Monday, October 28, 2013

Some Helpful Family Tree Maker Tips

Some Family Tree Maker Tips

I discussed an idiosyncrasy of the Family Tree Maker (FTM) program that users need to be aware of in my blog of September 29.  I was filing several census reports this weekend and it reminded me of a very similar trait of Family Tree Maker that can mislead users if they aren't diligent.

In the view below the screen shot displays the results of searching for possible records in for Lena Reed.  It is the 1930 Census record.  On the right hand column is the "Information found in record", which is Lena's name, DOB, and residence in 1930.  That is the information found on Lena in that census; but how about other members of her family?  Since she was born in 1918 and this is the 1930 census, she is only about 12 years old and probably living with her parents and siblings.  Note in the left column at the bottom it says "View Image".  

Family Tree Maker Possible Record Match
When the user clicks on "View Image" the following image of the census record appears.  
Census Image for Lena Reed
The census record contains information not only on Lena; but on her mother and father and seven other siblings.  Most of would like to be sure and include that information in our genealogy software program data base.  Unfortunately, unless you search for each of those people individually, there is no way to merge the information into your program; you need to enter in manually. 

I am sure most Family Tree Maker users know of this idiosyncrasy; but I am sure there are several who don't and end up missing valuable information.  Interestingly, this doesn't happen in all cases.  Often when you search for one member of a family and discover a census record, all of the family members and their associated data are listed under "Information Found in the Record".

I recall talking with the FTM people some years back and asking about this issue.  As I recall, it is a transcribing problem.  Either the transcribers were told just to do the person of interest or they chose only to transcribe that one person.  I am guessing that all individuals on each census were transcribed; but perhaps not linked together.  Thus, they wouldn't all show up when only one of them was the subject of the search.  

Below is an image of the same census and family as in the previous screen shot.  However, note that the names of all the individual on the left are displayed in textual form vice handwritten.  This is a very nice feature of FTM that was introduced in the last version of the software.  It is especially helpful when the handwriting is hard to read.  This upgrade also displays the column headings in text across the top of the sheet so that one doesn't have to scroll to the top of the sheet to determine the column heading.  It also highlights the individual of interest in yellow and associated family members in green, thus making it much easier to find the person(s) of interest.

Enhanced Image View
The image below shows how to turn these Image Controls on and off to achieve the more enhanced view.  The pull down menu for "Tools" provides several selectable Image Control options including those we discussed as shown in yellow.  I should point out that the names of all the individuals on the left of the census don't automatically appear.  The user needs to click on the census image and pull it to the left.  The column of textual names will then appear.  

Image Controls

I should point out that "View Image" not only applies to census records; but to any record that might be listed as a matching record for the subject individual of your search.  Users should always view the image for additional information about the individual or it may be a record you want to save to your files.   

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sports Saturday

Kids and Grandkids Sports Photos

I thought it would be fun today to go through my digital photo files and pull out pictures of family members engaged in various sports.  I do this at the risk of getting in trouble as there are sports that some of the family participated in for which I don't have photos (or perhaps don't recall).  

We have three girls and they all played softball.   Cheryl and Debi also competed in swimming and Linda played on a soccer team.  They all skied as children; but Linda is the only one still active in skiing.  Unfortunately, that was prior to the digital era.  I might be able to go back through the envelopes of hard copy photos and find some; but time doesn't allow that today.  

They all learned to bowl when I was assigned to Newport, R.I. at the Naval War College and they experienced their first cold weather winter.  They continued with their bowling and, at the expense of embarrassing their husbands, I have to relate a story. Either while they were dating or shortly after getting married each of the couples ended up going bowling.  However, little did the men know how good the girls were.  I think I am correct in saying the girls beat the men in all three instances.  Cheryl played golf for a while; but only plays occasionally.  Linda took it up a couple years back and she and Doug are still active golfers.  

Following are some photos of the family involved in various sports.

