Carolina Girl Genealogy

Researching My Southern Roots

"Who were their people? My grandmother used to ask. She wanted to know family connections.
Like her, I want to know "My People". This blog is about that discovery and helping others discover theirs.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

RootsTech From My Rocking Chair Part 2

Day 2 of watching RootsTech via the Livestream broadcast. With my blogger beads and blanket, I settled in for a day of learning and fun. 

Opening Session: 

Shipley Munson and A.J. Jacobs

   Shipley Munson, the founder of RootsTech, started off the morning by welcoming attendees from all over the world. He introduced A.J. Jacobs, bestselling author and founder of the World Wide Family Reunion in 2015. He announced that the World Record was broken for the largest family reunion and that it would be featured in the season finale of Finding Your Roots.  The reunion will be back in 2017!

Naomi and Josh Davis

Josh and Naomi Davis from the Love Taza Blog-
  Talking about stories, they encouraged the recording of inspiring events of our day to share with our posterity and the world. Their blog shares the everyday happenings in their family, and we were encouraged to find a way to tell ours.  We all have a story to tell they said. Sharing our stories in the best way to leave a legacy. "It's not a story if it's not told.".

David Isay

David Isay-CEO of StoryCorps
    StoryCorps is a platform for recording life stories. A booth is set up, and questions are asked and answered.They are recorded to preserve the power, grace and poetry of life.  Several initiatives have been created to record the voices. Some of these are 911 witnesses and those that are suffering from terminal illnesses. The StoryCorps recordings shared in this presentation are powerful examples of the importance of telling and listening to stories. There is now an app where anyone can record conversations and have them uploaded to The National Archives to have them preserved for future generations. 

RootsTech Innovator Showdown
 The final six contestants battle to win as they answer tough questions from the judges. The People Choice winner was decided by a text message vote from those attending and watching on the internet. If you haven't heard who won, I won't give it away. Check out the video and learn about the companies and their new products.


Lisa Louise Cook

 Proven Methodology for Using Google for Genealogists-Lisa Louise Cook
  Lisa is a Google pro. She teaches how to set up your Google searches in a way that will be the most productive for getting hits on your ancestors.  Did you know that there is a formula for telling Google what not to put in search results? This is very helpful for names associated with other things. She uses the example of Ivory. You don't want websites that talk about soap! In my case it's Price. I don't want the price of something; I want my ancestors!

Robert Kehrer

Finding Elusive Records on Kehrer
  Tips and tricks for narrowing down and getting more relevant hits when searching and how to browse records that are not indexed were demonstrated in this session. A must see for anyone searching for their ancestors on

Myko Clelland

My Ancestors are From Britain-What Do I Do Next?-Myko Clelland
 Myko from gave a humorous presentation on British records found on the site. Parish, Census, and others were often annotated by the person filling in the forms. Drawings and commentary about the applicants were added to the records. One census listed the name of a little girl's teddy bear while another had the name of the family cat. Even if you don't have family from the British Isles, this is a fun one to watch.

               Another day of learning and wishing I was there! 

                                                                   In a way, a part of me was.
         This picture of my Great Grandparents was part of the Findmypast booth in the Exhibit Hall.

Wedding photo of
William Treadford Roberts (1894-1959) and Beulah Mae Price (1897-1980)
Married 28 June 1914
                                                                                     How fun is that? 

If you didn't get a chance or would like to review some presentations, you can watch Friday's sessions here. 

One more day of RootsTech and you guessed it, I'll be watching from my rocking chair!

Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Blogger Tricks

Friday, February 5, 2016

RootsTech From My Rocking Chair


     Livestreaming of RootsTech 2017 began on Thursday. A way for those of us who could not attend to watch from home, in our favorite chairs, and in some cases, still in our jammies! 
     The keynote speakers were inspiring.

Steve Rockwood
    Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch started off the day by talking about the importance of family stories. He explained that everyone in the audience had medical masks on their chairs. Why? No, they weren't worried about an epidemic. It was to remind everyone that "We are heart specialists". The stories we uncover about our families touch the heart like nothing else can.

Stan Ellsworth
  We heard from Stan Ellsworth, host of BYUTV's "American Ride," who made a grand entrance on his Harley. Stan spoke about the importance of telling stories.
Paula Williams Madison
   Paula Williams Madison, an author, and filmmaker, told the story of her search for her Chinese ancestry. She described how it took her from feeling like a nameless, faceless person to one who has found her roots in her multicultural family. It was touching to hear her say that she knew they would want her as much as she wanted them. 

Bruce Feller
    Bruce Feller, a best-selling author, gave this advice about how to tell a family story. He asked "Could it work around a campfire? Do they have emotion?"

 Classes shown via livestream were:

Mike Mansfield
7 Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries -Mike Mansfield 
  This session was a tour of the MyHeritage tools for helping to research our family tree. uses record and tree matching to help grow your tree. Their OCR recognition tool is impressive and will help in to find ancestors within their record collection.

Amy Johnson Crow
     Best Websites and Apps for Local History-Amy Johnson Crow 
  In her session, Amy tells of the importance of getting to know the communities where our ancestors lived. Knowing what the city or county was like during their life time may lead to new discoveries. Amy shows where we can find historical pictures of ancestor's towns and how we can use maps to give us a better understanding of their lives. She showed an example of finding a military base near the site of her ancestor's home. This clue helped her discover why her ancestor relocated. It was to work at the base.  
One of the best presentations of the day.

Ron Tanner
 What's New in FamilySearch for 2106-Ron Tanner.
  Ron, in his usual way, gave an update on what has changed in FamilySearch and what is planned for the future. One of these changes will be the opportunity to see living relatives in a safe, private area.

Joseph Richardson
     The last session of the day was Virtual Family Reunions-Joseph Richardson.
  In this class different ways to meet and share family information that would save time and money were shared.
 Tools were demonstrated to help share ancestor's stories, and platforms for virtual gatherings were explored.
     Joseph explained that we should start with one of the suggestions, see how it works for the family and then add others. With generations often living far apart, we should take advantage of technology to keep in touch and tell our family stories.
   The Livestream for all of these sessions has been uploaded to youtube. 
To watch, click on the link below

    Later in the evening, an indexing marathon was held live from the convention center. Those who were not able to be there in person could participate online. The goal was to index as many of the Freedman Burea Records as possible in 90 minutes. I joined in the Livestream broadcast of the event and got some indexing completed. This morning it was announced:

Fantastic news!  A valuable record collection is now even closer to being available to search.

Day 2 promises to be as good! More on that tomorrow. I need to get back to watching RootsTech from my rocking chair.

Are we kin? Please contact me.Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

FindMyPast News From RootsTech

Press release from received this morning. 
Happy researching y'all!



Salt Lake City: 4 February 2016
Time: 7am MT, 9am EST, 2pm GMT

Leading family history company, Findmypast , announced today at RootsTech that, in partnership with FamilySearch International, it will launch the single largest online collection of U.S. marriages in history.

Covering 360 years of marriages from 1650-2010, when complete this landmark collection will contain at least 100 million records and more than 450 million names from 2,800 counties across America.  More than 60 per cent of these marriage records have never before been published online.  When complete, this collection will only be found in its entirety exclusively on Findmypast.

To kick start the collection, Findmypast has launched the first 33 million records of this ambitious project today and is offering them to the public for free from now until15 February.  The records include marriage date, bride and groom names, birthplace, birth date, age, residence as well as fathers’ and mothers’ names. Customers with family trees on Findmypast will benefit from leads connecting relatives on their trees with the marriage records, thus generating a whole new source of research.

Those seeking a bit of star dust will find the marriage records for actors from Bette Davis to Jimmy Stewart, actor turned  President, Ronald Reagan, founding father Samuel Adams, writers including F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck, jazz great Duke Ellington and baseball legend Babe Ruth to name but a few among the hundreds of millions of names.

Commenting, Annelies van den Belt, CEO, Findmypast said:

“We are delighted to be working with FamilySearch to bring this hugely important collection online. The launch of the U.S. marriages project is central to our growth strategy in the U.S.  The millions of new U.S. records will complement Findmypast’s massive collection of British and Irish data allowing us to provide many more connections and a more comprehensive experience to family historians in the US and all over the world.

Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch said:

“We greatly value our close working relationships with our partners and record archives. They enable us as a community to get important records available to family history researchers online much, much faster.  The US marriage records agreement with Findmypast is an excellent example. We are delighted to assist making these records available.”

Press contacts: US:  Fred Wertz, email: Tel: (914) 441 590
                            UK:  Alex Cox, email: Tel: +44 7464 946769

Findmypast will release millions of marriage records every quarter and aims to complete the entire digitization project by the end of 2017.

About Findmypast
Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online family history. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Lives of the First World War, The British Newspaper Archive and Genes Reunited, amongst others.
Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over eight billion family history records, ranging from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and conducting detailed historical research. 
In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, the company has digitized records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. Findmypast, in association with The National Archives, recently launched the 1939 Register, a record of 41 million lives on the eve of World War II.

Are we kin? Please contact me. 
 Thanks so much for stopping by!