APG Announces Election Results

The following was written by APG staff:

Westminster, Colo., November 21, 2008 – The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the world’s leading professional organization of family history and related professionals, announced the results of its 2008 election. Ten board members were elected to two-year terms for 2009-2010. Two nominating committee members were elected to one-year terms.

Region 1: West: Trish Hackett Nicola, CG (Washington) is currently a Region 1 director on the APG Board and chapter representative for the Puget Sound Chapter. Trish is on APG’s Chapter Activities Committee. Mary Penner (New Mexico) chairs the APG Publications Advisory Committee. She has been awarded research grants from the Kansas State Historical Society and the State Historical Society of Missouri. Her articles appear frequently in the Ancestry Weekly Journal and in many genealogical magazines.

Region 2: Midwest: Billie Stone Fogarty (Oklahoma) is president of the Oklahoma Genealogical Society and vice-president and program chair of the Oklahoma Home & Community Continuing Education Genealogy Group. She belongs to the Genealogical Speakers Guild and teaches continuing education classes. Paul Milner (Illinois) is co-author of A Genealogists Guide to Discovering your English Ancestors and A Genealogists Guide to Discovering your Scottish Ancestors, is a well-known speaker and author.

Region 3: Southeast: Donald Moore, CG (Virginia) is a Board-certified genealogist with an interest in colonial Virginia research. He is past president of the Virginia Beach Genealogical Society, vice president of the Virginia Genealogical Society, and editor of its newsletter. C. Ann Staley, CG (Florida) is a professional genealogist, consultant, instructor, and lecturer at local, state, and national levels. She is a board member of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

Region 4: Northeast: Amy E.K. Arner (Pennsylvania) is a researcher specializing in Western Pennsylvania, the president of the Great Lakes Chapter, and a proofreader for the APG Quarterly. Karen Mauer Green (New York) holds an M.A. in Museum Studies and specializes in Huguenots, New York, and the Mid-Atlantic area. The owner of Frontier Press Bookstore, she has served APG as a trustee and regional vice-president.

International Region: Eileen M. O’Duill, CG (Ireland) specializes in international probate research and has lectured at national conferences in the United States and in Ireland. Jan Gow (New Zealand) is a tutor, lecturer, and presenter at the local, national, and international level since 1985, and served on the APG and New Zealand Society of Genealogists boards.

Nominations Committee: Donna Moughty (Florida) has chaired the Professional Management Conference from 2005–2008, is treasurer of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, and a delegate to the Federation of Genealogical Societies. David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA (Utah) is employed by the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Director of the Planning and Coordination Division. A noted authority on Irish research, he is a past-president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and of the Utah Genealogical Association and a Fellow of the latter.

The Association of Professional Genealogists (http://www.apgen.org), established in 1979, represents over 1,800 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers, and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring, and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy, local, and social history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada, and twenty-six other countries.

Courtesy of Kathleen W. Hinckley, CG, Executive Director, APG

Volunteers Discover Fun Facts Transcribing Historic Canadian Censuses – Completed Indexes Will Be Free Online

Ontario, Canada – 19 November 2008 – FamilySearch International announced its plans to make the indexes to available Canadian censuses accessible online for free with the help of online volunteer indexers and an agreement with Ancestry.ca. The first censuses completed will be those from 1861, 1871, and 1916. Online volunteers are needed to help transcribe select information from digital images of the historical documents into easily searchable indexes. The completed indexes will be available for free at www.familysearch.org.

Famous Canadians in the 1916 Census

The following was written by FamilySearch staff:

What do Art Linkletter, Sir William Samuel Stephenson, and Elvina Fay Wray have in common? They all have ties to one of the three provinces that make up the 1916 Canada Census, and some lucky volunteer may experience the thrill of transcribing their information for the free online index.

1. Arthur Gordon Kelly (Art Linkletter) will be found as a four-year-old child at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. He was abandoned as an infant and then adopted and raised by a preacher. He hosted House Party and People Are Funny both on radio and later on newfangled television, and he is best remembered for his interviews with children on the television show Kids Say the Darndest Things. His adoptive parents were Fulton John Linkletter and Mary Metzler.

