Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch Answers Questions on Partnerships & LDS Access

The following is from the FamilySearch Blog.

Questions and Answers about FamilySearch Partners

February 26, 2014 By 

On February 6, 2014, FamilySearch announced a series of agreements with Ancestry, findmypast, and MyHeritage to accelerate the delivery of freely searchable genealogical records to family history researchers. These agreements are in line with the FamilySearch mission to publish online as many freely available, searchable genealogical records as possible.
The agreements are best understood in light of the overall pace at which searchable records are currently being delivered on Notwithstanding the astounding success of the FamilySearch indexing program and the tireless dedication of hundreds of thousands of volunteers, it will still take many generations to index and publish just the records contained in FamilySearch’s Granite Mountain Records Vault. This estimate does not account for the more than 35 million new images of records that are digitized each month—and that rate is increasing.
FamilySearch indexing, is, at best, only a partial solution to the challenge of making searchable records available in a timely fashion. Clearly, there is a need for additional, creative approaches to providing indexed records, which is why it makes sense to partner with leading commercial genealogy providers such as Ancestry, Archives, findmypast, Fold3, and MyHeritage. Working together, FamilySearch and its partners will bring billions of currently unsearchable and unavailable records to patrons decades before these records would otherwise become available.
Some people have questions about how this collaboration will all come about and what it means to volunteers. Below are answers to some of the most common questions.
Q.        Will records indexed by FamilySearch indexing volunteers continue to be freely available to all patrons?
A.        Yes. FamilySearch volunteers index and arbitrate with the understanding that their contribution will be made freely available to others. These partner agreements will not change this practice.
Q.        Will FamilySearch indexing continue to be a viable means to produce indexed records?
A.        Yes. In fact, FamilySearch is making a substantial investment to develop a new, web-based version of the indexing program that will streamline the process of creating indexed records and will enhance the indexing experience for volunteers. More volunteers are constantly needed, especially those with skills in languages other than English.
Q.        What exactly do the partners bring that will accelerate the availability of indexed records?
A.        The partners are helping us publish searchable records that would not otherwise be indexed for decades. In most instances, FamilySearch digitizes and publishes the images, and the partner pays a commercial company to index the records.
Q.        Will the records indexed by the partners be freely available?
A.        When the partner creates the index, FamilySearch allows for a period in which the index and images are available only on the partner site to allow the partner to recover the investment it made in creating the index. After this restricted period has passed, FamilySearch is able to publish both the image and index on as well. Occasionally, due to restrictions placed on the records by archives, or due to other circumstances, the images may only be available for a fee on a partner site. Most of the time, images are free for everyone on FamilySearch.
Q.        How can someone get access to records that have been indexed by the partners earlier than the end of the restricted period?
A.        Part of the agreement with our partners stipulates that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will gain the ability to access the full collections of records published on their sites. These same sites are available free to all researchers in the Family History Library and our more than 4,700 family history centers worldwide. The other way to gain access at this point is to subscribe to the partner services.
Q.        Is this fair to volunteers who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
A.        These agreements take nothing away from volunteers who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All records publicly indexed through FamilySearch indexing are still free and will remain available on without a fee.
Further, donations from Church members fund FamilySearch. These contributions and the efforts of thousands of missionaries who work without pay are the means by which FamilySearch has been able to gather records for more than 100 years and make these records available to the public at no cost through, at the free Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and at the more than 4,700 family history centers around the world. This is an enormously expensive undertaking that is unparalleled in history. Clearly, these people deserve our thanks for enabling this work to go forward and for making it possible for tens of millions of people to discover their ancestors.
Q.        I am a volunteer; is my work being sold to the commercial companies for them to profit from it?
A.        FamilySearch honors the sacrifice of its volunteers by freely sharing what it freely receives. Your contribution of time and effort will always be freely available on Under some circumstances, FamilySearch may deem it advisable to allow a commercial partner to offer records on their site that have been keyed by volunteers in order to make other records held by the partner freely available on In this case, the value of your contribution doubles by making even more records freely searchable by all.
Q.        Will FamilySearch continue to form these kinds of partnerships with commercial vendors?
A.        Yes. This collaboration is one of the many ways we will accelerate the delivery of family history resources and make them accessible to the world. As long as we can continue to create a win-win situation for the other players in the family history community, we will continue to invite them to join with us, not just to exchange records, but to continue to innovate and develop the next generation of tools to search, organize, and present these records as well.
Our hope is that we can continue to find ways to help the commercial companies to be successful so they will continue doing the innovative kinds of things that have made family history the exciting pursuit it is today.

SLCC Genealogy Course: Post #20 - Previous Research Assignment

I'm behind in my assignments for the Salt Lake Community College, Genealogy Course. Right before RootsTech I had an assignment that wasn't hard to do, it just took a lot of time to get done. Time is something I didn't have right then so I put off completing it. I am happy to report that things have settled down enough to get back on track again.

The assignment this week was to look for previous research that others had done on a person in my family. I selected my great-grandfather John Henry Weatherwax, Sr. born 3 Mar 1855 in Wilton, Saratoga, New York. We needed to create a Research Log in RootsMagic and record where we searched and the results. I have 14 different entries in the 7 page Research Log that I handed in. Let me just tell you it took FOREVER to go over the results in each search. With all said and done I really didn't find anything new that I hadn't already seen. Maybe I should have selected someone I knew nothing about.

The next step after the research was to create a SHORT Research Report. All it needed was three simply things.

1. Research Objective
2. Summary of searches
3. Conclusion

The hardest part for me was trying to make 14 research log entries into a SHORT report. I finally got it down to almost 2 pages. I had 2 lines spilling over to a third page but I didn't want to lower the font size any smaller to get it onto exactly 2 pages. To me 2 pages isn't exactly what I call SHORT either. Oh, well I'm sure I've over thought this whole thing way too much.

The fun part for me was the conclusion. It felt very professional to write up my findings and where I would start next in my research. I have been horrible about searching for one thing and running off on different leads for totally different people in my database. It was really nice to just focus on one person at a time. I do have notes on other things I observed so my findings will be helpful when working with other family members. As hard and time consuming as this assignment was, I rather enjoyed where it took me in the end.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Family Tree Rhapsody

From Ward Talent Show to a great family activity. The Wilson family shows us how to have fun with family history. Enjoy!

Friday, February 21, 2014 5 Million US Vital Records

The following is from Launches 5 Million U.S. Vital Records is pleased to announce the release of more than 5 million birth, marriage, and death records to its members. If your family tree reaches into Alabama, Arizona, California or the District of Columbia, you will want to search in these records. The new collections include:
Alabama, Marriage Index covers 1816 to 1957. Information varies from county to county but may include the names of the bride and groom, marriage date, marriage place, and the names of the parents. Coverage varies by county.
Arizona, Birth and Christening Index covers 1907 to 1917. Information may include the child's name, gender, names of the parents, birth date, birthplace, and christening date. Coverage varies by county.
Arizona, Marriage Index covers 1888 to 1908. Information varies from county to county but may include the names of the bride and groom, marriage date, marriage place, and the names of the parents. Coverage varies by county. The majority of records are from Arizona, Cochise, Maricopa, and Yavapai counties.
Arizona, Death and Burial Index covers 1910 to 1911 and 1933 to 1994. Information varies from county to county but may include the of the deceased, gender, parents' names, spouse's name, death date, place of death, date of burial, and place of burial. This collection includes records from Arizona, Cochise, Maricopa, and Yavapai counties.
California, Birth and Christening Index covers 1812 to 1988. Coverage varies by county. Information may include the child's name, gender, names of the parents, birth date, birthplace, and christening date.
California, Marriage Index covers 1850 to 1945. Information varies from county to county but may include the names of the bride and groom, marriage date, marriage place, and the names of the parents. Coverage varies by county.
District of Columbia, Birth and Christening Index covers 1830 to 1955. Information may include the child's name, gender, names of the parents, birth date, birthplace, and christening date.
District of Columbia, Marriage Index covers 1830 to 1921. Information varies from county to county but may include the names of the bride and groom, marriage date, marriage place, and the names of the parents.
District of Columbia, Death and Burial Index covers 1840 to 1964. Information varies from county to county but may include the of the deceased, gender, parents' names, spouse's name, death date, place of death, date of burial, and place of burial. members have access to more than 2.6 billion records. The Collections page lists the latest additions. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

