Saturday, August 18, 2007

CGSSD Meeting - Don Baker on "Demystifying Inkjet Printing"

The Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD) meeting was this morning at UCSD. The program announcement is at

There were actually three meetings today, but I missed one and a half of them due to my church group breakfast at 8 AM. By the time I get to the CGSSD meeting it is 9:30.

I chose to attend the Special Topic Session on "FamilySearch" but I missed all of the discussion about FamilySearch itself. This session was led by John Kracha, the CGSSD President, and the discussion eventually led to "should CGSSD start and maintain a society blog, and should the society distribute the newsletter through web site access and email notification." John asked for my comments on both topics, since he knew that CVGS had started a society blog (Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe) recently, I had made a presentation about blogging to CGSSD in April, and CVGS has used their web site to distribute the monthly newsletter.

* I said that a society blog needs volunteers to start and maintain it, and content creators to "feed" it. Program announcements, research tips and techniques, "how-to" questions and answers, genealogy software reviews, etc. might be topics for a CGSSD blog. But someone has to write the articles and post them. This is a computer-oriented organization, so many (most?) of the members might use a blog as a communication medium with the society leadership. I mentioned that the CVGS blog takes only 15 to 30 minutes a day (on average) to "feed," but I'm the only one doing the task.

* Should CGSSD distribute the 24-page quarterly newsletter by putting it on the web site and not publish it? Several persons said that they like having a bound paper copy for reference purposes. I noted that you can cut publishing costs by sending an email notice to the list that want an electronic copy, and thereby reduce your publication costs (printing, binding, mailing) by some amount - for CVGS it is about 50% of our membership. Someone asked if a blog, or a monthly (or even weekly) mini-letter sent by email, might be an alternative. A friend of the editor noted that putting it together every three months is a major time commitment and a weekly or monthly email newsletter would add to the editor's job, assuming that the quarterly would still be published, although the writing of articles might ease the editor's quarterly workload a bit.

I missed the FamilyTreeMaker session led by Lance Dohe. He said they discussed FTM 2008 a bit, since one of the attendees had downloaded and tested the Beta version.

The second hour presentation was by Don Baker of Klassic Specialties in Cerritos (in Orange county), a firm that specializes in computer printer products - paper, ink, etc. The web site is at You can put in your printer model number and manufacturer and see a list of remanufactured or original ink supplies sold by Klassic Specialties. I have an HP PSC 2355, and the original cartridge prices for black and white (#94) is $19.99 and for the large color cartridge (#97) is $34.95. These are about what I pay at Office Depot now, and Costco is a bit cheaper. The remanufactured costs are $18.99 (#94) and $22.99 (#97), respectively.

Don went through details of different kinds of paper or media for printing - and why some are better than others. for instance, rather than use glossy photo paper for album photos, you could use photo bond paper which provides an equivalent image quality, especially when you put it behind glass in a picture frame. He passed around four images printed by one printer on different types of paper - from copy paper to canvas, for comparison purposes.

Most printers are set for copy paper, and the printer uses a higher ink volume than if it were set for inkjet paper. You can vary the ink volume setting on your printer depending on the type of paper in use.

Don noted that printers are almost disposable now - the replacement cost of the inkjet cartridges may be almost as high as the printer itself. He also said that there are no 3rd party carrtridges for some printers (like HP and Epson) because of patent infringement suits or legal agreements between parties.

The presentation briefly covered other types of printers also - laser, thermal autochrome, and dye sublimation. Photos obtained at photo kiosks may be generated by these other methods.

The most interesting fact he presented was that an inkjet cartridge with 5 milliliters of ink calculates out to about $15,000 per gallon of ink. Isn't that amazing? For my HP printer #97 (14 ml for $34.95) it comes to $9,450. Compare that to a gallon of gasoline. No wonder printers are disposable - there's a lot of money in the ink cartridges!

Another highlight of the meeting was a slide show by Dave with his family pictures shown along with the lyrics of one of Dr. Steven Baird's family history songs. I can't recall the song title, but the theme was along the lines of "when I get to heaven what will everybody look like?" Will grandma be the young 24-year old honey that grandpa married, or will grandpa be a young man or the old man I remember? What will I look like, and who will I recognize? It was funny and poignant, and the pictures were wonderful (imagine Pamela Anderson next to Grandpa Jones!).

