A Day of Thanks, Gratitude in My Heart

I don't know about you, but I love this time of year. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of cold (still have my Florida blood running through my veins!) What I love about this time is the general spirit of gratitude that is found everywhere you look. Many of my Facebook friends are participating in 30 days of gratitude and post daily the things that they are thankful for. At a company Thanksgiving feast, people were heard sharing their thanks. My son comes home from school each day telling me a story he learned at school about pilgrims, Indians and traditions.

Life isn't perfect in fact it never will be. (Isn't that the design?) But despite the hardships and trials that I see so many loved ones facing, more abundant is the Spirit of the season and the underlying good.

This year I will be hosting my own Thanksgiving dinner. As I have prepared the menu, clean & organized the house, searched for decorations, fought to throttle my inner Martha & go for simplicity ... I have been reminded of the blessings in my life. From the obvious to the obscure, I am one lucky girl.

I won't attempt to list everything, it's impossible. But here are a "few". In no particular order.

Taylor, Bree, Braden, my mom & sisters, all of my family, friends, church, scriptures, prayer, my home, health, clothes, vehicles, computers, opportunities, modern medicine, iPhone & iPad, airplanes, Skype, food, schools, libraries, ice cream, conferences, social media, webinars, pictures, mountains, beaches, cabins, Orcas Island, freedom, choice, temples, comfy bed, heating & ac, bathtubs ... and BLOGS!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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

Story at Home February 1-2, 2013 - Mark Your Calendars

I am so excited to part of the 2013 Story at Home conference this February!

I was able to attend last year after a good friend invited me. It happened to be around the same time that I was considering making the plunge into this world of genealogy, officially.

This conference is the perfect mix of story telling & family history. There's a chance to record your own story, start your family history research, start (or revive) your own blog and even learn how to tell your story through social media (YES!!)

Classes are held at the Joseph Smith Building (JSB) in downtown Salt Lake, with the opening session in the theater of the Conference Center. If you haven't been there before, you'll be marveled by the beauty of the JSB. Really. I could just sit there and daydream ...

I'll be hosting a hands on "Online Photo Editing" class. And I so excited that we get to do it in the lab. Because that means everyone gets to try it as we go! This class is not meant for the Photoshop guru, it's for you and me. Real people who want results without being too complicated.

Here are all the deets & how to register: http://www.cherishbound.com/blog/storyathome

Let me know when you register and I'll be sure to look for you there!

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

And the winners are ...

CONGRATS to the winners of the 2012 Share a Memory Contest for their originality and creative use of technology. Each entry shared personal stories that are now preserved for future generations. The decisions of the judges are final. NOTE: We were good at not accepting any chocolate bribes whatsoever.


by Vickie Everhart, posted 30 Sept 2012 on the Be Not Forgot Blog
TYPE OF SHARE: Picasa Slide show created from MyCanvas printed book
JUDGES COMMENTS: LOVE the bulletted list explaining each image in the slide show. Great info with links to FindAGrave and online photo albums with more info about the folks in the presentation.


by Dixie Petty, via her Facebook page.
""Back in the Day" photo: "In the early 1940s before WW II started, Albert Petty, Sr. (Buddy), bought a combination service station and family home in Nelliburg. The front was a small store with a service station. The rest of the building was a two bedroom home. "
TYPE OF SHARE: Photo and lengthy commentary from a series of Facebook postings where Dixie shares a vintage photo and the stories that come to mind when viewing it.
JUDGES' COMMENTS: We particularly like the old cars and filing station photo. Makes the 21st century cars look uninspired by comparison.


by Shelley Bishop, posted 26 Sept 2012 in A Sense of Family Blog
TYPE OF SHARE: Blog with vintage photos, memories of weekends at Buckeye Lake.
JUDGES' COMMENTS: Logical progression of text and photos for us to follow along and get the whole story even though we weren't there.

MY CHILDHOOD ROOM - Pink, Pink, My Share a Memory Post by M. Diane Rogers, posted 26 Sept 2012 in the Canada Genealogy, or "Jane's Your Aunt" BlogTYPE OF SHARE: Blog with personal recollections, photos of pics on the wall, and the floor plan of her room. JUDGES' COMMENTS: Not sure what the "smoking table" is doing in your bedroom, but oh, how we'd like to see something like this for our Rev War ancestors' homes.

