Salt Lake Christmas Tour………… Week’s Peek

Here are some photos of the happy people on the recent Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Besides the awesome breakfasts, great teaching by Thomas MacEntee and having the chance to meet new friends (like Armin), everybody on the tour had a wonderful time and most found new information if not new ancestors.

My question to all Tour Family Members today is to make it a New Year’s Resolution to NOT just put your research away until next December when you come on the tour (and by golly some of you do) but do use what you learned that week in your on-going research all year. Pick an afternoon per week and make that YOUR genealogy time and nothing short of death pulls you from that time! Make sense? That’s the only way it will get done.

Now I have an additional goal of learning to eat with chopsticks this year. My son (proficient with them) says that the way to learn is to eat a bowl of popcorn one kernel at a time. Great idea. I’m thinking it will be a way to eat less and eat at a slower pace. And guess what? In Parade magazine was an article saying that most chopsticks are not made in the orient but in Alabama!!! The wood there is considered perfect. Who would have thunk??

Donna, aka Mother Hen

Thomas MacEntee Joins the 2010 Salt Lake Christmas Tour

Featured Speaker to Offer Technology Education for Genealogists

saltlakechristmastour.com October 13, 2010 – Bountiful, Utah: The 2010 Salt Lake Christmas Tour – an annual genealogy event in its 26th year and celebrating its 25th anniversary – is pleased to announce that noted genealogist and technology educator Thomas MacEntee will be joining in the holiday fun as its featured speaker. The Tour takes place beginning Sunday, December 5, 2010 and runs through Saturday, December 11, 2010 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Over a five-day period, MacEntee will offer eight different presentations covering various aspects of genealogy and how technology and social media can be used to expand the genealogy experience. Topics include “Building a Research Toolbox,” “Facebook for Genealogists,” “Build a Genealogy Blog,” and “Twitter: It Isn’t Just ‘What I Had For Breakfast’ Anymore.”

The Salt Lake Christmas Tour ( www.SaltLakeChristmasTour.com ) is an annual event attracting genealogists and family historians and is renowned for the genealogy research success of its attendees, many of whom come back year after year. The Tour provides the highest ratio of professional researchers to attendees of any genealogy research tour utilizing the Family History Library located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Throughout 2010, Thomas MacEntee has been covering the United States and Canada presenting technology education to genealogists and family historians in an easy-to-learn format. All presentations demonstrate applications such as Facebook and Twitter in real time and include cheat sheets and other handy reference materials.

Leland Meitzler, of Family Roots Publishing Company and owner/organizer of the Salt Lake Christmas Tour, says “we think that this year’s Tour not only offers an excellent research opportunity at the Family History Library but also provides a way to increase your technology knowledge especially as it pertains to genealogy. Thomas has a way of making technology approachable no matter what your computer skills.”

Register before October 31, 2010 to take advantage of special savings and to reserve your space on the Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Not only will you be amazed at the progress you can make in your genealogy research, but you’ll do so in good company and be able to witness the sights and sounds of Christmas in Salt Lake City.

About Thomas MacEntee
As a genealogist specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and to interact with others inThomas MacEntee the family history community, Thomas MacEntee relies upon his 25 years of experience in the information technology field. And as the creator of GeneaBloggers.com, he has organized and engaged a community of over 1,300 bloggers to document their own journeys in the search for ancestors.

Thomas shares his knowledge of technology and experience as a genealogist with others through various forms of social media and speaking engagements. Through his business High-Definition Genealogy, he provides consulting services in the genealogy industry covering such areas as market research, education, technology and more.
Thomas MacEntee is available nationwide for presentations and classes focusing on social media and technology as a way to assist genealogists and genealogical societies.