Sara is the youngest of the grandchildren.  Below are photos of her doing indoor climbing and trapeze.  Both she and her cousin, Cassie, took trapeze lessons one day and by the end of the session were able to perform a transfer on the swinging bar from their bar to a catcher.  They really enjoyed it. 

Sara--Indoor Climbing

Sara also is a cheerleader for her high school sports teams and took up pole vaulting as a freshman last year.  She is looking to continue her vaulting this year. 

Cassie and her twin brother, Kurt, are about four months older than Sara.  All are Sophomores in High School.  Cassie was a swimmer for several years; but has given that up in favor of track and soccer.  I know that she is still playing soccer; but not sure if she has decided to continue with track this year.  Both Kurt and Cassie are excellent skiers.  


Cassie (middle in blue) Soccer
Kurt is an excellent swimmer and skier, having qualified for Colorado state swim finals his freshman year.  He played soccer and basketball in his younger years; but has given them up in favor of swimming.  Kurt is also an aspiring golfer.

Kurt in Middle with Blue Cap

Kurt (15)

During their vacation to Hawaii a couple years back, Kurt took a surf lesson and did extremely well.  His excellent abilities as a skier probably contributed to his success.

Surfing in Hawaii

Ryan is Sara's older brother.  He is a senior in High School this year.  Ryan played softball, basketball and soccer; but gave them up when he got to High School in favor of water polo and swimming.  He will be returning to soccer this year, as the high school coach convinced him to play goalie for the team.  Ryan also enjoys skiing (surfboard) and playing golf.

Ryan in Green Shirt (Goalie)

Ryan No. 4

Ryan Swimming (center forward)

Ryan at Naval Academy Water Polo Camp
(on deck holding the ball)

Tori is the older sister of Cassie and Kurt and is a sophomore in college this year.  She was a swimmer throughout her high school years and for a few years prior.  Her high school team won the Colorado State Championship her senior year.  Like her brother and sister, she is also an excellent skier.  She may have played soccer in her grade school years; but I can't recall for sure.  


Tori, Kurt & Cassie at
Vail last Christmas

Our oldest three grandchildren are sisters, Jamie, Lindsay and Kyleigh.  Lindsay was into sports the most, participating in basketball, softball and soccer.  Kyleigh was a "flyer" on the high school cheer team and participated in a number of state competitions.  Jamie might have played soccer; but I am not sure. However, she is now an avid sports fan, even participating in a fantasy football league. All three girls ski (snowboard). 

Kyleigh (far right in back)


Jamie and Kyleigh (Lake Tahoe)

Cheryl, Ron, Lindsay, Jamie and Kyleigh Short
at Lake Tahoe

Shorts, boyfriends, Jamie's husband, Justin, and their daughter (Avery), Grandma and Charlie (the dog) preparing to start the Folsom, California Turkey Trot
 Joanne, I and our daughter, Debi, skiing.

Debi Cantrell, Joanne & Del at Vail 1995

I knew the kids and grandkids were active in sports. However, I don't think I realized the great extent in which they were involved until I put this blog together.  
Finally, I have to close with a photo of the newest potential athlete of our extended family; our great-granddaughter, Avery. 

Avery--Future Swimmer or Model?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fhoto Friday

--Cropping to enhance your photos.

Cropping to Enhance Your Photos

I am by no means an expert photographer; but I have learned a few things (usually the hard way) about photography over the years.  Probably the biggest mistake most amateur photographers make in taking photos of people is to stand too far away and include too much of the background.  One of the simplest ways to correct that is to crop the photo, which is like zooming in on the subject. As I mentioned in my blog very recently, cropping is also a good way to create a portrait type photo, if you don't have one, to put into your genealogy software program.  I didn't have face views of either Art or Russ, so I cropped them both from this photograph to put in my genealogy software program.  Following is a photo from my files of my wife, Joanne's, mother and two brothers.  It was a 6" x 5" photo.   

Art McConnell, Frances McConnell Schmidt & Russ McConnell (circa 1950)

The below photo was cropped from the one above.  I scanned the original at 600 dpi (dots per inch); thus when it is cropped and enlarged, it still has reasonably good resolution.  .

Art McConnell--Cropped

 This next photo is an even better example of the value of cropping.  This is a photo of Joanne and family members taken by someone who made the mistake we mentioned above of trying to include too much background.  This picture was 3.5" x 2.25", a very small photograph.  Fortunately, the photo was very sharp.  That, and the fact I scanned it at 600 dpi, enabled us to enlarge it considerably without losing much resolution.

Betty Schmidt, Joanne Schmidt, Carol McConnell Liscom (Frances' sister), Frances McConnell Schmidt, Mary & Russell McConnell

Notice in the photo below that the tear in the lower right hand corner has been repaired.  I did that using the cloning tool in Adobe Photoshop Elements, the application program that is use for all of my photo enhancement work.  I demonstrated that in an earlier blog.
Repaired Lower Right Corner (clone tool)

I think you will agree that the below photo is much better of the family than the one above, in that you can more clearly see their faces.  This was accomplished simply by cropping the above photo. 

Cropped Images

 Once again, notice how clear the images appear, even though it has been cropped and enlarged.  I am sure many of you have also noticed that the photographer should have moved the group a few feet to their right so that Grandpa McConnell's face wouldn't have been in the shadows.  It would also have helped if Grandma had looked at the camera rather than the grandchildren.  Hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it!

When I scanned these I saved copies in both the TIFF and JPEG formats.  TIFF retains the higher resolution, whereas, JPEG reduces the resolution so that the photos take up less digital space and can be used by programs such as Google BlogSpot that I use for creating and posting this blog.

JPEG is also good when you want to send photos by 
e-mail, as they don't take up as much digital space and, therefore, can be transmitted more quickly.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Genealogy Presentations--Who Learns the Most; Presenter or Audience?

Genealogy Presentations--Who Learns the Most; Presenter or Audience?

I think many of us have heard the saying that "the best way to learn a subject is to teach it".  I would expand and including "giving presentations", as well.  This past Saturday I gave a presentation to the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego on a Case Study involving my Irish Brick Wall.  I have been researching Peter O'Malley (Maley, Melia, etc.) for over 15 years attempting to identify his parents and/or where in County Mayo he resided before coming to this county during the 1845-49 Famine

I won't go into all the sources of records I have checked attempting to find this information; but I have conducted quite an exhaustive search.  However, in preparing the presentation, it forced me to critically reexamine my research.  Consequently, I was able to identify some holes that needed further attention and this has sparked a renewed enthusiasm toward my breaking through this "barrier".   This is not the first time this has happened to me.  In fact, in discussing the presentation later with one of the other speakers that day, I commented that I am sure I learn more from giving presentations than the attendees.  She is a very experienced and respected genealogy speaker and wholeheartedly agreed.  I also find that the audience usually come up with ideas that are very helpful.  When we have researched a person or subject for a very long time, we tend to get "too close to the problem" and can benefit from a more detached viewpoint.

What I am most proud of in regards to this challenge, is that I have already taken several significant steps to investigate those holes that I identified.  I have sent off four pieces of correspondence looking for naturalization, mine and additional church records that could prove to be very helpful.  Too often  I identify research that needs to be done; but then am very lax in getting around to it.  I, conveniently, give a higher priority to other tasks. That is called "procrastination"--one of a genealogist's worst enemies!  Hopefully, none of you suffer from that malady. 

So don't procrastinate the next time your genealogy society is looking for someone to lead a discussion or give a presentation, step forward and volunteer to talk about one of your "brick walls" or research challenges--you will learn a lot!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Helpful Family Tree Maker Report

--Helpful Family Tree Maker Report

Helpful Family Tree Maker Report

I ordered the new Companion Guide for FTM 2014, since I had already downloaded the new software for 2014 a couple weeks ago.  When I received it, I was a little concerned because it just said "The Companion Guide to Family Tree Maker".  

