Legacy Family Tree has been acquired by MyHeritage

This is big news.  Legacy Family Tree is an excellent desktop family history product.  Unfortunately they never created a version that can be used on a Mac.

Now Legacy Family Tree has been “acquired” by MyHeritage – what does this mean? MyHeritage is a large company with over 91 million users. Some people love their website – and inevitably some don’t.  I admire their search engine. How might this effect Legacy users?  Here is part of their press release and a link to some Frequently Asked Questions.  Meanwhile they are offering some great deals on purchases of copies of Legacy Family Tree – see link near the end of this article.

“Dear Legacy user,

We are proud to share with you the biggest step forward we have ever made with our Legacy Family Tree software and our FamilyTreeWebinars.com webinar series. We have entered into an acquisition agreement with MyHeritage, a leading global destination for family history and DNA with 91 million users in 196 countries. The acquisition will provide the resources and cutting edge technologies to advance and expand both our #1 rated software and our #1 rated webinar series. Think Legacy is good now? Watch out future – here we come!

How will all this affect you? Entirely positively. Here’s a flavor of what you can expect in the future:

  • A host of new features in Legacy software – we will be developing future versions of Legacy together. We have already started working on the new Tree Sync feature (to optionally have your Legacy file in a private or collaborative tree at MyHeritage)
  • Improved webinar platform to surpass the 1,000-virtual seat limitation we currently have
  • Significant discounts on MyHeritage services and DNA kits for Legacy users and webinar viewers not available anywhere else
  • Most importantly, you can expect the same high-quality support and service that you have come to expect from us. The entire Legacy and webinar teams will continue on at MyHeritage in our existing roles.

“The more I’ve learned about and experimented with MyHeritage, the more I have felt we need to partner together,” said Geoff Rasmussen, founder of the FamilyTreeWebinars.com webinar series and “the face” of Legacy Family Tree software. “The technology behind their online trees and historical records is incredible – second to none. MyHeritage has positioned itself to become the leader of the future of the genealogy industry and we can be a part of it. It’s the perfect match – our software and webinars combined with their resources, technologies, and international reach will help both of us accomplish our mission – to help the world find their ancestors.”

Just as we are excited to contribute to the success of our new owners at MyHeritage, they, too, are anxious to elevate our Legacy software and webinar series to levels that have been beyond our reach.”

There are some Frequently Answered Questions after the news release at http://news.legacyfamilytree.com/legacy_news/2017/08/legacy-family-tree-has-a-new-home-with-myheritage.html

Best wishes to everyone involved!

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New Collection of Ukrainian Records from 1650 to 1920 is Online

“The database includes 2.56 million people and is expected to reach 4 to 5 million in 2019. The access to its contents is and will remain free of charge. The sources of data are manifold: birth registers, fiscal and parish censuses, lists of nobility, voters, the military, and victims of repressions, address directories, and other documents produced under the Tsardom of Muscovy, Russian and Habsburg Empires, Poland and the Soviet Union. A Roman-letter version of the data index is reportedly to be enabled in the coming months.” (http://euromaidanpress.com/2017/06/24/huge-genealogical-database-of-ukrainians-born-in-1650-1920-opens-online/#arvlbdata)

I first went to this site on my ipad and that was when I was reminded that I don’t read Ukrainian!  Then I used Google Chrome on my computer – and accepted the invitation for translation that appeared at the top of the screen – now I could read what was on the screen!

Now I do need to apologize to all my Ukrainian friends . . .   your language and alphabet are great!

Go to https://pra.in.ua/

Thank you to Dick Eastman who referred me to Euro Maiden Press  for this information

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FamilySearch Announces the End of their Microfilm Distribution Service

We all knew this was going to happen one day . . .  and the official announcement came today:

FamilySearch Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (26 June 2017)—FamilySearch, a world genealogy leader and nonprofit, announced today its plans to discontinue its 80-year-old microfilm distribution service. The transition is the result of significant progress made in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of microfilm technology. The last day for ordering microfilm will be August 31, 2017. Online access to digital images of the world’s historic records allows FamilySearch to service more people around the globe, faster and more efficiently. See Finding Digital Images of Records on FamilySearch.org and Frequently Asked Questions for additional information. Find and share this announcement online in the FamilySearch Newsroom.

A global leader in historic records preservation and access, FamilySearch and its predecessors began using microfilm in 1938, amassing billions of the world’s genealogical records in its collections from over 200 countries. Why the shift from microfilm to digital? Diane Loosle, Director of the Patron Services Division said, “Preserving historic records is only one half of the equation. Making them easily accessible to family historians and researchers worldwide when they need them is the other crucial component.”

Loosle noted that FamilySearch will continue to preserve the master copies of its original microfilms in its Granite Mountain Records Vault as added backup to the digital copies online.

As the Internet has become more accessible to people worldwide over the past two decades, FamilySearch made the decision to convert its preservation and access strategy to digital. No small task for an organization with 2.4 million rolls of microfilm in inventory and a distribution network of over 5,000 family history centers and affiliate libraries worldwide.

It began the transition to digital preservation years ago. It not only focused on converting its massive microfilm collection, but also in replacing its microfilm cameras in the field. All microfilm cameras have been replaced with over 300 specialized digital cameras that significantly decrease the time required to make historic records images accessible online.

FamilySearch has now digitally reproduced the bulk of its microfilm collection—over 1.5 billion images so far—including the most requested collections based on microfilm loan records worldwide. The remaining microfilms should be digitized by the end of 2020, and all new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment.

Digital image collections can be accessed today in three places at FamilySearch.org. Using the Search feature, you can find them in Records (check out the Browse all published collections link), Books, and the Catalog. For additional help, see Finding Digital Images of Records on FamilySearch.org.

Transitioning from microfilm to digital creates a fun opportunity for FamilySearch’s family history center network. Centers will focus on simplified, one-on-one experiences for patrons, and continue to provide access to relevant technology, popular premium subscription services, and restricted digital record collections not available to patrons from home.

Centers and affiliate libraries will coordinate with local leaders and administrators to manage their current microfilm collections on loan from FamilySearch, and determine when to return films that are already published online. For more information, see Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm.

Source:  Email from FamilySearch

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Free Access to British and Irish Records at FindMyPast from June 22 to 26

If you want to do British or Irish research then this is for you!  Ends at midnight British Summer Time on Monday 26 June

  • “the most comprehensive set of British and Irish parish records anywhere.
  • Go back further in military history with our records dating back to 1760.
  • Uncover the role your Irish ancestors played in history with our unrivalled Irish record collection.”

Record sets not included in free access: “the UK Electoral Registers (2002-2013), the UK Companies House Directors (2002-2013), the 1939 Register, our Newspapers and Periodicals, and all non-Britain & Ireland records.”

Great deal – and a good chance to look around at FindMyPast – go to http://www.findmypast.co.uk/


Where have you been, Peter?  Taking some time off?  While I have taken a break, I  have also shifted my efforts from family trees to fallen trees in our yard.  After 2 very bad windstorms we have lost over 20 trees – no risk of running out of firewood next winter – or the winter after – or the winter after – and so on!  Anyone need any firewood?

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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. 

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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.

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