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

This is the New York bunch, taken in December at the Salt Lake Christmas Tour.  Carol, Agnes, Lauri, Jerry, Dana, and Lisa Alzo are New York residents and they welcomed Thomas MacEntee since he was born in New York. Besides, Jerry didn’t want to be the only red rose in this bouquet of blue-shirted roses!

Additional highlights from the tour:  Carol P. found she and Linda P. were cousins! Agnes H., with Kevan Hansen’s help, got back to the 14th century in Dutch records (and Sandi B. helped her read them);  CoraAnne F. found that she and Loni Gardner (one of our helpers) both have Swiss ancestors living in the 1700s in the Mt.Airy, North Carolina, area;  Janet D. says she must be a cousin to Leland as there is a common surname in a very tiny little German town; Sandi B. shared the story of going to a cemetery to photo a family tombstone and when she turned around there were the two tombstones that she’d gone there to photograph some eight years ago!

Wouldn’t YOU like to join our Salt Lake Christmas Tour “family” in 2013?  I know, I know, it’s the question of money mostly, right? Here is a tip to making it happen. Take an large empty plastic peanut butter jar and cut a small slot in the lid. Then glue the lid on the jar. You do this so you cannot cheat and take money out! Then every week you fold up a $20.00 bill and stick it into the jar. By next fall you’ll almost have enough…….. and then you tell your family and friends that you don’t want anything for your birthday or Christmas except help to do what you really want to do: Join the Salt Lake Christmas Tour Family !!!  Think so??

Donna, aka Mother Hen, until next peek.

Cook County, Illinois Poor Farm and Cemetery to be Preserved

The following excerpt is from a December 25, 2012 AP story published in the Chicago Tribune.

Imagine strolling through a wooded acreage once called home by early 20th century occupants of a poor farm and patients of a tuberculosis infirmary.

… just 25 miles from Chicago.

That’s the plan for the Oak Forest Heritage Preserve, more than 170 acres of rolling forest and wetlands in Chicago’s south suburbs….

The site served as working farm, an infirmary and, from 1910 until 1971, the burial ground for Cook County’s indigents. Planners envision an interpretive museum, trails through fields of native plants and a community garden where the county poor farm once operated.

In the first $1 million phase of the Cook County Forest Preserve project, a 1.5-mile loop trail will guide visitors through the preserve’s main sites, with signs recounting land’s long-forgotten stories.

Someday, if funding can be secured, visitors interested in genealogy may be able to search through records of the more than 90,000 people who were buried in the cemetery, perhaps finding traces of an ancestor’s story. Handwritten volumes still exist that recorded the deceased’s name, country of origin, cause of death and occupation. Those records eventually could be used to create a searchable database at a visitors’ center.

Read the full and extensive AP article.

Google Helping Post 5000 Dead Sea Scroll Fragments at High-Res

The following teaser is from the Google blog, and although not really genealogical, it certainly is history-related!.

Today, we’re helping put more of these ancient treasures online. The Israel Antiquities Authority is launching the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, an online collection of some 5,000 images of scroll fragments, at a quality never seen before. The texts include one of the earliest known copies of the Book of Deuteronomy, which includes the Ten Commandments; part of Chapter 1 of the Book of Genesis, which describes the creation of the world; and hundreds more 2,000-year-old texts, shedding light on the time when Jesus lived and preached, and on the history of Judaism.

Read the full blog.

Follow-up to “Tracing the Trails of Your Ancestors Using Deed Records”

The following article was written by my good friend, William Dollarhide. Enjoy…

The article, Tracing the Trails of Your Ancestors Using Deed Records, indicated several steps that were followed in my personal research. The purpose of the article was to show how deeds can be used to retrace the trail of an ancestor. Leading up to the steps I followed in the deed research, I listed nine items as “Facts Known (in the order they were found)” to show what information I had learned about Philip Reynolds before starting in the deed research.

Soon after this article was published I received an eMail from a reader in Maine. The reader asked some pertinent questions about the nine items and my course of action. The questions made me realize that perhaps I was too brief in explaining the facts and how they were obtained, particularly for someone who had not done this type of research before. Therefore, I would like to answer the questions with this public response — perhaps others have had similar questions and may benefit from the answers.

You can find the entire article Tracing the Trails of Your Ancestors Using Deed Records in the GenealogyBlog archives.

Follow-up Q and A:

Question: Item 1 showed John Dollarhide in Jasper County Indiana in 1850. Item 2 had John Dollarhide in Tippecanoe County in 1840. How did you know to look for John in Tippecanoe County in 1840?

Answer: Since there was no county with the name Jasper in Indiana in 1840, I had to find when it was formed as an official county and from what county or counties it was taken. When I first did this research, all I had was a copy of the Handy Book for Genealogists, which lists every county in the U.S. and tells the date of formation and the parent county from which a county was formed. That book told me that Jasper was formed from White and Warren counties in 1836. But checking the Heads of Household 1840 census for these two counties for evidence of a John Dollarhide did not pay off. (I read every page of both counties). So, next I checked a modern map of Indiana to see what the adjoining counties were to White and Warren counties, which added the current counties of Benton, Carroll and Tippecanoe. I read the census pages (on microfilm, located at the Seattle Public Library, where I was doing this research at that time) for these three counties, and it was not until I searched Tippecanoe County that I was able to locate a John Dollarhide as a head of house. I did this research back in the early 1970s before there were census indexes to all of the states. Today there is a published census indexes to the heads of households for the entire U.S. 1840 federal census, including Indiana. Finding John Dollarhide in 1840 is now a much easier task — just look at an online 1840 census index, where he can be found with his full name, state, county, and page number on the microfilmed originals.

Question: Item 3 stated that John Dollarhide married Lucy Reynolds in 1836 in Tippecanoe County based on a copy of their marriage record. How did you find a copy of their marriage record?

Answer: In the 1840 Tippecanoe County census, John Dollarhide was a head of household in the “20 to 29″ age category. A female of the right age to be his wife Lucy was in the “15 to 19″ age category, and there were a couple of children in the “under 5″ category. It seemed logical to assume that John and Lucy were married just a few years before 1840, so I took a chance that they were married in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. The Handy Book told me that the Clerk of the Circuit Court was the keeper of marriage records for Tippecanoe County, that marriage records were available from as early as 1830, and that the county seat was Lafayette, zip code 47901. I wrote a letter addressed to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Tippecanoe County, Lafayette, IN 47901, asking for a check of the index of marriages that occurred in that county from 1830 to 1840 for anyone with the name Dollarhide. I offered to send whatever fee was required to have a copy made of any marriage record that was found. I received a response from the clerk’s office saying there were two marriages involving Dollarhides during that period, one for a John Dollarhide and a Lucy Reynolds in 1836, and another for a Jesse Dollarhide and a Nancy Murphey in 1837. I was quoted a fee to have copies made, which I sent by return mail, asking for copies of both marriage records. (Jesse turned out to be John’s brother). Had I not received these documents after writing to Tippecanoe County, I would have repeated the exercise for all of the surrounding counties with similar letters to the clerks there.

Question: Item 6 stated that the 1820 Ohio Census Index had only two heads of households with the name of Philip Reynolds. What is the 1820 Ohio Census Index? Where did you find it?

Answer: All of the names of heads of households from the 1820 Ohio census were extracted and arranged in alphabetical order by volunteers from the Ohio Genealogical Society back in the late 1960s. The name index was published in book form by the Ohio Library Foundation and has been reprinted or reformatted by other publishers since. Today, the 1820 Ohio census is indexed online at several websites.

Question: Item 7 stated that an obituary for Philip Reynolds from an 1878 Corvallis, Oregon newspaper was found. How did you know to look in this newspaper in 1878 for the obituary of Philip Reynolds?

Answer: Note that sometimes genealogical research is tedious and time consuming, such as my example above in searching page after page of census records for a number of Indiana counties just to find John Dollarhide in 1840. On the other hand, once in a while, we genealogists get lucky. That is what happened to me with the Philip Reynolds obituary. It was a gift. After some time had gone by between item 6 and item 7, I was lecturing at a seminar in Northern California where a man came up to me and said he knew I would be there that day, and that he had recently been in Oregon doing some research on his families. He had come across the name Dollarhide, and copied the record for me. He presented me with an envelope that had a copy of the obituary for Philip Reynolds. I didn’t even know Philip had gone to Oregon! This was one of those wonderful surprises that we run into in doing research. Now, to have found that obituary the hard way, I would have needed to know that Philip had lived in Corvallis, Oregon. Before receiving the obituary, that information would have come to me if I had traced all of his daughters, who they married, and where they lived throughout their lives. This work was done after I learned that Philip had moved to live with one of his married daughters in Corvallis, Oregon. I found that same daughter’s marriage record in Tippecanoe, County, Indiana. As it turns out, she was married about the same time as her sister, Lucy Reynolds and another sister. I later found the sister’s family living in Oregon after the census index was published for the Oregon 1870 census. And, of course, living with the family was none other than Philip Reynolds. By knowing the place was Corvallis, Oregon, it would be a natural step to survey what newspapers were available for that time and place. (The Oregon State Archives in Salem would be good place to look for old newspapers). Online resources such as would also be a great place to search by the person’s name when doing research today. I would have found that obituary eventually. But, I will have to admit, it is great fun to get this type of information for free, and not having to work for it.

