Sunday, March 31, 2013
Not wanting to disappoint I emailed my mate Audrey asking for an interview and, as I knew she would, Audrey agreed. We got together on the second day of Rootstech to have our on-air chat. Those Australians who went to Audrey's talks on her 2012 Australian tour will be interested to hear how Audrey became involved in genealogy and landed her "Dream job" at The National Archives in Kew.
I have been uploading my Rootstech videos and scheduling blog posts relating to them to appear every few days so some savvy people have already found the following video on Youtube, viewed it and mentioned it on social media.
Those who haven't yet seen it and those who don't know Audrey you may wish to watch the following clip and meet my mate Audrey.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
For most of the interviews I conducted at Rootstech I just chatted with my interviewees but this one was serious stuff so I prepared questions and saved them in Evernote on my tablet. During the interview I clutched the tablet, referred to my questions and prayed that I sounded coherent.
One of the things I asked Mr Brimhall was how we, the users of Familysearch resources, can assist the organisation. Please take a look at the video to see what he has to say.
Thank you to Paul Nauta and Rob Goates, the Rootstech PR people, for offering me the chance to interview Mr Brimhall and to Mr Brimhall for taking time out of his busy schedule to chat with me.
Friday, March 29, 2013
In this interview Alona told me how she came to blogging and about the three blogs she writes. I had a fun time interviewing Alona, one of the fresh young faces of geneablogging.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I was pleased to read this tonight on The TNG Facebook Page "Looks like it's official: TNG has won the 2013 Genealogy Readers' Choice Award for "Best Tool for Putting Your Family Tree Online"! Thanks everyone!"
Family Historian, the software program I use for maintaining my database on my computer, came in a close second to Roots Magic. I was pleased to meet and interview Simon Orde, the developer of Family Historian, at Rootstech. As soon as I get a hotel with a good internet connection I will post that interview on this blog.
Congratulations to both Darrin and Simon on your well-deserved accolades.
A full list of winners can be seen on the About.com site.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Nearly 2,000 young people aged between 12 and 18 registered to come along to the conference on Saturday. My mate DearMyrtle was so proud to have some of her grandchildren visit, I saw a mob of youngsters in Scout uniforms wandering around and observed Paul Nauta nattering with a group of teens in the media hub. The average age of Rootstech attendees plummeted on Saturday.
|Proud Grandmother DearMyrtlewith her granddaughter|
Sunday, March 24, 2013
I dragged myself out of bed, conducted my ablutions, had a quick brekkie with a group of genealogists from rural Alberta, Canada and moseyed through the snow to the entrance of the Salt Palace, site of Rootstech 2013. Arriving early I was able to get an aisle seat with a great view towards the back of the main hall. While I waited for the keynote presentation from David Pogue I fired up my tablet and checked my social media accounts.
Shipley Munson, Director of Marketing for Familysearch, introduced David, the first keynote speaker for the morning. I was looking forward to hearing David because I have followed his blog and tweets for a couple of years. What I didn't know was that David was a talented, engaging and humorous presenter who has many strings to his bow.
David's talk was amusing, inspiring and instructive; during the course of his presentation complimentary tweets were flying around the twitterverse. As a finale to his presentation David sat at the grand piano and performed a couple of parodies on the Steinway; the audience was agog. It was such a masterful performance that the audience rose to give David a standing ovation.
I was on a high when I returned to the media hub to drop off my gear and prepare for a day of networking and classes. I was discussing my video times with a Rootstech organiser when he said "Jill, you've got 15 minutes with David Pogue".
PANIC STATIONS - I wasn't prepared for an interview, I hadn't done any homework on the subject but I wasn't going to miss out on the opportunity so I introduced myself, ushered David into the video studio and set sail. Thanks to David for being such a charming and gracious interviewee. You can view the interview below.
Margaret is the President of the Genealogical Society of Queensland while Geoff has an interest in social history and interesting stories of quirky forbears. Next stop for the Dohertys is Victoria on Vancouver Island in Canada where Geoff will present a talk at the local Genealogy Society. I was fortunate in being able to conduct a video interview with Margaret while at Rootstech that I will post to this blog in the coming days.
Of the dozen or so interviews I conducted at Rootstech I will tonight share below one recorded with Alan Phillips and Alona Tester from Unlock the Past in which they talk about their companies, why they travelled to Rootstech and about the exciting program of geneacruising they have planned for the next three years.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
I thank Else and Alec for handling a novice interviewer with kid gloves.