The winners have been notified and will receive their prizes shortly!

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

Online Photo Editing Webinar

Last weekend, my mom and I presented at the UGA Fall Conference and we had a blast! We've done lots of webinars together, but this was as first series of live classes. And I'm hooked! We had so much fun coming up with the content and thought we'd share it with you, since so many of our friends are around the world and couldn't make it to our neck of the woods. 

This week's webinar will be all about online photo editing. The best part is, the website I'll be demonstrating is FREE and user friendly. Hope you'll join us!

When: Mon, October 1, 2012
9:00pm – 10:30pm
9pm Eastern US 
8pm Central US 
7pm Mountain US 
6pm Pacific US 
Description: Explore how to easily edit pictures using free online resources. Achieve professional results without spending hours learning complex programs. Participants will be able to perform at least ten photo editing functions by the time they leave class.

All DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinars (c) feature a little bit of PowerPoint and a lot of demos. 

REGISTER now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/598086360

If you need a time zone converter, there is a great one located here: 

Title: Online Photo Editing DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinar
Date: Monday, October 1, 2012 
Time: 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM EDT 

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

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

Going to the Share a Memory webinar tonight?

Me and Mom, aka DearMYRTLE

Hiya! We're getting lots of entries for our 2012 SHARE A MEMORY CONTEST and tonight we're hosting a webinar on the same topic to help the rest of you get started. Here's the login info:

SHARE a Memory DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinar
September 17, 2012
Space is limited.

REGISTER now at:

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:

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

Instagram Webinar ... the recording!

You've been hearing me talk all about Instagram lately, haven't you? Want to know what it's all about? Or get a refresher from Monday's webinar? It's here, check it out ...

Here's a list of my fav iPhone Apps:
(this is definitely not all-inclusive, there are literally 100s if not 1000s of apps that you can use to edit and create cool pix to share on IG and other sites)
  • Instagram
  • Camera+
  • InstaPlus
  • 100Cameras
  • DipTic
  • Frame Free
  • InstaFrame - free 
  • LensFlare 
  • PopBooth
  • iMovie
  • Hipstamatic
  • PS Express
  • Live FX lite
  • VersaGram
  • TextGram
  • Red Stamp
  • Tweegram
  • Label Box
  • Pinstagram
  • Pic Jointer

I have only ever used Instagram on my iPhone, so I don't know which apps are also available on the Droid. During the webinar, Patrice Green said PhotoGrid for Android is a good one. If you know of some great apps that you use (iPhone or Droid) I'd love to hear about 'em. I'm always looking for what's fun and new!

Make sure to follow me on Instagram: @CarrieKeele and @NYMGenealogy and my mom: @DearMYRTLE. I'll follow you back so I can see your awesome creations! If you want to make sure we see your pictures, when posting or commenting, just type "@CarrieKeele" and I will see it in my news feed! :)

Here's the link to the archived copy of Instagram for Genealogists.

Alternately, right-click the link below and select 'Save As...' or just click to save the file to your computer.

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

Eliza's bible: Video with DearMYRTLE

DearMYRTLE and I explore the Charles Switzer and Eliza (Wasden) Weiser family bible. I'm so glad we're documenting the stories! This bible is soooooooo neat. I know that we won't be able to open it many more times as it is falling apart.

Here is the first part of the video:

Here is the 2nd part of the video:

There are still some mysteries to unravel for sure!

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

As promised ... slides from the Instagram Webinar

I've had a few people ask me if I could upload pictures of the slides from the Instagram Webinar that I hosted the other night. These slides go over Instagram basics including what it is, comparing it to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest and navigating the menu. I should have a link to the whole webinar later today, so stay tuned! 

Plus it's fun!!


Once you have Instagram on your smartphone or iPad, it super easy to set up an account. Just tap on the app and follow the intuitive directions.

Newest IGs will show at the top. Yay, Instagram doesn't choose which IGs it thinks you want to see!

Don't forget, that search box will become your friend!! It will help you search for hastags or users.

If you click on the camera, this is what you will see:

IG doesn't email you when you receive new comments, likes or follows. So make sure to check your news feed to see if people are commenting & following. 

