Friday, December 9, 2011

Follow Friday - Pre-Christmas Genealogy Weekend Fun

Are you in the Christmas card, family letter and gift shopping mode yet? It's December, step away from the keyboard, put down your ahnentafel, and have a life. That's my wife's advice, of course. 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 "Genealogy Gift Guide." The special guests include:

Janet Hovorka, of The Chart Chick blog and also founder of Family ChartMasters right here in the Salt Lake City area who will tell us about the different types of products available at her company for displaying your genealogy research;
Lynn Palermo of The Armchair Genealogist blog in Ontario, Canada who will discuss some of the hottest gifts that should be on every genealogist’s list this holiday season;
*  Caroline Pointer of the Family Stories blog who has recently created some great gift items based on her family history – Caroline will give us some ideas on how to create gifts for friends and family!

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 "SWAT: Analyzing Your Society from the Inside Out." The special guest is:

Janet Hovorka, President of the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA), who will discuss how UGA was able to analyze its strengths and weaknesses as an organization and then create an ambitious plan to expand its member services as well as offerings to the genealogical community.
*  We’ll be highlighting FGS member society, Genealogical Society of South Whidbey Island (Washington) in our weekly Society Spotlight feature.

3) Check out the recent FREE Webinars on:

* LegacyFamilyTree:
*** Tracing Immigrant Ancestors, by Lisa Alzo (free until 19 December)*** A Closer Look at Google+, by Dan Lynch (free until 12 December)
*** 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 *** Let Your Voice Be Heard in the Digital Conversation, by Drusilla Pair (available free until 5 December)
*** 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 Recengtly 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 124 items on it now, including (free to view):

*** 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. You might want to check out what's offered in your area.

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 at:

* 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.  I think we're going Christmas shopping this weekend.

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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