Monday, February 1, 2010


Vol. 10, No. 2 FEBRUARY 2010
FHC Phone Number: 909-794-3844. Located at 5th and Wabash in Redlands.
Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday---9:00am to 1:00pm. Tuesday and Wednesday Night---6:00pm to 9:00pm
Closed Sunday Nights except the 4th Sunday before the Research Class.

Coming Events:
Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 1:00pm. Yucaipa Valley Genealogical Society at the Yucaipa Branch Library. Dianna Rounds will be speaking on the “Resources in the Family History Center”
Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 Hemet-San Jacinto Gen. Soc. is sponsoring Leland K. Meitzler at the Hemet Public Library 9:00am-3:45pm. Pre-Reg. $25. At the door $30. For more information If you are interested go to for the registration form.
Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010 at 7:00pm. Redlands Stake Center High Council Room, FHC Research Class. Speaker: Annette Spaulding. Topic: “New Family Search”

African American Heritage Month
February is Black History Month. Take this time to help out some of our members and patrons of African descent with their research. For starters, FamilySearch Record Pilot has the following records online at no cost to patrons: Freedman Bank Records (1865-1974), Freedman’s Bureau Virginia Marriages (ca.1815-1866), and the 1850 US Census Slave Schedule (not yet indexed).
On a podcast at, Eiva asks about good books covering African-American genealogical research. The Guys suggest “Black Roots: A Beginner’s Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree” by Tony Burroughs and “A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your African American Ancestors” by Franklin Carter Smith and Emily Ann Croom.
Digital Library on American Slavery . This project is a cooperative venture between the Race and Slavery Petitions Project and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. It offers a searchable database of detailed personal information about slaves, slaveholders and free people of color. The information was gathered and analyzed over an 18 year period, drawn from petitions to southern legislatures and county courts filed between 1775 and 1867 in the 15 slaveholding states in the U.S. and District of Columbia. The data can be accessed in three ways: a keyword search, a search on a specific individual’s name or you can browse the holdings. Internet Genealogy, Dec/Jan 2010, p.6

What’s new at familysearch labs: Community Trees on FamilySearch Labs Writing in the FamilySearch Labs blog, Ray Madsen describes a newly-added feature:
You may have noticed the Community Trees link that showed up on the FamilySearch Labs home page a few weeks ago. If you’re into family history you’ll probably want to check it out. The Community Trees project allows FamilySearch to publish lineage-linked genealogies that cover a specific place and time. These trees are a genealogists dream. If you’re lucky enough to be doing research in an area covered by one of these trees you’ve just struck it rich. Each tree is searchable with views of individuals, families, ancestors and descendants. They can be printed and usually can be downloaded in GEDCOM format (sometimes licensing requirements don’t allow us to offer GEDCOM downloads). Best of all, each tree is linked to all of the supporting sources. Go to and click on Blog for the latest info.

Free Podcast, Webinars and On Line Courses
Podcasts are like a pre-recorded radio program over the Internet. Podcasts do not allow for any interaction between the presenter and the audience. They are viewed at your convenience and are usually free to the viewer. You are able to stop, forward or rewind them. You can listen to them on site or download them to your computer, MP3 player or burn to a CD. Try them at and at Dear MTRTLE’S Family History Hour

Webinars are web-based seminars, transmitted over the Internet, and take the form of a presentation, lecture or workshop. The primary feature of a webinar is its interactive capabilities, generally the ability to give, receive and discuss information live. Ususally they come with a cost but after the webinar is over you can listen to them for free (no interaction). Ancestry is one of these sites. They offer webinars that guide the audience through specific research problems but the older ones are available for viewing to everyone and include such topics as German ancestry, Irish ancestry and using Family Tree Maker. (You do not need a subscription for this)
OhanaSoftware has some FamilyInsight Tutorial Videos: also Free Live Webinar Trainings. Sign up, watch and ask questions…all from home. They have one on “How to Find U.S. Birth, Marriage, and Death Records (& Substitutes) on the Internet.” Guest presenter: Rae Lee Steinacker teaches Intermediate and Advanced Internet Research at the BYU Family History Center. To look at the list of past Webinars go to