FamilySearch Works to Put the World’s Historical Records Online in One Generation

The following is from FamilySearch.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—FamilySearch International (online at is leading the way in digitizing and providing access to billions of historical genealogical records by collaborating with commercial family history companies and the online community. This collaboration will carve centuries off the time needed to increase access to the world’s historical records, enabling millions more people to quickly discover, share, and preserve family memories for generations.
Infographic: Putting the World’s Historical Records Online in One Generation
Recent announcements of agreements with commercial family history companies are some of the first installments in fulfilling FamilySearch’s desire to remove the traditional barriers to genealogical research. FamilySearch CEO, Dennis Brimhall, explains that joining forces with other organizations, where possible, brings significantly more financial investment and technological resources to the family history industry than the nonprofit community could provide on its own.
FamilySearch plans to collaborate on digitization projects with commercial family history companies to publish new historical records collections on that have never seen the light of the Internet. Working with individual industry leaders such as Ancestry.comArchives.comfindmypastFold3, and MyHeritage will also increase and broaden access to the records FamilySearch has already published online. FamilySearch plans to involve many other interested organizations that will provide records, tools, and other resources to allow more people to build, preserve, and share their family trees online.
In a keynote address at the RootsTech 2013 conference, Brimhall shared FamilySearch’s vision to empower people globally to share their family memories and save them for future generations. “Imagine if your ancestors had easy access to computers, digital cameras, and family history websites that allowed them to upload, preserve, and share important family memories through photos, stories, and vital names, dates, and places? How amazing would that be?” Brimhall said.
FamilySearch and its predecessors have been preserving and providing access to the world’s family history records for over 100 years. FamilySearch volunteers have indexed just over three billion records in extraction and online indexing projects, but they have only scratched the surface.
“For the top countries with the highest online research demand, using our existing resources and volunteers, it will take up to 300 years to index the 5.3 billion records that we already have,” Brimhall noted. “That means you and me and the next 10 generations of our posterity would not live to personally benefit from them. And there are another 60 billion records that still need to be digitally preserved. We can do significantly better by working together with other organizations and as a community.”
As new historical record collections are published under the latest agreements with FamilySearch’s affiliates, they will be available on and for free, or to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch offers free public access to and through 4,715 local FamilySearch-owned family history centers worldwide. Additional details regarding expanded records access will be announced sometime in 2014, when they are available.
Interesting Facts Addressed by FamilySearch Community Initiatives
  • Approximately 28 billion people lived on the earth in recently recorded history—from A.D. 1500 to 2010.
  • Information for an estimated one billion unique individuals may exist today in online family trees—a fraction of how many still need to be linked.
  • The bulk of online family history research today is focused on the records of North America, Europe, and Latin America. Less than seven percent of these records are searchable online today.
  • An estimated 60 billion historical records still exist to be digitally preserved and indexed.
  • Only eight percent of FamilySearch’s current online indexing volunteer workforce is non-English speaking. The majority of historical records to be made searchable online in the future will require volunteers who read non-English records.
  • With current volunteers and resources, it could take up to 300 years to make the current inventory of historical genealogical records searchable online. This time can be reduced to 20 to 30 years with more business and community involvement. Disclaimer: FamilySearch does not establish relationships with third parties or take other steps that may be in violation of the terms of contractual obligations. As a result, FamilySearch may not be able to provide some information, records, indexes, or other data to third parties or the public.
About FamilySearch
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.orgor through over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

AncestorCloud: Sharing Made Simply - a RootsTech Vendor

The following is from AncestorCloud.