Question: Items 8 and 9. Phillip Reynolds living with a daughter in Oregon per the 1870 census and living in Iowa with another daughter in Iowa per the 1860 census. How did you find him living with these daughters in these census records? I am assuming they were married and had different names than Reynolds?

Answer: The 1870 census research for Oregon was done before there was a name index published, but with the obituary for Phillip Reynolds, I had the married name of the daughter (who was named as a survivor) to use for a search of the entire county. Corvallis is the county seat of Benton County, Oregon, so I began searching the microfilmed census schedules for Benton County to find the Corvallis section. Finding the right family did not take that long, and Philip Reynolds was living with them. Later, I was able to find another daughter of Philip Reynolds using a published census index for Iowa 1860. One of the Reynolds sisters married a man named Amos Freel in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, in 1837. Although at the time, I wasn’t sure she was a sister, finding that marriage record gave me the name Freel to use for a search in published census indexes from 1850 and on. I found Amos Freel and family in the 1860 Iowa census, and Philip Reynolds was included in the family, which confirmed to me that I had the right sister.

Question: In the “Course of Action” section: Checked library sources, county sources, and county histories for Trumbull and Miami County, Ohio, 1820. What and where are library and county sources? What did you check for?

Answer: Library/county sources are any published materials for a particular county. These may include indexes and/or extracts from cemeteries, censuses, tax lists, directories, newspapers, and other local source material; including indexes and/or extracts from county records, such as births, deaths, marriages, deeds, wills, probates; or they may include any published county history for a particular county of the U.S. These published materials specific to a particular county can be found in libraries and archives. Obviously, the libraries or archives in the county of question will have the best overall collection of these books, microforms, or electronic media. A state library or archives will be an excellent source for these materials as well. But the best starting place to determine what sources have been published for a county is the Family History Library catalog, which is online at

I hope I have answered the questions to your satisfaction. If not, please feel free to contact me again. That offer is to anyone reading this. But, be advised that if you write to me and I find your questions interesting, you may find yourself featured in this column.

Note: I might repeat that Philip Reynolds has become one my favorite ancestors. It appears that after his wife died in about 1843, the man never worked again — he just moved in with a daughter until she couldn’t stand it any more and then moved to another daughter’s home. I found him living with three different daughters in census records, and since he had nine children, his average stay with each lasted only three to four years. In all, he managed to live off his kids for nearly thirty-five years. I have decided that this is a man I would like to emulate. Trouble is . . . I only have one daughter, and three days staying with her family is about all they can stand.

Additional Reading
Red Book 3rd Edition, by Alice Eichholz, Ph.D.

GeneTree Website Closing – Download Your DNA Data Before January 1! is being discontinued as of January 1, 2013. Following this date, the GeneTree website will no longer be functional. If you have data on the site, take a moment to download your DNA results and pedigree data during the month of December, if you have not already done so.

Once your data has been downloaded, you will be able to import your family tree GEDCOM files and your DNA results into an account at no cost. Please visit the home page of for detailed instructions on how to export your data. You can also find information available at

Jewish Greek Headstones From Cemetery Destroyed During the Nazi Occupation Unearthed

The following excerpt is from an AP article published at the December 20, 2012 website of Fox News.

THESSALONIKI, Greece – In a find that local Jewish groups have described as highly significant, Greek police said Thursday that hundreds of marble headstones and other fragments from Jewish graves destroyed during the Nazi occupation in World War II have been recovered.

The 668 fragments were found buried in a plot of land in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, following a 70-year search for the remains of graves smashed when the city’s main Jewish cemetery was destroyed.

The head of the city’s Jewish community, David Saltiel, said most of the gravestones found dated from the mid-1800s up until World War II.

“Apart from the names, the (gravestones) also include the person’s occupation. So this is a historic record.”

Read the full article.

Judge Will Not Block Buy-Out Vote

The following excerpt is from an article published in the December 19, 2012 edition of the Salt Lake Tribune.

Provo-based complied Wednesday with the order of a Delaware judge and filed additional information ahead of a Dec. 27 stockholder vote on the $1.6 billion acquisition of the genealogy website by a group led by European private equity firm Permira Advisers.

Chancellor Leo Strine Jr. earlier this week ordered that shareholders be told about the reluctance of the company’s financial adviser to issue an opinion on the fairness of the deal based on May financial projections. Shareholders also must be told about a deal-protection measure put into place after Permira submitted its winning bid that prevented other bidders from submitting a better offer, the judge said.

