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James Tanner's Blog – October 2009 Archive (29)

Can you do genealogy on a Mac?

One of the most re-occurring questions asked me at the Mesa Regional Family History Center involves running genealogy programs on a Macintosh computer. Very frequently, during a class on Ancestral Quest Family Tree or RootsMagic 4, someone will ask if the programs can be run on an Apple Computer. The answer is yes, but with qualifications and the solution is not necessarily simple.
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Added by James Tanner on October 31, 2009 at 7:48pm — 2 Comments

First Salt Lake Valley Temple to gain complete access to New FamilySearch

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Draper, Utah Temple District will be the first in the Salt Lake Valley to have full access to New FamilySearch. The roll-out will be complete for the Draper Temple District on November 2, 2009. This leaves the only the three remaining Salt Lake Valley Temple Districts without online access to the program.
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Added by James Tanner on October 29, 2009 at 8:01am — No Comments

Preview -- a genealogist looks at Windows 7

While my copy of Windows 7 has been ordered and is on its way, I have been looking at the reviews. Bear in mind that the previews and early reviews for Windows Vista were all over hyped, I began looking to see if the glow of the initial release of Windows 7 had begun to dim. I remember the introduction of Windows Vista and clearly recall that there were multiple sources in the genealogical community that were panning the program and telling users to wait to upgrade. I was one who waited so long… Continue

Added by James Tanner on October 27, 2009 at 8:09pm — No Comments

Searching the Family History Archives

FamilySearch's Website has a tab for "Search Records." This tab has pulldown menu items for both Record Search and the Family History Archives. In the menu, Record Search is called the "Record Search Pilot." Unfortunately, the Family History Archives name does not appear anywhere on the menu list. The item is called "Historical Books."
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Added by James Tanner on October 27, 2009 at 6:18pm — No Comments

Milestone for Family History Archive

The BYU Harold B. Lee Library, Family History Archives has reached a milestone of over 50,000 items, 50,092 to be exact. To quote from the site:
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Added by James Tanner on October 26, 2009 at 8:22am — No Comments

Genealogist's dilemma -- new hardware or new software

If you are running Windows 95 on a ten year old (or older) PC storing your genealogy files in Personal Ancestral File Version 4.0, you probably aren't reading this post and likely don't know or care about the latest in software and hardware releases. But if you are like me and have a scanning project where you have tens of thousands of files, including video, audio, and photos, you may be interested in looking for a new computer. One of the issues driving new acquisitions is the overwhelming… Continue

Added by James Tanner on October 24, 2009 at 6:22pm — No Comments

New FamilySearch roll-out -- nearing the end

According to the New.FamilySearch.org Utah and Idaho Release, News and Information site, by October 26, 2009 the Bountiful, Utah Temple District with have complete access to New FamilySearch. In addition, all but five of the Stakes in the Draper Temple District will also have access to the program. This leaves only three Salt Lake Valley Temple Districts; the Jordan River, Oquirrh Mountain and Salt Lake Temples.
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Added by James Tanner on October 20, 2009 at 8:09pm — No Comments

Parade of States --- online digital genealogy resources -- Washington

The online collections of the state of Washington are digital heaven for genealogists. The scope and variety of the records would be impressive for an entire country, much less for a state. If you have or had relatives in Washington, you just hit the jackpot.
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Added by James Tanner on October 18, 2009 at 5:48pm — No Comments

Problems With Updates to Record Search

October 17, 2009 is the date of the latest announced updates to the FamilySearch Record Search Website. The news release on the Website refers to the Massachusetts Census of 1865 and the Wisconsin Census of 1855. Unfortunately, neither of these collections appear in the list of available collections in the main list. The site also lists the total number of collections as 147. On October 4, 2009 the total was 151. It certainly appears that there are some serious problems with the site. I guess… Continue

Added by James Tanner on October 17, 2009 at 5:20pm — No Comments

Genealogical proof or merely evidence?

