Thursday, April 26, 2012

Indexers & Arbitrators: Finding Common Ground

Scene 1 - I was visiting with my sister and we started talking about indexing. She's been working on some death records and told me how she doesn't submit her batches very quickly because she loves reading every detail & creating a story in her mind regarding the names she sees (Mom, is there another genealogist in the making?) She shared with me some of the interesting and sad details that she had come across

While looking at her account, most of her batches came back in the 97-99% accuracy range except for one batch that was 84%. We looked through that batch and saw multiple places where the arbitrated results did not match what we both felt was the correct result. We both felt frustrated that her average was going to be docked & the records would be incorrect. 

Scene 2 - I attended a virtual chapter meeting for the Utah Genealogical Association with Thomas McGill from FamilySearch (you can watch the recorded meeting in the members section of the UGA website) this month and the subject was indexing the 1940 Census. It was amazing to see that we have blown away all projections & there are more people signing up to index every day! We looked at graphs showing how the number of indexers has dramatically increased (as has the number of batches completed). The number of arbitrators has increased as well, but not at a high enough rate to keep up.

Many attendees brought up similar situations to the one above where they had a batch or two that received a very low accuracy percentage when in fact many of the "corrections" were wrong! Thomas explained that they were very aware that not all of the arbitrated results are accurate and that they are aware (i.e. they've been told many times over) how discouraging it can be from an indexers point of view. 

Scene 3 - I asked several friends who are indexing about their experience and most of them had at least one story to tell where an arbitrator corrected their work and the results were far from perfect. Many of them were frustrated that their hard work was being discounted. 

Scene 4 ("Ah-ha" moment) - While on FB today, a friend talked about how arbitrators are desperately needed right now. You see, all these batches are being submitted, but they can't be completed until someone arbitrates them. There were many comments, but one that stood out to me was from a former arbitrator:
I actually quit arbitrating because I was so upset about what my Facebook "friends" were saying about arbitrators. Yes, there is a greater purpose and I need to consider that, but the negativity and name calling broke my spirit.
Here comes the "ah-ha" moment. Arbitrators are human. They are people. Maybe you are an arbitrator. Arbitrators are not out to "get" you & they don't mess up your hard work on purpose. In fact, aren't we are working towards the same goal? To make this work accessible. To make it available. To help in future research. YES!!! 

So, yes, I'm a perfectionist & I don't want to see my accuracy tarnished by a batch that was not arbitrated the way I would agree is correct. I also want to make sure, the most accurate transcription is being produced. But I will support my arbitrators and realize that they, too, are doing their best. I will no longer grumble and gripe over that one bad batch, but I will consider the many others that were completed quickly and accurately. I thank my arbitrators for a job well done. Heck, maybe I'll even join the ranks. 

Are you with me?

And if you're still concerned about the accuracy, here's an excerpt from an blog that FamilySearch released on this subject:
  1. All indexing values from both indexers and the arbitrator are preserved in the FamilySearch database. At some future date, if needed, all three could be published side-by-side and made searchable.
  2. In the future, when FamilySearch publishes its public family tree, patrons will have the ability to make corrections or add alternative information, giving more richness to the collection.
  3. It is also likely in the future that patrons will have the ability to index individual records that they come across in their research, essentially on the fly. These researchers will likely be more familiar with the records than the average indexer and will provide a higher-quality index.
  4. Computers are getting more sophisticated all the time, and in some future scenarios it may be possible to program them to read handwriting so accurately that they will surpass the capabilities of both the casual and experienced indexer. This sounds futuristic but may, in reality, be closer than most would guess.
Here are a few more blog posts to read from Familysearch:

Carrie Keele
(a.k.a. DearMYRTLE's daughter)
www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ancestry.com BIG announcement regarding Archives.com



Who said genealogy isn't exciting?? I just got off the phone with my mom & even though she is on the road heading to her next speaking engagement, had to share the latest news with me. You can view the release on her blog or right here:



