11 January 2012

FamilySearch FamilyTree Beta Review

Since March 2011 I have been covering the FamilySearch FamilyTree Beta. Notable genealogy enthusiasts have recently noted that little has been said since then.1, 2, 3

I'm prepared to announce that is no longer accurate. At least as far as I'm concerned. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure they meant FamilySearch was quiet, not me--oh well I'm not FamilySearch but, here I go making noise. Please excuse the blue boxes. I was protecting the privacy of living individuals such as myself.

I apologize to those of you who are completely unfamiliar with the beta. This video is tailored to those who knew about it already, but were not granted access or people who want to know about the progress of the beta. Please leave your questions as comments to this post and I will gladly address them.

The two main things I talk about are: 1. the new Watch List, and 2. the new ability to edit in the beta
Enjoy the video here or click this link for the full size: http://www.screencast.com/t/mmJdnzarRb

1 "New.FamilySearch.org - Still very much the same as usual, although there is a Beta test floating around out there in the ether which hasn't been referenced for some time."
- James Tanner, "Old FamilySearch.org Website still alive?" Genealogy's Star blog, 8 Jan 2012.

2 "New FamilySearch, now known as FamilySearch Family Tree, went in Limited Private Beta early this year and FamilySearch has not even announced that there will be Public Beta next year."
- Tamura Jones, "FamilySearch Family Tree API Public," Modern Software Experience, 22 Dec 2011.

3 "New.FamilySearch.org is long overdue for a substantial makeover to address the multitude of present limitations in the program. There was a not too confidential release of a Beta version of a preliminary version of the program circulating. But since the sort-of introduction of a Beta version, there has been no further communication I have picked up."
- James Tanner, "My Predictions for FamilySearch," Genealogy's Star blog, 9 Jan 2012.

04 January 2012

Good Karma

I've been answering random people's genealogy questions on Ancestry.com message boards for the past few days. Earlier today it occurred to me that it would be good karma if someone would respond to one of my message board posts that have been online for years. A few minutes ago someone did. The person was even a direct distant cousin. Now I call that a genealogy miracle. For those of you who are related or interested the family name is Ripke for this story. They are an offshoot of my maternal Whitehurst ancestors.
Have you had any good genealogy karma lately?

01 January 2012

2012 Family History Resolutions

Every year I see many genealogy miracles. I solve multiple end-of-line problems, progress in my own skills by leaps and bounds, and contribute to the family history community in important ways.

This year I've decided to go with the trend among other GeneaBloggers and write some goals so that you--my readers--can hold me accountable, and perhaps I will accomplish a few of the goals that I usually set on the back burner.
  1. Name 10% of my 25,046 ambiguous genealogy files (pictures, historic documents, scanned genealogy charts, letters etc.) using the "Surname, Given Name(s) - Title (Optional Short Description) Year" format. Example: McCormick, Michael W - Diploma 2011; Some of my files have searchable names while other files still have consecutive numbering that was assigned by digital camera data or date scanned information. While scanning is the more essential step, I hope to get the files organized before I turn 120 or the world ends in December. I'm hoping the world doesn't end.
  2. Transcribe 200 pages of family letters; Many of the letters that came into our possession have never been read by anyone in my immediate family and are still in original paper form or scanned only. Transcribing will give me a good motivation to read them and will make it easier for others to Control+F (search) for data in the future.
  3. Go back at least one additional generation/individual on 5 distinct end-of-line ancestors; this should be the easiest goal as I can't imagine wanting to do anything else more. 
  4. Excel in a new full-time genealogy related career; While I've been working in the field since 2007, I graduated with a Bachelors of Science last month and moved to Provo to start a new career there.
  5. Become an AG through ICAPGen; I'm within 70 hours of the application hour requirements--while I am well over the total hourly requirement, I lacked sufficient experience in one of the sub-regions. I'm partly through the four generation project.
  6. Begin a Masters program in genealogy; I recently applied for the October 2012 postgraduate certificate program with University of Strathclyde.
Perhaps I will update you on my status quarterly and this may give me a chance to track and/or modify my goals. I'm not promising anything. Six goals is enough.