Category Archives: Press Release

South Davis Family History Fair 2013

The South Davis Family History Fair is this weekend, April 19-20, at Woods Cross High School. This is an annual event, in its 16th year, brought to us by the Utah Genealogical Association.

The Fair begins Friday evening at 7pm with the keynote speaker, Denise May Levenick, presenting Treasures in the Attic: Every Keepsake Has a Story. This event is free to the public.

Saturday’s program begins at 8am with another keynote from David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch, presenting Preserve the Pensions – The Community Makes a Difference, followed by five sessions from 9:15am – 4:30pm. Several sessions have 22 different lectures to choose from. Topics include German research, multiple sessions about creating books or DVDs to share with family, using technology in different ways, and much more.

If you go, be sure to look for our own Todd Knowles, teaching about Jewish research, the Knowles collection, and British research.

Registration is only $15. Lunch can be added for only $6.

Schedule details and a link at the bottom of the page to registration are on the UGA web site.

Genealogy Webinars – Online Learning

If you’re looking to learn more about genealogy, then the Internet is a great place to be. There are a plethora of genealogy groups broadcasting webinars on a variety of subjects and all for free!

What’s a webinar? It’s a web seminar, a presentation broadcast over the Internet. The webinar interface also allows for a question and answer session at the end. These webinars allow speakers to share their knowledge with people all over the world, and no one has to travel.

The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) has their Jamboree Extension Webinar Series throughout the year. They are held twice a month, on the first Saturday and third Wednesday. Last year, they also broadcast from live sessions at their Jamboree genealogy conference in June.

The Illinois State Genealogical Society has one webinar each month. Most of the topics are about general genealogical methodology and apply to all genealogy research.

The Utah Genealogical Association Virtual Chapter (UGA) also meets online in webinar format once a month. This year, they have switched to GoToWebinar, like most of the other genealogy webinars already use.

All of these societies allow anyone to attend the webinars live, but only members can view the recordings later. Some other societies have broadcast webinars, including the Georgia Genealogical Society, the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA), and of course, UJGS.

Legacy Family Tree has been hosting a webinar series for a few years and has just revamped it with a new web site. Their webinars are free to attend live and to view for seven days following the broadcast. The rest can be purchased on CD or watched online by purchasing their new monthly or yearly memberships.

Another place to check is GeneaWebinars. Created by Dear Myrtle, who hosts Mondays with Myrt webinars (they’re listed on her site), individuals who broadcast on their own and societies can post their scheduled webinars to make them easier to find. Myrt has recently switched to using Google Hangouts On Air, which can be viewed using Google+ or YouTube.

And don’t forget to watch the videos of the keynote presentations and some of the sessions from RootsTech 2013. (This site will automatically playing the videos when it loads.)

Most genealogy webinars last about an hour, but some have been known to go on for longer, especially while taking questions from the attendees.

So take a look at what’s coming up and you might find some great information on the Internet. What do you want to learn today to help you with your genealogy research?

RootsTech Starts Thursday

RootsTech is happening this Thursday through Saturday. Thousands of genealogists and technologists will descend on the Salt Palace Convention Center to learn more about both topics, genealogy and technology, and the places where they overlap.

A few people in our society are already registered. (Others can still register if you want to.) The Expo Hall will be open to anyone for free. But everyone else can join in as well, without even going downtown.

As in previous years, RootsTech will be live streaming the sessions in the main hall. The keynote speakers each morning and other popular topics will be available to watch online by everyone. UJGS encourages our members to tune in if they can. Additionally, the recordings will be made available after the conference for those with clashing schedules.

You may visit the RootsTech web site for more information about the conference and to see a schedule of the streaming sessions (just scroll down to find the list). The sessions will probably be streamed right on the home page, or there will be a link to them from there. You can check the schedule to read more about the streaming sessions and the rest of the conference.

In addition to the live sessions, you can also check out the syllabus notes for many sessions by clicking through to the main schedule and then looking through to each individual session; there are often both PDF and Word versions. Sometimes you can learn some great lessons just by reading the notes, even if you can’t be there to hear all the details.

Subscribe to Records Access Alerts

Public records access is an important issue facing the entire genealogy world and it is of worldwide concern. Genealogists depend on access to records to do our research, while lawmakers are changing the rules, sometimes making more records publicly available, but more often removing records from the public’s access, or threatening to do so.

As one example, think of where you’d be in your research without the Social Security Death Index, the closest thing we have to a national death index. The fight over the SSDI is a recent and ongoing one, with some lawmakers wanting to take away all public access due to perceived threats of identity theft, when it’s purpose is to help stop such kinds of activity.

IAJGS has been providing notices about public records access to its member societies’ leadership, but to be sure that everyone can know about these issues, IAJGS has created a new announcement list.

To subscribe to the list, visit, and provide the requested information: name, email, and organization. You will receive an email response to verify your subscription.

IAJGS would also like to hear from list subscribers if they know of public records access issues or have something relevant to add about the postings.

Alerts posted to this new service will be made only when there is something of an important nature regarding public records access.

Thank you to Jan Meisels Allen for bringing this to our attention. Jan is the IAJGS Vice President and Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee.

UJGS 2013 Schedule

Welcome UJGS members and friends to 2013.

We have updated our blog a bit, transferring all of our subscribers to our in-house email system. We have also added some of our past members back onto the list. We’d love to see some more of you again. (Feel free to unsubscribe if you’re no longer interested in hearing from us.)

Mark your calendars. We have set our schedule for 2013.

  • 19 February – Library Research Night
  • 19 March
  • 21 May
  • 18 June – Library Research Night
  • 23 July
  • 22 October

This year, we are trying out the third Tuesday of the month. February and June will be Library Research Night at the Family History Library. From 5-9pm, come to give and/or receive research help from your fellow society members.

Our other meetings will take place at the Jewish Community Center from 7-9pm. Our first speaker in March will be Jeanette Rosenberg, a genealogist from England, who will be sharing with us her research exploits in Germany. More details to come.

SLIG is This Week

Every January, the Utah Genealogical Association invites genealogists to their annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). Each attendee signs up for a specific track where they learn in-depth research information about their chosen topic.

Some courses fill up fast when registration opens in June, so if you’re interested, you want to keep an eye out for it each summer.

Besides the main courses, SLIG also offers evening sessions beginning at 7pm and 8:15pm. The first night is free and other sessions are only $10. These are open to the public.

SLIG runs from January 14-18, and takes place at the Radisson Hotel, about a block from the Family History Library.

You can find more information about the evening sessions on the UGA web site, or learn more about SLIG. Free Access Databases is offering free access to some of its 2012 collections until December 29th.

Just a few of the databases in the free collection include:

  • 1940 US Federal Census
  • 1892 New York State Census
  • Massachusetts Town and Vital Records 1620-1988
  • Galveston, Texas Jewish Immigration Records 1901-1917
  • London, England Land Tax Records 1692-1932
  • Canada Voters Lists 1935-1980
  • Washington Marriage Records 1865-2004
  • Border Crossings from Canada to US 1895-1954
  • New York Naturalization Records 1897-1944

You can visit their web site to see a list of all of the free collections available until Saturday to search them specifically. Click on “See What’s Free” on the right side for the complete list.

International Jewish Genealogy Month is Coming

Cheshvan is approaching, and that means International Jewish Genealogy Month (IJGM) will soon be here. This year, IJGM is from October 17th to November 14th.

UJGS will be kicking off the month with a Library Research Night on October 16th and ending with a meeting on November 13th. Both events are at the Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City.

This Library Research Night (LRN) will be open to anyone, members and non-members. From 5-9pm, we will find a place at the FHL to do our research together. Our more advanced members have volunteered to help the others to do their research. Have a brick wall you need help busting down? Need to move into new research territory — a new country, a new language? Are you a beginner and need to know where to start your family history? We want to help.

If you plan to be there for LRN, we’d prefer to hear from you in advance. Let us know what you want help with so we have a chance to prepare, and so we know how many people to expect.

See you at the library!

Free MyHeritage Webinar

MyHeritage recently introduced Record Matches on their web site. If you’ve uploaded your family tree to their web site, it will automatically search for records related to the people in your family.

With help from its acquisition of WorldVitalRecords, MyHeritage has a growing collection of more than four billion historical records including census, birth and death records, newspaper articles, books, and more.

Even if you have only the free account, some of the record matches are still accessible, while others require you to have a data subscription.

This Wednesday, October 3rd, at 10am Utah time, MyHeritage is hosting a webinar to introduce Record Matches, show you how to check the matches, and how to use the information to discover more relatives.

The webinar is free but advanced registration is required.

Free US Census Records from Ancestry is offering access to its US Federal Census collection, 1790-1940, for free until September 3rd.

Are you still missing some of your relatives’ census records? This is a great opportunity to search for them again.

Thanks to Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings, we can also see a PDF from Ancestry called “Follow your family using census records“. It contains details about what is in each census, including a chart showing the main questions that were asked year by year, as well as some instructions for how to trace your family once you’ve located them in the most recent census.

Part of this celebration includes their release of the Time Machine, which is supposed to create a personal video of your life if you lived 72 years ago. (Unfortunately, after answering all of the questions, it gets stuck on the “loading” screen for me. If it works for you, visit this blog and leave a message about what it produced.)