Carnival of Genealogy #30 is posted

The 30th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is posted by Jasia at the Creative Gene blog - here. The topic is Genealogy Conferences and seminars.

There are 11 submissions this time, and some of them are quite humorous. Please take a few minutes and go read all of them.

The topic for the next Carnival of Genealogy is: Confirm or Debunk: Family Myths, Legends, and Lore. Family myths or legends are those widely circulated yet unconfirmed stories that may range from the origin of an ancestor to more complex lore. Everyone who looks into family backgrounds, however we label them, sooner or later comes across the truth or untruth of these myths or legends. What does one do when confronted with evidence contrary to a long-standing family legend? What are some of the legends that the participants have confirmed or debunked or would like to confirm? How did family react to the discovery of the real story? Maybe the real story was even better than the myth?

The next edition of the COG will be hosted by Craig Manson at GeneaBlogie. The deadline for submissions is September 1st. You can submit your blog article for the next edition using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Thanks to Jasia for her hard work in putting most of these carnival posts together.

Answering Queries

We get several queries a month at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society web site asking for help with cemetery lookups, obituary lookups, etc.

Don't you just love this one that we received recently?

"Info re Lute Barnes early 1900s. "

I responded and asked for more information, and received this (my correspondent was so excited he found his caps lock key on in the middle of the email):

"hE WAS MY UNCLE . bORN IN mANSFIELD OHIO ABOUT 1870 MOVED TO sAN dIEGO ABOUT 1889 WITH HIS BROTHER fORD bARNES.Moved to Chula vista started a lemon orchard. Had a son named Murry. Father was Sy Q. barnes.That is about all I can rember."

I spent about two hours today trying to piece this family together from census records and California vital records, and had some success.

The man's name was actually Lucius Bentley Barnes, his wife was Lena P. Burgess, and his children were Mildred (1897), Lyman (1899), Murray (1906) and Kenneth (1909), all born in California. I also found the brother, Ford Barnes family data. They resided in what is now Chula Vista in the 1900 to 1930 census records, and Lute and Lena died in Chula Vista.

Lucius and Ford's father was Norton Barnes according to the records, and his family (including Lute and Ford) were found in the 1880 census in Miami County KS.

There is more research that could be done here - now that I know death dates, I could obtain death certificates and find obituaries for these folks, and could also find city directory listings for them. It's not clear what my correspondent wishes me to do further, so before I do the hard work I sent this info off to him today.

My main reason for even attempting this task was to see how long it might take. Chula Vista's 100th anniversary is in 2011, and the local historical society might want to do some sort of genealogy research on the early American settlers of the city. This is something that CVGS might be interested in participating in.

Friday, August 17, 2007

NARA Fee Increases Announced

Dick Eastman posted the link to the Federal Register report for August 17, 2007 with the notice of the National Archives Record Administration fee increases (remember the proposed fee increases were announced in February with a deadline for comments in late April?). The fee increases go into effect on 1 October 2007. The Federal Register announcement is here.

The fees announced include:

** Passenger Arrival Lists (NATF Form 81) -- $25

** Federal Census Requests (NATF Form 82) -- $25

** Eastern Cherokee Applications to Court of claims (NATF Form 83) -- $25

** Land Entry Records (NATF Form 84) -- $40

** Full Pension file more than 75 years old (post-Civil War) (NATF form 85) -- $75 (up to 100 pages)

** Full Pension File (pre-Civil War) (NATF Form 85) -- $50

** Pension documents packet (selected records) (NATF Form 85) -- $25

** Bounty Land Warrant Application files (NATF Form 85) -- $25

** Military Service Files (greater than 75 years old) (NATF Form 86) -- $25.

If you recall, the Civil War Pension Files were going to be $125 - NARA reacted to the comments from the genealogy/history community and reduced the fee to $75 for the first 100 pages of a Pension File from the Civil War and later. However, if there are more than 100 pages in the file, they will charge $0.65 per page, but they will notify you first to determine if you want the complete file and what the charge will be.

It appears that the letter writing campaign did some good.

Fortunately, at least some of these records are available at one or more commercial genealogy web sites - the Rev War Pension selected documents are at HeritageQuestOnline, the full Rev War Pension files are being added to, the Passenger Lists are on, etc. And many of these records are available on microfilm at the Family History Library or a National Archives branch for review and copying.

