Monday, August 30, 2010

FamilySearch In a Corner

As I explain in my charter, FamilySearch releases a lot of information to the public, but only in out of the way corners. That’s where I come in. I try to be in those corners. This past weekend one of those corners happened to be the Salt Lake Family History Expo.

(I told a coworker that attending Ron Tanner’s presentations is the only way a FamilySearch employee can find out what FamilySearch is working on. But I digress…)

Tanner was off his best game—but only a bit. “Two weddings in two weeks,” he explained. Between tales of Jelly Bellies, birthdays, weddings, and the DMV, Tanner was able to slip us some juicy news nuggets that you won’t hear anywhere else.

Here’s the new news:

  • Records from Record Search are being transferred to the Historical Records area of the FamilySearch Beta. The data transfer, containing 447 collections and 600 million names, should be completed by the end of the month. (We all assumed he meant September.)
  • Historical records from the current will be transferred after that.
  • All new collections will go directly to the FamilySearch Beta.
  • Ancestor discussions were recently added to the new FamilySearch tree. The length of discussions will soon increase from the current limitation of 500 characters.
  • The filtering of Historical Records search results will be improved soon, along the lines of Record Search.
  • The Family History Library Catalog search on FamilySearch Beta will be dramatically improved by the end of September.
  • Disputes can no longer be added to the FamilySearch Tree. Soon, all the disputes on an ancestor will be moved into a discussion called “Legacy Disputes” and deleted from details.
  • The new FamilySearch Tree rollout map. Credit The new FamilySearch Asia rollout is set for a couple of months from now. Tanner showed us a photograph of the rollout map and told us we could see the original by visiting FamilySearch headquarters in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. Ride the elevator to the 4th floor. The map is in the lobby.
  • will replace the current website by the end of this year. The new website brings together FamilySearch Beta, RecordSearch Pilot, the Wiki, FamilySearch Indexing, Forums, the Family History Library Catalog, and all other collections and content from the current Specialized websites such as will continue to be separate.
  • The general public can begin preparing for access to the new FamilySearch Tree by registering now for an account on the FamilySearch Beta. When the Tree is ready, they will be given access using that same account.
  • Some time after this year the new FamilySearch Tree will become “Family Tree” on the new website.

The Ultimate Future

Tanner reiterated his vision for the future of the new FamilySearch Tree. However, changing product managers—generally considered a healthy practice—can change the course of a product. Just three weeks ago product assignments were adjusted, giving Tanner complete responsibility for the Tree.

Tanner admitted that the current design didn’t go far enough from changing “my tree” and “your tree” into “our tree” since it maintains “my conclusion” and “your conclusion.” The many alternatives that exist today under the Details page will be pulled out. In their place, the system will have links to the original sources of the information. These include Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File, and the other sources used to populate the Tree.

The tree will allow only one conclusion. This will solve the IOUS problem that slows down the system and makes it impossible to merge all copies of a person. “Combine and Separate” will be replaced with “Merge.” I’ve stated before that I don’t think FamilySearch has any corporate memory in product management. It remains to be seen if Tanner can avoid Merge pitfalls.

Tanner’s future direction is to change the Tree so that anyone can correct it. Anyone can contribute to it. Anyone can contribute artifacts to it. Anyone can change the information that you contributed to the Tree—maybe for the better. When someone changes your contribution, you’ll be notified and given the ability to undo the change. Ancestor Discussions will allow contact with others.

Tanner said his pet feature was Community Requests. You can post a request for a volunteer to lookup a record, take a gravestone picture, or translate a language you don’t read.

Most importantly, his stated goal for the Family Tree is that it be so genealogically correct that even the best of genealogists will want to use it.

Tanner was asked what the timeline was for these features. “Before we die or slightly thereafter,” he quipped, artfully avoiding being painted into a corner. Stay tuned…

Friday, August 27, 2010

Background Color Counts

The background color of a blog website affects how clipart appears. Below, I show how clipart looks on four different backgrounds: white, black, light-brown, and FamilySearch blue.

