FGS and NGS to Merge

FGS and NGS have announced that they are going to merge. I received the following press release via FamilySearch. They stated that: ” David Rencher, FamilySearch CGO, said this is a significant move forward for both organizations. FGS has wanted to better serve individuals, and NGS has been seeking ways to better serve societies. Combining their efforts is a win/win for all genealogists at the local, state and international levels. FamilySearch is thrilled with the leadership of both organizations coming together to better serve all genealogists and family historians. “

What do you think of the merger? How do you think this will change the world of family history and genealogy conferences?

Press Release

NGS AND FGS ANNOUNCE INTENT TO MERGE

(21 August 2019)–In a historic move, the boards of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced today their intent to merge. The two organizations, both non- profit leaders in the dynamic genealogy industry, will form one consolidated group that will continue to operate as the National Genealogical Society. Both boards approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) earlier this week, and jointly announced the news at the Opening Session of the FGS Family History Conference in Washington, D.C., this morning.

Leaders of both organizations believe this merger will serve the genealogy community by improving support of both individual members and societies in the pursuit of genealogical excellence.

The organizational structure of NGS will be modified to increase functions that support genealogical societies and family organizations. Digitization projects of genealogical importance such as the War of 1812 pensions will continue. The two organizations will continue to operate independently while all details of the merger are completed, no later than October 1, 2020.

Faye Stallings, President of FGS, said: “We are excited about this opportunity to combine with a premier organization that has been in operation since 1903. This will allow for improved and expanded services to help support societies.” Ben Spratling, President of NGS, commented, “We look forward to continuing the strong legacy of FGS as a ‘gathering point’ for family historians and societies all across the nation.”

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Falls Church, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

FamilySearch recruits 100,000 to save the world¹s records

This news release was received from FamilySearch.

FamilySearch recruits 100,000 to save the world’s records

Worldwide genealogy event unites volunteers in making historical records discoverable online

SALT LAKE CITY (July 11, 2016) — On July 15, FamilySearch International will launch the world’s largest indexing event with a goal of bringing more than 100,000 people from around the globe together online during a 72-hour period to save the world’s records by making them searchable to the public.

“FamilySearch believes everyone deserves to be remembered,” said Shipley Munson, FamilySearch International’s Senior Vice President of Marketing. “All should have the opportunity to find their ancestors, and we provide a simple way for people to make those family connections.”

During the 72-hour indexing period, volunteers participate by downloading the FamilySearch software, a program that stores scanned copies of a variety of old records. Volunteers can then complete as many records as they would like by retyping the information from the scanned images into the program. Anyone with a computer and internet connection can join.

“Family history discoveries online are driven by indexed records. Volunteer indexers make those personal discoveries happen. Without them, much of what we do would not be possible,” Munson said. “We invite everyone to join in this important cause to preserve history.”

Volunteers have made over one billion historic records searchable online since FamilySearch introduced online indexing in 2006. The demand for volunteers continues to grow as millions of historical records worldwide are added online every year and as more people take interest in making personal family discoveries.

To join over 100,000 teammates in saving the world’s records, visit the FamilySearch World Records website.

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. It is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 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 free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,921 family history centers in 129 countries.

Have You Visited FamilySearch Lately?

FamilySearch is more than an online database of records. You can find information on almost anything to do with genealogy. When you arrive on the FamilySearch home page you are greeted with a search form and along the right side of the page are links that might be of interest. At the time of writing this post these included the 1940 US Federal Census and Black History Month. You will find a link to “Go to the previous site” which takes you back to the old FamilySearch website. At the top of the items on the right hand side of the website is What’s New? This takes you to the FamilySearch blog.

Across the top of the home page of FamilySearch are three tabs: Records, Trees, Catalog and Books. When you click on Records you stay on the home page. Trees take you to the page to contribute your family tree to the FamilySearch community. Catalog takes you to the Family History Library Catalog. This takes you to the new version of the catalog which is still in beta and they provide a link to the old version of the catalog.

The final tab is Books which takes you to Family History Books a digitized collection of books that relate to family histories, local histories, how-to books, magazines, periodicals, medieval books and gazetteers. The books come from the genealogical collections of seven different libraries. The site is still in beta.

You might think this was all you could find at FamilySearch but higher still on the home page are a few more tabs. If you click on Learn it will take you to a wonderful world of information. Here you will find links to the Wiki, Research Courses and Discussion Forums.

