Monday, June 30, 2014

Registration is now open for the 2014 British Institute!


The International Society for British Genealogy and Family History announces the courses for the 14th annual British Institute, to be held 20-24 October in Salt Lake City at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, located next door to the LDS Family History Library.

“David Rencher's Irish Land Records course was one of the very best courses I have ever attended. The material was more advanced than available anywhere else, and I find myself referring to the syllabus notebook regularly. Having the class at the Family History Library, where we could immediately apply what we learned in the afternoons, was especially helpful. I made many new discoveries about my Irish ancestors that week. David is an excellent instructor! I highly recommend anyone researching Irish ancestors to take his courses.” – Catherine Desmarais, CG, 2013 attendee.

“The best kept secret is out for continuing education institutes!” said ISBGFH President Ann Lisa Pearson. “The British Institute is the place to be, providing students with a unique learning experience while working with their own research. Instructors will be available each afternoon to consult with students throughout the week-long Institute program, applying classroom education and the opportunity to do more in-depth, on-site research in the records at the Family History Library.”


Your opportunity to study with genealogy professionals:

  • Award-winning genealogist: Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
  • Irish research expert: David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA
  • Well-known educator Paul Milner on fundamental research in Scottish records
  • Strategies and skills for Welsh research with Darris Williams, AG
  • Personal research consultations
  • Access and instruction with British collections at the Family History Library
  • Morning educational program followed by afternoon research sessions in the library

The 2014 British Institute offers four tracks taught by expert genealogists:

From Simple to Complex: Applying Genealogy’s Standard of Acceptability to British Research – Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
Through hands-on activities, lectures, and discussions, participants will learn how to use widely accepted standards to measure their genealogical work’s accuracy and to assess others’ genealogical conclusions. In the process they also will learn about genealogical research planning, its implementation, genealogical reasoning, and the preparation of credible genealogical products.

Researching Your Irish Ancestors – David Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA
This course is designed to help the student of Irish genealogical research, whether beginning or advanced. Strategies for establishing a sound beginning and building on that foundation using proven research techniques will be coupled with an understanding of what records sources are available online, on microfilm and in Ireland. Individual consultations are provided with the course coordinator to assist each participant with ways to extend their research.

Scottish Research: The Fundamentals and Beyond – Paul Milner
Scottish laws, regulations and records are different from the rest of the British Isles, yet with enough similarities to create confusion for the unwary. This course will address the fundamentals of all the major record groups, examining how to search the indexes, exploring what is and is not available online. Case studies will highlight the research and record evaluation processes to determine next steps. Individual consultations are available to assist each participant with their personal research.

Welsh Family History Made Simple – Darris Williams, AG
Welsh family history is different from other localities in some significant ways. Those differences are not impossible roadblocks. Understanding the peculiarities is a good first step to success. Record knowledge is important but not the key. Understanding how to search, evaluate evidence and collate information will resolve many difficult research situations. This course will provide examples of problems, aw well as strategies and skills for learning more about your ancestors.

Registration Information
Online registration and hotel booking information is available at the ISBGFH’s website: http://www.isbgfh.org

If preferred, a mail-in registration form is provided. If you have any questions, please e-mail institute_director@isbgfh.org

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Ancestors in a Nation Divided book release announced by The In-Depth Genealogist


June 29, 2014, Utica, OH

Why Research Your Civil War ancestor?

You may have a story or two handed down through your family about your Civil War ancestor. So what other info do you need?

Was he a northerner called to service by the president? So with honor and the instilled need to preserve the Union he enlisted? Or was he a Confederate soldier fighting for his new country and its rights and freedom? Was he an African American, freedman or slave, fighting for the system with little acknowledgement?

Why research? Because your Civil War ancestor's story is a part of our country’s history. Yet more than that it's a part of your story. To know your Civil War ancestor, his life and military service, is to know a part of you.

Ancestors In A Nation Divided will guide you through the steps of researching your Civil War ancestor. From the beginning if you only have a name - to an in-depth search of his military and post-war life this book will guide you through the process.

Packed with the resources you need to research you'll be able to:

  • Begin even if you don't know where to start
  • Understand Compiled Military Service Records and Pension Files
  • Find your Civil War ancestor in little known and under-used censuses
  • Take a look at Provost Marshall Records
  • Learn about Confederate Military History and the Official Records
  • Take a look at long forgotten resources like the Old Soldiers Home, GAR and UVC membership
  • And so much more!