The two biggest headaches genealogists have (well, after the obvious one of not being able to find that elusive ancestor) are how to safely store all those photos and documents, and then how to effectively and simply share them. You try to find ways to showcase to family and friends the research that you are finding and connect with other genealogists. And sharing your information gets downright expensive and time-consuming when you’re handing out dozens of burned CDs and thumb drives, and reams of copied genealogies.

Ancestor Cloud answers those problems, plus much more. Ancestor Cloud lets you store your documents and photos offsite, in the cloud. Its crowning feature is that it lets you share your files with a simple emailed invitation to family and friends. They access only the sections of your files you invite them to, and you never burn another CD again.

Ancestor Cloud is designed with networking in mind. You choose whether to post your information for the whole community or just your family. Gain the interest of family and friends by showcasing your research in a simple, easy-to-access way. Discuss photos and documents you post with others. Connect with other genealogists, and learn how they organize and store their research. Browse public records on the site by type, category, user, or chronology. Expand your own cloud of files from others. Keep in the research loop with the friends you’re following and see what they’re uploading.

Check out the prototype at today. Leave your email address and you’ll soon receive an invitation to join. Meanwhile, get your records ready because they’ll soon be heading safely to the cloud, and you’ll be building a network that can take your research to a new level.

RootsMagic Webinars are Now Indexed

The following is from RootsMagic.

RootsMagic Webinars are Now Indexed

One of the free training options we provide for RootsMagic is our free online classes (webinars).  Not only are all of our webinars free, but you can watch them anytime, day or night.  Just go to that page, select the one you want and start watching.

But one of the biggest issues is that many of the webinars are 60-90 minutes long, and sometimes you are only interested in one part of the webinar.  In the past you had to start up the webinar and scan through or watch the entire thing just to find the part you were interested in.

Those days are over.  We have just put up PDF indexes for all of the webinars so that you can search the index to find which point in which webinar you want.  Each index covers about 10 webinars, and lists the time (minute and second) where various topics occur within each webinar.  You can then start the webinar and jump to that time in the webinar to watch just the part you are interested in.

We have webinars for every user, whether you are a beginner just getting started, or a power user looking for more tips on RootsMagic tools.
To check out the indexes or list of webinars, just visit:

Free Tutorial Videos at RootsMagic TV
We have dozens of short tutorial videos available now, and there are several ways to get to RootsMagic TV to view them...
  1. Go to
  2. Go to our website and click the Learn menu item.  There is a submenu to go to RootsMagic TV.
  3. Do "Help > Learning Center" from the RootsMagic program menu and select RootsMagic TV (you can also get to our webinars page from that same Learning Center screen).
If you would like to suggest topics for us to cover in these short videos, just email your ideas

RootsMagic Android App Is Here!

The following is from RootsMagic.  Sorry I'm a little late getting this on my blog. The RootsMagic Android App was released at RootsTech. 

Android App Is Here!

With more and more devices and operating systems becoming popular, we are always asked, “When will RootsMagic be available for _______?” We are working hard to make RootsMagic available on whatever device you use, wherever you go. RootsMagic is already available for Windows and iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and even the Mac (with help). Today, we are pleased to addAndroid to that list!

So now all you Android-gadget-groupies can easily take and show off your family history with you wherever you go.  RootsMagic lets you carry your genealogy on your Android device!  It’s fast, easy, and free!

