Saturday, July 26, 2008

2008 FEEFHS Conference: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Article

This article about the upcoming Federation of East European Family History Societies Conference August 1-3 in Pittsburgh, PA, appeared in the Wednesday, July 23rd edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

I am the chairperson for this conference. If you've got East European roots, I hope to see you there!

Conference aims to help genealogists uncover Eastern European branches of family trees
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sad News in from the AP

I've been following the story of computer science professor, Randy Pausch, and his battle with pancreatic cancer since I first saw the segment about his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University on the news. Although I've never met him, I found myself wiping away tears today as I read the news of his passing. I read his book, and it really touched me--it's basic lessons serving as a reminder about what really matters in life.

Last lecture professor dies of cancer

Randy Pausch, famed for his life-affirming message, passes at 47

from the Associated Press
updated 11:13 a.m. ET, Fri., July. 25, 2008

PITTSBURGH - Randy Pausch, a computer science professor whose "last lecture" about facing terminal cancer became an Internet sensation and a best-selling book, has died. He was 47.

Pausch died early Friday at his home in Virginia, said Anne Watzman, a spokeswoman for Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh where he worked. Pausch and his family moved there last fall to be closer to his wife's relatives.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

May Randy rest in peace.

Monday, July 21, 2008

FamilySearch and Team to
Publish New Images and Enhanced Indexes to the U.S. Censuses

This announcement has already been posted on other genealogy blogs, but I thought it worth repeating here.

SALT LAKE CITY— and FamilySearch, the two largest online family history resources, announced today they will exchange records and resources to make more historical records available online. The first project is a joint initiative to significantly enhance the online U.S. Federal Census Collection (1790 to 1930). The original census records are among the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

FamilySearch is digitally converting master microfilm copies of the original U.S. Federal Censuses from 1790 through 1930 and, under this agreement, will give these improved images to All census images and indexes will be available on for subscribers. As projects are completed, images will be available for free in NARA reading rooms and FamilySearch’s 4,500 Family History Centers., which currently offers indexes and images to the entire publicly available U.S. Federal Census Collection, will give FamilySearch copies of its existing census indexes. Through its online indexing system and community of volunteer indexers, FamilySearch is already indexing select censuses. FamilySearch will merge the indexes with the new FamilySearch indexes to create enhanced census indexes, which will be added to both sites. Indexes to the enhanced censuses will be free on for a limited time as they are completed. Indexes will also be available for free on

Allen Weinstein, the Archivist of the United States, welcomed this agreement as a significant benefit for researchers. He remarked that, “Census records are among the most important documents the American people have to trace their genealogy and know their family history. Having two of our partners working together to enhance the indexes and images of these essential documents will enable an unprecedented level of access and understanding.”

The first census exchanged is the 1900 U.S. Census. FamilySearch completed a 1900 index in addition to’s original. In the new index, FamilySearch added several new fields of searchable data, such as birth month and birth year, so individuals can search for ancestors more easily. The two indexes will be merged into an enhanced index, available on both sites. The new 1900 census images are now available on The enhanced 1900 index will be available for free for a limited time at and ongoing at will also provide FamilySearch its original 1920 U.S. Census index. Using the index as a first transcription, FamilySearch will create a new second index with added fields and arbitrate any discrepancies between the two indexes. The 1920 project is currently in progress. Individuals interested in helping create the improved index can volunteer at Once completed, the enhanced 1920 index will be available on both sites and will link back to images on

The 1850 through 1870 (partial) and 1880 and 1900 U.S. Censuses can be searched currently at; all publicly available U.S. Censuses are already available on

Tim Sullivan, president and CEO of The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of, said, “This collaboration represents a significant step forward in making family history research more accessible. The enhanced U.S. Federal Census Collection that will become available through this agreement is a gold mine for family history researchers, and we look forward to collaborating with FamilySearch in identifying other opportunities to help people discover their roots.”

“The U.S. Censuses are arguably the most important collection of U.S. genealogical records. FamilySearch is excited to see the complete, improved indexes of these collections freely available online over the next two years. And we look forward to working with to enhance access to additional, significant collections in the future,” said Jay Verkler, Managing Director for FamilySearch.


