Register for Tuesday's Down Under series webinar: Encounters – Our Immigrant Ancestors by Fiona Brooker

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Learn about 19th and 20th century sources for finding your ancestors’ arrival in New Zealand.
 
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No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

FionaBrooker-2020-144x144Fiona Brooker is a professional genealogist (Memories In Time) who has been actively researching her family history for over 35 years, inspired by two marriage certificates and a collection of family letters written from New Zealand back to her immigrant ancestor’s family in Devon. Whilst living and researching in the UK, she studied and gained a Higher Certificate in Genealogy from the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies and is a ProGen graduate. Fiona has served as both President and Treasurer of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG). She has organised family history conferences and expos in New Zealand. As well as helping people with their family history research, Fiona’s passion is to preserve today as much as the past and to get the research out of folders and the computer and into the hands of family members so that they can learn about their heritage.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at:

  • 9pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 8pm Central
  • 7pm Mountain
  • 6pm Pacific

which, in Sydney, Australia is Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at:

  • noon

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  6. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  7. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Top 10 genealogy webinars — September 2022

Top10-new

We've tallied the numbers and made a list of the Top 10 FamilyTreeWebinars.com classes for September 2022! Are your favorite topics or instructors among the list? Need something new to learn? Use the list to get inspired!

Each month thousands of Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscribers head for the library to learn new skills and techniques to help improve their genealogy research. Among the now-1,863 genealogy classes in the members-only library, these were the most frequently played during the month of September 2022.  They aren't necessarily the newest classes but rather the topics that were sought out by our members.

Have you seen any of these classes? Are these among your favorites too? Some of these classes (and topics) might be new to you! Get inspired to learn more and make your genealogy journey more fun!

The Top 10 for September 2022

1. Mastering Digital Filing for Genealogists by Cyndi Ingle

2. mtDNA and YDNA in 2022 by Diahan Southard

3. Abstracting Documents: An Essential Skill for All Genealogists by Julie Miller, CG, CGL

4. Tracing migrating ancestors: Who what where when why and how by Myko Clelland

5. Finding Fayette's Father: Autosomal DNA Reveals Misattributed Parentage by Jennifer Zinck, CG

6. Descendants of the Enslaved and Enslavers - Working Together to Discover Family by Cheri Hudson Passey and Sharon Batiste Gillins

7. Entering the Old Northwest Territory: The First American West by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG

8. 10 Best Self-Publishing Tips for Family Historians by Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

9. Strategies to Jumpstart Your Research by Teri E. Flack, M.A. (Public History), M.B.A.

10. What's Next When You Are Told Those Records Were 'Burnt up' by J. Mark Lowe, FUGA

The Runner-Ups

11. Germany to Pennsylvania: 18th Century Odyssey by James M. Beidler

12. What You Can Learn from Lineage Societies... Without Being a Member! by Elizabeth Swanay O’Neal

13. Understanding and Using Scottish Kirk Session Records by Paul Milner FUGA, MDiv

14. Using Google Books to Find the Law by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

15. FamilySearch.org - 5 More Links You Have to Try by Devin Ashby

16. A Deep Dive into the Map Collections of the Library of Congress by Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

17. Changing Places Changing Borders: Overcoming geographic challenges by Dave Obee

18. Michigan: An Upper Midwest Researcher's Dream by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS

19. Fruit of the Earth: Using Deeds to Uncover Your Ancestors by Robyn Smith

20. Delivering the Mail: Records of the United States Post Office by Michael L. Strauss, AG

The 2nd Runner-Ups

21. The Pros and Cons of Collaboration on Geni.com by E. Randol Schoenberg

22. Direct Your Letters to San Jose: Following Ancestors' Migration Trails by David W. Jackson

23. Ransomware and your computer by Andy Klein

24. An introduction to Filae: the largest source of French archives by Emmanuel Condamine

25. Cyndi's List in Practice by Cyndi Ingle

26. Proof Arguments - How to Write Them and Why They Matter by Warren Bittner, CG

27. Irish Emigration to North America: Before during and after Famine by Paul Milner FUGA, MDiv

28. What's New at DNA Painter by Jonny Perl

29. Researching Oklahoma Roots by Billie Stone Fogarty, M.Ed.

30. Documenting Cemeteries with BillionGraves by Cathy Wallace

Access to classes in the Legacy Family Tree Webinar library are available with an webinar membership. Not a member? Become one! Or watch one of our free classes here.


