FamilySearch Web Indexing is now available – time to try it!

At our recent presentations we asked everyone to try the new FamilySearch Web Indexing,  but we told you to wait until it was released – we gave you a holiday!  The full public release has happened, but we have waited a while to make sure this new product is stable and ready for you to use. Now is the time for you to try web indexing!

What is indexing?

“Indexing is the process of creating indexes for record collections.  Having indexes allows researchers to more quickly find records for specific individuals; without them, researchers might have to look through hundreds or thousands of records to locate an individual record.  In FamilySearch indexing, volunteers copy family history information from digital images of documents.” (FamilySearch Help  Document)

What is a batch?  A group of records from a project

“Each project or record collection is divided into batches of one or more images that  typically contain around 20–50 names. When you index, you download a batch to work on. The batch may be just one image with several names, such as a census page. Or a batch may be several images with one or more names per image.” (FamilySearch Help  Document).   Sometimes there are only a few names in a batch

Go to familysearch.org and sign in – accounts are free.  Then click on Indexing and from the drop down menu select Web Indexing.

Carefully read the section My Batches – it suggests that you have 3 batches but the fine print tells you that these are merely suggested batches.  Click on the button Find Batches and select a project – you might want to try a Beginner Batch.

Hint:  It is very important to carefully read the Project instructions – look for the link.  Also look for the link to the Field Help.  Hovering with your mouse over a menu for more information.

Here is a link to an article from FamilySearch to on How To Get Started With Indexing Online   https://familysearch.org/blog/en/started-indexing-online/

Need additional help? Look at the Getting Started section in the FamilySearch article – and follow the links:

“Get Started

If you’re new to indexing or just want to brush up on your skills, take a look at some of the many tools and resources you have at your disposal.

1. Take a Quick Tour
Give indexing a try with a quick tour.

2. Review the Simple Guidelines
Take a minute to get familiar with a few important guidelines every indexer should know.

3. Choose a Favorite Project
With over 100 indexing projects worldwide, you’re sure to find one that interests you.

4. Find More Hints
Have questions about indexing in general? We’ve got answers. Check out these valuable resources.

5. Get Answers
Have more questions about web indexing? Here are answers to frequently asked questions.”

There is also a toll free number if you have questions:  1-866-406-1830 and ask for Indexing support.

Remember if you can’t read it,  you can send it back – there is an option to return batch under the menu Batch at the top of the screen.

We all like to be able to search for our ancestors online and FamilySearch Indexing is putting millions of names on the Internet almost every week.  You can take part.  Every name indexed is important

Please try web indexing – a great way to make more records available for all of us.

If you are already an active and regular indexer with the traditional program please continue with the traditional program as there is a lot of work to be done.   Projects in the traditional program are different from the projects for web indexing. 

Posted in FamilySearch.org, Indexing | Tagged | Leave a comment

15 Minutes on Blogs

Short presentation at the AGS Genealogy Conference 22 April 2017

  1. What are they?
    • the word blog is a truncation of the word weblog
    • “a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style” (Google)
    • A blog (also called a weblog or web log) is a website consisting of entries (also called posts) appearing in reverse chronological order with the most recent entry appearing first (similar in format to a daily journal) – from the Blogosphere
  1. Why use them? Many reasons including:
    • Keep up with news and events – think Newsletter
    • Share information
    • Engage others for a cause or issue
    • Easier to make and maintain than building your own website
    • Can be made private or limited access so you can share with your family
  1. Several platforms exist
      • A blogging platform is the software or service that you use to publish your content onto the internet in the form of a blog. A blog platform is a specific form of a content management system.
    • Can be used free of charge – for example:
    • blogger.com – free
    • wordpress.com – free
    • wordpress.org – pay
    • There are many others
  1. Among the blogs I read every day – or as often as they publish:
  1. Among my blogs are:
  1. Where  can you find blogs for genealogy?
  1. What to do next?
    • Use a blog
    • Follow a blog – subscribe
    • Build a blog
Posted in Ancestry Insider, Ancestry.com, Blog, FindMyPast, GenealogyInTime, Lost Cousins | 2 Comments

Notes on “Getting the Most from the FamilySearch Research Wiki”

Notes from Presentation given at AGS Conference Edmonton 22 April 2017

What is the familysearch wiki?  Why should every genealogist be using it?

  1. Overview
      • What is the research wiki?
      • How to access the wiki
      • How to navigate the wiki
      • Helpful wiki pages to use
      • How to submit content or edit the wiki
      • How to use the wiki for research
  1. What is the Research Wiki? – started 2008 – there are now over 85,000 articles in English on the wiki
    • Free online genealogical guide – quick and easy to use
    • Created and maintained by FamilySearch
    • Community can add information
    • Started with the old Family History Research Outlines – FamilySearch had problems keeping then up to date – 87 available – 3 not location based – e.g. Jewish – including one for each province in Canada
  1. What can you find on the wiki?
    • Links to online genealogy resources
    • Strategies and guidance
    • Record types – what are they? when? how?
    • Pages by locality – with resources
    • Pages by topic e.g. Organize your work
  1. What you won’t find
    • Not a database of specific individuals
    • but it does help you find records that may list your ancestor
    • so
    • Don’t search by your ancestor’s name
    • Search by locality
    • This is not part of Wikipedia
  1. Wiki was upgraded in March 2016
    • Major software changes
    • All information transferred over
    • Navigation changed from the right side to the left
    • Country, province, state pages redesigned
    • Rich text editor replaced with Visual Editor
    • Can now edit on almost all browsers – not just a few
  1. How to access the wiki
  1. Navigating the wiki
    • Interactive maps
    • Search boxes
    • Sidebars – 5 sections to the sidebar
    • Breadcrumbs – should be familiar to Windows users – nice way to navigate – FamilySearch adds breadcrumbs manually
    • Table of Content links
  1. Types of links
    • External – look for the blue arrow – opens a new window – so current window stays open
    • Internal – changes the window you are on – no arrow – you go somewhere else on the wiki
    • Dark blue ink – indicates you have visited the page or website before
    • Red ink – sadly no page created yet
  1. Helpful pages to use
    • Pages linking to online genealogy – most popular feature on the site – online links are awesome – but please read the information in the articles first – links to BMD are used the most – shows links to north Free and Pay sites ($) – Blue button takes you to a single site – the link on the left of the screen takes you to a list of 218 pages (Alberta BMD section adopted by AGS – and up to date on recent BMD changes )
    • Links to Ask the Community – links to FamilySearch Genealogy Research Groups on Facebook – regional groups
    • “How to” pages – mostly only for USA for now but adding others  – step by step how to find a record such as a marriage in a State
  1. Contributing to the wiki
    • Research outlines
    • Genealogists who want to share
    • Projects – using volunteers
    • Always growing – so come back often to see what has changed
  1. How to add content to the wiki – spamming problem in 2016 – getting paid for ads they place – so locked down things a little and you need to ask permission the first time you want to Edit – there’s a form for that request
    • Use the submit to the wiki link on the left and fill in the form
    • Edit the wiki yourself after you receive permission – make sure you Save your changes
    • Report Problems – such as broken link – use the link on the left and fill in the form
  1. Examples of using the Wiki
    • what types of records are available
    • for what years
    • where are the records
  1. What Canadian Censuses are available online? Do I have to pay?
    • Go to Canada – then Census on right sidebar – then scroll down to table showing links to indexes and images for Canadian Censuses – table indicate which links are free, which are free in a FH Centre and links to Ancestry for those who have accounts
  1. Why can’t I search in the 1890 US Census? Article indicates it was 99% destroyed in a fire.  Are there alternatives? Look to see if there a State Census available.
  1. I can’t research in Ireland – all the records were destroyed in the Civil War.  Not true, but what records were destroyed? What records were not destroyed?  Wiki articles listing destroyed record sets and not destroyed. 
  2. Do I have to worry about burned down court houses in my US Research?  Key term:  burned  counties.  Yes, there are some county court houses that burned down.
  3. Final Words on the Wiki
    • Search by place not name
    • Always growing – so come back often
    • Help by editing or submitting or reporting any problems

Check the presentation in the Learning Centre at FamilySearch  – “FamilySearch Wiki:  What it can do for you” – by Danielle Batson – great resource.

Posted in FamilySearch.org, Research, wiki | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Notes on “Getting the Most Out of Historical Records at FamilySearch.org”

Given at the AGS Conference in Edmonton on 22 April 2017 – sorry numbering is messed up – it was not like this on the original!  – wanted to get this out quickly – there is a print button at the bottom of the posting.  We hope this is helpful.