Neither of those details was included in the proxy statement sent to shareholders of the Utah company. But on Wednesday, the company filed the additional information with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

After the suit was filed, the company’s general counsel sent potential bidders a letter that clears the way for them to offer higher bids if they so chose, the company said in its SEC filing.

Strine, however, declined to block the Dec. 27 vote as requested by dissident shareholders, which attorneys suggested could be affected by higher taxes next year. attorney William Savitt said shareholders “will almost certainly be better off getting their premium money this year rather than next.”

Read the full article.

National Genealogical Society Issues Call for Papers for the 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia

The following was received from the National Genealogical Society:

Beginning 1 January 2013, speakers as well as organizations interested in sponsoring lectures or tracks are invited to submit lecture proposals for the NGS 2014 Family History Conference, Virginia: The First Frontier, to be held 7–10 May 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. The first permanent English settlement in North America, Virginia has been home to countless individuals—some remained for generations; others moved on to the next frontier. Building on the records and history that draws so many back to their roots in the Old Dominion, we will explore the origins of those who settled within Virginia’s borders whether they came by land or sea.

Among the topics being considered are lectures on the history, records, repositories, and ethnic and religious groups of Virginia and neighboring states including Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee with special emphasis on migrations into, within, and out of the region down the Carolina and Great Wagon Roads, over the Appalachian Mountains, and across the south to Texas and beyond. Other regional topics of interest include the origins of the early settlers, land and military records (especially the French and Indian, Revolutionary, and Civil wars). Proposals are also solicited for the broader genealogical categories including federal records, the law as it relates to genealogy, methodology, analysis and problem solving, and the use of technology including genetics, mobile devices, and apps in genealogical research.

Sessions are generally limited to one hour. Camera-ready syllabus material, due 17 February 2014, is required for each lecture or workshop presentation and will be included in the syllabus distributed to all conference registrants.

Proposals should include the following information:

  • speaker’s full name, address, telephone, and e-mail address
  • title of the presentation, not to exceed fourteen words, and a brief but comprehensive outline
  • lecture summary, not to exceed twenty-five words, to be used in the program brochure
  • identification of the audience level: beginner, beginner-intermediate, intermediate, intermediate-advanced, advanced, or all
  • speaker biography, not to exceed twenty-five words
  • résumé of recent lectures by the speaker

Speakers are expected to use an electronic presentation program and provide their own digital projector. NGS will provide projector support, which consists of a VGA cable, cart, and power strip. No live Internet connections will be provided.

Submit each proposal electronically through the NGS website,, between 1 January and 1 April 2013. Speakers may submit up to eight proposals. NGS members will be given first consideration as speakers. Interested individuals and organizations should follow published guidelines at the NGS website:

Organizations wishing to sponsor a lecture or track of lectures should review the details and sponsor requirements at The deadline to submit sponsored lectures is also 1 April 2013.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

War of 1812 Exhibition at the Canadian War Museum Closes January 6, 2013

The following excerpt is from an article published in the December 19, 2012 edition of

Visitors have only a few weeks left to explore the four perspectives of the War of 1812 at the Canadian War Museum. The award-winning exhibition, 1812, supported by National Presenting Sponsor TD Bank Group and National Supporting Sponsor, will be closing on Sunday, January 6, 2013.

Since it opened on June 12 of this year, over 110,000 people have visited 1812, which explores the surprisingly different meanings and consequences the war had for each of the four central participants: Canadians, Americans, the British and Native Americans. An additional 184,000 unique visits have been recorded on the exhibition microsite, at

A virtual exhibition and a publication will continue to provide a lasting reference to the conflict. For more information on the travelling and virtual exhibitions, please refer to the earlier news release:

Read the full article.

Photo Analysis for the Genealogist

Still looking for the perfect gift for your favorite genealogists, or perhaps a little something for your own genealogy library, then here is a book for you:

When it comes to your ancestor’s photographs, has the fat lady sung her last? Do you feel that there is little to nothing more you can gain from examining these visual records? If you ask Colleen Fitzpatrich these questions she will tell you absolutely not. She will ask you questions like:

  • Have you ever considered using an ultraviolet light to date your photos?
  • What does it mean if you find a photo on the back of an old picture?
  • Can you spot a fake?
  • Can you tell what camera was used to take a picture of someone posing in his BVDs?

While very few people will work as photo experts, everyone can learn the basic investigation techniques to work like one. Through some tricks, creative thinking, and a developed eye, anyone can learn to expertly evaluate a photograph. In The Dead Horse Investigation: Forensic Photo Analysis for Everyone, Fitzparick shows the reader how to evaluate and pull information from photographs, without needing a college degree in photography, forensic evidence, or rocket science.

