NEHGS Announces Winter Weekend Research Getaway – Effective Use of Technology

New England Historic Genealogical Society - 6th Floor Library

[Editor’s Note: the following information was received from the New England Historic Genealogical Society and it looks like a great educational event!]

Winter Weekend Research Getaway – Effective Use of Technology

Thursday, January 27th –  Saturday January 29th 9:00AM- 5:00PM
New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 Newbury St.
Boston MA, 02116

NEHGS Weekend Research Getaways combine personal, guided research at the NEHGS Research Library with themed educational lectures to create a unique experience for every participant. Personal consultations with NEHGS genealogists throughout the program allow visitors to explore their own genealogical projects, under the guiding hand of the nation’s leading family history experts.

Our Winter Research Getaway, “Effective Use of Technology,” offers a variety of lectures surrounding “best practices” in using technology including researching online, software, and other topics relevant to any genealogist.

For more information, visit our website at, or call Joshua Taylor at 617-226-1226.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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 Tree Magazine Celebrates Family History Month

Family Tree Magazine

[Editor’s note: The following press release about various Family History Month events at Family Tree Magazine was recently received and is reproduced here to inform our readers.]

Discover Your Roots During Family History Month In October

Curious about your family’s past? Begin exploring your family tree this Family History Month with free programs from Family Tree Magazine.

On Oct. 16 at 2 p.m., the magazine will present 10 Steps to Discover Your Roots, an hour-long online workshop to help people get started in genealogy. Part of a national Family History Month event, the program will be broadcast live over the internet to libraries and genealogical societies across the country.

“Most people get curious about their family history at some point in their lives,” says Allison Stacy, publisher/editorial director of Family Tree Magazine and the host of 10 Steps to Discover Your Roots. “The goal of this event is to give people the guidance they need to make discoveries about their family.”

Stacy will be joined by Diane Haddad, managing editor of Family Tree Magazine, David A. Fryxell and Nancy Hendrickson, both contributing editors to the magazine, and Lisa Louise Cooke, producer of the popular Genealogy Gems Podcast. They’ll offer tips for gathering information, searching online, finding historical records and more. Registration is free at

Those interested in digging deeper will want to take advantage of a two-week online course from Family Tree University. Enrollment for Discover Your Family Tree: Genealogy for the Absolute Beginner, which begins Oct. 11, is free in honor of Family History Month.

Beginners also can enter a contest to become Family Tree Magazine’s “Family Tree Firsts” blogger. One newbie will be selected to write about their experiences on and be featured in the magazine.

All family tree buffs will appreciate the Ultimate Family History Giveaway—one lucky person will win a genealogy prize package worth more than $2,000. The prize includes products and services from many family history companies. Learn more and enter at

For more information about Family History Month resources and programs from Family Tree Magazine, visit

About Family Tree Magazine

Family Tree Magazine, America’s leading family history publication, is part of the Genealogy Community at F+W Media, Inc. <>, which also encompasses Family Tree University online courses and webinars <>, the Family Tree Books imprint and the <> online store. These publications and products are devoted to providing engaging, easy-to-understand instruction that makes genealogy a hobby anyone can do.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee