RootsTech 2015

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Always new records on Pilot.FamilySearch.org

During the past few years The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been involved in a huge project to digitize all of the more than two million microfilm rolls in the Church's vast archives. In addition to the project to digitize the records, thousands of volunteers around the world are helping to prepare indexes of the digitized records. Presently, the digitized records and indexes are being made available through a Web site at:

http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#p=0

The quality of the images exceeds that of any previous scanned images, especially those of the U.S. Census records. The search engine is adequate and gives good results. You may wish to check this site from time to time as new images come on line about every two weeks.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

LDS Resources on Wiki FamilySearch

Many family history researchers are familiar with the LDS Church's publications. Some of the most useful are the locality research papers, commonly known as research outlines. There are dozens of these publications available. (See http://www.ldscatalog.com ) What is not generally known is that all of the information in these outlines, including all of the "How to..." and Research Forms are also available in two other locations.

FamilySearch.org has a new tab on the portal page for Research Helps. This tab takes you to a catalog list of all of the publications, most of which are in PDF format. See http://www.familysearch.org/eng/default.asp

All of these research publications have also been incorporated into the FamilySearch Wiki. See
http://wiki.familysearch.org/

The Wiki format gives the researcher a distinct advantage, all of the information is fully searchable. Each topic has an extended table of contents, for example here is the listing for the United States Vital Records:

Contents

This research information can get you started on where to look for information or if you already have the experience, give a pleasant reminder of where to look.

Monday, November 24, 2008

WorldVitalRecords makes improvements to Ellis Island Database

A major improvement was made by WorldVitalRecords.com. to the Ellis Island database titled Ellis Island Passenger Arrival Records (1892–1924). To quote the press release: "In the past, individuals who clicked on a result from this database (containing content from The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation) were sent to The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation’s website sign-up screen. Now, when they click on the link to access that database they are sent immediately to the record. This database is free to access."

" The Ellis Island database contains an index to more than 22 million records of individuals who entered the Port of New York through Ellis Island between 1892–1924. The Ellis Island database was created by more than 12,000 volunteers from FamilySearch.org who spent more than 5 million hours over seven years working on this database. The database allows approximately 40 percent of Americans to trace back their roots to an ancestor who entered this country through Ellis Island during this time period."

For more information on the Ellis Island records you can also go to The Statute of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. Website at http://www.ellisisland.org

Thousands of digitized books

The Family History Archives now has thousands of digitized family history books on line. The collection can be accessed through the Harold B. Lee Library Website at BYU.edu

The address is: http://www.lib.byu.edu/fhc/

You can also access the collection now from FamilySearch.org under the Research menu by going to historic books.

The participating libraries are as follows:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Have you heard of Web 2.0? What about Web 4.0?

The World Wide Web is evolving rapidly into a social networking commons. The changes in the usage of the Web are stylized as upgrades although there is no real software change called "Web 2.0" The terms are really just shorthand ways to refer to the vast changes that are happening daily. I found a really good discussion of the terms and how they are applied at the LDSTech Website.

You may be interested in learning about the new direction the Web is taking.

Read more at http://tech.lds.org/

Footnote.com adds free Footnote Pages

Footnote.com has a new free service. In a news release dated 10 Sept 2008, Footnote.com said:

"Losing a loved one can result in a range of emotions, from the grief and sorrow to comfort, which often comes from reminiscing stories and memories with family and friends. The challenge arises when there is no single place where all of these stories can easily come together to be shared, enriched and preserved.

Now at Footnote.com, anyone can find or create Footnote Pages where users connect and share stories, photos, and information about the people important to them. To kick-off the new Footnote Pages, Footnote.com today released over 80 million of these pages created from data from the Social Security Death Index. Most visitors will find existing pages about several deceased friends and family members already on the site."

Essentially, anyone can add to a page of the Social Security Death Index. "Described as Facebook for the Deceased, these pages feature a photo gallery, an interactive timeline and map, and other tools that bring people together to create a more colorful and rich picture of the past."

To learn more see: http://www.footnote.com/

WorldVitalRecords posts new collection of newspapers

WorldVitalRecords, a subscritption Website, announces a new collection of local newspapers. The aunched this week include content from 1838-2003. The papers include the following:
  • Afro American Ledger (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)
  • Sunday Grit (Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Mackenzie’s Gazette (New York, New York, USA)
  • Philadelphia Afro American (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
  • The Sporting News(St. Louis, Missouri, USA)

Canada

  • Qu’Appelle Vidette (Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, Canada)
  • Qu’Appelle Progress (Qu’Appelle Station, Saskatchewan, Canada)
  • Renfrew Advance (Renfrew, Ontario, Canada)
  • Renfrew Journal (Renfrew, Ontario, Canada)
  • Renfrew Mercury(Renfrew, Ontario, Canada)
To read about the collection, see: http://blog.worldvitalrecords.com/?p=508

Friday, November 21, 2008

FamilySearch indexing - 100 million names indexed this year

FamilySearch announced today that the FamilySearch Indexing project has indexed 100 million names this year alone. Congratulations to all of the indexing volunteers!

Results of the indexing projects are published at http://pilot.familysearch.org and includes records from the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, and Russia.

Anyone can participate in the world's grandest volunteer indexing project. You can even choose which records you want to help index. Current projects, upcoming projects, and completed projects are listed.

For more information, or to volunteer, visit www.FamilySearchIndexing.com.

Self help resources on FamilySearch.org

Family History Lesson Series
The LDS Church announced that a new series of family history lessons is now available through FamilySearch.org. These short lessons are available for download in .pdf format. They may be used as self-study or as supplemental lessons for family history consultants who teach family history classes. The following lessons are available:

  • Lesson 1: Perform Descendancy Research
  • Lesson 2: Conduct Family History Interviews
  • Lesson 3: Involve Children and Youth in Family History
  • Lesson 4: Write a Personal History
  • Lesson 5: Create a Family History
  • Lesson 6: Involve Your Extended Family in Family History
  • Lesson 7: Use the Internet for Family History Research

To access these lessons, go to www.familysearch.org

Check out the FamilySearch Wiki

A wiki is a type of computer software that allows users to easily create, edit and link web
pages. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites, power community websites,
and are increasingly being installed by businesses to provide affordable and effective
Intranets or for use in Knowledge Management. Ward Cunningham, developer of the first
wiki, WikiWikiWeb, originally described it as "the simplest online database that could
possibly work." One of the best-known wikis is Wikipedia. (Encyclopedia Britannica,
2007) See http://www.wikipedia.org/

At http://wiki.FamilySearch.org The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has started a wiki for supporting genealogical research. It is a valuable tool for both beginners and the more advanced researchers.