Genealogist or Family Historian?

Several genea-bloggers have pondered the definitions of "genealogist" and "family historian" in recent posts. I was on vacation when the issue first arose in James M. Beidler's genealogy column in the Lebanon (PA) Daily News. My fellow genea-bloggers have said it better than I could. If you haven't read their posts, please do so at:

1) Dick Eastman at Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter - Should we call it Genealogy or Family History - read the many comments here.

2) Schelly Talalay Dardashti at Tracing the Tribe blog - Are We Family Historians or Genealogists?

3) Chris Dunham at The Genealogue blog - Genealogy vs. Family History.

4) Jasia at the Creative Gene blog -- Genealogist vs. Family Historian. Who Are You?

5) footnoteMaven at the footnoteMaven blog -- Split Personality?

There may be more, and I will update this post when I find them. This is a very important topic that each researcher struggles with at one time or another.

There are significant comments on Chris' post concerning adoption and "biological parents" that should be reviewed by all people with that family situation.

So what do I consider myself? By the standards of my fellow genea-bloggers, I am a "Family Historian" that pursues genealogy research.

UPDATED 17 August 9:50 PM:

Wikipedia has excellent definitions and description of Genealogy and Family History. The best summary of Family History is:

"While genealogy is the convenient label for the field, family history is the over-arching term, since genealogy in the strict sense is only concerned with tracing unified lineages. Other sectors of family history, such as one-name studies, may pay only rudimentary attention to lineages, or may emphasize biography rather than vital data. Most genealogical societies in Britain are united in the Federation of Family History Societies.

"Forms of family-history research include:
genealogy (tracing a living person's pedigree back into time from the present, or an historic person's descendancy to the present, using archival records)
genetic genealogy (discovering relationships by comparing the DNA of living individuals);
one-name studies (an investigation of all persons with a common surname)
one-place studies (population histories including the German de:Ortsfamilienbuch)
* heraldic and peerage studies (inquiries into the legal right of persons to bear arms or claim noble status)
clan studies (inquiries into groups with a shared patrilineal or matrilineal connection to a tribal chieftain and his servants, although they may not be related by blood and may not share the same surname)
* family social and economic history (telling the story of a family's place in society or economic achievements using oral and written records, or inferring information about lives from wider historical sources; this subject is treated below)

"Unlike related forms of micro-history, such as corporate histories or local studies, family history research begins with only an approximate notion of the extent of the entity - the extended family - and never fully defines it, since the early origins of all families become invisible in prehistorical times. DNA genealogy offers some hope of moving this boundary further back into time."

At least no one has claimed to be a prosopographer, although at least some genealogists/family historians are! Go look it up!

I guess I can also claim to be a one-name student... but not a clanner.

Call me anything you want, just don't call me late for dinner.

UPDATED, 8/21, 8 PM: Jasia of the Creative Gene blog and Schelly Talalay Dardashti of the Tracing the Tribe blog were on the DearMYRTLE Podcast dated 21 August. The three of them discussed this issue, and also talked a bit about genealogy blogging. If you haven't heard it, treat yourself to a wonderful discussion by thre who are skilled in the arts - of genealogy, blogging and talking!

New "Genealogy Gifts" Stuff

Jimmy Kavanagh at Genealogy Gifts has some new and funny gift items.

** When There is a Genealogist in the White House

** Golden Rules of Genealogy

** Halloween - Interviewing the Dead for Genealogy Research

** Genealogy World Champion -- who would have the guts to wear this one?

There are a lot more on the blog site - enjoy!

Maui Pictures and Stories

For those who might be interested, I posted my "Aloha from Maui" messages with pictures added on my Randy's Busy Life blog. The first one is at and has links to the others.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ancestry and NEHGS to Collaborate

There's been another announcement of collaboration between two large providers of genealogical and historical research information.

Leland Meitzler provides the press release sent by the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) here. NEHGS and will "bring together and make available for the first time the enormous resources of both institutions in an effort to continue fostering a growing national interest in family history and genealogy." Please read the whole announcement carefully!

The "money" quote for the genealogy researcher is:

"As part of the relationship, NEHGS, the country’s largest and oldest non-profit society and, the largest online family history website, will offer joint access to some of most important family history information available anywhere. While details of the collaboration will be outlined in the weeks to come, it is planned to include special membership opportunities that combine’s repository of five billion names and 24,000 databases and titles and some of NEHGS’ most significant genealogical publications and services."

