rootstech Official Blogger

RootsTech 2011 Official Blogger Banner Button

You may have seen the shiny new button in the sidebar here at GeneaBloggers stating that I am an rootstech Official Blogger. I am happy to say that not only am I delivering three panel presentations during the conference (February 10-12, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah), but that yes, I am an Official Blogger.

I can’t yet reveal what the duties of an Official Blogger entails, but I can tell you this so far about rootstech and why it will ROCK!

  • You can still catch the early bird registration between now and January 7, 2011 for only $99.  Can you believe that? Three solid days of technical education for just $33 a day? And better yet, students get all three days for $35.  Amazing.
  • Not only will you be able to mingle and meet with other genealogists and family historians, but you will also meet other technology folks who may not have a background in genealogy, but want to learn more about the needs of the genealogical community.
  • Yours truly will be presenting sessions entitled Genealogy Blogs: Impact and Influence in the Genealogy Community, Self-Publishing for Genealogists and Genealogical Societies, and Virtual Presentations Roundtable. Each panel will have well-known genealogy bloggers and genealogists involved in discussions of important technology issues for the genealogical community.
  • Hotel pricing is very reasonable and I have an inside scoop on a deal not yet announced. Also, Dick Eastman has been tracking hotel pricing for rootstech – see his post here.
  • The sessions announced so far, let alone the keynote addresses and banquets, look amazing.  Almost 45 sessions each day.  Subject cover everything from blogs, social media, programming and platforms such as SQL, PHP, Ruby on Rails, and much more.

You’ll be hearing much more about rootstech in the next few weeks, especially after the holiday season.  And start looking for those rootstech Official Blogger badges in the sidebars of your favorite genealogy blogs.  Besides, FamilySearch must know me well and the fact that I like shiny, sparkly things like neat blog badges!

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee Announces Big Changes

Family Search

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

Big Changes at

Updated Site Now Available; More Improvements to Come

SALT LAKE CITY–FamilySearch announced several changes today for its family history website, Online patrons will find millions of new records and images, over 40,000 helpful articles, over 100 interactive courses of instruction, and a dynamic forum to ask personal genealogy questions. The changes have been in testing for some time. FamilySearch will continue to implement the new website in phases to ensure all critical elements are functioning as desired. Once complete, the website will be promoted more broadly.

The new site offers the following free benefits to FamilySearch patrons:

  • Millions more scanned, historical documents and indexes that are published more frequently.
  • An improved search experience that looks through more content and gives more accurate results.
  • A thriving online genealogical community where patrons can give and receive help.
  • One user name and password for all FamilySearch products and services.
  • Responsive, reliable, and scalable hardware and software that will allow the site to grow and improve.

FamilySearch has published a helpful document called “Adjusting to the New Version of” and a video tutorial that summarizes the changes to the new site.  These new guides can be found under the “Changes at” link.

The prior version of the site will still be available through the transition period.

Disclosure: please see Disclosure Statements for more information on my material connection with FamilySearch and other genealogy vendors.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

FamilySearch Wraps Up Genealogical Gifts for the Holiday Season

Family Search

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

FamilySearch Wraps Up Genealogical Gifts for the Holiday Season

Nearly 4 million images added from 7 countries

Nearly four million new digital images are now available on These collections include the first images from South Africa, as well as records from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Guatemala, the Netherlands, and the United States. About 1.7 million of these records are indexed.

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

Project Digital Images Indexed Records Comments
Brazil, Catholic Church Records 100,110 0 New images added to existing collection
Canada, Quebec Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1900 85 79,936 New records linked to images; most images already published
Germany, Hessen, Darmstadt City Records, 1627-1939 55,528 0 New images
Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-1934 0 22,448 New records added to existing collection
Netherlands, Civil Registration, 1792-1952 1,505,610 0 Images added to existing collection
Netherlands, Zuid-Holland Province Civil Registration 6,349 0 New images
South Africa, Orange Free State, estate files, 1951-1973 79,466 15,879 New records linked to images; multiple images per record
U.S., Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1792-1983 62,763 0 New images
U.S., Minnesota Territorial Census, 1857 342 156,888 New records linked to images; most images already published
U.S., North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 39,836 45,204 New records linked to images; partial collection, with more images to come
U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 2,040,944 1,371,394 New records linked to images; includes the states of Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin

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.

Disclosure: please see Disclosure Statements for more information on my material connection with Family Search and other genealogy vendors.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee