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James Tanner's Blog – November 2009 Archive (24)

Shall I upgrade to Windows 7?

The best thing I can say about Windows 7 after a few weeks of working with the program is that it is rather ordinary. There are no outstanding issues. There are no glitches or bugs. It just does the job an operating system is supposed to do. Now, as a genealogist, I have some other questions to ask.



What about the price? It is rather expensive, the prices at the larger retailers runs close to $300 with a few prices below that. The one big drawback is the upgrade from Windows XP is… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 30, 2009 at 10:41pm — No Comments

Search strategy online for ancestors

What is the best strategy for searching online for your ancestors? Surprisingly, there are few simple rules that will lead to a dramatic increase in the reliability of the returns from a search with any search engine, be it Google, Yahoo, Ask, Alta Vista, Bing or whichever. These rules also work with nearly all of the online databases, including Ancestry.com, WorldVitalRecords and many others.



Before getting into the search rules, you must first understand tiny bit about a very… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 28, 2009 at 5:09pm — No Comments

See your world (and history) in a new way

Many of the newer versions of genealogical database programs now contain some form of a mapping program. But the world of maps has changed and unless you have investigated the possibilities lately, you cannot imagine how interesting and dramatic the mapping world has become and you have missed the boat unless you know about 360 degree spherical views of places around the world.



How would you like to have this picture (and millions of others)?…





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Added by James Tanner on November 27, 2009 at 9:18am — No Comments

Indexes are hearsay

If a witness were testifying in court and began to relate a conversation they had outside of the court, the attorney for the opposing party would immediately object to the testimony on the basis of the hearsay rule of evidence. Almost uniformly in the U.S. court system testimony about what someone said, with a few specific exceptions, if inadmissible and objectionable. If the witness manages to say something about their conversation before the attorney can object, the Judge can order the… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 26, 2009 at 8:22am — No Comments

Swiss records digitized online

Although Switzerland is one of the smaller countries in Europe, many people in the U.S. can trace their ancestry to Swiss immigrants. Except for collections of individual Swiss family files, there have been very few actual Swiss source documents online and especially those with free access. Now in its worldwide reach, FamilySearch's Record Search announces the first online Swiss records. In an announcement dated November 24, 2009 Record Search added Switzerland, Schaffhausen Church Records… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 25, 2009 at 7:51am — No Comments

Hundreds of thousands of new records online

With the winding down of the introduction of New FamilySearch to U.S. Temple Districts, FamilySearch has apparently turned some of its resources towards increasing the number of records available on Record Search. An announcement on November 23, 2009 indicates that Record Search has just added over 250,000 images to the Brazil Catholic Church Records collection. Here is a description of the records from the FamilySearch Wiki:…

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Added by James Tanner on November 24, 2009 at 8:27am — No Comments

Kreative Blogger Award Thanks to Heather Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy, Angela at What Was Their Story and Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings for nominating me for the Kreative Blogger award. Apparently, …

Kreative Blogger Award





Thanks to Heather Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy, Angela at What Was Their Story and Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings for nominating me for the Kreative Blogger award. Apparently, this is sort-of a chain letter kind of thing but I'll go along for the ride. Here is my list of seven things about myself:



Read…
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Added by James Tanner on November 23, 2009 at 8:31pm — No Comments

A disaster averted

During the recent upgrade of my operating system from Windows XP to Windows 7, I began transferring files from my old computer to a new one. As part of the transfer, I checked one of my old journal files. Now, there needs to be a little bit of an explanation here. I started writing a weekly/daily journal about 35 years ago. The first few years the entries were handwritten, but over time, I changed to keeping my journal on the computer. Printed out, my journal would be thousands of pages. A few… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 23, 2009 at 8:35am — No Comments

Comments on RootsMagic Essentials -- free genealogy program

If you already have a copy of RootsMagic 4 on your computer and you try to download the new RootsMagic Essentials, you will end up with an update to your existing program but not a separate copy of the program. So if you want to see how the program runs, you left looking at the feature's list. I guess I will have to find someone without the program, since this is what happened to me when I tried to look at the new program for evaluation.