I find it common that genealogical researchers often confuse evidence with proof. For example, in looking for a birth date of an ancestor, the researcher finds a birth certificate. Although a birth certificate might be good evidence, it is not "proof" of the facts set forth in the document. Birth certificates have known to be wrong and errors are not uncommon. In the absence of any other evidence, the birth certificate may be persuasive as to the fact of birth, but still not be sufficient to… Continue

Added by James Tanner on October 16, 2009 at 6:54pm — 1 Comment

help with FamilySearch Research Wiki

In a letter sent out to all Family History Consultants and Center Directors, FamilySearch made the following invitation, quoting from the letter:

The FamilySearch Research Wiki is a collaborative Web site where individuals can find answers to family history research questions
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Added by James Tanner on October 14, 2009 at 8:32pm — No Comments

Ten Million (or more) Books

You may or may not have heard of the settlement of the Google Books lawsuit, but if you have any interest in the future of books or libraries, you may wish to read about it in the Official Google Blog.



For many years, Google has had an ambitious project to digitize all of the world's books. Yes, all of them. In 2005, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers filed a class action lawsuit against Google challenging the project. The settlement of that lawsuit just… Continue

Added by James Tanner on October 13, 2009 at 5:41am — No Comments

RootsMagic 4 has new update (4.0.6.0)

Bruce Buzbee of RootsMagic on October 12, 2009, announced an update to the popular RootsMagic 4 program. Quoting from the RootsMagic Bolg, the new, fixed and updated items are:
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Added by James Tanner on October 12, 2009 at 1:40pm — No Comments

Digitization at the National Archives (NARA)

The National Archives (NARA) in Washington, D.C. as well as its many branch repositories, contains only about 1% to 3% of the documents and materials "created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government." (Fortunately, I might add). See About the National Archives. Only those documents of historical or legal importance (as judged by the government itself, of course) are kept in the vast storage areas. There is no practical way to describe the variety and… Continue

Added by James Tanner on October 12, 2009 at 8:20am — No Comments

Parade of States -- online digital genealogy resources -- Arkansas

Arkansas is not known for its online digital collections but the number of records in increasing regularly. Across the U.S. there is a substantial difference between the collections being digitized by the various states. There are considerably more resources online than those shown in the lists below, but most are not digitized and are indexes or transcribed lists.
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Added by James Tanner on October 11, 2009 at 7:41pm — No Comments

Where have all the libraries (and newspapers, telephone directories and etc.) gone?

The other day we had occasion to go to a large university apartment house. In the lobby there was a huge pile of telephone books all in plastic bags. Evidently, the local telephone company had delivered this huge pile, one for each apartment, for the use of the residents. There was just one catch, hardly an of the University students had bothered to pick up their directory. I commented on this to the person we were visiting and she said, "Oh, we don't need one, we just look everything up online… Continue

Added by James Tanner on October 11, 2009 at 1:39pm — No Comments

Digitized British Newspapers 1800 to 1900

The British Library sponsors a number of huge online resources including digitized copies of the British Newspapers from 1800 to 1900. This mostly subscription Website contains, to quote the site:



* Millions of articles from 49 London, national and regional newspaper (1800 - 1900) titles.

* Over two million pages - all fully text searchable with keywords in context visible in the results list.

* 1000's of illustrations, maps, tables and photographs.…

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Added by James Tanner on October 10, 2009 at 7:03am — No Comments

Which is it? Genealogical Proof Standard or Legal Proof?

In a comment to my recent blog on the Genealogical Proof Standard, the Ancestry Insider raised the issue that the professional genealogical community has rejected the legal standard of a preponderance of the evidence and appears to have moved in the direction of a standard of clear and convincing evidence. Although I heartily approve of the Genealogical Proof Standard, I question whether or not, in the absence of a judge and an adversarial system, it is really possible to personally adhere to a… Continue

Added by James Tanner on October 9, 2009 at 8:15am — No Comments

The Digital Librarian: a librarian's choice of the best of the Web

The Digital Librarian is maintained by Margaret Vail Anderson, a librarian in Cortland, New York and is a very interesting selection of Websites useful to genealogy. This is an alphabetical listing but it is a good list to browse through to make sure you are aware of a number of helpful sites. Libraries and librarians are becoming more aware all of the time of the impact of the Internet on the viability of libraries in the future. In an undated article from the National Library of Australia, by… Continue

Added by James Tanner on October 8, 2009 at 5:17am — No Comments

Parade of States -- online digital genealogy resources -- West Virginia

West Virginia is in the forefront of states with online vital records it may not be almost heaven, but there are good resources. To quote from the West Virginia Archives and History:

The West Virginia Vital Research Records Project is a collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU) to place online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site selected West Virginia county birth, death and marriage records, and statewide… Continue

Added by James Tanner on October 7, 2009 at 8:55am — 2 Comments

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