Friday, October 30, 2015

RootsTech 2016 Announces Opening Day Keynotes, Bruce Feiler and Paula Williams Madison

SALT LAKE CITY, October 27, 2015—RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, announced today the first three keynote speakers in its all-star lineup for RootsTech 2016. The first general session (Thursday, February 4, 2016) will feature three inspiring speakers, which include New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler, award-winning journalist Paula Williams Madison, and the president and CEO of FamilySearch International, Stephen Rockwood.

Bruce Feiler is a bestselling author and columnist for The New York Times, where he writes the “This Life” column about today’s families. He is also the writer and presenter of the PBS Series Walking the Bible and Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler.
His latest book, The Secrets of Happy Families, reviews best practices for modern-day parents from some of the country’s most creative minds, including top designers in Silicon Valley, elite peace negotiators, and the Green Berets.
 “RootsTech is the premier event for people who care about family history,” Feiler said. “I've become a passionate believer in the importance of telling your family history as a foundational tool for having a happy family. I can't think of a better audience to share my own story with.”

Paula Williams Madison is an award-winning journalist who is a former NBC executive. Currently, Madison serves as chairman and CEO of Madison Media Management LLC, a media consultancy company based in Los Angeles with global reach. She’s been named one of the “75 Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America” by Black Enterprise Magazine and was recently honored by the East West Players and AARP with their Visionary Award.

After a successful career in news journalism, Madison retired in 2011 and embarked on a search for her grandfather Samuel Lowe, who returned to his native China after living in Jamaica. Madison produced a documentary film on the topic, Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China. In April of this year, HarperCollins published a memoir of the journey Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem.

Attendees can expect to hear about Madison’s compelling journey, including the resources that helped her. “I used to research and try to locate my family in China. This system will help people like me find their families,” said Madison. “Family to me means bloodline—past, present, and future. You have to honor the past as you live in the present so that you can guarantee a future for your family.”

Stephen Rockwood is the new president and CEO of FamilySearch International and managing director for the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Prior to joining FamilySearch, Rockwood was a successful entrepreneur, creating unique service offerings for worldwide customers and building several businesses from the ground up. 

 “We look forward to another great RootsTech conference as we invite attendees to discover their families in a world-class setting. We are thrilled to welcome Bruce Feiler and Paula Williams Madison,” Rockwood said. “Their personal experiences will be highly inspiring for many as we kick off this exciting conference.

Visit to reserve your seat now to hear Bruce Feiler, Paula Williams Madison, and Stephen Rockwood at the Thursday morning general session on February 4, 2016. Passes start at just $29.

RootsTech 2016 will be held on February 3–6 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

RootsTech Announces Thursday Morning Keynotes

The following is from RootsTech.

RootsTech Announces Thursday Morning Keynotes
We are thrilled to announce the Thursday keynote speaker lineup for RootsTech 2016, happening at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on February 3–6.

Paula Williams Madison
Author, Filmmaker, and Retired NBC Executive

Paula MadisonPaula Madison is chairman and CEO of Madison Media Management, a retired NBCUniversal executive, and the author and filmmaker of Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China, a personal story about discovering family connections as she discovers her long-lost grandfather.

Bruce Feiler
Best-selling Author and New York Times Columnist

Bruce FeilerBruce Feiler is a New York Times best-selling author, columnist, and frequent contributor to NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. His most recent book, The Secrets of Happy Families, is the result of a personal three-year journey to find the smartest and most novel solutions to make his own family happier.

Stephen T. Rockwood
President and CEO of FamilySearch International

Steve RockwoodSteve Rockwood is the newly appointed president and CEO of FamilySearch International, the largest genealogy organization in the world and host of RootsTech 2016. Prior to working with FamilySearch, Steve was a successful entrepreneur, creating unique services for worldwide customers such as Disney and Citibank.

A 4-day RootsTech pass is now available at the promotional discount price of $169. Regularly priced at $249, that’s an $80 savings.*
A 4-day pass includes access to over 200 classes, a huge expo hall, evening events, and daily keynote sessions with inspiring speakers.
Join us and register today to experience RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, happening February 36, 2016, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Learn more about Paula Madison, Bruce Feiler, and Stephen Rockwood at
*Daily passes are available at a discounted price. Click here to view other RootsTech 2016 pass options.