On White

A white background is used on almost all free clipart. When clipart with a white background is used on a website with a different color background, a small white box appears around the clipart.

UK flag, on white
UK flag, on white
UK flag, on white
UK flag, on white

Transparent, For Light Backgrounds

Some clipart supports different color backgrounds by using a transparent background. However, most are designed for a light background, and clipart appears gritty or dirty if used with a dark background.

Ancestry logo, colored on transparent
Ancestry logo, colored on transparent
Ancestry logo, colored on transparent
Ancestry logo, colored on transparent

Transparent, For Dark Backgrounds

You shouldn’t reuse images from commercial websites without permission.  The few times you do, you might find images with transparent backgrounds that are designed for use on dark backgrounds. Like those designed for dark backgrounds, they can suffer from dirty edges.

It is also possible for the image to totally disappear, as the FamilySearch logo below does on a white background.

FamilySearch logo, white on transparent
FamilySearch logo, white on transparent
FamilySearch logo, white on transparent
FamilySearch logo, white on transparent

I haven’t mentioned photographs. Photographs work with any color background when edged with a border that contrasts with the background.

I strongly recommend using a white or a very light background. I didn’t always use a white background on the Insider Website. I’ve enjoyed the change so much, maybe I’ll lighten my teeth next!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Finding Previous Articles

Ever want to find a previous article on the Insider’s website? My website, like so many other blogs, provides three ways to find old articles.

1. Search

Type search words in the box at the upper left corner of the page.


Of course, Google can be used. The Ancestry Insider provides a handy, integrated Google search. Look for it in the right sidebar, part way down the page.


Some of you may not know it, but you can also search within an article (or any part of a web page) using the Find feature of most browsers. Press Ctrl-F, type in your search words, and press Enter. You may then be able to click Previous/Next to find additional occurrences.

2. Index

An index is available, also part way down the page, in the right sidebar.


3. Table of Contents

contentsClick a triangle to see its sub-items. Click again to hide them. Click an article to display it. Click a year or month to display all its articles.


Use these methods and you’ll always be able to find that interesting article from the Insider’s past.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Salt Lake Expo This Weekend

2010 Salt Lake Family History Expo If you’re at the Salt Lake Family History Expo this Friday and Saturday, come by and say hello.

If you come, be forewarned. The event web page has separate links to the Expo Agenda and the Expo Program. The two list different times and places for my presentation.

The Program is correct as far as I know. I am presenting on Saturday at 1:00pm in room 400. “Blog Your Way to Genealogical Success” is aimed at the super-beginner. You will walk out of the class able to create your own blog or website.

If you’ve already attended this class, a good follow on would be “Finally, A Society Website Anyone Can Manage” (Friday, 3:00pm, 200B). This class is taught by Robert Raymond, who collaborated with me on my presentation. While couched in terms of a family history society website, his class is applicable and compatible with sites created in my class.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mailbox Monday: Community Trees

FamilySearch Community Trees Dear Ancestry Insider,

I have done a lot with Beta, Pilot, nFS, Forums and Wiki. This Community Trees thing has generally puzzled me. I wish there were more blog posts and analysis of it online. I teach about family history, but I have avoided teaching about this because it seems too complex. For example, will it become part of the new version of How? Will it be searchable under the Trees option on the homepage? That would make sense.

I can understand the usefulness of keeping source based trees separate from each other and from nFS because where the connections end and begin can signify that group as families coming from a specific record set. If I understand it correctly, the purpose is to provide an easier method of research, skipping the historical record stage for us because you are doing that part and documenting it. It is a lot like Extraction which was put into the IGI, but the sources are cited better and the people are more connected within sources right?

Please share everything you can about the project. I'd love to see a new blog post letting us know it is not dead. I have not seen one since November 2009.


Enduring Legacy Genealogy

Dear ELG,

The Community Family Trees project is alive and kicking. FamilySearch’s Raymond Madsen made a presentation about it just last week at the FGS conference. Collection updates on the Community Trees website further indicate the living nature of the project. In this month alone there have been three new and two updated collections. (See more updates below.)