The statement doesn't really say what the actual collaboration will be, but I'm sure it will be defined as time goes on.

This raises some questions in my mind, such as:

1. Will the NEHG Register articles (since 1847!) be available for subscribers? Some of these articles are very useful and are only available in paper format or digital format on the NEHGS web site.

2. Will the NEHGS databases, including the Massachusetts Vital Records 1841-1910, be available to subscribers? Many of the Massachusetts town VRs to 1850 (the so-called "tan books") are already available on Ancestry, but the civil registration records starting in 1841 are not available anywhere but on microfilm (including the FHL) and in digital form on the NEHGS web site.

3. Will NEHGS members get a price break on subscriptions?

4. Will subscribers get a price break on NEHGS membership?

5. Will be available for free access at NEHGS in Boston? I think that they currently have Ancestry Library Edition available now.

6. Will NEHGS published books be available at reduced rates in the Ancestry Store? And vice versa?

7. Will the NEHGS data be available on the Ancestry Library Edition database suite?

8. Will and/or NEHGS finally digitize the early Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine vital records taken from town records (these are available on FHL microfilms but are not digitized to my knowledge). The Massachusetts (1841-1910), Connecticut (pre-1870) and Rhode Island (1630-1930) VRs are available in digital format (either index or image).

Another inquiring mind wants to know why this announcement is not on the NEHGS web site, or on The Generations Network Press Room site, yet (as of 2:15 PM Pacific on 16 August). You would think that this important announcement would be posted quickly to the web sites of the principal players!

As with other collaboration announcements, we will have to see how quickly this occurs, and how much content from the two organizations is provided.

But I think this collaboration will be good for genealogy researchers.

Thanks to Leland Meitzler for the full announcement!

CGSSD Meeting on Saturday, 8/18

The next Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego meeting is on Saturday, August 18, from 9 AM to 12 noon. The announcement from the society reads:

9:00 - User groups for Family Tree Maker, and a Special Topic Session on FamilySearch

10:15 - A break and refreshments

10:30 - Announcements followed by Program "Demystifying Inkjet Printing" by Don Baker

In this fun filled presentation, Don will show you how to get the best printouts and at the lowest cost possible. It's a combination of all sorts of factors from printer maintenance, paper and other materials, inks, and tuning them all to perfection. Learn hot to get the ultimate quality image from your color inkjet printer.

Don Baker is the owner of Klassic Specialties in Cerritos. He has an engineering degree from Cal State Long Beach, and an MBA from Pepperdine University. He lives in Long Beach. Don is a frequent guest lecturer on the subject of inkjet color printing on both coasts. His calendar is filled with trade shows and computer interest groups in the Southern California area. His mission is "to promote and develop our market by providing the highest quality media, ink, and related products available to our customers. In so doing, assisting our clients to attain the full potential and benefits that can be achieved with today's ink jet printer technology."

The meeting is at the Robinson Auditorium complex on the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) campus in La Jolla. From North Torrey Pine Road turn at Pangea Drive into UCSD. Free parking is available in the parking garage on the left; use any A, B, or S space. Signs will mark directions to our meeting room. Please refer to our website; or the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies website for driving directions and a map.

I'm curious as to who will lead the special section on FamilySearch and if they will include information about the Records Access Genesis Project!

CVGS Computer Group Meeting on 8/15

We had the CVGS Computer Group meeting yesterday, with 15 in attendance. Gary set up the projector on one of the library computers so I could demonstrate sites and searches from the podium, but there was something wrong with that computer - it could search the Internet but not the library databases (including Ancestry Library Edition). All of the other computers could do both - Internet and Ancestry. It never did get straightened out by the library staff.

Therefore, some members spent time searching in Ancestry, and most of the members followed along with my searches. We went to these web sites:

1) The Rootsweb Mailing List Archive - at (use the Advanced Search capability)
2) The Rootsweb Message Board Search function - at (use Advanced Search)
3) Joe Beine's Death Indexes web page - at
4) Joe Beine's Birth and Marriage Indexes page - at

There are so many mailing list messages (almost 33 million) and message board messages (over 17 million on Rootsweb), many dating from the late 1990's, that many researchers don't even try to search them for other researchers who might have common ancestors. Part of the problem is that there are so many individual lists or boards that the volume is overwhelming. Searching has become much easier and faster since Rootsweb added the search engines. You can put a name in quotes - such as "isaac seaver" - on the Mailing List Advanced Search box and get good results, but you can't put the name in quotes on the Message Board search - it ignores the quotes.

