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James Tanner's Blog – January 2010 Archive (23)

The future of FamilySearch

FamilySearch, the genealogical organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is well known for its Website, However, the Website for the actual organization is that of The Genealogical Society of Utah, the previous name of the organization. In answering the question, "What is FamilySearch?' the Website says:

FamilySearch, historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, is dedicated to the discovery and preservation of a record of the… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 30, 2010 at 8:21pm — No Comments

The end of the Family Tree Project

For the past few years, if you have been watching the FamilySearch Labs Web page, you are likely aware of the application called Family Tree. In an announcement made in the FamilySearch Labs Blog, Dan Lawyer notes that "The time has come to retire the very popular Family Tree project from FamilySearch Labs." Many users of the New FamilySearch program became acquainted with the Family Tree version of the program and used it to show a more developed pedigree view of the data and also to provide… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 29, 2010 at 5:05pm — No Comments

Recursos de Historia Familiar -- Hispanic Family History Resources

FamilySearch announced new Hispanic Family History Resources for its popular FamilySearch Website. The resources are available both in English and Spanish and link to the Hispanic Family History Resources Portal of the FamilySearch Wiki. Interestingly, our own Mesa Regional Family History Center is featured as a related Website. For the past few months, I have been helping translate the Center's Website and organize the materials at the Center for use by Spanish speaking patrons. There is also… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 28, 2010 at 8:16am — No Comments

The Full Wiki revisited

A comment by a reader (See comment by John) on my last post on The Full Wiki, got me back to look a little more deeply at the Website. First of all, John is right, it is not technically a wiki, it would be better characterized as a wiki search program. It seems to compile information from the underlying Wikipedia, among others and present it in a different format. By clicking enough times, you can sometimes get down to the original Wikipedia article.…


Added by James Tanner on January 27, 2010 at 8:28pm — No Comments

The Full Wiki -- another valuable tool for genealogists

It seems like there is a never-ending stream of new vastly large Websites that add functionality to the Internet. The Full Wiki came online in January of 2010 claiming to build the largest collection of free licensed work on the Internet. Apparently, they have already brought together the collective works of Wikipedia, Wikiquote, WikiTravell, Wiktionary and for nostalgia, the Encyclopedia Britannica of 1911.

Added by James Tanner on January 27, 2010 at 8:44am — No Comments

How would being deaf affect your genealogical research?

Although none of my immediate family members have been completely deaf, many of us have moderate to severe hearing loss. I recently wrote about the challenges of disability to participating in genealogical research. Since we just finished the Family History Expo here in Mesa, Arizona, it reminded me of the difficulty of functioning in that environment if you were totally deaf. I had a hard enough time with my hearing aids and being only partially deaf. Very, very few of the presentations would… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 26, 2010 at 8:58am — 1 Comment

A great experience at the Arizona Family History Expo

Despite a huge rainstorm and actual tornado warnings, the Arizona Family History Expo was a huge success. I was invited to attend as a Blogger and had a excellent time meeting other Bloggers and talking to the exhibitors and attendees. Although I have not heard any official attendance figures, I would assume there were at least twice as many people there, than last year. I hope they didn't come expecting the usual Mesa, Arizona really nice weather in January because we had a very large rain… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 24, 2010 at 5:48pm — No Comments

The Challenges of Genealogy for the Disabled

A short time ago, we had a patron at the Mesa Regional Family History Center who was deaf. I had the opportunity to work with him in doing research for quite a while. We communicated by writing our questions and answers on slips of paper. I am afraid I don't write very quickly, and tried to convince him to use the computer, so I could write more quickly, but I did not seem to get that concept across to him very well. Then in response to my last post about attending genealogical conferences, I… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 20, 2010 at 6:59pm — No Comments

Why should I go to a genealogical conference?

