Thursday, March 28, 2013

RootsTech 2013 Live Streaming Classes Part 2

The classes shown through live streaming are listed in my previous post. Here is a brief overview of each of the ten classes.

Friday March 22
Researching Ancestors Online by Laura G. Prescott
Genealogy Research Online – Sites and Strategies That May Surprise You
This class should be a must see for any serious genealogist. Laura first covered some positives and then some negatives of genealogy research on the Internet. She discussed, How to be a responsible contributor and user of online genealogical information.
Her list of Usage Rules includes: Share, Be accurate, Double check data received, Respect copyrights, Ask Permission, Cite Your Sources, Respect privacy, Take your time, explore, get wonderfully lost and have fun.
The syllabus includes a list of eleven commonly used websites many of which require subscriptions. She also referenced 101 Best Genealogy Websites for 2012 and Professionally Preferred Websites for Family History.
Some of the free websites that she demonstrated included: Cyndi’s List, The US GenWeb Project, DoHistory, Library of Congress, NUCMC, Academic Archives, Dead Fred, One-Step Webpages, Find A Grave, Bureau of Land Management, LibraryThing, and HistoryLady.

FamilySearch – Family Tree by Ron Tanner
Ron has a very down-to-earth manner of teaching. He follows his syllabus material and so there is not a need to take many notes. He discussed the family tree today, with its evolution from new.familysearch and the constraints of that program in working on ancestors. The newest version will focus on citing sources, including open editing where anyone can alter anything; the change log, which will let one know if changes are being made; and the collaboration features where we must learn to work together. In his concluding comments he mentioned the coming printing options of Pedigree charts and Family Group Records from Family Tree. He said the Family Tree is the World’s Genealogy where we can share it, fix it, discuss it, source it and preserve it. The intent is to preserve, document, stop the duplication, and get it right.

Google Search…and Beyond by Dave Barney
He did not have syllabus material so I took a lot of notes. This presentation highlights many of the tools available in Google Search, Maps, and News. He discussed Image Searches and the need to use the drill down options, black and white and faces. Newspaper found at is a great resource for genealogists and we need to use it to encourage Google to keep it. History Pen is a Google offshoot in England. He did caution the need to be aware of copyrights of pictures and other postings. Google Translate was demonstrated showing how it can be used by pasting text or a URL. For assistance he suggested contacting
He also mentioned the book “Google Your Family Tree” by Dan Lynch as a great resource. Many new tools will be made available in the near future.

From Paper Piles to Digital Files; Technology for the Organized Genealogist by Valerie S. Elkins
Valerie provided great syllabus material, so these are just some additional highlights. She shared some wonderful stories along with her growth in becoming better organized. The book “GTD or Getting Things Done” by David Allen was very inspirational for her. She suggested that we consider, “What is the Cost?’ in terms of time, space, money and maintenance of being better organized. We need to treat as to their true value. She coined the term GenOrganized. Then she suggested that we consider the office tasks that we do repeatedly and how we can stream line them. We are a work in progress. She suggested that we create cheat sheets to document and remember the SOP or Standard Operating Procedure. The four criteria for choosing actions are Context or Location, Time Available, Energy Available, and Priority. She suggested using automation to make retrieval of information easier: IFITT (If This Then That) and Her syllabus includes items for further study, tech programs, cheat sheet ideas from her website, and a long list of Apps and online resources.

Saturday March 23
Using Technology Effectively to Solve Research Problems by Karen Clifford
Karen’s classes are always well done and inspiring. She provided excellent syllabus material. First she listed all the technology used in the presentation. Then she went through seven steps of researching which are:
1. Focus - Make Adequate Preparations Before Going Online
2. Questions - Learn About the Records and Research Methodology for the Locations and Time Periods
3. Obtain Info - Use the Internet to Understand the Locality, including history of the area, finding aids, and period maps. Use finding aids, Internet search, Government Records (probate, land, military, archives, museums, etc.; Handybook, Redbook, the Source, State Archivist, NUCMC. Drill deep. BYU has old Research Outlines online.
4. Perform a Preliminary Survey
5. Discriminate between levels of information and obtain expert 24/7 help – Study Original and Compiled Records of the Area online. Key Repositories include: Vital Records Office, Archives, Public Libraries, Private Libraries, State Historical Societies, Family History Library, Use search engines to find these. She highly recommends
6. Analyze, Evaluate, and Records Your Findings
7. Search Specialty Sites

Digital Storytelling: More than Bullet Points by Denise Olson
Denise shared her experiences with creating digital stories by using presentation apps or other programs: PowerPoint, Keynote, WordPerfect Presentations or Impress. She demonstrated Photo Books, Photo Story, Digital Scrapbook, Photo Documentary, Sketchbook Bio, and Enhanced Ebook. Then she shared a list of Needed Skills and how learning these skills will enhance the work being done. In her syllabus is a great overview of this presentation and additional resources.

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