Companion Guide for FTM 2014

I have "The Companion Guide to Family Tree Maker 2012" and was concerned that the version year, "2014", was not in the title of the new guide.  I called the company and they assured me that I have the latest version, they have just discontinued putting the year in the title.  I also noted that this latest version is 283 pages versus 317 in the 2012 Guide.  They have added several new features to the software; but must now be much more efficient in their descriptions, so it now takes fewer pages?    

To cross check and make sure this guide did, in fact, include the new features of FTM 2014, I was going through various parts of the program and guide comparing my 2012 version of software with the 2014, and I went through in the "Reports" section.  I hate to admit that when I first saw the "Undocumented Sources" report in FTM 2014, I thought it was new.  However, when I checked the 2012 version, it wasn't. 

 I was reassured by seeing the same picture of the bride and groom on the icon you see on the screen when you open FTM 2014 as is shown on the companion guide I just received (screen shot above).  Thus, that reinforces that this guide has, in fact, is for the 2014 version. 

I did want to share this "discovery" (for me) with other FTM users.  I assume other genealogy software programs have a similar report.  By selecting "Publish" in the menu bar and then selecting "Source Reports" under the Publication Types list on the left of the screen, it will show icons of four reports, one of which is "Undocumented Sources".  You then have the choice of generating the report for Immediate Family, Extended Family, All Individuals or Selected Individuals.  I was pleasantly surprised when I generated the report for Extended Family that it was only three and a half pages. 
Undocumented Facts Report for Extended Family

The screen shot above shows a portion of an "Undocumented Facts" report.  The yellow portion on the right is where you selected the individuals to be included in the report.  The report itself, lists the individual's name and the associated facts that are not documented.  

I am going to work through the report and try to eliminate as many of the undocumented facts as possible.  I am going to start with "Immediate Family" and then expand to "Extended Family".  I doubt that I will have time to do more than that.

If you were already aware of this report and have all your facts documented--I am envious.  I am guessing, however, that I am not the only person that didn't know this report existed and also hasn't documented all their facts!

Disclaimer--I was a member of the Beta Testing for FTM 2014 and did receive a free upgrade download for my participation in the testing.  However, I don't believe that has influenced my objectivity in writing this blog.  I did pay for the new Companion Guide.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sports Center Saturday

--Football Clippings of My Dad's Football Days

My Dad's Football Clippings

I don't think my mother knew what a normal scrapbook was until she was about 50 years old.  I have about three very large ledgers (16" X 11" X 1.5") that weigh about nine pounds each and they were used by my mother as scrapbooks.  My grandfather was very active in several local organizations and always seemed to be the secretary or treasurer who kept all the records of meetings in these ledgers.  Apparently, my mother inherited several of these ledgers and decided they would make great scrapbooks for my father's sports newspaper clippings, letters and photos.  So she pasted all of these items on the pages of the ledger.  

Surprisingly, they have remained fairly well preserved all these years despite the paper not being acid free (I doubt in those days anyone cared about paper being acid free) and just using plain old glue that you got at the Five and Dime store (only my "more senior"  readers will know what those were).

Ledger Cover

Ledger Opened

Today I have scanned some of those clippings from one of those scrap books.  The article below was from the Denver Post and it is the All-Star Team for 1935, my dad's senior year at the University of Colorado.  In those days they were in the Rocky Mountain Conference made up of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah teams.  Note that there isn't a player on the team heavier than 196 pounds.  Today's average high school teams would outweigh them, on average, by 10 to 20 pounds per player! 

The same year the Rocky Mountain News, the other major Denver newspaper, selected their All-Conference Team, as listed below.  Interestingly one paper call it an All-Star team and the other All-Conference.  The same year my dad was selected as an honorable mention to the All-American team.

Below is a photo of the 1937 Detroit Lions at a pre-season workout.  This was my dad's second year with the Lions.  They were the League Champions his rookie year.  He played center and linebacker, as the team only had 23 players and they played both offense and defense.  Note that few of these professionals look like they would have been much over 200 pounds.  A far cry from today's 300 pound+ players.  My dad is third from the left standing.