The app provides many useful features including:
  • Access your actual RootsMagic files via iTunes or Dropbox – RootsMagic for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch uses your actual RootsMagic files- no conversion needed. You can copy as many files as you want right on your device via iTunes or Dropbox. Users of other genealogy software such as PAF, Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree, and others can convert their files into viewable RootsMagic files using our free desktop software.
  • Easily search and explore your family tree – Familiar Pedigree, Family, Descendant, and Individual Views help you quickly explore your family tree. You can also search for specific people by name or record number.
  • View pictures, notes, and sources – All of your RootsMagic data is available inside the app. Touch any name to see more information about that person as well as family members. All of a person’s information is there including notes, sources, and pictures.
  • Lists – Browse lists of your information and view more information about sources, to-do items, research logs, media, addresses, repositories, correspondences, and places.
  • Tools and Calculators – useful tools to assist you in your research including a perpetual calendar, date calculator, relationship calculator, and soundex calculator
The app is available right now on Google Play and the Amazon appstore. More information is available at

Legacy Family Tree - adds FamilySearch-Certified Tools

The following is from the Legacy News.

Free Legacy Family Tree update now available (version - adds FamilySearch-Certified Tools

We have another great new update for our Legacy Family Tree 8 users (free) for you to download. This update adds new FamilySearch-certified tools such as Sources, Discussions, Change History, and more. It also addresses minor issues that you have reported since our initial release of Legacy 8.
See the download instructions below for step-by-step instructions on installing this update.
What's New
FamilySearch Family Tree Interaction. FamilySearch's Family Tree is a collaborative online tree where researchers interact with a large, unified database of connected genealogical information. It is one of the must-visit sites to compare what you know about an ancestor with what others have shared. Legacy's FamilySearch tools provide the ability to:
  • Check and compare the FamilySearch Family Tree for possible matches with your ancestor.
  • Link your Legacy person to the Family Tree person so Legacy can monitor for any changes/updates made by other researchers. Legacy can also "Auto Match" your Legacy file.
  • Add your Legacy person to the Family Tree for others to view. Maybe you will find a new cousin or two!
  • Share information you might have about an ancestor already in the Family Tree. You can help fill in the gaps or missing information for someone else.
  • Download information that others have published. A complete citation is added to any information you download so you know exactly where it came from.
  • Know how "complete" your genealogy is. The percentage tracker can help you manage your genealogy projects so you are not so overwhelmed.
  • LDS members:
    • Reserve and print Family Ordinance Requests (FORs)
    • Organize and share ordinance cards with friends and family
To get started, turn on the FamilySearch option in Legacy by going to Options > Customize > General Settings > and turn on the option to "Integrate with FamilySearch". Of course, this tool is completely optional. (cont'd)

Free Passes to RootsTech 2015

The following is from RootsTech.

Rootstech - February 6-8, 2014

Save the Date
Join us for RootsTech 2015, February 11-14, 2015
Believe it or not, we are already making plans for next year and look forward to making it even bigger and better. We are excited to be teaming up with the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) to offer two great conferences in one amazing venue! Registration will open late summer 2014. More information coming soon!

RootsTech 2015 Call for Presentations

You could be a RootsTech presenter! We had an amazing lineup of speakers this year sharing their expertise in the industry. We are always looking for new teachers, original topics and fresh ideas. Look for the official call for presentations coming this spring. 

RootsTech 2014 Video Archives

Check out the video archives of some of the most popular classes from RootsTech 2014. Be sure to share your favorite classes with your friends on social media. Also, check out the RootsTech 2014 YouTube channel for some great snippets and videos from the exciting conference. 

Family Storytelling
FREE Passes to RootsTech 2015!
Now that RootsTech is over, we know you have more than a few to-do items on your list of better ways to accomplish your family history work.  

We're giving away five all-access passes to RootsTech 2015. To be entered in the contest, go to and find an article you enjoy or a project that you plan to do this year. Share the link on any social media site with the hashtags #RootsTech and #FamilyStorytelling. You'll be automatically entered into the contest and five winners will randomly be drawn. Good luck!

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Upcoming ISGS Webinars

The following is from the Illinois State Genealogical Society.

