Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday – Everybody is dressed for Easter!

Before Easter services and doesn't everyone look so happy. Picture was taken about 1956. I love the purse over the arm of the youngest. (Standing in back on left: Toni Jones and Adele Whitney with Robyn Whitney on front left, Donald Whitney, and Sandra Whitney.)
Posted by Ron Setzer

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

National Archives Announces Website for Free 1940 Census Release Online on April 2, 2012

Tomorrow Starts the Countdown of ’40 Days to the ’40 Census’
Washington, DC…Today the National Archives, with its partner, launched its new website in preparation for its first-ever online U.S. census release, which will take place on April 2, 2012, at 9 a.m. (EST). The public is encouraged to bookmark the website now in order to more quickly access the 1940 census data when it goes live. No other website will host the 1940 census data on its April 2 release date.
The National Archives has teamed up with the U.S. Census Bureau to celebrate “40 Days to the ’40 Census.” Using social media channels to post videos, images, facts, and links to workshops nationwide, the National Archives is getting its researchers ready for the online launch on April 2. Be sure to follow us on Twitter (using hashtag #1940Census), Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, and subscribe to our blogs: NARAtions and Prologue: Pieces of History.
On April 2, 2012, users will be able to search, browse, and download the 1940 census schedules, free of charge, from their own computers or from the public computers at National Archives locations nationwide through the new 1940 census website:
A National Archives 3:13 minute video short on its YouTube channel (
Background on the 1940 Census
While the original intent of the census was to determine how many representatives each state was entitled to send to the U.S. Congress, it has become a vital tool for Federal agencies in determining allocation of Federal funds and resources. The census is also a key research tool for sociologists, demographers, historians, political scientists and genealogists. Many of the questions on the 1940 census are the standard ones: name, age, gender, and race, education, and place of birth. But the 1940 census also asks many new questions, some reflecting concerns of the Great Depression. The instructions ask the enumerator to enter a circled x after the name of the person furnishing the information about the family; whether the person worked for the CCC, WPA, or NYA the week of March 24–30, 1940; and income for the 12 months ending December 31, 1939. The 1940 census also has a supplemental schedule for two names on each page. The supplemental schedule asks the place of birth of the person's father and mother; the person's usual occupation, not just what they were doing the week of March 24–30, 1940; and for all women who are or have been married, has this woman been married more than once and age at first marriage.
For the release of the 1940 census online, the National Archives has digitized the entire census, creating more than 3.8 million digital images of census schedules, maps, and enumeration district descriptions.

Press Release from NARA
Posted by Ron Setzer

Monday, February 27, 2012

Root Cellar's New Website is up and running!!

One of the new features of our website is the ability for visitors to post question on our Forums page, and hopefully, someone will respond with the correct answer. We have several categories for posting: Frequently Asked Questions (mainly dealing with Root Cellar and its website), and General Genealogy & How–To (for those questions about what to do next or to refine what you have already done). There are several forum categories that deal with questions about major genealogical software including Reunion of the Mac, Legacy Family Tree, Roots Magic, and Family Tree Maker. We will expand these last categories as the need arises.
Posted by Ron Setzer

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Next Monday, February 27th, the Davis Genealogy Club presents "Writing Personal Stories--How to Begin" with instructor Marian Kile. The meeting will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Davis Senior Center, 646 A Street, Davis.
Do you find it daunting to try to write a long family history? Do you already have a written family history but want to add stories about special memories? This talk will help both the non-writer and the experienced writer in developing short stories that capture the essence of special family members or events. The focus will be on stories that are about 500 words long but the process can be applied
to longer stories.
Marian got "hooked" on genealogy at the end of 2005 and has been sharing what she has learned by giving classes at the Sacramento Family History Center on Eastern Avenue and throughout the community. Marian is an experienced presenter who creates a supportive learning environment for her classes.
For more about the Davis Genealogy Club programs or Library, visit the club's website at or call Lisa Henderson at (530) 753-8943.
Posted by Ron Setzer


Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Maidu Senior Center, 1550 Maidu Dr., Roseville, CA
Meeting 1-3 pm
Program: "Researching Eastern Europe History & Archives"
Preparing for your genealogical trip over the pond can be a real challenge. This 90 minute presentation will cover, in two parts, 1) how to prepare your research, and various methods of how to determine your ancestor's County of Origin, and 2) a generalized history of European Europe, how those historic influences affected your ancestry migration, and suggestions of where and how to access available records. Session ends on how to located current Research Guides for your country of interest.
Speaker: Lynn G. Brown
Lynn has been a Family Historian for over 35 years and offers an extensive background in both Computer Skills and Genealogy Research. She has a Masters Degree in Recreation Administration specializing in Non-Profit Organizations and Alternative Education with an extended Degrees in Electronics and Telecommunications.
She retired from the Administrative branch of the Girl Scouting in 1980, and then embarked into new careers with AT&T, and US Army Reserves, retiring from both in 2001, Lynn made a new career helping others with their genealogy research projects. Currently she is a volunteer with the Sacramento Family History Center as a librarian supervisor, and recently has retired from the Folsom-Cordova and San Juan School districts teaching Computerized Genealogy.
Lynn has been lecturing to Genealogy groups throughout the Central Valley and Bay Area communities since 2004, covering a large variety of genealogical topics promoting researching searching and publishing Family History in the computer age.
Posted by Ron Setzer

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday Tombstone & a little Wednesday Wisdom

One of our own members, Susan Hofmeister O'Brien , has a unique story about her family tombstones.  Susan now lives in Oceanside, NY. Born in Childrens Hospital, San Francisco

Susan's story: "I am a fifth generation born Californian and some of my family is from Sacramento. My 3rd great grandparents John & Barbara Ash(tombstone spelling Asch..only time ever used) settled in Sacramento early 1850's with ten children . They were buried along with a few of their children in New Helvetia Cemetery  which closed early 1920's and remains moved to City Cemetery mid 1950's. . The family lived and worked in Sacramento....policeman, teachers, railroad shop, cook, painter and a us marshall. 

