Sunday, February 23, 2020
Friday, February 21, 2020
You may or may not have noticed a new feature on the FamilySearch.org Family Tree: Unfinished Attachments. These new links tell users when there is more information in the source than has been attached to people in the Family Tree. If I click on one of the links, I will see one or more entries showing people who are listed in the document on the left side showing the record but not yet attached to anyone list of people in the Family Tree on the right side of the screen. Here is an example.
In this case, the first person listed in white indicating he is not attached, Henry M Tanner, is mentioned twice and is already attached above so this name can be ignored. The second name does not belong to the family but could be a relative and you might now have a research opportunity. In this particular case, the second name, J Golden Kimball, is not a relative and likewise could be ignored, but if you want to make sure all of the people are included you could find this person in the Family Tree and attach this record.
What this example does show is that there is sometimes a lot more information in the records than we initially extract and periodically reviewing the records could give you a whole new line of research.
For more complete instructions, see the FamilySearch Blog post, "New FamilySearch Feature “Unfinished Attachments” Brings New Discoveries to Your Tree."
I am finding a lot of skipped and omitted information because of this new feature.
The Family History Guide is producing a whole series of Exploration videos. You can see all of them on our YouTube Channel. Here is another example of the series.
Be sure and stop by and see us all at RootsTech 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 26 -29, 2020.
Thursday, February 20, 2020
From a genealogical viewpoint, the actual number of people in the part of North America who would have been counted in a European immigrant oriented census if one had been held before 1790 was fairly limited. The estimated European immigrant population of North American (excluding Spanish speaking people) started out in 1610 at about 350 and increased to about 3.9 million in 1790. Between 1790 and 1850 when the U.S. Federal Census first listed the entire family membership, the population is estimated to have increased to 23.1 million. We always need to remember that population estimates are cumulative and a baby born in 1610 could have still been living in 1690. Likewise, the current population estimate of the United States of about 327.2 million people includes people who could have been born in about 1920.
Now getting into the numbers, here is a chart from the U.S. Census Bureau with the number of people counted in each of the U.S. Federal Censuses. You can click on the image to see more detail or on the link to see the original.
Hacker, J. David. "New Estimates of Census Coverage in the United States, 1850—1930." Social Science History 37, no. 1 (2013): 71-101. Accessed February 20, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/23361113.
Access to the article is limited to subscribers or subject to a paywall, but the abstract indicates that there has always been an undercount and that the 1870 U.S. Federal Census has the highest rate of omissions. Because of the relationship between the U.S. Census numbers governmental representation, the issue of an undercount is highly politicized. Estimates of undercounts from 1880 to 1980 range from a low of 1.4% in the 1980 U.S. Federal Census to a high of 7.4 % in the 1890 census which was lost due to a fire and government bungling. The older estimates of the undercount in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses range from 9% to as high as 23%. See the following article.
King, Miriam L., and Diana L. Magnuson. "Perspectives on Historical U.S. Census Undercounts." Social Science History 19, no. 4 (1995): 455-66. Accessed February 20, 2020. doi:10.2307/1171475.
The fact that there is an undercount should alert genealogists to the possibility that an over-reliance on census records to exclusion of other records would be extremely unwise. If you apply the figures for the undercount to the estimates for the population, you can begin to see that a missing name would not be an unusual situation to encounter.
One solution is to search for people in multiple census records particularly if there are state or local censuses. Even if a person was overlooked in one census, it is always possible that the person was counted in a succeeding census enumeration. These issues with the U.S. Census do not affect the utility of the census records, but they do imply that the undercount renders the census records unreliable, the numbers merely show the need to do thorough and as nearly possible using all the available records.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
RootsTech 2020 has a busy schedule of regular classes for the Conference but you should also be aware that there are lots more classes presented in the Expo Hall by the various companies and entities. You may find that these classes are more pertinent to each particular entity than those in the classrooms. Obviously, some of the booths are from companies that are selling their products but the people presenting the classes are not necessarily connected to the companies. There are also games, giveaways, and prizes.
As always, I will have a busy time at RootsTech 2020. I have a number of classes to teach. I will teach two classes at the MyHeritage booth; one on Thursday at 5:30 and one on Saturday at 12:30. Here is a link to the whole MyHeritage schedule. There will be classes almost all day each day of the Conference. MyHeritage has a full schedule of other activities planned. Here is a short summary from an email I received.