Following is a write up from the New York Times about the Lions beating the N.Y. Giants.  Highlighted in yellow are the portions of the article describing the interception by my dad which he returned 92 yards for a touchdown against the Giants.

Interestingly, my father played guard his Sophomore and Junior years in college, was shifted to end his senior year and played center for the Lions.  In the pros today it is news if a college right guard is shifted to left guard in the pros, let alone shifting from end to center.  

Because of the bulkiness and size of the ledger that these articles were in, I had to use my portable VuPoint Magic Wand scanner, as positioning the ledger on my scanner/copier/printer was too difficult.  I used it on color (vice B&W) and high (vice low) resolution settings.  Considering the age of these newspaper clippings, I think it does a great job.  It is wonderful for carrying with me to libraries, relative's homes, archives, etc.  I paid about $100 for it about 3 years ago; but today I found them through Google for around $75.

VuPoint Magic Wand

As you might imagine these are only four of hundreds of clippings I have in those ledgers.  Lots more material for Sports Saturdays!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fhoto Friday

--50th Anniversary Photo Comparison
--Cropping for Face Views Photos

50th Anniversary Photo Comparison

I thought it would be interesting to compare the photos of my paternal grandparents with Joanne and me.  It isn't exactly a balanced comparison, because my grandfather was 85 and my grandmother was 73; whereas, I was 72 and Joanne 71.

Alonzo & Grace's 50th Anniversary--1952
Back row center--my father, Delbert B. Ritchhart
His sisters flank Alonzo and Grace in front row and his brothers
are in the back row.

Joanne and I in Hawaii--2009

There is an obvious contrast, the age of my grandfather being a big one.  Our photo being in color with a beautiful backdrop also makes some difference; but I think a big contributing factor was probably the times we lived in.  Our grandparents had a tougher life, medical care wasn't what it is today.  They were homesteaders on land miles from town with poor transportation.  When my father's youngest sister was an infant and took sick, my dad's oldest brother had to ride his horse to the nearest ranch to ask them to drive my grandmother and her child to town, as they didn't own an automobile.  The child died, possibly because of their isolation and poor transportation.  In fact, they never owned an auto their entire life.

In the winter months, when their wasn't much to be done on the homestead, my grandfather worked and lived in town, rarely making the trip on horseback back to the homestead.  This left the older boys and my grandmother to care for themselves.

My grandmother died of arteriosclerosis less than a month after they celebrated their anniversary.  My grandfather lived to the age of 92.

Cropping to Provide Individual Facial Views

There are many times we as genealogists like to have individual facial views or portrait style photos to attach to our family trees.  However, I have encountered the problem many times that I have group photos; but not individual portraits.  

The common solution is to take the best group photo we have and crop out the faces of those individuals of interest.  The example that I show as follows, is probably a worst case situation.  The group photo isn't very clear; but it was the best photo I had to work with.  It is a photo taken at my wife's parent's wedding and includes both sets of parents as well as Joanne's parents.

The below photo is shown just as it appeared when I scanned it at 300 dpi (dots per inch).  If my scanner had a higher resolution I would have used it; but that is the highest resolution it provides.  Always be careful when you crop the total photo that you don't cut out the name of the photography studio or other identifying information which could be helpful in dating or determining the location of the photo.

McConnell Schmidt Wedding (uncropped)
McConnell Schmidt Wedding (cropped)

The photos below of three of the parents are, admittedly, not very clear, but they are better than having nothing.  I have purposely not enlarged them, because they start to become much more "fuzzy" because of the lack of resolution.  

Mary Dye McConnell

Mary Bolla Schmidt

Russell McConnell

 Keep in mind these are very near "worst case" situation and you can still get a readable image from them.  Thus, if you have better quality photos to start with, or scan at a higher resolution, you should get better results.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October 17, 2013

--Golden Arrow Military Research
--What is the Minimal Amount of Information Required to Identify an Individual?