Start with You: Writing About Yourself - free replay of today's webinar by Brenda Hudson, Ph.D., now available for limited time

Start with You: Writing About Yourself - free replay of today's webinar by Brenda Hudson, Ph.D., now available for limited time

The recording of today's webinar by Brenda Hudson,Ph.D., "Start with You: Writing About Yourself " is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for free for a limited time.

Webinar Description

Genealogy best practice is to start with you, and who better to introduce yourself to future generations than YOU? In this webinar, we will go beyond factual information typically found in family trees to include the essence of who you are. Using easy and fun writing prompts, you will learn to create a unique and revealing written portrait of yourself. You can also share these prompts with other family members, adding their written portraits to your family tree. Your future generations will get to know you, and thank you!

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 58 minute recording of "Start with You: Writing About Yourself " is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 1,856 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 6,925 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2022 webinar brochure here.


Register for Webinar Wednesday — Start with You: Writing About Yourself by Brenda Hudson, Ph.D.

Register
 
Genealogy best practice is to start with you, and who better to introduce yourself to future generations than YOU? In this webinar, we will go beyond factual information typically found in family trees to include the essence of who you are. Using easy and fun writing prompts, you will learn to create a unique and revealing written portrait of yourself. You can also share these prompts with other family members, adding their written portraits to your family tree. Your future generations will get to know you, and thank you!
 
Registerbut 
 

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

BrendaHudson-144x144Brenda Hudson, Ph.D., is an award-winning teacher and writer who loves helping families capture their stories across generations. In her writing workshops and in her how-to book Story by Story: 15 Projects to Write Your Family Legacy, Brenda shows even reluctant writers how easy and fun it is to record their stories, for current and future generations. In her “story project” approach, each project results in a different kind of family story—a single memory, pivotal moments, lessons learned, family sayings, and more.

In addition to presenting at RootsTech, Brenda is a frequent teaching artist at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, where she has received its Excellence in Teaching Fellowship multiple times, and at the Madeline Island School of the Arts, where she teaches legacy writing.

Brenda has a Master’s degree in journalism from Boston University and obtained her PhD from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Writing Studies. She is also a credentialed journal facilitator through the Therapeutic Writing Institute.
Learn more at VoicedLife.com.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  6. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  7. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Sweden Research with Online Records at MyHeritage and Beyond - free replay of today's webinar by MyHeritage's Mike Mansfield now available

2022-09-27-image500blog

The recording of today's webinar by MyHeritage's Mike Mansfield, "Sweden Research with Online Records at MyHeritage and Beyond" is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for free.

Webinar Description

Mike Mansfield, Director of Content Production at MyHeritage, will teach you everything you need to know about researching your Swedish ancestors on MyHeritage — from historical context to the many valuable collections MyHeritage offers to people researching their Swedish roots.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 15 minute recording of "Sweden Research with Online Records at MyHeritage and Beyond" is now available to view in our webinar library for free.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 1,855 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 6,925 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2022 webinar brochure here.


Register for Tuesday's MyHeritage Webinar Series webinar: Sweden Research with Online Records at MyHeritage and Beyond by Mike Mansfield

Register-mh
 
Mike Mansfield, Director of Content Production at MyHeritage, will teach you everything you need to know about researching your Swedish ancestors on MyHeritage — from historical context to the many valuable collections MyHeritage offers to people researching their Swedish roots.
 
Registerbut 
 

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

MikeMansfield-144x144Mike Mansfield works for MyHeritage.com as the Director of Content Operations. Previously Mike has worked for Ancestry.com and FamilySearch and has been active in the genealogy and family history domain for the last 20 years. Mike has presented at numerous genealogical conferences and symposia in the United States, England, Scandinavia, and Australia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from BYU and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Syracuse University.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  6. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  7. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Ransomware and your computer - free replay of today's webinar by Andy Klein now available for limited time

2022-09-21-image500blog

The recording of today's webinar by BackBlaze.com's Andy Klein, "Ransomware and your computer" is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for free for a limited time.