Whether your ancestor fought for the Union or the Confederacy, Ancestors In A Nation Divided will help you open the doors to his military service. You'll learn about the battles he fought, camp life, injuries he may have sustained and more. Your research will put you alongside your ancestor in his Civil War journey. You’ll learn about his experiences and in knowing what he lived through you’ll be able to appreciate his service all the more. The Civil War changed this country’s path, it shaped our nation into what we know today and your ancestor had a hand in that. Ancestors In A Nation Divided will help you start learning about your Civil War ancestor today.

Ancestors in a Nation Divided is currently offered as a PDF for just $9.99. Within the next few weeks additional formats will be available including Kindle and Nook. Best of all, we’ll also have a paperback version that will be 8.5” x 11” in black and white for $19.99. Simply go to http://theindepthgenealogist.com/idg-products/ to get your copy!

For more information, please contact Terri O’Connell.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ancestry and ProQuest Announce Expanded Distribution Agreement


Market leaders expand agreement to provide highly regarded resources for libraries, researchers, and family history enthusiasts

PROVO, Utah and ANN ARBOR, Mich. June 27, 2014 – Ancestry, the world's largest online family history resource, and ProQuest announced today an expanded agreement to create broader and deeper opportunities to deliver premier genealogy resources to libraries worldwide. Under the new multi-year agreement, ProQuest will be distributor of both existing products, including Ancestry Library Edition, and future Ancestry products. The agreement also allows for significant content and feature improvements to ProQuest’s HeritageQuest Online. These enhancements will be developed in the coming months and powered by Ancestry.

“We are pleased to announce our expanded strategic relationship with ProQuest,” said Brian Hansen, Ancestry vice president of emerging businesses. “We look forward to working together to create new and enhanced resources for libraries that uniquely respond to the needs of this growing market.”

“This new agreement expands on our 10-year relationship with Ancestry to deliver leading solutions for our customers," said Simon Beale, senior vice president and general manager, ProQuest. "We're leveraging the synergies between our companies, bringing together skills and talents in way that will advance the family history services libraries can offer their patrons.”

Ancestry Library Edition, powered by Ancestry and distributed by ProQuest, brings the world’s largest online family history resource directly to libraries. Featuring more than 13 billion records in more than 8,000 unique databases, Ancestry Library Edition is an unparalleled online global record collection from North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and beyond.

HeritageQuest Online, which can be accessed from anywhere, is a strong complement to Ancestry Library Edition. HeritageQuest Online is a treasury of American genealogical sources, including the digitized version of the popular ProQuest Genealogy & Local History book collection and other valuable content.

About Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com is the world's largest online family history resource with approximately 2.7 million paying subscribers across all its websites. More than 13 billion records have been added to the Ancestry.com sites and users have created more than 60 million family trees containing more than 5 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site www.ancestry.com, the company operates several global Ancestry international websites along with a suite of online family history brands, including Archives.com, Fold3.com, Newspapers.com, and offers the AncestryDNA product, sold by its subsidiary, Ancestry.com DNA, LLC, all of which are designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

Ancestry Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include a variety of factors, some of which are beyond the company’s control. In particular, such risks and uncertainties include the company’s ability to acquire content and make it available online and its ability to provide value to satisfy customer demand. Information concerning additional factors that could cause events or results to differ materially from those projected in these forward looking statements is contained under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2014, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 7, 2014, and in discussions in other of our Securities and Exchange Commission filings. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date and we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements.

About ProQuest (www.proquest.com)

ProQuest connects people with vetted, reliable information. Key to serious research, the company’s products are a gateway to the world’s knowledge including dissertations, governmental and cultural archives, news, historical collections and ebooks. ProQuest technologies serve users across the critical points in research, helping them discover, access, share, create and manage information.