Golden Arrow Military Research 

The following information was distributed to Genealogy Societies and other organizations.  I am not familiar with the organization and have not used their services; but am just passing along the information to those of you who may be interested in obtaining records of your ancestors who served in the U.S. Military.

I did explore their web site and read through several testimonials.  They were all very good; but it isn't likely they would have posted any that were not good. Prices for most of the research ranged from $75 to $100.  I couldn't find any statement regarding the charge if they found no records.  That would be something I would ask them before using their services.

I am guessing that their Lead Researcher, who sent out the announcement, and others on the staff are former workers at the National Archives.

We specialize in tracing the steps of individual WWII Veterans to show where they were and what they did during the war. This is a unique process that we have devised as a way to help genealogists, family members and historians gain a better understanding of the experiences of individual WWII Veterans.  This service is not offered by the National Archives or any other company in the United States, and it is especially exciting because so many Army and Air Corps Personnel Files were destroyed in the 1973 Personnel Center fire.  Many times we can actually reconstruct the service history of those whose records were lost in the fire. Our research specialists are on-site at the National Archives and can access records pertaining to individual veterans that most folks would not know how to find.
In addition to tracing the steps of individual WWII Veterans we also offer Official Military Service Records of WWII Veterans.  In most cases we are less expensive than going directly through the government and can have the exact same records ready within about 2 weeks. It can take the government 4 months just to respond to a family member’s request for their veteran’s records. If you have dealt with the government in requesting records then you know how frustrating it can be. We offer an alternative to the red tape and frustration of dealing directly with them.

 We believe that folks who visit your site could benefit greatly from the work that we do and we would like to ask you to link to our website from your site.  Please feel free to browse our website to see all of the exciting opportunities we offer for researching individual WWII Veterans:

Biological Parents as an Identifying Feature of Every Individual

James Tanner, who authors the blog Genealogy's Star had an interesting discussion in yesterday's blog.  In a book he had been reading the author claimed that there were "six elements that uniquely identify an individual".  They are as follows:  
  • Names
  • Places
  • Dates
  • Relationships
  • Occupations
  • Gender
Without getting carried away in all the details James claimed that he thought only the first three were required.  However, he further thought about it and then made the following statement:

"My concept of the human family tree is relatively simple. In can be stated as the following rule:

Every person who ever lived or will live on the earth has a unique set of biological parents coupled with a unique birth order." 

This got me to thinking about some relatively recent developments in our society--sperm banks and women donating eggs to other women in order to conceive.  I think in both cases one could argue that the "biological parents" might be the donors.  However, is any record kept of who these people are?  Does the birth certificate indicate that John Doe donated the sperm; but the mother, Mary Jones, husband was Tom Jones.  I am not sure; but am guessing it doesn't.  With the gaining popularity of DNA testing, one can imagine an adult 20 years from now tracing their family tree through both digital records and DNA coming up with some questions, especially if their parents didn't tell the person he/she had a donor father or mother.  How does one distinguish between this situation and an illegitimate or adopted child?

Does James' theory still hold up, and even if it does; how will genealogists and the descendants be able to sort it all out?  What do you think? 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday, 16 October Articles

--Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego October Mini Fair
--Follow Up Information About the Strategic Partnership between MyHeritage and FamilySearch
--ourFamilyology Announces Family History Month Photo Contest

Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego October Mini Fair

Following are the details concerning this month's meeting of the CGSSD:

The Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego meets on the 3rd Saturday of each month (except December) from 9:00 a.m. to noon on the campus of UCSD, University of California, San Diego. See our map page for directions.
The next meeting will be held on 19 Oct 2013 from 9:00 am to noon. Here are the details:
Two sessions and two topics per session
No user groups or SIGS this month.