Webinar Description

Ransomware is a form of malware (malicious software) that encrypts a victim’s files so they cannot be accessed. The attacker then demands that the victim pay a ransom in order to have access to their files restored. Maybe, you’ve heard about ransomware in the news and thought it was a business problem, but in truth over 75% of ransomware attacks are aimed at individuals and small businesses. Why, because you are easy targets. Learn more about ransomware and what you can do about before it strikes, and if you are attacked how you can recover.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 18 minute recording of "Ransomware and your computer" is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 1,847 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 6,895 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2022 webinar brochure here.


Abstracting Documents: An Essential Skill for All Genealogists - replay of tonight's BCG webinar now online and free for limited time

Abstracting Documents: An Essential Skill for All Genealogists - replay of tonight's BCG webinar now online and free for limited time

The recording of tonight's webinar by the Board for Certification of Genealogists and Julie Miller, CG, CGL, FNGS, "Abstracting Documents: An Essential Skill for All Genealogists" is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for free for a limited time.

Webinar Description

Every document that is used during genealogical research must be thoroughly and accurately analyzed. Abstracting is a fundamental part of this research and analyzing process. Yet many genealogists are not confident in their ability to perform this task effectively and efficiently. This causes researchers to avoid the abstracting process resulting in research errors. An abstract is a summary of all the important details in a document. This presentation will examine the abstracting process by using examples that show how to abstract a variety of documents, general guidelines for abstracting, what to include and what to eliminate when creating an abstract, and lastly will explore some problems that might be encountered while abstracting.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 26 minute recording of "Abstracting Documents: An Essential Skill for All Genealogists" is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 1,846 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 6,895 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2022 webinar brochure here.


Register for Webinar Wednesday: Ransomware and your computer by Andy Klein

Register
 
Ransomware is a form of malware (malicious software) that encrypts a victim’s files so they cannot be accessed. The attacker then demands that the victim pay a ransom in order to have access to their files restored. Maybe, you’ve heard about ransomware in the news and thought it was a business problem, but in truth over 75% of ransomware attacks are aimed at individuals and small businesses. Why, because you are easy targets. Learn more about ransomware and what you can do about before it strikes, and if you are attacked how you can recover.
 
Registerbut 
 

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

AndyKlein-144x144Mr. Klein has over 25 years of experience in cloud backup, cloud storage, and computer security. Prior to Backblaze he worked at Symantec, Checkpoint, PGP, and PeopleSoft, as well as startups throughout Silicon Valley. During his career, he has shared his expertise at events, symposiums, and panels at RootsTech, FGS, RSA, MIT, the Federal Trade Commission, and many more. He currently writes and rants about drive stats, cloud backup, cloud storage, and so on.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  6. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  7. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!


My personal review of SpaceX's Starlink - "high-speed, low-latency broadband internet in remote and rural locations across the globe"

Starlink arrived just over two weeks ago on my doorstep with the promise of better internet speeds, better reliability, and a smaller monthly bill. I was on the waiting list for more than a year. Was it worth waiting for?

Starlink

Yes, mostly.

I live two miles north of the city limits. Two miles too far to enjoy 940Mbps internet speed (at $75/month). When we built our house we planned for cows, chickens, a big garden, and a bright night sky. But that came with a price. For five years now we've paid $164.97 a month for internet speed of 20Mbps. That's not a typo. 20. That's 920Mbps slower for $89.97 more.

So as soon as I learned of SpaceX's announcement of Starlink, I put down a $100 deposit and signed up. They promised "high-speed, low-latency broadband internet in remote and rural locations across the globe." I didn't know what their speeds would be, but it had to be better than 20Mbps.

Twenty days ago I received an email with this subject line:

Your Starlink is ready! Confirm your order in the next 7 days

Their high-pressure email worked:

You have 7 days to confirm your order by clicking "Manage" on your Account Page otherwise your deposit will be automatically cancelled and fully refunded. Upon cancellation, you will lose your place in line.

The one-time hardware cost of $599 was expensive. I paid an additional $133.56 for the flashing mount, pivot mount, and ethernet adapter. The recurring monthly cost is $110.