There are books which will show the reader how to analyze a photograph, to pull out visual clues and use them to tell a story about the subjects of these photos. Fitzpatrick takes the process further by helping the reader not just gain an eye for details, but to use critical reasoning and modern tools to gain greater knowledge of what is found. Using online resources with maps and catalogs, a little imagination and some diligence can lead to great rewards.


Table of Contents

What is a Photo Really Saying?

Remember to Look at the Back

  • Remember to Look at the Back!
  • What if You Can’t See the Back?
  • What if the Writing is There but it is Hard to See?
  • Lot Numbers, Logos, Personal Marks
  • A Ghost Image
  • The Edges
  • The Paper
  • The Shape
  • The Mat
  • Summary
  • References

Two Short Case Studies

  • I. A Ghost Image – The Hodder Comparison
  • II. The Mat – Father and Son
  • References

Details, Details

  • Just Plain Details
  • What Can I Tell about the Picture from the Clothing?
  • The “Occasional” Photograph
  • Where?
  • As Time Goes By
  • Wanna Date?
  • Don’t Miss a Thing!
  • References

The Belgian Orphans

  • Hard and Soft Clues
  • “The” Clue
  • Which Way Does the Flag Hang?
  • White or Yellow Stripe?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Comité Natinal de Secours et d’Alimentation
  • Further Investigation
  • A Few Notes
  • Summary

The Photographer

  • Charles Eisenmann
  • Reference

Reach Out and Touch Someone

This Photo is OK!

  • References

What’s Wrong with This Picture?

  • Types of Fake Photos
  • Changes in Context
  • Change in Content
  • Spotting a Fake

Relative Amnesia

  • A Providential Escape
  • The Next Chapter
  • A Major Breakthrough
  • A Few Emails and a Reunion
  • The End of the Story
  • References

The History of Photography Part I

  • Introduction
  • The Beginning
    • The Box
    • The Lens
    • The Recording Materials
  • The Daguerreotype
  • Outdoor Photography
  • The Ambrotype
  • Union Cases
  • Tintypes
  • In the Meantime
    • Aerial Photography
    • Stereoviews
    • Underwater Photography
  • References

History of Photography Part II

  • The Birth of the Paper Photograph
  • Cartes de Visite and Cabinet Cards
  • Sun Picture Tax Stamps
  • Three-Layer Collodion and Gelatin Prints
  • References

Age Progression

  • References

Photographic Identification

  • References

The Dead Horse Investigation

  • Putting Things Into Perspective
  • Camouflaged Locomotive
  • City Directories
  • References


Get this guide from Family Roots Publishing; In The Dead Horse Investigation: Forensic Photo Analysis for Everyone, Price $24.99.

German Books in Review

Looking back at this past year, like many other years, two groups stand out in popularity amongst genealogists, identified in large part by book sales, Germans and the Irish. Naturally, the large portion of the U.S. population descended from these two groups is the main cause of its popularity. However, the overall quality and research value provided by many of the current titles adds to the reason why German and Irish books have done so well this year.

Below is a look back at a few German books I reviewed during the year which helped prove the never ending popularity of German research amongst American genealogists.

Language barriers are always present when researching one’s ancestors prior to their arrival in America. Both language barriers and unique handwriting forms these barriers can be difficult to surmount. One great tool available to help researchers with their German is an actual early German school book. Read part of the review I did on this book here:

Every now and then a book will find new life. Sometimes a movie or newsworthy incident will bring a book back into the forefront and it will experience a revitalization. Sometimes a book will find new life for a purpose other than its original intent. So it is with Witter’s German-English Primer and New First German Reader for Public Schools, Revised Edition. This book was originally produced in 1881 as a German primer for American students. Over a century later, the book has found a new purpose, not for children, but for genealogists. [Click here to read the full review]

Of course, language is not the only barrier to successful foreign research. Knowing what sources are available, where to find them, and what one can expect to find unique to specific ethnic groups are all part of productive research. Here is one such book I reviewed to help researchers navigate German resources:

If the value of a book were measured by weight or volume, then The German Research Companion is a steal. Desk reference or the “Bible of German family history,” this book may be called many things, but perhaps the most accurate description is the most complete guide to German research written in the English language. At 8.5″ x 5.5″ and 706 pages, this books covers 100s of topic relevant to searching one’s German ancestors.

Shirley J. Riemer, with the help of co-authors Roger P. Minert and Jennifer A. Anderson added a wealth of knowledge in this 2010 third edition. Added to this edition were email addresses, recently published books and other aids, website addresses (some with directions for managing the sites), as well as useful information and comments regarding the use of many resources. While technically not a “how-to” book, this guide is as full of information and helpful hints as anyone could expect on a single topic in family history. [Click here to read the full review, with contents]

If you have German ancestry in your background, then don’t miss out on these great books. Don’t wait another year, get them now…

Order your copy of Witter’s German-English Primer and New First German Reader for Public Schools, Revised Edition from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: IGH02, Price: $6.88.

