Friday, March 12, 2010

Insider Ketchup for 12 March 2010

Ancestry Insider KetchupAs I mentioned yesterday, I’m a titch behind. Time to ketchup again. So much to write about, so little time.

Bullet Ancestry.comValerie C. of Begin With ‘Craft’ posted some interesting comments about a new YouTube video titled, “Getting Started on”

Bullet posted a new database recently called, “U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 2.” The data source is Merlin Data Publishing, the same source of the original Public Records Index (PRI) before emasculated it for their partnership with A search for “Barack Obama” in the original PRI returned nine instances of the president. A search in the emasculated PRI returns no matches. A search in Volume 2 returns two matches, one of which didn’t appear in the original PRI. While we are all critical of the change, I applaud for maintaining tree attachments to records in the original PRI. If they had broken all those links, people would have been madder than Johnny Depp.

Bullet Ancestry.comSpeaking of databases,’s Chad Milliner announced earlier this month that would begin updating the Social Security Death Index every week. Previously, they updated it once a month. A free alternative that also updates weekly is

FamilySearch BulletFamilySearch is encouraging the growth of online genealogical communities. I noticed one community pop up as a result. On the FamilySearch Forums (beta), user GrammaJules from Florissant, Missouri reported that a handful of FamilySearch Indexing users have set up a Skype chat room to facilitate sharing a batch. The share batch feature of FamilySearch Indexing lets indexers share a view of a batch so a second person can help figure out hard-to-read writing.

Skype is free. If no one is in the chat room when you need help, you can leave a message with the share information. To participate, send a private message to GrammaJules with your name and email and she will invite you in to the chat room.

ALA Preservation Week is 9-15 May 2010Bullet Ancestry.comIf you haven’t noticed, the blog has received a new look. The new look matches the page design that is gradually introducing throughout the website.

BulletTreeThe American Library Association has announced that 9-15 May 2010 will be its first Preservation Week. Check out their website for ideas on how you, your local library, family history organization, or family history center can participate. Check out their website for “easy-to-follow guidelines for protecting personal treasures, family heirlooms, and collectibles.” They also sale bookmarks and posters designed to inspire patrons to explore their ancestry.

Bullet Ancestry.comIf you’re wondering why I haven’t been blogging every day of late, blame At the St. George Family History Expo I took advantage of their free photograph and document scanning service. They filled a free flash drive with scans of my documents. offers free document digitization at major conferences

Now I’m going through the scans, squaring them up, cropping them, and uploading them to my family trees. Numerous relatives have already seen them and added copies to their own trees. (My goodness; I love the Internet!)

Elizabeth Robinson

Lately they have been offering this free service at most major genealogy shows. As I’m writing this, you can still read the preparatory instructions for St. George. If you’re coming to NGS, prepare beforehand so you can take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.


Shoot! Out of time again. I guess you’ll be getting more ketchup next week. But before I go, one last item:


BulletTreeDon’t forget “Who Do You Think You Are?” tonight. Up tonight is football legend, Emmitt Smith.

Who Do You Think You Are? Friday evening on NBC

Of tonight’s episode, Andrew Wait of told me, “I grew up in the bay area, so I’m not a Dallas Cowboys fan. But Emmett Smith’s story… Wow. I would take a bullet for that man.” Tune in tonight to find out why.


  1. I have been searching out the best way to share photos and documents with others on the internet. I noticed in your recent blog that you mentioned you upload them to your family tree. Through which medium do you have your family tree? Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. I happen to know that Ancestry Insider uses His family tree which is on It's an awesome way to connect those photos with the people on his tree. I also use Picassa to upload lots of photos as once. Speed is one advantage with Picassa as well as the abilitiy to let my family know the photos are on the internet and available for download at file sizes big enough for printing. But the photos are not linked to tree lines.

  3. Dear srbigler,

    Karl and/or Sandra Jarvis is correct. I started with which was bought by Kodak. They changed their policy and deleted my photos because I wasn't buying anything. So I tried They limited file size (which limited the resolution)and it was too much trouble to resize all my photos. So I tried They allowed the larger size, but silently decreased the resolution. I noticed one of my fine-detail images from a pension record was no longer legible. So I went back to on a limited basis. I found they had increased their file size limit (to something like 15 MB), so I've switched wholeheartedly back to member trees.

    There are several other photo sites worth considering, but I have no basis to recommend them.

    -- The Insider


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