About the Salt Lake Christmas Tour
The Salt Lake Christmas Tour specializes in professionally assisted genealogy research at the world-famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Now in its 26th year and celebrating its 25th anniversary, the tour is renowned for the high success-rate of its attendees, due in part to the outstanding professional to attendee ratio. Hosted by Leland K. Meitzler, Patty Meitzler, Donna Potter Phillips, and Bill Balter, the 2010 tour promises to be one of the best ever! For more information and registration, see: www.SaltLakeChristmasTour.com.

The New Salt Lake Christmas Tour Website

The Salt Lake Christmas Tour After months of starts and stops at getting a new website up for the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour, we finally got it posted this afternoon. After reading a number of articles and even posting a blog about using Google Sites, I decided to give it a try. At this point I’m really pleased with it. The site was easy to build and has most of the functionality that I needed to build an easily navigated website that I believe will do the job just fine. I have much to do yet, including adding a new Logo to the top, and many more pictures to the Archive, but it’s coming along well.

Google puts very few restrictions on users of Google Sites, but one that could give pause to some users is the inability to post affiliate ads other that “Google ads.” If you think about it though, this makes sense, as they are making their money off their percentage of those ads. The site space is FREE to the user, so most of us certainly won’t complain. In the case of the Salt Lake Christmas Tour, the lack of affiliate ads on the site isn’t an issue.

Since the site is built at site.google.com, that line is included in the actual address of the site. However, I just forwarded the SaltLakeChristmasTour.com address at my domain registrar, and will use that as my public address. Easy…

The Salt Lake Christmas Tour 2009 is About to Begin!

It’s that time of year again! We’re now moving into the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel in Salt Lake City for our annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Most of the folks fly in on Sunday – and out the following Sunday – spending the entire week researching and attending classes at the Family History Library – or next door at the Plaza Hotel. This year we have 67 attendees, and 10 professional genealogists hired to work with the group – besides myself, Patty, Bill Balter, and Donna Potter Phillips.

We’ll have the Family Roots Publishing Store set up all week long at the Plaza. The public is welcome to come by and shop. FRPC orders will continue to be taken on the Internet during the week – and shipped with 24 hours, as normal.

Photos from the 1985 “Christmas Tour”

The 2009 Salt Lake Christmas Tour will start in just under three weeks. This is year #25, as we started doing this thing in 1985. At that time we had just published the first issue of Heritage Quest Magazine – and there were a total of 9 of us on the tour. That included Arlene Eakle (our “professional”), Don Powell (my non-genealogist friend who came along for the trip), and Donna Potter Phillips (who has come on every tour since then as our “Mother Hen.” We had 5 paid attendees, including Donna, that year. We’ve had as many as 115. This year we will have 67 attendees on the tour.

Following are photos of the group that I ran across a couple nights ago:
The 1985 Heritage Quest Christmas Tour Group Photo

1985 Heritage Quest Christmas Tour group at lunch.

By the way, you can still sign up and come on the 2009 Salt Lake Christmas Tour. It’s December 6 through 12, 2009. For more info, call me at 801-949-7259.

Salt Lake City Winter Weather

Watch out for the weather in Salt Lake City. You’d think that it would be hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Right? Wrong.

saltlaketours1 I’ve lived here for 10 years and have come to the opinion that the weather can change at a whim. Typically the wind begins to blow and everything changes – quickly.

I’ve been in Salt Lake City in December for the last 25 years – conducting our annual “Christmas Tour.” The temperatures can drop into the teens or – it can be in the 50s and maybe even the 60s during that month. It may snow – and then again, the sun may be shining brightly every day! So if you’re coming to Salt Lake in the winter, bring clothes for cold and moderate weather both.

Join us this year on the 25th annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Note that the preregistration price for the tour ends on October 31 (tomorrow!), so sign up today!

Top 10 Reasons for Attending the 25th Annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour – #1!

Number One
You may find more ancestors than ever before!

saltlaketours1 By joining us in Salt Lake City on a Salt Lake Christmas Tour, you will be in the right place (the Family History Library) – at the right time – to locate more ancestors than may have ever found before.

As noted in the earlier nine reasons for joining the tour, the records will be all around you and our professionals will help you find your family in those records.

Join us this year on the 25th annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Note that the preregistration price for the tour ends on October 31, so sign up today!

To see the other nine top reasons to come on the tour, click on the “Salt Lake Christmas Tour” category link.

Top 10 Reasons for Attending the 25th Annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour – #2

Number 2
The variety of records to research in the Family History Library is astounding.

saltlaketours1 There are so many different record types available that I could never list them all. However, there are Probates, Vital Records, Parish Registers, Deeds, Federal and State Censuses and a thousand other kinds of records all just a few feet from where you can sit in the Family History Library.

Records from all over the world are available to search. Not only are films available, but thousands of books – books that are non-circulating and can only be used within the library – are available for your research. And databases – many of which are only available outside the library for a hefty subscription fee – are available on computers within the library.

When you find your family in one record type in the library, you can quickly move on to other records, locating them all within a matter of minutes.

Join us this year on the 25th annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Note that the preregistration price for the tour ends on October 31, so sign up today!

Top 10 Reasons for Attending the 20th Annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour – #3

Number 3
Professional genealogists will help you every step of the way

saltlaketours1 The Salt Lake Christmas Tour is known for having the best professionals in the business. These folks work right alongside the attendees – helping them with the rough spots in their research.

We’re proud of the fact that our tour has more professionals per attendee than any other tour to Salt Lake City.

Can’t read the language? No problem – chances are, one of our professionals can. Are you stuck on a line and don’t know what to do or where to turn next? Our pros can help you get that line moving again.

Most of our professionals are in the library – working in the area of the library which matches their expertise – from about 9 am to 5:30 or so. We also have a couple pros that will work the evening shift so if you need assistance between 5 and 9 pm someone is there to help.

Attendees sign up for half hour blocks of time with the professionals. There are enough pros that most attendees can work with someone whenever they need assistance. I’ve found that from mid-week on or so, it’s often possible for attendees to get professional assistance without having to sign up ahead of time (although it’s always a good idea).

There’s never any reason on a Salt Lake Christmas Tour for any attendee to be sitting around stuck on a project. There’s always someone to help out.

Join us this year on the 25th annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Note that the preregistration price for the tour ends on October 31, so sign up today!

Top 10 Reasons for Attending the 25th Annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour – #4

Number 4
Our professionals use the library on a regular basis

saltlaketours1 The Salt Lake Genealogy Christmas Tour only uses the best professional researchers to work with our attendees. Our professionals are intimately acquainted with the library and it’s holdings. These researchers work in the library nearly every day and know where to locate materials at an instant’s notice.

Compare this with other popular tours to Salt Lake that use well-known genealogists as their “helpers” – genealogists that only use the collection once or twice a year. Who do you think can help you find your ancestors better? Someone that uses the library nearly every day – or someone who comes to Salt Lake once or twice a year?

Another plus for our tour is that if one professional can’t seem to help you find your ancestor, there are nearly a dozen others that might be able to. Great minds don’t always think alike. Take advantage of all our great professionals.

Join us this year on the 25th annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Note that the preregistration price for the tour ends on October 31, so sign up today!

Top 10 Reasons for Attending the 25th Annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour – #5

Number 5
No waiting for films to arrive by interlibrary loan

saltlaketours1 The Family History Library has millions of films available – most by interlibrary loan to Family History Centers worldwide. However, if you’ve ever used the system, you know that waiting for the films takes time.

By joining us on the Salt Lake Christmas Tour, you won’t have to wait. Go pull the film, and if it doesn’t have what you need on it, go pull another. Your research speeds ahead like never before.

Join us this year on the 25th annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Note that the preregistration price for the tour ends on October 31, so sign up today!

