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"I want to be a genealogist"

Last night my 10-year-old said, "I want to be a genealogist." Here's the rest of the story....

While sitting around the dinner table, my wife and I were talking about our upcoming cruise to Australia and New Zealand. More specifically, we discussed the meals that we would not have to cook. One of my kids asked if we could have ice cream for breakfast if we wanted. Recalling that the cruise ships have ice cream bars and machines throughout, I told them, yes, you could have all the ice cream you want - even for breakfast.

That's when my son said "I want to be a genealogist." We've recently had conversations about what he wants to become when he grows up. A genealogist is third on his list after an astronaut and scientist. Last night I found out why he really wants to be a genealogist. He said "so I can go on the Legacy cruises like you, Dad."


Evidence Analysis webinar - now available to view

Kc Last Saturday's webinar with Karen Clifford is now available to view in our webinar archives. Karen spoke to a live audience at the annual ICAPGen seminar in Salt Lake City, Utah, and at the same time spoke to our live webinar audience.

In her class, Evidence Analysis, Karen taught us how to rank the reliability of data found in a source as direct evidence, circumstantial evidence, collateral evidence, and hearsay evidence. She also explained the difference between primary and secondary evidence and described what to do with conflicting information.

Although the class was taught to a mixture of professional genealogists as well as aspiring professionals seeking advice on passing the accreditation exam, her principles can be applied by all genealogists. One webinar attendee commented that although she probably won't ever be a professional genealogist, she was happy to know that she was on the right track in her evidence analysis techniques. Another listener mentioned that Karen's class "reinforced all the steps necessary to research an ancestor. The explanation of the various terminology used - i.e. direct evidence as opposed to circumstantial evidence - was great."

I personally enjoyed Karen's explanation of how we can evaluate the sources we type into our genealogy computer program. She said that you can test your own evidence analysis and source documentation as you share your information with others. If someone else can easily find that same source that you recorded then you have done a good job entering your sources.

As many webinar attendees commented, I wish she could have kept going. Too bad there was another session in the classroom ten minutes after she concluded. If you want to hear more from Karen, you can sign up for her distance education classes at Monterey Peninsula College or even attend her classes at the Salt Lake Community College.

We also gave away great door prizes and special coupons to our live listeners. Congrats to the winners of Evidence Explained (PDF Edition) and the Legacy Family Tree User's Guide (PDF Edition).

Visit to view the recorded presentation. The recording will be available until at least November 23, 2010.

Blogging for Beginners webinar - recording now available to view

Last night's Blogging for Beginners webinar is now available to view. DearMYRTLE did an excellent job teaching us about blogging - what it is and why we need it. View the recording in our webinar archives at With the Q/A session at the end, the recording is 1 hour 31 minutes in length.

Here are some of the comments from our listeners:

I learned a lot today. I will go back and review everything once it goes on-line.

Excellent presentation! I  learned a lot and hope to join the world of blogging soon.

Clear & concise explanation of a complex subject!

Good beginner info.  Hope you follow up with more advanced features as well -- statistics, workflow, etc.

I learned a lot about something I knew nothing about and I'm willing to try to set up a blog.  Thanks for a most informative webinar.

I now plan to do a Blog. Before I had no idea how to even start. Thank you this was wonderful.

It was extremely informative and very easy to understand.  Thanks for making it SIMPLE!

Very good. Pertinent topic. Good clear instructions along with a lot of resources. Well planned sequence of presentation.

IT WAS ABSOLUTELY THRILLING for me and very excellent! This is my very first such seminar, and I am brand new to Genealogy.

Myrt is easy to listen to and well organized. I liked the way she started in with beginning blogging and ended with the more challenging blogging. I will definitely go to any lecture she is giving. Thank you for having her present.

Worth staying up till 2:30 am for.

...lots more

Congrats to the 5 door prize winners. Remember that the special gift (15% off coupon code for our online store) for live attendees (and those who watch the webinar before Saturday) expires this Saturday, October 23, 2010).

Thanks everyone for attending. I, too, hope we can have Myrt back. Be sure to keep up with her blog at

Sharing Genealogy Electronically - watch the recorded webinar

Yesterday's (Tuesday, October 19, 2010) advanced Legacy class and webinar was the most fun I have had in years. As you know, we wanted to test and push the boundaries of genealogy technology to broadcast the class to the rest of the world - and it worked!

In Youngtown, Arizona, I taught the 3rd class of a 4 week Advanced Legacy Course to a classroom of 20 students. We were also able to broadcast the class live - to all of you - via our new webinar technology. For me, the best part of the class was taking your calls. We had callers from all over the world - France, England, Ohio and more. I wish you could have all been there personally to see the expressions on the faces of the students when they heard our first caller say, "Good evening" (it was about 11am our time). We soon found out she was calling from France.

We made history yesterday - broadcasting a genealogy and Legacy Family Tree class to a group of students and to hundreds of others from around the world. Thanks everyone for participating. I predict that this "experiment" will change genealogy education forever. Thanks to the West Valley Genealogy Society for letting us broadcast one of their workshops.

Watch the recorded class

If you could not make the live session, we invite you to watch its recording. Go to The class will be available for at least 30 days.