“Simple and Affordable” Fast-growing Start-up Adds Complementary Offering to Ancestry.com–

PROVO, Utah, April 25, 2012 – Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Archives.com, a family history website, for approximately $100 million in cash and assumed liabilities. 
This transaction will enable Ancestry.com to add a differentiated service targeted to a complementary segment of the growing family history category. In addition, Ancestry.com will welcome a team of talented engineers, digital marketers, and family history innovators into the Ancestry.com fold and also gain access to a proprietary technology platform that has supported Archives.com’s rapid growth.  
Archives.com is owned and operated by Inflection LLC, a Silicon Valley-based technology company.  Since Archives.com’s launch in January 2010, the site has rapidly grown to more than 380,000 paying subscribers who pay approximately $39.95 a year.  Archives.com offers access to over 2.1 billion historical records, including birth records, obituaries, immigration and passenger lists, historical newspapers, and U.S. and U.K. Censuses. 
“Archives.com has built a fantastic and fast-growing business that we think is highly complementary to Ancestry.com’s online family history offering,” said Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry.com. “We love their focus on making family history simple and affordable, and we are excited to help the talented Archives.com team continue to grow alongside Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, and Family Tree Maker.”
“Family history remains a dynamic and growing online category,” added Sullivan. “Archives.com’s focus is consistent with our mission to help everyone discover, preserve and share their family history, which will help continue our efforts in delivering amazing discoveries to an even broader audience.” 
Over the past two years, Archives.com has partnered with multiple well-known family history organizations that have helped build out Archives.com robust collection of family history records. Most recently, Archives.com partnered with the U.S. National Archives to provide free digital access to the recently released 1940 U.S. Federal Census. 
“We are proud of the experience we’ve built with Archives.com and believe strongly in its future potential,” said Matthew Monahan, CEO and Co-Founder of Inflection.  “Combining with Ancestry.com positions Archives.com to best capitalize on that potential, pairing complementary visions of the marketplace and the opportunity.  We’ve long admired Ancestry.com’s content and technology and the innovations that the Ancestry.com team continues to bring to market.  We’re excited to see how this transaction expands the reach of family history to an even larger audience.” 
Upon completion of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration of the HSR waiting period, Ancestry.com will continue to operate Archives.com separately retaining its brand and website.  Multiple Inflection employees, including key product and engineering executives are expected to join the Ancestry.com team.
About Ancestry.com
Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with more than 1.8 million paying subscribers. More than 9 billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 34 million family trees containing approximately 4 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site, Ancestry.com offers several localized Web sites designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history. 
About Archives.com
Archives.com is a leading family history website that makes discovering family history simple and affordable. The company has assembled more than 2.1 billion historical records all in a single location. Archives also partners with other leading family history websites to provide a comprehensive resource for researching your family history. Archives.com is free to try for seven days, allowing anyone to explore the benefits of membership without risk or obligation. For more information and to start discovering your family history, please visit http://www.archives.com/. 
About Inflection
Inflection is a Big Data and e-commerce startup headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley. Leveraging its proprietary technology platform, the company has built innovative data services like Archives.com, PeopleSmart.com, and Identity.com. Inflection was founded in 2006 and is backed by tier-one venture capitalists Matrix Partners and Sutter Hill Ventures.
Carrie Keele 
(a.k.a. DearMYRTLE's daughter)
www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Celebrate the one month release of the 1940 Census in your jammies!

Mark your calender: 2 May 2012 marks the 1 month since the release of the 1940 Census. That's right, time flies when you're having fun!! I'll be joining Myrt as she hosts a party (a.k.a. webinar) that night, check for the details below.