Many members are stymied in obtaining birth, marriage and death certificates because of state laws restricting access. Others just don't know where to look. Joe Beine's web sites are really helpful - there are many "work-arounds" there in the state listings for specific counties. We looked at death certificates for Ohio, Arizona and Missouri today and some members were pleased to see that images of some vital records can be found online. We also went looking for cemetery records in several counties, and I showed how the Boulder (CO) Genealogical Society has put a lot of genealogical information in their database for Columbia Cemetery in Boulder.

This was a very useful group meeting because it reinforced (again!) that not ALL genealogy data is on the Internet, and that for the data that IS on the Internet, not ALL of it is on

FamilySearch "Records Access Genesis Project"

Dick Eastman has a fascinating post about FamilySearch's "Records Access Genesis Project" Request for Information. I searched the Genealogy Society of Utah web site for a mention of it, but could not find it yet.

This RFI (70 pages, but Dick provides only a bit of it) reveals more of the "grand strategy" of the LDS and GSU concerning expanded access to records - both those controlled by the GSU and those not yet digitized by the GSU or by any other provider (e.g., a commercial company, a society, etc.).

The important RFI paragraphs for researchers are:

"The FamilySearch Records Access program provides personnel and state-of-the-art digital cameras, software, and web-based applications to assist record custodians who wish to digitize, index, publish, or preserve parts of their collections.

"For archives and heritage societies, the Records Access program benefits include:
* Digitally capture, preserve, and publish records online
* Increase access to records while maintaining control and ownership
* Increase patronage and business viability
* Over 100 years of archival and publishing experience

"For service providers, the Records Access program helps them:
* Benefit from the knowledge and relationships of FamilySearch with the archival community worldwide
* Significantly lower costs associated with acquiring, preserving, or providing access to data
* Increase business viability and website traffic
* Leverage an open platform that develops value-added services around

FamilySearch, the world's largest repository of genealogical data"

Dick Eastman summarized the records that the GSU was interested in digitizing:

"The full RFI also specifies record sets of current interest to FamilySearch, including U.S. census records; census records from England and Wales; U.S. County Wills; U.S. County Estate Files; U.S. County Deeds; U.S. Church Records; Spain Parish Registers; Southern Poland Catholic Parish Registers; Southern Poland Lutheran Parish Registers; Germany, Bavaria, Brenner Genealogy Collection; Italy Parish Registers; Portugal Church and Civil Registration; Ukraine L'viv Greek Catholic Church Records; Ukraine L'viv Roman Catholic Church Records; Hungary Civil Registration; Germany NARA SS Genealogy Collection; Denmark Civil Registration of Marriages and more. In addition, FamilySearch will consider publishing other records as suggested by service providers."

Read all of Dick Eastman's blog post - he comments that "we are all at the 'second dawn' of online genealogy information."

I agree completely with Dick's opinion on this, and really appreciate his commenting on the RFI rather than just "passing it along." I also look forward to reaping the research benefits of this effort by the LDS/GSU/FHL/FamilySearch to provide images of original records to researchers for free - even if we have to go to an FHC to see them and capture them. I just hope that I live long enough to enjoy it!

Note that even when all of this information is available in digital format that researchers will still need to go to the local or regional repositories, the local genealogy and historical societies, and the local courthouses. Why? Because even this ambitious Project will not capture ALL of the available records. For instance, probate records on FHL microfilms in many counties are available only into the early 1900's. Where are we going to find the records for the late 1900's? In the repositories - until the LDS/FHL/GSU microfilm or digitize them.

In the big picture of the genealogy world - who do you think is going to be the #1 genealogy data provider in the future? The race is on - and all researchers will benefit.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Della's Journal - Week 33 (August 13-19, 1929)

This is Installment 33 of the Journal of Della (Smith) Carringer, my great-grandmother, who resided at 2115 30th Street in San Diego in 1929.

