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A Busy Week in Genealogy

This has been a very busy week and it seems like I have missed quite a few things going on in the genealogy community! As I have been going through my Google Reader reviewing all the things that have been happening I figured I am probably not the only one who has been running from place to place and is now just catching up on all blogs, press releases and numerous other things. Here are a few things I have found going on this week that I found interesting!
Federation of Genealogical Societies Radio Debut - My Society
April 20, 2011 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the debut of My Society, the first Internet radio show dedicated solely to genealogy societies. Broadcast weekly each Saturday at 1:00 pm Central, My Society will host discussions of genealogy society topics with a variety of guests including well-known genealogists and genealogy community leaders. This unique media outlet can be accessed at To read the full article, visit
Making Money in Genealogy?
There has been quite the talk lately in the genealogy community about making money doing genealogy. Whether you are a blogger, speaker or researcher this article by DearMYRTLE is a great one to check out. She also gives links to other blogger's posts about the topic.
FamilySearch is Adding Source Capabilities
On Saturday I attended the monthly Riverton Family History Seminar. I attended a great keynote presentation by Tim Cross of FamilySearch talking about of the new features that are coming to FamilySearch. One of the features that particularly stuck out to me was the ability to add sources to the FamilySearch Tree. When Tim mentioned this my first thought was "about time". FamilySearch has done such a great job incorporating Web 2.0 and other great features to their website in the last few years. The Ancestry Insider describes a little bit more about Tim's presentation and when we can [hopefully] expect to see these new features. Hopefully this weekend I will have more time to read more genealogy blogs, write a few more posts and get some personal genealogy time in there as well.


Weekly Genealogy Wallpaper – 4/4/2011

Here is your Weekly Genealogy Wallpaper! I am going to start including some more information along with these wallpapers from time to time. Whenever I create a historical wallpaper or a location based wallpaper I will include other blogs, websites, histories and other information. Also, many of you will notice the sizes of wallpaper has changed. After a couple months of making these wallpapers and monitoring the stats of the visitors of this blog and website I have decided to modify the wallpaper sizes to better fit your computer monitor. The new sizes are close if not exact sizes of the most common monitor resolutions of the visitors. I hope these sizes will work better for your computers. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Civil War Wallpaper  


The Civil War

Civil War Blogs

Civil War Records

Civil War Education

Civil War Photos


Traces of the Past – iPhone/iPod Touch App Discontinued

Family120While I was catching up on some of my blog reading today I came across a post that made me quite sad. Traces of the Past, an iPhone/iPod Touch App that gives users access to the database is going to be discontinued. I have been looking forward to doing a review on this great app in the next couple weeks on my Mobile Monday Series but I guess now there is no use... I actually became familiar with Traces of the Past right before RootsTech. I even had to modify my presentation I did at RootsTech so I could give a demo on this great app. Ever since then I have used it MANY times to do a quick search if I am not at my computer. Truescape Solutions, Inc. is the company that developed the app. The other day they posted on their blog the following announcement:
We regret to announce that support for Traces of the Past has been discontinued. Understandably, this will come as a disappointment to many of our users. Many factors contributed to this decision, but first and foremost was our concern about being able to adequately support the App at a time when the service we access for records is undergoing significant and ongoing changes. The current version of Traces will continue to work as long as the service it uses remains available. Unfortunately, that service will soon be discontinued as the provider moves to create a better and more robust service for accessing their records.
Like some of you, I am one of those disappointed users they mentioned. In my opinion I really do think this was one of the best genealogy apps available for mobile devices. I hope that in the future once FamilySearch's system is more stable and isn't changing so often that we will see Traces of the Past supported and fully developed again. In the meantime, I hope someone else can develop an app that will access the FamilySearch database because I myself have found it very useful. Have any of you used the Traces app? How did you like it? How do you feel about the announcement of its discontinuation?


RootsTech 2011 – Day Two!

Friday was such an amazing day at the RootsTech Conference! To start off the day, I attended the Keynote presentation given by Curt Witcher. This presentation was unbelievable! He was so energetic and fun. Or course since this conference is about technology with genealogy, he was talking about many of the advantages and resources that have become available over the years. He also focused a large portion of his presentation on talking about how younger genealogists are the future. They are going to be the ones who are going to develop new technology, apps, websites etc. for us to use. It's the young people who know how to use the current technology and instinctively pick up on the new things that emerge almost daily. One of the points that he made that really stuck out to me was "we need to look at change and think - opportunity!". I completely agree with that! I love learning about new technology and think that others should too. I understand that many are not as excited as I am to learn and use new technology, but one thing I always tell people is that if you never try, you will never learn. One reason why I know so much about using computers and other gadgets is because I am not afraid to just play with them. For the most part, technology created specifically for others to use and play with is made to be user-friendly. Many people sometimes think they would break it if they push a button or click something wrong, but I think that is the best way to learn how to use something. Reading manuals just frustrates me so I pull it out of the box and just start playing. I think many people would be surprised at how fast they learn is they would just play with it and experiment. I also attended Lisa Louise Cooke's class on How to Create a Podcast. For those of you who don't know, Lisa has a number of different podcasts she produces including the Genealogy Gems Podcast. I have been interested in learning how to create a podcast for quite some time now, but I have not yet ventured out there and done it. After the exhibit hall and classes ended for the day, many people made their way over to the Family History Library for an evening of food, a showing of Who Do You Think You Are and of course research! Normally the library closes at 9pm but last night they wanted to give researches a little extra time to break down those brick walls and digitize as much microfilm as they could, so therefore the library was open until midnight! I'm not even sure the last time the library stayed open that late! The showing of Who Do You Think You Are was great. With so many genealogists there it was fun to laugh at many of the documents that were shown. Tim McGraw was shown document after document taking him back one generation at a time in his ancestry. I personally think it is funny because it makes it look so easy, but we always have to remember that research for these episodes took many many hours and difficult research. Below is a little video clip of some of the party at the Family History Library.