We're gonna focus on indexing this time. Whether you've taken it on yourself to personally index the entire Census or you've yet to start, there's something for everyone. There will be several guest speakers covering topics such as:


-- Did you sign up for indexing at www.the1940Census.com?
-- Have you been notified that your state is available for indexing yet?
-- Quick tips on Indexing
-- What's same house vs same place?
-- Sharing views
-- Arbitration issues 

If you've never been on one of Myrt's webinars, just know that you will NOT be disappointed! Make sure to follow the conversation during the webinar on twitter using #DearMYRTLE. If you need help figuring out how to do that, click here: Using Tweetdeck to Manage Your Hashtags.

Title:     1940 Census Indexing UPDATE
Date:     Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Time:     9:00 PM - 10:30 PM EDT
9pm Eastern US
8pm Central US
7pm Mountain US
6pm Pacific US


After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

iPad users may download the GoToMeeting App in the App Store.

Carrie Keele
(a.k.a. "DearMYRTLE's daughter)
www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com

Friday, April 20, 2012

Indexing ... it's so easy, even a 12 year old can do it!

Did you attend or listen to the recording of DearMYRTLE's April 3rd webinar (one of 5 webinars focused on the new release of the 1940s census) where 12 year old Bree Keele was featured? Bree shared her experience indexing the 1940 census and there is even a friendly competition between her and cousin Russ Worthington.


If you didn't already make the connection, I am the proud mamma of Bree (full name is Aubrey, but as she will be entering middle school next year, has decided to transition to a more mature "Bree"). Together Bree and I discovered just how fun and easy (mostly) it is to index. I'd heard about indexing for years but my life is so full and busy there just wasn't room for one more "thing." Or so I thought.

I'd venture to guess that most of you who may happen to read this, have participated in indexing at some time or another. I'm not going to get into the how-tos (go to the1940census.com if you need directions on getting started). Instead I'd like to offer some ideas on involving the family involved:
  •  Set up an indexing blog for your family where everyone can share funny things they have found, stats, etc.
  • Have a contest within your family a pick a grand prize. If you're getting young ones involved, maybe have everyone set personal goals and it's first one to their own goal. 
  • Host an indexing party! Pizza, munchies and BYOL (bring your own laptop). Encourage everyone to download their batches before the party, so your wi-fi is not overloaded.
  • Keep a chart on the fridge and when the fam reaches certain points you get a reward (like bowling, new game, etc.)
What are some ideas you've done with your family? With a little creativity and FUN, there's no reason we can't get the whole family involved!!

Carrie Keele
(a.k.a. DearMYRTLE's daughter)
www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com

P.S. By the time this post was published (yes, it sat in draft-dom for way too long) Russ has now matched Bree with 100% accuracy!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Picnik closes it doors today! And 3 alternative online photo-editors ...

Excuse me for a moment while I mourn a great loss ...
Oh Picnik how I have loved you so! You made photo-editing oh so easy, you made me look pro. You helped me make my "amateur-wanna be-wish I could" pictures look professional better. When Google purchased your site a few months back, I was hopeful that this meant BIG things. Then came the news. Google plans to shut down Picnik. Oh the horrow, say it ain't so!! I have stayed faithful to your beautiful site, but the day has come that I need to move on. Please forgive me for exploring other sites. You'll always be my first love!!
If you never had a chance to explore the many features of Picnik, count yourself lucky. What you don't know won't hurt you, right?? You see I have Photoshop (becoming Photoshop-able is on my bucket list) and I've used PaintShopPro for years (comparable to Photoshop Elements, though less known). I discovered Picnik a couple years back and it has been my go to for doing quick and easy edits to my photos. Here are some examples of edits:




Each of these edits only took a matter of 5-10 minutes because of Picnik's easy to use interface. Can you see why I loved it so much??