The company’s cloud-based technologies offer flexible solutions for librarians, students and researchers through the ProQuest®, Bowker®, Dialog®, EBL®, ebrary® and Serials Solutions® businesses – and notable research tools such as the Summon® discovery service, Flow™, Pivot™ and the Intota™ library services platform. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with offices around the world.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

WikiTree Announces DNA Ancestor Confirmation Aid


26 June 2014: Fourteen years ago, on 26 June 2000, it was announced that the first draft of the entire human genome had been completed. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair commented that “every so often in the history of human endeavor there comes a breakthrough that takes humankind across a frontier and into a new era. … I believe that today’s announcement is such a breakthrough …”.

The sweeping impact of a map of the human genome is still unfolding in science, medicine, and many other fields. One of these fields is genealogy. DNA testing for genealogy has been advancing rapidly — becoming more reliable, more informative, and less expensive.

Parallel to this, progress on a single family tree for humanity has been advancing rapidly thanks to Internet “crowdsourcing.” Genealogists are pooling their research and collaborating on websites such as WikiTree.com. Until now, this family tree collaboration has been based primarily on research in public records and information handed down through families.

The combination of DNA testing and a collaborative worldwide family tree is enabling something that most genealogists never expected: scientific confirmation of their genealogy.

Today WikiTree is announcing the DNA Ancestor Confirmation Aid, a tool to help genealogists confirm their ancestry. Because of the broad-based collaboration on WikiTree and the fact that the Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA is passed down relatively unchanged for many generations in known inheritance patterns, a DNA test taken by one genealogist can aid the research of many distant cousins. In turn, the research of one genealogist can dramatically expand the utility of other people’s DNA tests.

The DNA Ancestor Confirmation Aid shows step-by-step how to confirm father-son and mother-child relationships in a family tree. It enables genealogists to discover if any other descendants of their ancestors have already taken DNA tests — something becoming more common as the cost of testing goes down and as ancestries become more deeply interconnected. When there’s an opportunity for confirmation by comparing test results, there are direct comparison links. When additional testing needs to be taken for confirmation, it links to potential test-takers.

The DNA Ancestor Confirmation Aid is intended to help genealogists of all levels, including those who are completely new to DNA testing. More experienced genetic genealogists will also find benefits. Roberta Estes of DNAeXplain says, “this is particularly useful for mitochondrial DNA because there is no other ‘connecting’ mechanism. I’m sure that many of my ancestor’s mitochondrial DNA is represented in the thousands of people who have tested — but until now — there was no way to find them, since the surnames may have changed a dozen times since our shared ancestor.”

Nathan J. Bowen, PhD, genome scientist at the Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development at Clark Atlanta University, sees potential long-term benefits we can all share: “The release of the working draft of the human genome 14 years ago was a huge moment, democratizing the use of the sequence for everyone, not just corporations with private databases. Now genealogists at WikiTree are building a public family tree for humanity, confirmed with DNA. Ultimately this may reveal patterns of human migration, inheritance and disease that return significant benefits for science and medicine.”

About WikiTree

Growing since 2008, WikiTree.com is a 100% free shared family tree website that balances privacy and collaboration. Community members privately collaborate with close family members on modern family history and publicly collaborate with other genealogists on deep ancestry. Since all the private and public profiles are connected on the same system this process is helping to grow a single, worldwide family tree that will eventually connect us all and thereby make it free and easy for anyone to discover their roots. See http://www.WikiTree.com.

Monday, June 23, 2014

findmypast buys Mocavo



GENEALOGY FOR THE 21st CENTURY

London, UK, 23 June 2014. Findmypast, the leading British family history company, announced today that it has acquired Mocavo, the fastest growing genealogy company in the US.

Findmypast, the leading brand in the DC Thomson Family History portfolio, has been at the forefront of the British family history market for over a decade. It has an established collection of 1.8 billion historical records and an extensive network of partners including the British Library, the Imperial War Museum, the Allen County Public Library and Family Search.

Founded by Cliff Shaw in 2011, Mocavo is a technological innovator in the genealogy industry. Its highly sophisticated search engine brings together, in one place, a diverse range of sources, such as family history record indexes, school and college yearbooks, church records and biographies, which help millions of family history enthusiasts to fill in blanks in their family trees and add colour to their family stories.

This acquisition, coupled with the recent tender win of the 1939 Register for England and Wales and the purchase of Origins.net, forms an important part of the growth strategy set out by Annelies van den Belt, CEO of Findmypast, and her new team.