Free Online Genealogy Courses:
Family Search,, presents a series of research classes available online. These free lessons last approximately 15-60 min. with downloadable videos and a PDF of the class outline, along with class handouts. Go to the “Library” and click on “Education.” There you will find a list of the classes. (Update Jan.8) “We are pleased to announce that the Ireland Beginning Research Series has been added to the Research Series Classes Online page of the Web site.”
Another site is Learn Web Skills, It offers a self-paced tutorial titled Researching Your Family Tree: An Introduction to Genealogy. This information is designed for beginner genealogists with basic computer and Internet skills. You will research your own family as you learn.
Brigham Young University,, extends family history courses through a partnership between the LDS and BYC. These free classes are available in a combination of audio, video and PDF’s with self-administered quizzes after each subject. Areas of study range from Introduction to Genealogy Research, record types and regional and ethnic studies.

Bits and Pieces
Allen County Public Library Goes Digital The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette has an interesting article about the local library. Indeed, visitors from all over the country visit the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne to use its excellent genealogy collection. It is believed to be the second-largest genealogy collection in the United States with more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 items of microfilm and microfiche. According to the Journal Gazette, some patrons are using the library without visiting the library.
You can read this interesting story at

Gen Tip
While at Jo-Ann's Fabric and Craft superstore yesterday, I purchased a 12" by 12" "E-Z Load Memory Book" manufactured by Pioneer Photo Albums. It advertises itself to be of archival quality (acid, lignin, and PVC free). So I now have a place to put the physical photo of my grandparents' family. The size of the pages means that I can use the same album to store originals of other kinds of documents. To Do: Go thru existing files and locate, digitize, and store original documents. Posted by Drew Smith (

Reunion idea
Fifteen years ago I created a biography for each of my ancestors in the first six generations who hadn’t left one. At first some of the biographies were only a page or two long because all I had to start with was what was on their family group record. I added what photos I had at the time. Then I started giving out CD’s and later DVD’s of the ancestral bios to cousins and other relatives. The biographies are all organized alphabetically by surname. Because some fathers and sons had the same name I put the year of birth in parenthesis after the individuals name. Each bio is the info on the husband followed by the info on the wife. There are four tables in each bio – the family in which the husband was a child, the family in which the mother was a child, the family they had together and at the end of each bio, a table that gives all ordinance dates for each person in the family the couple had together.
As more and more people have learned about this project they have contacted me and sent me both info and pictures of people and documents, which have been inserted into the appropriate bios. Many second and third cousins I didn’t know before have sent so much info that now some of the bios are 60-70 pages long. Just recently my husband put all of the bios online ( which is free for the first two GB. So I no longer have to make copies of the bios but simply give relatives the info on how to access the biographies. I now feel like I personally knew and will recognize my ancestors (especially those who lived after 1839 when photography was invented) because I have learned so much about them.
The reason for doing this was to help others know them as well as I do which will get them as excited about family history as I am. One daughter told me, “I had absolutely no interest in my ancestors UNTIL I read their biographies.” At one family reunion in Nauvoo we had family members give brief reports on ancestors who lived in Nauvoo. This year our reunion was in Palmyra and we talked about ancestors who lived in that general area.

A SITE TO GO LOOK AT-- The Original Record now has over 9 million entries directly available online. It includes a free unlimited search. All records are hand-indexed (no OCR). You may purchase sets of scans, or buy open access to the surname(s) of your choice, including variants.

FYI- Mac Computer owners who wonder about a genealogy program.
You can make part of your Mac a PC by installing one of the emulation programs (such as Paralells), then buying and installing a Windows operating system, and buying and installing the PC genealogy program of her choice. That's kinda like buying a Lexus then trying to make it into a Ford ...

