RootsTech 2017

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The “world’s largest family history gathering without question,” according to organizers, got underway February 8, flooding the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City with an estimated 12,000 attendees from 43 countries and nearly every state in the United States. Walking from my hotel around the corner, the streets — and the Family History Library! — were filled with participants sporting name badges and carrying conference portfolios.

Now in its 7th year, RootsTech 2017 is the largest annual family history conference sponsored by FamilySearch International, the genealogy service operated by the Latter Day Saints’ Family History Department.

General sessions of the 3 day event, which commenced Thursday with the opening keynote session, along with select workshops were being streamed live over the Internet to more than 100,000 viewers. Select events can still be viewed on www.rootstech.org the conference website.

Though the event is past, you can still download the RootsTech 2017 app.

Why?

Because you can scroll through the workshops and discover than most have handouts that are helpful and valuable, even if you can’t watch a video of the workshop and didn’t attend!

IMG_1709Exhibition Hall, Salt Palace Convention Centre, Salt Lake City

My photos, some stats from the Deseret News

 

 

Yearly tasks share and gather family history

The MyHeritage Blog recommends doing the following family history activities at least once a year:

1. Share what you have found: Sharing with family members will perhaps encourage other family members to provide their own documents and information. This could help add missing details such as their parents, children and missing birth dates.

2. If you have an online family site, inviting relatives to your site will allow them to see the data and could encourage them to contribute missing information. All you would need is their name and email address.

3. For older family members who possibly do not have internet access, print out a family chart and visit with them about their relatives. This technique could also generate family stories and possibly provide new family photos to include in the family history.

4. Develop the habit of always backing up data regularly and storing the data in a different location in case of computer failure.

5. Pick one missing piece of information and focus on finding it; for example you might need the names of a paternal grandfather or trace additional generations of your surname.

If you have a family tree on MyHeritage or use its Family Tree Builder software, the feature Smart Match alerts you when someone in your tree appears to match a person in another MyHeritage user tree. Be aware that the basic family site allows a limited amount of information and when reached, the website requires a yearly fee.

MyHeritage also adds new data sets regularly to its collection and continually updates other data sets. For more information, go to its blog at blog.myheritage.com, then select the Historical Records category.

Reunion 2016 November 13th!

Sorry for the delay in finalizing plans. I had some minor surgery that put things on hold for a while.

But we are all set for November 13,Sunday afternoon, 2-5pm in the Parliament Room of what is now Farfield Inn & Suites (it’s the same location but with a new name).

More details and directions on the Reunion 2016 page you can reach via the tab above.

Looking to see you there!

Historic Westmeath Township

If you have branches of your family tree in the Upper Ottawa River Valley area, you’ll want to stop by the Historic Westmeath Township Project website.

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It is a rich source of information on a number of families of the historic Ottawa Valley — check the Family Registry section — and the lumber companies of that area, among many other bits of useful information.

That’s how I came upon the site: Tracking my great grandfather, I found a brief notice in the Ottawa Journal that because of a serious leg wound, he returned home from his job as slide master with the Upper Ottawa Improvement Company. In my search for information on the company I stumbled upon the HWT Project.

Report on the 2011 November Reunion

Well, look what I found among my drafts for posts …

Haha .. Never managed to post it! But as with most things genealogy .. “Better late than never!”

Our reunion was a great success! With all that has been going on since, I haven’t had a chance to talk about the day.

It was a great chance to meet relatives who didn’t know one another! And we did bring together quite a crew of descendants of Matthew O’Connor and Mary Doyle. And yes, we had a birthday cake in their honor, thanks to cousin Sharon!

My sister Margo (who was unable to come) was hoping that we could find some relatives from the Cadieux side. And we did! Our cousin Neal (his grandmother was Belle Cadieux) joined us and we were thrilled that he brought along some photos to share too.

I had been doing some research at the Arnprior & McNab Braeside archives and came upon a host of photos from our Frood ancestors. Maybe our 2012 reunion will have someone representing the Frood or Watt families.

Turns out that we still have some cousins from my father’s generation in the Ottawa area, which was a great and happy surprise  Matthew O’Connor and Mary Doyle’s next to last child was Emmett (my grandfather’s brother). His daughter Marion, who coincidentally lives not far from the site of the reunion, joined us! What a thrill to catch up with her and that part of the family. Her sister Rita lives in Oklahoma and brother Desmond in the Ottawa area. When I visited with her on the Sunday following, she showed me a letter to our grand uncle Msgr. O’Connor from FDR, asking his advice.

Family of another of my grandfather’s brothers, Stephen, were represented, too! Richard wasn’t able to join us, but his brother stopped by, and was interested in the details of the tree. He got to meet some new cousins, too!

Connie, representing the Delaney branch, was also with us. Her grandmother was Mary “Minnie” O’Connor (my grandfather’s sister; daughter of Matthew & Mary) who married George Delaney.

Gary Allen has been doing research on the Irish in the Ottawa Valley. He joined us for the family names, and discovered a connection to the family through Isidore Cadieux, brother of my great grandfather David!

Cousin John is very knowledgeable on the O’Connor tree, having done most of his research before we had internet sources, so he knows the original sources and details well. He was a great resource for those with questions about the O’Connor and Dolan lines.

Cousin Sharon is also well versed in the O’Connors and Dolans. She too was a go-to person for questions. …and she helped with the cake and refreshments.

We had a really great morning together. It was a great chance to connect to family we had only seen as names on the family tree, but have now had a chance to meet and enjoy. So many commented that it would be nice to do this each year, that we are working on the dates for 2012.

I’m hoping to find some representatives of the Wilson and McEwan lines who could join us.

Ancestry, FamilyTreeMaker and RootsMagic

10,000 people can’t be wrong! Or so Ancestry.com has decided.

While this post isn’t revealing anything new .. Ancestry announced that it sold FamilyTreeMaker at least a month ago. But the big news in that announcement was that both FamilyTreeMaker and RootsMagic will have the ability to sync with the online Ancestry trees users have created. That functionality is to come online by the end of 2016.

I’m glad that Ancestry listened to subscribers. It was a poor decision that they have now somewhat ameliorated.

And thanks to it, I have begun exploring the bigger world of online subscriptions to resources. My first decision was to say goodbye to FamilyTreeMaker. I’ve switched to RootsMagic7 and am looking forward to the sync function being available.

But I’ve also decided to end my annual subscription to Ancestry.com.

I’ve already begun trying findmypast.com. I will give them a shot for awhile, with the plan to subscribe to online family history record sites for no more than a year at a time. I will likely use Ancestry again, but for a few months only. Previously I had saved all year to be able to afford a World Membership with Ancestry. But their decision opened my eyes to a new approach, which I had never thought of before — because of my loyalty to and tie-in with my computer based tree.

It should be a fun adventure!