Madsen said when “many individuals whose ancestors come from a specific locality reconstitute all of the families for the whole area, they have created a Community Tree.” Such family reconstitution, as it is sometimes called, is much more advanced than extraction. Family reconstitution involves both extraction and matching multiple mentions of individuals across different records to reconstitute all familial relationships within a community.

As to when, how, or even if, Community Trees will be added to, I don’t have an answer. Madsen mentioned the project currently uses third-party software for the website. Judging from the beta website’s inadequate handling of Ancestral File trees, I think it may be some time before the beta site will be able to host Community Trees.

It is funny that you should mention extraction and the IGI. Earlier this month I suggested to FamilySearch management that for many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, family reconstitution would be an excellent successor. Most wish to be connected to their ancestors, but few possess the skills necessary to accurately match multiple mentions of ancestors across multiple records. I’m convinced that by the middle of the century, family reconstitution will be standard practice at FamilySearch.

-- The Insider

Community Trees Updates

August 2010

England: Norfolk Visitations, 1563. UPDATED 11 Aug 2010

Pacific Islands: Tonga, Tongatapu, Matangiake: Oral History Project. New 5 August 2010

United States, Tennessee, Campbell County Community Tree. New 12 Aug 2010

United States: Utah: Greeks in the West. Updated 10 Aug 2010

United States: Wyoming, Lincoln County: Star Valley. New 5 August 2010

July 2010

Canada: New Brunswick: Southampton: Millville Communities Family Tree. UPDATED 30 July 2010

Canada: Nova Scotia: Antigonish Catholic Diocese. Updated 9 July 2010

Europe: Royal and Noble Houses (predominantly German). UPDATED 15 July 2010

India: Moga, Punjab District. UPDATE 16 July 2010

Wales: Medieval Records Primarily of Nobility and Gentry. Updated 15 July 2010

June 2010

Africa and Orient: Knowles Collection: Jews of Africa and the Orient. NEW 28 June 2010

Americas: Knowles Collection: Jews of the Americas. NEW 28 June 2010

British Isles: Knowles Collection: Jews of the British Isles. NEW 28 June 2010

Caribbean: Knowles Collection: Jews of the Caribbean. NEW 28 June 2010

England: London: Residents of London. UPDATED 10 June 2010

Europe: Knowles Collection. NEW 28 June 2010

Italy, Cosenza, Aiello Calabro. UPDATED 11 June 2010

Liechtenstein: Balzers, St. Nicholai. NEW 25 June 2010

Scotland: Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae. Updated 10 June 2010

Earlier 2010

British Isles: Peerage, Gentry and Colonial American Connections. UPDATED 2 April 2010

Canada: Quebec and Maritime Provinces. NEW 4 Mar 2010

Europe: Royal and Noble Houses (predominantly England and France). UPDATED 4 Mar 2010

Iceland: Iceland Historical Family Trees. UPDATED 9 Apr 2010

Pacific Islands: French Polynesia: Bora Bora island, Society Islands. January 2010

Pacific Islands: French Polynesia: Fatu Hiva island, Marquesas Islands. January 2010

Pacific Islands: French Polynesia: Hanaiapa Valley, Hiva Oa island, Marquesas Islands. January 2010

Pacific Islands: French Polynesia: Hao atoll and Amanu atoll, Tuamotu Archipelago. January 2010

Peru: Community Family Tree. Updated 23 Apr 2010

United States: Connecticut: Colonial Families 1650-1850. 15 Mar 2010

Mailbag Monday: Magnifying Images

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your feedback last week on desktop tree managers and on magnifying images.

Dick Eastman wrote about another way to magnify images. Use the techniques in “Increase or Decrease Web Page Text Size” to magnify both text and image size.

-- The Insider


Website Facelift

Dear Ancestry Insider,

Woah, weird facelift. Liked the old one better. Very hard to read. Its like its on geriatric version or something.