Now that you have an overview of the menu and how to navigate within Instagram ... just play around with it for a bit. It's relatively easy to use and really isn't too complicated (love that!)

Make sure to follow me on Instagram: @CarrieKeele and @NYMGenealogy (this is a new IG account I created just for this blog).

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

"Share a Memory" contest!

I looooooove a good contest. So why not host one, genealogy style?!? 

During tonight's Instagram for Genealogists webinar, I, of Not Your Mother's Genealogy and my mom (aka Myrt) of DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog will tell you all about the 2012 "Share a Memory" Contest running now through 30 Sept 2012, with winners to be announced 5 October 2012 during Family History Month here in the USA.Thanks Mom, for helping put this together and for sponsoring the prizes!!

It could be a child's memory, an ancestor's story, a reunion memory, a recipe story, a back to school memory, a family ski vacay story, a camping trip memory, a water-skiing story, a miracle memory, a do-it-yourself project story, a favorite thing memory, a cousin story, a birthday memory... 

In this video we share several ideas to get you started:

but you could also do something like:
  • Remind a 5 year old how proud you are he can ride his bike without the training wheels by sharing the video clip on YouTube for the world to see.
  • Blog about how you made that family photo quilt. 
  • Use Instagram to begin sharing ancestor photos with your siblings and cousins, preserving family history 
  • Share a joke your Dad always used to tell via FB or your blog. 
  • Create a short video clip about that old family heirloom.
ALL PROJECTS are designed to "Share a Memory" with other members of your family. (Even if they don't like traditional family history work, they'll get a kick out of your work on this project!) 
Enter  the 2012 "Share a Memory" Challenge:
  1. Create your "Share a Memory" project using any sort of technology to preserve the story.
  2. Send us the the info with a link to your project, via Carrie's Facebook page:

    If it is an Instagram, or Twitter be sure to include:
    (for Not Your Mother's Genealogy!)

    Simply copy/paste the following text to make it easy:

    @DearMYRTLE @NYMGenealogy #shareamemory
    Here's the link to my contest
  3. Your entry post on Facebook must explain why you've chosen to share this particular memory, and how the rest of the family reacted to your "share".
  4. Limit one project per "share".
  5. More than one project "share" may be submitted.
  6. By entering the contest, you agree to allow us to "share" your "share" in our blogs and on our Facebook pages.
DEADLINE: 30 Sept 2012, so we can begin to share your "shares" during October 2012, Family History Month in the USA.

JUDGING: The decision of the judges will be purely arbitrary, chocolate bribes are welcome. No seriously -- the winner will be chosen at random, and the decisions of the judges are final.

PRIZES: The Prizes will be announced on 5 October 2012. The winners must submit a valid US mailing address to receive the grand prize, unless Amazon.com delivers to your address in other parts of the world. The prizes include:


Kodak PlaySport (Zx5) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera - Aqua (2nd Generation) - Eastman Kodak Company. You'll note t has a built-in "SHARE" button to instantly share the video you capture with family and friends.

2nd PRIZE - $50 Amazon.com Gift Certificate
3rd PRIZE - $25 Amazon.com Gift Certificate

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

Instagram Webinar!

Are you wondering just what Instagram is? Or maybe you've installed it but don't really have it figured out? Join me tonight as I share what Instagram is and why you want to use this amazing app. I'll also share with you my fav apps to create amazing pictures. Instagram is available for iPhone and Androids.

Thanks Mom (aka DearMYRTLE) for hosting this webinar with me!!  

All DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinars(c) feature a little bit of PowerPoint and a lot of demos. 
9pm Eastern US 
8pm Central US 
7pm Mountain US 
6pm Pacific US

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

Marathon Scanning Project

So you think it's easy interviewing older family members about genealogy? Try doing it when your mom is DearMYRTLE. ;) Actually, we had a blast and really enjoyed the week. I brought the kids along with their bikes and they played while we scanned. We did put a few things on video when we need a break!

We started scanning in the kitchen with 3 scanners, but ended up in the living room with the two fastest scanners hooked up by the two recliners (our backs thanked us!)

Scanning Day 1 Video:
Here Myrt shows how she kept track of things back in the dark ages!! (Can I repeat that I am soooooo grateful for technology???) This includes the microfilm where I found my first find as a genealogist at age 10!