I think I have conducted more video interviews than any other Official Blogger except perhaps for DearMyrtle (Pat Richley-Ericson). I feel that I have learnt as much from interviewing a diverse range of Aussies, Brits and Americans as I would have in attending formal sessions.
Interviewing Familysearch CEO, Dennis Brimhall was a high spot today. How many ordinary genealogists have the opportunity the interview such an important member of the genealogy community?
|My interview with Familysearch CEO Dennis Brimhall|
So I must admit my attendance at formal Rootstech classes has been minimal but my learning curve has been phenomenal.
My recorded interviews will appear on this blog in the coming weeks.
Friday, March 22, 2013
6:00 am Leap out of bed to bathe and get ready for Rootstech. That white stuff falling out of the sky is snow - how exciting.
|Bloggers on tour|
9:00 am Dennis Brimhall, Familysearch CEO was sharing the organisation's vision for the future.
|Else, Alec and myself|
12:00 pm The wonderful Mr Geniaus brought me some lunch.
1:00 pm My fellow panelists appeared during the past hour and we discussed the gadgets we would show in our session. While she was there I grabbed Heather Rojo for a video interview.
2:00 pm A gentleman from Rootstech cornered me for a video interview.
3:00 pm 5, 4,3,2,1 Our panelists launched into our discussion The Genealogist's Gadget Bag
|Jill Ball, Marie Dougan, Heather Rojo, A C Ivory|
5:00 pm It was back to the video studio for more interviews; this time with Australians Alan Philips and Alona Tester from Unlock the Past.
6:00 pm Time to relax on my bed in the hotel and catch up with social media on my Tablet.
7:00 pm A yummy fresh dinner with Mr Geniaus at the Blue Lemon Restaurant opposite Temple Square.
8:00 pm A very special experience as Mr Geniaus and I joined a Behind the Scenes tour of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
9:00 pm We joined other conference attendees for a special mini-concert by the Choir in the Tabernacle.
|The Mormon Tabernacle Choir in concert this evening|
10:00 pm Back to the hotel for an adult beverage before bed. We met up with a new and interesting couple from Dallas, Texas.
1:00 am I am still sitting at the keyboard putting together this blog post
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Thanks to the people at Familysearch for hosting this function and for giving us a sneak preview of new initiatives at Familysearch.
|Honey butter for our bread rolls|
|The Buffet Line - I spy Renee Zamora (left)|
|My tablemates Official Bloggers Amy Coffin and DearMyrtle|
|Shipley Munson from Familysearch (He's also Tenor number 13 in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir)|
|Nancy Shively and I walked our dessert off going back to the hotel|
|Ben Bennett who shared exciting news about Familysearch|
|Lisa-Louise Cook, Thomas MacEntee and their tablemate were interested in the news from Familysearch|
|Perhaps the new Familysearch landing page will look like this|
|The new Familysearch Logo|
|Rosemary Morgan and Randy Seaver modelling the blogger beads sponsored by DearMyrtle|
I don't believe in jet lag but have been suffering from a bit of insomnia since I arrived in Salt Lake City so after midnight I decided to take a sleeping pill and it worked. I was intending to attend a lecture at the Family History Library this morning but slept in so I thought I had missed it.
When I huffed and puffed into the venue for the next talk I discovered that the speaker's plane had been delayed and that the talk had been cancelled - I'm glad I had that good sleep and didn't set an alarm to arrive on time.
As the second speaker was also delayed my mate, Audrey Collins, stepped in and presented a talk "There and back again" in which she told us that our ordinary ancestors often travelled far and wide. She demonstrated, with a range of examples, that if we can't find our ancestors in local records we should cast our net wide and we might be rewarded with surprising results.
|Audrey's title slide|
Shortly I'll be heading off to The Lion House for the Rootstech Official Bloggers Dinner where I'll renew friendships with old bloggers and meet the new bloggers. Once the Conference starts my blog posts may not be so frequent.
While I was working in the library just now I saw this tall guy with a broad smile. When he came near I said "Are you Dan?" (his name badge was twisted around and I couldn't see the name on it). Dan sat down and we had a great chat. Partway through a lightbulb went on in my head.
You see I had one video interview slot at Rootstech left to fill. I asked Dan if he would consent to an interview and he agreed. YAY! So after I interview him tomorrow you will be able to hear all about Dan's work as a genealogist in The Family History Library. I'll upload the video to YouTube and post a link here on the Geniaus blog.
