It is just after Thanksgiving and many of us are sitting at home in the after turkey stupor. If you are like me you are taking shelter indoors from the cold and enjoying time with the family. I love the holidays and the traditions handed down through the years from family. It is a great time of year to do family history.
One of the most daunting tasks in family history can be just getting started. “Where do I begin? “ Is one of the most common questions I am asked. Like many things in family history the answer is simple, and not so simple.
It is becoming a mobile world. Everywhere you go people are on phones, texting, and posting pictures of their life to Facebook and other social media sites. This is happening from wherever the person is at that moment. Last year when my son had his wisdom teeth out he asked the oral surgeon if he could record it so he could post it online.
Have you ever gotten stuck while doing family history and wished that you had a personal trainer to help you and teach you how to do research the way the professionals do? If so, you are in good company. Everyone comes upon a problem they don’t know how to solve at some point.
This last week I had the opportunity to speak about family history centers. Family history centers are a part of my responsibilities at FamilySearch.
Over the past several years FamilySearch has been articulating a strategy to bring all possible records online. This began in earnest last year and is accelerating. Many millions of names and images will be posted this year and the pace is accelerating.
Ancestry.com is the leading commercial genealogy company worldwide. With more than 6 billion records including the full set of census records for both the United States and the United Kingdom as well as one of the best sets of immigration records worldwide they set the standard by which all other companies are measured.
The United States began as a relationship between the colonies that later became states. In the beginning, this relationship was one of a loose confederation primarily to fight the war of Independence. Once the Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation, the entity we now know as the United States came into existence. Even with this change the states retained much of their authority and responsibility.
This last week I visited the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum in Morgan. If you have not been there, it is worth a visit. It is next to the log cabin across the street from Larry’s Spring Chicken Inn and Stephs.
Over the past several years FamilySearch has been adding to the resources available to answer questions online. I find that many individuals who use the FamilySearch sites are unaware of the help resources available.
As more people have begun using Macs (Apple’s personal computer) over the past few years I have often been asked if I could recommend a record manager for the Mac. I have consistently replied that there are no good record managers for the Mac and that I run one of the Windows record managers in Parallels on my Mac. Today I will change my reply.
I had not previously used Legacy Family Tree and my impressions from the beginning were very positive. The screens are clean, uncluttered, easy to understand, and easy to navigate. There is a free product and a premium version for $29.95. As with most of these products, the premium version is worth the small additional investment.
Last week I attended the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ annual conference in Knoxville Tennessee. The Federation of Genealogical Societies is an organization made up of genealogical societies (wow, redundant).
Family Tree Maker is a record manager from Ancestry.com. Ancestry has been steadily enhancing this product for many years. It has always been a strong product, but has grown to be one of the best record managers in the marketplace. The cost of the software is $39.95, making it a little more expensive than most. Ancestry is about to ship a new version of the software.
If you are a long time PAF user (Personal Ancestral File, the free record manager available from FamilySearch) and want to continue using PAF, but also take advantage of the features of new FamilySearch, consider FamilyInsight.
Over the next few weeks I will provide a review of Record Managers. I will begin with RootsMagic. RootsMagic has two products. They have a free product called RootsMagic Essential and a more full featured product that sells for $29.95. In my experience the $29.95 is well worth the cost.
The past few years have seen many entrants providing software for family history. The new FamilySearch pedigree software has added significantly to this mix for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
FamilySearch, a nonprofit sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has family history centers dotting the globe. There are more than 4,500 family history centers in more than eighty countries around the world.
Last week I focused on resources that are not available online. Unfortunately, this still represents the majority of family history records. This week I will focus on the main sites where you can find online records.
Julie Miller, a genealogist with whom I have worked over the past few years writes a column for The Broomfield Enterprise. She recently wrote and article which started me thinking. Her article focused on the fact that while the Internet is a great resource, not everything can be found online.
Over the years I have been doing family history I have occasionally heard someone claim they have their line traced back to Adam. I have from a researcher hired by my grandma, a record which shows my Mecham line traced back to Adam. Unfortunately, these claims are fantasy.
In March, FindMyPast.com announced that many of the Chelsea Pensioner records have been digitized and indexed. This is a big deal because they are the records on anyone who received a pension from the British Army from 1760 to 1913. At the end of last week they announced that they had added 100,000 records to the collection.