Genealogy can be a very solitary activity. Although you may have contact with your family and with other researchers, most of the work you do is done by yourself. Even though you may read journals, magazine articles and online resources about the work of doing genealogy, there are few places you can go to get feedback from knowledgeable people. Genealogical conferences provide the motivation to re-energize and re-think methods, procedures and sources. The social atmosphere of the conference… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 19, 2010 at 10:36pm — 1 Comment

Record Search update for New Zealand and Argentina

FamilySearch's Record Search has just published the New Zealand, Immigration Passenger Lists from 1871 to 1915. The records contain images only and are further described in the FamilySearch Wiki as follows:

Added by James Tanner on January 18, 2010 at 9:12am — No Comments

WorldCat, RedLaser, Google Books and much more

In my last post, I mentioned a new iPhone called RedLaser. I guess I need to be a little more specific. RedLaser is an app that reads UPC barcodes. If you read a barcode from a product in a store (or elsewhere) it will look up the product and search for a price on the Internet. The app has recently been expanded to read UPC barcodes on books. In addition to looking up the book and a price on the Internet, the program also looks in WorldCat to find a copies of the book in libraries, starting… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 17, 2010 at 3:45pm — No Comments

Now if I could just think of some use for it...

The latest from WorldCat and RedLaser, an iPhone app that looks up books in libraries:

Added by James Tanner on January 15, 2010 at 5:45pm — No Comments

Do Wikis really work for genealogy?

Before we get into any controversy over the question in the title to this post, I believe the answer to be yes, collaborative shared information sites, like the FamilySearch Wiki or the family tree Website,, certainly have a large role to play in genealogical world of the near future. But, is genealogy really about consensus? Just because I can get all of relatives to agree with me where my great-grandfather was born in California, does that really change the fact that I may be… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 13, 2010 at 3:03pm — No Comments

Back to Adam?

Recently, I have had several people brag to me about their extensive pedigrees. It seems that they have completed some of their lines back to Adam! I am always grateful to find out we are related, but I do have several comments about these old extended genealogies, some of which are apparently showing up on New FamilySearch.

Before getting into a discussion about the validity of these ancient records, it would be a good idea to get a feel for the types of records that survive. One… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 12, 2010 at 9:00am — No Comments

Family History Expo Contest

As a Blogger of Honor at the Mesa Family History Expo, I am told that two of my readers can receive free tickets to the event. To present these two tickets, I was told to run a contest. First of all it should be known that I do not play board games, much less enter contests. If I were an innovative design type person, I would probably be rich from ghost writing a mommy blog, but since I am an old and somewhat stodgy trial attorney, I have had a… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 10, 2010 at 5:04pm — No Comments

Data miners and vampires

One of the most common complaints I hear from researchers goes something like the following:

I spent years compiling my ancestry. One of my (friends, cousins, someone -- insert the name or description) asked for a copy of my file. I sent them a copy and later found the file on their Website (Blog etc.) without any acknowledgment and claiming that it was their file.

I call these people who steal others' information and present it as their own, data vampires. Personally, I… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 9, 2010 at 7:54pm — 1 Comment

Additions to Eastern European Records on Record Search

FamilySearch Record Search has just re-published the Slovakia Pre-Ajov Region Church Books (Slovakian and Hungarian Place Names) from 1592 to 1952. To quote the site, the collection contains "images of baptisms/births, marriages, and burials that occured in the Roman Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran, and Reformed Church parishes, as well Jewish congregations within the area of Northeastern Slovakia. The original records, created by local priests of each parish and by Jewish rabbis are located in… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 8, 2010 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Really old and really neat stuff

Cuneiform Tablets: From the Reign of Gudea of Lagash to Shalmanassar III

The Library of Congress is an inexhaustible source of really old and neat stuff. They also have a healthy dose of family history related items. The particular tablet above is in the Global Gateway in the Digital Collections. The collections include Collaborative Digital Libraries. As I teach classes on Internet resources, I am continually surprised at the general lack… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 7, 2010 at 8:42am — No Comments

Legacy Family Tree announces version 7.4 with New FamilySearch connection

In an announcement dated January 5, 2009, Millenia's Legacy Family Tree version 7.4 received official certification from FamilySearch, and is now listed as an official Certified Product at Legacy is certified in the following categories: Access, Ordinance Status, Print.

Added by James Tanner on January 5, 2010 at 8:46pm — No Comments

World Digital Library

The digital collections of the Library of Congress have expanded into the World Digital Library. The Library of Congress describes this international resource as follows:

The World Digital Library is a cooperative project of the Library of Congress, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and partner libraries, archives, and educational and cultural institutions from the United States and around the world. The project brings together on a single… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 5, 2010 at 8:40am — No Comments




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