Three years ago I came to San Francisco for a wedding and took my sister on an 800 mile genealogy tour of Northern California. In my research before trip I called the Sac City Cemetery to find out where the New Helvetia Cemetery was only to find out it was closed and the remains moved to the City Cemetery in the mid 1950's. The office sent me a black & white photo of the Asch Tombstone and a Historical brochure with a copy of the Tombstone on the front cover!
I put the photo on and in February 2010 I received a email from a woman in Auburn passed this flowerbed that she lived across the street from 20 years and the stone jumped out ...she had never noticed it before. The owner of the house it was at said it had been there at least 50 years and she did not know how it got there.
Two years later.....lots of letters, new friendships and money the stone is now being restored to original style and will be be re-dedicated on June 2 with the family remains in the City Cemetery.
There are only two original hand-carved monuments known to exist and this is one of them.

My fathers pioneer family also came from Placerville and Orland 1850's 

 So one more tombstone has been recovered. YEAAAAAAAAAAAAA!! NOTE: There are plans in the works for a re-dedication of this tombstone.
This is the other tombstone - wonderful isn't it? that survived the transition to the City Cemetery oh so many years ago.

Susan and her family are working towards a re-dedication of her ancestors tombstones, possibly in June.
Great Story, Thank you for sharing with all of us.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Mystery Monday - WWII Draft Registration Missing?

Root Cellar member John Jay is seeking help in solving the whereabouts of WWII draft registration records for men like his father.  He writes:
My father was almost 27 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked.  He was married and had one child.  I cannot locate him in the draft registration cards for WWII.  Could he have been exempt from registration because he was driving a bread truck that supplied the Fort Ord [California] Army base?  Were men left out of the draft registration if they were classified 4F?  Wouldn't all young men be required to register regardless of physical or employment status?  Why can't I find my father in the WWII draft registration?
If you have an answer to John's mystery, please send him an email in care of  Thank you!

Mystery Monday is one of several blogging themes suggested by Geneabloggers.  Root Cellar members - get your ancestor mysteries or stories noticed here.  Send information to

Submitted by John Jay
Posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Friday, February 17, 2012

Follow Friday: National Library of Medicine and Your Ancestors

The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) National Institutes of Health (NIH) is my one of my top go-to resources for current day health questions.  Their url is the one I'll choose from the hundreds of results from a health-related search term/phrase in Google.  I was recently reminded on the National Genealogical Society's blog that the NLM can also be a helpful resource for family history research. 

Under "Explore the NLM" there is a link to the History of Medicine.  Looking further, the links break down as follows: 

Historical Collections
  • Books and Journals: NLM pre-1914 books and serials, pre-1871 journals, and pamphlets and dissertations
  • Archives and Manuscripts: archive and modern manuscript collections and Western and Islamic manuscripts, from the 11th century to the present
  • Prints and Photographs: images illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine
  • Films and Videos: films and video recordings documenting the history of medicine
  • Digital Resources: selected digitized material from NLM historical collections, covering a spectrum of centuries and cultures
Using the Collections
  • Online Catalogs: online resources for searching NLM historical material
  • Printed Catalogs and Guides: printed catalogs and guides to historical material
  • Reference Services and Information: information about locating and using material in NLM historical collections
Archives, Manuscripts and Reference Services.  Hmm. My great-great grandfather served in the Civil War.  According to his voluminous pension file and that of his widow, both of which I have, his diagnosis was "acute rheumatisn and disease of the heart"  Very interesting.  I have a chronic medical condition called rheumatoid arthritis. The disease may have a genetic link but fortunately no other current day family member has it.  Could there be a medical link to an ancestor?  To find out the history of the term 'rheumatism' I did a search using "rheumatism AND civil war". Here is the result: 

Arthritis Rheum. 1991 Sep;34(9):1197-203. Rheumatic diseases among Civil War troops. [emphasis added] Bollet AJ. Source: Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Abstract: There are extensive existing medical records of Federal Civil War troops. More than 160,000 cases of "acute rheumatism" occurred among these soldiers, and acute rheumatic fever was known to be the main cause. Infectious arthritides were frequent but not understood; gout was rare. "Chronic rheumatism" was diagnosed more than 246,000 times; prolonged rheumatic fever and reactive arthritis following dysentery were probably the major causes. Over 12,000 soldiers were discharged because of chronic rheumatism, many with "lumbago," which was probably spondylarthropathy.  PMID: 1930338 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
This "hit" looks promising for a start.  I'm sure there are more results to mine on the History of Medicine website.  Give it a try.  You may be able to clarify the history of a medical term or condition discovered during your family research. Good luck!

Follow Friday is one of several blogging prompts suggested on Geneabloggers.  If you have a tip, a resource or a special ancestor story, please share it with other readers.  Send it to and we will post it here.

posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Datebook: Annual Seminar at the San Mateo County Genealogical Society

Registration is now open for the San Mateo County Genealogical Society Annual Spring Seminar. Find the registration form and more information on the website.

Date: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Place: Menlo Park LDS Church, 1105 Valparaiso, Menlo Park, California
Time: Doors open 8:00 a.m.; Program 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Program: A Cooke's Tour of Google
Speaker: Lisa Louise Cooke
Description: Lisa will show how Google provides the right tools to add dimension to our family history research.  Check the SMCGS website for updates on specific topics.