-- Anonymous*

Dear Woah,

Problems in the design of the Insider website were bugging me into action. As you noticed, I tried a completely new look. Your feedback led me to revert back to the old design.

Now I’m curious. Can you remember what made the weird design so hard to read? Colors? Font choice? Font size? Line spacing? Margins? Changes to the right sidebar? The ugly masthead?

BTW, nothing changed for those of you that read the Insider via e-mail or news reader.

For those that saw the website change, do you have any feedback?

-- The Insider

Friday, August 20, 2010

FamilySearch’s Many Websites

FamilySearch logo In the years since FamilySearch introduced, their offerings have splintered into a dozen mostly disconnected websites. I look forward to the time that FamilySearch combines all these offerings into one. In the meantime, like me you may appreciate a handy list of links. Bookmark this article or look for it at .

FamilySearch Websites

Church Links

Websites for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Temple and Family History manuals for members of the Church

    *This isn’t a separate website, but a link I like to have handy.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    New Wiki Design Debuts at FGS

    FamilySearch debuted a new look on its Wiki for its series of state research outlines. The wiki series replaces the printed outlines formerly available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers.

    Spotlighting the hosting state of this year’s 2010 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, FamilySearch showed off the Tennessee outline. Comparisons between the old printed outline and the new Wiki page shows the dramatic increase in functionality.

    FamilySearch old, printed Tennessee Research Outline FamilySearch new, Tennessee wiki page
    The old, printed outline The new, Wiki page


    “The pages are beautiful and contain a wealth of valuable information,” said Charles Reeves Jr., cartographer and TNGenWeb county volunteer.

    Originally 40 printed pages, the Tennessee research outline has grown to more than a thousand pages, according to FamilySearch’s Nathan W. Murphy. The information is separated into topics for ease of use and printing. Web links make it quick and easy to move from topic to topic.

    Unlike the printed outlines, the Wiki can be revised at any time by anyone. Local experts, including you, are invited to contribute your expertise. No formal invitation is necessary. Just jump in and add your knowledge.

    Professional genealogists benefit by contributing to the Wiki. Contributions highlight their knowledge and establish their standing as experts. Contributors are invited to create a user page, as did Tennessee contributor, Nathan W. Murphy. While soliciting is not allowed, user pages showcase your credentials and give prospective clients an easy way to make contact. (To create your user page, first add something to a page. Then click the history link. Your username appears in red next to your contribution. Click it and select the option to create your page. Users investigate page experts by looking at contributors to the page, where they can click your username to see your user page.)

    See the Wiki for yourself. Start from the Tennessee page at .

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Mailbag Monday: FamilySearch History Book Count

    Dear Ancestry Insider,

    I just have a question. The BYU family History books site used to have about 60,000 books digitized and searchable online. Now it has just 17,000. Were they removed or just moved to another web site? Was it a copyright problem?

    -- Anonymous

    Dear Anonymous,

    I looked into this and found out that BYU ran out of server space. According to a spokesperson, they temporarily removed a large number of note card records of Philippine immigrant workers in Hawaii. Each card appeared as a separate book. The huge number of cards made it appear as though there were more books than were actually present. On a positive note, book scanning has continued despite the inability to put them online. Once the space issue is resolved, the backlog will all come online.


    -- The Insider

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    FamilySearch and Announce 2011 Technology Conference

    RootsTech Conference At a press briefing held today, 13 August 2010, 2:00 pm MDT, FamilySearch made the following announcement:

    New RootsTech Conference to Bring
    Technologists Face-to-face with Genealogists

    SALT LAKE CITY­—Technologists and genealogists from around the world will gather at the first annual RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 10-12, 2011. The new conference, hosted by FamilySearch and sponsored by leading genealogical organizations, aims to bring technologists and genealogists together to help deepen understanding of current technologies and discover new ideas in applying technology to genealogy.  Learn more at

    “When the users and creators of technology come together, innovation occurs,” said Jay Verkler, president and CEO of FamilySearch. “The RootsTech Conference will accelerate that innovation through panels, discussion groups, and interactive demonstrations.”