Together Findmypast and Mocavo will create one of the fastest growing global genealogy businesses. The two companies will provide customers with easier access and more relevant information to help add colour and depth to family history. Additionally, they both remain committed to delivering on Mocavo’s promise to provide free access to family history records on an individual database level forever. Toward that commitment, Findmypast is announcing today that the full indexes to the US Census from 1790 to 1940 are available for free at Mocavo.com.

Mocavo will become a fully-owned subsidiary of Findmypast. It joins the Findmypast family of brands including the British Newspaper Archive, Genes Reunited and Lives of the First World War.

Annelies van den Belt, CEO of Findmypast, said: “Findmypast’s strategy is about growth and the US market is key. Our purchase of Mocavo, combined with our existing US customer base, gives us an excellent platform for expansion in the world’s number one genealogy market. Together we can provide a dynamic family history experience that offers customers the opportunity to make a real connection with their family heritage.”

Cliff Shaw, founder and CEO of Mocavo, said: “We are thrilled to join forces with Findmypast and become a part of their family of leading brands. The combination of our companies will provide family history enthusiasts with unprecedented access to the stories of their ancestors. Expect Mocavo to grow stronger with Findmypast’s support and to continue to drive innovation in the family history category.”

Joshua Taylor, newly appointed Director of Family History, Findmypast, said: “Our heritage and rich record collections coupled with Mocavo’s sophisticated technology will make for a powerful combination enabling us to offer our customers even more ways to unlock the fascinating stories within their family history.”

About Findmypast

Findmypast has been a leading family history website for more than 10 years. In April 2003 the company was the first to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, Findmypast has digitised family history records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. With more than 1.8 billion records online, Findmypast offers access to military, census, immigration, education, occupation, and parish records from around the world. In partnership with the British Library, Findmypast is part of a 10 year project to safeguard the future of the world’s greatest newspaper archive – allowing digital access to more than 40 million newspaper pages. The National Archives recently awarded the company the contract to put the 1939 Register for England and Wales online. Findmypast is the leading brand in the DC Thomson Family History portfolio.

About Mocavo

With the help of our partners and community members Mocavo is changing the way you learn about your family history. For years, valuable information has been inaccessible, either scattered across hard to find websites, or gathering dust and deteriorating in attics and basements. Mocavo provides free access to family history records forever. We launch 1,000 new collections every day and we never stop looking for more information to help you discover your story and pass it on. Our search engine scours millions of hard-to-find genealogy Web pages and we publish thousands of new records every week that you can view for free forever. Mocavo’s research tools speed up your discoveries and help you preserve your family’s story. At Mocavo you’ll become a better genealogist with the help of a growing community of researchers who share information and tips with you.

Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) Now Accepting Applications for APG Young Professional Scholarship


APG to Honor Student and/or Young Professional
with Strong Interest in Developing a Career in Genealogy

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 23 June 2014—The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) is now accepting applications for the APG Young Professional Scholarship. Requirements have been revised to reflect current economic and educational trends and to be more inclusive of young parents, military personnel, home school candidates, students, and those currently employed between the ages of 18-29. The scholarship goes to a student and/or young professional who aspires to a professional career in genealogy. The scholarship includes a registration for the APG Professional Management Conference (PMC) and a stipend of up to $1,000 to defray costs of travel and lodging at the conference. The winner will be announced in August 2014 for attendance at the APG PMC 2015, which will take place in Salt Lake City on 8–9 January 2015.

“It is exciting to see so many young people involved in genealogy, and we are thrilled to be able to support an up-and-coming professional genealogist with this scholarship,” said Kimberly T. Powell, APG President. “Our APG Professional Management Conference offers a unique opportunity to learn more about the business of genealogy and explore advanced genealogical topics, while networking with other professionals. We look forward to receiving many applications.”

APG Youth Scholarship Eligibility and Application Details

Eligible applicants are between the ages of 18 and 29 as of 1 January of 2014. This is open to a student, young professional, young parents, military personnel, home school, and currently employed individuals. You may apply for yourself, or on behalf of a worthy candidate.

