Find My Ancestor Blog

Mobile Monday – FamCam

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The following post continues the Mobile Monday Series reviewing various apps for mobile devices that help doing genealogy while you are on the go. If you haven't been following this series be sure to check previous posts:

If you are like me, there are many times when my family gets together for parties or even other events I want to share with my family but I forgot my camera. I may have forgotten my camera, but we very rarely forget our cells phones these days.

With FamCam you are able to share pictures either taken from your iPhone's camera or simply share the photos that are already in your iPhone's Photo Album.
Within FamCam you can create and manage different groups of people to email the photos to. Say you are having a family reunion with your mother's side of the family and you forgot to bring your camera with you or your batteries are dead. You can either take the photos directly from the app or take them from the default camera app and later go into FamCam and "Share from Library". Create a group just for your mother's side of the family and email the photos to just them.

You can always go back into your group and add make any changes you wish to make later.

Once you either take a new photo or chose from your library you specify which group you want to send it to. You can also send the same picture to multiple groups at the same time or add a new group.

After selecting your group(s) you can add a message to go along with the photo.

FamCam is a great way to manage different groups of family members as well as friends. Sending photos with FamCam is really fast and easy to use. It saves a lot of time when you are wanting to send a photo to a big group of people because you don't have to enter their email addresses individually like you have to in the default Mail App.



Local Genealogy Society Involvement

This last week I attended the first meeting of one of the local chapters of genealogical society here in Utah.  This local chapter hasn't held regular meetings for quite some time now partly due to the lack of interest in it's members and the publicity given it's meeting times and agendas. 

Being new to the society and not having attended any other society meetings I was not sure what to expect. I did not know how many people were going to show, especially since it was it's first meeting in about 8 months now, or what kind of structure the meetings were set up with.

Given these circumstances the meeting was in very low attendance and it seems like our chapter is having to start from scratch on organization, leadership, etc. I am looking for some guidance on how some other societies are run, attended, organized, etc. in hopes that I can go back to next months meeting and be able to help give some input on how we can make our chapter better.

These are some of the questions I have been wondering the past couple of days:

  • How are people in your local genealogy society involved? 
  • How often does your society or local chapters meet? 
  • How is your attendance?
  • How do you advertise your meeting agendas and what is going to be taking place?
  • Do you use social networking sites? If so, which ones and how?
  • What are some of the main concerns your members face when attending meetings?
  • How can the chapter help the overall excitement of it's members?
  • What do you like best about your society or chapter?
I appreciate any comments or suggestions you are able to give. Thank You!


One Week Until Jamboree

This post is this weeks "Follow Friday" of other genealogy bloggers and friends.

One week from today the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree will begin. I am way excited to go because it will be my first time attending Jamboree. I was originally not planning on attending Jamboree, but then I kept hearing how fun it was and who was all attending. I must say, many of you out there are the reason I am attending. I just can't pass up a chance to see many friends, meet people I have talked with online, and make new friends.

Here are some of the friends who I have previously met at other conferences that I am really looking forward to seeing next week at Jamboree:

The following are people I look forward to meeting at Jamboree:
I am sorry if I missed anyone! Whether you are not on this list or not, I would really like to meet you. Let me know so we can finally meet in person! You will probably be able to find me gathered amongst all the other Geneabloggers throughout the conference!


FamilySearch Encourages More Technology

The following is an article in the Deseret News about FamilySearch and the upcoming NGS conference here in Salt Lake City taking place next week.

SALT LAKE CITY -- Back in the early 1990s, a group of genealogy and technology enthusiasts began talking about how e-mail, digital cameras and scanners would change the way they work. 

David Rencher feels the conversation is worth updating -- and reviving.

These days, such discussions involve DNA, GPS and social networks. Thanks to FamilySearch, these and other technologies will get plenty of stage time when the National Genealogical Society's annual conference takes up residence here for four days next week.

FamilySearch, a division of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will sponsor a free exhibit hall at the conference that provides a platform for new and developing technologies being used in family history work. The exhibit is called "GenTech," the same name used by the organization that first put the spotlight on genealogy technologies. 

"My hope is that it will carve out a space illustrating the need for genealogists to keep current with technology," Rencher said.

He compares GenTech to a car show for genealogy technologies.

"Those technologies really begin to drive where family history is going," he said.
Rencher, FamilySearch's chief genealogical officer, estimates there are 2,300 genealogical societies in the United States. Almost all are dedicated to a particular ethnicity or geographic area. GenTech, however, was created to bring genealogists and technology together.

It began as a small organization in Texas two decades ago. GenTech flourished by holding national conferences where participants could introduce technologies and forecast trends that would change family history work.

It was, essentially, a trade show for genealogy technologies. But the conferences ceased when, according to Rencher, there was discord among GenTech board members and "no one wanted to become president."

"It had kind of a tragic and abrupt end," Rencher said.

In 2002, GenTech was incorporated as a division of NGS. But without GenTech conferences, the emphasis on technology diminished, Rencher said.

With the NGS conference coming to Salt Lake City this year for the first time since 1985, Rencher saw an opportunity to revive the GenTech discussion. He "pushed really hard" to give technology ample room at the 2010 event.

"I feel the need for that space," he said. "I feel the need for genealogists to pay more attention to the technologies, because I believe that technology is going to continue to outpace genealogists.

"There needs to be a genealogy-technology show, and right now there just isn't one. This is as close to a genealogy-technology show that we've ever had at this level."

The GenTech exhibit will feature about 100 vendor booths and two stages for demonstrations of products and technologies. The public can attend for free without having to register for the NGS conference.

It's meant to be a "discovery area," says Gordon Clarke, software developer services manager for FamilySearch.

"They'll get to see all the players working together and all the technology that's going to create a brighter future," Clarke said.

Attendees can learn more about iPhone applications for family history, or using GPS and computer software to locate gravesites. The beta version of the latest FamilySearch website will be available, and several developers will debut their products at GenTech.

FamilySearch will also provide a behind-the-scenes look at how it advances family history work, demonstrating how microfilm is digitized or how documents are photographed in the field.

"All of these ... technology solutions that have been applied to family history, we'll pull back the covers and we'll show you how they work," Rencher said.

GenTech will also forecast how technologies will be used in the future. For example, Rencher sees the day when DNA strains will be used to validate pedigree lines, or when social network site users tag distant relatives like they currently do friends. Both these areas have a presence in the exhibit.

"You'll see not only a glimpse of the future of what is happening," he said, "but you'll see a glimpse of the future of what may happen."
 I am really excited for the NGS conference next week to be able to learn more about genealogy, learn new ways and technology I can use to find my ancestors, and be able to network and meet with so many great genealogists.