in it.

We have a partnership with Everton Publishing to put on their online database over to our site. We are currently scanning their library. They have about 80,000 holdings there in their library. It will take us quit a while and not all of them can we scan and put up, because some can be found on GoogleBooks. We look for particular records that are exclusive to Godfrey that we are putting up. We just put up quit a few of those this last week some compilations from John and Enid Ostertag of the Kansas Chief Newspaper from the 1800s.

We have the Everton Pedigree and Family Group Sheets about 150,000 records. We have over 60 years of the Everton Genealogical Helper so any query that was submitted to the Helper you can search and find that. We have a few census records these are not complete. We are working to get complete census records. We have a lot of parish registers records and some proprietary databases. We also Susan Easton-Black’s collection; all of her work, that was done on LDS and RLDS family history. Her latest work, which is only found on WorldVitalRecords, is the Nauvoo Land Records. We are working to geo-code those records as well. Shauna Anderson provided a database from Scottish records. She is a genealogist that works with Susan Easton-Black, she searched parish records to find out how people died. She is a microbiologist so there is a lot of rich data in the death records from the Scottish parishes.

Quintin Publication has a lot of books on CD-ROM. They have about 3,000 family histories and several other collections and vital records. We have partnered with them in putting their collection online, currently it is just on CDs. We are working with several other content partners and in the next several weeks, next month we will be announcing some partnerships. We are working with a library back east to scan their collection as well. We are small but we are growing continually to add those databases.

In FamilyLink we have about 11 million records of people that have been upload their GEDCOM. We just don’t have them searchable right now, they will be searchable. You can upload you GEDCOM files or photos if you want to make them searchable for everyone and have a place or repository for those records. Other options on the website are to send us Feedback, Upload Family Tree, or Manage Your Account. There is also a free newsletter that goes out that Whitney will talk about.

Whitney Ransom
We have a newsletter that goes out every week. The newsletter is free just click on the link Free Newsletter to sign up. It has all of the new databases that we have launched throughout the week. It has a genealogical tip on there. A new feature we have just started is Genealogy in 15 minutes or less. We know you are busy and if you just have something that you can move towards for 15 minutes. It has different conferences that are coming up. It’s a useful resource if you want to know what is happening at WorldVitalRecords and some of the others things happening in genealogy, and it’s free.

FamilyLink.com is a new social genealogy network. We are thrilled about this new site and think it will help genealogists a lot. Paul is really, really excited about this site. He said he is just as excited about this site as he was when he was building MyFamily.com and Ancestry.com. What the purpose of this is to connect with other genealogists throughout the world.

We have currently 1600 cities where you can connect with genealogists. For example we are here in Provo and I need to get a record over in France. I can go onto the site and I can see who the genealogists in France are. I can see if they are willing to do a local record lookup and I can contact them directly. We can talk and see if they can go to that cemetery and get this, or go to that records office and check out this name. So basically for the first time you are going to be able to connect with people from all over the world who are doing genealogy and you can work on your genealogy together. Jason who is the builder of FamilyLink will give us some more detail on that.

Jason McGowan
I am excited to be here today. I am new to the genealogy field. I have expertise in connecting people. I have worked on several other big websites before I help connect people together. I came into WorldVitalRecords, I had known Paul from other ventures, and he said I want you to work on genealogy. You know that face you see on new individuals that come into the Family History Centers and he’s excited then he comes in and you try to show him genealogy, you know the face I am talking about, he is so confused and they have no idea what is going on. Well that was me when I came in and saw it. I was really excited to see this group of people and see everyone working together, it’s such an interested and exciting industry for me to be and I get to help all the genealogists connect with one another.

FamilyLink is absolutely free. You can choose to look for genealogists in your local area or the area you are researching in. You are also able to see who is online right now and using the site. Right now you can only see the first name of an individual; that is for security. After you become friends you will be able to see their first and last names and be able to communicate.

The first thing that you do after signing up is create a genealogy profile. This is who I am; this is kind of how long I have done genealogy for, etc. You can see what software program they are using and what databases they have access to. You can indict if you are willing to do lookups for others. There is a link – Find Genealogists, it gives you the ability to search for other genealogists on the site. You can search for other people with access to databases you are interested in by clicking on the link in someone’s profile with access to a database – it will show you all others with access. Clicking on any link under an individuals profile will help match up all others with that same profile or access in their descriptions. It is a way to connect with people and view what they are doing.

The next step is to add all the research cities you have researched in the past or have an interest in them. You can join a city and it will be added to your profile and people can see the cities you are researching or interested in. You can also view all those researching in a given area. Some of our sites are limited so you can’t do a Google search to find members. Our email addresses also show up as images.

On the city pages you can also upload historical photos. With the social networking aspect the more people that come onto the site the more useful it is. Your uploading images and you can add links to other websites that have good resources for the particular county or place. You can also upload ancestors and you will be able to upload a GEDCOM file. No one can view your family tree unless you are friends with that person.

The main purpose of this site is to help people to connect with each other. And to help people connect with genealogists around the world. We will allow you with a lot of experience to help someone else.

This presentation is available on DVDs #114 for UVPAFUG members to borrow or purchase.