Friday, December 16, 2011

Follow Friday - Pre-Christmas Weekend Genealogy Fun

Now that your Christmas card writing and gift shopping are done, you can have some genealogy fun this weekend (You do have the cards out and the shopping done, right?).  My wife says "step away from the keyboard, put down your ahnentafel, and have a life." Me? I just want to have some Genealogy Fun this weekend. I recommend:

1) Listen to the Geneabloggers Radio show tonight (Friday night, 9 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. CT, 7 p.m. MT and 6 p.m. PT) hosted by Thomas MacEntee. This week's topic is "Do Books Still Matter in Genealogy?" The special guests include:

Jim Ericson, Senior Product Marketing Manager for FamilySearch representing family history & technology conference RootsTech who will start off our discussion of books and their role in the genealogy industry;
Leland Meitzler of Family Roots Publishing Co. in Salt Lake City, Utah who was recently one of several book vendors initially banned from the RootsTech exhibit hall;
Curt B. Witcher, MA, FUGA, FIGS, Genealogy Center Manager at the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana who’ll help us understand trends in the book and library industry, especially in terms of technology and genealogy;
*  Biff and Nancy Barnes of Stories to Tell, another “banned” vendor and one that specializes in helping folks publish their own family history books.

2) Listen to the FGS Radio - My Society show on Saturday (2 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. CT, 12 noon MT, 11 a.m. PT) hosted by Thomas MacEntee. This week's topic is "Dear Santa: What I Want This Year for My Genealogy Society."  This will be a call-in show where genealogy society members, leaders and members of the genealogy community voice their wishes and desires for their own genealogy societies. This is a great way to get ideas from other genealogy societies and hopefully put them to work in 2012!
3) Check out the recent FREE Webinars on:

* LegacyFamilyTree:

*** "Is My Pet Frog Part of My Family?" Children and Genealogy in the Classroom, by Maureen Taylor (free until 26 December)
*** Tracing Immigrant Ancestors, by Lisa Alzo (free until 19 December)
*** A Closer Look at Google+, by Dan Lynch (free until 12 December)
*** New Genealogy Technology: Flip-Pal™ Mobile Scanner, by Gordon Nuttall (free)
*** Celebrate the Holidays and Share Family History with Heritage Collector software, by Kathleen Bitter
*** Creating a Shareable CD with Legacy and Passage Express software, by Jefferson Shupe *** Exploring and by their founder, Paul Allen.
*** "Newspapers for Genealogists: Using to document every day of your ancestors' lives" with Tom Kemp.
*** "Organizng for Success" with Karen Clifford
*** "The Power of DNA in Unlocking Family Relationships," with Ugo Perugo

* RootsMagic Webinars (all free) available at Recently added:

*** What's New in RootsMagic 5
*** Fun Family Gifts with RootsMagic, Personal Historian, and Family Atlas

* National Genealogical Society (NGS) Videos (some are free to view) at

* Thomas MacEntee's Explorinars, including:

*** Easy Website Creation (free to view).
*** Evernote - Easy Note Taking UPDATED (free to view)
*** Facebook Pages vs. Facebook Groups (free to view)

*'s YouTube Channel has 127 items on it now, including (free to view):

*** LIVE: Reading Handwritten Historical Documents  with Anne Mitchell
*** Live: How to Control Your Results  with Anne Mitchell
*** LIVE: How to Use the World War II Draft Registration Cards with Juliana Smith
*** LIVE: How do I find the maiden names of women in my family tree? by Crista Cowan
*** LIVE: I believe my ancestor was Native American/Indian, How do I prove that? by Crista Cowan
*** LIVE: Unlock the Secrets of the 1790 - 1840 US Census Records with Anne Mitchell
*** LIVE: Search with Ancestry Anne with Anne Mitchell
*** LIVE: One Question with the Barefoot Genealogist with Crista Cowan
*** LIVE: Lorraine's 5 Tips for Online Grave Digging with Lorraine Bourne
*** LIVE: How do I use newspapers on to find out more about my ancestors? with Crista Cowan
*** LIVE: How Do I Find My Ancestors Before 1850? with Crista Cowan.
*** LIVE: How to dress up your family tree ...for the holidays! with Anne Mitchell.
*** LIVE: How to Find Your Civil War Roots on with Anne Mitchell.
*** Emigration & Immigration Records Online with Crista Cowan @ Ancestry Day San Francisco
*** Find Them Fast: Secrets to Searching with Laura Dansbury @ Ancestry Day San Francisco
*** Five Tips for Digging Up Answers at with Jeanie Croasmun @ Ancestry Day San Francisco

4) Respond to my Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge, posted on soon after 12 noon Pacific time (that's 1900 GMT for those who understand time zones).

5) Go to a local genealogical society program. Is any society doing anything this weekend?  Check for seminars in 2012 and sign up for them!

6) Go to a local or close repository with genealogy and family history material. Do some research in traditional resources or order FamilySearch microfilms online with original source records.

7) Do some online research in the latest record collections

* FamilySearch (free,,
* Ancestry ($$,,
* Fold3 ($$,,
* WorldVitalRecords ($$,,
* American Ancestors ($$,,
* GenealogyBank ($$,,
* Archives ($$,

8) Add content (names, dates, places, notes, images, sources, etc.) to your genealogy software program. I still have two inches of paper collected from my vacation, and more from before that, and will try to enter some of it into my database this weekend.

9) Spend time with your family doing fun things.  Our daughter and her family are coming on Saturday to have Christmas a week early.

10) Go to a local cemetery and clean stones, take gravestone pictures, or transcribe epitaphs for your local society, for Find-a-Grave, or a similar online service.

11) GO SHOPPING for genealogical products or services, or for technology products, for yourself, or for a gift for that special genealogy friend. Online or in a store - go for it!

Whatever you decide, please tell us about your genealogy endeavors on a social network or in a blog post. You never know when your experiences may stimulate or encourage others to do useful genealogy work.

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