Order a copy of The German Research Companion from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: M0025, Price: $27.44.

The Social Media Guide for Ancestral Research

An excellent Genealogist uses every tool at their disposal in order to uncover the truth of their ancestors. Today, that may mean using tools which were not available just a few years ago; including, social media. This can be scary for many people. Do you still feel a little lost when people, talk of texting, of twittering, or of blogging? Are you still a little confused onsd just what social media is and what it covers? You are not alone. Many are still lost on what exactly social media is and how genealogists can make use of it. If you are in that category, don’t worry. A guide to this mysterious world has just been released. Genealogy expert Claire V. Brisson-Banks has written and published The Social Media Guide for Ancestral Research: Applying Web 2.0 Strategies.

Claire makes understanding and getting started using social media a little easier. Just look at the table of contents below to see just how much this book covers. For example, do you know what a Wiki is? I know you see the term just about everywhere. Wikipedia is a famous wiki-based online encyclopedia with entries written by its users. A wiki, in fact, as explained by Claire in chapter five, is an Hawiian term for “quick.” A practical uses of wikis for genealogist can be found at FamilySearch’s Research Wiki. Information about wikis, the Research wiki, and other wiki uses are for the learning in The Social Media Guide.

Sometimes the best way to describe a book is through the praise given by others; for example, this quote from Beth Taylor, BS, CGSM Reference Consultant, Family History Library:

“This book defines the next great wave of technological support for genealogists of all skill levels, Understanding the capabilities and uses of social media is a must for all genealogists and relatives around the world.”

Claire V. Brisson-Banks, BS, MLIS, AG, a native of Rhode Island, is accredited in England, a lecturer and a professional research for United States, Canada, Scotland and Web 2.0 technologies. She owns Timeless Genealogies and is on staff at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is a member of multiple societies, is published in genealogical and academic journals and currently serves as a board member for CCLA and ICAPGen.


Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Social Media

Chapter 2: Electronic Mail and Mailing Lists

Chapter 3: Instant Messaging, SMS, Twitter

Chapter 4: Blogs

Chapter 5: Wikis

Chapter 6: Forums

Chapter 7: Real Simple Syndication

Chapter 8: Social Bookmarking

Chapter 9: Sharing Digital Images

Chapter 10: Sharing Video Files

Chapter 11: Podcasts and Vodcasts

Chapter 12: E-Learning and Online Classes

Chapter 13: Social Networking and Online Communities

Chapter 14: Family History Games




The Social Media Guide for Ancestral Research is available at Family Roots Publishing; Price: $15.95.

Digital Imaging Essentials: Techniques and Tips for Genealogists and Family Historians

From scanner or camera, digital images, namely photographs, have become a part of everyday life. Even older photographs, on paper or film, are commonly converted to digital format. Documents, letters, notes, books, and just about anything else on paper can be scanned and preserved in digital format. This include vital records. Opinions vary widely on what equipment you need, and what formats to save in, and what software to use, but in the end it comes down to just a little bit of knowledge and some basic skills. Anyone can learn these skills. Years of practice, along with plenty of mistakes, can make an expert out of just about anyone. Geoffrey Rasmussen, from Legacy Family Tree, has experienced his own woes over the years. More importantly, he has learned many useful lessons to successful digital imaging. These lessons are shared in his voice and straightforward way through his book Digital Imaging Essentials: Technique and Tips for Genealogists and Family Historians.

Geoff helps answer age old questions, like which scanner to buy? He reviews the ever nagging questions of picture resolution and file format. He also covers basic skills like importing images from scanner or camera, editing those images, and, of course, organizing, sharing, and backing up. Listing from the back, here is what “You Will Learn:

  • The do-it-right-the-first-time techniques of scanning old documents, and snapping pictures with your digital camera.
  • How to finally get organized so that you can locate any digital image in under a minute.
  • Which file formats and file saving techniques to use to properly preserve your digital images.
  • How to use Adobe’s Photoshop Elements and Google’s Picasa with illustrated, step-by-step instructions and learn about other software choices.
  • How to privately or publicly share your images and videos via printing, emailing, Dropbox, CDs, DVDs, or online via cloud technology.
  • How to access your digital media from any Internet-connected device including your smart phone or tablet.
  • How to develop a backup strategy to protect your collections from digital disaster.”

