Roots Tech 2013

We are just two days away from what sounds like will be one of the best conferences for technology lovin’ genealogists — ROOTS TECH 2013. This conference will be held March 21-23, 2013 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Registration starts as low as $19 for a Getting Started One-Day Only Pass for those needing fundamental classes on getting started with their family research.According to the conference website,

RootsTech is . . . a conference with a unique emphasis on helping individuals learn and use the latest technology to get started or accelerate their efforts to find, organize, preserve and share their family’s connections and history.”

Roots Tech Mobile App 2013According to a recent Roots Tech announcement at the Family Search blog, over 5,000 people have already registered for this year’s event – WOW! And when they say that this conference has something for everyone, I would have to agree because there’s even something for those of us not in attendance — free LIVE STREAMING of various conference sessions — woo-hoo! You can access these LIVE streaming sessions via your PC or MAC computer, as well as your iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. Visit this link to download the Roots Tech app appropriate for your mobile device – This mobile app will give you access to:

  • Exhibitors, Sessions and Speaker listings
  • Session Ratings
  • Floor Maps
  • Updates and info directly from event organizers
  • Handouts

I will also be tracking this conference at my favorite social conference directory at So if you would like to track this conference too, join me at for I will be listing some of the LIVE STREAMS I plan to watch soon. And should you check out any of the LIVE streams listed for your convenience below, let me know which ones you watch and your thoughts!

Mountain Daylight Time

“Best of RootsTech”

Live Stream on

Thursday, March 21
  • 8:30 a.m.
Keynote speakers: Dennis Brimhall, President and CEO of
FamilySearch International, Syd Lieberman, Nationally Acclaimed Storyteller, Author, and Teacher, and Josh Taylor, Lead Genealogist at and President, Federation of Genealogical Societies
  • 11:00 a.m.
The Future of Genealogy—Thomas MacEntee and panel
  • 1:45 p.m.
Tell It Again (Story@Home)—Kim Weitkamp
  • 3:00 p.m.
The Genealogist’s Gadget Bag—Jill Ball and panel
  • 4:15 p.m.
Finding the Obscure and Elusive: Geographic Information on the Web—James Tanner
Friday, March 22
  •  8:30 a.m.
Keynote speakers: Jyl Pattee, Founder, Mom It Forward Media, and Tim Sullivan, President and CEO,
  • 9:45 a.m.
Researching Ancestors Online—Laura Prescott
  • 11:00 a.m.
FamilySearch Family Tree—Ron Tanner
  • 1:45 p.m.
Google Search… and Beyond—Dave Barney
  • 3:00 p.m.
From Paper Piles to Digital Files—Valerie Elkins
Saturday, March 23
  •  8:30 a.m.
Keynote speakers: David Pogue, Personal Technology Columnist, The New York Times, and Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO, MyHeritage
  • 9:45 a.m.
Using Technology to Solve Research Problems—Karen Clifford
  • 11:00 a.m.
Digital Storytelling: More Than Bullet Points—Denise Olson




FTU Winter 2013 Virtual Conference, February 22-24, 2013

Guess what? Oh you never will, so I will just tell you . . .

In just a few days I will be attending my first FTU –Family Tree University’s — Winter 2013 Virtual Conference! I’ve been attending small, medium, and large B2B virtual conferences for quite some time. So I’m no stranger to Internet events of this nature. But what makes this conference so exciting and different from all the virtual ones I’ve attended to date:
1) this will be my first Family Tree University experience — YEAH! I’ve heard great things about the genealogy courses and programs they offer
2) I get to spend three glorious days at a genealogy conference that is completely and totally accessible from my home computer.

Family Tree University Winter 2013 Virtual Conference

If I sound like I’m all jazzed about this conference, I truly am — woo-hoo!

What’s in store for me at this year’s virtual conference?