2. Sir William Samuel Stephenson was a Canadian soldier, airman, businessman, inventor, spymaster, and a British intelligence specialist during World War II. Stephenson is best known by his wartime intelligence codename of Intrepid and is considered by some to be one of the real-life inspirations for James Bond. He was born William Samuel Clouston Stanger, January 23, 1897, in the Point Douglas area of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

3. Elvina Fay Wray was born September 15, 1907, on a ranch near Alberta to Elvina Marguerite Jones and Joseph Heber Wray and will most likely show up as a nine-year old-child in the 1916 census. She made her film debut in Gasoline Love (1923), but it was her lead role in The Wedding March (1928) that made her a star. She became a cult figure after her role in King Kong (1933), as the beauty captured by a giant gorilla.

Getting Involved
Interested volunteers can begin helping immediately by registering online at familysearchindexing.org, downloading the free indexing software, and selecting the 1916 Canada Census project. A digital image of a census page will appear.

Volunteers simply type in the data highlighted on the computer screen and save it online. It takes about 30 minutes to complete one census page, and volunteers have a week to complete it if need be. Volunteers only need to be able to read, type, and have Internet access to participate.

“The 1916 census was selected first because it is the most recent and smallest of the three censuses targeted in the first phase. It included three of the western provinces (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta) and has about 1.7 million names—so it will not take long to complete,” said Stephen Young, FamilySearch project manager.

There are other hidden benefits to volunteering. Volunteers become familiar with historical documents, the valuable stories they can conceal, and their usefulness and application to genealogical research.

Indexers do not need to worry about their skill level at reading censuses. Each census page is transcribed by two different indexers. Any discrepancies between the two entries will be arbitrated by a third indexer. The result is a highly accurate, free index of tremendous value to family history enthusiasts. Young says the more online volunteers that help, the quicker the free census indexes will be available online for all to enjoy and benefit from.

One indexer recently commented, “I am intrigued with how the people come alive for me as I index. I indexed a household . . . containing a family with young children, grandmother, maiden aunt, and a couple of unmarried siblings. They had five servants, and I visualized a well-to-do household; the married son working maybe as a lawyer or doctor, taking care of his extended family. I see both sad and happy stories.”

FamilySearch manages the largest collection of genealogical records worldwide. In 2007 it announced plans to begin digitizing and indexing its collection for broader, online access—starting with popular collections like Canadian censuses. FamilySearch has digitized the 1916 Canada Census and is seeking online volunteers to help create a searchable index for it and other census and non-census Canada projects. The 1861 and 1871 censuses will be next.

Libraries and Archives Canada (LAC) owns and is providing the digital images for the Canada census projects.

Courtesy of Paul Nauta, FamilySearch

The #1 Rated Genealogy Software in the UK is Now Available at 1500 Target Stores

West Hartford, Connecticut, November 12, 2008 ­ – Family Historian 3, the highest rated family tree software in the U.K. is now available in the United States and Canada. This top rated software is initially being distributed in the nearly 1,500 Target stores nation-wide.

“Enteractive is thrilled to be bringing what is simply the best genealogy software product in the world to the U.S. and Canadian consumer,” Howard Luxenberg, president of Enteractive, stated.

Due to its easy to use features and product quality, Family Historian 3 has won major awards and recognition from the top reviewers including Windows XP Magazine, Family Tree Magazine, Which? Computing, Univadis and others.

Family Historian 3 was named “Winner” and “Editor’s Choice” by Windows XP Magazine in its August 2007 review of Family Historian, Family Tree Maker, Roots Magic, and Legacy genealogy software. The editors said that Family Historian 3 was “Packed with features, but the charts alone put this package in a class of its own.” In this comparison of the top products, Family Historian was declared the “All-round winner.”

Personal Computer World gave Family Historian 3 an overall rating of 5 Stars (out of a possible 5) and said “The range of features and sheer ease of use makes Family Historian an excellent tool for any genealogist” in its May 2006 review.

Family Tree Magazine (www.familytreemagazine.com) said “The best genealogy package just got better” in its review in July 2006.

Which? Computing (www.which.co.uk) rated Family Historian as the “Best Buy” and gave it the highest overall rating in its July 2008 comparison of the top 10 genealogy applications.

Univadis (www.univadis.co.uk) rated Family Historian 3 a “Strongly recommended” product and said “The programme is brilliant and dead easy to use and is ideal for beginners and experts alike.”

Australian Family Tree Connections said “With the release of version 3 Family Historian has become one of the best, if not the very best, in its class.”

In an indication of the powerful features and ease of use of Family Historian 3, the producers and researchers of the very popular BBC TV genealogy series “Who Do You Think You Are?” use Family Historian 3 as their family tree application of choice.

Product Features
According to Luxenberg, “This is a quality product that manages to combine ease of use with a remarkably rich set of features.” The following are just a few of the important product features of Family Historian 3:
· 100% compatible with GEDCOM 5.5, the standard for shared genealogical data
· Lets you easily create beautiful family trees, CDs/DVDs & websites
· Family trees can include data, photographs, even video files
· Diagrams are interactive, so you can work visually
· Unique “All relatives” diagram shows all descendants and all ancestors (and their spouses)
· Bonus features: Six month subscription to WorldVitalRecords.com and CD Book “Getting Started in Genealogy Online”

Enteractive Distribution also announces a new web site to provide useful information to consumers and genealogists. This new web site http://familyhistorian3.ning.com provides modern consumer features such as a product blog, updated news about the product, discussion forum, store locator, FAQ, product support groups, and easy to use customer support features.

Family Historian 3 runs on Windows Vista, XP Home and XP Professional, 2000, ME and 98.

Courtesy of David Lifferth

Incline Software Releases Ancestral Quest 12.1

The following was written by Incline Software staff:

Salt Lake City, Utah – November 12, 2008 – Today, Incline Software, LC announced the full release of Ancestral Quest 12.1. AQ 12.1 has been released in phases since July, 2008, when AQ 12.1 entered the first phase of a roll-out, wherein it was made available to a limited number of users of both AQ and PAF. As of today, AQ 12.1 is available to all users.

All of the new features introduced in Ancestral Quest version 12.1 are designed to aid a user in comparing and synchronizing local databases with the Family Tree database of new.FamilySearch.org, a system being developed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The Family Tree database claims to have roughly 500 million lineage-linked records, and these records become directly accessible to users of AQ 12.1 through these new features. An adjustment has also been made to the way a new user can try Ancestral Quest. AQ 12.1 now provides a 60-day free trial of the program with all features fully unlocked.

Because new.FamilySearch.org is still being developed and tested by members of the LDS church, its Family Tree is currently only available to a relatively small number of people. The new features of AQ 12.1 require access to the FamilySearch system through their secure system, and therefore can only be used by those who have access to new.FamilySearch.org. In the coming weeks and months, as new.FamilySearch.org is made available to a growing number of individuals, those users will also be able to use the new features of AQ 12.1. Incline Software understands that the Family Tree feature of new.FamilySearch.org will eventually be available to the general public, and therefore that the new features of AQ 12.1 will eventually be functional for all users.

These new features benefit not only users of Ancestral Quest, but also users of Personal Ancestral File (PAF), because the PAF program of the LDS church is based on an older version of AQ. AQ 12.1 is a FamilySearch certified PAF add-in. It will allow a PAF user to synchronize his/her local PAF data with the Family Tree of new.FamilySearch.org. Once installed Ancestral Quest will appear on the Tools menu of PAF 5.2, and the PAF user merely needs to click on that menu item to start AQ 12.1 to synchronize their PAF data with FamilySearch.

The new features to access new.FamilySearch.org require an ID and password that must be obtained from new.FamilySearch.org. If a user can obtain an ID and password for new.FamilySearch.org, he/she can take advantage of these new features in AQ 12.1. Otherwise he/she will still enjoy all the features of AQ 12.0.

Users of AQ 12.0 can download AQ 12.1 for free. Users of older versions of AQ will be able to download an upgrade for $19.95, or upgrade on a CD for $22.95 plus s/h. New users can download the 60-day trial for free, then purchase an activation code for $29.95 or order the software on CD for $34.95 plus s/h.

To find out more about Ancestral Quest or Incline Software, visit the web site www.ancquest.com.

Courtesy of Gaylon Findlay, Incline Software

Southeastern Indiana Genealogy Society Launches First Families Program

The Jefferson County (Indiana) Genealogical Society introduces a First Families Program to honor the founding families of the county.

Madison – November 1, 2008 – The Jefferson County Genealogical Society is sponsoring a lineage program specifically aimed at discovering and honoring the founding families of Jefferson County.

The program recognizes three categories of early settlers. Frontier Families are those who blazed the trail into the wilderness, settling in the county on or before 7 August 1820. Founding Families, those who settled here before 1 June 1860, drove the county’s major growth period and brought it prosperity and national prominence. First Century Families, those who settled here before 11 February 1911, helped move the county into the modern era.

Applicants to the program must prove their direct descent from an early settler as well as that settler’s residence in the county before one of the category dates. Applicants need not be current residents of the county. Those who apply before 15 April 2009, and are approved by the evaluation committee, will be eligible to participate in the Madison Bicentennial Founder’s Day Parade. All approved applicants will receive a certificate and lapel pin to commemorate their achievement.

The Jefferson County Genealogical Society encourages those with an interest in family history to make the effort required to document their personal connection to the pioneers of this county. Compiled applications will be archived by the society for the benefit of other researchers, and the preservation of this link to our past. A book honoring the founding families is planned.

For more information about the First Families program, visit http://www.jeffersoncountygenealogicalsociety.org .

For more information about the Madison Bicentennial, visit: http://madisonbicentennial.com .

About the Jefferson County Genealogical Society
Founded in 1998, the primary purpose of this organization is to preserve information of genealogical value and to encourage and assist others in gathering genealogical information. Membership is open to everyone with payment of annual dues. The meeting schedule and topics are posted at http://www.jeffersoncountygenealogicalsociety.org.

Courtesy of Annette Harper

Awards Presented at the APG Luncheon

The following was written by APG staff:

Jake Gehring, president of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), presented this year’s awards on September 5, 2008 at the association luncheon at the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. APG awards are given annually to recognize excellence and achievement within the field of genealogy.

One of its highest awards was given to Craig Roberts Scott, CG. Scott received the Grahame T. Smallwood, Jr. Award of Merit for his service to APG as Treasurer and as a board member from 2002-2007. He also served by leading the APG roundtable discussions for several years, and was the first vendor to offer discounts to APG members. The Smallwood Award is given for personal commitment and outstanding service as a member of APG. Scott, President and CEO of Heritage Books, Inc., is also a professional genealogical and historical researcher with more than 23 years of experience. He has authored and co-authored several books as well as many articles for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and Family Chronicle.

Roberta “Bobbi” King received the APGQ Excellence Award for her exceptional column “Professional Profiles” published in the APG Quarterly over the past several years. She currently serves on the board of directors of FGS, authored Researching in Nebraska for the National Genealogical Society “Research in the States” series, and has volunteered in the local Colorado genealogical community for the past ten years.

Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to:

Donna Moughty, for her work as the APG Professional Management Conference Coordinator. Moughty, from Florida, teaches classes and lectures on a variety of subjects including the Internet, Irish research and computer topics. She is also Treasurer of the Genealogical Speakers Guild and a delegate to the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

Beverly Rice, CG, for her work as APG Treasurer, Roundtable Coordinator, and the IRS FEIN project. Rice, based in Oregon, is a lecturer and speaker on topics related to methodology, migration, women, and the western experience.

Linda Courtemanche, for her work as Chair of the Chapter Review Committee. Courtemanche, a researcher from Pennsylvania, is the Local Publicity Chairperson for the 2008 FGS Conference.

Courtesy of Kathleen W. Hinckley, CG, APG Executive Director

APG Honors Gary Mokotoff

The following was written by APG staff:

Members of the Association of Professional Genealogists gathered in Philadelphia on September 5th to an honor a long-time member for his professional accomplishments.

The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) named Gary Mokotoff as the second recipient of the APG Honorary Lifetime Membership Award. The award was created in 2007 to recognize significant contributions to the field of genealogy by APG members. It recognizes members whose achievement in genealogy has spanned a significant length of time. The award was presented during the association luncheon at the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Mokotoff, an author, lecturer, and leader of Jewish genealogy, has been recognized for creating an excellent body of work in the field of Jewish genealogy.

He is the author of a number of books including the award-winning Where Once We Walked, a gazetteer that provides information about 23,500 towns in Central and Eastern Europe where Jews lived before the Holocaust, How to Document Victims and Locate Survivors of the Holocaust, and Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy. He co-edited the Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy. For its publishing efforts in Jewish genealogy, his company, Avotaynu, received the “Body of Work Award” from the Association of Jewish Libraries (2004).

Mokotoff has been recognized by three major organizations for his accomplishments in genealogy. Mokotoff is also known for his application of computers to genealogy…

Courtesy of Kathleen W. Hinckley, CG, APG Executive Director

MyHeritage Acquires Family Social Network Kindo

The following was written by MyHeritage staff:

London, England and Tel Aviv, Israel; September 22, 2008 – MyHeritage, one of the world’s most popular family Web sites, today announced the acquisition of family social network Kindo. MyHeritage has more than 25 million members worldwide and is known for its powerful technology that helps families research their history and stay connected, including Smart Matching and automatic photo tagging. The Kindo team’s experience in social networking will help MyHeritage realize its vision to be the Facebook for families. As part of this acquisition, MyHeritage will also establish new commercial operations in London.

“Adding the Kindo team to MyHeritage puts the company in an even stronger position to realize its vision of connecting families around the world,” said Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “The synergy of our innovative, sophisticated technology and Kindo’s social networking and marketing expertise will further solidify our position as industry leader. Kindo successfully created a friendly service with an excellent reputation and great base of users.”
Founded by CEO Gilad Japhet, MyHeritage helps people around the world discover, connect and communicate with their extended family network and easily research their family history. The service is unique in its international reach, currently translated into 25 languages with more to follow. Its impressive growth is based on an increasing desire of families to stay closely connected, learn more about each other and share their photos. MyHeritage can be accessed through the Web site or by downloading a simple piece of software for free. Combining MyHeritage and Kindo will create a larger family network and instantly provide more value to its collective user base.

The London-based Kindo team will become an essential part of MyHeritage, joining forces to accomplish the company’s vision of creating the best online destination for families. Kindo’s users can now get easy access to MyHeritage’s unique technology, helping them discover and learn even more about their family history. They will also benefit from MyHeritage’s photo tagging technology, which automatically scans and identifies people in photos, making it easier for families to organize, search and share their photos.

MyHeritage and Kindo share a common vision for the future of families online. We both want to give people an easy and fun way to stay connected, organize events, share memories, and strengthen ties across geographies,” said Nils Hammar, co-founder of Kindo. “When I worked at Skype, we saw first hand how powerful the Internet could be in helping families communicate, and now we want to take that a step further with MyHeritage.”

From the Sept. 22, 2008 edition of PRWeb.com

Grant to Godfrey Memorial Library Makes Three Standard Middlesex County Histories Available Free Online

The following was written by Godfrey staff:

Middletown CT (September 22, 2008) – Three basic sources for anyone researching the history, biography, or genealogy of Middlesex County, Connecticut, are now available in their entirety free to the public at the Godfrey Memorial Library’s website, www.godfrey.org. A $5,000 grant from the Middlesex County Community Foundation/Connecticut Humanities Council made digitization of these materials possible.

The three books are The History of Middlesex County, Connecticut, with Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men, published in 1884; The Commemorative Biographical Record of Middlesex County, published in 1903; and A Statistical Account of the County of Middlesex, in Connecticut, by David Dudley Field, originally published in 1819. These volumes, each more than a century old, are difficult to access in their hard copy format. Hard copies in Connecticut libraries are typically part of the reference collections and thus do not circulate. They are often too fragile to be photocopied.

Researchers living outside of Connecticut may have no access at all to hard copies. The digitization project funded by the Middlesex County Community Foundation has put on line more than 1,700 pages of material about the county, its towns, and its people.

