Sunday, September 22, 2013

San Diego Genealogical Society Seminar--Genealogy Roadshow Premiering--Another New FTM 2014 Feature

San Diego Genealogical Society Seminar

Dr. Diane Lott, SDGS President, and Geoff Rasmussen

Yesterday at the Marina Village in San Diego about 150 society members and guests enjoyed presentations by Geoff Rasmussen and Karen Clifford.  Geoff led off the seminar in the morning with presentations on Digital Imaging Essentials and Timelines and Chronologies.  Digital Imaging Essentials is also the name of a book Geoff published earlier this year.  His presentations were very well received and the forty books he brought sold out quickly and orders were taken for about 25 more.  Geoff's demonstration of the Eye-Fi wireless card which enabled him to take a picture of the audience and have it show up on the screen through his computer within a couple minutes was most impressive.  In his second presentation, Geoff, who hosts the very popular Legacy family Tree webinar series; spoke about the importance of using timelines and chronologies to assist in better identifying key events, dates or locations in an individuals life.  Without the aid of a chronology or timeline, it is easy to overlook some of these details that can be critical to filling important "gaps".  Legacy software, which Geoff develops, provides a timeline feature.  Some attendees commented in their evaluations that they didn't use the Legacy program and the presentation was oriented toward Legacy; however, most genealogy software programs have a timeline feature, thus the rationale for using the feature is universal.  As usual, Geoff's humor and engaging delivery were a big hit with attendees.  

Following lunch Karen Clifford provided two presentations, the first being Slow Down and Pick Up Speed during which she described the eight step Genealogy Research Cycle and also provided a case study employing the cycle.  The cycle is a logical progression to following in conducting genealogical research which starts with Setting a Goal and concludes with Organizing and Reorganizing the information accumulated in pursuit of the goal.

Karen Clifford

Karen's second presentation summarized her most recent book Digging Deeper: Using Essential Pre-1850 Records.  Since most civil record keeping in the United States didn't start until after 1850, researching individuals in that time frame is much more difficult.  Karen outlined the steps one needs to take to improve your chances of finding the vital records and information that you need.  Karen's teaching background was evident and appreciated by the attendees in both her delivery style and detailed handouts for the presentations.  Several people commented on their evaluations how much they appreciated the detailed notes and the fact she followed them in her presentation.  At the conclusion of her presentation, Karen gave away a copy of her book to one of the lucky attendees.  

I have to come back to a couple comments that were made about both Geoff and Karen's presentations relating that "there was too much info about Legacy which doesn't apply to me because I use another program."  I must admit I have sometimes had those type thoughts; but I was so impressed with some of the Legacy features that were explained by the speakers, that I think I will add Legacy to the other programs I use, Family Tree Maker (FTM) and MyHeritage.  I will probably retain FTM as my prime genealogy software; but use selective features of the other two to assist me in my searches.  I think some of us, probably seniors more than others, tend to get a little "set in our ways".  I certainly qualify as a "senior", having passed the three-quarter century mark; but I think we need to keep an open mind to change and new developments, no matter what our age.  

My blogging has suffered this past week as I attended to all of the "last minute" details of the seminar.  Somehow, I just couldn't increase the number of hours of the day to accommodate everything.  I hope to get back to a somewhat "normal" routine this coming week!

 Today Geoff, Karen, Randy Seaver (who was in attendance), five other nationally recognized genealogy speakers, and about 300 genealogists will be embarking out of San Diego on the 10th Annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise.  They will be going through the Panama Canal on Royal Caribbean cruise lines.  We wish them all a hearty "Bon Voyage".
Genealogy Roadshow Premiers Monday Night

Family Tree Magazine and several other sources recently announced that the premier of the new series Genealogy Roadshow premiers this Monday evening on PBS at 9 p.m. Pacific Time.
New Series GENEALOGY ROADSHOW Premieres Monday at 9/8c on PBS
Part detective story, part emotional journey, GENEALOGY ROADSHOW will combine history and science to uncover the fascinating stories of diverse Americans. Each individual's past will link to a larger community history, revealing the rich cultural tapestry of America.
GENEALOGY ROADSHOW will feature participants from four American cities - Nashville, Austin, Detroit and San Francisco - who want to explore unverified genealogical claims, passed down through family history, that may (or may not) connect them to an important event or a historical figure. Join some of the nation's top genealogists as they unearth family and community secrets, reveal infamous relatives and discover unexpected stories that connect the past to the present.
GENEALOGY ROADSHOW airs Mondays, September 23-October 14, at 9/8c only on PBS.
Watch a preview at

PBS had the following to say about the show: "GENEALOGY ROADSHOW’s premiere season will feature participants from four American cities — Nashville, Austin, Detroit and San Francisco — who want to explore unverified genealogical claims, passed down through family history, that may (or may not) connect them to an event or a historical figure. These cities were chosen as American crossroads of culture, diversity, industry and history, with deep pools of potential participants and stories. After participants are chosen, experts in genealogy, history and DNA will use family heirlooms, letters, pictures, historical documents and other clues to hunt down more information. These experts will enlist the help of local historians to add color and context to the investigations, ensuring every artifact and every name becomes a clue in solving the mystery."

I had problems trying to play the preview video clip; but I did notice that Joshua Taylor is one of the "experts" participating in the show.  I am looking forward to it.  Even though it is advertised as 9/8 Central, it is also at 9 p.m. here on the West Coast.
Another "New" FTM 2014 Feature

While using FTM 2014 today I noticed a new feature.  Even though I was part of the "beta" testing, I never noticed this then.  When in the "person" view and having selected one of the facts about the person, the sources are listed in the right hand box on the screen.  This is the same for both 2012 and 2014.  However, the 2014 update has the additional feature of providing a small image of the source document if it is attached to the fact.  The below screen shot shows, highlighted in yellow, this feature.
FTM 2014 Person View
Note above that the four census documents listed as sources for the "female" fact for Mary O'Malley are not only listed; but there is a small image of the document.  I thought this might be unique to only Census records; but found images of other documents as well.  Thus, in a glance you know if you have also attached the record to the source listing.