    Josh Taylor, Director of Education and Programs for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, says the time is right for such a conference.  

    “The collection of technologies present at the last National Genealogical Society Conference in Salt Lake City was so impressive that we see a need and opportunity for a strong annual technology genealogy conference to pursue solutions for the unique challenges facing genealogists,” Taylor said.

    The RootsTech Conference is designed to foster innovation by bringing technology users and creators together in a meaningful way. Thousands of genealogists who use technology in pursuit of one of the most popular hobbies in the world will discover how new and emerging technologies can improve and simplify their activities. Genealogists will be treated to technology prototype demonstrations, interactive workshops, and opportunities to test innovative new product and service concepts. Technology providers will get the opportunity to demonstrate product concepts face-to-face to their customer—the family history enthusiast—and better understand their needs.

    “Technology is driving a revolution in family history,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of “We’re excited to participate in the RootsTech Conference, and we see it as a great chance to explore with genealogists how technology can help them even more in the future.”

    The RootsTech 2011 conference will be hosted by FamilySearch and sponsored by, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), Brigham Young University, and other leaders in the genealogy community.

    “Brigham Young University is pleased to participate in this conference, which brings together the Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy and the Family History Technology Workshop under the same umbrella. We think this creates a new and unique national forum for genealogists, software developers, and researchers to move genealogy forward,” said Christophe Giraude-Carrier, Associate Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of Computer Science at Brigham Young University.

    Technology creators will discover new and existing technologies and techniques to help their development practices and also see how they can be applied to the unique discipline of genealogy. Anticipated themes for the conference include: using social networking to collaborate as families and societies, data backup and digital preservation, using multimedia, records and media digitization, how to use cloud computing to deploy reliable, scalable systems, handwriting recognition and automated transcription, mobile computing devices and applications, GPS mapping, and much more.

    RootsTech graphic

    FamilySearch Indexing Tips

    FamilySearch Indexing Several years ago the Ancestry Insider published a series of tips for FamilySearch Indexers. Here is a list, to make it easier to check out the entire series. Improvements in the indexing program outdate some of the illustrations, but the concepts are still relevant.

    Lookup List 13 September 2007
    Birth Year Quiz 19 September 2007
    Birth Year Quiz Answer 27 September 2007
    Keyboard Shortcuts 4 October 2007
    Adjusting Highlights 24 May 2008
    Hiding Columns 1 June 2008
    Handwriting Help 5 June 2008
    Account for all the bumps 12 June 2008
    Open E 20 June 2008
    1900's American Handwriting 14 July 2008
    Handwriting: the Palmer Method 15 July 2008
    The Palmer Method in New York City 17 July 2008


    Sorry if some of the links in these articles lead to pages that no longer exist. If you have the inclination, leave a comment indicating the links that don’t work and the URL that should replace the old link.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    FamilySearch Indexing by the Numbers

    Records Indexed Annually

    • 200 million – New goal for 2010. Each record must be keyed twice and revisited a third time when the first two are not the same.1
    • 169 million – Original goal for 2010.1
    • 118,140,160 – Records indexed this year as of 2 August 2010.2
    • 117,094,600 – Records indexed this year as of 30 July 2010.1
    • 100,795,360 – Records indexed this year as of July 2010.3
    • 32.5 millions – Records indexed this year as of 11 March 2010.4
    • 140 million – Records indexed in 2009.4

    Total Records Indexed

    • 356,081,200 – Total records indexed as of 30 July 2010.1
    • 343,421,000 – Total names indexed as of 6 July 2010.5
    • 339,782,331 – Total records indexed as of July 2010.3
    • 383,944,092 – Total names indexed as of 9 March 2010.6

