Category Archives: Press Release

RootsTech 2015

RootsTech_logoIt’s time again for RootsTech, the genealogy conference brought to us by FamilySearch, at the Salt Palace Convention Center. RootsTech takes place this week, February 12-14. This year, it runs in conjunction with the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference, so expect more people and more sessions.

There will be some sessions streamed live over the Internet. A few have been mentioned in various articles and blog posts, but no official and complete list has been posted yet. Watch the RootsTech home page for that. In previous years, all of the morning keynote sessions were live streamed, and other sessions that occurred in the same large room.

As in previous years, the Expo Hall will be a focal point of the conference, open each day at 10am until, 6, 7, and 4pm. While not specifically stated again this year, it is likely to be open to the public. IAJGS will again have a booth so come on by and visit, while also seeing what else is going on in genealogy and technology.

Are any UJGS members planning to go to RootsTech?

FindMyPast Free Weekend

In honor of Veteran’s Day, FindMyPast is offering free access to their collections this weekend, November 7th through November 10th. Their collections include US, UK, and Irish records, US and UK historical newspapers, military records, passenger lists, and more.

You will need to be signed in to access the records, but you can register for free if you don’t already have an account.

Visit their web site to learn more about the records they have to prepare your search queries for this weekend.

BCG Brings Speakers to the FHL

If you’re not busy this Saturday, you might want to spend the day at the Family History Library.

On October 11th, from 9am to 4:45pm in the B2 classroom, some of the best known speakers in genealogy will be presenting a day of genealogy education, free and open to the public, sponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG).

Everyone is welcome to attend any lecture or to stay for all six.

The schedule is as follows:

  • 9am
    BCG Certificate Seminar
    Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL
  • 9:45am
    Shootout at the Rhododendron Lodge: Reconstructing Life-Changing Events
    Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
  • 11am
    From the White Lion to the Emancipation Proclamation – Slavery and the Law before the Civil War
  • 1:15pm
    Using Evidence Creatively: Spotting Clues in Run-of-the-Mill Records
    Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA
  • 2:30pm
    Oh, The Things You Can Map: Mapping Data, Memory, and Historical Context
    Stefani Evans, CG
  • 3:45pm
    Trousers, Black Domestic, Tracks & Housekeeping Bills: Trivial Details Can Solve Research Problems

Remember that Saturday parking is free in the lot behind the museum.

FEEFHS – Free presentation August 13

The Foundation of Eastern European Family History Societies (FEEFHS) has an annual workshop in Salt Lake City. This year, their three day workshop will be August 11-15.

As a special treat, the presentation on Wednesday, August 13, will be open to the public and free to attend.

Diane Afoumado

Diane Afoumado, PhD., Chief, International Tracing Service (ITS) Research Branch, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, will be speaking on the records and the services offered by the ITS.

The ITS collection will be of interest to anyone with ancestors who may have been persecuted or displaced during WWII. Documents such as camp arrival lists, grave locations, transport lists, prisoner cards, forced labor lists, death lists, displaced person applications for assistance, deportation lists, emigration application or questionnaires, registration and work cards, sometimes with photographs, are contained in the collection. Research services to access those records are provided by ITS to the public at no charge.

Anyone may attend the Wednesday evening presentation and subsequently set up an appointment to meet with Ms. Afoumado on Thursday following the presentation to begin the research process.

Thanks to Peg Ivanyo, FEEFHS conference chair, for informing us about this event.

Jamboree Webinar Schedule Announced

If you’re not busy the weekend of June 6th, you might spend your days at your computer. The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) Jamboree, as it has for several years, will be streaming many sessions from the conference.

They begin on June 5th with the DNA Conference, where the sessions are not free. The following three days include a variety of sessions, including a couple on DNA and genetic genealogy, fourteen in all. As with all SCGS webinars, they will be free to view live and many will be available to members only after the event.

Some of the offerings include:

  • Blaine Bettinger PhD, JD – DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard
  • F. Warren Bittner, CG – Elusive Immigrant!
  • Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL – Staying out of Trouble: The Rights and Responsibilities of Today’s Genealogist
  • Bennett Greenspan – The Future of Genetic Genealogy
  • Dawn Thurston – How to Write a Personal History that Captures your Interesting Life
  • Denise Levenick – Dirty Pictures: Save Your Family Photos from Ruin

Many other sessions will be available in two weeks. Visit the Jamboree Blog to see the entire schedule of streamed sessions. Or visit the SCGS Streaming Schedule and click on each session for a more detailed description and to register for the webinar.

NY Times Articles Online

Founding member Rochelle Kaplan brings some New York Times articles to our attention.