From the moment the Expo Hall opens, MyHeritage will have a jam-packed schedule of lectures, demos, and activities. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from talented genealogists and DNA experts, meet some of the people behind our innovative technologies, and have fun when you join our social activities. Did I forget to mention you can win some prizes? ;-)I will also be teaching at the Brigham Young University Family History booth. This is a photo from last year
Beyond all that, many booth surprises await. Travel back in time and experience the Mayflower in a way that will forever change the way you view this historical event. Colorize your black and white photos and see your family history come to life with our new MyHeritage In Color™ feature. Participate in lots of fun games and activities that will help you enjoy family history in a new (and highly entertaining) way.
For BYU, my classes are at 1:00 on Thursday, 1:00 on Friday, and 4:00 on Friday. there is a full schedule of classes from other presenters every day during the conference.
I will also be available at the Media Hub with the other Ambassadors although I do not have a fixed schedule.
Finally, last but not the least, My wife, Ann, and I will be spending a lot of time teaching, helping, and answering questions at The Family History Guide booth.
Here is a photo of Bob Taylor teaching a class. Even if you don't want to listen to a class, you can always come by the booth and sit and talk for a while.
Look for me and be sure to stop me and talk.
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
According to the FamilySearch Company Facts, as of January 2020, there are about 7.77 billion searchable names in the indexed Historical Record Collections with about 1.41 billion searchable digital images but there are another 1.73 billion digital images published only in the FamilySearch Catalog.
Now I need to explain a little about the Indexing Project. FamilySearch primarily used and current uses individuals volunteers to index the digitized records. You can read more in this article: "Indexing Makes a Difference." But as the FamilySearch Blog article entitled, "FamilySearch’s 2 Billion Digitized Records," states:
It’s important to note the difference between digital record images and indexed records. A large portion of the digital images on FamilySearch are unindexed. They can be viewed using an image viewer, but can’t be searched by name and other search variables like a fully indexed collection would be.
Anyone can help in the process of indexing record images like these after they are digitized. Learn more about how indexing works, and give it it a try.Now, finding the records on the FamilySearch.org website takes time and quite a bit of searching experience. I made this video a while ago to talk about this subject.
Where are the Digitized Records on FamilySearch.org
With all that, there was a need for a tool to find the unindexed records. The principal and really the only accurate way to find pertinent genealogical records is through identifying the exact place an event occurred in an ancestor's or relative's life. A general or vague place is almost entirely useless for research. Very few names are so unique that a name search will find only one particular individual.
Just recently, FamilySearch introduced the Historical Images Tool to help find those unindexed records. Hopefully, you already understand the need for this tool and will simply be thankful to have an easier way to search the Catalog but if you are just now learning where all the rest of the digital images are, I hope you understand what you have been missing.
Monday, February 17, 2020
Quoting from the MyHeritage.com blog post entitled, "MyHeritage in Color™ Goes Viral: Over a Million Photos Already Colorized!"
5 days ago we released an amazing feature, MyHeritage In Color™, which automatically colorizes black and white photos with breathtaking results.
We are indebted to Jason Antic and Dana Kelley of DeOldify for developing the wonderful colorization technology upon which this feature is based.
The response has been incredible. The feature is a sensation: in the first 5 days, more than a million photos have been colorized — and the numbers keep growing! Users from all over the world have been stunned, and sometimes tearful, at how adding color can revive memories of their loved ones and change the way they relate to the photos. Many have shared with us that the colorized pictures have sparked interest in family history among the younger generation, and that seeing their ancestors in color makes them feel more real and tangible. Hardcore genealogists have been “complaining” that they will never get any other work done and spending long nights colorizing all their photos and marveling at the new details that suddenly emerge. Even people who have had a hard time connecting to genealogy before, have been scouring their homes for black and white photos to scan and colorize and are enthusiastically sharing the results with family and friends. It’s addictive! What a joy for genealogy!
If you haven’t joined the fun yet, try it for yourself at www.myheritage.com/incolor. Anyone can colorize up to 10 photos for free, and an unlimited number of photos with a subscription.The number is not surprising when you realize that MyHeritage has over 109 million users. Only less than 1% of the users would have to do 1 image each. As you can see from the quote, you can colorize up to ten photos for free, but I can assure you that a subscription is worth the money.
Here is one of my old family photos showing my great uncles, Evan and Ivan Overson.
Here is the colorized version from MyHeritage.
The black and white photo is underexposed but you can see all the detail in the colorized photo. There is a link to colorize photos on the MyHertage.com website. You can also sign up for a free subscription with some significant limitations from the paid subscription.