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James Tanner's Blog – August 2009 Archive (17)

Have you looked at the USCIS Genealogy Program?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Genealogy Program is a "fee-for-service program providing family historians and other researchers with timely access to historical immigration and naturalization records. Click the links at right and below to learn about our services and records." Again quoting from the Website, there are two services:
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Added by James Tanner on August 31, 2009 at 9:18am — No Comments

Looking under the street lamp

I had an experience at the Mesa Regional Family History Center (MRFHC) recently that reminds of a old Bazooka Joe comic. In the comic, one of Joe's friends is searching for something under a street lamp. Joe comes up and asks what he is looking for. The friend says he lost a quarter down the street a ways. Joe then asks why he is looking under the street lamp and the reply is "That is where the light is!!!" In my experience at the MRFHC, one of the patrons was looking for a marriage date for… Continue

Added by James Tanner on August 30, 2009 at 8:57am — No Comments

New FamilySearch release date announce for 29 Stakes

29 Stakes in the St. George Temple District have an announced release date of 31 August 2009.

The Stakes to go online with the program are as follows:
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Added by James Tanner on August 28, 2009 at 8:45pm — No Comments

Is stealing my genealogy illegal?

An anonymous comment to my post on who owns genealogy said, "Its true that names and dates aren't "ownable", but if someone writes up their family history in a narrative format, it is copyrighted, and any reproduction without permission is illegal." Fortunately, we do not yet have copyright police in the United States. In fact, there is no agency at all, in the entire government, that enforces copyright claims. The comment shows a very common misconception, blurring the distinction between… Continue

Added by James Tanner on August 28, 2009 at 8:30pm — 3 Comments

Evidence of Salt Lake Valley New FamilySearch

During the past few months I have been focusing on the announcements of New FamilySearch introductions throughout Utah and Idaho. Those of us in Arizona have been waiting for the Wasatch Front Temple Districts to have the program introduced. Well, it now seems that they already have limited access to the program. I have started seeing Ordinance Cards printed from New FamilySearch with addresses in the Salt Lake Valley. Apparently, enough of the consultants and their friends have access to the… Continue

Added by James Tanner on August 27, 2009 at 11:17pm — No Comments

Projects and Information Around the World from FamilySearch

FamilySearch, formerly The Genealogical Society of Utah, is "is dedicated to promoting the preservation of genealogical information throughout the world. To quote the FamilySearch Website:
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Added by James Tanner on August 26, 2009 at 8:56am — No Comments

She stole my genealogy!

In rummaging through an online family tree service, George was surprised and angered to find his whole genealogy file posted by someone he didn't even know. He immediately sent several E-mails accusing the person of stealing his genealogy. Why did George believe that he owned the family tree information?
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Added by James Tanner on August 25, 2009 at 9:15am — No Comments

Who owns genealogy? Part Two

Your Great-aunt sends you a GEDCOM file of your ancestry on her side of the family. The file includes hundreds of individuals with notes and sources. You immediately decided to publish the information for your family and eventually, you publish a book containing the information from your Great-aunt as well as some of your own work. Did your Great-aunt own any of the information she sent to you? Do you own a copyright in the book you have just published? What parts, if not all, of your work is… Continue

Added by James Tanner on August 24, 2009 at 8:51am — No Comments

Who owns genealogy? Part One

Who owns the U.S. Census records? If I have a copy of the U.S. Census can I charge you to look at it? Who owns the Social Security Death Index? Again, if I have a copy, can I charge you to look at it? Do the individual states own their vital records? Do churches own their membership records? All of these questions have different answers depending on specific circumstances. Some of the answers involve copyright law and some involve practical business interests.…

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Added by James Tanner on August 23, 2009 at 8:44pm — No Comments

A short note on copying items on the Web

Some bloggers, even those with genealogical interests, apparently feel that anything posted on the Web is fair game for copying without even courtesy of attribution. Not only is this practice readily apparent from reading posts, but it is lauded by some as a good practice. I try to make sure that any time I copy something from a Web source that I give credit to the originator by providing a link, putting the material in quotes or indenting it to show that it is a quote. If I fail to do this, I… Continue

Added by James Tanner on August 23, 2009 at 9:51am — No Comments

RootsMagic announces multiple upgrades

In the RootsMagic Blog for 21 August 2009, Bruce Buzbee announced the new update to RootsMagic 4, now version 4.0.5.0. Quoting from the announcement the program now has these important new features:
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Added by James Tanner on August 22, 2009 at 10:21pm — No Comments

The latest additions to FamilySearch Record Search Pilot



The past few weeks have seen downtime for the FamilySearch Record Search Pilot, but 22 August 2009 brought new records collections. Record Search acknowledges that some images are missing and being reloaded onto the site, but the new collections add more millions of individuals.

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Added by James Tanner on August 22, 2009 at 4:40pm — No Comments

Revisiting standardized geographic names

The comments to my last post on geographic naming raise a number of issues. The two main questions deal with changes in political subdivisions over time and the need to identify the location of local records. In the western states, where I live, there is not really much of a challenge, but in the eastern states and, of course, in Europe, place names may have change dozens of times. These changes are really an opportunity to become familiar with local history.…

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Added by James Tanner on August 21, 2009 at 8:56am — No Comments

Graveyard Rabbits Revisited

Since my last post on the subject, The Association of Graveyard Rabbits has had many editions of their Carnival. The topic for this month's edition is "favorite photo." Take a moment to check out some of the links, they may give you a new perspective on the importance of graveyards to genealogy. Upcoming Carnival topics include:
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Added by James Tanner on August 20, 2009 at 8:24am — No Comments

The problem with standardized place names

One feature of the New FamilySearch program is the introduction of the Standard Finder, a utility for looking up and regularizing place names around the world. There is a problem with using this, or any other geographic look-up function, due to changes in jurisdictions over time. Many of the current lineage linked database programs also include a link to a geographic database. Relying on this function may create change an accurate characterization of the locality, to its modern… Continue

Added by James Tanner on August 19, 2009 at 8:40am — No Comments

History is the key to genealogy and genealogy is the key to history

My brother and I have both taught at the college level for years. After dealing with so many students, one fact is more than apparent to both of us; most students' knowledge of history is abysmally poor. History, as such, is no longer taught in many high schools or grade schools. Now, the children have classes in "social studies." Which is a euphemism for whatever popular social activist philosophy is current at the time.

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Added by James Tanner on August 18, 2009 at 7:33am — 2 Comments

New additions to FamilySearch Labs

In my last three posts to Genealogy's Star, I have reviewed three new additions to FamilySearch Labs. The additions include updates to the FamilySearch Alpha Website, Forums and England Jurisdictions of 1851.

Added by James Tanner on August 17, 2009 at 8:38am — No Comments

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