I wandered over and said g'day to this group of ladies who told me they are part of Jan Gow's tour group. Jan's regular genealogy tour this year is coinciding with the Rootstech Conference.
|Members of Jan Gow's tour group at work in the Family History Library|
On Tuesday I spotted Australian expat, Michelle Patient, a New Zealand resident who is President of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists and geneablogging pal, Roger Moffat a proud Kiwi who lives in the US.
|Michelle Patient and Roger Moffat|
Together with the Australian contingent at Rootstech the New Zealanders make a formidable representation from downunder.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Tonight my small meet the Aussies dinner turned into a meetup for representatives of the British Empire or British Commonwealth as we know the Commonwealth of Nations.
Australians Jenny Joyce, Liz and Peter Pidgeon, Alan Phillips, Helen Smith, Alona Tester, Mr Geniaus and I were joined by New Zealander Roger Moffat and his wife Lisa, Scottish lass Marie Dougan and Audrey Collins who has one foot in the English camp and the other in the Scottish camp.
Thanks especially to those intrepid travellers who only arrived today in Salt Lake City for making the effort to dine with us.
The photos aren't as good as they could be because people kept on talking instead of posing for my pictures.
|It was hard to get the group to keep still for a photo|
|Helen, Peter and Jenny|
|Marie and Mr Geniaus|
|Alona and Liz|
When I visited the National Archives a couple of years ago I bought a couple of family history guides published by The Archives but I didn't buy David Annal's "Easy Family History" because it was labelled Easy but Audrey had told me it was a great little book so I thought it would be a good addition to my collection. Unfortunately the book went out of print so I didn't get a copy.
|Audrey (right) and I with my new book|
David says in his introduction "in the eight years since the first edition of Easy Family History was published, the world of genealogy has changed almost beyond recognition." This second edition has been rewritten to take account of the technological changes that have impacted on the way we conduct our family history research. In addition to 14 chapters that cover all common categories of resource the book has a glossary, useful addresses, useful websites, further reading and an index.
From my quick scan of its pages this morning I can recommend this book as an excellent guide for beginners and a good reference for those of us who have been plugging away at our research for a while. One of the speakers on the recent Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise suggested that we would all benefit from reading a beginner's guide on genealogy; this book would be an excellent one for this purpose.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
I discussed this issue with Thomas MacEntee, Mr Geniaus and Lisa Alzo last night and they helped me make a decision to invite someone else. Heather Rojo's name was among the potential people that we discussed last night.
Fortuitously I met Heather Rojo and her husband Vincent in the Family History Library this morning and just knew that she would fit right in. Although I knew Heather online I did not realise what a bright and bubbly personality she had. I did not immediately ask Heather to join the panel but skirted around the issue by asking her if she enjoyed talking to people, got nervous speaking to crowds etc before I hit her with the question "Would you join my panel on Thursday at 3:00 pm? " I was delighted when Heather said "Yes".
|Heather and Vincent Rojo|
This morning I experienced a Hangout on Air with Pat Richley-Ericson, aka DearMyrtle, did a spot of shopping (Macy's I love you) had a bite of lunch with Mr Geniaus and I am now back on B2 in the Family History Library trying to bring my blood pressure down a few notches. It's such an exciting time and there are two more sleeps until the Rootstech Conference kicks off.
During the "Mondays with Myrt" Google Hangout on Air this morning Pat interviewed an interesting lineup of people who had arrived early in Salt Lake City for the APG Meeting or Rootstech Conference. Now, if you are wondering what a Hangout on Air is take a look at this Google explanation - it gives a much better description than I could.
Myrt has a way with the camera; a true professional in her approach she is able to think on her feet and ask pertinent questions of the people she interviews. It was an honour and a huge learning experience to watch Myrt perform today.
If you want to see a hangout and would like to meet the people Myrt interviewed I have copied the video below.
Having watched the video just ponder on the possibilities this free service offers to formal societies or informal groups of genealogists who are united by a common interest.
Let's get together and Hangout.
It was fitting then that my Trove Tuesday Post should centre on this city and genealogy. I put the search string "Salt Lake City" genealogy into a Trove newspaper search and was rewarded with 16 hits.
The article I have chosen to share comes from a 1947 edition of the Cairns Post: 1947 'MORMONS SEARCH WORLD FOR DATA.', Cairns Post(Qld. : 1909 - 1954), 20 December, p. 9, viewed 4 March, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article42556087.