Inside the box was the base, the router, the Starlink device, and a 75-foot cable.

Starlink2

Oh, and the instructions:

Starlink3

These were literally the instructions. Three pictures: 1) put the Starlink thing in the base, 2) connect it to the router, and 3) run the Starlink app. It couldn't be that simple. So I tried it, and was blown away. It actually worked. I just put the base near the driveway, pulled the cord through a window, plugged it in and in minutes I was connected.

After a few days of playing and running speed tests, I knew I had to keep this permanently. The most difficult part of the process was drilling the hole through the roof, then through the second roof that the first roof was covering, pulling the cable through the attic, fishing it down the right wall, and into my office. Mounting the device to the roof was pretty simple.

Starlink6

Here is my typical speed test before Starlink:

19.9 Mbps down, 6.87 Mbps up

Here is my typical speed test with Starlink:

80.52 Mbps down, 14.00 Mbps up

This is at 1:15pm. Earlier in the day I see speeds beyond 200 Mbps. So it's not in-the-city speeds, but it's incredible compared to what else is available.

The "mostly" part of this article relates to speeds in the evening when everyone in rural Idaho is home using their own Starlinks. Between about 6:30pm to 10:30pm, speeds slow down to between 10-20 Mbps. It's usually not a problem unless I'm watching YouTube TV, my wife is streaming music, and kids are working on homework (or so they say). Then it buffers a bit. It's probably a bit too slow for me to trust hosting a live evening webinar with it. All other times, it is wonderful and fast and so much less expensive. Starlink says this will continue to improve as they deploy more of their satellites.

One other thing I've worried about is the snow. We've had five feet of snow on the ground here in the past. What will happen to my internet connection when any amount of snow is on top of the Starlink? Starlink thought of that too:

Starlink7

Do I recommend Starlink? Like the great Judy Russell says, "it depends". If you live in a place where high speed internet is not an option, and you have a clear view of the sky, then this is a great choice. If you travel, you might even enjoy the "Starlink for RVs". If you already have a fast internet connection, this won't give you anything more. Well, except for some really cool technology.

Learn more at https://www.starlink.com.

Learn more Tech from Geoff at https://familytreewebinars.com/geoffrasmussen.


Register for Tuesday's BCG webinar — Abstracting Documents: An Essential Skill for All Genealogists by Julie Miller, CG, CGL

Register-bcg
 
Every document that is used during genealogical research must be thoroughly and accurately analyzed. Abstracting is a fundamental part of this research and analyzing process. Yet many genealogists are not confident in their ability to perform this task effectively and efficiently. This causes researchers to avoid the abstracting process resulting in research errors. An abstract is a summary of all the important details in a document. This presentation will examine the abstracting process by using examples that show how to abstract a variety of documents, general guidelines for abstracting, what to include and what to eliminate when creating an abstract, and lastly will explore some problems that might be encountered while abstracting.
 
Registerbut 
 

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

JulieMiller-2021-144x144Julie Miller holds Certified Genealogist (CG) and Certified Genealogical Speaker (CGL) credentials and is a fellow of the National Genealogical Society. She is a full-time professional researcher, speaker, and writer who lives in Colorado. Julie speaks on a wide variety of genealogy subjects both locally and nationally. Her articles have appeared in the NGSQ and NGS Magazine. Julie was the NGS interim Education Manager (2018), was a member of the NGS conference committee for twelve years, and was a volunteer at NARA-Denver for twenty-one years.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at:

  • 8pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 7pm Central
  • 6pm Mountain
  • 5pm Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  6. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  7. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Downsizing (Part 2) - Let the Voices of Experience Guide You

Downsizing (Part 2) - Let the Voices of Experience Guide You

In my last article on Downsizing (Part 1) - Getting the Process Rolling, I discussed what we, as family historians, face as we consider the monumental task of downsizing. Once I considered all the years of my accumulated stuff, the genealogy I inherited, and the stuff my kids left behind that I seem to have a very emotional attachment to, it was time to get real and get to work.