Or you can use a genealogy program written for Mac - "Reunion." It is very user friendly, easy to learn, and LDS compatable. It does not yet sync with nFS, but you can open Reunion and nFS at the same time, put the windows side by side and compare the data.

My recommendation for any Mac user is to use Reunion. In the long run, it is cheaper than creating a PC on your Mac, and Reunion is the best genealogy program out there, bar none. (Just my opinion, of course.) It is available as a download from their website, or on a disk at your local Mac store, $100. either way. Their website is If you would like to see the cool web pages it creates (so you can post your data on the internet) feel free to visit my personal website at
(This was posted on FHCNET recently as an answer to people with MAC’s who are having a hard time with a genealogy program)

FREE FROM OHANASOFTWARE-This page contains genealogy software programs that are freeware or shareware that we thought might be useful to some of our customers. Ohana Software did not develop these programs and so do not provide support for them. For help or support you should contact the developer of the program.
We would like to thank the developers for their time in developing these Genealogy tools and their willingness to share them with others.
PAF Pal by Steve Cannon >> ***NEW Dec 19, 2009
PRFMagnet by PedigreeMagnet Version 1.2.0 >> ***NEW June 9, 2008
PAF5 Multi-Media Packer by Lorin Lund >> ***UPDATED August 2009
GenDB Cemetery Database Creator by Joseph Irvine>> ***NEW Feb 1, 2006
PAF5Snoop by Lorin Lund>> ***NEW Feb 1, 2006
Ohana is also offering FREE – Get My Ancestors. This software can be found at their website, Go to downloads.

Native American research-- has announced that they have the following historical records available--Original records dating back to early 1700s become available on the Internet for the first time-
“Lindon, UT—November 19, 2009— announced today the release of their latest interactive collection of historical records: the Native American collection. Working together with the National Archives and the Allen County Library, has created a unique collection that will help people discover new details about Native American history.”
Footnote is available at the FHC through the FHC Portal on our computers.

NARA has a blog! A blog about Online Public Access to the Records of the US National Archives.

An index to New York City births 1901-1907 is now available online, thanks to the German Genealogy Group. You can find the New York City Birth Records index from 1901-07 at search.asp and at

War letters, Founded in 1998, the Legacy Project is a national, all-volunteer initiative that encourages Americans to preserve the personal correspondence of our nation's veterans, active-duty troops and their loved ones. At the site, check out the books that have resulted in the link to digitzed collections of war letters.

Techology Helps FamilySearch
Volunteers Hit Major Milestone
By Heather Whittle Wrigley, Church Magazines
FamilySearch volunteers expect to have transcribed more than 325 million names by the end of 2009, just three years after the organization began its online indexing program.
The milestone was a number once thought impossible to reach in such a short period of time. In 2006, a few thousand volunteers indexed only 11 million names. But thanks to continuing advances in technology and a growing number of volunteers—more than 100,000 across fivecontinents—an estimated half million individual names are indexed each day.
At that rate, Paul Nauta, FamilySearch public affairs manager, expects that 500 million names will have been indexed by the end of 2010. And yet all this work barely makes a dent in the vast stores of historical records throughout the world, which grow by more than 100 million records (each with multiple names) every year. "We are not catching up," Brother Nauta said. "In preserving records alone, there are more records created in one year than we could ever film in decades with current technology." To hasten the work of making important historical records available online, the Church's Family History Department is continually working to develop new ways to preserve records not only as quickly as possible but at the highest quality possible. This has resulted in specially designed digital cameras, innovative scanning technology, and new software and applications. "It is not necessarily that we want to be pioneers in this field and this technology," Brother Nauta said. "But we are compelled to do it.
Capturing the Records
Representatives of the Church's Family History Department oversee the effort to acquire records, beginning with prioritizing what records would be most valuable to the public and matching limited human resources to gather them. Employees of the Family History Department then work with various churches, municipalities, archives, and governments to acquire or create copies of those records. Most institutions welcome the Church's efforts. "We have a good reputation as an organization that cares about the records as much as the archivists do," said Steven L. Waters, strategic relations manager for Europe. "In general, they are thankful to have an organization like ours that puts so many resources into preserving history."
In capturing records, an area is set up on-site where special cameras are used to create digital images of the historical documents. The process can take from a few weeks to several years depending on the size of the collection, the type of documents being copied, and the workers' experience levels. With cameras similar to those used by NASA and in other industrial settings, workers produce an image at a high resolution of 50 megapixels, using special software designed by FamilySearch engineers. Adjustments to the cameras, made by Church camera specialists, increase their lifespan from about 300,000 pictures to 500,000 per year for four years or more. Once a project is complete, up to a terabyte (1,000 gigabytes) of images and information is sent to Salt Lake City, where the images will be processed, preserved, copied, and distributed based on the contract specifications. Many images are published on; some are published on commercial genealogical Web sites; sometimes the archive itself publishes the work. "In the end, we may or may not get to personally publish the records," Brother Waters said. "But it's about making as many records as possible available to as many people as possible."