  1. What is under the Search menu at FamilySearch.org? 6 items: 
    1.  Records – meaning Historical Records – and this was the topic of this presentation
    2.   Family Tree – building one tree for all humankind
    3.  Genealogies – including the Guild of One Name Studies and some well sources Community Trees – worth checking out
    4.  Catalog – the catalog of the FH Library in Salt Lake City
    5.   Books – a collection of over 325,000 digital books – try searching for one of your families
    6.  Wiki – the Familysearch Research Wiki
  2. Other sections not to be ignored:
    1.  Memories – a collection of photos and stories – worth searching!
    2.  Indexing – give something back – help to make records searchable
  1. FamilySearch has 7.8 million registered users – and many more people who use the site without registering – and 1.1 million indexing volunteers – but looking for more.
  2. The Historical Records collection includes 5.66 billion searchable records and 1.23 billion images – and growing
  3. Four ways to access Historical Records – FamilySearch has very flexible search tools with many features:
    1. Search form
    2. . Interactive Map – just click on a country say Canada – then click on a province – say British Columbia – make sure you scroll down to see Collections you can only Browse as they aren’t indexed yet
    3.   Find collection – search by name if you know it – or click on the name of a single collection to search in just that collection
    4.  Browse all published collections – see a list of all the collections – currently totally 2214 – see which collections have Images (camera icon)
  1.   Note there there are 2 types of camera icons on the Browse collections page – one for images on the site and one telling you that the images are on another site – this camera has a page behind it
  2. Click any column heading in Browse Collections view to sort on that column heading.
  3. Sort on Last Updated heading (just click on title) to see recently added or updated collections  sorts list into chronological order— millions of records being added almost weekly
  4. Note there are filters on the left in browse collections
  5. Look for hidden search options:
    1. .Search by Life Event – Default is birth – but can search Marriage or Residence or Death or Any event – you can add and remove options (check box in field for that option removes it) – you can search by any event singularly or combine options
    2. .  You can search with a relationship – Spouse, Parents, or Other Person
    3.   You can restrict records by Location – very powerful, Type, Batch Number or Film Number
  1. Be cautious about checking boxes at the end of each field or at the bottom of the form that restrict to Exact only.
  2. Ten Search Strategies
  3. #1.  Put in just a name and then search
  4. Example used was Joseph Smith ancestor who lived in Nottinghamshire in England
  5. First Search = 4.9 million results
  6. You can restrict Location to England
  7. Then use the Filters below the search boxes on the left
  8. Narrow by using filter Birthplace – keep returning to same filter – first to UK, then England, then Nottinghamshire (scroll down in list of counties) – should have about 4000 results now
  9. Finally filter by Birth Year – first select century – then decade if you know it
  10. Reduced results from 4.9 million to 6 records in a few clicks
  11. #2.  Search by first name
  12. We used Almida – a family connection –  huge number of results so filtered by place of birth which was Sweden – but if you add Restrict by Location then all the preciously used filters are removed – add filters again – at end Almida Marriage in BC is #5 on the screen – can see the certificate
  13. #3. Find the children – do a parent search
    1. .Put in first and last name of Father and first name of mother
    2. .Restricted location to England and Nottinghamshire
  1. #4.  Search in a specific collection – if you know the name of colledrion search for it or click on Canada on the map and then a province and select a collection
  2. In the collection window click on Learn More to get a Wiki article about the collection
  3. Then search just within that one collection
  4. #5.  Use Batch Searches
  5. Which parishes have been extracted?
    1. .Before Indexing there was extraction – the systematic transcribing of information from films of original records – there are millions of these records – unfortunately without images
    2. . Have batches of records been extracted from my parish?  For which years
    3. .Used to suggest doing a Google search “ wallis IGI”
    4.  Hugh Wallis created a  very good database by country, county and parish – it was good but . . .
    5.  Now google search for Archer Software IGI – http://www.archersoftware.co.uk/igi/ – more uptodate – we compared one parish in the 2 systems and there were more batches at Archer
    6. . Copy batch numbers from Archer and paste into Batch Number field and add Surname
  1. #6.  Use the Source Film Number
    1.   Helping a friend with ancestry from Kincardine in Scotland
    2.  Went to the Catalog at FamilySearch and did a search – found the film number for parish registers
    3.  Put film number in Film Number field added parents to find children or just surname – and search
  1. #7.  Use Wild Cards – Two Wildcards
    1. * indicates you don’t know one or more of the letters 
    2. .at FamilySearch can be used after only one letter is known 
    3. .so use H* if all you know is it begins with an H
    4. . e,g, *hausen
    5. .? takes the place of any letter
    6. .so use Jam?son to find Jamison or Jameson
  1. #8. Sign in to see more images – Do you see all the same images?
    1. .No matter where you use FamilySearch? no – see more in FH Centre
    2. .Whether you sign in or not? Sign in and may show more images
  1. #9.  Use partner sites to see images – don’t be afraid to follow links to other sites, e,g,
    1. .ancestry.ca
    2. .findmypast.co.uk
    3. .What if you don’t have a subscription? Go to a Family History Centre
  1. #10.  Browse images – Using Waypoints to help you navigate
    1. .  There are great number of collections yet to be indexed – but the images have been digitized
    2. .  Used Durham Bishop’s Transcripts as an example
  2. Final challenge – Give something back
    1. .Take Part in FamilySearch Indexing
    2. .https://familysearch.org/indexing/
    3. .Watch for the new Web Indexing – coming soon and worth waiting for – I will post a notice on this blog when it is available
Posted in FamilySearch.org, Historical Records, Online books, Research | Leave a comment