After asking professional organizer Janine Adams her tips, I went to Facebook and asked my fellow genealogists what suggestions they had and how they had dealt with this issue. It's a topic that many genealogists have written about and experienced, from the death of a parent or spouse to moving several states away. Their answers can benefit all of us faced with downsizing. [1]

Downsizing Steps

Some of my friends shared with me their criteria for downsizing. Lisa Marker shared these steps:

"When my mother moved to assisted living a few years ago, 40 boxes of her stuff came to my basement. I had to get rid of most of it in a short time. As I went through the boxes, my criteria became:

1) Would she miss it? This was my most challenging decision for each item.

2) Was there any intrinsic value in any of the items? If I was willing to part with something, was it truly valuable financially? Those items were set aside to be appraised.

3) Were there items she had a sentimental attachment to, and seeing them would make her happy? I kept those.

4) Were there items I wanted to keep for myself, for sentimental reasons, or just because I liked them, or I could not yet let something go?

I am mostly left with her art and with photos. Also, the dishes that she loved - I just have to find the right recipient. A total of about 7 boxes. I try to make decisions to get rid of stuff using the criteria "Is it taking up space and I haven't touched it or used it forever?" or "Is it burdening me with its presence in some way?"

Downsizing-2-photos

Kathy Behling suggested: "After cleaning out 3 different houses for parents and in-laws and aunts and uncles, I'm much less sentimental than I used to be. For all the things that I've been entrusted with: Do I like it? If yes, where will I keep it? If I can't answer that, I can't keep it. Would it mean something to someone else? If I don't want it, it's yours. I'll tell you everything I know about the object and entrust you with the stories. Is it worth a lot of money? That only matters if someone is planning to sell it. Am I willing to store the object for someone else? Nope.

Next question I asked myself: is anyone going to want this when they go thru my things? The books? Probably no one. The journals that are over 100 years old? Sadly, they won't. But I'm scanning them. The bajillions of old photos from my grandparents and parents? Yes, they're getting scanned, too.

My space is limited, and I don't have room for someone else's memories. So my grandmother's hats from the 30s are on display! The pictures are coming out of boxes and are going on my walls. I want to enjoy what I've saved. And maybe that's what it really comes down to."

Many of my friends have moved many more times than I, so that experience has given them insight like Pamela Groth: "I have moved twice in the last six years. Packing and choosing were painful both times. I downsized both times. However, one incident that made me think differently was when there was a fire close to our house. It completely changed my perspective on what really matters, and if I had to act quickly, what would I take?"

Personal Tips

SDownsizing-2-writingue Hawes had this to say about downsizing: "My best tip for downsizing is, with special things you must part with, take a picture and write what is known. Donate the item if you can't find someone to take it. Then focus on the next family that will enjoy the item, the income it will generate for a good cause, and walk away with a smile. I know, easier said than done, but it can be done." 

Anthony Ray made a good point in his analogy with a shirt: "I went to grab a shirt out of my closet today and put it on. Didn't care for it. Then I realized it's been hanging in my closet for months now, not ever having been worn. I'm going to donate it. That same process happened a few more times before I grabbed a tried-and-true shirt. Go through some type of process like that. Also, you don't have to make a decision immediately. Dwell on it for a day or two. I'm sure your question has to relate more to items of sentimentality. But I'm sure you'll also be going through the more mundane as well. There's a fine line between practicality and sentimentality."

I know it's hard to give away items that someone I cared about gave me. I liked what my friend Dina had to say on this because I think this issue causes many of us to feel ambivalent: "My father told me once, "Don't keep things you don't like because they were given to you by someone you love."

Extreme Downsizing

I have a few friends that downsized out of a home and into an RV. So they really know how to downsize. Their advice included:

K.B. Barcomb just spent almost a year living in an RV which meant downsizing and storing most of her belongings: "Having moved dozens of times, I thought it would be an easy question to answer. But then it wasn't: We have been living full-time for the past ten months in an RV. The result, I've discovered, has been a major change in mindset. While we've been RV-ing for 10 years, we always had a 'real' house as well. All our stuff is in storage this time while we build a new home.

So what things do I actually miss? Not that much: my reference library, pieces of wall art that remind me of previous journeys (both literal and figurative), and some cherished family items. More importantly, I miss spaces: a quiet room for research and thought, a hidden corner for curling up with a book, a guest room to joyously welcome friends and family, and a large kitchen in which to celebrate the people we care about. So maybe downsizing is really about creating spaces that feed the soul and only keeping the things that help us do that."

Kelly Kirby Fisher also has downsized  to an RV: "We downsized in a major way last year! It was so hard. Most of my genealogy books are in storage back home (especially the ones that are rare or irreplaceable). I had an antique piano that was over 120 years old (that I loved). We gave it to a great friend who put it in his office (which matches his furniture perfectly). Our RV is 45' long, but there was just no place for that piano. Now, hubby had a more challenging time because not only did we have a 4-car garage - it was 2 stories tall, and the second story extended over the covered area."

Professional Genealogists Respond

Amy Johnson Crow has covered this issue on her podcast from her own personal experience. "I did a two-part series on my podcast, spurred by downsizing my parents' from their house of 35 years (and a marriage, at that point, of 60 years). So. Much. Stuff. I talked with Janine Adams, who is both a genealogist and a certified professional organizer. My biggest takeaways from my experience: 1) getting rid of stuff is not the same as getting rid of the person; 2) it will take *much* longer than you expect; and 3) it is all kinds of exhausting." (Listen to Amy's podcast at Generations Cafe Podcast.

Finally, Peggy Clemens Lauritzen's  experience is one we should consider. Sharing what we have is one way to preserve it, especially when we can't keep everything: "The things that mean a lot to me likely won't have the same sentimental value to my children. It's just stuff. But I know that posterity in future generations may wish they could rub their hands across bedsteads my grandparents slept in, feel the stitches on old quilts, or view the scriptures an 1860s pioneer used on his mission. Those things will likely end up in an estate sale or at Goodwill.

So, out comes the camera. I have done closeup photography on quilts, bonnets, a shoeshine box from the Navy, military uniforms from WWII, lots of scriptures showing their embossed names and certain pages highlighting favorite verses, medals and awards, jewelry, my dad's watch, and penknife, and recipe cards.

Downsizing-2-camera

They are in my folders, but more importantly, they are in the "Memories" section of FamilySearch, so they will be preserved for the ages by people around the world. Each is on the page of the person who owned them and tagged to those who may be attached to the object."

Downsizing is Hard, but You're in Good Company

One thing I learned from talking to genealogists about this topic is that paring down what you have and remembering that it's just stuff is vital beyond just organizing. I know my kids aren't going to care as much for some of the items I'm sentimental over. They have their memories and precious things. I'm tackling the downsizing by being clear about what is essential. My mantra for this project is "downsize, organize, preserve, and share."

[1] Comments have been edited for space. I received over 60 suggestions but wasn't able to use them all here. Thanks to everyone who shared their experience with me.

 

Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, instructor, and researcher. She blogs at Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. You can find her presentations on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.

 

 


Michigan: An Upper Midwest Researchers Dream - free replay of today's webinar by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA now available for limited time

Michigan: An Upper Midwest Researchers Dream - free replay of today's webinar by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA now available for limited time

The recording of today's webinar, "Michigan: An Upper Midwest Researchers Dream" by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for free for a limited time.

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Michigan is a state of many people: Native Americans, fur traders, French explorers, British military, and then settlers from all over the world including many from Canada and the Northeast U.S. The records and indexes are amazing as are the libraries, historical societies, archives, universities that are filled with resources. Online indexes and record images add to the dream. Learn about the people, resources, businesses, farms, military, and vital records.

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Register for Webinar Wednesday — Michigan: An Upper Midwest Researcher’s Dream by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS

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Michigan is a state of many people: Native Americans, fur traders, French explorers, British military, and then settlers from all over the world including many from Canada and the Northeast U.S. The records and indexes are amazing as are the libraries, historical societies, archives, universities that are filled with resources. Online indexes and record images add to the dream. Learn about the people, resources, businesses, farms, military, and vital records.
 
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About the presenter

PaulaStuartWarren-144x144Paula considers herself fortunate to be an internationally recognized genealogical educator, researcher and consultant focusing on unusual resources, manuscripts, methodology, and analyzing records. She also specializes in Native American research. She loves to interact with her clients and audiences. She is a long-time course coordinator and instructor for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh and an instructor for Ancestry Academy. Her lecturing experience includes the Federation of Genealogical Societies and National Genealogical Society conferences and seminars in many states and Canada. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the Minnesota Genealogical Society (MGS), and is a former officer of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and is the Past President of the Northland Chapter of APG. She initiated the MGS education committee and classes and was one of the founding members of the MGS Library. She co-chaired the FGS 2001, 2011, and 2013 conferences. Her ancestors came to the U.S. from eight ancestral countries. She has researched onsite from coast to coast at and has written for, FGS FORUM, NGS Magazine, Family Tree Magazine, New England Ancestors, Minnesota Genealogist, findmypast.com, was editor of the former FGS Conference News Blog and currently has her own educational website and blog at http://genealogybypaula.com.

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Downsizing (Part 1) - Getting the Process Rolling

Downsizing (Part 1) - Getting the Process Rolling

It’s a frequent topic of magazine and blog articles, downsizing. Whether you need to downsize to move to a smaller house, to make more room in your current home, or just to be better organized, chances are downsizing is something that has crossed your mind.

It’s also crossed mine as I’m currently in the middle of a large downsizing project. In my opinion, those countless articles about downsizing aren't as applicable to genealogists. I think downsizing is different for the keepers of the family history “stuff." Why? Because our homes are family archives with original documents, photographs, and irreplaceable heirlooms. It’s not about whether we should toss out clothes we haven’t worn in a year. We are talking about our personal belongings plus items that document our family history. For the genealogy-related items, we must carefully consider how to organize these items and what needs to happen to them, such as digitizing and preserving, storage, donating, or gifting to other family members. There’s also the mass of digital files we collect. It can be overwhelming.

One of the most important reasons to downsize and organize our genealogy is so that we can leave it to family members who will appreciate it and not be overwhelmed by the mass of foreign-to-them papers that make little to no sense. Downsizing can mean organizing and keeping what is necessary but not every scrap of paper we ever wrote on (yes, I fall into that category).

When I teach, I talk about genealogists as “information hoarders.” We think every piece of paper or information we ever found will be needed “one day.” (This is something I am especially guilty of). And because of this, we tend to have piles of photocopies and articles that we will never see that “one day” because we can’t find what we need!

That gets me back to the topic of downsizing. What should you consider when facing a long-term or short-term downsizing or organizing project?

Items of Sentimental Value

I’m not a professional organizer, so I reached out to someone who is. Janine Adams writes about organizing your family history on her Organize Your Family History website. As I sat stymied by items with a sentimental attachment, I asked her what I should consider as I start to “downsize.”

"When it comes to sentimental items, the more you keep of any one category, the less special any of it is. Less really can be more when you’re deciding what to take to your new home. Genealogists can have a tougher time letting go of family-history-related items because so much of it feels so special. I encourage you to start with the low-hanging fruit, the genealogy documents you’re storing on paper. If you have time during the downsizing process, you could scan your genealogy papers, so that they take up less space in your new home. Be sure and create a file-naming protocol and folder structure so you’ll be able to find the documents. For non-paper heirlooms, keep those that are really important to you and perhaps find new homes for the others with cousins or other relatives.

It can be hard to let go of stuff, but the key to being able to enjoy your new home is to get in touch with what’s important to you and keep only those items that support that. Making the tough decisions now will help you enjoy your new home more quickly."

I like what Janine said about the more you keep, the less special something is. That struck home with me as I looked at my adult son’s collection of toy trains and realized that I didn’t need to keep all of them to remember his childhood. The same is true for the boxes of genealogy photocopies I have from a cousin’s research, most of which is now online.

So with Janine’s words of wisdom and thinking about my downsizing project, I realized that I needed to start with that “low-hanging” fruit and then go from there. Janine has more tips about going digital with your genealogy on her website.

Now It’s Your Turn

What are your downsizing/organizing problems? What do you need to do with your genealogy so that it can be inherited or gifted to a family member or archive? How have you tackled this problem?

For more details on organizing see the more than 15 webinars on organization in the Legacy Library.

 

Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, instructor, and researcher. She blogs at Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. You can find her presentations on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.