Applications should contain the following: name; address; main contact phone number; email address; school name and/or school address (if applicable); list of extracurricular activities (including student organizations and volunteer activities); a general letter of recommendation; a letter of recommendation from an individual who has witnessed the applicant’s interest in genealogy; and short answers (500 to 750 words) to two questions. The questions are:

1) Discuss a specific record collection, media, digital source or other resource that has significantly changed your perspective about family history or research strategy along with the pros and cons of that record source, and how you used it to resolve a genealogical problem.

2) What do you envision a genealogical career will encompass in the next five years and how do you see yourself involved then?

See the blog posting at www.apgen.org for the application. Applications should be submitted to the APG office by 22 July 2014. Send applications to APG Executive Director Kathleen W. Hinckley, CG, at admin@apgen.org.

About the Association of Professional Genealogists

The Association of Professional Genealogists, established in 1979, represents more than 2,700 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers, and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy and history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada, and thirty other countries. APG is active on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

2014 FGS Conference Early Bird Registration Ends July 1, 2014


“Gone to Texas” – A Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists

June 20, 2014 – Austin, TX. Discounted early-bird registration for the 2014 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference will continue only until July 1st. Early registrants receive a $50 discount for the full four days, or a $20 discount for any single day. Details at http://www.fgsconference.org.

The conference will be held August 27-30, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. This year’s conference theme is “Gone to Texas,” and the local hosts are the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society (SAGHS) and the Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS). Platinum sponsors are FamilySearch, FindMyPast.com and Ancestry.com. Corporate sponsors are Dell and Lexmark.

The conference offers opportunities for all who are interested in researching their family history, with over 160 educational sessions on records, strategies, and tools for genealogists at all levels. The exhibit hall features over 70 vendors offering a wide range of genealogical products and is open and free to the public. Luncheons, workshops, and special events provide additional opportunities for networking and learning. Make sure to get your tickets to these conference “extras” early to guarantee your spot.

See you in San Antonio in August!

Learn More about FGS 2014 and Stay Connected
About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS FORUM magazine (filled with articles for the family history community), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference — four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.

Follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy), Twitter (http://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy) and on our blog at (http://voice.fgs.org).

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The British Newspaper Archive: 240,000 extra newspaper pages now online


Thousands of historical newspaper pages are added to The British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) every week, so the coverage keeps getting better and better.

In the last month, 240,000 extra pages from 1790-1954 were made searchable. 56 English and Scottish newspaper titles were updated, including the Aberdeen Journal, the Kent & Sussex Courier and the Morpeth Herald.

The additions also included three brand new titles:
  • Dundee, Perth and Forfar People’s Journal, covering 1858-1861
  • Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, covering 1913, 1915 and 1924
  • Penny Illustrated Paper, covering 1862-1870
You’ll find more information and a full list of recent additions at http://blog.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/2014/06/09/240000-extra-newspaper-pages-now-online/

About the British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership project between the British Library and DC Thomson Family History (formally known as brightsolid online publishing). From November 2011 to 2021, up to 40 million pages from historical newspapers across the UK and Ireland will be uploaded to the website www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

findmypast Buys Origins.net


London, UK, June 17, 2014. Findmypast.co.uk, the leading British family history company, announced today that it has bought Origins.net, one of the early pioneers of online records.

The first company to set up a pay-as you-go model for online family history records, Origins.net specialises in unusual and often hard to find British and Irish records. Its many early records include rare marriage indexes, apprentices and poor law records. Another key strength is its National Wills Index, which, combined with collections currently on Findmypast and those in development, will provide the largest online resource for UK wills and probate material.

Origins will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Findmypast. Ian Galbraith, founder of Origins, will continue to work with Findmypast on collection development. The extensive record sets from Origins will be brought into Findmypast over the next few months and the Origins website will continue to run as usual.

Elaine Collins, Partnership Director of Findmypast said: “We are delighted to bring Origins and its founder, Ian Galbraith, into the Findmypast group of family history brands. By joining together, we are able to offer customers the most comprehensive collection of British and Irish online records. This rich collection will help descendants of early North American settlers to bridge the gap to the old country, as well as anyone with UK ancestry looking to delve beyond 19th and 20th century records.”

Ian Galbraith, founder of Origins, said: “The partnership with Findmypast makes perfect sense for both companies and their customers. We have had a long association and together we can offer a broader family history experience and help people to fill in the blanks on the family tree and enrich their family story.”

