Find My Ancestor Blog

St. George Family History Expo Banquet

Is it just me, or does it seem like there are just way too many things to do, write about, research, and prepare, and yet not enough time to do it all? - I know I'm not the only one!

I have been so busy this week with work and school that I haven't had any time to do any genealogy, so today I am setting aside everything else to work on some of my own genealogy and to catch up on some blogs that I have promised... I am SO sorry I have gotten behind.

I guess first things first. I promised last week I would give a summary of my presentation I gave last week at the St. George Family History Expo Banquet. The banquet was very nice and I think we all had a lot of fun!

Jean Wilcox Hibben sponsored the banquet and came up with the theme "The Wonderful Wizard of Blogz". The banquet included presentations by Jean herself, Arlene Eakle, myself(A.C. Ivory), and Gena Philibert Ortega.

I was asked to focus my presentation on blogging and Twitter, and how they can help genealogists in their research. I must first say that I am very surprised and proud of all the genealogists out there who have a blog and use Twitter. I must admit that before I started to really get serious in genealogy I thought that blogs and twitter were for high school kids and stay-at-home moms to write about their kids in school. I was very wrong!! Blogs and Twitter are used by every age group, and every group of people.

As I have used my blogs and Twitter I have learned many things! As I was preparing my presentation I came up with what I call the 5 "f's" of blogging and tweeting. Click here to view the slides I used for my presentation. I also showed examples of my blogs and my Twitter page to give the audience an example of what you can do and what they look like. Please feel free to leave comments or suggestions.


I Think Someone Has the Genealogy Bug!!

Last weekend was great to be able to go to the St. George Family History Expo and attend all the great classes, see friends, and meet new people.

All of the classes were great with many new things on the horizon. One great thing about these conferences is that those who haven't done genealogy in a long time remember the fun you have when searching for your family, and even better is when there are those who get bit by the genealogy bug!

After lunch on Saturday I skipped class so I could catch up on a little tweeting and so I could go around the exhibit hall and talk with some of the vendors without the mad rush of people in between classes. As I was walking around I met one of the vendors, April, who has her own business, Digital Scrapbook Memories, selling digital scrapbook graphics. I knew my mom would be interested in stuff like that so I stopped by to see exactly what is was all about.

As I started talking with April she started asking me how I got involved with genealogy and what is was that sparked my interest. Many people ask me that when they first meet me at places like one of these conferences because I am so young and you rarely see someone my age doing genealogy. April and I talked for quite a while about different aspects of genealogy and she was asking me a lot of questions. It was so fun to help answer these questions for her. I love helping others learn about genealogy and how to get started.

I think our conversation really sparked that interest for her and now she seems to be infected like the rest of us! I love it when new people get involved with genealogy because it expands that social network of people to help each other solve our brick walls and make new friendships. I am so glad I stopped by her booth and talked with her. She seems like she has so much enthusiasm and that makes me even more excited to help other people get started on their genealogy.

Go check out April's blog and what she had to say about the conference. I think you too will be able to see the excitement she now has to start digging into her roots and find those ancestors who have been waiting for someone like her to research the past. April's blog address is


Are you a "Family Search Member"?

In Bryce Roper's presentation this morning at the St. George Family History Expo he talked about Family Search's Record Search.

Record Search is a site with digitized and indexed records from the Granite Mountain Vault just outside of Salt Lake City. The Granite Mountain Vault has one of the largest collections of microfilm and microfiche in the world. Collections include information from all over the world. Record Search gives access to these digitized and indexed records.

If you have used Record Search, you probably have found that there are some records that only have the index, some have index and images, and others only have the images.

You may have noticed that sometimes there is a link taking you to a different website such as Footnote or FindMyPast to view the image instead of viewing it on the Record Search site. The reason some things are not available on Record Search, but rather an affiliate site it because Footnote may have digitized the image, while FamilySearch did the indexing. Instead of both of them doing the exact same work twice, they have joined together in things like this to create indexes and digitizations for quicker access.

When I first saw links to other websites like this I was pretty surprised. As most of us know, FamilySearch is an organization part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and so they don't charge for their records for profit like companies like Footnote and do.

Last month at the Mesa Family History Expo Bryce mentioned the fact that "one day" these images and documents that are linked from Record Search to Footnote and other affiliate sites would be free for "FamilySearch Members". This information got me pretty excited, and I'm sure the same thought was going through everyone else's head at the same time - What exactly is considered a "FamilySearch Member"?

According to Bryce, they are still working on the "exact" definition of a "FamilySearch Member", but he did tell us the general definition. To be a "FamilySearch Member" you must fall under at least one of the categories below:
  1. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  2. Anyone who uses Record Search at a Family History Center
  3. Anyone who uses Record Search at the Family History Library
  4. Anyone who has registered to be a FamilySearch Indexer and meet certain requirements(I think this is where Bryce was talking about the fine tuning as to the definition of a "FamilySearch Member". Indexers have to index a certain amount or be an indexer for a certain period of time. The amount and time has not been specifically defined yet)

Back in Mesa, Bryce said that this will happen within the next few months, but didn't give a date. When I attended his class this morning I wanted to ask him if there was an update to when this is going to be available. According to Bryce as of this morning, they are hoping they will have this access available by the end of April in their "new release". He didn't mention really what all was included in that release, but after he mentioned that I thought that NGS is at the end of April as well, so I am thinking that this "new release" including the access to these records will be announced there at NGS.
Bryce did say that this is not a definite date, but it makes sense that they would be announcing it at NGS. Hopefully we will hear a little more about his before that time.


10 Tips from dearMYRTLE

This morning the first class I went to at the St. George Family History Expo was dearMYRTLE's class on 10 Things Genealogists Cannot Live Without.

dearMYRTLE's presentation gave a great outline of key websites and resources to successfully do your genealogy. Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced genealogist, these 10 things are great to remember and use in your research.
  1. FamilySearch Bridging Software
  2. FamilySearch (wiki, catalog, record search, indexing)
  3. ("wiggling leaf")
  4. Online Book "Access (FamilySearch, Google Books, WorldCat)
  5. Improved Search Engines (Advanced Google Search, LiveRoots, SteveMorse, GenSmarts)
  6. Locality Specific Websites (county, state, or country specific)
  7. iGoogle
  8. Social Networking Resources
  9. Online File Storage (refer to online backup series)
  10. Distribution Methods (, MyCanvas,, Picasa, Flickr)
For more info, or to contact dearMYRTLE, visit her website at