Middlesex County Histories
David Dudley Field’s 1819 Statistical Account of the County of Middlesex, in Connecticut, includes all manner of intriguing information about events major and mundane, from murders to mining to the mysterious Moodus noises.

The 1884 History of Middlesex County includes detailed histories of each of the 16 towns in the county, highlighting religious, military, and industrial heritage along with interesting tidbits about fixtures of local life such as taverns, newspapers, and schools. It includes biographies of more than 150 notable individuals, and portraits of more than 50 of them.

The 1903 Commemorative Biographical Record of Middlesex County features biographies of more than a thousand men – and a few women – who were prominent at the turn of the twentieth century, along with their family lineages, and hundreds of portraits. The majority of the biographies are of individuals with roots that extended back to the colonial era, some of whose names are still part of the landscape today, such as Russell, Wilcox, Pelton, Lyman, and Gildersleeve. However, among them are included biographies of a number of recently arrived immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, and Germany, with names like Dunn and Inglis and Kretzmer, who had prospered in their adopted homeland.

The three volumes can be accessed at the Godfrey Memorial Library’s web site, www.godfrey.org, by clicking on the “Search’ tab, then on “Mdlsx Co Hist,” which opens a page with links to the histories and background on the project.

The Godfrey Memorial Library is a privately supported, non-profit library of genealogy and local history located at 134 Newfield Street, Middletown, Connecticut.

The Middlesex County Community Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County. Its mission is to work with charitably-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments and other charitable funds and to support local non-profit organizations through effective grantmaking to address community needs. Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has provided over $850,000 in grants to more than 142 organizations for the arts; cultural and heritage programs’ educational activities’ environmental improvements; and for health and human services.

Courtesy of Diana McCain

APG Honors Sandra Hargreaves Luebking

The following was written by APG staff:

Members of the Association of Professional Genealogists gathered in Philadelphia on September 5th to honor a long-time member for her professional accomplishments.

The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) named Sandra Hargreaves Luebking as the second recipient of the APG Professional Achievement Award. The award was presented during the association luncheon at the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The award was created in 2007 to recognize significant contributions to the field of genealogy by APG members. APG created the Professional Achievement Award to highlight a record of exceptional professional achievement through individual excellence and ethical behavior.

Luebking, a nationally-known author, editor, instructor, lecturer and researcher, has been recognized for her excellent example of genealogical professionalism and numerous contributions to the field through writing, lecturing, and service.
Luebking’s contributions to the genealogical community have been vast. In nearly three decades as a professional genealogist, Sandra has presented over one thousand lectures, appeared on television and radio programs, and been featured on educational videos.

For 23 years, she has edited FORUM, the national magazine published by the Federation of Genealogical Societies. With Loretto Dennis Szucs, she co-edited three award-winning books, including two editions of The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy; and The Archives: A Guide to the National Archives Field Branches. Leubking also wrote two chapters for Professional Genealogy (Elizabeth Shown Mills, editor) titled “Classroom Teaching” and “Setting Realistic Fees.”

Since 1979, Luebking has taught at Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) and has twice accompanied their British Research tour. She is a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association (1996) and was named Outstanding IGHR Alumni by Samford University in 1995.

Courtesy of Kathleen W. Hinckley, APG Executive Director

APG Presents First Young Professional Scholarship

The following was written by APG staff:

Westminster, Colo., September 9; The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) presented the first Young Professional Scholarship award to Michael Melendez of Fullerton, California. The award was presented during the APG Professional Management Conference (PMC) during the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Melendez, a senior at Troy Hill High School in Fullerton, already has a long resume of genealogical achievements. He performed a 150-hour internship at the Orange Regional Family History Center in California. He completed the Staff Training Program and is currently a staff member at the center.

He is also a member of the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ Youth Committee as well as the Future Genealogists Society. As part of his Eagle Scout project, Melendez put on a Beginners Family History Jamboree.

APG created the award as a scholarship opportunity for a young genealogist to attend its annual Professional Management Conference. The scholarship included conference registration and a $500 award toward travel and accommodations. The PMC is held in conjunction with the Federation of Genealogical Societies annual conference.

The Association of Professional Genealogists (www.apgen.org), established in 1979, represents over 1,800 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers, and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring, and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy, local, and social history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada, and twenty-six other countries.

Courtesy of Kathleen W. Hinckley, CG, Executive Director

Pharos and the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History Announce New Online Courses

The following was written by Pharos staff:

September 6, 2008; The International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH) and Pharos Teaching and Tutoring, a British company, have teamed up to offer quality online courses to those researching their roots in the British Isles.

ISBGFH has presented the British Institute in Salt Lake City since 2001 and wants to expand its educational opportunities to those who cannot travel to the class room sessions each year, a factor that is increasingly important as fuel costs rise. Pharos has extensive experience with distance learning and offers a selection of programs in British and Irish research. One of the Pharos instructors, Sherry Irvine, taught for five years at the British Institute.

Under the new arrangement, courses are open to everyone, whether or not they are members of ISBGFH. Currently, three courses are available: US Immigration and Naturalization, taught by George G. Morgan; England, Scotland and Wales Online: Transfer Your Skills taught by Sherry Irvine; and, British Isles Research – Solving Problems, Planning Strategies taught by Sherry Irvine. These courses will be offered successively between October and next September.

Details on the contents of each course, length, cost, and how online learning works can be found on the website of each organization.
• Pharos www.pharostutors.com
• ISBGFH www.isbgfh.org

Gordon Gray, President of ISBGFH, said: “We are excited about our new partnership with Pharos and offering high quality online courses to people researching their ancestors in the British Isles. It creates the opportunity for people to take courses on their own schedule, at a reasonable cost, in small groups and with the guidance of well-known instructors.”

Sherry Irvine, Course Director for Pharos, said: “This is a good fit. It was stimulating and rewarding to teach at the British Institute and I now look forward to continuing educational efforts with ISBGFH. Online courses are the best way for genealogists to expand their research skills and records knowledge, not only because of flexibility but because the Web helps research in so many ways – history, geography, catalogues, records guidance as well as data.”

Courtesy of Pharos

Family Trees Grow Virally on Geni.com

The following was written by Geni.com staff:

Site Traffic Tops 1 Million Unique Visitors in August.

Los Angeles, CA; September 4, 2008 — Genealogy and family social networking website, Geni.com, announced today that its traffic in August exceeded 1 million unique visitors for the first time and continues to grow rapidly.

Since Geni spends nothing on marketing, its growth is entirely organic and driven by the virality of its family tree application, which asks users to invite a relative when they add him or her to the tree. That relative can then invite other relatives.

The largest tree on Geni now contains profiles of over 600,000 people and was built by over 40,000 users. No other genealogy site can boast of so many users simultaneously participating in a single tree. As a free, easy-to-use web application, Geni is able to mobilize the efforts of anyone interested in their family, in addition to genealogy enthusiasts.
Geni’s goal is to build a family tree of the entire world, enabling families to connect, preserve, and share their lives. Geni’s features include but are not limited to photo and video sharing, a timeline to preserve family history, and a family calendar for birthday and anniversaries.

Geni has also invested heavily in privacy features based on relatedness, so user information is shared only with close relatives. This automatically protects privacy-minded users who happen to find themselves in a fast-growing tree.
Recently, Geni released a tree-merging feature, which enables two trees to merge when a common relative is invited to both. This process can be repeated many times over, leading to the discovery of new family relationships and strengthening Geni’s network effects compared to other genealogy sites.

David Kaleita, a Geni user, stated, “As recently as six weeks ago, I was connected to approximately 3,000 profiles (2/3 of which were manually entered by me and the rest manually entered by other family members) before merging with anyone. Now, several tree merges later, the stats report that I am now connected to 263,288 profiles! More than half of that growth came within the last two days.”

Geni spent a year preparing for tree merging. “Prior to developing the intricate tree-merging feature in itself, we needed to develop an extra layer of privacy features that would maintain the safe family environment necessary for sustainable and continuous growth,” said David Sacks, CEO of Geni.

By default, user profiles can be seen only by those in their own blood tree or in directly-connected inlaw trees. Inlaws of inlaws are limited to seeing search results only.