The article states that the microfilmed records "may be examined by anyone interested" and that is what I am doing today sixty-six years after this article appeared in the newspaper in Cairns, Australia.
Hint , hint Mr Geniaus.
|Myrt's Big Screen|
Monday, March 18, 2013
I am now revitalised and ready for a hectic week at Rootstech.
|Melanie and Gloria from Wyoming|
As we are sadly lacking in the sleep department we are calling it a night.
I'll be up bright and early tomorrow refreshed and ready to blog about the activities during Rootstech week.
|Memories of Blacktown Facebook Page|
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Saturday, March 16, 2013
I am hoping that some other Aussies, our neighbours from New Zealand and other curious genies who would like to meet up with people from the deep, deep south will drop in and say G'day. If you would like to join us please drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org (or message me via the Rootstech App) and we will make more concrete arrangements to meet up or feel free to just swing by.
The Gateway Center is just a brisk walk down from the Radisson and Family History Library or a couple of stops on the free Trax light rail. California Pizza Kitchen (which serves more than just pizza) is number 14 on the Gateway Mall Map below
|Gateway Center Map|
|Walking directions from The Radisson (A) to Gateway Center (B)|
Friday, March 15, 2013
Of course I agreed, I was honoured and delighted. What a this was coup for Australia to have an ordinary citizen in this lineup! I informed my co-presenters,Marie and AC, completed the Familysearch "Release to Record" form, and asked my co-presenters to do the same. As the Rootstech people asked us to keep this secret we did.
As the weeks went by and there was no more mention of livestreaming from the organizers I thought that our session had probably not made the cut. After all there is a huge group of very competent and inspiring speakers on the Rootstech program. Why would they select for livestreaming a little granny from downunder with a strange turn of phrase and an even stranger accent?
Then a couple of weeks ago Randy Seaver wrote in a blog post "While the live-streamed sessions have not been positively identified, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that they will all be shown from Hall 1 (because that is where the Keynotes will be, and the live-streamed sessions were shown from Hall 1 the past two years)." This put the cat amongst the pigeons as I knew that my session was to be in Hall 1 and if Randy was right in his predictions I was about to be thrown on the world's geneastage. I have been nervously awaiting an announcement from Rootstech to see if I had really made the cut.
I have trouble with timezones but I think that this will mean I will be on air on Friday 22 March at 8:00 am Sydney time. I used the Time and Date converter at http://www.timeanddate.com to confirm this. You may wish to check it for your location.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
I hope to see meet some fellow Rootstech attendees at this event. I'll be in The Church History Library Auditorium (next door to the Family History Library...
at 9:30 am for Else Churchill's talk
at 10:45 to hear Alec Tritton and
at 1:00 pm to listen to Audrey Collins.
This is an amazing opportunity to hear from a group of British experts.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
The Rootstech Conference is on Liz's itinerary so I approached her for a video interview while there. Once done I will post the interview on Youtube and (if technology allows me) to this blog.
If you have any questions regarding Liz's amazing journey please let me know and I will put them to her during the interview.
As a relatively new convert to Family Historian an opportunity to talk to representatives from Calico Pie is most attractive. I was wondering if it would be a North American representative on the stand or if someone from the UK would be making the trip to Salt Lake City. For an Australian to have an opportunity to speak in person with a software developer is fantastic.
This snippet from the Family Historian Bulletin that just hit my inbox has me jumping for joy.
Family Historian at RootsTech
Friday, March 8, 2013
I was just too shy to try this at Rootstech 2011 but, in 2012, I dipped my toes in the water and conducted two interviews. I only managed two because bookings for the facility are very popular and fill quickly. Now that I am in my third year as an Official Blogger I know the ropes so, this morning, as soon I got notification that the bookings were open I grabbed Six (that's right 6) 30 minute slots.
My issue is that I have to decide on whom from the 4,000 or so attendees at the conference I will approach for an interview.
Should it be Aussies? Brits? Commercial Dudes? Should I do a couple of mini panels? Geneabloggers? Familysearch Reps?
Do you have any suggestions for me?
This post is my thankyou to those generous genies from Australia, Britain, Europe, New Zealand and the US who took the time to message their thoughts to me. Thanks to you I have developed a rough rubric to assist me with the task I am completing for Inside History Magazine ('m not saying any more on that for the minute).
The title of this post comes from what I think was the most original response; Caroline Pointer suggested that great geneablogs are "Ones that take me on a glorious and unforgettable ride. And all the other stuff everyone else suggested."