While Geoff tackles some of the oldest questions in digital imaging, he does so using the latest software and techniques. From hardware to software and from the local hard drive to the Internet, Geoff discusses what is available today. What makes this book so great is the clear and precise way Geoff handles each topic. His opinions are well thought out and come from his vast experience. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow. This book is truly designed to make learning easy. As Geoff says, “So if you are ready to take your digital pictures to the next level, go ahead, open the book, and have fun!”





Chapter 1: A Digital Image is…

Chapter 2: Before You Digitize

  • What will you do with the digital images?
  • Resolution
  • File Formats

Chapter 3: Scanners, Cameras, Wi-Fi, Mi-Fi, and Eye-Fi

  • Which Scanners?
  • All-in-one
  • Flat-bed
  • Flip-Pal mobile scanner
  • Wand scanners
  • What to look for in a digital camera
  • Resolution
  • Zoom
  • JPG vs TIF
  • Wireless
  • Image Stabilization
  • Tripod vs. a steady hand

Chapter 4: Photo Software

  • Photoshop Elements
  • Picasa
  • Other popular photo software

Chapter 5: How to Import from your Scanner or Camera

  • 4 Steps to digitizing a photograph or document using a Flat-bed scanner
  • Creating a unique file name
  • 3 Steps to digitizing a photograph or document using the Flip-Pal mobile scanner
  • 2 Steps to Transferring a Photograph from your Digital Camera to Your Computer

Chapter 6: Before Editing the Picture

Chapter 7: Auto-Editing Techniques

  • Photoshop Elements techniques
  • Picasa techniques

Chapter 8: Editing: Advanced Tips and Techniques

  • Clone
  • Fixing little scratches and blemishes
  • Replace the background
  • How to “colorize” a black/white photo
  • Stitching
  • How to selectively adjust dark areas of a picture

Chapter 9: Getting Organized

  • My Personal Photographs and Scanned Images
  • My Digital Genealogy Documents
  • Another Golden Rule
  • Photo Organizing Software
  • Keyword tags, and facial recognition
  • Compatibility of tags

Chapter 10: Sharing

  • Printing and mailing
  • Emailing
  • Email feature of your photo editing software
  • You can still send a large attachment
  • How to add a citation to a digital image
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Adobe Premiere Elements
  • The Cloud
  • 4 Steps to Sharing via a the Cloud
  • Picasa Web Albums – anywhere

Chapter 11: Backup Strategies

  • External hard drive or another internal hard drive
  • Cloud services
  • CDs/DVDs
  • Photo Books




All hard copies of Digital Imaging Essentials: Techniques and Tips for Genealogists and Family Historians ordered from Family Roots Publishing currently come with a FREE download of  a full-color pdf version of the book. Price: $19.95

Genealogy Tech Books Available at FRPC

The following tech-related books are all available for immediate shipment!

Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse; by Lisa Louise Cooke

In Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse you will learn how to unleash your iPad’s potential for family history on-the-go! These pages are packed with the tools you need to get the most out your tablet:

  • An in depth look at over 65 apps that are ideal for the genealogist
  • 32 Fabulous Tips and Tricks that will make you a power user
  • See it for yourself with recommended online videos

Do you have a tablet other than an iPad?
No problem! Comparable apps available in Google Play are included. And the Tips and Tricks section will give you clues as to features to look for on your brand of tablet.

Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse; by Lisa Louise Cooke; 151 pp; Paper; 6×9, Published: 2012; ISBN: 5800086234635; Item # LU05; Just $18.76


Digital Imaging Essentials: Techniques and Tips for Genealogists and Family Historians; by Geoff Rasmussen

All books currently come with a FREE download of JR01 – a full-color pdf version of the book. The link to download the book will be emailed within 24 hours of purchase, usually much sooner.

This book is also available in an electronic pdf format ($14.95).

Genealogists use digital imaging technology every day. But what they do not know about it can harm their digital treasures. They have needed a comprehensive, easy-to-read guide, full of illustrated step-by-step instructions to learn how to digitize, organize, preserve, share, and backup their digital collections.

Your wait is over. You now have Digital Imaging Essentials: Techniques and Tips for Genealogists and Family Historians at your fingertips. There are some books that are meant for the coffee table, but this book belongs with you at your computer.

From the very first page you will notice that this book is much more than a boring instructional manual – it is full of real-life examples that not only teach you the right buttons to push, but it thoroughly explains how to get the most of your digital imaging experience. AND this book is written specifically for genealogists!

