Find My Ancestor Blog
24Nov/101

I Am Thankful For… 24 November 2010

Have you been to a genealogy conference before? That is what I am thankful for today!

My first genealogy conference I went to was the Mesa Family History Expo last January. I was fortunate enough to win free tickets to the conference from the Genealogy Gems Podcast. I had no idea how much fun I was going to have, or even how many friends I would make because of that conference! I now have genealogy friends all across the country because of that conference. I even met a new genealogy friend Joan Miller who is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

At that conference I was able to attend many classes on various topics from hard drive organization by Leland Meitzler, the Genealogical Proof Standard by Mark Tucker and Google Earth for Genealogy by Lisa Louise Cooke. Those were just a few of the many great classes taught at that expo.

Since that expo I have been fortunate to attend many others including:

I am also scheduled to speak at Leland Meitzler's Christmas Tour next month in Salt Lake City Utah. For more information about that tour/conference, visit Leland's blog.

I have also been asked to present at the new RootsTech Conference that will be held in Salt Lake City next February. I am very honored to be part of the great speakers that will be presenting at this new and exciting conference about technology. For more information about the RootsTech Conference and to register, visit their website. 
http://rootstech.familysearch.org/

I am hoping to attend the Family History Expo in Mesa again this next year in January, and I am definitely going to the Family History Expo in St. George. These expos are so fun and educational! I highly recommend you attend one of these conferences if you have not been to one yet!

10May/100

NGS Review Part 3

The following are my tweets from the opening session of the National Genealogical Society conference held last week in Salt Lake City. I am re-posting my tweets from the conference just in case you missed them and would like to know about some of the classes I attended.


  • "U.S. Naturalization Records, Colonial Times to Early Twentieth-century" by John Philip Colletta, PhD
  • Three periods of naturalization records
  • 1. Prior to 1970 2. 1790- Sep. 26, 1906 3. Since Sep. 27, 1906
  • Find a likely candidate and then secure and examine the original recede on microfilm or digitization.
  • Basic facts you need: ancestor's name, aprox.date, native country, state and county where living during naturalization.
  • Where can you find naturalization records?
  • Citizenship columns in federal censuses: 1820, 1830, 1870, 1900-1930.
  • Find information in state censuses. He is talking about New York state census.
  • Why Naturalize? Vote, Ability to hold office, transfer land.
  • Check passenger ships records to see if a family member was already a citizen.
  • ALWAYS check state archives!! He emphasized that a lot!
  • Colonial Period - beginning in 1607: stautes of British colonies in North America(except for N.H.)
  • 1740: people could become a citizen of both Great Britain and the colony they were living.
  • White, males, 21yrs. +, land owner. These were people who could get citizenship at the time.
  • 1776: people who were born from this point forward are automatically citizens.
  • Pennsylvania Records of Natiralization 1695 177~ Most are Germans.
  • 1795: Free white females 21>. 5 years in country. 2- Declaration 3- Petition.
  • Sep. 27, 1906 Bureau of Immigration & Naturalization created.
  • 1922: married women must file separately.
  • Courts that naturalized: Federal, State, Municipal. Start with Federal and work your way down.
  • After INS was created forms were made that gave a lot more information than previous hand written declarations.
  • Of course, be sure to check www.archives.gov
  • Great lecture on Naturalization by John Philip Colletta!!


  • "LDS Resources on the Internet - Where Can I Find Them And How Do I Use Them?" by Luana Darby
  • Early Latter-day Saint Database www.earlylds.com
  • Immigrant Ancestors Project - http://immigants.byu.edu - not only for LDS records.


  • "FamilySearch's Tools and Resources for the United Kingdom and Ireland" by Diane Loosle
  • maps.familysearch.org - England Jurisdictions 1851. For now it ony covers England.
  • FamilySearch Research Wiki. Repository for the collective research knowledge of the genealogical community.
  • wiki.familysearch.org
  • Access online classes for free at familysearch.org
  • FamilSearch Forums. forums.familysearch.org
  • Trees, Records, and Books. histfam.familysearch.org
  • FamilSearch Beta. http://fsbeta.familysearch.org
  • Currently there are 1.3 million records for the British Isles availabe on FamilySearch.


  • Waiting for "Immigrant Clue in Photographs" by Maureen Taylor to start.
  • Our immigrant ancestors took photographs the same way we do today.
  • Women immigrants would save all they could to buy a good dress to takes pictures and send home to family
  • Ancestors left clues in many of their photos.
  • Look for the fine details in the "costume clothes".
  • Red lines around photographs were generally taken in the 1870's.
  • In Europe, more than America, people dressed for their jobs.
  • The hardest costumes to figure out in photographs are military.
  • Wales developed a national costume to be distinct from England. Abt. 1860's.


  • Elizabeth Shown Mills class is packed already and it doesn't start for another 20 min!!
  • "Finding & Using Birth, Marriage, & Death Records Prior to Vital Registration.
  • In the 1100's is when records were started to be recorded a lot more regularly.
  • When records do exist, we still have to prove that the individual of record is the one we seek.
  • Many ancestors didn't have official marriages even when available because licenses &bonds cost money. Many were too poor.
  • Many couples could not legally marry even if they wanted to.
  • Beware of "the only one" of your relatives in a town. It may not be them or true.
  • "Research is NOT looking up the answer. Research is tracking down the answer."

7May/100

NGS Conference Exhibits – Part 1

At the NGS Conference there were the typical exhibitors that you see at every genealogy conference - Ancestry.com, Footnote.com, WorldVitalRecords.com, FamilySearch, etc. but there were also a few new companies/associations I have never seen before or that I think are so cool that I want to feature.

"Geneartogy - the name itself is a contaction of Genealogy and Art and that's what we do". I first came to know of Geneartogy back in January when I was at the Mesa Family History Expo. I found the concept of their designs so intriguing and very creative. I love seeing creative ways to display our family histories and this is one of my favorite ways of displaying it I have seen. Geneartogy allows people to create their own customized family tree for display in their homes. Your projects are created on either canvas or watercolor paper. Geneartogy also frames your project and ships them directly to your home.





To learn more about Geneartogy and their products, click on the link below.




Geneartogy-family tree templates

If you are a genealogist that wants to make a little extra money on the side then this next company is something you might want to look into. Genlighten is a fairly new website that allows you to post your profile and your qualifications for genealogical research. Through Genlighten people can contact you and consult with you to find records, documents, and other genealogy research. It is a great way to network, help out other genealogists, and make a few dollars. 

Be sure to check back for more exhibitors and re-postings of my tweets from the NGS conference.

5May/100

Opening Session of NGS – Jay Verkler

The following are my tweets from the opening session of the National Genealogical Society conference held last week in Salt Lake City. I am re-posting my tweets from the conference just in case you missed them and would like to know about some of the classes I attended.

  • Opening Session - Jay Verkler, CEO of FamilySearch, is talking about technology and how it is advancing so fast.
  • Genealogy community is using more and more technology like social networks, digitization, organization and sharing
  • FamilySearch's goal since the beginning in late 1800's - collect and copy, preserve, and distribute.
  • Verkler is showing a video of the Granite Mountain Vault outside of Salt Lake City
  • The microfilm in the vault holds about 3.5 billion images!! And there is more room to grow!
  • Some records in the vault are the only copies that exist! Now they are working on digitizing these records.
  • Digitization was going to take over a century, but with new technology it will take about 10 years!!
  • Over 300,000 registered indexers that help with the digitization process!! Learn more at familysearch.org
  • 300 million new records on FamilySearch!!
  • In 1984 the GEDCOM standard was set
  • FS(FamilySearch) has been working on a collaboration effort called Family Tree
  • He is talking about using the iPhone to "pinpoint" his location in a cemetery for reference. <3 the iPhone!
  • Even "deep experts" need to collaborate with other "deep experts"
  • Now talking about the FS Wiki. "Fundamentally designed for sharing"
  • Encourages to contribute to the wiki. Learn more at wiki.familysearch.org
  • Register at beta.familysearch.org
After Verkler's presentation the exhibit hall opened with a LOT of different vendors, products, technology, and more. In my next post I will be talking about a few of the exhibitors and following that I will be posting more of my tweets from the first class of the conference. If you would like to keep up-to-date with future tweets from conferences, be sure to follow me on Twitter.