Upcoming webinars

We've got a great webinar schedule. Head over to and sign up for as many as you want. And be sure to forward the link to other family and friends who may be interested in learning a little about genealogy and technology.

Attend our Advanced Legacy class AND ICAPGen seminar - from home

We have never done this before, but I think it is going to work. We hope you will participate with us next week as we attempt to push the boundaries of technology....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 12:30pm (Eastern time)

(this class is now available in the webinar archives, but below is its description)

Wvgs Next Tuesday (Oct 19) I will be teaching the 3rd class of a 4-week Advanced Legacy Course at the West Valley Genealogical Society's library in Youngtown, Arizona. The class has twenty students (the fire marshall won't let them have any more), and although we cannot increase its size, I am hoping to test our new webinar technology to invite all of you too.

In other words, my class entitled "Sharing Genealogy Electronically" will be taught live to the 20 students AND it will be taught to our online webinar audience. All you need to do is register for the class at and join at the right time (your registration confirmation email will give you these instructions).

Since attending the live class in Youngtown, Arizona probably does not work for you in Australia, Sweden, or even New York City, I hope you can attend its live broadcast to try out this new technology. I tested everything today at the library with my laptop, projector, headset, and wi-fi card and it worked flawlessly, so let's hope it will work next Tuesday. I hope to "see" you all there.

After the main presentation, we will have a Question/Answer session with both our live students and our live online audience.

By the way, take a look at the library's sign in the picture above. This society won the "FastSign's 2007 Ugliest Sign Contest". See Dick Eastman's article about this here. This is the new sign they won....

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 10:55am (Eastern time)

I'm even more excited for this event. If the Tuesday class goes as expected, then this Saturday class will be even better.

We will be broadcasting - live - from the ICAPGen (International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists) seminar being held in Salt Lake City, Utah. Well-known speaker, researcher, and author, Karen Clifford, will speak to an audience of professional genealogists on "Evidence Analysis". She will be speaking BOTH to her live seminar audience at the Radisson Hotel in Salt Lake City AND at the same time will broadcast her class to our live webinar audience. To register for this class, please visit

We thank ICAPGen for be willing to try out this new technology with us.

What does the future look like?

If this technology works as expected, I foresee a dramatic change in the future of genealogy education. Although online education like this cannot replace the value of attending a live conference in person, for those who are unable to travel to attend these live events, this webinar technology certainly will make a difference.

2010 Salt Lake Christmas Tour to feature Thomas MacEntee

The following press release is from Leland Meitzler, host of the 26th annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour:

Featured Speaker To Offer Technology Education for Genealogists

October 13, 2010 – Bountiful, Utah: The 2010 Salt Lake Christmas Tour – an annual genealogy event in its 26th year and celebrating its 25th anniversary – is pleased to announce that noted genealogist and technology educator Thomas MacEntee will be joining in the holiday fun as its featured speaker. The Tour takes place beginning Sunday, December 5, 2010 and runs through Saturday, December 11, 2010 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Over a five-day period, MacEntee will offer eight different presentations covering various aspects of genealogy and how technology and social media can be used to expand the genealogy experience. Topics include “Building a Research Toolbox,” “Facebook for Genealogists,” “Build a Genealogy Blog,” and “Twitter: It Isn’t Just ‘What I Had For Breakfast’ Anymore.”

The Salt Lake Christmas Tour is an annual event attracting genealogists and family historians and is renowned for the genealogy research success of its attendees, many of whom come back year after year. The Tour provides the highest ratio of professional researchers to attendees of any genealogy research tour utilizing the Family History Library located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Throughout 2010, Thomas MacEntee has been covering the United States and Canada presenting technology education to genealogists and family historians in an easy-to-learn format. All presentations demonstrate applications such as Facebook and Twitter in real time and include cheat sheets and other handy reference materials.

Leland Meitzler, of Family Roots Publishing Company and owner/organizer of the Salt Lake Christmas Tour, says “we think that this year’s Tour not only offers an excellent research opportunity at the Family History Library but also provides a way to increase your technology knowledge especially as it pertains to genealogy. Thomas has a way of making technology approachable no matter what your computer skills.”

Register before October 31, 2010 to take advantage of special savings and to reserve your space on the Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Not only will you be amazed at the progress you can make in your genealogy research, but you’ll do so in good company and be able to witness the sights and sounds of Christmas in Salt Lake City.

About Thomas MacEntee
As a genealogist specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and to interact with others in the family history community, Thomas MacEntee relies upon his 25 years of experience in the information technology field. And as the creator of, he has organized and engaged a community of over 1,300 bloggers to document their own journeys in the search for ancestors.

Thomas shares his knowledge of technology and experience as a genealogist with others through various forms of social media and speaking engagements. Through his business High-Definition Genealogy, he provides consulting services in the genealogy industry covering such areas as market research, education, technology and more.

Thomas MacEntee is available nationwide for presentations and classes focusing on social media and technology as a way to assist genealogists and genealogical societies.

About the Salt Lake Christmas Tour
The Salt Lake Christmas Tour specializes in professionally assisted genealogy research at the world-famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Now in its 26th year and celebrating its 25th anniversary, the tour is renowned for the high success-rate of its attendees, due in part to the outstanding professional to attendee ratio. Hosted by Leland K. Meitzler, Patty Meitzler, Donna Potter Phillips, and Bill Balter, the 2010 tour promises to be one of the best ever! For more information and registration, see:

FamilySearch Indexing webinar video is now online (free)

Today's live webinar with FamilySearch's Jim Ericson is now over, and the live turnout was great. Thanks to everyone for attending.

We tried something new in today's webinar - we took your calls - live - and it worked great! There were still about 100 questions that we couldn't get to during the live show, so stay tuned to this blog for more answers to your questions.

Didn't Jim do a great job?! I'm extra motivated once again to continue my volunteer efforts with FamilySearch indexing.

How to watch the webinar again

For those who missed the live webinar, we did record it. Go to for the recording. We did no editing to the video (all the dumb jokes are still there, sorry...). It is 1 hour 29 minutes in length.

As a reminder, the coupon code we issued expires this Saturday, October 9. The code is available at the 1 hour 10 minute mark in the video. And congrats to the door prize winners Donna Yambasky and David Durick who each won a free copy of Legacy Family Tree 7 Deluxe.

Future webinars

We've got some great webinars planned. See to sign up. If you have an idea for a webinar, let me know. We would even entertain the idea of providing a free webinar for your local Legacy User Group or genealogy society. Now that would be fun!

Registration now open for our next three webinars

To celebrate Family History Month we are announcing our next three webinars:

  • Blogging for Beginners with DearMYRTLE on Wednesday, October 20, 2010
  • New Family History Technology with Paul Larsen on Wednesday, October 27, 2010
  • Organize, Share, and Publish Your Digital Photos with Heritage Collector Suite with Marlo Schuldt on Wednesday, November 3

Join one or join all three! Registration for every webinar is free and open to anyone. Register at

Blogging for Beginners - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 8:00PM Eastern

Myrtnew Step-by-step approach to creating a blog, and making postings using the free service at A great way to share genealogy research, post your society's newsletter, share info with extended family members. The webinar will also feature a survey of sample blogs, and links for additional help.

About the presenter. DearMYRTLE is the nom de plme of Pat Richley, a retired post-secondary computer software instructor. Since 1995, Myrt has provided practical, down-to-earth advice for family historians. She is the author of DearMYRTLE's Joy of Genealogy and numerous magazine and online articles focusing on beginning concepts. Find Myrt online at, and as Clarise Beaumont in Second Life. Myrt is currently working on a blog and a book about her friend Elsie's experiences in the American Red Cross in England, France, and Korea during WWII and in Japan during the Korean conflict.

8:00PM Eastern - 7:00PM Central - 6:00PM Mountain - 5:00PM Pacific


New Family History Technology - Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 9:00PM Eastern

Paulsmall There are so many new family history tools and web sites…it’s easy to feel somewhat overwhelmed. Here’s a colorful tour of much of the new stuff to make it easier, save you hundreds of hours, and have fun connecting to your ancestors. Learn about the best of the Internet, free websites, and unique resources. Join the author of the book Crash Course in Family History, Paul Larsen, and see what you’re missing!

About the presenter. Paul Larsen brings over 25 years of family history experience and is the author/publisher of the widely-acclaimed book, Crash Course in Family History, now in a new 4th edition...available in both a beautiful printed hardback and in an electronic PDF version. The book is both a comprehensive resource directory and a step-by-step illustrated guidebook with heart-warming stories. He is a popular lecturer at family history conferences, writes family history articles for magazines, and the creator of

9:00PM Eastern - 8:00PM Central - 7:00PM Mountain - 6:00PM Pacific


Organize, Share, and Publish Your Digital Photos with Heritage Collector Suite - Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - 9:00PM Eastern

Marlo Learn about Heritage Collector Suite, the popular Legacy Family Tree add-on program that helps you organize, share, and publish your digital image collections. This 60 minute webinar, taught by the software's developer, Marlo E. Schuldt, will give you an overview of the software and how it can be used in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree. In addition to organizing your digital pictures and creating slideshows, Heritage Collector Suite will create family calendars, photo books, shareable DVDs and more.

About the presenter. Marlo E. Schuldt. President of LifeStory Productions, Inc., an Orem, Utah-based company that develops family history software and provides assistance to individuals desiring to gather, organize, find, prepare, and share family history. With BS and MS degrees from Brigham Young University, he recently received a patent for the Heritage Collector Software. Father of five; grandfather of twelve.

9:00PM Eastern - 8:00PM Central - 7:00PM Mountain - 6:00PM Pacific


How does it work?

After you register you will be sent instructions, including your private link to view the webinar online. You will need to be connected to the Internet (high speed connection recommended) and turn on your speakers. You can also join via telephone to listen to the presentation. Be sure to join about 15 minutes prior to the start time to ensure everything is working correctly. Also be sure to correctly calculate your time zone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Other Webinars

Visit for all of our archived and scheduled webinars. Got an idea for a future webinar? Want us to speak to your user group or genealogy society? Let us know.