Join us on Tuesday, March 11, at 8:00 PM Central, where Debbie Parker Wayne will present Going Nuclear: DNA Discoveries to Trace All Lines of Descent.  To attend this webinar, register at

Last week's webinar, Printed Legends and Missing Footnotes: Dissecting 19th and 20th Century Compiled Genealogies, presented by D. Joshua Taylor, is now available to ISGS members in the Members Section of the ISGS website (

Upcoming Webinars
March 11 – Going Nuclear: DNA Discoveries to Trace All Lines of Descent
Presenter:  Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL

April 8 – Using Canadian Records to Find Your Midwestern Ancestor
Presenter:  Kathryn Lake Hogan, PLCGS, UE

May 13 – Organizing (or Reorganizing!) That Family Reunion
Presenter:  James M. Beidler

For the complete list of upcoming webinars, visit

Support the ISGS Webinar program by making a financial contribution, which will help ISGS expand its educational offerings in a virtual manner.  To learn why we need your help, or to make a contribution, please visit

Please direct any questions to the ISGS Education Committee at

The 2014 ISGS Webinar Series is Sponsored by FamilySearch (

MyHeritage and BillionGraves team up and launch international App

The following is from BillionGraves. I just posted the press release from MyHeritage on this, but they read slightly different, so I am sharing both. 

Groundbreaking multilingual mobile app will power international crowd-sourcing initiative
We are pleased to announce a new collaboration with MyHeritage to digitally preserve the world’s cemeteries.
Download BillionGraves Android
In this collaboration, MyHeritage calls upon its tens of millions of users along with millions of other family history enthusiasts around the world to work with BillionGraves to digitally preserve cemeteries around the world and capture their GPS locations
BillionGraves and MyHeritage will work together to make the BillionGraves website and application available in 25 languages Along with other features, the BillionGraves app and website will also support Gregorian, Hebrew and Julian dates. The addition of these features makes the BillionGraves app the first of its kind to be made available to the entire world. 
The BillionGraves content is available for free on MyHeritage SuperSearch. In addition, MyHeritage is matching it for free to its 27 million family trees on MyHeritage and Geni.

Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage said
“We’re thrilled to embark on this global initiative with BillionGraves. Gravestones are among the most valuable information sources for family history research, and although there are many thousands of cemeteries worldwide, most of them have never been documented, and their information is not available online.  Time is chipping away at the gravestones and many are becoming unreadable over the years so it’s up to our generation to preserve them.”
Hudson Gunn, President of BillionGraves said
“We’re delighted to work with MyHeritage on digitizing the world’s cemeteries. At BillionGraves we are working to provide a comprehensive family history database for records and images from the world’s cemeteries—but it’s not something we can do alone. With MyHeritage’s support in mobilizing its massive user community and working with us to launch in 25 languages, we’ll be able to provide incredible value for millions of families and preserve this valuable data for generations to come.”
For more details about this partnership,  read the official press release on Business Wire or visit the MyHeritage Blog.

MyHeritage and BillionGraves team up to digitally preserve the world's cemeteries

The following is from MyHeritage.

MyHeritage and BillionGraves team up to digitally preserve the world's cemeteries

Groundbreaking multilingual mobile app will power international crowdsourcing initiative

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI & KAYSVILLE, Utah – Wednesday 19 February, 2014 - MyHeritage, the popular online family history network, has partnered with BillionGraves to launch a global crowdsourcing initiative to preserve the world’s cemeteries.

BillionGraves is a free iOS and Android application that lets users easily photograph and document gravestones, providing an important source of information for people intrigued about their ancestors and family history. Using patent-pending technology, BillionGraves is the only mobile application of its kind. With the help of MyHeritage, the app will be available in 25 languages, and will support Gregorian, Hebrew and Julian dates. It records the GPS locations of gravestones to make them easy to find and volunteers can easily see which areas of any cemetery remain undocumented, to maximize efficiency and avoid duplication. The gravestone photographs are then transcribed by volunteers on the BillionGraves website, resulting in searchable digital data.

With a community of tens of millions of family history enthusiasts all around the world, MyHeritage brings a vast global volunteer base for collecting and transcribing gravestone photos using the BillionGraves application.

All records collected are made available for free on the BillionGraves and MyHeritage websites. The partnership with BillionGraves brings major benefits for families using MyHeritage to explore their past, as all users will receive free Record Matches – alerts about gravestone records that have been automatically matched to their ancestors, making it easy to make new discoveries. In addition to the photographs and GPS coordinates of the gravestones, an index of corresponding information, such as dates of birth and death, close family relatives and epitaphs, is made available to search for free on MyHeritage's search engine for historical records, SuperSearch.

“We’re thrilled to embark on this global initiative with BillionGraves", said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Gravestones are among the most valuable information sources for family history research, and although there are many thousands of cemeteries worldwide, most of them have never been documented, and their information is not available online.  Time is chipping away at the gravestones and many are becoming unreadable over the years, so it’s up to our generation to preserve them.”
“We’re delighted to work with MyHeritage on digitizing the world’s cemeteries”, said Hudson Gunn, President of BillionGraves. “At BillionGraves we are working to provide a comprehensive family history database for records and images from the world’s cemeteries—but it’s not something we can do alone. With MyHeritage’s support in mobilizing its massive user community and working with us to launch in 25 languages, we’ll be able to provide incredible value for millions of families and preserve this valuable data for generations to come.”
Over the coming weeks, MyHeritage users will receive documentation about the project and will be able to download the application via a special website designed for this project.

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is a family history network helping millions of families around the world discover and share their legacy online. As technology thought leaders and innovators, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s more accessible, exciting, and easier than ever before. MyHeritage empowers its global community of users with social crowdsourcing tools, a massive library of historical content, and powerful search and matching technologies. The service is available in 40 languages. For more information, visit

About BillionGraves

With more than 7 million headstone records created by 70,000 volunteers in just two years, BillionGraves is the trusted resource for accurate GPS gravestone and burial record data on the web. BillionGraves’ mobile GPS tracking technology in its mobile application perpetuates this progress, bringing a wealth of genealogical information right to your fingertips.
Disclaimer: BillionGraves has not been acquired by MyHeritage and is still owned and operated by Otter Creek Holdings. BillionGraves has been and will continue to be a FREE resource for all.

UGA South Davis Fair

The following is from Utah Genealogical Association.

Registration is now open for the UGA South Davis Family History Fair, April 25-26, 2014  -  17th year of this Great Community Event.
To be held again at 
Woods Cross High School
600 West 2200 South
Woods Cross, UT 84087

For more info  visit -

Friday, April 25 Evening - 7:00 PM   Free to the public!  Youth welcome!

Friday evening's keynote address will be by DARROLL YOUNG, a youth motivational speaker for 10 years, graduated from USU and has a Master’s degree in public administration from BYU. He has served as an officer in the military through deployments in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and was the quarterback for USU when they won the Big West Championship in 1998. He was also on the Air Force basketball team and is an Eagle Scout. He and his wife, Shara, have 5 children and live in Saratoga Springs.

Saturday, April 26 - Starts 8:00 AM
Saturday’s program will start with a keynote address by DIANE C. LOOSLE, AG, CG, currently the Director of the Family History Library and FamilySearch Centers worldwide. She has a BA in History with an emphasis in Family History and Genealogy, an MBA, and has worked for FamilySearch for 20+ years.
Also on Saturday - 100 + classes on many different subjects relating to family history and great vendors will be showing all the newest in family history products.

Would You Like To Volunteer at the Fair?

SIGN UP AS A VOLUNTEER to help out at the Fair in exchange for FREE registration by contacting Ginny Ackerson at AND by clicking the Volunteer button on your registration form.  There are several areas that you may be able to help out with including registration, room monitors or food distribution among others.  If your application is accepted, your registration will be comped for the conference.

Timpanogos Storytelling Conference

The following is from Timpanogos Storytelling Institute. 

Free Workshops, Strong Business Focus at this Year’s Conference

PROVO – February 18, 2014 – The Timpanogos Storytelling Conference is offering a free workshop for people to learn how to tell their family stories from Syd Lieberman, a storyteller who is currently crafting stories for the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center and then teaching the 180 docents and volunteers how to tell those stories.

The commission from the visitor’s center isn’t Lieberman’s first appointment to historical storytelling with a prominent establishment. He’s been sought after by NASA, the Smithsonian, Disney, and the Kennedy Center, among others, to tell their stories. And now, he’s going to share at the Conference how to create the same type of memorable stories in individual family trees.

“We hope that Syd’s considerable expertise and experience will draw a new crowd into storytelling,” said Wendy Gourley, artistic director for the Conference. “We believe that storytelling is such a powerful tool for families that we want to get the word out to every-day people who may not ever want to get on stage and tell a story, but who want to use stories to strengthen their family.”

Lieberman’s free workshop—“Family Stories from Soup to Nuts” on Friday, March 14, at 10 a.m.—is one of four free events at this year’s Conference: Keynote speaker Noa Baum, a Jerusalem native with a unique perspective on conflict resolution, will share stories at the Orem Public Library on Thursday, March 13, at 7 p.m. Educators can gather insights about successfully implementing their curriculum from award-winning storyteller and teaching artist Sherry Norfolk on Saturday, March 15, at 10 a.m. Youth and adults alike will enjoy listening to our nation’s best youth storytellers at the National Youth Storytelling Showcase, hosted by Andy Offutt Irwin, on Saturday, March 15, at 12:15 p.m.

The Conference offers attendees the chance to explore the power of storytelling in seven areas: home and family, education, healing, writing, business, youth, and performance. This broad approach to storytelling makes the Conference unique because it doesn’t focus on only the performance aspect of storytelling. In fact, this year’s business storytelling line-up is stronger than ever with a full day of workshops, rather than the two workshops in previous years. Some of this year’s business storytelling experts come from out of state, and others are respected local business leaders, such as Shawn Moon and Bill Bennett.

“We know that using story in business is a hot topic, but there is not a dedicated business conference built around storytelling and using stories in business,” Gourley said. “This year we’ve created a business conference within the larger Conference by providing a full offering of business workshops. The business storytelling classes are often the favorite classes for many people because they have a broad application. We are all part of organizations: church organizations, community organizations, family organizations.”

The free workshops and the focused business line-up are significant, and they are only a sample of the rich variety of information available throughout the Conference. Pricing for the Conference is flexible, even down to purchasing only one workshop or event if desired, such as the big Friday evening concert with Kevin Kling and Syd Lieberman at the Timpanogos High School auditorium.

The 8th annual Timpanogos Storytelling Conference runs Thursday, March 13, through Saturday, March 15, 2014. The theme for this year's Conference is “Celebrate Your Story.” More than 1,400 people from across the United States will gather at the Provo Marriott Hotel & Conference Center and at other venues in the area to learn how to incorporate storytelling in various aspects of their lives, and more than 10,000 Utah children will benefit through the outreach programs provided by the Conference and its storytellers. Throughout the Conference, nationally known and local storytellers guide audiences to effectively apply storytelling in the following areas: home and family, education, healing, writing, business, youth, and performance.

The Conference hosts the National Youth Storytelling Showcase, which is the culmination of many hours in storytelling and competitions for youth tellers from across the United States. Each year, thousands of youth participate in storytelling competitions. In the fall, each state submits their top five youth storytellers. Eight to ten youth storytellers are selected to be the National Torchbearers and are invited to travel to Utah for the Conference to learn, perform, and celebrate their accomplishments. Afterward, these talented youth will represent youth storytelling for the next year.

For more information on the free events and the Conference, visit The business workshops are all day Friday, March 14. For more information, visit