I have looked at the FamilySearch Wiki in a previous post so will not cover it again here but what I will say is if you have a question about research and records available I would search the Wiki.

When you click on Research Courses you are taken to the Learning Centre. Here you will find videos of varying lengths that provide a look at the records and what you will find in them. The levels go from beginner to advanced and you can find something for 21 different countries or areas such as Latin America. The formats are audio, interactive slides, video and slides, and video. Some of the lessons are offered in thirteen different languages. If you have 6 or 60 minutes you will find something here to help you with your research. I have looked at the courses in a previous post.

The last item under Learn is Discussion Forums. Here you can ask questions about your research, records, locations or anything else related to your genealogy. If you need help with the FamilySearch websites this is the place to go to ask your questions. You need to sign up for an account but that is an easy process.

Not sure where the local Family History Centre is in your area? Then you can search their database to find the one nearest you.

Want to help by indexing some of the records? You can find out more at Worldwide Indexing. They have a two minute test drive to show you how easy it is to index the records.

If you go to the very bottom of the FamilySearch homepage and under the title General you will find a link to Labs. Here you will find a showcase of technologies that the FamilySearch team are working on but are not ready to put into “prime time” as they say. They list current projects and past projects.

One of their current projects is a very useful item if you are doing English research. It is the England Jurisdictions 1851 map. I have looked at this resource in a previous post.

Another useful find under Current Projects is TechTips. This is a wonderful resource for tips to help you with the quickly changing and evolving technology. It is worth having it on your RSS feed.

Standard Finder “provides access to standardized information for names, locations and dates.” FamilySearch is beginning the process of standardizing all these items in their databases and across their website.

They have a new current project called Fresh to help those who have never done family history research. More information is expected in the next few days.

If you thought FamilySearch was used only to search databases think again. Why not go in this weekend and have some fun? You never know what you might learn.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Genealogical Research and the Wiki

The wiki is a useful tool for genealogists to have in their bookmarks tool box. What is a wiki? According to google.com a wiki is “a web site developed collaboratively by a community of users, allowing any user to add and edit content.”

The most well known wiki is Wikipedia. On this wiki you can find information about countries, provinces, states, counties, towns and villages. You can also find information about churches and other organizations to be found in the area you are researching. Many people have started a wiki page about their ancestors.

FamilySearch has a wiki which is a wealth of information. There were 66,570 articles at the time this post was written. If you are trying to learn more about things such as Methodist church records in Ireland there is a page that can help you. They provide links to websites that can provide more information. They also provide the steps to search the Family History Library catalogue to see what records are available.

There is a tutorial at FamilySearch to help you use the wiki and start your own wiki page. It is called Help: Tour. You can learn to contribute to the wiki, store information on the wiki and research your family history on the wiki.

Ancestry.com has a wiki that has four kinds of content: “The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy,” “Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources,” “Other great Ancestry.com content” and “Content added by you.” They have a list of pages that they would like to have added to the wiki and are asking for contributors to start these pages.

My Heritage has a wiki called My Ancestry Wiki which is based on the family tree. You either upload your own or join one that is already started. You can invite family members to go in and update and add new information.

The wiki’s that would be most useful to the researcher at the moment are the FamilySearch Wiki and Wikipedia. The other wiki’s are a work in progress and tend to be very specific in the areas of coverage.

Wiki’s are a great tool but you must use them carefully and double check all the information you find. Check the sources for the pages to see where the information originated.

If there is a subject you are very well versed in then consider creating your own page on a wiki.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

The Family Search Online Research Courses

Did you know that you can view online video courses for free at Family Search? You can find courses on researching records in Ireland, England, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Mexico, Russia and the United States.

There are a series of courses on Research Principles and Tools plus Reading Handwritten Records.

The Association of Professional Genealogists, Board for Certification of Genealogists and ICAPGen – The International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists have lectures available on the site.

You click on download course and get a video. There is a course outline and/or handouts available in PDF form. You can offer feedback on the courses.

Some courses you click on the course title and go right into a video with a PowerPoint presentation running beside it. In these courses look below the video to see if there are any handouts or other information. You are also given information on the length of the presentation and references to sponsors.

These courses provide good information to help you with your research and assist you with methodology. The accreditation, certification, and professional presentations provide aids for professionals and those thinking of becoming professionals.

If you have half an hour, why not go in and take a quick course on Irish Immigration.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research

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