    FamilySearch Indexing records through 2009
         Source: FamilySearch Wiki7

    • 700 million – Reported number of records indexed since 2006.1 Given the other numbers, I wonder if this number includes indexing projects done before FamilySearch Indexing.
    • 14,395 – Records indexed by the week’s top indexer, Dhoytbrown22554.2
    • 17,593 – Records arbitrated by the week’s top indexer, Saradepagazamonroy.2

    FamilySearch Indexers

    • 46,017 – Active volunteers in 2010 as of 11 March 2010.4
    • 95,000 – Active volunteers this past year.1
    • 87,537 – Active volunteers in 2009.4

    • 354,328 – Registered indexers as of 30 July 2010.1
    • 340,041 – Registered indexers as of 6 July 2010.5
    • 297,869 – Registered indexers as of 9 March 2010.6

    FamilySearch Indexing registered indexers through 2009
         Source: FamilySearch Wiki7


         1.  “FamilySearch Indexing Statistics,” FamilySearch Indexing Update, August 2010, e-mail newsletter, received 30 July 2010; online archive ( : accessed 5 August 2010).

         2.  “FamilySearch Indexing,” Facebook organization page, Facebook ( : accessed 4 August 2010).

         3.  “FamilySearch Indexing Statistics,” FamilySearch Indexing, Indexing Update, July 2010, e-mail newsletter; online archive ( : accessed 5 August 2010).

         4.  GaleK, “Thank You, Indexers!” blog post, FamilySearch [beta] ( : dated 11 March 2010, 3:28pm).

         5.  FamilySearch Support to [Ancestry Insider], bulk e-mail, 6 July 2010, “[Ancestry Insider], please help us arbitrate records for FamilySearch Indexing;” online archive ( :accessed 5 August 2010).

         6.  FamilySearch Support to [Ancestry Insider], bulk e-mail, 9 March 2010, “[Ancestry Insider], please help us arbitrate records for FamilySearch Indexing;” online archive ( :accessed 5 August 2010).

         7.  JensenFA [Fran Jensen], “Update on FamilySearch Indexing 2010,” wiki article, FamilySearch [beta] ( : dated 27 April 2010, 17:39).

    Monday, August 9, 2010 Acquires Genealogy Research Firm announced another acquisition Friday. is acquiring ProGenealogists, Inc. in a move that it describes as “extending the reach across the genealogy value chain.”

    Natalie Cottrill speaks with Sarah Jessica Parker on an episode of Who Do You Think You Are ProGenealogists has been in business for 15 years old. The company has built a consortium of associates, professional genealogists, who provide genealogical research to individual clients and other organizations. engaged ProGenealogists to research celebrity genealogies for the NBC television program, “Who Do You Think You Are?” Company president, Natalie Cottrill, appeared in the Sarah Jessica Parker episode.

    WDYTYA is returning to TV on Friday, 13 August 2010, albeit with reruns. But I digress…

    Expert Connect website features boys milking cows People have already started to speculate what this announcement means for the Expert Connect service. Some wonder if Expert Connect will be taken over by ProGenealogists or if it will be cancelled outright.

    According to a quick glance at the Expert Connect website, the service hooks users up with trained experts that can provide custom research, answer questions, lookup records, translate records, take cemetery photos, and milk cows.

    [Spoken to person offstage:] What? No milking?

    Sorry folks. I’ve just been informed that the experts do not milk cows. I’m not quite certain which service the cow photo is illustrating.

    Thursday, August 5, 2010

    August 2010 New FamilySearch Tree

    FamilySearch updates its new FamilySearch tree (NFS) around the middle of each calendar quarter and the time is approaching for the next update. Documents released by FamilySearch indicate several changes in the upcoming release.


    The oft criticized Dispute feature continues its slow death. (Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attach especially negative connotations to the feature name itself because of a statement they attribute to Christ.) The previous NFS release introduced the Discuss feature. According to FamilySearch:

    The dispute feature is being removed from the system. As a first phase, you can no longer add a new dispute. You can still see disputes that were previously entered. Eventually, all of the disputes in the system, including their notes, will be moved to the discussion boards.