NOTE: Sandi Benward and I attended last year's seminar which was very informative and the society was warm and welcoming.

posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Datebook: Annual Seminar at the Sacramento German Genealogical Society

Registration is now open for the Sacramento German Genealogical Society Annual Spring Seminar. Find the registration form and more information on the website.

Date: Saturday, April 21, 2012
Place: Sacramento Turn Verein, 3349 J Street, Sacramento, California
Time: Registration 7:30 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. Program 9:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Program: Tracking Down Our German Ancestors
Speaker: Warren Bittner, C.G.
  • German Maps and Territories
  • German Gazetteers and Levels of Jurisdiction
  • Marriage Laws and Customs
  • Elusive Immigrants – Proving the German Link
  • U.S. Federal Land Case Files – Key Records for German Immigrants
  • Welcome to the Library – Reading to Put Your Family into Historical Context
posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Call to Action - Video: SSDI Access in Peril

Watch the video posted by John Michael Neil on his RootDig blog of Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue's testimony about the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) before a congressional committee.

Commissioner Astrue's comments about genealogists has been described as "condescending" by Dick Eastman on his Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.

You be the judge then use the Call to Action tools we recently posted to let your voice be heard about this important issue.

posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Steve Morse and the 1940 U.S. Census

All are invited to the next program at the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento.
  • When:  Sunday, February 19, 2012
  • Where: Albert Einstein Residence Center, 1935 Wright St., Sacramento
  • Time: 10:00 a.m.
  • Program: "Getting Ready for the 1940 Census -- Searching Without a  Name Index"
When the 1940 U.S. census is released on 2 April 2012, it will not have a name index, and one may not be  available for up to six months. So finding people in the census will involve searching by location instead. Bay Area genealogist Steve Morse will focus on searching the census without a name index.  The census  is organized by Enumeration Districts, or EDs, so the location needs to be converted to an ED before the census can be accessed.  Morse's One-Step website contains numerous tools for obtaining EDs.  His talk will present  various tools and show how each can be used.

For  more information about the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento,  visit our website, or e-mail the JGSS at

Posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Call to Action - SSDI Records Access in Peril

The Federation of Genealogical Societies posted the following information on its blog regarding the need for all genealogists to take action now to fight Congressional attempts to close access to the Social Security Death Index (SSDI):
The Records Preservation and Access Committee has created a Call to Action Kit to support the Stop ID Theft NOW initiative.
Access the kit at
If you have questions concerning the Social Security Death Index and its possible loss as a resource for the genealogical community, please check all the resources available in the kit including:
  • Educational videos and FAQ sheets.
  • Form letters that you can use to contact Congress and let them know you do not support removal of the Social Security Death Index.
  • And ways to spread the word to other members of the genealogical community.
posted b Denise Hibsch Richmond

Monday, February 13, 2012 Sticky Notes

Where have I been?  I just heard about this from a fellow student in my 10-week genealogy class. Last November, introduced the Sticky Notes blog with reader and submitted tips and stories.  According to, it's
"meant to compliment our already established blog and be more of a place where you can share and discover stories and more. On Sticky Notes, users will be able to discover various types of stories, possibly including their very own. We also have areas of the blog that feature our very own Ancestry Anne, aka Anne Mitchell. She will be answering user questions daily, showing you the solutions to some of your most difficult family history questions. We’ll also have the Interesting Finds section – here you will discover some of the most unique and interesting records we come across in our research, and a variety of content that we dig up in all of our collections here at"
Ancestry Anne recently answered a reader's question about an ancestor incarcerated at Andersonville Prison during the Civil War. A recent post on Interesting Finds reminded readers about the valuable information to be gleaned from preserved signature registers of Freedman's Bank.  You can subscribe to receive these brief notes via email or by your preferred reader service. I signed up to receive the Sticky Notes by email - maybe a tip will provide me with a lead about the Athens [Ohio] Insane Asylum!

posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Root Cellar Monthly Workshop

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Visitors always welcome
Program: Help with brickwalls; helpful research and tech tool tips. We will watch and discuss a webinar about a genealogical organizational system.
Host: John Jay
Time: 1 pm – 3 pm
Location: Clubhouse at Country Squire Estates, 5720 Oak Hill Drive, Sacramento, Ca
Posted by Ron Setzer

Roseville Genealogical Society Meeting

Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Maidu Senior Center, 1550 Maidu Dr., Roseville, CA
Meeting 1-3 pm

Program: Names: What Are You Missing
Speaker: Tamara Noe
Tamara has been a volunteer at the Sacramento Regional Family
History Center for over 9 years and is currently serving as a supervisor.
She is also a writer for the current editor of the Roseville Genealogical
Society's newsletter. She has been teaching beginning, intermediate, and
research genealogy classes as well as PowerPoint classes for the past 5
Submitted by Helen Astill
Posted by Ron Setzer

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Root Cellar's General Meeting

Some of the items displayed during the "Show and Tell" portion of Root Cellar's general meeting on Wednesday, February 8, 2012.

An assortment of items given to a member by a distant cousin. A connection made with Great Grandparents.

Baptism dresses that crossed several generations.

A rescued photograph of an ancestor in the mid-19th century. Computer enhancement of the tin negative seen in the lower left portion of the frame.

And, a "What is it?" found on a family farm in Minnesota. Dates from the 1920s or so, but unsure what exactly it is.