Indexes to Alberta Births, Marriages, and Deaths are Online

Are you registered for the Red Deer Rootstech Family History Fair on 8 April?  Click Here to register.  Live sessions are listed at rdroots.wordpress.com– and video sessions will be announced in a couple of days.

Meanwhile you will be pleased to hear this news:

Alberta has the indexes to birth, marriages, and deaths online.  I know this was a large and complex project – and we should all celebrate.

What’s available? How do I get to use the indexes?  Can I order a copy of the registration?

Go to http://provincialarchives.alberta.ca/ , scroll down and click on Genealogy, and then on the right click on Find Birth, Marriage and Death Records http://provincialarchives.alberta.ca/how-to/find-birth-marriage-death-records/Default.aspx

You will note that The Provincial Archives of Alberta provides access to:

  • birth records that are 120 years or older (from the date of birth)
  • marriage records that are 75 years or older (from the date of marriage)
  • death records that are 50 years or older (from the date of death)
  • stillbirth records that are 75 years or older (from the date of stillbirth)

So you can search the indexes, but notice the link Request Form – which brings a form on the screen to request access to the actual registration of Birth or Marriage or Death with 2 ways to access the information. If you are able to go to Edmonton then you can go to the Provincial Archives or you can have the registration mailed to you for a cost of $0.35/photocopy plus shipping and handling.

Congratulations to the Provincial Archives for providing this service.

And now I have to update my article on Civil Registration Across Canada

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Registration is open for Red Deer Rootstech Family History Fair 8 April 2017

Go to rdroots.wordpress.com and look for the link to the online registration – hint:  look for the word Here underlined and  in blue.

Live and video sessions, Family History Centre for research, and a chance to register for Coaches’ Corner (20 minutes one on one) to help with a brick wall.

More information at rdrooots.wordpress.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Family History Guide – a new FamilySearch Partner

This resource has been around for awhile but has recently been updated and enhanced – and is now a FamilySearch partner – and best of all the use of the site is free!

What do you find in the Family History Guide?   “The Family History Guide helps you get started – and get farther – with your family history. There are links to over 1,000 videos and articles, all integrated into a step-by-step learning plan for learners of all levels. Projects include Family Tree, Memories, Descendants or Ordinances, Discover (research for over 35 countries), Indexing, Help, and Technology. Classroom materials are also available for instructors who want to teach using The Family History Guide.”  (from https://familysearch.org/apps/product/the-family-history-guide/web  – where you will find more information and an introductory video)

This is a great tool for family historians at all skill levels. There is step by step help for new skills  and even activities to refresh your skills.  I frequently have people wanting help with basic computer skills.  At the Family History Guide under the Intro menu there is a section on Computer Basics – for both Windows and Mac users.

Please explore this website.

http://www.thefhguide.com/

Posted in Family History Guide, Getting Started, News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment