28    Feb 20130 comments

Family History: What do we do with our ’stuff’?

One of my favorite blogs is The Signal, the digital preservation blog of the Library of Congress. A hot topic there centers on personal digital archiving, and much of that relates to family history and genealogy.

The LOC’s Mike Ashenfelder, who writes online articles about personal digital archiving, digital preservation leaders and developments in digital preservation, writes on preserving personal genealogical collections in a digital age.

The popularity of genealogy websites and TV shows is rapidly growing, mainly because the Internet has made it so convenient to access family history information. Almost everything can be done through the computer now. Before the digital age, genealogical research was not only  laborious and time consuming, it also resulted in boxes of documents: photos, charts, letters, copies of records and more. Online genealogy has  replaced all that paper with digital files. But the trade-off for the ease of finding and gathering the stuff is the challenge of preserving it.

About genealogical databases, Ashenfelder writes:

that relational databases are the engines that drive digital genealogy. Databases make it possible to quickly search through enormous quantities of records, find the person you’re looking for and discover related people and events. And when institutions collaborate and share databases, statistical information becomes enriched.

And, considering some demographics of family history aficionados, digital estate planning now a popular topic. What happens to our digital possessions after we die? And what can we do to preserve them? Getting your digital affairs in order offers much practical information.

Continue reading "Family History: What do we do with our ’stuff’?" »

27    Dec 20110 comments

Genealogy News: North America, 27 December 2011

For the last-of-2011 edition of the North American Genealogy News, here are some interesting items.

Included are the US Securities Exchange Commission’s definition of a family member (who would have thought the SEC was interested in family history?), the 2011 list of the 100 most popular boys’ and girls’ names, a Canadian “living” village, changes to the Social Security Death Index and more.

Defining the family

For those who think that governments are not interested in genealogy, note that the US Securities Exchange Commission has now defined family members, in connection with a new rule requiring hedge funds to register with the SEC if they manage other people’s money.

Read the definition here:

Continue reading "Genealogy News: North America, 27 December 2011" »

17    Oct 20112 comments

Genealogy News: North America – 17 October 2011

This week's topics include an unusual free webinar, Google+, Canadian databases and resources, a Massachusetts genealogical journal, resources in Minnesota and Oklahoma and more.

There are many resources available on almost any family history topic. If you are frustrated at not being able to find what you want, or need help understanding what you have found, that may be a signal to join your local genealogical society.

Newcomers are welcome at all societies, where experts are interested in helping you. Remember that all of us were newcomers at some point regardless of our current skill level. We have all been in the same place as you, and we were assisted by experts who answered those "silly questions" we were hesitant to ask.

Continue reading "Genealogy News: North America – 17 October 2011" »

4    Sep 20112 comments

Genealogy News: North America – 4 September 2011

The genealogy and family history world is often quiet during the summer months as people take vacations or enjoy family time.

In late August, our community once again begins to buzz with activity as people return to their daily lives. The program year begins in September for many genealogy societies.

This week has produced event announcements ranging from society meetings, anniversary programs, the start of classes, new tools and databases and more.

Read on for some of the announcements - we couldn't fit everything into this column!

How you can learn more: 

-- Google for genealogy and family history events in your own town or city.

-- Join your local family history society.

-- Sign up for a family history class.

Continue reading "Genealogy News: North America – 4 September 2011" »

29    Aug 20111 comment

Washington DC: MyHeritage team in action

The international genealogists descended on Washington DC and MyHeritage was there to meet them.

The 31st International Conference on Jewish Genealogy – August 14-19 – was organized by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Maryland in conjunction with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. The annual conference is held in a different city each year, with Paris the venue for 2012.

Chief genealogist Daniel Horowitz, UK genealogy advisor Laurence Harris and US genealogy advisor Schelly Talalay Dardashti  were ready for the more than 1,100 family history researchers and genealogists from the US and around the world.

From left: Laurence, Schelly and Daniel

The conference program featured more than 120 lectures, workshops and other events, including a concert. This event is one of the longest genealogy conferences, beginning on a Sunday and running through Friday.

Continue reading "Washington DC: MyHeritage team in action" »

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