The "players" and "setting" are described here. Pictures of some of the players are here. Last week's Journal entry is here.

Here is Week 33:


Tuesday, August 13 (warmer): Mrs. Auble, Bessie, Vernon & Betty went to see the dog races, they enjoyed seeing them. I telephoned to Mrs. Westland to get me some of the Sim Prey face brick 36 c[ents] each, got 3. Several have looked at the house on Fern. Betty helped me clean & varnish Laundry room.

Wednesday, August 14 (warmer): Miss Thoren Paid Rent. She stayed here while I worked upstairs, painted laundry tray lids and window sills. Letter from Aunt Libbie. Myrtle & Ben home, had a nice trip but Myrtle's stomach got out of order. Ma has not called up or come home. A[ustin]'s feet bother some but are doing better.

Thursday, August 15 (warm): A[ustin] got pay. Vernon & friend Lee Pray went to Agua Caliente to play golf. Tonight the folks went to a show. Ma out to her house. I painted laundry lids another coat. Watered fig tree. Mr. Gould did not go ["started for Denver" crossed out]. Col. does not know how long he will stay. I sent $1.00 for renewal of magazines, Good Stories and Woman's World, Household & 2 others, sent it yesterday.

Friday, August 16 (warm): I went out to Ma's while the folks went into the country to get a box of oranges sent E[ast] for Mr. Pentecost's birthday. Miss Thoren stayed here for me.

Saturday, August 17 (warm): We went out & got Ma. Miss Thoren went with Vernon, Betty & I. Vernon helped me fix a few things then I varnished some congoleum rugs. One man to look at 2116 Fern. Ed did not come over. Folks went to Mission Beach had supper on the sand & went in surf bathing. 105 airplanes up at one time over at Rockwell Field, Navy planes.

Sunday, August 18 (warm): American Legion 11th annual convention. Folks getting ready to go away, are going this afternoon on boat in bay to see the log Raft brought in. American Legion some coming by Blimp. Went in evening to Roseville, saw raft go by.

Monday, August 19 (warm): Emily's 30th Birthday. We gave her glass fish globe & $5. Ma bottle of Almond oil. Mrs. A. & Betty Bath salts. Lyle fish globe & base to stand on, an old man fishing. Gladys a black oil cloth cushion made like a turtle. Bessie some money. Bessie & Vernon started home today at 9 A.M. She gave me $10 to get myself something. I went to town and deposited $110. Got some things for 2116 Fern $4.10, double cooker 95c, dishpan 95c, kettle 95c, tray 75c & sauce pan 30c, paring knife 15c & can opener 5c. Letter from Ed, he had been sick all the week. I saw parade (40 bands) took almost 1-1/2 hours to pass. Was very good, some very pretty costumes. Ma washed, put up 2 Pla?? 1 qt peaches.


This was a pretty busy week for Della. Emily had her 30th birthday and received a lot of gifts. It's hard to think of Emily as a young woman - I only knew her as my loving grandmother. I think of Della as an older woman, since most of the pictures of her are from the 1920's and 1930's, and that's how my mother remembered her. Funny how the mind works, eh?

FamilyTreeMaker 2008 Released

The 2008 edition of FamilyTreeMaker has been released by The Generations Network, as detailed in their press release at

The press release notes the following "new and updated features" included in FTM 2008:

-- Interactive Street and Satellite Maps - Use Microsoft® Virtual Earth™* to access dynamic street and satellite maps that pinpoint important locations in ancestors' lives from within Family Tree Maker. A place-name database and hint engine helps users correctly enter localities in a consistent format.

-- Web Integration -View and search any Web site from within Family Tree Maker*. Once users locate information about their ancestors, they can easily import appropriate images, text and even a cached version of the Web page in to their family tree.

-- Individual Biographies - Create biographical sketches for each ancestor, adding life facts, historical documents, photos and other digital media. In addition, timelines highlight important personal, family and world events that occurred during ancestors' lifetimes.

-- Media Organization -Upload and manage image, audio, video and other media files. Users can attach these files directly to specific people in a family tree to better illustrate their family story.

-- Publish Family History Books - Create customized, illustrated family history books. Ancestry Press allows users to bring their family history to life with professionally designed charts, timelines, reports and pedigree charts, as well as photos, historical records and more. The books can then be professionally printed and bound (or printed on home printers).

