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Saturday, January 7, 2017

One month and counting to RootsTech

Well, RootsTech is just around the corner! Hard to believe that I will be on way to Salt Lake City is just under a month.  Better yet, my dad is coming with me.  It is going to be an adventure in so many ways.

Even if you are not attending in person, remember that many parts of the conference will be live streamed.  No need to feel completely left out from the inspirational keynotes and many of the lectures.  The only difference is that you get to watch them from the comfort of your own home.

I am getting my research list together for the library.  It will be the first time my dad has ever been, and he is looking forward to helping me with our family research.  How much you want to bet he will want to use the old fashioned microfilm readers and not the new digital ones?!

This year’s semifinalist for the Innovator Showdown look out of this world.   You can see a full list here.  I do not envy the judges because they have their work cut out for them.  It will be exciting I am sure and I can’t wait to see them give their pitches in person.

Of course my big news is that I will be teaching a lab course this year.  I am very excited to show people how to create pictures and videos using Adobe Spark.  It is going to be fun, education, and well…fun!

Ok, I am back off for a bit.  Lots of stuff to get ready for!  Look out for more information on RootsTech as the month goes on.  Plus, live updates here, on Twitter, and on my Facebook page while I am in Salt Lake City.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 28, 2016

NGS 2017 Program Now Available

National Genealogical Society 2017 Family History Conference Program Now Available

ARLINGTON, VA, 28 NOVEMBER 2016—The National Genealogical Society is pleased to announce the release of its 2017 Family History Conference program, Family History Lives Here. The program, which includes more than 175 lectures, is now available online at and as a sixteen-page registration brochure, which can be downloaded at

Experts in genealogical research and history will address a broad array of topics, including records pertaining to the Carolinas and neighboring states, migration into and out of the region, military records, and state/federal records. Additional themes will discuss researching Native American, African American, and female ancestors as well as families with black sheep. Presentations about sharing methodology; solving research problems, and a full track on DNA research in genealogy will round out the conference.

The conference will take place at the Raleigh Convention Center located in Raleigh, North Carolina, 10–13 May 2017.   Registration opens on 1 December 2016 at  A number of special events have been planned with limited seating, so register on 1 December, or as soon as possible thereafter, if you plan to attend these events.

Up-to-date information about the availability, amenities, and rates for conference hotels can be found at

Sign up for the NGS Conference Blog at so you do not miss conference news or announcements.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia- based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

5 years old and going back to school

Today is the 5th anniversary of this blog.  Wow, time really does fly.  I am not sure what I would have said if you told me 5 years ago what I was doing today. Honestly, I had no idea where I would go or what I would do!

In 5 years I have written hundreds of blog posts (not nearly as many as I wanted!) and watched my skills as a researcher bloom.  The genealogy community is such an amazing one.  So welcoming and so friendly, I was very overwhelmed at first to be sure.  Thanks to that welcome, plus the advice of countless people, I feel like I have flourished from those first nervous steps.

As I think on it, it is only fitting that on my fifth anniversary I am in school furthering my genealogy education.  Which, has been a great experience so far.  But, I am only 8 weeks in.  Ask me in a couple months how I am holding up. 

I wonder if the next 5 years will be just as amazing!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

And the winner is......

I am excited to announce the winner of my RootsTech pass giveaway was Casandra Wagner!!  Congratulations Cassandra and I look forward to seeing you in Salt Lake City this February!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Win a Free Pass to RootsTech!

Well it is that time of year again, time to give away a free pass to RootsTech

I have one complimentary RootsTech plus Innovator Summit 2017 4-day pass ($299 value) to give away to someone very lucky!

This pass includes the following:

■ Innovator Summit
■ over 200 classes
■ Keynotes
■ General sessions
■ RootsTech classes
■ Getting Started classes
■ Expo hall
■ Evening events

To enter the contest is simple, promise!  Simply go out to a Rafflecopter giveaway and enter to win.  Some of the options you can enter everyday, so make sure you take advantage of all your possible chances.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Liz Wiseman to Keynote RootsTech Innovator Summit

Salt Lake City, UT, November 08, 2016

Leadership Expert Liz Wiseman to Keynote RootsTech Innovator Summit

Do you multiply or diminish intelligence? Liz Wiseman, a leadership strategist, best-selling author, and inspiring speaker whose recent clients include Disney, Microsoft, eBay and PayPal, Google, and Facebook, is excited to share highlights of what she has learned as the keynote speaker for the 2017 Innovator Summit at RootsTech. Innovator Summit is a one-day event for developers, entrepreneurs, and innovators who want to explore business and technological opportunities in the multibillion dollar family history industry. The Innovator Summit will be held on February 8, 2017 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Liz Wiseman teaches leadership to executives and emerging leaders around the world. She is the founder and president of the Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley. She has been listed on the biennial Thinkers50 ranking for 2013 and 2015 and named one of the top 10 leadership thinkers in the world.
Wiseman is the author of three best-selling books: Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work; Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter; and The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools.

She has spent years working around a lot of really smart executives in tech industries and conducted significant research in the field of leadership. She's observed how some leaders actually shut down the brain power of people around them.

"Yet, other leaders seem to amplify the intelligence of people around them," said Wiseman. "These leaders were intelligence multipliers." She said that “when these leaders walked into a room, it was as if you could see lightbulbs going off over people’s heads, and ideas flowed and problems got solved.”
Wiseman has emphasized that one of the most important aspects that she learned in this research was “that when we linger too long on a plateau a little part of us dies inside. But when we step out of the space of knowing—where we are fully capable—and step into unfamiliar territory, we feel alive. I think it is actually where we feel divine, and, in some ways, I feel like it is where we see God’s hand working in our lives.”

Wiseman is a frequent lecturer at BYU, Stanford University, and the Naval Postgraduate Academy. She is a former executive at Oracle Corporation, where she worked over the course of 17 years as the vice president of Oracle University and as the global leader for human resource development. During her tenure at Oracle, she led several major global initiatives and has worked and traveled in over 40 countries. She writes for Harvard Business Review and Fortune. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Inc., and Time.

The RootsTech Innovator Summit keynote session begins at 9:00 a.m., followed by a full day of classes, the semifinal round of the RootsTech Innovator Showdown, a networking social, and other related activities.

The annual Innovator Showdown contest is designed to foster innovation in the family history industry. Ten semi-finalists will be chosen and announced, with $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes offered by sponsors to the winners.

About RootsTech
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Press Release: Findmypast celebrates first anniversary of 1939 Register launch

The 1939 Register was launched online on November 2nd 2015 by Findmypast in association with The National Archives. Dubbed ‘The Wartime Domesday Book’, it is a comprehensive survey of the civil population of England and Wales at the onset of the Second World War. One year on, more than five million ‘closed records’ have been opened up and are now available to search.

November 16th 2016, one year on since the eagerly awaited 1939 Register was launched online by Findmypast, more than five million additional records have been made available, providing more people than ever before with the opportunity to discover details of their family, their home and their community.


In September 1939, just days after war had been declared, 65,000 enumerators were employed to visit every house in England and Wales to take stock of the civil population. The information that they recorded was used to issue Identity Cards, plan mass evacuations, establish rationing and co-ordinate other war-time provisions. In the longer term, the 1939 Register would go on to play a central role in the establishment of post-war services like the NHS. 

The Register was updated in some cases until 1991, meaning that many people born less than 100 years ago but who had died prior to 1991 had their record opened automatically. Owing to data protection regulations, the personal details of people known to be born less than 100 years ago and still alive, had to be kept hidden. Records such as these were marked as ‘officially closed’ and, of the 41 million original records that make up the register, approximately 13 million (around 32%) were ‘closed’ at publication.

In the year since the Register was launched, Findmypast has matched millions of ‘closed records’ to multiple data sources to correctly confirm the date and location of death for individuals recorded. This process has resulted in more than three million records being opened in the past 12 months, while an additional two million records have been opened in the past week to mark the anniversary of the register’s launch.

The 1939 Register now contains more than 32.8 million open records that can now be accessed as part of a 12-month British or World subscription. Each record includes the names of inhabitants at each address, their date of birth, marital status and occupation. A wealth of contextual information, including period photographs never before seen online, infographics, region-specific newspaper articles and historical and contemporary maps, are personally tailored to each record, offering a rich and unique user experience unrivalled by any other family history research tool to date.

The 1939 Register is of particular significance for family historians as it bridges an important 30-year gap. The 1931 census was destroyed in the war and the 1941 census was never taken. The 1921 census will not be released until 2022.

Paul Nixon, military expert at Findmypast says: “It is fitting that the 1939 Register, so long a ‘living document’ that was continually updated by the NHS, is still very much alive now that is has been published by Findmypast.  The opening up and release of a further five million records in the last 12 months means that more than ever before we can reach out to our recent past and discover where our ancestors were living, and what they were doing at the start of the Second World War.”

Audrey Collins, family history records specialist at The National Archives says: “The 1939 Register has been a tremendous resource for family and local historians since it was released, and has become even better since then. As well as five million new records, and the addition of the 'Browse' function, there are unexpected finds: details of previous military service and unusual 'occupations' such as 'on holiday from Australia'. And the first two people in the whole register were called Mr and Mrs Start!”


About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online family history. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Lives of the First World War, The British Newspaper Archive and Genes Reunited, amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over four billion family history records, ranging from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and conducting detailed historical research.


In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, the company has digitised records from across the globe, including the 1911 Census which they digitised in association with The National Archives.

The National Archives is one of the world’s most valuable resources for research. As the official archive and publisher for the UK government, and England and Wales they are the guardians of some of the UK's most iconic national documents, dating back over 1,000 years. Their role is to collect and secure the future of the government record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible. The National Archives brings together the skills and specialisms needed to conserve some of the oldest historic documents as well as leading digital archive practices to manage and preserve government information past, present and future.