05 February 2012

Indexing the 1940 census

I'm signed up; are you? On April 2, the 1940 census will be released, but it won't be indexed yet. A census provides an interesting snapshot of a particular family at a particular time. We have all enjoyed the peeks afforded us by previous censuses. Now, another decade has passed and the 1940 census is here. We will be able to access our family directly if we know exactly where they were living. However, when this census is indexed, we will be able to search by name to see that little "photo" the census taker provided.

Several companies and many people are working together to accomplish this quickly. Most of the work will be done by volunteers. I'm ready now. I've signed up. I'm practicing so I know the program. Let's work together on this. Sign up now at http://the1940census.com/.  By the way, my mother and father are in it.

02 February 2012

Collaboration: getting better and better

Jay Verkler gave the keynote address today--2 February 2012 at RootsTech. What a vision he presented, taking all the pieces of the internet genealogical experience and showing past, present and future. Two Google representatives (Robert Gardner & Dave Barney) a Chrome extension that shows historical-data.org. This extension makes genealogical data more searchable on the web. My understanding is that the exciting developments they showed us were directly as a result of last year's RootsTech. Wow!

Next, Jay invited brightsolid and archives.com people up to show how world-wide collaborating and sharing can take place. Very impressive! Even "Emma," a future child from 2060, was able to increase her collaborative knowledge. 

The exhibition hall is overwhelming--so many wonderful products and ideas to share and learn about. I scratched the surface and went with my sister to donate a digital book scan to  FamilySearch.  Now I'm learning about WikiTree--another free collaborative venture. Is this a great time to be alive and doing family history or what?

On a personal note--wish my phone was smart and that I was smarter too.  This little netbook is kind of slow and really inadequate for my needs. Maybe next year. PS I got my beads and name badge extension from Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers.


In today’s world, to publish family history or share what I know about my family, I have to use technology. The world-wide conference that begins today and continues over Friday and Saturday addresses the need we have as genealogists to be computer literate. Not only literate, but efficient in using the technology we are gifted with to share family history.

I have the opportunity to attend RootsTech in person, but anyone with an internet connection has at least some of the conference available to them. I have blogged before about the importance of educating ourselves as we write and publish. Blogs, webinars, Google+, websites and on-line classes abound. See the RootsTech site to sign on and see what’s going on in live streaming today.

I hope to share something of what I am learning about writing my family history with you this weekend and in subsequent days. We are a world community of historians. Historians with a particular interest on personal and family history, the everyday happenings of life that make it meaningful on a personal level. Small and simple, yet world-wide—that is the gift of modern technology. See you at RootsTech!