About Findmypast

Findmypast has been a leading family history website for more than 10 years. In April 2003 the company was the first to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, Findmypast has digitised family history records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. With more than 1.8 billion records online, Findmypast offers access to military, census, immigration, education, occupation, and parish records from around the world. In partnership with the British Library, Findmypast is part of a 10 year project to safeguard the future of the world’s greatest newspaper archive – allowing digital access to more than 40 million newspaper pages. Recently, the company won the competitive bid to put the 1939 Register for England and Wales online from The National Archives. Findmypast is the leading brand in the DC Thomson Family History portfolio.

About Origins

Origins.net pioneered the provision of web access to genealogical data, starting in 1997 with Scotland's official births, marriages and deaths records, in partnership with the General Register Office for Scotland. This was the UK's first governmental ecommerce service and the first time pay-per-view had been used on the web. The Origins approach to this service has been followed by nearly all subsequent online services of this type. Origins has since specialised in providing access for the family historian to very rich but less well known and hard-to-get material, including apprenticeship records, poor law records and, especially, probate records. In 2010, in association with the British Record Society, Origins launched the National Wills Index (www.nationalwillsindex.com), a collaborative project to create a single, dedicated, online resource for pre-1858 probate material for England. The National Wills Index website, developed and hosted by Origins, is the most extensive online resource for English probate material, and contains indexes, abstracts and digitised images of probate documents from all over England.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy to Hold Fourth Annual Forensic Genealogy Institute on March 26-28, 2015


The 2015 FGI Offers Two Brand-New, Cutting-Edge Courses for Forensic Genealogists

Dallas, Texas – June 12, 2014 – The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) announced today that the fourth annual Forensic Genealogy Institute (FGI) will be held March 26-28, 2015, at the Wyndham Love Field Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The 2015 FGI features two brand-new, concurrent, 20-hour courses: “Forensic Genealogy Master Practicum” and “Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Unknown-Parentage Cases.”

“FGI offers attendees one-of-a-kind education in forensic genealogy and access to expert forensic genealogists who can answer questions and act as mentors,” said Leslie Brinkley Lawson, CAFG President. “We are excited to offer FGI 2015 participants the opportunity to participate in an unprecedented forensic-genealogy practicum or to gain experience in cutting-edge genetic genealogical research.”

Forensic Genealogy Master Practicum

The “Forensic Genealogy Master Practicum” offers six interactive modules that focus on the practical application of forensic skills. Each module is team taught by a pair of experienced professional genealogists. Students will receive hands-on experience in the following areas:
  • Researching various types of forensic cases
  • Working with clients – interviews, contracts, and other
  • Writing forensic reports or affidavits (students will write three reports)
  • Participating in or observing a mock trial to defend a forensic report
The Master Practicum allows students to put forensic skills to work immediately in a review- and discussion-based classroom environment, where they will work one-on-one with fellow students and with instructors.

Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Unknown-Parentage Cases

The “Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Unknown-Parentage Cases” course explores the application of DNA and traditional genealogical research to uncovering the genetic heritage of individuals with unknown parentage. Attendees will receive active experience in the following areas:
  • Developing custom DNA-testing plans
  • Analyzing the vast amount of data generated through DNA testing
  • Integrating multiple record types and/or DNA-test results to comprehensively address the research question
  • Navigating potential media exposure
“Genealogists who can use DNA to successfully address unknown-parentage cases are in great demand,” says course coordinator CeCe Moore. “This unique course offers in-depth instruction of the methodologies used by professional genetic genealogists.”

Each FGI 2015 course offers 20 hours of instruction over just three days, minimizing hotel costs and time away from families and jobs. The learning opportunities presented at FGI are created specifically for professional, practicing genealogists who specialize or seek to specialize in forensic genealogy.

Registration for the 2015 Forensic Genealogy Institute will open in summer 2014.