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover, preserve, and share their family stories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.
For more information about RootsTech 2016, visit

New FamilySearch Collections - October 26, 2015

The following is from FamilySearch.

New FamilySearch Collections Update: October 26, 2015

Added images to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added images to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added images to an existing collection
New browsable image collection.
Help Us Publish More Free Records Online
Searchable historical records are made available on through the help of thousands of online volunteers worldwide. These volunteers transcribe (or index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are always needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published weekly online on Learn how you can volunteer to help provide free access to the world’s historical genealogical records online at
About FamilySearch International
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

MyHeritage Webinar & Chance to Win a Kindle!

The following is from MyHeritage.
Free Webinar: Discovering Our Ancestors' Daily Lives
Join us on Tuesday, November 3, 8:00 PM EST as MyHeritage genealogy expert Schelly Talalay Dardashti presents a webinar on "Discovering Our Ancestors' Daily Lives." Learn how to examine primary sources such as newspapers, censuses, military records and more to gain insights into the ins and outs of your ancestors' daily lives.
Sign up free today »
your story
Share Your Story for a Chance to Win a Kindle!
Have you made a new family connection or discovered new information about your family's past using MyHeritage? We'd love to hear about it! Email us the details at for a chance to win.
Learn more »

New Swedish Records on MyHeritage

The following is from MyHeritage.

Swedish Household Examination Books
New Swedish Records Now Online!
We've just completed digitizing an exclusive collection of Swedish Household Records, spanning the years 1880-1920. It contains 46.5 million records and it is available for searching online only on MyHeritage! These annual records include information on births, deaths, marriages, addresses, changes in household composition and more. If you have ancestors who lived in Sweden, this is a dream collection for you.
Search now »

The 1939 Register - Just 3 days to go

The following is from FindMyPast.


The 1939 Register will be made available online for the very first time on the 2nd of November 2015, only on FindMyPast.

What is the 1939 Register?

Simply put, it's the most comprehensive survey ever taken of the civil population of England and Wales. Taken at the outbreak of war in September 1939, it includes the personal details of 41 million people: details the government urgently needed to issue identity cards, and ration books, coordinate conscription and more.
The 1931 census was destroyed during the Second World War, and the conflict meant the 1941 census could not be taken. The 1939 Register is, therefore, the only surviving record of the people of England and Wales in the 30 year period 1921-1951, and fills the gap left by the missing censuses. For family historians as well as anyone interested in 20th century Britain, the information it contains is invaluable.
For the first time ever online, the 1939 Register (including names, addresses, occupations, marital statuses and more) will be available for you to explore on FindMyPast in just a few days' time. Records will be available to purchase for $10.95 per household, or $37.95 for our 5 household bundle ($7.59 per house). FindMyPast subscribers will be entitled to a discount, which we will email you about.

Not just a record set

The 1939 Register is our richest ever record set. When you unlock a household, you gain access to a transcript and an image as well as a wealth of other fascinating information, including:
  • Maps that allow you to travel through time, showing you how England and Wales have changed over the past 100 years on a street-by-street basis
  • Hundreds of images of life in 1930s England and Wales which have never been available online before
  • Access to local and national newspapers, providing an insight into what life was like in your area in 1939
  • Facts & figures, comparing average ages and popular names in your area compared to the rest of the country
I hope it proves a vital resource for your family history research. You can find out lots more about the Register, read personal stories of those who were there at the time, and contribute your own stories of the #eveofwar on the1939 section of our blog.