Posted by Ron Setzer

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Root Cellar's Preserves is nearing completion

With the last few pages being finalized, Root Cellar's Preserves edition is nearly ready to be sent to the printers. Some of the articles will be an interview with our Spring Seminar speaker, George G. Morgan, transcriptions of letters from an 1866 California settler to his sister in Missouri, an accounting of an author's discovering family secrets, and a story of a grandmother's "Farina Cake." In addition, the issue will include Glenda's Corner, written by our resident genealogist, queries, an example of one of Root Cellar's previous publications, An Index of Sacramento City Mug Books from the early 20th century, and a listing of some of the many Virginia books donated by Dora MacKay to our library in the California State Archives. Root Cellar members should watch their mail for this edition to be sent out next week. If you are not a member and would like to become one, go to our website for a downloadable application form.

Posted by Ron Setzer

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sacramento Family History Center Creates Genealogy Community Forums

Last Fall our local Family History Center launched their new website. That new website includes a genealogy community forum where you can post messages, questions, and replies. Entries can be read by the public. But to post something, you must first create an id and password there. Currently there is only one public forum -- General Discussion. No doubt additional ones will be created if there is sufficient interest.
Go to:
Submitted by Rick Hanson
Posted by Ron Setzer

Monday, February 6, 2012

Event of Note – German-American Cultural Center

You're invited to attend the next free program presented by the Sacramento Turn Verein's German-American Cultural Center – Library: a showing of the German film, “Nowhere in Africa.”
The story is based on Stefanie Zweig's autobiographical novel.
The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2003. Our copy is dubbed with English subtitles.
Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, a Jewish couple and their young daughter emigrate from Germany to Kenya to escape the Nazis, and are forcd to come to terms with a new life on the unfamiliar continent. Not all members of the family are happy with this drastic change, but going home isn't an option.
This is a powerful film. It is a saga about love and duty, fear and refuge. The movie touches upon big political issues: World War II, the Holocaust, and colonialism. Judgment is left to the viewer, however. There are currents of sexuality in the last one-third of the film.
  • What: The German film, “Nowhere in Africa”
  • Where: Sacramento Turn Verein Library, 3349 J Street, Sacramento
  • When: 7:30 p.m., Friday, February 17, 2012
Admission free
Refreshments will be available, for which donations are accepted.
Posted by Ron Setzer

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Last Rites Held for James H. Lage – Sunday's Obituary

James Herman Lage
b. 14 April 1875
d. 19 February 1974
Funeral services for James Herman Lage, 98, of Latimer were held Saturday afternoon at the Immanuel United Church of Christ in Latimer with the Rev. Marvin Marcks officiating. Burial was in the Rose Hill Cemetery at Eagle Grove. The Willim Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.
Mr. Lage died on Tuesday evening, Feb. In 19, at the Hampton Nursing Home in Hampton, where he had been a patient for the past year.
Born on a farm in Carroll County April 14, 1875, he was the son of Claus and Louise Haas Lage and grew to manhood in that area. His first marriage was to Augusta Witt April 14, 1895 in Carroll County and she died in 1938. He was married to Hazel Sauers at the Little Brown Church May 16, 1940, and she survives.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by six sons, Max of Sheffield, Jess of Marshalltown, Earl of Meservey, Kenneth of Downers Grove, Ill., William H. and Leland, both of Sacramento, Calif.; and five daughters, Mrs. Karl  (Maude) Guldberg of Coulter, Mrs. Leonard (Pearl) Regan of Austin, Minn., Mrs. Vianthia Dreyer of Iowa Falls, Mrs. Richard (Louise) Martin of Sacramento, Calif. and Mrs. Morris (Luella) Gibbons of the Titonka. He is also survived by one brother, John, of Manning, 37 grandchildren, 65 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, four sisters, two sons, Ralph and James H., And one grandchild.
Mr. Lage came to the Latimer area in 1915 where he farmed for many years. For a number of years he had a milk route in Latimer. From 1938 until 1942 he lived in Eagle Grove. He was a member of the Methodist Church and was a former mayor of Latimer and member of the Latimer School Board.
Submitted by DeAnna (Lage) Setzer
Posted by Ron Setzer

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wrapping up at RootsTech Conference

Today was the final day of the RootsTech Conference..........  like yesterday I watched the keynote speaker this morning on my computer LIVE. Actually it was a panel.... an Panel. Tim Sullivan (President and CEO of, Eric Shoup (Senior Vice President of Product), Jonathan Young (Senior Vice President Technology Operations), Ken Chahine (Senior Vice President and General Manager, DNA), Scott Sorensen (Vice President of Development)........ Excellent Presentation. Looks like there is something going to be happening in the DNA area with but it is a guarded secret right now. Sounds like alot of great ideas, great things for the future. I was very impressed.

My first session of the day was suppose to " Using Our Nations Library Online" with Laura G Prescott.......  but the floor & walls were lined participants. Surprise Surprise! the Fire Marshall actually came around and made everyone leave the room that did not have a seat and that was me and several dozen other people. So I went across the aisle and enjoyed "Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101" with Lisa Louise Cooke. She is so upbeat and positive which is so refreshing. Of course she spoke from personal experience, from her humble beginnings to the podcast and blog it is today --  Genealogy Gems   There are lots of YouTube videos to help you start up if you are interested. I would check out her Website, she has a lot on there to help. Then onto "A Dozen Ways to Use Your iPad2 for Genealogy and Writing" with Lisa Alzo. Excellent. She did give 12 major categories to use your iPad2. She gave out alot of information for each category, covering many types of apps and programs. Really great! The Q&A was very interesting hearing the hints and tips for the rest of us. LUNCH TIME with presentor Kendall Hulet.  ....  the discussion was around mobile, social and other platforms to enhance our family history. Alot of hints of new things coming out but nothing definite. After lunch, I took my last trip through the Exhibit Hall. Sitting & talking with Jim Radar, then hung out with Thomas MacEntee, Kim vonAspern Parker, Katheryn Doyle and other bloggers for awhile, and of course a little shopping

 National Genealogical Society (NGS) Research Books for Ohio & Pennsylvania and for fun "State Boundaries of America"
 Several Genealogy at a glance for Immigration, German, Scottish & English Research Publications
 1864 Ohio Map - just about the time my ancestors were arriving in Ohio
.......and YES digital scrapbooking CD's. I did buy a little Scottish Cookbook too.

 and then off to the Family History Library till 5:30pm. Nothing. Just so frustrating. Next time!  7pm rolled around and I was visiting with Dick Eastman for dinner with 88 other of his closest friends. Buffet dinner with beef and chicken and yummy desserts. No program but great prizes. iPad2, FlipPal, 2 Behold Genealogy software (download a free trail), and 2- 1 yr subscriptions to Eastmans Premium Newsletter. I didn't win anything but it was a nice evening. A very diversified audience - people from Canada, Israel, Norway, England, Australia, New Zealand and all over the United States. Dick will be heading for England for the Who Do You Think You Are Conference.

Here is Dick with a friend from New Zealand. This past year she was honored by the Queen with her work in genealogy.

Time to pack and get to sleep.......  leaving about 8:30am for that long 10 hour drive home. NITE!!

Wordless at RootsTech Conference/ Salt Lake City

..........this is just going to be pictures of the conference, mainly the exhibit hall. I hope you enjoy them and it makes you feel a little closer to the action. Remember the LIVE broadcasts that you can watch on your computer  LIVE broadcasts on the Home Page check out the schedule. - an area to play no no really play & FREE t-shirts

Second Day at RootsTech Conference

Good Morning for the second day of conference. Cold and crisp outside and warm and busy inside. Free breakfast buffet at the Radisson. Pretty good, just got to bet the crowds.

Keynote speaker for Friday morning was Josh Coates "Exabyte Social Clouds and Other Monstrosities" Mr Coates is CEO of Instructure. He is the founder of Mozy- storage. I have to say that his conversation was over my head and more geared to the developers in the audience. He talked about the origins of technology with complete rooms dedicated to computers, the implimentation of technology from the earliest days to now and what is happening today. He spoke alot about storage capabilities from the earliest time to current day to the future......  megabytes, to gigabytes, to terabytes, to petabytes, to exabyte to so much more........I can hardly visualize megabytes and now we are talking way past that to exabytes......  it is mindboggling.

I was able to watch this presentation on my computer as it streamed LIVE.  So I decided that I would try some of the other sessions LIVE also. I found that I already had chosen a couple without knowing they would be broadcast LIVE. So I watched and listened LIVE from my hotel room in my PJ's Sandra Crowley's  Genealogists "Go Mobile"......  excellent. She is a gadget geek and so buys and trys everything she can. She has iPad, PC laptop and an Android phone and claims that they all work together. She like alot of others really leans alot on the "CLOUD". She gave us alot of different app's to try for the iPhone, iPad and Android. I must be on the right track since alot of the apps she talked about I am already using. Her parting comment was 'Technology should make your life easier, not letting technology work against you'. The second LIVE session I watched was David Barney's "Google Toolbar and Genealogy"  Excellent. They are continually making upgrades and trying to put into place more friendly applications, always making what is already available better and user friendly.

The other sessions I took in person was Luana Darbys "Can You Hear Me Now? Voice Recognition Software and Genealogy" .......  basically it was all about "Dragon" software. I wanted to see if it had improved. I won a full package over 30 years ago and it was not good. I see basically the same commercial but it has improved quite abit and I may go back and try it again. Several things you need to know is that you need to have a good microphone that keeps noise out, practice practice practice so that the software will recognize your voice, your tones, your levels. It is not perfect but I am sure it must be 80% better than it originally was. I think it is one of the best voice recognition programs available.

The last session was with Ian Tester "Telling Stories: Transforming the Bare Facts of Genealogy into the Astonishing Tale of You and Your Family" .......  Ian is with brightsolid corp. The room was packed, standing room only.  I felt like a sardine in a can. However, the time went by much too quickly. We discussed the differences between a Narative vs. Stories. And the discussion centered around the different components of a story and then getting back to the narative. Excellent! (shout out to Beth Daugherty, Sacramento Public Library)

I did attend a luncheon today sponsored by "National Genealogical Society (NGS) with Barbara Resnick and Josh Taylor. I ran into some old friends from Root Cellar, Mary Gene Page and Judy Allen. We had a great time getting caught up on the days events - the good and the not so good.

Dinner in the Copper Canyon Grill in the Radisson with Jim Radar and Judy Allen. Discussion was around, what else? the conference and researching, technology and how is it changing.

And the last could be the best of the day but it is actually equal......  the Family History Library. The hours were extended to midnight. YES, MIDNIGHT!!!! I got over there about 7:30p and it was extremely crowded, everyone doing their own thing......  books, microfilm & fisch, discussion groups, classes and they had 'Who Do You Think You Are?' with Martin Sheen. (hope you all were able to watch it) I did not watch it because it was already half over and my DH is taping it for me. So off I went to find an available Microfilm reader, get my papers in order and out into the microfilm rows. While walking through the many rows of cabinets of microfilm I was envisioning the vault. WOW! Anyway, I spent the evening looking frame by frame in many rolls of microfilm- Naturalization mostly. Found a couple of things but nothing earthshattering...........  every hour on the hour there were drawings for fabulous gifts (alot of the exhibitors donated great gifts) but it was not my night. Starting about 10pm the pizza was available on the first floor. (Dominoes) and then at 11p they announced that pizza was all gone but they were ordering more and about 11:40 the new pizza arrived and this was at the same time they are telling people that the library is closing, computers are shutting down BUT pizza is available....just the timing of it all! ...... and so I got things together, put my microfilms back and down to the first floor and sure enough there was 8 HUGE boxes of pizza.......... from a local pizza parlor that was excellent. So I ate and talked to Steve Morse(One Step Website)  and Tim Cox (CGS). The room was full, everyone was buzzing about their finds, their day and about Who Do You Think You Are?.  Cold walk back to the hotel.

Soldiers Application in the Naturalization Film - gggt uncle Andrew Dietz of Allengheny City, Pennsylvania - Honorable Discharge from US Army in 1864 and it indicates that he is not a citizen but has lived in this USA for at least one year past and his sponsor. Not related that I know of.

NITE  tomorrow is another day .....  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Friday, February 3, 2012

Following RootsTech Conference

Coming to you live from RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City -- Marilyn Ulbricht, hubby Ron and I (Sandi Benward) left from Citrus Heights at 6am headed for Salt Lake City .......  at 0 dark hundred we were driving up I-80, everyone sleepy & grumpy but also excited about the conference. As we got up to the top of the mountain I think after Donner Lake signs flashed saying 'chains were required except for four wheel drive vehicles & some trucks'. It wasn't snowing but I guess it had been over night. Temperatures dropped from the mid 40's to mid 30's and then high 20's. Oh my it is cold. Luckily (and planned) we were in a four wheel drive car with all weather tires - so no chains for us. Dozens & dozens of trucks were stopped putting on chains....and there we were following the trucks that were putting sand on the road. Slow going for quite a few miles and then the roads were clear again. Beautiful but deadly.
 Then we were once again up to speed and rolling along........  ooops, as we entered Reno we were at a dead stop, lanes merging into one lane. We thought there was road work and morning traffic but we were wrong, it was an accedent. Finally out of Reno and on our way through Nevada, into Utah and to the Salt Palace Convention Center. We arrived at 5:15pm MT (10 hours + 1hour moving clocks ahead) . We were really impressed that we arrived so quickly with all the delays at the beginning of the trip.
Marilyn and I picked up our precious Conference Packets and off we went to our hotels. Anxious to read up on everything before all the activities started in the morning. Study, Read, Relax and Sleep.

Thursday we were up and going...... Opening day keynote speaker was Jay Verkler. "Inventing the Future, as a Community" Mr Verkler recently served as President and CEO of FamilySearch. His message was very uplifting, and positive ........  working with other business's to build better technology for the industry and for the end user-  sharing technology. The future for technology for records and documents and genealogists looks very good.

First session was "Do I Trust the Cloud?" from D. Joshua Taylor. It was very good. Enlightning! I am using a little cloud but I think I will take another step forward with a larger piece of the cloud. Storage, safety and trusting the technology.

Second session was "Effective Database Search Tactics" from Kory Meyerink. Most of the techniques were ones I have been using (always good to go back to basics) but then he went off in an area I didn't understand. He talked to the developers (if any were in the audience) encouraging them to incorporate more advanced search techniques.

Third Session was "Twitter - It's Not Just 'What I Had For Breakfast' Anymore" with Thomas MacEntee. Does that name sound familiar? This is our 2013 Spring Seminar Speaker. He went through the whole process of signing up, adding picture and profile, how to write a tweet and about  new language that comes along with it. Hashtags, @ signs, acronyms, and codes - limitation of 140 characters. His use is strickly for genealogoy, for research and instant communication. Kim von Aspern Parker met with me several months ago, signed me up on Twitter etc but it just didn't stick, things seemed uncomfortable. I cannot explain it but I just left it alone. BUT today I returned to Twitter and sent out two tweets. My first tweets. AND I got a comment back from Megan Smolenyak-Smolenyak. Well, I was impressed.
Remember his face, you will be meeting him on March 9 2013 at our Spring Seminar. This is Thomas MacEntee.......

Fourth session was "Eleven Layers of Online Searches" with Barbara Renick. Very good. A couple of the layers I would not even thought about, but maybe some of you would. I'd like to share what I learned here at this session at a workshop sometime. Looks very effective.

The last event was a Reception and "Exercise Your Funny Bone" with comedian Ryan Hamilton.  This event was sponsored by brightsolid. Dinner and comedy, what a great way to top of a very good day.

Tomorrow is another day starting at 8:30am AND the Family History Library has extended their hours on Friday - closing at midnight. You heard right.........  lots of research time.  Night!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Roots Tech Downloads

Roots Tech is a giver. In addition to the Live Streaming offered, the syllabi for each session for which one is available can be downloaded in pdf and/or doc/docx formats.

For the Live Streaming, just go to the website and the session will load automatically.  I listened to Thomas MacEntee's session on Twitter today.  I just may become a tweeter.

We blogged about the sessions being Live Streamed here, including the descriptions.

No coats or gloves required.

posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Sutro Library on the MOVE!! - Thursday Treasure Chest

A bus load of sleepy but happy family researchers made their way to Sutro Librarya, a branch of the California State Library, in San Francisco last Wednesday. I am sure everyone was up at "0 dark hundred" and getting on the bus anytime from 6:30 to 7:30am - with not much traffic we arrive 9:45am 15 munutes before the doors were to open. But our trusty leader Melinda Howard, called ahead and we were in and getting settled down by 10am. Orientation, and then we were all off in many different directions ALL DAY LONG. Some broke for lunch but many didn't. Copier was busy most of the day. Lots of chit chatting - where is this? where is that? Oh my goodness look what I found!! etc etc. It was a good day.

While we were there the librarians told us that their last day open would be today January 31, I mention this because the flyer that I am looking at says a little different. So I would call first to make sure they are open if you are thinking of going down in February or March.

Their flyer and online announcements state ...............
Dates and Hours
February 1, 2012, open 10pm to 5pm on M-F
March 12, 2012 will close for the move
May of 2012 will open in new location

New Location
1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, 94132

Sutro will be on the 5th & 6th Floors of the newly renovated J. Paul Leonard Library on the San Francisco State University campus.

Please visit for a detailed map

Parking and Getting Around
University parking and free shuttle service will be available. For more information, please visit the   San Francisco State Parking and Transportation webpage

For more information, contact Sutro at 415(731-4477) or

I am very excited to see the new location once it is open in May of 2012.

Sutro Library visit 25 January 2012

Happy Researching.................. 

Reminder - Roots Tech in your Home

Re-posting information on free classes!

I just learned from Official Roots Tech Blogger Thomas MacEntee on Geneabloggers that the Roots Tech Conference in Salt Lake City will have live streaming of all sessions in Room 155. Details about how to watch the live stream are being finalized and will be available on the Roots Tech website

Live streaming means that the sessions will be delivered live over the internet. Utah is in Mountain Standard Time so there will be one hour difference for us Californians. Be sure to tune into the sessions of your choice one hour earlier than the scheduled time!

The sessions to be live streamed are listed below, consolidated from the program schedule on the Roots Tech website.  Note that times and rooms are subject to change.  Maybe we'll see the back of the head of the several Root Cellar members who are going to be there!

Thursday Feb 2
8:30 - 10:00 am
Room 155  Keynote
Inventing the Future, as a Community by Jay Verkler

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 155  Presentation for Intermediate Users
Do I Trust the Cloud? by D. Joshua Taylor
Description: With iCloud, Dropbox, and other cloud computing services taking center stage in data storage, genealogists are asking, “Do I trust the cloud?” Discover the basics concepts of cloud computing and how they relate to storing your genealogical data. In addition, relevant case studies will provide you with the resources needed to make a decision on whether or not cloud storage is for you.

1:45 - 2:45 pm
Room 155  Presentation for Intermediate Users
Effective Database Search Tactics by Kory Meyerink
Description: Online genealogy research requires effective searching of databases. With billions of names in thousands of databases, it’s easy to get lost. This dual focus presentation helps researchers search more effectively while also encouraging developers to incorporate more advanced search techniques, such as truncation, keyword, fielded data, proximity, phrase, and wild word searching.

3:00 - 4:00 pm
Room 155  Presentation for Intermediate Users
Twitter – It’s Not Just “What I Had For Breakfast” Anymore by *Thomas MacEntee
Description: Twitter. You’ve heard about it on the news and read about it in magazines and newspapers. You’ve seen televisions shows display their “tweets” especially for celebrities like Oprah and others. You wonder what all the fuss is about, why so many people are talking about it, and if you really should be interested in what someone else is doing. And more importantly, you wonder if you are missing out on something which could be useful as a genealogy research tool. Social media applications such as Twitter allow you to build a group of subscribers or “followers” who can follow your conversations or broadcasts of information and respond automatically or pass the information along to their own followers. Sort of like the child’s game of Operator – but one that actually works!

Fri, Feb 3
8:30 - 9:30 am
Room 155  Keynote
Exabyte Social Clouds and other Monstrosities by Josh Coates
Description: Josh presents and discusses the origins, implications and possible eventualities of key technologies that are shaping our technological infrastructure.

9:45 - 10:45 am
Room 155  Presentation for Intermediate Users
Publish Your Genealogy Online by Laura Prescott
Description: This lecture will discuss the fundamentals of publishing family data to a website, whether it is done through a big-name genealogy site, or by using genealogy software and a personal domain. We will explore options for appearance, access, costs, and privacy issues. Even without a computer-based genealogy program, there are some reasonable alternatives for placing a genealogy online. Whether you use a PC or a Mac, or even a public computer at your local library, you have choices for software, online access, and the final presentation. We’ll also review additional important considerations like degree of interaction, multimedia, and sources. Although the process may seem intimidating, after we work through each of the steps and explore the various options, the adventure into publishing an online genealogy will enter the realm of possibilities.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 155  Presentation for Intermediate Developers
Optimizing Your Site for Search Engines by Robert Gardner
Description: With the explosion of genealogical information available on the World Wide Web, it is becoming more and more important to make that information available and prominent on Internet search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This session is targeted at site owners and software engineers. It will discuss standards and techniques for making the information on your site easy for search engines to crawl, index, and rank. Topics will include optimal page layout, sitemaps, and a proposal for a new genealogy-specific microdata standard that will allow search engines and other internet tools to make the most of your genealogy content.

1:45 - 2:45 pm
Room 155  Presentation for Intermediate Users
Genealogists “Go Mobile” by Sandra Crowley
Description: Instead of a backpack that contains a laptop, camera, portable scanner, flash drives with our files, and maybe even printed copies of our research, we now have SmartPhones, electronic tablets and other devices. The world of genealogy and technology is rapidly changing, and we want to know how to use the future to find our past. Our family tree is truly in our pocket – in a form that we can access, update, print and share. This session will take a look at the latest trends in hardware, software and cloud storage and examine what the future might look like.

3:00 - 4:00 pm
Room 155  Presentation for Intermediate Users
Google's Toolbar and Genealogy by David Barney
Description: The web is a vast resource for finding genealogical data, but the problem has always been filtering through all the irrelevant content to find just what you are looking for. Google’s mission is to make the world information (and that includes genealogical data) universally accessible and useful. Learn about Google’s recent efforts to organize genealogical data and make it easier to find the specific information you are looking for.

Sat, Feb 4
8:30 - 9:30 am
Room 155  Keynote
Making the most of technology to further the family history industry by Tim Sullivan
Description: From the arduous task of scrolling through microfiche, to bringing family history research online, to taking your family tree with you on the go, is leading the technology landscape for family history. With technology available to surface the 7 billion records and 29 million family trees on the site, has the sophisticated engineering and systems in place to take on the challenges of the fast growing family history industry, while also creating an avenue for users to weave search results into an edifying and meaningful family history story. Get the inside details of the technology behind from some of their top technology leaders in this don’t-want-to-miss panel discussion.

9:45 - 10:45 am
Room 155  Presentation for Beginner Users
Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101 by Lisa Louise Cooke
Description: Genealogy podcasts and blogs are the perfect way to pursue your family history no matter where you are. They are packed full of genealogy news, tips, entertainment and interviews with the experts. In this session Lisa Louise Cooke, host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast and author of the Genealogy Gems News Blog, will teach you how to locate them, subscribe to them for free, and the variety of listening methods. You will be up and running in one session!

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 155  Presentation for Beginner Users
Future of FamilySearch Family Tree by Ron Tanner
Description: Discuss how FamilySearch has changed recently and the new features that are being planned for including new concepts to allow people to change data.

1:45 - 2:45 pm
Room 155  Presentation for Beginner Users
Privacy in a Collaborative Environment by Noah Tutak
Description: When we work together on genealogy, we’re no longer are constrained to “My tree” or “Your tree." Suddenly, we’re all working on “Our tree.” In this presentation, Noah Tutak, CEO of, will explain how to properly handle private and public data in a collaborative genealogical environment.

About Roots Tech
RootsTech is a leading edge conference designed to bring technologists together with genealogists, so they can learn from each other and find solutions to the challenges they face in family history research today. At RootsTech, genealogists and family historians will discover emerging technologies to improve their family history research experience. Technology developers will learn the skills to deliver innovative applications and systems. They will also have the opportunity to receive instant feedback from peers and users on their ideas and creations. Attendees will learn from hands-on workshops and interactive presentations at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced level.

*Thomas MacEntee will be the speaker at the 2013 Spring Seminar sponsored by Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.

Tech Tuesday is one of many blog themes suggested by Geneabloggers.  What's your favorite tech tool for genealogy?  Send it to so we can share it with others on this blog.

posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Letters from the War Front -- Wordless Wednesday

Lt Mary Jane Little, Nurse in WWII
One of many letters received by the local Rural Newspaper In Dryden, Tompkins Co, New York while she was serving in Aftica, Italy & France. 


Lt. Mary Jane
                                                                                                                               January 27, 1944
Dear Fletch:
   I'd like to thank my Dryden friends for the lovely Christmas cards and gifts that arrived for Christmas Day. It surely helped to make a pleasanter Christmas for me than I expected it to be. Packages arrived just before Christmas and a few cards are still coming. I must have received 60 Christmas cards.
   I worked Christmas Day and evening. Our patients, officers and enlisted men had an excellent turkey dinner with all the trimmings. The Red Cross sent a portable organ over to my ward, and I played a few Christmas carols, and the boys sang. Apples and doughnuts and hard candy were passed out. Each ward had a Christmas tree and the decorations for the tree and Ward were made by the patients from Christmas paper off packages we had received from home.
   We are busy at the hospital. We are working 8 hour shifts -- 7:30-4:00, 3:30 - 11:30, 11:30-7:30am. Many of our patients are brought from the front and others come from evacuation Hospitals. It sure keeps us busy at times.
   I saw my first opera the other evenng, "Madam Butterfly." The singing ws in Italian and very well done.  Since then I saw "Rigoletto" which was vey colorful and enjoyable.
   On Sundays, symphony concerts are held in a famous old opera house. I'v been a few times. Wish I could describe the beauty of the inside of this old opera house.
   Frequently we have celebrities here. Joe Brown and Humphrey Bogart and his wife gave a show for the patients. Left Gomez, Cacoran, and J. Sharkey came thru the Wards the other day, and visited with the patients.
   We are living in an apartment house. It's the first time we've been able to unpack and make ourselves comfortable. I live in a 6 room apartment with 4 other nurses. We have a kitchen, bathroom, 3 bed rooms living room and vestibule. We have a couple hot plates to cook on, and a wood stove in our living room for warmth. We have lots of fun. Believe it or not, we even have a maid. She speaks Italian and no English, but we manage surprisingly well.
   The weather is mild over here compared to the cold weather you have. Tangerines and oranges are plentiful. Nuts, vegetables such as carrots, radishes, lettuce, endive, onions, potatoes, and cauliflower can be bought at little markets nearby us. Eggs are very high- 50 cents as egg -Potatoes are high, too.
   It is an in between season for flowers but a month ago you could buy orchids 40cents a flower-- Camellias were plentiful, too.
   Well,  Fletch,, I've rambled on enough to tonite. The Rural News is coming thru fine. Say hello to Mrs. Fletcher for me
                                                                          Sincerely, Mary Jane 

ED: Dear Angel of Mercy: I'm sure glad we have a girl in the services of the United States Army Nurses. (In fact we have two haven't we Enid) It give this column a needed femine touch -- and all the boys like it too. Mary -- from the Pacific 'round the world to England, Africa, India and of course, here at home.
   Most all the boys tell in the letters about "chow time" how nice it is to read about eggs 50 cents a piece, plenty of oranges and vegetables, an apartment and a maid. How does that sound to you Duane Mead and all you men in the Pacific? But underneath it all -- Mary is just like you -- hiding the worst of it from us and penning letter of beautiful operas, Christmas packages and carols with her patients down in her ward.
  We like to hear from Mary and Enid too, and no kidding we like to hear all about 'chow time' from the long line of camps and war theaters.
Write again Mary

 Proudly transcribed and submitted by Mary Jane Little's daughter Sandra Gardner Benward