Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lots of Fun New Stuff

Great things happen every day in this digital era of family history research--new records available online, new training events, new programs to help us do our research easier.  I don't think a day goes by without me noticing something new available to help someone.  I thought I might highlight some of the more recent digital events here:

FamilySearch has just added 11.5 million international records--Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, even Zimbabwe, just to mention a few--and 2 million U.S. records.  Of these, over 9 million records are from Hungary, yet that particular collection is only 38% complete and will be added to throughout the year.

RootsTech, the recently very successful conference held in SLC has put their video-taped sessions online.  http://rootstech.familysearch.org/  click on the Free Presentations On-Line box to the mid-right and select the session you want to view.

Webinars:  These are coming out of my ears, and no that is NOT a complaint.  Where online training seemed more difficult to find before, it appears to be plentiful now and I'm thoroughly taking advantage of it.  Here are a few to get you started:   
RootsMagic has put together a series of webinars on how to use their software and other products.  You can register and attend free, or you can access the archived version from their website at your convenience afterwards.  http://rootsmagic.com/Webinars/     
Likewise, Legacy Family Tree has been offering webinars.  Theirs have been on all kinds of topics, not just their software.  And again, they are free to attend with pre-registration.  They are also archived, but not all stayed archived "free", so you want to catch them quickly.  http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/webinars.asp  
Then we have Genea-Musings who focus on technology in general.  http://www.geneamusings.com/2009/10/free-genealogy-webinars.html   
Of course Ancestry.com, has been offering online tutorials and webinars for some time now on topics ranging from their Family TreeMaker software to basic searches to specific things like finding your Irish ancestors.  http://learn.ancestry.com/LearnMore/Webinars.aspx  
Last on today's list, but certainly not least is Dear Myrtle.  Her next webinar is on using Twitter.  Since I'm not into tweeting, and don't understand it at all, I should be attending this one.  She lists her upcoming webinars on her blog, http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/

BRAND NEW RELEASE!  Mocavo Genealogy Search.  This website was just open to the public for use Tuesday and has already impressed a few of us.  This new search engine was created by a genealogist for genealogists.  A quick search on a name I'm working on for a client just gave me 1,391 search results in 0.05 seconds from places like archive.org, the Ancestry message boards, FindAGrave, etc.  Just like the google hits, it would appear that the most logical matches are on the first page or two.  Looks like a quick way to see what is out there about that ancestor.  And as with anything, I wouldn't use it exclusively.  But what a great new tool--makes it easier for the non-techie to search for information.  The best part is it limits it searches to genealogy-type sites.   For a quick look, that is important.  But remember that when you are looking for a distant cousin that is still alive, it might not be here...try google or another search engine of your choice instead.  http://mocavo.com/  

Could there be anything else?  Quite simply, yes.  I've barely scratched the surface and I've only focused this post on things I've seen or heard about or used in the past few days.  The advantages of doing family history research in today's age are phenomenal.  At least in the sense that both training and more records are readily available.  Now, if only technology could create those records that seem to be missing, or burned, or overlooked, or otherwise lost.  Wouldn't that be the day?!

Happy sleuthing to all of you!

Peg

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