 In this video, I share some of the things that I found. We uncovered lots of gems but really only grazed the surface! I just loved reading my Grandpa's baby book, priceless!

I never knew that my Grandma and Grandpa were bowlers! I knew Blanche was gorgeous but loved the honeymoon pictures. 

I learned a lot from my mom this week, she has a knack for knowing what to hold on to and digging a little deeper. You never know what connections or answer those "unrelated" documents might hold. Here's a classic example!

You can see my Mom's point of view and thoughts on her blog: www.dearmyrtle.com. Although I'm sure you follow her already!! :)

What kind of things do you have around the house or in the family? Do you have a schedule or plans to preserve these memories? I was talking to a good friend, and in her family they distribute the work. Each month they get together for a family dinner at her mom's house. When they go home, she and her sisters each take with them as much as they think they can scan and preserve that month. When done, they bring it back with them the next month and get more. I thought this was a genius idea since we really still have so much work left to do.

(a.k.a. "DearMYRTLE's daughter)

Mom Guilt

Ever heard of mom guilt? If you're a mom, you know just what I'm talking about.

It has been a whirlwind around here lately. Hmmmm, let's see:
  • Taylor and I celebrated 14 years of marriage (yay!!) ... we celebrated at a cute Bed & Breakfast up in Logan, UT where we met
  • Taylor's dad got married (it's been just over 2 years since his mom passed away, the marriage is a great thing!)
  • End of school year cRaZinEsS (party after field trip with more parties sprinkled on top)
  • SLIG Registration opened this past weekend. Not only did Tom Jones' class fill up pronto (Hooray for my mom, she finally got in!) but several others are close. I've been working away trying to get them all settled (I'm the Administrative Assistant for the UGA).
I could go on, but why bore you? Plus, I know you get it. Now here's where the mom guilt comes in. You see, I missed the 1st grade bike parade last Friday. I know. GASP! How could I? But we were still in Logan for our anniversary.

Once home, my sweet little 6 year old said, "But mom, WHY weren't you at the parade?" I explained to him that I had been out of town, but that his BFF's mom took pictures so that I could see the fun (not to mention the fact that I helped him deck out his scooter and buy him just the perfect accessories so he could be stylin' in the parade). He was satisfied and ran off to play, but there came that darn mom guilt.

I've been to every-other-first-grade-event (and there have been a LOT of them) this year. I went on all the field trips, I volunteered in the class at least once a week and I was Room Mom & planned some super fun parties. So WHY do I feel guilty for missing one event? Yup, it's mom guilt. But I'm giving it up. I'm not going to feel guilty. Even though I think I should be able to do everything, I know I can't. And that's okay!

Thanks for being patient with me while I dealt with the mom guilt because in the meantime my baby (this blog) was also neglected. Let's not even get into BLOG GUILT. Nope, not going there!

I will say that I have lots of fun genealogy projects on the horizon and I can't wait to share them with you!! In the meantime here's a picture I put together to embarrass my cute hubby. And my mom too; she asked (very politely) if I could pleeeeease take a nice family picture where I wasn't sticking my tongue out or making a silly face. Hehehe!! :)

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

Using animoto.com to make a photo/video slidshow

I've been working on a special project but had to keep my lips zipped so a certain mother wouldn't see it before Mother's Day! (If you know my mom, she's notorious for trying to open presents early. There was one Christmas where we opened presents at midnight ... because mom couldn't wait!!)

I've made several slideshows over the years using various programs. Of course as technology advances there are more and more options. My latest video was made using a website called animoto.com. This is a great option if you want stunning videos without a ton of work and technical knowledge. The price is either $5 per month or $30 for the year. Use this link and you can get the year subscription for only $25: Animoto $5 off.

Okay, on to the meat. If you didn't already guess, the video I compiled was a Mother's Day present for my own mom. It's the perfect present for the mom who has everything and is on the other side of the country. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Look tricky? It's not, I promise. Once you've created your Animoto account, just go to "create video" and choose from a pre-made theme:

There are several different themes to choose from. You can view a preview of that theme by clicking on it. Once you have the one you want, just click "create video".
Now that you have your theme, you can add music (either use music from Animoto or upload your own), add pictures or video or add text. Make sure to also click on the "Advanced Settings" so that you can change the title, description and thumbnail (this is the picture that will show as a preview before you play the video).

Use the tools on the right-side to rotate, shuffle & delete the files. One last useful tool, Right next to the timing (here it's 3:17), there is a pull down that let's you edit how quickly the pictures change. Play around with the settings until you are happy with the result.

When you have everything in order, just click the big green "produce now" button. You can wait for it to load, or Animoto will email you with the link when it is done. Voila, you've got a profession-looking video. And everyone will think you are a technical genius!!

Since Mom is still in Ohio after NGS, we had a family webinar using "GoToMeeting". All 4 families were online using webcams. After the grandchildren sang "HappyMother's Day" to all the moms, we showed the video to Grandma Pat. It was awesome ... she cried. A LOT. Score!!

Imagine taking your ancestor photos & stories and making videos that your kids and family will want to watch ...

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

Organizing your office space

I've got this great office space in my basement. It's painted a creative shade of lavendar. I've added vinyl words in different fonts around the walls (imagine, be, inspire, style, create). My mom bought me an amazing desk and cabinets from Ikea a few years back (I think it was birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day and then some!). My father-in-law even added some shelving into the closet last summer.

But for some reason, my office is like the magnetic center of the house for all things that don't have a place. The result is I end up working anywhere else, using just my laptop. Instead of using my amazing office, I work at the kitchen table, from my couch, even in bed. Now that I have added genealogy to my list of interests (jewelry making, crafts, sewing, photography, fitness coaching, etc.) ... I realize that I NEED to have a separate space. Did I mention I work from home? Yeah, I need an office.

Last week I decided enough was enough and I started de-junking. After removing 4 bags of garbage (don't judge) and 3 bags for donation I'm ready to start organizing. The room I use, was originally a bedroom and the closet already had some great built in shelves. I asked my father-in-law, Gordon Erickson (he loves woodworking almost as much as he loves genealogy), to add shelves on the other side.
Here's the (almost) before pix. The open part of the closet had a rod (you can see it poking into the pix!!) to hang clothes. Gordon has already added the supports, up next shelves.

Gordon hard at work!!

The finished project (minus paint of course, that's my job!!)
This is where I got stuck. After I painted the shelves, I started adding stuff. But there was no rhyme or reason. Most of my stuff was still in boxes or big Rubbermaid containers. The result: I still can never find what I'm looking for. My mission (should I choose to accept it ...) is to organize it once and for all. Now I don't have the after pictures yet, but here's the progress so far. Oh and P.S. I'm a mom on a budget, so while I drool over many Pinterest organization pictures, I've got to do with what I have (or is very cheap).
I have lots of BIGGER containers, but the problem is it becomes a collect-all. I got a TON of these 6 qt. containers from Wallyworld (Wal-Mart) for $.97 each. I'm using the Post-it notes for now until I make the permanent labels.

Ikea sells these magazine holders (I believe it's like 5 for 2 bucks). I'll put the label on with scrapbook paper for the background & some clear contact paper ('cause I like to add some style!!)

These are just some of our (me and Bree's) beads, I've slowly acquired the containers over time as they are on sale from Robert's or Michael's. 
I LOVE baskets. And cute boxes. But man, they are SO expensive. Imagine my delight when I saw these beauties on clearance at Joanne Fabric yesterday (baskets were 9 bucks each and the boxes were 3 bucks each). We went there for 2 yards of fabric and I left with 2 baskets and 2 boxes. I quickly returned for the 3rd basket and 2 more boxes. The boxes are 12 by 12 and I envision having a current project in each one that I can easily put away and pull out as needed. LOVE!!!

My house was built in 1979 and I think they didn't believe in lighting. Or they were vampires. Either way, my office has always been dim (not me, the office!!). It has an overhead light that can only have a 60 watt bulb and though it has 2 windows, it is the basement so it's not direct light. While at Ikea yesterday I found this cute lampshade on sale for 4 bucks. the chord with light bulb attachment was 3 bucks. I picked up 2 hooks for another buck at Wallyworld. Let there be light!! $8 total and I installed it myself!!
Okay, enough talk time for some more work!! Mom, I'll be ready for our big summer project including taking a look at those 117 4-inch binders full of genealogy research!! (Glad I'm not trying to fit that in here!!)

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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!

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)

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)