9:00 - SESSION 1:
 “Enhance Your Research with American Memory” Presented by Gene Philibert Ortega
We will be exploring the Library of Congress Digital Collections website American Memory. The Library of Congress has so much to offer family history researchers from maps and images to histories and interviews, American Memory is a must for researchers. During this presentation we will be exploring all that the Library of Congress has to offer genealogists online.

Gena Philibert Ortega holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women’s Studies) and a Master’s degree in Religion. Presenting on various subjects involving genealogy, women’s studies and social history, Gena has spoken to groups throughout the United States as well as virtually to audiences worldwide. Gena is the author of hundreds of articles published in genealogy newsletters and magazines including FGS Forum, APG Quarterly, Internet Genealogy, Family Chronicle, Family Tree Magazine, and the GenWeekly newsletter. Her writings can also be found on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. She is the author of three books include her latest From The Family Kitchen (F + W Media, 2012). Gena is the editor of the Utah Genealogical Association’s journal Crossroads. She serves as President for the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and is a board member of the Utah Genealogical Association. Her current research interests include women’s social history, community cookbooks, signature quilts and researching women’s lives using material artifacts.

B. Peter O’Malley - A Brick Wall Case Study - You be the Judge!” Presented by Del Ritchhart
This is a case study which presents evidence of possibly identifying a record of Peter, siblings and his mother and father on a passenger list arriving in New York in 1847.  People with the same names are identified in the 1850 census near Scranton, Pennsylvania; but are they the same people and are they really related to Peter?  The evidence is presented—you be the judge!

Delbert A. Ritchhart: EDUCATION----MS Management U. S. Naval Postgraduate School; MS Military Science U. S. Naval War College; BS Education, University of Colorado
GENEALOGY EXPERIENCE - Began researching his family history in 1994.  Has served as President and Programs Chairman Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego, Program Chairman British Isles Genealogical Society of San Diego and currently of The San Diego Genealogical Society.   Member of The Southern California Genealogical Society, The New England Genealogical Society and The National Genealogical Society.  Has given genealogy presentations to numerous genealogy groups in the Southern California area.  Recently published, “Breathing Life into My Family Ancestors”, tracing and writing about several lines of his family tree.  

10:00 - Break, refreshments.

10:20 - SESSION 2:
 Google for Genealogists” Presented by Gena Philibert Ortega
Do you Google? You may Google all kinds of things for your personal or business life but Google should be one of the first places you go to when researching your family history. Whether it's searching for a website, researching a city directory, finding a photo of your great-grandmother or mapping out your next research jaunt. Google is a must. Join me as we discuss better ways to search Google and wonderful resources like Google Books, Google Scholar, Google News, Google Maps and so much more.

B. “
Heritage Photo Basics: Scanning & Organization, Quick and Simple Editing, and Using Photos on the Web” Presented by Dona K. Ritchie.
Dona is a retired graphic artist/desktop publisher who has many years of experience using Photoshop and other image editing applications, is an amateur photographer, and loves old photos. She has been using her family photos to construct digital scrapbook pages which illustrate the lives and stories of her ancestors as well as those of her husband's family. Along the way she's learned a lot about restoring old photographs which have been damaged, have lost color or turned unusual colors, and has been successful in rescuing many of those afflicted photos, turning them into digital treasures which will hopefully fascinate succeeding generations as much as they have fascinated her and assisted with her family history research. Want to know more about how you can start rescuing your own stash of vintage photos? Come to the CGSSD MiniFair in October and find out!

Follow Up Information About the Strategic Partnership between MyHeritage and FamilySearch 

Dick Eastman's newsletter today had an excellent follow up to the announcement of the strategic partnership between MyHeritage and FamilySearch.  Several readers had questions about the partnership and Dick, probably through his good contacts with both companies, provided excellent answers.  I recommend you read the article by clicking on the following link.

Family History Month Photo Contest

I received the following announcement from Brandy Sacco of "ourFamilyology".  Click here for the link to enter the contest.

Since I didn't know anything about the company I looked on the web for information and found an article by Dick Eastman in November 2009, when the company started.  You can read the article at this link.