About CAFG

Established in 2011, the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) is a business league with a professional membership dedicated to the advancement of forensic genealogy, which is research, analysis, and reporting in cases with legal implications. CAFG promotes high standards of professional and ethical conduct, provides education and training opportunities, and assists in professional development though mentorship, full membership, credentialing, and awarding of fellowships. Learn more at www.forensicgenealogists.org.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Registration for Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy 2015 Opens on June 14, 2014


Registration for SLIG 2015 opens on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 9:00 AM Mountain Time! Pick your course, so that you are ready to enroll when registration opens as there are limited seats and ​the ​courses fill fast. The following ​tracks are being offered:
  • The Family History Law Library (Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL and Rick Sayre, CG, CGL)
  • Beyond the Library: Researching in Original Resource Repositories (John Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA)
  • Advanced Genealogical Methods (Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS)
  • Finding Immigrant Origins (David Ouimette, CG)
  • Advanced German Research (F. Warren Bittner, CG)
  • Advanced Research Tools: Post-War Military Records (Craig R. Scott, CG, FUGA)
  • Resources & Strategies for United States Research, Part I (Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA, FMGS)
  • From Confusion to Conclusion: Writing Proof Arguments (Kimberly Powell and Harold Henderson, CG)
  • Getting Started with Genetic Genealogy (Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL)
  • Advanced DNA Analysis (CeCe Moore, Angie Bush)
  • Diving Deeper into New England (Advanced) (D. Joshua Taylor, MA)
  • Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum (Angela McGhie)
Immerse yourself in a specific genealogical topic for a week-long educational opportunity that is unparalleled. Many of the courses are interactive and highlight on site research at the Family History Library (FHL) as well as one-on-one consultations with the course coordinators and instructors. These individuals are genealogical experts and provide guidance and insight that may help you overcome those brick walls and move forward with your research.

Attendees have time to explore Salt Lake City’s many attractions as well as spend time outside of the course researching at the FHL. The library is a short walk from the Institute’s location.

When making your travel plans, you may also want to consider attending the Association of Professional Genealogist’s Professional Management Conference (PMC), which will be held the Thursday and Friday before the Institute begins. You can check their website (https://www.apgen.org/conferences/index.html) for more information. You can experience two great events being held back-to-back at one location!

Sign-up before October 31st and you will save over 10% off your registration. Become a member of UGA and increase your savings even more. ​For more information on the Institute and registration information go to http://www.infouga.org/cpage.php?pt=42 ​.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Hotel Reservations Now Open for FGS 2015 and RootsTech Conferences

HOTEL RESERVATIONS OPEN FOR 2015 FGS and RootsTech Conferences
Book Your Room Today

June 6, 2014 – Austin, TX. Four Salt Lake City hotels are now taking reservations for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and RootsTech conferences, which will be held February 11–14, 2015 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.

The Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown, Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek, Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, and Hilton Salt Lake City Center will offer reduced rates to attendees of both conferences. Each hotel is conveniently located near the Salt Palace Convention Center. Conference rates will be honored for reservation dates February 7 – 19, 2015. Reservations must be made by January 13, 2015 to receive the conference rates.

Rooms will be in high demand. Reserve yours now through the FGS conference website at http://www.fgsconference.org/2015/lodging.

Registration for both conferences will open in late August 2014. For additional information about the FGS conference visit www.FGSconference.org/2015.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.

Follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy), Twitter (http://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy) and on our blog at (http://voice.fgs.org).

Friday, June 6, 2014

Announcement: New Member Benefits at Southern California Genealogical Society

At its annual Genealogy Jamboree, which opened on Friday in Burbank, California, the Southern California Genealogical Society announced the addition of two valuable new member benefits.

“We are honored to have a strong member base of genealogists and family historians and genealogists who recognize the benefits of membership in SCGS. With the addition of these two new programs, an SCGS membership will become even more valuable,” explained David Burde, SCGS president.

The first benefit is the SCGS participation in the Society Membership Program provided by findmypast.com. Through this partnership, SCGS members will receive a discount to a twelve-month world subscription on findmypast.com in an amount equal to the cost of a one-year individual membership in SCGS. Since the Society’s annual regular membership is $35, that is the amount of the discount that each member will receive.

Burde continued, “The second benefit is especially exciting, because it adds another remote resource available to our members." Effective immediately, SCGS members have remote access to millions of military records on Fold3.

Access Fold3 by clicking on the “Members Only” button on the SCGS website, www.scgsgenealogy.com.

Since all the SCGS staff will be onsite at the conference and unable to process new membership, there may be a slight delay before new members can utilize these benefits. Thank you for your patience.