As I received the suggestions I popped them in a Google Doc. I am pasting those suggestions here so that you can see what others think.
Do you agree? Do you have anything else to add?
Creativity in resources; ability to tell a story, not relate facts; range of topics - Jen Baldwin
Originality, follower engagement, humour, humility - Karen Ball
Content, consistency and originality - Amy Coffin
Content, easy reading style, up to date information - Linda Elliott
1. problem, resolution and method described (preferably in 1 post) Context, historical and social.Engaging writing style. Good build up of story. - Taco Goulooze
One that tells a story, not just a list of dates, places and names. photos, plus other suggestions above :) - Diane Hewson
Societal context of the era, interesting anecdotes about ancestors & images of either - Annette Hughes
Originality, originality and originality -Tamura Jones
Photos, easy to navigate (and search), and writing with an opinion or position - not simply press releases - Tessa Keough
Truthfulness; photos and/or videos; clean display without a lot of side "junk" - Kenneth R Marks
Tone, writing style, appearance - Jenna Mills
Originality, yes, content yes. Consistency maybe not. - Susi Pentico
Ones that take me on a glorious and unforgettable ride. And all the other stuff everyone else suggested - Caroline Pointer
Accuracy. If you talk about repositories or procedures get your facts straight - Carole Riley
Personal story and context, the "how" of the finding out, range of content - Helen V Smith
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
I'll be looking for ancestors in the Family History Library but won't be doing this all day as I'll take time out from the microfiche to hear some international geneastars give some lectures. I've heard that the Best of British: Audrey Collins, Else Churchill and Alec Tritton may be in the lineup.
I just noticed that there is now an email to register for classes on the page that lists the classes so if you wish to make sure you have a seat for the classes you'd like to attend it might be a good idea to shoot an email off to the people at the library.
STOP PRESS: Although the website has a link to register for classes I have just had an email that this is not necessary. All one needs to do is rock up on the day.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Just for fun I put the search term "Opthalmologist" into a search in Trove to see what I could find and what caught my eye was this from the set of results on the right hand bottom of the page.
News of this family reunion in the Hawkesbury came through on two Rootsweb mailing lists to which I am subscribed yesterday so I guess the organisers are trying to get the word out.
This is part of the messages that was posted:
"All descendants of John GRONO & Elizabeth BRISTOW are invited to attend a family reunion to commemorate the 214th anniversary of their arrival in Australia on the "HMS Buffalo" in 1799. Related family surnames are BOOKS, HALL, HARTLEY, McKENZIE, MITCHELL, MOBBS, and SMALLWOOD."
Full details for the reunion to be held on Sunday, 5th May 2013 can be found at this website
Monday, March 4, 2013
I will continue to add to this list
PS - the number of posts is looking much healthier now (5/3/2013).
So here are the posts:
AncestorChasing - Kerryn Taylor
Angler's Rest - Julie Goucher
Behold Genealogy Blog - Louis Kessler - in which Louis recounts his responses to the cruise panel activity that started this meme thing off.
Cassmob - Pauleen Cass - Also read the comments on Pauleen's post
Family Tree Frog - Alex Daw
Footsteps of the Past - Kim Mills
Genea-Musings - Randy Seaver
Jax Trax - Jackie van Bergen
BooBook from the Backtracking Blog commented on Jackie's post "I'm with you Jackie. You've said it all. The only one I would add is Flickr for online photos - I've been scanning some of the old photos and putting them online for people to see and comment on. (Is that counted as social media?)"
Kylie's Genes - Kylie Willison
Lonetester - Alona Tester
My Tapley tree...and its branches - Liz Tapley
Seeking Susan - Meeting Marie - Finding Family -
Twigs and Trees - Celia Lewis
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Not only will the Australians be out in force at Rootstech I have also noticed that several genealogists from the UK will be in attendance.
Apart from my mates Audrey Collins and Marie Dougan who I look forward to seeing again I see that Rosemary Morgan is joining the ranks of The Official Bloggers so I will have company from the Commonwealth in the Media Hub.
I see also that Else Churchill, genealogist from The Society of Genealogists, is making the trip across the pond as is Alec Tritton, Chairman of the Halstead Trust. Diana Bouglas is another member of the British contingent.
From the Land of the Long White Cloud I see that Michelle Patient, President of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists, and Jan Gow of Hooked on Genealogy Tours will be in attendance.
I can't wait to meet up with more people whose names I have heard but whom I have not yet met face to face.