A Different Kind of Conversion
One of the most significant advancements for FamilySearch in recent years was put into place in 2005, when 15 high-speed scanners were developed to convert images previously contained on microfilm into digital images. These scanners are converting 2.5 million rolls of microfilm from the Church's Granite Mountain Records Vault into tens of millions of ready-to-index digital images. The scanners are like a camera: as the microfilm unwinds, the images on the microfilm are converted into a long ribbon of high-quality digital images. A computer program quality-checks the ribbon and uses special algorithms to break it up into individual images.
These rolls of microfilm include images of important historical documents gathered from all over the world—birth and death records, hospital records, family histories, immigration forms, historical books, and more. "To our knowledge, there is no company that does the level of vital records preservation that FamilySearch does," said Brother Nauta. "The records FamilySearch contains currently, when digitized, would equal 132 Libraries of Congress or 18 petabytes(1,000 terabytes) of data —and that doesn't include our ongoing acquisition efforts."

Taking It to the World
To make all of these digitized records available to the public, the Family History Department developed There, anyone can download images of historical documents to a computer and transcribe the information to help create a database of names, dates, locations, and other information—free for all to search online at Anyone can participate in indexing. If a home computer doesn't meet the requirements to run the indexing application (available for download at, the application can be found on computers at any one of the 4,600 family history centers around the world.
Already available in English, French, German, and Spanish, indexing added four more languages in 2009—Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish. "We've come from transcribing by hand to delivering digital images on CDs through the mail to Web-based applications where virtually anyone can be involved," Brother Nauta said. "We are quantum leaps from where we began. It's faster, more reliable, and more efficient." With the technological advances and the ever-increasing number of indexing volunteers, the Ellis Island historical records which a decade ago took 12,000 volunteers 12 years to complete—would take three weeks to index today. "That evolution of technology has been remarkable in getting everyone involved everywhere," said Paul D. Starkey, digital information process manager in the Family History Department. "The Internet has been an amazing technology to help this kind of work."
Beyond the Technology
Beyond the innovations in technology, at the heart of the hastening of the work are people. At any given moment, thousands of volunteers from around the world are working with FamilySearch Indexing. A growing number of them are not members of the Church. For some, preserving historical records is a commission to preserve the identity and heritage of a nation, organization, or community. For others, it lends a deepened sense of personal identity. "They confirm that they are part of a larger family fabric that has a rich history," Brother Nauta said. "We quickly learn that life as we know it isn't just about us in the here and now. Knowing the richer context of our family history gives us and our posterity something more to live up to—a legacy to fulfill and pass on after doing our part." For Church members, there is added value in being able to perform saving ordinances for ancestors in the temple. But for all, this growing interest in family history work was foretold. "It's in the scriptures," Brother Nauta said. "The hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers" (see D&C 2:1-2). Ensign Magazine, Dec. 2009, p.76

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