A. J. Jacobs writes “Are You My Cousin?“, a genealogy journey using collaborative genealogy, mainly, then DNA, to discover connections to famous people, and to throw a huge family reunion.

Tom Mashberg writes “Not All Monuments Men Were Men“, focusing on many of the women who were and were not portrayed in the movie. Have you seen the movie yet?

Doreen Carvajal writes “Loot No Longer“, her attempt to track down Jewish families of the art pillaged from their families in the war, with the help of Gilad Japhet of MyHeritage.

Who among us likes when genealogy research is in the mainstream news?

Legacy Webinars

Another popular webinar series has been announced from Legacy Family Tree. Each webinar is presented live for free and then is made available for an additional ten days for free viewing. Previous webinars can be purchased at their web site.

The 2014 series includes some of their regular presenters with a variety of topics. Judy Russell, the Legal Genealogist, has a few presentations scheduled, as does Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers. Some topics may be applicable to any genealogist, such as one-name studies, using technology, and organizing your research. Other topics help in specific fields, such as Irish, Italian, Tennessee, Illinois, and there’s even a session on Jewish ancestors in September.

Visit Family Tree Webinars to see the full list of upcoming webinars and to sign up for those that interest you.

SCGS 2014 Jamboree Extension Series

Once again, the Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) is offering their Jamboree Extension Series.

SCGS hosts Jamboree, a genealogy conference, every summer in Burbank, California. For several years, they have not only live streamed some of the sessions online, but offered additional opportunities for genealogical learning throughout the year via webinar. SCGS members can access the recordings, but anyone may attend the webinars live.

The 2014 webinars have been announced, usually two per month. The first webinar, Barbara Randall presenting Beyond the Passenger List, begins the series on January 4th. Some IAJGS conference regulars are included: Tammy Hepps, winner of the 2013 RootsTech Developer’s Challenge, presenting Timeline Creation Applications on February 19th; Ron Arons, Nifty and Powerful Technologies for Genealogical Analysis and Documentation, on May 3rd; and Pamela Weisberger, Historical Newspaper Research for Genealogists, on November 1st.

Be sure to visit the Jamboree blog to see the full list for yourself. There are too many great topics to list here, of interest to every genealogist. Click on the link for each webinar to read more and sign up.

BCG 50th Anniversary

The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) is celebrating their 50th anniversary. In celebration, they are having a free lecture series in Salt Lake City.

This is an excellent opportunity for our members to hear from the some of the best known speakers in genealogy education.

The lectures will be held in the auditorium of the Church History Museum. That’s the building right next door to the Family History Library.

Here’s the schedule.

Thursday, October 10

  • 10:45am – 12pm: BCG Certification Seminar – Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL and F. Warren Bittner, CG
  • 1 – 2:15pm: Should You Believe Your Eyes? Sizing Up Sources and Information – Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, FGBS
  • 4 – 5:15pm: Write While You Research, Let the Joy of Research Infect Your Writing – Barbara Mathews, CG
  • 7 – 8:30pm Keynote: Kinship Determination – Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

Friday, October 11

  • 9:15 – 10:30am: Complex Evidence, What it is, How it works, Why it Matters – F. Warren Bittner, CG
  • 10:45am – 12pm: Proof Arguments for the Next Generation – F. Warren Bittner, CG
  • 1 – 2:15pm: Reach for the Power Tools, Record Transcription & Analysis – Rev. David McDonald, CG
  • 2:30 – 3:45pm: Bringing Josias Home, Using Circumstantial Evidence to Build a Family – Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL
  • 4 – 5:15pm: Baker’s Dozen Steps to Research Reports – Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL

The event will conclude on Saturday, October 12, with a banquet (for $40) in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Judy Russell will speak on “We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” – Standards for the 21st Century. The deadline for the banquet is October 8.

More information about the banquet can be found on the BCG blog. Pre-registration is suggested by emailing or by calling 801-240-4950.

Immigration Research Weekend

No, it’s not any kind of official event, but what else were you planning to do for the Labor Day weekend? is offering their Immigration and Travel databases for free until September 2nd. What’s included in those databases? A lot.

Ship passenger lists with arrivals to New York, Boston, Baltimore, California, and more; outgoing ship lists from Hamburg and the UK; border crossings between the US and Canada, US and Mexico. Naturalization records are also part of the immigration collection. They’re even offering Jewish arrivals to Switzerland from 1938-1945 among the “other records”.

So if you’ve got some time this weekend, now is a great opportunity to fill in some of those missing documents. If you don’t have time, maybe you’ll want to make some. The free access is already available now, so take advantage!