RootsTech 2017

RootsTech is coming up next week. You know this if you registered for it. But if you’re not attending, or haven’t heard about it, their live streaming schedule has been released.

Check this webpage for their schedule, which includes some very interesting topics:

  • Getting Started in Genealogy
  • DNA: The Glue That Holds Families Together
  • DNA Matching on MyHeritage
  • Jewish Genealogy: Where to Look and What’s Available
  • Family History Is Anything but Boring
  • Mothers, Daughters, Wives: tracing Female Lines
  • Censational Census Strategies
  • Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, findmypast, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage
  • Cross the Atlantic with Religious Records
  • Journaling Principles That Work
  • Don’t Just Be a Searcher, Be a Researcher
  • Creating Google Alerts for Your Genealogy

For more info about the speakers and general sessions that are streamed live, go to the RootsTech 2017 Live Streaming Schedule webpage.

– Define Your Dash –

Perhaps you’ve heard this idea before. A few years ago I read “the dash” poem by Linda Ellis:

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

Think of a tombstone. And the birth and death date on that marker. What’s between them? A dash, of course. Those of us who do family history spend an inordinate amount of time figuring out a lot of dashes for our ancestors.

But what about your life? Have you spent much time documenting “your dash”?

Earlier this week on Family Search’s blog there was a post entitled, Define Your Dash: Start Writing Your Personal History with the #52Stories Project. They wondered if most people have given much thought to what their legacy will be. Then they challenge people to reflect on their lives, collect their thoughts and make sense of their experiences.

There are benefits. It’s therapeutic. Patterns can emerge. It could reveal a sense of purpose and control in your life. It should provide gratitude. You may find a stronger sense of self. And it could even make you happy (happier!) and more successful in your daily life.

No matter which reason may prompt you to begin this journey, go read the blog post. And see if it doesn’t inspire you to start a journal, or a weekly blog post. Or check out the #52Stories Project on Instagram (@FamilySearch) and the FamilySearch Facebook Page.

Lest it seem too difficult, insurmountable, or you suffer from but what will I write about-itis, let me say it’s divided into manageable bites. Twelve themes with 12 different questions under each theme.

As the Family Search blog post says:

Your Story Matters

Start filling in the details of your dash now, while you’re still in the middle. Discover the power of shaping your own personal history, strengthening family bonds, and yes, leaving a legacy.

“A life that is not documented is a life that within a generation or two will largely be lost to memory,” said Dennis B. Neuenschwander in a 1999 LDS general conference address. “What a tragedy this can be in the history of a family. Knowledge of our ancestors shapes us and instills within us values that give direction and meaning to our lives.”

What have you got to lose?

Better yet, what do those who come after you have to gain?

Don’t Panic


Or “Avoid Being Overwhelmed By Your Genealogy Research”

Has this ever happened to you? You all of a sudden have so much information, or perhaps records and paperwork, you become overwhelmed and don’t know what to do? Or don’t know what to work on first? One thing I’ve never figured out is why genealogical information comes in spurts – sometimes pretty heavy spurts!

Since I started my research about eight years ago, a lot more information has come online. What I collect in paper now isn’t nearly as much as what I collected then. I muddled through a system that worked for me back then. Now I scan whatever little paperwork I receive and file it in my computer (which is backed up online) and add it to my trees online.

The reason I started this post is because it’s one of the articles in the weekly Legacy News I receive via email. Whether you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by your research, or you’re a pretty savvy organizer, it’s a good article full of great tips.

Read it here.

Webinar: Pedigree Map


It is intriguing when I see something different from the typical family tree associated with genealogy. A Family Tree webinar entitled, “Pedigree Map – An Interactive Map of Your Family History,” I had to see what it was all about.

Here’s the description:

PedigreeMap™ is an innovative way to visualize your family history. PedigreeMap plots events from your family tree such as births, marriages, and deaths, as well as digital and scanned photos on an interactive world map.

Daniel Horowitz and Uri Gonen were the presenters, and they highlighted the various aspects of what was available and how to access the various features. It was interesting, basically because I love maps, plus it’s cool to see your family spread across a world map. Gives a new perspective to far-flung lands!

Unlike most Family Tree Webinars, the syllabus for this webinar is free to download. Usually the syllabus is only downloadable to Family Tree Webinar subscribers. So that was a nice perk.

mh-logoPedigree Maps is accessible through MyHeritage, which I have never used. I’m curious if there’s anyone who has used this feature of MyHeritage. Maybe I’ll have to give them a try.

If you use MyHeritage, watching this webinar may help you quickly learn to use Pedigree Map. You might also want to check out the other two webinars about MyHeritage: “Book Matching Technology at MyHeritage” or “7 Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries at MyHeritage“.

Historical Societies, Genealogy Groups


Yesterday I received an Historical Society renewal notice. I’ve been a member for several years. In the past, the benefits outweighed the cost of the membership. However since I renewed last year, they’ve increased their prices by half again as much.

I like the benefits that come with membership. But now I’m questioning whether that chunk out of the budget could be used towards genealogy in a better way. I used to belong to a several genealogy groups. One membership lapsed a couple years ago. They weren’t as diligent about reminding their members of upcoming renewals but they did remind me a few times. The other one I let lapse over 5 years ago, and they never did send a renewal notice.

These groups need members and money to continue to exist. But if I don’t feel like I’m getting my money’s worth, I tend to look elsewhere to use my genealogy budget.

An older friend of mine used to say, “If you ain’t got the time, you better have the money. If you ain’t got the money, you better have time.” Currently there’s more time than money in my genealogy budget. And it’s easier to attend a webinar than drive a ways to a meeting, which may or may not be pertinent to my research.

I am curious about others though. Are you a lone researcher? Or do you belong to some societies? Or are you a mover and shaker in some groups? What societies or groups do you belong to? Who has helped you? Or are you a philanthropic member of societies?