Legacy unveils next generation of online genealogy education

The following is from Legacy

New mobile-responsive site with new playlist, searching, browsing, and indexed jump-to features now available for all 275 genealogy courses
SURPRISE, Arizona; October 27, 2015—Millennia Corporation, a leader in family history software, today announced the release of a brand new responsive, mobile-friendly website for, the leading source for online genealogy education. The new site makes it easy to find topics of interest among the now-275 courses in the library. Genealogists will now be able to watch courses on their smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices.
See what's new in the quick video tour
Other new features
Search for your topic or speaker and the related upcoming webinars, courses, presenters or products instantly appear.
Every course is now indexed so you can look ahead or quickly jump to the topic of interest (new for subscribers).
Real life get in the way? The new Resume Watching feature lets you pick up where you left off (new for subscribers).
See something you don't want to miss? Add it to your playlist and watch when you're ready (new for subscribers).
The site is now mobile-responsive. Watch in your browser, your smart phone, or tablet. No need to re-size, we've done it for you.
Not a member yet?
Legacy Family Tree Webinars provides genealogy education where-you-are through live and recorded online webinars and videos. Learn from the best instructors in genealogy including Thomas MacEntee, Judy Russell, J. Mark Lowe, Lisa Louise Cooke, Megan Smolenyak, Tom Jones, and many more. Learn at your convenience. On-demand classes are available 24 hours a day! All you need is a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection.
Subscribe today and get access to all this:
  • All 275 courses in the library (410 hours of quality genealogy education)
  • New courses added every month 
  • 1,197 pages of instructors' handouts
  • Chat logs from the live webinars
  • Additional 5% off anything at
  • Chance for a bonus subscribers-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Additional members-only courses
  • Playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features
It's just $49.95/year or $9.95/month.
Free Webinars
Our public live webinars are all free. Click here to see what's on the schedule.

ISGS Announces 2016 FREE Webinar Lineup

The following is from the Illinois State Genealogical Society.

Illinois State Genealogical Society
The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) is happy to announce the continuation of its popular FREE monthly webinar program in 2016. The 2016 ISGS Webinar Series would not be possible without the generous contributions received throughout 2015 and the generous sponsorship provided by FamilySearch.

Registration for the 2016 webinars is now open! You’ll find a fantastic lineup of presentations and speakers and we hope you will join us for a wonderful educational experience.

The ISGS webinars, which are live lectures/presentations that you can attend via a computer with an internet connection, are held as a live broadcast on the second Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM Central. The live broadcast of each webinars is FREE to the public. ISGS members who are unable to attend the live broadcast are able to access recordings of all past webinars through the Members Section of the ISGS website, to watch at their convenience.

ISGS 2016 Webinar Schedule

So what does 2016 have in store? Here is our amazing lineup!

January 12 – Organizing Your Genealogy Research Process
Presenter: Drew Smith

February 9 – Reconstructing Black Community Life Through Benevolent Societies
Presenter: Angela Walton-Raji

March 8 – Researching in Archives & Libraries: Do’s and Don’ts
Presenter: Melissa Barker

April 12 – Letters, Ledgers, and Lodge Books: Finding Ancestors with Ethnic Resources
Presenter: Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

May 10 – Polish Immigration to America - When, Where, Why and How
Presenter: Stephen Szabados

June 14 – Using Social Media to Break Through Brick Walls
Presenter: Amie Tenant

July 12 – Special Delivery: Using US Postmaster Documents in Family History Research
Presenter: Jean Hibben, CG

August 9 – Misbegotten Children; Tracing the Family Lines of the Illegitimate
Presenter: Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG

September 13 – Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker: Using Occupational Records
Presenter: Amy Johnson Crow, CG

October 11 – Midwestern Gems: Back Issues of Genealogical, Historical and Sociological Journals
Presenter: Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGS

November 8  – Principles of Effective Evidence Analysis
Presenter: George G. Morgan
Registration: Stay tuned!**
** GoToWebinar only allows scheduling less than one year in advance. Check back afterNovember 8, 2015, for the registration link.

December 13 – Without the Hint - There is No Story
Presenter: Bernice Alexander Bennett
Registration: Stay tuned!**
** GoToWebinar only allows scheduling less than one year in advance. Check back afterDecember 13, 2015 for the registration link.

Additional Webinar Information

  • All webinars take place at 8:00 PM Central time.
  • For additional information on our webinar series, visit our ISGS Webinars page at
  • You may also want to review our Webinar FAQs at
  • Don't forget to spread the word! Forward this email onto your friends and colleagues, post the information to social media sites and/or your blog/website, or print out a few copies of our webinar flyer to hand out at your local society meetings. The flyer for the 2016 series can be accessed at
Again, a big thank-you to all of the webinar donation fund contributors and to FamilySearch for sponsoring the entire 2016 webinar series! We couldn't do it without you!!

The 2016 ISGS Webinar Series is sponsored by FamilySearch (