  • 15 half-hour video classes in three tracks:
    • genealogy technology track
    • research strategies track
    • ethnic research track
  • Unlimited viewing: My all-access pass gets me into all 15 classes during the three-day conference—I can even download the videos to watch again later or view ones I missed!
  • Make my own schedule: All classes are pre-recorded, so I don’t have to show up at a specific time to catch the ones I want—or choose between sessions I’m interested in.
  • Live chats and message board discussions: I get to enhance my conference experience by participating in conversations with FTU staff and instructors.
  • Convenience: Unlike in-person genealogy conferences and seminars, I can take part in the Family Tree University Virtual Conference anywhere I have Internet connection! Best of all, there’s no travel costs and parking hassles to contend with!
  • Value: My conference registration saves me 55% off the price of purchasing each video separately ($29.99). It’s like getting 8 classes for free!
  • “Swag bag” of freebies from

When the conference program said, “[g]et an intensive dose of genealogy education at FTU’s Winter 2013 Virtual Genealogy Conference …” they were not kidding and I’m so-o-o-o-o ready to experience all this conference has to offer!

LanyrdTo prepare for this event, I entered all of the video classes and live chat sessions at my favorite online social conference directory — Be sure to check out the classes and chat sessions I’ll have full access to by clicking the Lanyrd icon to the left of this paragraph!

Family History Month 2012

Family History Month 2012

It’s Family History Month 2012 at the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research (another one of my favorite months of the year) . . . woo-hoo! Below is a list of  EXCELLENT events and programs taking place the whole month of October 2012:

Genealogy Basics Boot Camp

Saturday, October 6, 2012 1:30PM-3:00PM

Interested in your family history, but not quite sure where to start? Found some information, but need to know what else is available? Join the boot camp for an exercise in genealogical research resources! This session focuses on starting genealogical research by examining basic tools, such as the pedigree chart, and basic research strategies. Learn about the different genealogical materials available to researchers and how they lead to other sources. Reservations required. Please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

Crossing the Wide Blue Seas: Passenger Lists of Our Ancestors

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 2:00PM-3:30PM

Since the discovery of the New World, ships have been bringing passengers to our shores to start new lives. Some of these voyages were well documented and some not. In this talk we will be discussing how to find evidence of your ancestors on passenger lists. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

Beginning German Research

Friday, October 12, 2012 10:30AM-12:00PM

Do you have German roots but are unsure about how to get started researching records outside the United States? Are you trying to find the town of origin from which your ancestors came, and what records are available for that town? This session deals with basic-level German research, with a focus on church and civil records and how to find them and use them. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

1st Louisiana Guard: Free Men of Color in the Civil War

Co-sponsored by the Afro American Historical Genealogical Society – Willie Lee Gay Chapter (Houston)

Saturday, October 13, 2012 10:30AM-12:00PM

This presentation will feature case studies involving the Civil War pension files of two free men of color, Casimir SAM and his cousin Martin WHITE, who served in the 1st Louisiana Guard, later the 73rd Louisiana Colored Troops. Learn how valuable Civil War pension files can be in researching the lives and family history of your ancestors. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

South Carolina History, Formation of Counties, Sources, Special Research Problems, Hints!

Saturday, October 13, 2012 2:00PM-4:00PM

Learn about several helpful research sources (online resources, South Carolina Archives, and collections in other repositories) and hints on organizing your research. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

City Directories

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 6:00PM-7:30PM

Have you ever wondered why people use city directories in genealogy? Learn how they can be useful in your research, how to use them effectively and where they may be found today. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

 1st Annual Genealogy Lock-In – Discover History for Yourself

Friday, October 19, 2012 2:00PM-5:15PM – three pre-event virtual presentations

Friday, October 19, 2012 6:00PM-12:00AM – Lock-in and optional presentations. Two are virtual; the last one is an in-house speaker.

In celebration of Family History Month in October, the Houston Public Library’s Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research will be sponsoring its 1st Annual Genealogy Lock-in at the library. This event is free and open to anyone interested in genealogy.

This event will showcase the library’s genealogy collection. It’s a great opportunity for both the novice and the experienced researcher to learn more about genealogy and to pursue their individual family’s history. The Lock-in will include genealogical advice, instruction, and light snacks.

We are pleased to announce that this year’s Lock-in will be held in conjunction with the same type of event being held at four other libraries across Texas. These libraries include: The Texas State Library and Archives Commission; Special Collection Department of the Denton Public Library; Genealogy, Local History, Texana, and Archives of the Plano Public Library; and the West Waco Library and Genealogy Center.


Registration for the pre-event sessions and for the lock-in MUST be made in advance.

The pre-event programming during the day is open to everyone, even those not planning on attending the extended hours Lock-in. All three sessions will be virtual. You may sign up for any or all of these sessions. Registration is limited to 50.

I.     Resources of the Southwest Regional Archives (NARA)


Aaron Holt, Archives Technician

He will discuss the resources of this great national institution. Learn about Indian records, national records, business and other records of genealogical value.

II.     Using the Treasures in FamilySearch


Lynell Moss of the Plano Family History Center

Learn about all the tools currently available on and seven tips for getting better results when searching the more than 1250 collections in Historical Records.

III.     Ancestry Library Edition: What’s New


Edward Loera, ProQuest Database trainer

Listen to Mr. Loera highlight what’s new in content and features and provide us his insight on how to best use this premier resource for genealogical research.

There will be three optional presentations during the Lock-in. These sessions will be virtual, except for “Unusual Resources”. You may sign up for any or all of the sessions . You must be signed up for the Lock-in to attend any of these three classes. Registration is limited to 100.

IV.     Genealogy 101: How to Get Started in Genealogy


Cheryl Smith, Genealogy Librarian (Plano)

She will speak on filling out a pedigree chart, where to find information, software suggestions, Internet sites, and more.

V.     Resources of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission


Sara Hayes, Reference Librarian, Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Learn about genealogy resources available on-site and online from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in Austin.

VI.     Unusual Genealogy Resources


Susan Kaufman, Manager, Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, Houston Public Library

Susan will provide an overview of unusual resources and not often used sources that can give a deep insight into your family history.


Lock-in attendees do not have to stay until midnight. You can come to the lock-in (if you are registered) any time between 6:00PM and 10:30PM.

This event is for adults/teens.

Security will be provided, and reservations will be checked.

For more information, contact Sue Kaufman, Clayton Manager, at 832-393-2602 or Please use LOCK-IN for the subject line.

Lineage Day

Saturday, October 20, 2012 10:30AM-4:00PM

Visit with representatives from many genealogical and historical lineage societies to discuss their organizations. Get some hints that can help you identify those ancestors for entry into those societies. Representatives include, but are not limited to, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the Republic of Texas, and Cherokee Nation. No reservations needed. Adult/Teens.

 Unusual Resources

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 6:00PM-7:30PM

Learn about some very unusual record groups for genealogical research, sources not often thought of. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

 Beginning English Research

Saturday, October 27, 2012 10:30AM-12:00PM

An overview of some of the records you might find most useful when looking for your ancestor from England, such as census and civil registration records, parish registers and much more. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

 Quick Start your Genealogy! Overview of Genealogical Research Tools

Wednesday, October 31, 1:00PM-3:30PM

1:30PM-2:00PM HPL Catalog

2:10PM-2:50PM Ancestry Library Edition; FamilySearch

3:00PM-3:30PM Ordering microprint from Salt Lake City

Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

Family History Book Sale

October 1-30 2012

The Clayton Library will be holding its Family History Book Sale in October. All Clayton’s duplicate family history books will be available for sale. These are donated books that we already own; the copies offered for sale have never been part of our collection.

Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research
5300 Caroline Street
Houston, Texas 77004
Phone: 832-393-2600

Library Hours are:
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-8 | Th 10-6 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed


September 2012 Family History Writing Program at the Clayton Library

The September 2012 Family History Writing Program at The Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research will host the following lecture and writing activity this month …

Writing Your Family History – An Interactive Day
Saturday, September 29 10:30AM – 4:00PM

Join Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, for a very exciting day consisting of a morning lecture with an active afternoon of writing exercises.

A Baker’s Dozen

Anyone can write! Learn ways to get your family history in print without a lot of strain! A “Baker’s Dozen” of ways to get started and ideas to get your greater family involved will be shared. You may find that you are already doing some of these but hadn’t realized you were actually getting family history into print! We’ll cover focus points, themes, photos, incorporating general history, and editing. Come prepared to write and take home a new outlook on getting YOUR family history written.

Writing Exercises

The afternoon will consist of writing exercises, individually and in small groups. Attendees are requested to bring a personal laptop if available. There will also be some actual writing, so please bring lined paper and pens and pencils of different colors.

This program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited to 45. You MUST call Clayton Library at 832-393-2600 to sign up. You will register for the whole day. Adult/Teens.

For more information, visit the Clayton Library webpage:

Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research
5300 Caroline Street
Houston, Texas 77004
Phone: 832-393-2600

Library Hours are:
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-8 | Th 10-6 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed

Follow Friday: Genea-Musings, a3Genealogy, and SavingStories

It’s Follow Friday and I’m always honored to feature extraordinary genealogists that I’ve had the good fortune and pleasure to learn from online. Enjoy!

If you’re looking for a genealogist who writes and maintains a blog that just about covers it all – genealogy research tips and techniques, news items and commentary, family history research and stories, genealogy humor and engaging “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun” activities — then I know the perfect blog for you. It is Genea-Musings! When I feel that I’ve missed something important in the world of genealogy, I just head on over to Randy Seaver‘s special place in cyberspace, and get caught up with “all things genealogy” online and offline. My favorite label/topic to access on his blog is “Treasure Chest Thursday.” All of the artifacts and documents that he shares are EXCELLENT and often provide tips and information that I refer to when I’m looking at similar documents in my own family research collection. Be sure to stop by Genea-Musings as time allows today!

Make no mistake about it, genealogy is a lot of work that requires accurate genealogical investigation. A blog that immediately comes to mind with its accurate, accessible answers to analyzing genealogical evidence is,, penned by Kathleen Brandt. Kathleen is an International Genealogy Consultant, speaker, and writer who specializes in military, naturalization records, Native American and African American Ancestry. Pick any post or topic on her blog to read and you will instantly be pulled into the information and/or instructions she gives about the subject. Some key elements I’ve taken away from her blog that I use in my own research: – 1) always determine the reliability of your documents; 2) decide which facts are accurate/correct in each document you’ve found; 3) defer making any judgments until all the facts are in (this is a tough one for me – LOL!), and 4) give an explanation that includes all the facts and be sure to analyze all information from various perspectives. Yep, Kathleen Brandt definitely knows her stuff! Don’t delay; plan on visiting right away!

When I say family historian, Robin Foster’s passion for “all things genealogy” and  technology rivals mine, you better believe it! The title and subtitle of Robin’s blog – Saving Stories: Connecting to the Past, linking to the future – definitely expresses one of her goals which is to preserve oral history and historical records using social media and technology. So how is she accomplishing this goal? She publishes genealogy related online newspapers at;  she’s the blog editor/owner of About Our Freedom, Over Troubled Water, Genealogy Journey, and Go Social with Genealogy; she’s the National African American History Examiner at; she’s the host of “Over Troubled Water” BlogTalkRadio Show and Genealogy on Location; she’s a FindAGrave Contributor (and a BillionGraves Contributor too); she’s social via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube. She has published an 8×8 personal storybook, Eyes to See: My Testimony to the World, via Heritage Makers where she is an award winning Book Publishing Consultant. Can you say WOW?! All I could say was WOW when I first started following Robin online last year. And I have a strong feeling that I haven’t listed for you today ALL of the online networks and blogs that she contributes to – LOL! So if you enjoy genealogy and technology, refer to any of the links I mention above and connect with Robin Foster today!