The Ancestry Store product page for FamilyTreeMaker 2008 is here - the retail price is $39.95. Included in the price are:

* Training Video featuring Megan Smolenyak. Watch as America’s leading family historian presents tips and guidelines for building your family tree. (DVD)
* Our History in Images: U.S. Postcards. Add visual excitement and historical context to your family tree with more than 30,000 vintage postcards from all 50 states. (DVD)
* 14-day free trial subscription to Search the world’s largest online repository of family history records.

The Ancestry Insider has information about bundling FTM 2008 and an Ancestry subscription here. If the prices quoted are correct, the 1-month subscription for $29.95 would be a good deal! However, the bundling won't be offered until October. I can't find info on the or FTM web sites about this bundling offer.

The best reviews of the different features of FTM 2008, relative to the earlier versions, has been by Kathi at the Ancestor Search blog. She downloaded the Beta version back in July, uploaded her database, and worked with it for several weeks, and blogged about the results at:

1) My First Thoughts about FTM 2008

2) Additional FTM 2008 Thoughts

3) FTM 2008 Websearch and Webclipper.

4) FamilyTreeMaker 2008 Beta Reports and Books

I know that other researchers have reviewed and tested FTM2008, but Kathi has done, in my humble opinion, the best job of it, and shared her knowledge and experience with all of us.

There is an excellent comment by Linda at the end of the Reports and Books report about her experience with FTM 2008. It is disheartening to say the least. Hopefully, FTM will fix it and improve it. Books and reports are the most important feature for me - I want to be able to create books and reports in an ahnentafel and descendant format with standard numbering systems, with sources for facts, with notes, and with embedded field codes for word processing so that I can edit and modify the report or book.

My other complaint about earlier versions of FTM has been the lack of an "Ahnentafel List" - you know, the one where you get just names, places and dates of ancestors of a person. The only way to create that in earlier versions was to create an ahnentafel report and edit it - take out the children, the notes, etc. I don't do pedigree charts because I have so many known ancestors. It is hard to handle 200 pages of pedigree charts - 50 pages of an ahnentafel list is much better for me. I can usually find my ancestor of interest much quicker using the ahnentafel list.

I am pretty sure that I will not upgrade now to FTM 2008 - I think I will wait for the first major upgrade, since initial releases of most software (not just genealogy) have bugs and require fixes and improvements.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Aloha from Maui - Post 4

The last two days have been pretty restful here at Genea-Musings on the Beach. Our days have been mostly sleep-eat-drive-snorkel-drive-eat-shop-drive-nap-pool-blog-drive-eat-drive-sleep. Recycle again tomorrow. I'm just a Genealogist in Paradise.

Saturday was Joanie and Ray's last day, but their plane didn't leave until midnight, so we shared a dinner at the Sands of Kahana restaurant near our condo. We talked a bit about how they met, Ray's ancestry and all of our life experiences. We really enjoyed seeing them and sharing meals and stories with them.

On Sunday, Linda and I went snorkeling in the morning down at Kahikeli Beach, near the Whalers Village in Ka'anapali. The beach had shade trees and a fairly easy access to the water. We snorkeled for awhile then sat in the shade and watched people on the sand and in the water. Then we went to the Rusty Harpoon for lunch, stopped by the Haagen Daz store for an ice cream cone, did a little shopping, and headed back to the condo for our naps and pool time.

That evening, we decided to go back to Whalers Village and eat at Leilani's on the Beach. Afterward, we watched the sun go down, but the distant clouds didn't create the desired "fantastic" Hawaii sunset that you see on postcards (that hasn't happened in 5 sunsets yet on this trip). On the way back to the car, I spotted an "old map" store. I figured it would have just Hawaii maps, but it turned out that it had prints on canvas from public domain historical maps, like those found in the Library of Congress collection. They had several large prints of maps of San Diego and San Francisco, so we bought several to put a finishing touch on our newly painted walls at home (we have a "San Francisco room" and a "San Diego room" in our house now). We also got one for my brother-in-law for Christmas - sssh, don't tell him -- I'm going to have to delete that line when I post this on my other blog, I think)!

On Monday, we had a leisurely morning, then went out driving to the Iao Valley near Wailuku on Maui. This is essentially in a rain forest, with tall and steep mountains, fresh water streams, lots of flowers and trees, etc. There is a bridge over the stream in the park and 4 guys were jumping off the bridge into the pool about 30 feet below - for money. We got some pictures of that. We stopped at the nature center, and then went to lunch at Ruby's Diner in Wailuku. Then we headed back to the condo for naps, Linda's pool time, and my blogging time.

This will be my last post from Maui - we go back to reality on Tuesday, leaving the condo at 10 AM Maui time and arriving in San Diego at 10:30 PM Pacific time. There will be no blogging on Tuesday, and I likely won't get a post off on Wednesday until the afternoon - I have to lead the CVGS Computer Group at 10 AM, and will probably share lunch with my colleagues at Rubios.

Aloha from Maui!! Ahola to San Diego!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Genealogy Conferences I Wish I'd Attended

I love all kinds of conferences, but I've not been to one of the major genealogy conferences - yet! Part of the reason was my work schedule before I retired. Another part is the distance travelled for just a few days. We talked this year about going to FGS-Fort Wayne and making a genealogy/friends vacation out of it, but we decided to go to Maui in August instead. Oh well (it is cooler on Maui, the water is warm, the bikinis are fantastic, the food and drink are sumptuous, but I digress)!

I wish that I had attended the NGS and FGS conferences over recent years, but I haven't. My main reason is that Linda and I like to travel together and do things together, and she would be absolutely bored by my attending a 3-4 day conference. She wouldn't stay in the room, mind you - she would be out shopping or sunning or socializing. I could attend alone, and let her go off with her friends somewhere for a weekend on another occasion, I guess.

What I really like about the national conferences is the syllabus handout. I've purchased several when they are available. I'm hoping that the syllabus for all conferences will be available - either in paper format or on a CDROM - in the future. I did pay for and download several FGS-Boston talks last year and have listened to them, but only audio is semi-boring for me - my attention wanders.

I attend a one-day "Family History Fair" conference every year sponsored by the FHC in Escondido CA (30 miles north of San Diego). I enjoy this multi-track conference because it offers quality presenters for free. I'm not really cheap, but I do appreciate free! The syllabus is excellent and costs $10. Being one day, it is an easy day trip up and back, and we take a number of CVGS members along. CVGS also has a booth there and we talk with the other society folks. This conference does not have a vendor section since it is inside the FHC.

The next closest annual conference is the Jamboree in Burbank sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society. I haven't been to this 3-day conference either! It is not an easy one-day trip.

A genealogy cruise might be better for us - Linda and I do different things when sailing and a cruise might work out really well!

I guess that my "dream conference" would be one where I could "attend" in the comfort of my own home - online in a WebEx type format. Alternatively, a "Virtual conference" that offers a variety of speakers that I could attend online from home at my own pace - one today, three tomorrow, two next Saturday. I would be willing to pay $5 to $10 for each session. The video could show the speaker in one half of the screen and the speaker's syllabus would show on the other half of my computer screen. It could be sort of a "Digital Genealogy University." The problem with a conference like this would be isolation - not being able to interact with the speaker or other participants.

I am glad that the NGS and FGS national conferences seem to be thriving, drawing large and enthusiastic crowds to the speaker programs and the vendor area. I hope to attend one of them next year - then many of you can see what I really look and sound like! And vice versa, too!

What is a Cemetery?

A recent post on the GenMassachusetts mailing list had a nice description of "This is a Cemetery" - the post is here.

"This Is A Cemetery

"Lives are commemorated -
deaths are recorded -
families are reunited -
memories are made tangible -
and love is undisguised.

"This is a cemetery.
Communities accord respect,
families bestow reverence,
historians seek information and our heritage is thereby enriched.

"Testimonies of devotion, pride and remembrance are carved in stone to pay warm tribute to accomplishments and to the life - not death - of a loved one.

"The cemetery is homeland for family memorials that are a sustaining source of comfort to the living.

"A cemetery is a history of people -
a perpetual record of yesterday and
a sanctuary of peace and quiet today.

"A cemetery exists because every life is worth loving and remembering - always.

"Compliments of Fairmount Memorial Park, Greenwood Memorial Terrace, Riverside Memorial Park and Spokane Memorial Gardens, all in Spokane, WA."

Isn't that thoughtful and beautiful?

Have a great Sunday! We're off to the beach again.