Okay, moving on. I've looked around for for sites to step up and fill the gap. After lots of disappointment, I found a few promising sites that I'll be trying out and watching closely to see how they evolve. Here's my top 3 picks:

1. iPiccy.com - Ummm, where did this site come from?? I think I might quickly fall in love with it. Not only is it easy to use but includes most of Picnik's features including some new effects. The set-up of this site is very similar to Picnik, making it easy for people to transition. At first look it seems that I will be able to apply all of my fav edits. I did a quick edit on that first picture with my sweet niece, Hannah. Take a look:
2. PicMonkey - Oh happy day! Between this and iPiccy, I might quickly forget about the wonders of Picnik. Here's an excerpt from PicMonkey on their about page:
A couple of former Picnik engineers, a rabbi, and a monkey meet in a bar.
The rabbi realizes he's not in the middle of a corny joke so he leaves. But the monkey. The monkey starts raving wildly. He's slapping the Picnik engineers on the back, congratulating them for pioneering the online photo editing space 6 years ago, and for enabling a whole new class of photographers to create beautiful images and hang out together. And the monkey has more ideas about time travel, connecting people, light speed, and making Brussels sprouts taste better. The engineers, they're listening, but they're onto something new. They scribble furiously on the backs of napkins and the edges of sleeve cuffs.
Several months later, here we are. A dynamic duo became a small dynamic team. And the world's friendliest photo editor got a chance to start again. If you loved Picnik, PicMonkey is back in town and better than ever. It's faster, more powerful, and easier to use. It's the real deal you already know, plus 78% more monkey.
What's this? Some of the former Picnik engineers created this site. Sweet! Played around with that same picture and here's what I came up with after about 3 minutes:
3. Google+ Creative Kit - If you go into your Google+ account and pull up a photo, you'll notice "Creative Kit". At first click, it look exactly like our beloved Picnik (I don't think I've ever used on word so many times in a blog before!!) For a moment, I almost forgave Google for taking away my fav toy. Upon further investigation, it is a striped down version of what was available from Picnik. For instance, it has several of the effects, but you don't have control to change levels and use a brush. It is missing several of the best edits (teeth whitening for one). And then there's the fact you're forces to put your picture on Google+.

I was working on an edit, but got frustrated and decided to not complete it. The only reason I mention it here, is because I will be keeping an eye on it to see if it will evolve into something I find useful. In the meantime, I will be busily playing with my first two finds!

I'm feeling inspired to take some new pix ... time to get off the computer!

Carrie Keele
(a.k.a. DearMYRTLE's daughter)
www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com

i before e except after c

One of the hurdles I've run into while indexing the 1940 Census, is what to do when the document has a clear misspelling. Do you put the correct spelling or do you put what is actually on the document? (Yes, put the proper spelling of locations if it's obvious.)

Anyone who has ever done much research, understands the importance of the correct spelling. Finding that infamous great-great-grandfather's birth certificate could very well be caused because of a misspelled word years ago.

Most people even have trouble spelling the word "genealogy" (how many times have you seen geneOlogy?) I've always prided myself on having a decent grasp on the English language. I was quickly humbled this week when I received this comment on my blog:
Okay, I finally have to ask something. Is that a typo in your banner, or is the extra L in the word "Genealolgy" intentional - like for LOL? I only ask because the URL uses the proper spelling of the word "genealogy." I thought, well if the LOL was intentional, why was it left out of the URL? Or is it because it's easier to have it spelled properly? Sorry if I'm being dense! No one has mentioned it and I wondered if it was just me who was obtuse. :-) - KJNGenealogy
 At first I was scratching my head, because I (unlike a good many people out there) know how to spell genealogy. I do, really! I took a look at my banner and this is what I saw:

Wait, what?? Where did that extra "L" come from? Surely I didn't do that. Oh dear.

Don't worry, I've fixed it. And I'm not stressing. In fact, I find it quite amusing. You see, KJN, you were the first person to notice. Or at least the first person to say so. And I can't tell you how many times I looked at that banner, closely, before uploading it!!

Lesson learned. It's always good to proofread and have others check out work. Thanks for letting me know, KJN, so I didn't have to parade around with that banner for too much longer!

Carrie Keele
(a.k.a. DearMYRTLE's daughter)
www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

1940 Census WHAT to do with it? - Oh what fun!!

There are perks to being DearMYRTLE's daughter, one of which is being invited to participate in webinars with people who have years of experience under their belts. In other words, color me intimidated! But my mom taught me well, and though I was shaking the whole time, my first official genealogy webinar presentation went off without a hitch.

Monday night, was baptism by fire. I joined Myrt and Russ Worthington in a follow up to the 1940 Census release. For the first part of the night I had fun chatting with people on twitter using #DearMYRTLE. I was grateful for the friendly banter to help calm my nerves as I prepared to share on using custom Google Maps to share your genealogy. It wasn't perfect, I made mistakes ... but I had a BLAST!!

As promised, here's the recording, enjoy! 
(click here for DearMYRTLE's description of the webinar)
1940 Census: Now that I've Got it, WHAT Do I Do With It?
To VIEW, click  HTML Version  (requires Adobe Flash.)


To DOWNLOAD, right click on .mp4 Version and select "Save as..." to save it to your computer's hard drive. 

This webinar is in .mp4 format and can be viewed by Windows Media Player, iTunes and most other media players. Tech support has advised me of this free program that will also play the downloaded webinars.
Here's just one of the pictures I shared on my custom Google Map. This is my Grandpa, Glen Shirl Player ... I love this picture! So young & handsome.


Carrie Keele
(a.k.a. DearMYRTLE's daughter)
www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Using a custom Google map to share your genealogy

Tonight I had a chance to share some new things I've been experimenting with on a webinar with my Mom, DearMYRTLE. Did you know that you can create custom Google maps? With a custom Google map, you can share pictures, links & docs linked to physical street addresses. You can create walking/driving tours, share stories with your extended family ... the possibilities are endless.

To start, you'll want to make sure you are logged into your google account. If you don't have one, create one. Now. It's free and there's a whole world waiting for you!! ;)

Now go to www.maps.google.com & click on "My Places":

Next click on "Create Map":

Enter a Title, Description & choose your privacy setting. You may also choose to "collaborate" (you can invite others to view and/or edit your map). Click "save" when you're done:

Your new map now shows when you click on "My Places". Select your new map to view it and edit:

Here you can view any markers or routes that have been placed. To edit or add markers, click the "edit" button:

In edit mode, type the address you would like to find in the search bar:

Once you have selected the proper address, zoom in on the location. The select the blue pin ("Add a placemark"):

Place your pin next to the original Google maps pin. A window will pop up allowing you to add some details. You can change to look of the pin (here I changed the pin to a yellow school house) by clicking on the icon and selecting from the available icons. You can type text using "plain text", but I prefer using "rich text" format since it gives you more options. Once you have the text you would like, you can add a picture by clicking picture icon (circled below):

Copy the URL of the picture you are using into this box. Note: You cannot upload a picture directly from your computer. You can use your own website or a free picture hosting site. In this example I used Picasa, which is also a Google product. Make sure the link is directly to the picture, not a webpage. I usually right-click the picture and select "Copy Image Location" to ensure I have the proper link.

You will see that the picture now shows up in the white box. One of the restrictions I noticed, is that within your custom map, you can't make these pictures bigger. I like to have details and be able to zoom in. So, I opt to link this picture to my Picasa album where they can view the full picture, save it, print it, etc. Simply click on the picture and then click the "link" button (looks like a chain link):

From here copy the URL to the web location of the picture. For this example, I used the URL to my Picasa album that shows this picture (rather than the image location). This will give me the ability to see all pictures in the album, not just the one picture.

Once you have all the information added, click the "OK" button, then click "Save". Now click "done" to see what your custom map now looks like:

Here you can see that our new pin now shows up in the list. Make sure to check to see if you image link works correctly.

If you'd like to take a close look at what I have added to my map, here it is: My Custom Map.

You can create different maps for ancestors, time periods or locations. Imagine sharing this with your family and inviting them to share their pictures & stories. My 6 year old son, Braden, thinks that maps are the coolest thing (he collects maps from the local malls & often will navigate to the next store when we are shopping!) ... I can't wait to share my custom map with him & tell him stories about Grandpa Glen!

Carrie Keele
(a.k.a. DearMYRTLE's daughter)
www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

1940 Census - Now what? Follow up webinar

Have you been having fun with the 1940 Census release?? Feeling a little overwhelmed? Did you love DearMYRTLE's webinars last week so much and you're going through withdrawal this week?

1940 Census UPDATE: What to do with this now? with DearMYRTLE, Your friend in genealogy,
Carrie Keele, Not Your Mother's Genealogy
& Cousin Russ Worthington, FTM Users Blog & A Worthington Weblog

REGISTER for this webinar:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/718893264

9pm Eastern US
8pm Central US
7pm Mountain US
6pm Pacific US

If you need a time zone converter, there is a great one located here:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html


System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
 

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer


iPad users may download the GoToMeeting App in the App Store.
 

There is also an app for Android.

BE SURE to use the #DearMYRTLE on twitter for posing questions during the webinar, and to continue the conversation beyond the confines of our 90 minute discussion. You can find me on twitter: @CarrieKeele


Carrie Keele
(a.k.a. "DearMYRTLE's daughter)
www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Traditions

Happy Easter to you and yours!

As I sit here thinking about Easter, it makes me think of traditions. Now I gotta tell ya. I don't love the whole "Easter Bunny" aspect of the holiday. I don't have anything against Peter Cottontail. Sure, I love chocolate. But we don't go overboard in filling the baskets with more stuff.I prefer to focus on family, "renewal" and the spirit of the season.

Easter Sunday is always a special day at church. We dress in our Sunday best.

My cute fam, 2011 - Carrie & Taylor Keele with Braden (then 5) and Bree (then 11)

Probably one of my favorite things about the holiday is spending time with extended family. We usually rotate whether we spend the holiday with my side or hubby's. Stories are, food is enjoyed (usually ham and au gratin potatoes). Kids play while the grownups lounge. We will often do an Easter egg hunt.
I'm hiding, I'm hiding but no one knows where ...
My sister's & my kids getting ready for the hunt, 2010 (Tyler, Braden, Tannon, Tracen, Bree and TJ, L to R)
When we spend the weekend with Taylor's family, we keep a lot of the same traditions but add in "egg rolling". The first time we did this, I thought it was such a wacky thing! You take your hard boiled/colored eggs to the top of the hill. Count to 3, let them go. First one to the bottom is the winner!
I couldn't find my own picture, but here's an idea of what it looks like.
I couldn't imagine where this egg rolling tradition started. All I knew is that it is something they always did and had been for generations. Thank goodness for Google & Wiki (remember when we used to look things up in the encyclopedia?) According to Wikipedia:
In England, Germany and other countries children traditionally rolled eggs down hillsides at Easter this may have become symbolic of the rolling away of the rock from Jesus Christ’s tomb before his resurrection.
Interesting. So there is a reason to ruin those beautifully handcrafted eggs (once they make it to the bottom of the hill, they are pretty much goners.) What are your family's Easter traditions? And have you ever egg rolled (Chinese take-out doesn't count!)

Carrie Keele
(a.k.a. "DearMYRTLE's daughter)
www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Using Tweetdeck to manage Twitter Hashtags

Last night I had the chance to help my mom with her webinar covering news from the 1940 Census release. I was moderating comments/questions coming in through twitter using #DearMYRTLE. (The "#" is called a hashtag and allows you to follow certain keywords). Tweetdeck made it easy for me to keep up to date on any new questions asked during the webinar.

If you don't have a twitter account, go sign up for one at www.twitter.com. It's free & it's easy. You will be able to find resources & connections to help you in your genealogy research.

What is tweetdeck? Tweetdeck is an application that you can put on your computer, tablet or mobile device. You can arrange your feed and focus on what really matters to you.

How to I get started? Download the app from www.tweetdeck.com or directly from your mobile device (i.e. search "tweetdeck" under the App Store on your iPhone). Once installed, follow the guide to linking to your twitter account. (You can add multiple social media sources here as well).

How to I start using these Hashtags?
1. From tweetdeck, click on the little plus sign on the upper left menu 

     2. Type the exact words you want to search for, in the case we are entering, "#DearMYRTLE"

     3. You have now added a new column which will display all tweets that are sent with #DearMYRTLE
    If you look closely above, I have three different searches going on at the same time, "#1940Census," "#Genealogy," and "#DearMYRTLE."

    What columns have you added to tweetdeck?

    Carrie Keele
    (a.k.a. "DearMYRTLE's daughter)
    www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com

    I'm not your traditional "beginner"

    You see, I was giving tours of the local Family History Center when I was 10. New patrons would play along, but were quickly impressed as I was able to actually help them get started.  I remember the look of surprise when I would tell them, "This is the I.G.I. or International Genealogical Index where you can look up your ancestors by surname. That's the last name."

    Remember these?
    Saturdays throughout my teen years were spent at the center (my mom was the Assistant Director at the Family History Center). Sometimes I would look things up for fun, my mom would give me the films she had already looked through. When I was about 11, I actually found the will for Paul Froman (1783, Lincoln Kentucky, Will Book A) much to the amazement of my mother because she scoured the film already. (Yes, kids CAN do this!)

    That's me in the middle, when I was about 10 with my mom and sisters (Stacey - L, Tam- R)
    As an adult, I would run the occasional errand to the Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake. My mom was living out of state & it was easier and faster for me to look something up locally. When she moved out here to Utah, I asked her to speak to our group at church which turned into a monthly study group. I enjoyed learning and helping the other ladies find and get started in their research. In fact, we had a field trip to the downtown library with the group & I located an obscure book that had citations and evidence that helped a good friend research on a line that had been stuck for years. (As I showed it to her, we were both in tears though we were very careful to keep those tears from the pages!!)

    This whole time, I REFUSED to admit I was a genealogist. Tell me if you've heard this line before ...

    "I don't need to do genealogy, my **mom has already done it all!" 

    **Insert the family genealogist name here**

    And I stuck to my guns for a long time. I even WORK in genealogy (I am the administrative assistant for the Utah Genealogical Association) and have been for the past 3 years.

    What changed? It was a combination of things really.
    • I had a blast working closely with students in a new course at SLIG 2012 (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy) this year, providing records on research problems they were assigned. 
    • My stake (this is a groups of 5 wards or congregations in my church) put out a challenge to work on finding & adding at least 2 new names to add to your family tree (cake).
    • My kids thinkgenealogy. They LOVE going to the conferences (I think it's all the free candy). My own daughter, Bree (12 years old), has been very interested in learning how to index, especially with the 1940 Census.
    I finally got around to creating my own account at FamilySearch (yes, I resisted) in January and to my amazement there are actually things to be done. You see, I was married and while some of my husband's side has been researched, it's not all there. And then there's my dad's side of the tree. Beyond that, I thought about the stories that my mom has told me over the years. I want to know those stories. I want to share those stories. I want to be a genealogist. And that's not a bad thing!

    I look forward to sharing my story with you as I explore this new world & hopefully along the way I can reach out to others like myself who are realizing this whole genealogy thing is not so bad ... lol!

    Carrie Keele
    (a.k.a. "DearMYRTLE's daughter)
    www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com

    Friday, April 6, 2012

    And so it begins ...

    I spent most of my life saying, NO WAY! I refused to give in. I never woulda' thought. Could it really be?

    Gulp, am I becoming my mother??

    My name is Carrie Keele and I. am. a. genealogist.

    Signed,
    Carrie Keele
    (a.k.a. "DearMYRTLE's daughter)
    www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com
    Find me on Google+