Fold3 remote access and the findmypast discount are in addition to the many existing membership benefits, including:
- Remote access to WorldVitalRecords.com
- On-demand access to over 100 hours of educational videos from past Jamboree sessions and our twice-monthly webinar series.
- Discounts on educational events such as Jamboree, on SCGS publications, and on research team services.
- Online access to Los Angeles area records, as hundreds of thousands of records from the society’s 1890 Project become available.
- Guided research trips to Salt Lake City, Ft. Wayne and other destinations

 Details about these new benefits will be announced over the next few days. Fold3 is available to members now.

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
Paula Hinkel
Vice President
Southern California Genealogical Society
phinkel@scgsgenealogy.com

Winners of GENEii Family History Writing Contest Announced

FOR RELEASE 6 June 2014 by Pam Wiedenbeck

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 GENEii Family History Writing Contest! Many thanks to the 59 authors who collectively contributed 79 entries, making this the largest GENEii contest ever.

 All of the winning submissions will be published in The Searcher during 2014 and 2015 at the editor’s discretion; the preliminary dates of publication are indicated below. The submissions will also appear on the SCGS website after they appear in The Searcher.

Category 1: submissions from 1,000 to 2,000 words
•    First Place: "Mom's Life" -- John R. Catsis, Silver City, New Mexico
•    Second Place: "First the Chicken" -- Joyce Finn, Bluffton, South Carolina •    Third Place: "Locked Out" -- DeVonna R. Allison, Burr Oak, Michigan •    Runner Up: "Varrone" -- Nick Sweet, Shepherd, Texas
•    Honorable Mention: "Uncle John Burleson" -- Jim McLaughlin, Kerrville, Texas
•    Honorable Mention: "Paw Prints on Combat Soldiers' Hearts" -- Robert R. Robeson, Lincoln, Nebraska

Category 2: submissions under 1,000 words
•    First Place:  "Ground Zero" -- Jerry Eckert, Vail, Arizona
•    Second Place:  "November 22" -- Evan Guilford-Blake, Stone Mountain, Georgia
•    Third Place: "Christmas Kerfluffle" -- Marla F. Jones, Yukon, Oklahoma •    Runner Up:  "My Grandfather's Grave" -- Thomas L. Stepp, Columbia, South Carolina
•    Honorable Mention: "A Visit to New Orleans" -- Joyce Roberson, West Hills, California
•    Honorable Mention: "A Mountain Rose" -- Felicia Johnson, Ocklawaha, Florida

The Southern California Genealogical Society sponsors its annual family history writing contest to support and encourage the writing of family history, local history, and memoirs, both by genealogists and by the public at large. The first contest was held in 2000. Since then, writers from more than nine nations have submitted entries.

The contest is dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth (Beth) Maltbie Uyehara, founder of the GENEii Family History Writing Contest. Beth served as editor of The Searcher from 2000 to 2006 and was instrumental in launching the SCGS Writers Group.

The 2014 Family History Writing Contest will be open for submissions between November 1 and December 31, 2014. For further information on this year's contest, see the SCGS website.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Brightsolid Launches Family History Game


brightsolid has launched new game, Family House. Designed to engage with a family audience, it is free on iPhone, iPad and Facebook.

The innovative new gaming product offers a virtual alternative for creating a family tree by asking players to build up and restore their ‘family’ house. Over 100,000 people have already moved into their own Family House on their PCs, and now Family House is available to play for the first time on iPhone and iPad. Players are encouraged to explore their family history by moving in more and more family members as their house grows.

brightsolid’s Family House Project Manager Robbie Graham explains, “The game has been designed to encourage families to create a virtual family tree and the avatar editor is central to the proposition. Users can recreate family member likenesses with a wide array of options. We’ve even created a range of clothing that goes right back to the 17th Century.”

Robbie added, “We wanted to create a fun app that’s rich in learning and sharing. Family House has been created with interactivity in mind and allows on-line play with friends and family. Users can assemble virtual streets and pop round to their friends and neighbours houses to meet their families.”

brightsolid Chief Executive Officer, Richard Higgs said, “Family House enables everyone aged from four to one hundred and four to share their family history. The game is great fun in its own right and provides an ability to bring generations together.”

Family House is available as a free download from the iTunes App Store or to play via Facebook.