I also found the following description on ourFamilyology's web site:

ourFamily•ology is a tool that helps you see where you need to do more genealogy research.  Incorporates a status chart, with a color-coded reliability and progress indicator to gauge the completeness of your family tree as well as provide a clear roadmap of what you should work on next – all at a single glance.
--Collaborative Genealogy Research
--Family Index & Ancestor Management
--Tools Help to Understand your Information
--Source Management
--Exclusive password protected integrated published tree
--Organization to help grow your Online Family Tree
--Import and Export Documents and Files

--Subscription Price - Yearly Fee
--$14.99 for 300 MB
--$17.99 for 600 MB
--$26.99 for 1000 MB

The more storage space (mega bytes) you choose, the more family members, documents and photos you can add.

Disclaimer--I have no affiliation with "ourFamilyology" nor have I been compensated in any way by them.  They did ask me to post the information about the Photo Contest.  The opinions are strictly my own.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Been on Vacation--Ancestry Answer to My Question--MyHeritage Announcement

Vacation Time is My Excuse and I am Sticking to My Story!

My wife and I have been on vacation in Palm Desert for the past 10 days, so I did very little blogging.  Played some golf, took in the wonderful tour of the Annenberg Estate, Sunnylands; laid around the pool, ate some great meals (had a couple drinks) and took it easy.  Below are a couple photos taken from the patio of  our Palm Desert timeshare. 

Views from Patio of Our Timeshare in Palm Desert

If any of you plan to be in that area within the next year or so, you must put the Sunnylands tour on your "to do list".  It is 200 acres, including a nine hole golf course, and the architecture and art work in the house complex is most impressive.  Almost every President since Eisenhower has been a guest and it is the only place outside the White House to host a State Dinner.  The tour includes not only the main home of the Annenbergs; but the beautiful guest suites where the Presidents and others stayed, as well as the surrounding grounds.  

You must make reservations in advance.  They start taking reservations on the 1st and 15th of the month for the subsequent 15 day period.  On the 1st you can get reservations for days 15-30/31 of the month and on the 15th they take reservations for days 1-15 of the next month.

Surprisingly, we had been going to that area for over 25 years; but only recently were told by friends about the tour.  This is a "must see".

Following are some exterior photos.  Taking pictures of the interior of the home and guest suites was not allowed.

Pool behind Guest Suites--View from Main House

Main House from West of Pool

Main House from Golf Course

One of Six Lakes

Ancestry Answer to My Question

In my blog of 29 September, I discussed what I thought might be a glitch in Family Tree Maker's display of search results.  After talking twice with their Technical Support people, I was told to submit my issue via their on-line "feedback" system.  The following is their response: 

 "It appears that it is a normal thing for the software to do. The information in the first part is supposed to be a preview, but not necessarily have all of the information, or even the same information every time. We're sorry about any confusion or frustration this issue may have caused."

I am still skeptical and will try and remember to discuss this with their technical people at Jamboree next June in Burbank.
MyHeritage Announces Strategic Partnership
 with FamilySearch

I received the following announcement from MyHeritage yesterday:  

"I'm delighted to tell you that we've entered into a strategic partnership with FamilySearch which will add billions of historical records to MyHeritage.

MyHeritage will receive more than 2 billion global historical records from FamilySearch, spanning hundreds of years. Collections include vital records (censuses, births, marriages and deaths) as well as hundreds of other collections from many countries. 

Over the next few months, we will add this important content to SuperSearch and unleash MyHeritage technologies - such as Smart Matches and Record Matches - on the new content. This will bring significant new opportunities for MyHeritage users to grow their family trees and enrich their family history.

MyHeritage will provide FamilySearch access to its Smart Matching™ and Record Matching technologies, so FamilySearch users will be able to receive matches on the FamilySearch website. This will be made available during 2014."

They also provided a link to the more detailed press release.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, MyHeritage has been very aggressive over the past several months and is definitely positioning to be a big time player in the world of on-line genealogy research.