Recap – Cover It Live Chat at Practical Archivist

Cover It Live

This afternoon, between 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm CDT, Sally Jacobs – The Practical Archivist – hosted a web chat entitled Help for the Accidental Archivist over at her Practical Archivist blog. It was a huge success and I wanted to post some information concerning the process and the technology used.

  • I was honored to serve as Sally’s “wingman” as it were.  More like an Ed McMahon to her Janey Carson.  Basically, Sally needed someone to capture all the questions from the participants, moderate them to make sure they were appropriate and on point, and then feed them to her one at a time so she could provide answers.
  • Cover It Live has two type of users – paneltists/producers and participants.  The panelists/producers are allowed to comment and add content while the comments of participants are moderated and approved by a producer.
  • Both Sally and Miriam utilize the free version of Cover It Live which does have limitations on the number of participants and panelists/producers.  The limit is 25 panelists/producers who can have full access and up to 25 participants using the Always Allow feature to publish comments.
  • Cover It Live has a premium version with no such limits, but you must either purchase a subscription or you can use the free premium version but must allow Cover It Live to display advertising on the console used by panelists/producers and participants.
  • As a facilitator, my job was to note the questions, place them in the “holding queue” and then privately message the person asking the question letting them know that their question was in the queue.  Also, I had to keep tabs on Sally answering questions so I could then “approve” the next question for her to answer and for the other participants to see.
  • You can see the entire transcript of the 90 minute chat by visiting Sally’ blog post about the chat here.  I also copied the entire content and pasted it into a Word document for Sally to use.  Most likely she will produce a PDF with some live links to resources.  Look for it soon at her blog.

Overall, this was a great event and a great example of an information professional (genealogist, librarian, historian, archivist) leveraging new technology in order to give back to the genealogy community.

As co-chair of the Virtual Presentation Committee of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, Sally afforded me a unique opportunity to use the Cover It Live platform.  I’ll be adding my notes and insights to the GSG benchmark documents to be released in early 2011.  If you are a genealogist interested in learning more about virtual presentations, I urge you to join GSG – we are working hard to develop a set of best practices and recommendations on presentation platforms for genealogy speakers to use.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Family Search Records Update – Over 2 million records from 6 countries now available

Family Search

[Editor’s note: the following information on updated records has been received from Family Search.]

No Halloween Trick, Just Genealogical Treats

Over 2 million records from 6 countries now available

People with ancestors from Ghana now have free online access to valuable census records, the first images from that African country to be published on FamilySearch. Other new collections include over two million indexed records from Germany, Norway, Puerto Rico, and three U.S. states: Arkansas, Idaho, and Minnesota. Search these records now at

See the chart below for the complete list of newly added or updated collections.

Project Indexed Records Digital Images Comments
Germany, Ludwigshafen Church Record Extractions
and Family Registers
106,564 New indexed records
Germany, 1890 – Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census 31,499 Additional images added
Ghana, 1982-1984 – Census 458,716 New indexed records
Norway, 1875 – Census 41,701 Additional images added
Puerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1836-2001 3,763 Additional images added
U.S., Arkansas County Marriages, 1837-1957 94,181 43,301 Additional records and images added
U.S., Idaho, County Marriages, 1864-1950 148,053 62,274 New indexed records and images
U.S., Minnesota State Census, 1905 1,973,884 52,150 New indexed records and images
U.S., Minnesota, State Census, 1865 3,396 New indexed records

Note: For a link to this news release, please visit:

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Genealogy Blogging Events Week of October 29 – November 5, 2010

genealogy blogging calendar
Here is a list of events and goings-on in the world of genealogy blogging. Here’s what is happening in the coming week:


The October 2010 Scanfest will take place at AnceStories on Sunday, October 31st, from 11 AM to 2 PM, Pacific Standard Time.

Scanfest may be a new term for some of my new readers. What is Scanfest? It’s a time when geneabloggers, family historians, and family archivists meet online here at this blog to chat while they scan their precious family document and photos. Why? Because, quite honestly, scanning is time-consuming and boring!

Scanfest is a great time to “meet” other genealogists, ask questions about scanning and preservation, and get the kick in the pants we all need on starting those massive scanning projects that just seem too overwhelming to begin.

Halloween – October 31, 2010

Post about your memories of Halloween as a child or the memories of your family’s celebration of this fun holiday. We’ll carry a “roll-up” of all the posts during the day on Sunday, October 31st.

Data Backup Day – November 1, 2010

Do you backup your genealogy data on a regular basis? No? What are you waiting for, a major data loss disaster to strike? The first day of each month has been designated as Data Backup Day – and here are some great resources to get you started. Post about how you backup your data (or don’t backup your data) and we’ll carry your post here at GeneaBloggers on November 1st!

Election Day – November 2, 2010

In the United States, the right to vote is one which was hard-fought by many of our ancestors. On Tuesday, November 2nd post about voting and elections and how they factored in to your family history. Did you have an ancestor or family member who ran for office? Did you ever work on an election campaign? Were your ancestors ever denied the right to vote? Let us know and we’ll carry all posts in a “roll-up” here at GeneaBloggers.

Happy Blogiversary!

If your blog anniversary is coming up soon, make sure it gets on our GeneaBloggers calendar! Remember to send your blog anniversary info to GeneaBloggers.

Genealogy Blog Carnivals

Wondering how to participate in a blog carnival? Check out this post from Bootcamp for GeneaBloggers.

Genealogy Conferences This Week

View upcoming genealogy conferences in the United States and across the globe at the group of calendars at GeneaBloggers. If you know of an upcoming expo or conference that should be on the GeneaBloggers conference calendar, send it to us at

Appearances By GeneaBloggers Members

If you need more information on how to submit your own information for our Speaker’s Bureau page as well as the Speakers’ Appearances calendar, contact us at

GeneaBloggers Group on Facebook

We are now at 1,291 members this week at GeneaBloggers Group on Facebook. If you know anyone who blogs about their genealogy or family history and you think they might benefit from membership in Geneabloggers please tell them about our Facebook group!

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy

Amy Coffin of the fabulous We Tree blog, has done it again. Last year, Amy developed a series of 52 Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompts which kept folks very busy and forced them to look at many different aspects of their genealogy.

Now Amy brings us 52 Weeks To Better Genealogy: a series of weekly prompts that are a bit more challenging and are geared towards those new to the field of genealogy and family history as well as those who want to brush up on some skills which might be a bit rusty.

  • Week 44: Research ways to give back to the genealogy community. A great deal of genealogy information on line was put there by volunteers. This week, your challenge is to examine some different ways genealogists can donate their time and effort in kind.  Find-a-Grave, Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, FamilySearch Indexing, the World Archives Project, Unclaimed Persons and the USGenWeb project are all dependent on volunteer effort. Perhaps you’ll even discover a new tool to use. You do not have to volunteer as part of this challenge, just increase your knowledge of the available opportunities. Genealogy bloggers, are there any other online groups and organizations you can think of that may be of benefit to your readers?

We’ll list a new challenge each Saturday which should be completed by the following Friday.

And remember – as Amy says – these should be fun exercises! Don’t feel that you have to participate each week, nor should you beat yourself up if you miss one or more challenges. We all have so much that we want to accomplish – let alone what we want to accomplish with our genealogy blogs. This series should be one which, by the end of 2010, helps you to be a better genealogist.

GeneaBloggers Calendar

And don’t forget to check out other upcoming events at the Geneabloggers Calendar. This is the same Google calendar that has been in existence for quite some time. And if you subscribe to the calendar you’ll receive email reminders of events.

© 2010 copyright, Thomas MacEntee