    While you can not add new disputes, you can still edit or delete your own existing disputes.

    Expanded International Support

    NFS automatically Romanizes non-Latin names Russian and Italian join the English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language editions of the new FamilySearch tree.

    Templates allow the entry of names and personal information for different languages and cultures. In addition to the templates for standard, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Cyrillic, and Latin, the new release adds templates for Mongolian and Asian (Thai and Cambodian).

    Tutorials Overview

    Seven tutorials replace the current 10 overviews:

    Preparing for Public Release

    Not mentioned in the FamilySearch release statement, a change in illustrations was obviously a step towards release of NFS to the general public. FamilySearch replaced an image of the Salt Lake Temple with a generic photograph of an ancestral family.

    Old NFS Illustration  New NFS Illustration

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    Mailbag Monday: Genealogy Program Choices and More

    Salt Lake Family History Expo

    Dear Ancestry Insider,

    A couple quick questions - I took a long at the outline - many open TBA spots - how does one decide to attend (if from out of town) when so much is up in the air one month before conference?

    Also checked out the blog you referenced - how do you get pictures (when clicked on) to open in another window full size? *

    Dear TBA,

    Good questions, both.

    As I write this, my session doesn’t show up on the presentation schedule. More is filled in than when you first checked. I must agree with you; it makes it difficult to make a decision with so many open slots.

    A blog author can decide what happens when a visitor clicks on an image. The three most common options are:

    • Open a larger copy of the image, either in the current window or a different window. For an example, see “Salt Lake City 10th Ward, 1851” on the Ancestors of Wickliff Clayton Raymond example website. Click the map and a larger, more legible copy opens in the current window. As you mention, the author can also have the image open in a different window.
    • Do nothing. An example is the image of “Ireta Pitcher Raymond.”
    • Link to somewhere on the Internet. When I wrote an article about receiving the Family Tree Magazine 101 Best Websites for 2010 award, I linked the award image to the article on their website. I sometimes link to articles on my own website.

    I invite your capable co-readers to explain how to use your browser to enlarge an image when the blog author hasn’t supplied a larger, more legible copy.

    -- The Insider

    What Genealogy Program Do You Use?

    Dear Ancestry Insider,

    So AI, what are you using these days to manage your trees on your desktop?

    I have been using TMG 7 for some time now, but have become intrigued with Legacy 7 of late.

    ~ Jesse

    Dear Jesse,

    You might guess my choices reflect my editorial focus (FamilySearch and

    I have enough family members doing genealogy that we have an “archivist” who is willing to maintain a master copy of our desktop genealogy database. We use one of the FamilySearch Certified desktop genealogy programs. Yes, I know there are online trees that make it more convenient to share a tree among physically separate individuals. Suffice it to say that inertia plays a big role in the practices of large, physically distributed families.

    That’s not to say that we aren’t doing any online collaborating. We have an Public Member Tree for sharing photographs, biographies, and scanned documents. I would not be surprised if the number of scanned source documents in our tree is surpassed by only a few other trees. (Photographs are another story; I think there are dozens or hundreds of people that have uploaded more photographs.)

    As these documents quickly spread across the Internet, I’m sure we’re killing more than one genealogical myth… whether we get the credit or not.

    Someone will ask about the New FamilySearch Tree (NFS), so let me tell you my current approach. I ignore the bad data… for now. FamilySearch talks about a future time when it will be easier to keep corrections from being undone. If the correct data is not present, I add it. Why wait? Just as I can’t currently delete the bad data added by others, they can’t delete the good data added by me.

    I even add sources in situations where persistent myths exist. Sure, I’ll wait for a better citation system before I enter citations to uncontested data. Why not wait?

    I hope your co-readers will ring in with their feelings about desktop genealogy programs. Click Comments at the end of this article. (Please don’t use Reply; no one else will benefit from your response besides me.)

    Thanks for your question, Jesse!
    -- The Insider

    (Letters are modified for editorial style and to fit in your television screen.)