Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jamboree FREE Live Streaming Sessions

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Denise Hibsch Richmond.

Photo credit: SCGS
Hot off the Presses! 

The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) Jamboree has announced the sessions that will be live streamed during the conference from Friday, June 7th through Sunday, June 9th.  This is great news for those of you who can't attend the Jamboree in person.  Live streamed sessions means that, from the comfort of your home, you can watch genealogical experts present their topic in front of a live audience in Burbank.  This is a very generous offer from SCGS so hopefully you can take advantage of it.   

Click on JamboSTREAM for details about the sessions and how to sign up.

Who knows, maybe you'll get a glimpse of Sandi Benward or myself in the audience.  We are attending the full conference and will be writing about our Jamboree experiences on this blog starting June 6th.  Between the live streaming and our Jamboree blog diary, you'll wish you could have been there.

By the way, we'd like to hear from other Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society members who are attending the Jamboree.  Please send an email to

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: "Paging the Dead", a Book Review

Editor's note: we gratefully acknowledge Carolee Jones, Program Chairperson for Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society, for contributing this article & posted by Denise H. Richmond. 

Photo Credit:

I just finished reading a new family history mystery entitled “Paging the Dead” by Brynn Bonner. 

The two protagonists are genealogist Sophreena McClure and her business partner Esme Sabatier.  While working for a client tracing the Prichett family history, a murder occurs.  Soph and Esme get involved searching through the family bloodlines, old photographs and oral history to uncover the murderer.  Esme becomes haunted by a Prichett great-grandmother trying to convey the clues needed to solve the mystery.

It was a fun read with good tips on how to protect your own heirlooms as Soph and Esme compile Prichett heirlooms for scrapbooks.  I am looking forward to the next genealogy mystery featuring two new sleuths in the mystery genre.

This book is available by clicking on Root Cellar's specially-coded link to  Shop and support Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.

[Summer reading season is here.  The Blog Team welcomes your review of a family history-related book.  Send your review to]

Friday, May 24, 2013

Saturday Shopping Around - Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness is back?

Editor's note: Today's posted by Sandra Gardner-Benward- information through Family Tree Magazine

Do you remember in past years there was a place on the web to go called

                                                                  "Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness" (RAK)

It was a great website to get help and to give help to other Family Researcher. It was created by Bridgett and Doc Schneider in 1999. It was created to bring together members of the genealogy community from all around the world. Unfortunately in 2011, the website went offline.  However, in tribute to Doc and Bridgett and the efforts of thousands of volunteers, Family Tree Magazine, a partner, was inspired to create a place for researchers to come together and collaborate.

It is an exciting time.  is launching "Genealogy Karma" which is modeled after Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness. If you are looking for records or photos from an ancestor who lived far away, they will connect you with volunteers who can do this researcxh for you in other cities. Likewise, if  you would like to give back and have a little time to donate, you can sign up as a volunteer.

When you get to the website it greets you with:

           Welcome to Genealogy Karma

We built Genealogy Karma to empower the Mocavo community and connect researchers around the country. Modeled after Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, we hope to give something back to our community. Please volunteer or request help from someone for projects like taking a photo of a headstone, or finding a document in a local library. Thank you!

TRY IT!! YOU MAY LIKE IT.............Genealogy Karma

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Friday Face's from the Past - Honor Veterans in ALL Wars

Editor's note: Today's post was compiled by Sandra Gardner-Benward

DID YOU KNOW.... May is Veteran's Poppy Month

The red poppy has become an international symbol of rememberance to honor all who have suffered in war. For the full story of Flanders Field and the red poppy visit Red Poppies  [story from Citrus Heights Messenger pg3 second edition for May2013]

DID YOU KNOW............ Memorial Day Service at Sylvan Cemetery                                     

Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. This day is often confused with Veterans Day which is observed on November 1 and celebrates the service of all U. S. military veterans.
Every year, Sylvan Cemetery in Citrus Heights honors those who gave their lives in the defense of their country. This year the Memorial Day service will be held on Monday May 27, 2013 at Sylvan Cemetery, 7401 Auburn Blvd, Citrus Heights. Beginning at 10:30am with a walk through the historical section- about 30 minutes ending at the gazebo where there will be a one hour ceremony. Everyone is welcome to attend and participate. [information from Sylvan Cemetery]

DID YOU KNOW........ Memorial Day, formerly known as Declaration Day, orginiated after the American Civil War in 1868 to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civel War. The end of May seemed to be appropriate since many spring flowers are available. By the 20th century Memorial Day has been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars in the past 236 years.

DID YOU KN OW- American Military Appreciation Month:

                                        Honoring your family that fought for their country

Four Web Sites Offering FREE ACCESS to Military Records for a Limited Time, MyHeritage and are offering military records for free in honor of Memorial Day. Fold3 is making its just-completed US Colored Troops service records collection free to mark the USCT's sesquicentennial (150). 

Here is your opportunity to look through all types of military records for free at paid sites but it is for a limited time.

 FindMyPast  free access to military records from May 23 - 27

MyHeritage  free access to military record collections till May 28 
free access to military records till May 27

 Fold3 US Colored Troops (USCT) service records collection is free to everyone till May 31
 Make it a memorable Memorial Day   
"All Gave Some; Some Gave All"

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Travel Tuesday - Where Now?

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner Benward

One of the best genealogy conference's on the west coast (except for Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society's Spring Seminar)  is the Southern California Jamboree  held in Burbank CA.

Here's the math: 3 busy days + 50 nationally known speakers + 70 exhibitors + 150 class sessions = an event you just can't miss. Have dinner with the people behind "Who Do You Think You Are? and so much more.

This is their 44th annual Jamboree with a special pre-conference event of DNA presentations. WOW!! What a great opportunity!! This is the first independent DNA conference jointly produced by the Southern California Genealogical Society and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG). Featured speakers are Spencer Wells, PhD. and Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Have lunch with Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

If you plan on attending, I need to remind you that advance registration ends MAY 24. The Jamboree is just 2 1/2 weeks away. Register Now Sign up for the blog and get all the latest information, updates, events and activities, bios on speakers, who will be in the exhibit hall ........ network.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Military Monday for a BIG BONUS

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner Benward - Big Thanks to Marsha McAlexander Wise for sharing this information.

As read in Dick Eastman's column  ......... FREE military records access on FindMyPast from May 23 to Memorial Day, May 27, 2013.

What a great opportunity to view these military records and experience a new (for you) website. See what you can find? Let me know what you found? Share your good fortune with all of us.

Shop and Support Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.




Saturday, May 18, 2013

Society Saturday – April 24 Reunion SIG Meeting

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Richard Hanson.

Last month's April 24 meeting of the Reunion SIG, consisting of two different presentations, addressed a variety of subjects pertaining to the Reunion software on the Macintosh. Unlike the more formal lecture format of the general meeting, this SIG meeting features a question and answer format that fosters a lot of discussion. Occasionally the discussion moves a bit further afield addressing general genealogical topics. For example, the second presentation at this meeting profiled the website providing historical land ownership information.
April 24 meeting with Ron Setzer leading the discussion. Photo provided by Richard Hanson
Background: In 2011, a special interest group (SIG) was established by the Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society for users of the genealogy database software package called Reunion. It meets 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every fourth Wednesday at the Sacramento FamilySearch Library. The next meeting is scheduled for May 22. Group leader is Ron Setzer. Email Ron if you'd like to be added to the group's email distribution list.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Root Cellar's May 15 Workshop Meeting

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Richard Hanson.
Fifteen people attended yesterday's workshop meeting. Photo provided by Richard Hanson.
Chaired by Root Cellar President John Jay, the meeting started with John scheduling mini-presentations on source documentation support by genealogy database programs. One per meeting will be presented by volunteers over the next several months. A presentation on Flip-Pay will also be done. The remainder of the meeting was an open forum for questions, announcements and discussions. Topics included, poster-sized pedigree charts, DNA matching, Heritage Quest, "Family Tree" on HBO, some brick walls and the hazards of walking in a rural Pennsylvania cemetery. The person planning that trek received warnings about ticks and chiggers along with solutions involving wearing dog flea collars and putting cone collars around the ankles.

This Workshop is a small-group meeting of the Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society. It meets 1 to 3 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month at Sylvan Community Center, 7521 Community Drive, Citrus Heights, California. It is a self-help group that addresses a wide variety of topics and frequently includes mini-presentations. Attendees are invited to describe their recent discoveries, successes and to seek help with their brick walls. The group leader is Root Cellar President John Jay. For meeting dates, see the events calendar on the Root Cellar website.

Shop and Support Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tech Tuesday – Calendar Juggling

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Richard Hanson.

When it comes to accurately documenting the comings and goings of our ancestors, nothing is simple – not even dates. That was aptly illustrated by John Jay's May 9 presentation described in yesterday's Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society blog. Not only have there been different calendars, but the Gregorian calendar in use today was adopted at different times in different locations. Historic calendars include Julian, French Republican, Hebrew, Islamic, Persian and Chinese.

General information about multiple calendars:

Calendar conversion calculators:

One issue that came up during the discussion was the extent to which our genealogy database software supports calendar conversions. I use the Reunion software (Macintosh). After researching this issue using their online help and support forums, I found that Reunion does not do calendar conversions. But it does support custom dates.
Reunion custom date entry box. Screen captured by Richard Hanson.
Reunion stores both the entered custom date and the corresponding Gregorian value. But many users say that there is a better approach. Enter the Gregorian value into the database date field. Then enter into the associated notes field the original unconverted date plus the name of the calendar.

Readers of this blog, do you know how your genealogy database software handles the multiple calendar problem? Please check your software's online help and post your results here as a comment.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Root Cellar's May 9 Meeting

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Richard Hanson.

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society's May pre-meeting started at 6:30 p.m. with a half-hour presentation by John Jay on the topic Calendar Confusion - How the 1752 Calendar Change Can Impact Your Family History Research. His talk described calendar changes starting in the Middle Ages and extending through the 20th Century, all such changes being location-specific. This brought up the issue of to what extent are these calendar changes supported by our genealogy software. Watch for future blogs that follow up on this software issue.
Annual business meeting. Photo provided by Richard Hanson.

At 7 p.m. John Jay hosted the annual business meeting. He introduced the slate of candidates, described the new digital ballot submission process (PDF form ballots created by Ron Setzer and being tabulated by Glenda Lloyd) and gave a status report on the Pension Records War of 1812 project fundraising by Root Cellar.
Presentation by Jim Rader. Photo provided by Richard Hanson.
The general meeting program, Old Online Genealogy Books Online, was presented by Jim Rader. He described the the tools and techniques necessary get the most out of the current and upcoming digital book resources posted the Internet. He also illustrated the importance of old books as a source of family history information.

Shop and Support Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.
Click here for details.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday Society - Who's Who in Vegas at NGS

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner Benward


 So who showed up....... these are only a few of the Root Cellar SGS members and society friends

Dick Eastman blogging as he listens.[ I need to learn how to do that]


Barbara and  Billie
Tammy came in for Saturday to attend the special all day Ancestry,com Day [she and her husband are on their way to Disneyland for a few days. Have a ball1]

Lynne Roberts having a great time.
Ingeborg Carpenter representing the Sacramento German Genealogy Society at their booth

Kim vonAspern Parker (RC member and blogger)  and Kim Cotton (officical blogger out of the bay area)

Kathy a new friend from Sacramento. She is not a member but a supporter of Root Cellar.... using our library at the CA State Archives and she attends Root Cellar Spring Seminar. [she is considering membership] Hello Kathy.

Pat, a new friend also from Sacramento and a future member (September). She just moved to Sacramento, and decided to attend this conference. She sent Root Cellar an email wondering if anyone from the Root Cellar was attending. The email was forwarded to me here and we finally connected, Welcome to Sacramento via Las Vegas and we look forward to getting to know you this coming year.
James Baker (Sacramento German Genealogy Society, attended but no picture- sorry.
Katherine Doyle (California Genealogical Society in Oakland - official blogger) no pic - sorry 
I know I missed a lot of others, sorry, it was crowded, a well attended conference-
WELL OVER 1600!! plus more because Saturday had the special Ancestry Day all day program and Saturday was also Kids Camp..... 
Sandra Gardner Benward signing off- it has been fun!
Looking ahead, are you going to the Southern California Jamboree, Burbank in June?
They are having a special day of DNA. I think it is a must attend event.  
Also coming up, Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference, Fort Wayne Indiana in August. This is the home of the second largest library in the country - Allen County Library. This is also a must attend conference. They have an entire track on just helping societies.

Shop and Support Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.

Last Day in Las Vegas at the NGS Conference

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

As an official blogger at the Conference there are some perks from time to time and one of those perks was this morning.........  a free breakfast sponsored by The problem of course is that the breakfast is at 7am,,,,,,,, the sun wasn't even up then?  FYI: All official conference bloggers were invited so you can assume that there is going to be some type of  special announcement that can be blogged,or tweeted out.
YES you guessed it that is what It was. AND you are hearing this for the first time
...and YES I am wearing my Root Cellar name badge - always. Great ice breaker and again I made two new contacts from people at this conference- just from wearing it. I really get a lot of compliments on it and want to know where they can get one for themselves and for their organization. I sure wish I had an answer for them
...............drum roll please has added a NEW feature meet the RECORD DECTECTIVE...  a breakthrough technology that will save you time with your family history research. It is smart, reliable, and unlike anything else. For every record you find, it'll identify other records and people linked to it. It finds this new information from searching billions of records, in seconds. It gives you links to the related records and family trees. It's extremely accurate, so you can trust the information and sources. As they say "Let the Record Detective turn your dead ends into new leads at MyHeritage  I am really excited about and can hardly wait to try it out for real when I get home. Try it!!  Did you know that there is a Mobile App - build your family tree and research on the go. Perfect for family get-togethers.
Another great day but sure was dragging at the end......
Session 1- "How Genealogical Societies Can Provide a Meaningful for their Distant Members" presented by David. I am always drawn to the sessions that are geared to help society's. David Rencher is very passionate about helping all societies. He wants them to succeed and thrive, make the changes they need to make in order to survive. This session really dealt with "What benefits do members receive that live a distant a way" But what about members that live close by but because of health OR other commitments are not able to make the meetings and some activities. How are we as an organization supporting them. Do you have a board that only meets face to face or do you allow distant members to run for an office or be on the board? How about having virtual board meetings so that distant members could participate in. How do you determine what services to provide to your members and how do you gather that information. There is something to be said to reevaluate your goals, mission statement and services every few years.
Session 2- "Using Emmigrant Guides for Genealogical Records" presented by Julie Miller. Julie is an extremely active member of NGS and was awarded the "Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism. The list of accomplishments were pages long. She is a go getter, patient, and very nice.  You would need to Google, Bing etc "emigrant guides" sometimes called travel guides. Apparently they have been around since the 1600's.Little booklets giving complete information about an area, and why you should move there, giving the weather, land, and whatever else is important for people to know.  Very interesting. I'll be keeping an eye out for these.
Session 3- "Pinterest - a Visual Tool for Genealogists" presented by Jennifer Crowder Daugherty. Yes, another social media website. I am told it is the third most popular website behind Facebook and Twitter. I am signed on, but not feeling the excitement yet. I will keep trying. If we can figure it out, it could be a great place to tell our story (Root Cellar) in pictures.   
National Genealogical Society GenTech Luncheon with the Ancestry Insider "The Future of Family History- According to You"......  how fun!!  Our speaker was 'Ancestry Insider' (Blogger) It was an interactive discussion of what we would like to see changed, improved, deleted, with Ancestry and FamilySearch, Very interesting ideas. 
Session 4- US Immigration and Naturalization presented by  Hal Bookbinder. We totally went over the progression of laws on Immigration and Naturalization over the years to current times. He used a family case study to show the different documents in the time frames they lived in. You really need to know the history of these things in order to know how to research for your ancestors. 
Session 5- "Face Recognition and Photo Tagging for Genealogy Research" with David Horowitz with  Looks like it is my time with Seems I have spent quite abit of time with them this conference. It is not a bad thing.  David has one these presentations in our area in the past so this is not the first or second time I have heard the information. But it is always fun to hear about.
It gets me excited about going back and trying it again. Things have improved over the years. (I believe Sammie is really into it and can lend some experience if someone has questions about the program.) And of course like I said earlier, there is an APP for this too. To get the most out of the program, you sign on, (FREE), upload a gedcom of your family tree or a branch of it. Now start uploading family pictures into one folder probably labeling it Family. And let the program do it's job with face recognition. Best to start with pictures that are directly on the face and only one person in the picture and it would be best if they were pictures of the family members you know for sure. Let the program learn your family and then upload group pictures and the 'mystery' pictures.  Good Luck 
I have ordered my shuttle for the morning. Called up my boarding pass for the morning. Packed my bags and will be ready to go too early to even think about. I am exhausted and need to come home to catch up on my sleep and then try out all these wonderful resources I have learned about.
 NITE all!

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Genealogy Slots In Las Vegas - NGS Day 3

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner Benward

Step Right Up, Pull the Arm and Take Your Chances!!
Yes, we are still in Las Vegas - a city open 24/7

Add another great day in Las Vegas (actually deep inside LVH & Casino - no daylight, no windows and no clocks - yes no clocks What is that all about?

I did forget to mention that just inside the Exhibit Hall there is a Press/Blogger area set up with connections and plugins. WHOOOPE'Y!! I am here a little early this morning so I had the place to myself for a while. A little piece of quiet sofor a few more minutes and then the Exhibit Hall will officially open.

              Katherine Doyle blogger for California Genealogical Society/ Oakland  -blogging away.

1- "iGenealogy: There is an App for that" with Shamele Jordon (a second session with Shamele- same as the first - excellent) The list goes on and on. There really is an app for EVERYTHING (yes Jack for everything) Did you know that APP was the number one word for 2010? Yes it was only 2010 and now look what has happened. Little known facts for 2012: $18 billion spent on mobile apps for smartphones and tablets; 65% of mobile devices are using IOS (Apple); 127 minutes spent per day using apps compared to other consumption rates of 168 minutes watching TV, and 70 minutes surfing the internet.  Impressive and Scary tidbits of information. Check these apps out: Evernote, Time Machine, Wolfram Genealogy, Evernote, Lincolngrams (for those Lincoln buffs)

                  I know you can't see it but all the icons on this slide are all quilted. Just too cool.

2 "Going Nuclear: DNA Discoveries to Trace All Lines of Descent" with Debbie Parker Wayne- good speaker especially on such a dry subject. Well, it is dry to me. It was a very basic session on DNA- what is it, how it comes about. Very well done. I wish I had pictures of some of her slides. Just too good. She spoke about the three main DNA companies: FamilyTree DNA, 23andME, and AncestryDNA of course there are many others but these are the top three.  A lot of comparisons. FamilyTree DNA was the largest one but the other two are doing a lot of business and are catching up, but FamilyTreeDNA still has a LARGE DNA database.  Check it Out

Quick Lunch and time for the Exhibit Hall

Foot Prints lead you right to the NGS Booth with computer stations set up for participants to sign in and try it out and ask questions, so you feel comfortable when you leave them .

Someone familiar - our own book vendor from our spring seminar- small world
One of the many demo's - lots of computer stations set up to try it out.

You recognize  Also giving lots of demo's.

Remember way back - indexing the 1940 US Census - FamilySearch is still set up and continues to introduce more people to indexing and the many projects that are ready to be indexed. Great way to start off and get your questions answered.
Are you still continuing to index? Marilyn, Glenda and Sandi are. Are you? Want to get started? Contact one of us and we will help you get started.
,,,,,,,,and from Sacramento - so far from home: Sacramento German Genealogy Society
Good Luck!... and a shout out to Shirley Reimer, now recovering from surgery.

And FamilyTreeDNA and Robert. So what do they wear under those kilts?

3- "Discovering Your Genetic Profile Finding the Heart of Your Ancestry Using DNA " with Ugo Alessandro Perego- Ugo has given several sessions at our own local Family History Center.... sorry I did not stay for this session, it was too basic, it is just after lunch, the room is warm and I needed something else......  so I jumped ship and went over to...........

4- "Treasures in the Records of the US Congress" with David Rencher........  good speaker. He made a presentation through a family case study using the records he found in the US Congress records. Very interesting. (our own Pat Johnson, Archivist at the Center for Sacramento History did a similar thing at Family History Day- Sacramento by picking a family from the Sacramento area and then following them through their life with all the different types of documents that are available at the Center. excellent way to show off and let people know what you have)

5- "New York's Census and City Directories: Linking Ancestral Records across Decennial Gaps" with Terry Koch-Bostic - good presentation of what resources are available in New State and  New York City. Good substitutes for the missing 1890 US Census is the City Directories. New York is also a state that did its own state census in  between the Federal Census starting in 1925. The best chart for availability of the New York state census in the NY State Library table of remaining county schedules by county, by year.

PARTY TIME....  6-7pm Cocktail Hour and then 7pm National Genealogical Society Banquet
 "Do You Think Anyone's Going to Watch This Show? Mark  Hall-Patton AND Lucky 13:A Modest Proposal Regarding Genealogy Grants and Pawn Stores" Megan Smolenyak-Smolenyak. 

                Hey, can't say much more, you know what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas and that's my story and I am sticking to it  ........  sorry!! Nite.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past - NGS Day 2

bEditor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner Benward

Still dark clouds covering Las Vegas but not sure what it feels like outside.

Checking my email today I received my voting ballot. How exciting, our first election with online voting. Fill out your ballot and send it back. Now everyone in the society will be able to vote since you have from today (which is actually yesterday) thru 31 May 2013, VOTE NOW but only once,

.......and back to the conference. WOW another great day of classes and luncheon..........

"Cloud Genealogy" with Shamele Jordon This is a new speaker for me. What a good speaker, great sense of humor, I was very impressed. As you may or may not know with Cloud Computing you can access your data anywhere, anytime. It is simple, it is storage of your data but not on your computer. Applications and data are available on the internet (the cloud) instead of on your computer. When we as researchers travel to different locations, the cloud offers an easy assess to your data - includes family trees, research documents, photograghs and more. Did you realize if you use Google you have a whole suite of applications at your disposal books,  like email, picassa, maps, reader, books drive(docs) and more. And then there is Evernote. You can download  it on your computer and also the APP to your tablet or smartphones co. Using cloud computing whatever you add to one devise is added to the other devise. What a great idea. I learned about a new website called DIIGO (online social bookmarking with tags. You can share them, highlight them, and add notes. Very cool. Storage was discussed Dropbox (2gb Free),  SkyDrive (7gb Free), GoogleDrive (5gb Free) all support  PC and MAC. AND the all important Back-up. Back Blaze (new, introduced at RootsTech), Carbonite, Crash Plan, iDrive, JustCloud, Mozy, SugarSync, Zip Cloud and many others. Cost ranges from as little as $5 up to $10 a month. Some give unlimited space and others regulate the space available. You need to do the research and make the decision for yourself.
"How to Find Your Relative on the Internet Without Really Trying" with Daniel Horowitz.. David spoke about how MyHeritage works and how it will help you in your research. They encourage you to upload a gedcom of your family tree or a branch. They do comparisons with other trees and with the trees of If there is something that matches you both will be notified and then you have a choice of accepting, or ignoring.  It is a good thing to put your tree up in several different places. Think about it.

New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Luncheon with speaker Terry Koch-Bostic  "Read All About It! Finding Spicy Stories of New York Ancestors in Newspapers Online" Lunch itself was excellent. Speaker was very good. Terry says that New York State is rich with historical newspapers, many newly digitized and now online. (who knew?) She gave her presentation in a story fashion through newspaper articles she her family. Great for her. She gave us a lot of good references. So I will try looking at newspapers again.

"Online Tools for Genealogists" with Barbara Ann Renick. She divided the online tools into 7 categories: Language and Handwriting; Timelines and Calendars; Geographic and Map; History and Background; Help and Educational; Social; Locators and then each category was discussed. I will refer you to her website.   click on notes and then links. I have not had time to study all the links she has on her website but it looks very promising. Good Luck!

"How to Create an Exciting, Interactive Family History Tour of Google Earth" with Lisa Louise Cooke owner of Genealogy Gems  It is always a fun time with Lisa but a learning time too and this session was not the exception. Oh my this is going to be gooooooooood!!  Lisa created an interactive video using Google Earth. I am not going to be able to explain how to do it, I will need to do it first. This is something that will excite the young and the non-family/friend genealogist. 

Had dinner with a new friend  Debbie from Pittsburgh, PA and Kim Parker at the buffet in the hotel. Oh my goodness it was expensive, good but way over priced. If I want coffee that they provide in my room it costs $4 a cup - just crazy. I find that my boarding pass to get home will cost $2.50 - yes to print out one piece of paper. Unbelievable. No free wifi in rooms or lobby area. The conference has partnered with other organizations to have a WIFI Hot spot just outside the Exhibit Area so that participants can offset the cost of the hotel wifi. Nice but there are no plugs to charge while you are using your devices. smoke free does not mean smoking on this side of the room and no smoking on the other side. Hard to take that clean deep breath. cough, cough,  cough, weeeze!!!

 OK OK I am off my soapbox and back .....   I am having a good time, I am.

...........back from the sauna. Another Full Day Tomorrow - Time for bed. NITE!

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Those Places Thursday - NGS Conference Day 1

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner Benward

WOW!! 5:00am came around much too quickly. We started setting up the registration booth at
6:30am and opened up at 7am with a massive amount of anxious conference goers. Right now they are saying there are approximately 1500 participants. I worked till  9:30am and then off to sessions
I did miss the Opening Ceremonies because I was working the registration booth but I heard nothing but good things. "People, Policy, and Records: The Importance of  Historical Background" topic given by Marian Smith, Chief Historical Research Branch for US Citizenship and Immigration Services.  Using immigration and migration to show importance of national policy changes to ancestors, to their records and to our research.

Exhibit Hall opened this morning....... and it looks great, a good variety of vendors.  I did a quick walk thru but didn't want to get locked out of the first session so went over to claim a seat. Exhibit Hall will wait  till tomorrow.

First session today was" Forensic Genealogy - CSI Meets Roots: The Digital Detective" with Colleen Mary Fitzpatrick. Very interesting and very basic ideas to help (I thought about you Marilyn)  through a series of pictures and we analyzed them. What did I learn? 1. Look for things that are ‘not quite right.’  It sounds really easy and it is and isn't. You just need to take your time.  2. Sometimes the obvious clues are not the best. You know how we first look at an older photo and check the clothing, sometimes you need to ignore that and look for other clues in the photo. 3. Always always look at the back of the photo. It is a very basic idea but surprisingly overlooked. I like Colleen as a speaker, very well composed, and she sure know her topic: Forensic Genealogy. She does not do a lot of conferences because she is really busy with her many projects. Check out her website: Forensic Genealogy Look down the left column and you will see where you can view photos and try your hand at analyzing. Easy?? 
I bought a ticket for FGS luncheon with Curt B Witcher:" Re-think, Re-boot, Re-connect It's a New World" .Preserve the Pension War of 1812 was discussed. I tooted our horn and they were very impressed  our with progress and commitment to the project. I was very proud for all of us. Curt spoke about organizations keeping up with the times, If you want a younger crowd you need to find out what they want, what motivates them and make the changes.  His Mission Statement would read - "Fun, Success and Do Good Things"- just keeping it simple, Re-Think your Journey, Your Mission, and make changes. Re-Boot- make sure you are going in the right direction, how do your members see the organization. Re-Connect: Dream New Dreams, Have New Visions, Make New Connections. Have the Courage to Change.

After lunch I attended Elizabeth Shown Mills "The Genealogical Proof Standard in Action: Case Building When No Record States an Answer" .... Yes a mouthful. The Action Plan: Assess what you have - Complete the Research - Trust Nobody - Integrate and Correlate details - Outline a theory - then try to disprove it and if it survives - Now, write a convincing argument.  Make the assessment: Identify the problem, analyze the data and weigh the evidence, reappraise prior conclusions. The whole process is a lot of work and I know sounds really complex but it actually isn't that complex but will take a little effort to get to the truth especially when you have people you are not sure belong on your tree or are related, then it is worth going through the process

Last session of the day was "Understanding What They Wrote: Tricks and Tips for Deciphering the Unintelligible in Documents" by Barbara Vines Little (I got excited at first because my mothers main line are LITTLE but hers are Virginia Little's and mine are New York Little's - I tried) . Legalese, archaic terms, and letter forms, and illegible handwriting contribute to misinterpretations and consequent errors in compiling family information. So besides the illegible handwriting you need to make sure you understand the meanings of terms in different time frames. Check these websites out: Palaeography, "The National Archives - Online course at no cost.  AND An Introduction to Paleography  online tutorial with sample documents. No cost. Covers English court hand, AND The Legal Genealogist Blog - Judy Russell, Legal Definitions.

It has been a long day. Time for dinner, maybe a ride on the monorail and finish up with a  dip in the pool. Nite!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday - Helping Hands and Support at NGS Conference2013

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner Benward

 I left on Southwest Airlines at 10:40am this morning, landing in Las Vegas at 12:05 pm
Luggage arrived with me (thank goodness), caught shuttle to LVH. 
Weather was nice but overcast and it rained after I arrived at the hotel, Dark clouds. 
The Hotel is connected to the Convention Center. It is a huge place and there will be lots of walking I just wish it wasn't through the smoke filled rooms. (just a figure of speech but not far off the truth)   
Checked in to LVH. I am on the 10th floor of 25 or more floors. The view during the day is ok but the view at night is spectacular.

CaChing ! Bells & whistles going off all the time. Oh my,  slot machines everywhere and I do mean everywhere.
To start off this conference I volunteered to help with registration. I worked from 3p to 7pm. I sure met a lot of first time goers who were very excited about attending. That kept a smile on my face. Ran into Lynne Roberts, Billie Helms and Barbara plus Kim Parker. Going back in the morning to continue with registration till 9:30am - then the conference begins for me.

A lot of activity all afternoon - last minute meetings with volunteers, staff, and staff from hotel. The Hospitality Booth staffed by DAR members, was very busy. The exhibitors were coming in all afternoon and getting set up, Representatives from the Sacramento German  Genealogical Society arrived but without Shirley Reimer. Apparently Shirley is not well and will need surgery pretty quick. I know all of you will be sending Shirley positive good healthy thoughts.

Back in my room, I am reading through all the materials I received when I checked in earlier oday. The paper syllabus is 566 pages and yes it is huge and heavy . Yes I ordered a paper print copy and thinking how will I get this home. Oh well, it will work out. Everyone received the syllabus on a flash drive. So much good information. I can hardly wait till the actual sessions to add to the information in the syllabus.
Big Day Tomorrow. Nite!!!!

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Tuesday Travel - How. What, Where, When for NGS2013

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner Benward


Come along with me for the next couple of days.
There will be lots to see and do, and lots to write about.
What to pack, what to think about, what to do to get ready for this conference?
One thing I've done is download the FREE 2013 NGS Confernece app. I have gone through the schedule and created my own calendar for the conference, adding my flight information, any breakfasts, lunches and dinners and extra activities that I will be attending. Everything in one place. It updates itself all the time so you always have the latest information, latest changes and updates. Also, available on the app are maps, speakers bio's, exhibitors, Alerts, direct connect to NGS website, News, Friends (sharing schedules with friends) , Attendees, direct connect to twitter for conference, facebook connection, conference docs, downloads, official bloggers, and you can also rate each session you take directly thru the app, plus a long list of restaurants in the hotel, conference  and much more - all on one little app. AMAZING!!! (the app is available for most devices) - I've eliminated alot of paper by using the app.
Also on the app I have also downloaded the conference programs (called conference docs). They are in PDF format. It shows a daily schedule, room numbers, plus room for notes . So now I have eliminated carrying around that paper schedule.
I have been following the  official NGS Conference Blog, as well as alot of the NGS conference official bloggers (one of them being Root Cellar- ME). There sure is alot of diversity and you will get alot of points of view of the conference.  They are all listed on the NGS website.Try it!
Now for registered attendees, the Conference Syllabuts is available online to download a copy to your tablet or iPad or  print out what you want. It has been suggested to go through the schedule, pick your sessions, and then print out those class handouts so you can follow along.  So I am doing that now. They will NOT have print out area's like there have been at other conference's. So planning ahead is a best practice
It is my understanding that there is no FREE wifi in the hotel rooms. I am not sure about the lobby areas but only PAID wifi in your rooms at the LVHotel. But I am reading about a partnership between, FamilySearch & the NGS Conference for FREE wifi at the conference. It will be passoword protected but for use by attendees only. Its called the Internet Cafe. It will accomodate up to 300 users at a time, 20 minutes per session, 24 hours a day Monday thru Saturday. It will be located in Pavilion 5 and in the Pavilion Foyer between the Pavilion and the Paradise Event Center Foyer.
Unfortunately, there will not  be any sessions being streamed live at this conference.  You can order recordings of most of the sessions on CD from JAMB Tapes, Inc. for $12 each at the conference and afterwards through a link on the NGS website. If you look through the schedule you will be able to see the sessions that are going to be recorded.
If you are able to come or NOT, you can follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others.  Use the #NGS2013 hashtag. Don't forget about the live Twitter feed within the free NGS Conference app...........
So here you have it........... 
Follow on Twitter (@ngsgenealogy) send your tweets @ngsgenealogy for general information or use the hashtag #ngs2013 for Annual conference-related tweets
Follow on  Facebook  AND/OR subscribe to the NGS conference blog
So are you prepared or do you need a day or so more?
For those not able to attend, I will  do my best to keep you updated and informed as I go through the conference.
Tuesday will be a travel day. I will arrive around noon, put my luggage in lockup for a couple of hours while I go to registration. . I have volunteered to help with registration Tuesday late afternoon and Wednesday early morning.  YIPPPEEY!!

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wishful Wednesday - More Member Stories

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Denise Hibsch Richmond.

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society celebrated its 2nd blogiversary on Monday, April 29, 2013.  Well,  the Society's blog celebrated two years of being part of  Three members brought the blog to its toddler year. A fourth member recently joined the team.  Writing is managed on a weekly, rotational schedule.

The writers had help - from other Society members.  (Secret - the writers jump for joy when a member submits a family history story, photo or other image for the blog.)  Some articles are short, just a photo with names and dates, such as a tombstone.  Others are of some length providing a bit more detail about an ancestor.  Frequently, a GeneaBloggers blogging prompt helped focus the story like Surname Saturday and Mystery Monday.  Let's take a stroll down memory lane and revisit several member blog contributions.

Sunday Supper - Purple Turkey

Sentimental Sunday - Happy Father's Day

Black Sheep Sunday - Joan Beaufort

March Madness Monday - Final 4 Ancestors

Mystery Monday - Samuel E. Ford

Tombstone Tuesday - Smith and Shutzbaugh

Tombstone Tuesday - John McLearie, Sr.

Tombstone Tuesday  [Edwin W. Towle]

Wordless Wednesday - Christmas Memories

Holcomb Family Genealogy Challenges - Those Places Thursday

Surname Saturday - Thomas and Dollings

This is the Face of Genealogy [Member's Father in Cool Car]

Happy Father's Day [Member's Fathers]

The Root Cellar Blog, A Member Benefit

Are you inspired by these member stories? It's so easy because you already have the information.  The Root Cellar blog writers wish is for continued contributions from its members.  Use the blog to get closer to solving a brickwall or just to bring your ancestors to life.  Contributions and any questions can be sent to  We look forward to hearing from you.

Shop and Support Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.
Click here for details.