Top 10 Reasons for Attending the 25th Annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour – #6

Number 6.
Stay next door and immerse yourself in your genealogy.

saltlaketours1 The Salt Lake Christmas Tour uses the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel as our tour headquarters. We sleep, eat breakfast, attend classes and have all our “functions” in the hotel. We even have the Family Roots Publishing Company store set up there for the week. The hotel is just across the alley from the library, so even if it’s snowing (which it does occasionally), you can walk to and from the library without spending a lot of time in the cold.

Since we stay so close to the Family History Library, it’s very easy to go back and forth between the buildings. As for research time in the library, if you wish, you can get up to 72 hours of time in the library while you’re on the tour. The Library hours are from 8 am to 5 pm on Monday, but from Tuesday through Saturday, they run from 8 am to 9 pm.

Join us this year on the 25th annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Note that the preregistration price for the tour ends on October 31, so sign up today!

Top 10 Reasons for Attending the 25th Annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour – #7

Number 7
The Family History Library is easy to use.

saltlaketours1 First, it should be noted that you may bring in your “stuff.” Take your laptop, briefcase full of family group sheets, your maps, ancestor charts, notebooks, and anything else you might need while working in the library. Sure, you may be asked to open your briefcase on the way out – but chances are you won’t. The Library has a fantastic security system protecting the valuable books and films held there. Thieves can’t get out the door with them – so this means you can bring your stuff.

Second, Copying of microfilm documents is now just a matter of scanning the film – and saving the scanned image to your flash drive – or you may print them out if you like.

Copiers are located on every floor, so copying of pages from the books is just a few steps away. Coming to the Family History Library in December has it’s advantages, one of them being a lightened patron load in the library. There are usually short or no lines at all at the copiers.

The reference desks, located on each floor, are manned (hmmm… how do you say womaned?) with library employees and missionary volunteers, so there’s always additional help if needed. The Salt Lake Christmas Tour itself has a large group of professional genealogists working with our people, so you won’t be setting around wondering what to do.

Free Databases – The main floor has computers galore – all brimming with great databases – not only FamilySearch, but numerous other subscription databases that normally cost a pretty good fee to access – all free at the Family History Library.

Books – thousands and thousands of books, many non-circulating – are available for instant access. The vast majority of the library is made up of open-stacks, so once you find a book in the library catalog, you can go pull the item right off the shelf – or browse the shelves for things you might not have thought of before.

Films – Thousands of films are accessible on a self-service basis – again by using the catalog to locate the film number, and pulling it yourself from the film cabinets – all numbered in an easy-to-understand system.

Join us this year for the 25th Annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Remember – October 31 is the deadline for the Preregistration prices, so sign up now!

Top Ten Reasons for Attending the Salt Lake Christmas Tour – #8

Number 8 – Genealogical Education
saltlaketours1 The Salt Lake Christmas Tour is known for the wealth of genealogy classes taught during the week. Classes actually start on Sunday evening and run all week long. Classes will be taught by Joy Price, George Ott, Loni Gardner, Kevan Hansen, Arlene Eakle, Dwight Radford, Linda Brinkerhoff, Bill Balter, and of course, myself, Leland K. Meitzler.

Plan to join us this year on the Salt Lake Christmas Tour.

October 31 is the preregistration deadline, so sign up today!

Top 10 Reasons for Attending the 25th Annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour – #9

Number 9
saltlaketours1 The camaraderie of the group is part of the fun!

Attendees at the Salt Lake Christmas Tour come not only to do research in the Family History Library, but many come back year after year to enjoy the fun times with folks that have become their friends. Each morning, everyone gathers around tables for breakfast, discussing their research problems as well as their successes. Breakfast prizes (as compared to door prizes) are passed out every morning. Dick and Dee Cattaneo will be preparing and serving the food. Good stuff! You can’t miss breakfast! On Saturday night, everyone will gather together for a farewell pie & ice cream social. We do have a good time.

Join in the fun this year at the 25th Annual Salt Lake Genealogy Christmas Tour.