From the features list, it looks like the… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 20, 2009 at 8:30am — No Comments

Wiki FamilySearch Barn Raising Projects

In the Beta version of the FamilySearch start page there is a link entitled "Learn." The link takes you to a new "Learning & How To's" page. I am impressed with the links provided on that page which lead to the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Although I am well aware of the huge amount of information pouring into the Wiki, it is apparent that FamilySearch is finally getting to the point where all of this information will become more accessible.…

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Added by James Tanner on November 19, 2009 at 8:48am — No Comments

FamilySearch Alpha is now Beta

For some time now, on Labs.FamilySearch, there has been an alpha version of the new homepage for FamilySearch. An announcement on November 17, 2009 introduced the beta version of the new homepage. The announcement was made on the FamilySearch Labs Blog. As explained in the announcement:

The FamilySearch Beta is a project that will eventually replace the current www.FamilySearch.org website with a new site at the same address that integrates all of… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 18, 2009 at 9:01am — No Comments

Thanksgiving -- the end of New FamilySearch

Well, not really the end, just the end of the longest software introduction in the history of computers. The Salt Lake Temple District will be completely given access to New FamilySearch on November 23, 2009. They should probably declare a national holiday. Oh, they did. Only it is three days later on Thursday, November 26, 2009.
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Added by James Tanner on November 16, 2009 at 7:48pm — No Comments

New collections in Record Search go into Wiki FamilySearch -- sort of

Record Search added a new collection of Massachusetts Marriage Records from 1842 to 1915. The collection is presently (November 15, 2009) only 19% complete. The collection includes the name index and images of Massachusetts statewide marriage registers. The marriage registers are in numbered volumes arranged by year then by individual town. Currently only marriages for the years 1906-1915 are available.
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Added by James Tanner on November 15, 2009 at 6:53pm — No Comments

New FamilySearch -- the end is in sight Members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Salt Lake Temple District will have their first official access to the New FamilySearch p…

New FamilySearch -- the end is in sight

Members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Salt Lake Temple District will have their first official access to the New FamilySearch program on November 16, 2009. Thirty Stakes will gain access on that date leaving approximately 38 remaining Stakes for a future date. This may well end one of the longest, if not the longest, software introductions in the history of computers. It has been over two years since the first Stake… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 13, 2009 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Personal Ancestral File -- only mostly dead

I recently had a discussion with a patron at the Mesa Regional Family History Center who was trying to learn more about genealogy to help others with their research. She indicated that she was sort of serving by default as the Ward Family History Consultant in her LDS Ward. During the discussion she mentioned that a member of her Ward was teaching classes and insisting that everyone had to use Personal Ancestral File. Apparently, as I have mentioned in the past, some people think their is a… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 12, 2009 at 8:52am — No Comments

Take a look at books

Having spent a goodly portion of my life in libraries, both as a patron and a library employee, I am aware that there are a lot of things about seeing books on shelves and having them to read that are lost when the books are digitized. The greatest loss is the synergy of having books grouped together. No catalog or index can give you the perspective of reading the shelves, that is, looking at each book in turn about a particular subject. Whatever the limitations of the Dewey Decimal System of… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 9, 2009 at 8:34am — No Comments

FamilyInsight and Windows 7 on an iMac

FamilyInsight is a highly useful add-on tool for Personal Ancestral File (PAF) users who want to do many of the things that PAF won't do, particularly with New FamilySearch. The features of the program give PAF real utility, but unfortunately you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. (Actually, you can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but the question is, who would want to?). PAF is not going to be supported in the future by FamilySearch and as time goes on and more and more… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 8, 2009 at 6:20pm — No Comments

How do I do genealogy?

When I was young and had time to do things other than genealogy, I used to practice archery from time to time. I would set up various targets to shoot at in the yard, which was big enough to use for the activity. Inevitably, I would shoot all of my arrows and miss the target at least a couple of times. In targets, think cardboard box, not the nice straw kind with big circles. Anyway, there were a couple things I did know when I started to search for my lost arrows. First, the arrow could only… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 7, 2009 at 6:46pm — 1 Comment

Genealogist's view of Windows 7

I have been running Windows XP since shortly after its release. After reading many reviews, I elected not to upgrade my home computer to Windows Vista but some time ago, our office computers were all upgraded. So I have been running both Windows Vista and my older versions of Windows XP for a considerable time. During the past week, I have been working with Windows 7 installed on my iMac using Parallels Desktop. I feel that I have a pretty good level of experience with both Vista and XP to… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 6, 2009 at 9:05pm — No Comments

New FamilySearch -- Down to the last two Temple Districts

With the Jordan River Temple District gaining full access to New FamilySearch by November 9, 2009, there are only two more Temple Districts left until the introduction process is complete in all of the Temple Districts in the United States. There may still be areas where the program will still have to be developed in non-Roman alphabet languages, like Chinese, but it looks like the introduction is essentially over for the time being. The last two Temple Districts, still waiting for an… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 5, 2009 at 3:01pm — No Comments

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