The do-it-right-the-first-time techniques of scanning old documents, and snapping pictures with your digital camera.
How to finally get organized so that you can locate any digital image in under a minute.
Which file formats and file saving techniques to use to properly preserve your digital images.
How to use Adobe’s Photoshop Elements and Google’s Picasa with illustrated, step-by-step instructions and learn about other software choices.
How to privately or publicly share your images and videos via printing, emailing, Dropbox, CDs, DVDs, or online via cloud technology.
How to access your digital media from any Internet-connected device including your smart phone or tablet.
How to develop a backup strategy to protect your collections from digital disaster.
So if you are ready to take your digital pictures to the next level, go ahead, open the book, and have fun!

Click here to preview the Table of Contents, the complete index, and a few selections from the book (31 pages).

Digital Imaging Essentials: Techniques and Tips for Genealogists and Family Historians; by Geoff Rasmussen; Nov 2012; 150 pp; 8.5×11; Black & White; Item #: JR02; Just $19.95.


The Guide to FamilySearch Online, by James L. Tanner

Without a doubt, FamilySearch has taken the genealogy community by storm in the last couple years. The emphasis placed on the digitizing and indexing of records, and the FamilySearch wiki is and will continue to be a driving force, allowing genealogists worldwide to locate and record more ancestral data than ever before.

FamilySearch is front and center in the online dissemination of an ever-expanding trove genealogical data, with the website being the portal through which genealogists access data, volunteer their indexing skills, and in the case of LDS church members, submit ordinance data.

This volume provides detailed instructions to the content and organization of all the current FamilySearch websites. Heavily illustrated with screen-shots, the book makes it extremely easy to put into practice what one just learned in the book. If you are already a user of these sites, you will most likely find insights into features and information you likely did not know existed. I certainly did.

As an example of just one part of the book, I found the section on FamilySearch Wiki to be extremely helpful. While I’m a frequent user of FamilySearch, I didn’t realize how much there is to be learned and shared at the Wiki. This portion of the book is worth the price all by itself. To learn more, click on the link below.

The Guide to FamilySearch Online, by James L. Tanner; August 2011; 369 pp; perfect-bound soft cover; ISBN: 978-1-61166-015-0; Item #BG01; $10% off – plus free shipping thru December 20!; $35.96


The Social Media Guide for Ancestral Research – Applying Web 2.0 Strategies; by Claire Brisson-Banks

The Social Media Guide For Ancestral Research is a practical guide to navigating web 2.0 technologies to enhance your family history research. The volume covers Social Media, Electronic Mail and Mailing Lists, Instant Messaging (SMS, Twitter), Blogs, Wikis, Forums, RSS- Real Simple Syndication, Social Bookmarking, Sharing Digital Images, Sharing Video Files, Podcasts and Vodcasts, E-Learning and Online Classes, Social Networking and Online Communities, and Family History Games. The book incudes an index at the back.

The Social Media Guide for Ancestral Research – Applying Web 2.0 Strategies; by Claire Brisson-Banks; 2011; Perfect bound; 6×9; 131 pp; Item #CBB01, Reg. $17.37 – On sale for $15.95.


German Genealogy Research Online – Tips and Links; by Leland K. Meitzler

This booklet was written to help genealogists with online Germanic research. Based on the author’s personal experience, the book deals with using the Internet to advance their Germanic genealogy.

The book covers:

  • Finding Pictures, Images and Websites for Your Ancestral Home
  • Finding and Using Online German Gazetteers
  • FamilySearch German Databases
  • Online German Surname Distribution Maps
  • Translating Online German Websites
  • The International Genealogical Index (IGI) Online
  • Full German State Archives Addresses & Contact Information
  • 30 Helpful Online German Research Resources

German Genealogy Research Online – Tips and Links; by Leland K. Meitzler; 2012; Softbound, Saddle Stapled; 8.5×11; 20 pp; ISBN: 979-1-933194-98-1; Item #: FR0120; $6.95

Priceless Documents From Texas’ Early History Have Survived a Hurricane & Fire – Now at the Texas State Library and Archives

The following teaser is from an excellent and extensive article by Steve Campbell for the December 13, 2012 Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

FORT WORTH, Texas — After surviving a hurricane, a house fire and storage in a Tweety Bird gym bag, a treasure trove of hundreds of historic letters and documents from the turbulent years of the Texas Republic has made it back into state hands.

The next-to-last stop on the tortuous trail of The Texas Legation Papers from 1835 to 1845 was a unique five-year custody arrangement with TCU under which professors and graduate students got a firsthand look at history that had effectively been lost for more than 160 years.

Officials from the TCU Library and the Center for Texas Studies transferred the records back last week to the Texas State Library and Archives in Austin, where they will be held along with a host of other state treasures.

“It’s a really important collection for researchers and lovers of Texas history,” said Peggy Rudd, director of the state agency. “These documents are priceless…”

Read the full article.