Find My Ancestor Blog

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,, 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
  • 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
  • Immigrant Ancestors Project - - not only for LDS records.

  • "FamilySearch's Tools and Resources for the United Kingdom and Ireland" by Diane Loosle
  • - England Jurisdictions 1851. For now it ony covers England.
  • FamilySearch Research Wiki. Repository for the collective research knowledge of the genealogical community.
  • Access online classes for free at
  • FamilSearch Forums.
  • Trees, Records, and Books.
  • FamilSearch Beta.
  • 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."


Day One of NGS

Well it is the end of day one here at NGS being held in Salt Lake City. It sure has been quite the day.

I must admit, I was quite shocked at how many people there were especially in the tight space it is being held. Don't get me wrong, the Salt Palace is a pretty big building, but it seems like NGS was put into a little portion of the building. After the opening session it was like salt in a little egg timer slowly pouring out into the exhibit hall.

The exhibit hall was packed!! It was so hard to walk down the aisles because of the stampede of people. I also think those little suite cases that a lot of the people drag around should be banned. I don't think I have seen so many people trying to push their way through the crowd and at the same time taking people out as they go!! Haha.

All of the exhibitors I was able to stop and talk with today were great! Here are some of the booths I stopped at today:

Generation Maps
The last genealogy conference I went to in St. George, Utah I met Janet Hovorka. Today I figured I would go say hi and see how things were going with their new online service Family ChArtist. Janet was giving a demonstration of the Family ChArtist, so I joined in and watched the presentation. Family ChArtist is a great new service where you can go online and create wonderful looking wall charts you can print out or have Generation Maps print and send to you. From the website you can print an 8.5"x11" from your home printer.

APG (Association of Professional Genealogists)
Since I am interested in becoming a professional genealogist I figured it would be good to learn more about APG and what I needed to do or should do to join. I talked with two very nice ladies, one from California who I sat next to at the reception tonight, and the other from Oregon.

They said there aren't any prerequisites to becoming a member of APG, but they do recommend a number of different things. They recommend becoming certified by the BCG(Board for Certification of Genealogists) or accredited by ICAPGEN(International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists). They also recommend having a copy of "Professional Genealogy" edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills and "Evidence Explained" also by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

Tonight after the conference and exhibit hall ended for the day had a special reception talking about some of the process of how their website works and explained that it isn't as easy and simple and many people think. Ancestry has about 200 employees that work specifically on the design, functionality, and programming aspect of the website. So it takes about 200 employees to make the website so many of us use on a daily or weekly basis to help find our ancestors.

Ancestry also announced a few new product announcements. The first announcement isn't that secret because they have been talking about it for a little while and some of it is already released, where as the other two we were told were exclusive to tonight's reception.

The first is that Ancestry is redoing their search feature. They told us that about 78% of the people on their website use the search feature they have had for the past few years, where as about 22% have still used the old search feature. They wanted to know why there were still so many people using the old search feature, and incorporate those things into a new search. One of the main thing from the old search that isn't in the current search that is used so much is to be able to browse for records by location. In the old search you could click on a map and specify a state or other location to browse for records. In the search they have had for the past couple years that feature was taken away. Well, it is coming back into the new search that is becoming available shortly. They are making it so you can narrow it down all the way to the county level! I think that received the most applause of all the announcements this evening. For more information on the new search, visit

The second announcement Ancestry made is that they are coming out with a Wiki! Ancestry's Wiki will be available to all for FREE whether they have a paid membership or not! It will be just like any other wiki where you will be able to contribute information to make a big resource aid. The wiki will also include the famous books "The Source" and "The Red Book" online for free! This is definitely going to be a great resource in learning and compiling information. To learn more about the wiki, visit

The last announcement Ancestry made was that they are coming out with a Family Tree Maker software for the Mac OS! I know this is something that I have been interested in since I use a Mac. But, during the Q&A part at the end, my hopes sort of sank and I don't think I will be purchasing the software. Why? Well, I asked Tim Sullivan, CEO, and Eric Shoup, Senior Vice President of Product if this new software would be able to sync back and forth between the web and my desktop database. I told them there are many times I am not on my personal computer when doing my genealogy but I am on I would want what information I add/change online to automatically sync with my desktop and vice-versa. They said that is not available in either the PC or Mac version, but they are working on it. Well, for me I don't think I will be switching my genealogy program over until they have a feature like that.

It was quite the busy day and I am so tired!! It was so great to see so many friends again as well as meeting new people. One of the funnest things I think is to finally meet someone in person I have known over the internet for so long. There were a couple of people like that today. I know tomorrow will be another great day at the conference. Be sure to follow me on twitter for more up-to-date posts.


Keep Updated About NGS

Were you not able to make it to NGS? Fear not. I will be attending NGS and you can follow what is going on during the conference through my blog posts I will be making as well as following me on Twitter. I will be using the hash tag #ngs10. I believe a few others I know will also be using that hash tag. 

I will be posting highlights of the classes, exhibit hall, and other activities as they happen over the next few days. And while you're at it, be sure to become a fan of the Find My Ancestor page on Facebook.