Media Contacts:

Paul Nauta
FamilySearch Manager of Public Affairs

Suzanne Bonner
Sr. PR Manager,


With 26,000 searchable databases and titles and nearly 3 million active users, is the No. 1 online source for family history information. Since its launch in 1997, has been the premier resource for family history, simplifying genealogical research for millions of people by providing them with many easy-to-use tools and resources to build their own unique family trees. is part of The Generations Network, Inc., a leading network of family-focused interactive properties, including,, and Family Tree Maker. In total, The Generations Network properties receive nearly 8.5 million unique visitors worldwide. (© comScore Media Metrix, March 2008). To easily begin researching your family history, visit

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization that maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources. Patrons may access resources online at or through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries. FamilySearch is a trademark of Intellectual Reserve, Inc. and is registered in the United States of America and other countries.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

August Classes on GenClass

Looking for a way to beat the summer heat and still make progress on your family history research? Consider signing up for a course with GenClass. The classes are great value for the price. Enjoy learning from home--save money on fuel by not having to travel anywhere.

Click on the class name for classes in the coming month:
08-Adoption Investigative Class - August 1, 2008 Detailed search advice and assistance for successfully locating and reuniting adoptees and birth families.Duration:4 Weeks from August 1, 2008

08-Australian and New Zealand Genealogy - August 1, 2008 Learn how to research your Australian and New Zealand family, even from a distanceDuration:4 Weeks from August 1, 2008

08-Basic English Research - August 1, 2008 Learn how to start researching your English ancestors - historical background, geography, finding the "bones" of your family.Duration:4 Weeks from August 1, 2008

08-Canadian Research - Part 2 - August 1, 2008 Part 2 builds on Part 1 and advances your research using the most helpful records – with lots of practical search tips, tricks, and advice.Duration:4 Weeks from August 1, 2008

08-Eastern European Research: Part 1 - August 1, 2008 This class will continue on from the basic Eastern European research class, focusing on how to expand your research beyond your own family into a more community-oriented protocol.Duration:4 Weeks from August 1, 2008

08-Family Tree Maker 2008 - The Basics - August 1, 2008 Help finding your way around this new Family Tree Maker program, as well as learning how to enter your information including names, dates, media and sources.Duration:4 Weeks from August 1, 2008

08-Jump Start your Genealogy! - August 1, 2008 Just where do you start if you are interested in your family tree? - detailed instructionsDuration:4 Weeks from August 1, 2008

08-Lost Friends and Family Investigative Class - August 1, 2008 Detailed search advice and assistance on the methods to use for successfully tracing "lost" relatives and friends.Duration:4 Weeks from August 1, 2008

08-Northeastern United States Genealogy - August 1, 2008 Research in the NE states is fundamental to the trees of many Americans.Duration:4 Weeks from August 1, 2008

08-Salt Lake City: Part 2 - August 1, 2008 Access the largest genealogical library in the world. Continuing on from Part 1, this course takes you into the sections that most people never use - and what a mistake that is!Duration:4 Weeks from August 1, 2008

Click here to register.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Back to this Blog

It's been awhile since I've posted to this blog. To say that I have been busy is an understatement! I just got back from attending a family reunion in Pittsburgh. I've been working on writing assignments, book projects, setting up for future speaking engagements, and last but not least, planning the upcoming 2008 FEEFHS Conference in Pittsburgh, PA August 1-3. So unfortunately, blogging has been put on the back burner. I anticipate this pace to continue for a couple more weeks (until after the conference).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Last Day for 2008 FEEFHS Conference Early Bird Registration Discount

This is the last call for the early registration discount for the 2008 FEEFHS conference, August 1-3, Pittsburgh Airport Marriott Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to learn from the top experts in the field of East and Central European genealogy, online databases, DNA testing and more, or to hear Steve Morse, creator of the “One-Step Genealogical Search Tools” who will be the plenary speaker on Friday, August 1st.

To register, go to: