Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Life & Legacy of Thelma Gilbert Chatterton

My Why...

I referenced this book in my original blog post for this blog, it's definitely MY WHY, why I love this work...
Building this book gave me a whole new perspective on the value of researching and learning about your ancestors. I used a program called Heritage Makers to create it. ( If you'd like me to share a copy with you just email me and let me know your Heritage Maker's account number.)
Not only did I come to know and love my grandmother in a whole new ways when I made it, but I was also privileged to get to know another special ancestor...My Grandfather Willis A Chatterton, who was obviously a prominent character in her book. He had passed away when I was only 2 years old, so I really don't have any memories of him, and I can only think of one picture that I'm even in with him before he died, so there's not much to go on.
I grew up hearing stories from my dad about what a crazy driver grandpa was and from my mom about how he was always the first one to serve the needy widows in his neighborhood; but that was about it.  Putting this book together forced me to dig, I read things both he and his sisters had written about his life, read letters he'd written; had the opportunity to interview one of his sisters, who passed away shortly thereafter; and really discovered what an amazing and wonderful man he truly was.  I'm sad I didn't get to know him better in this life, but I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to become close to him through this project.  I value this book more than almost any possession I have, but no one who owned a copy would ever be able to  relate to the way I feel about him, without having done the work themselves.  There's power in Family History work, and in the process of telling those stories, I can feel it.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The so called PROBLEM

As I've tried to focus my efforts when it comes to Family History work, I often find myself in a struggle. There are so many different aspects of family history to work on and I find all of them so intriguing.  After attending a couple different genealogy conferences this year I was motivated to learn a lot about the latest and greatest technologies, which let's face it, could be a full time job on it's own, there's so many amazing resources out there, and I find myself spending tons of time just trying them all out.  Then you've got just the
good old fashioned genealogy research, I get so wrapped up in finding new people, researching their stories and details of their lives, and attaching sourcing to their profiles on FamilySearch.  Then there's temple work
to do, I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), so obviously this aspect of family history is very important to me (Why Family History is Important), and finding the relatives of my relatives can be super exciting, so that I can invite them to also partake in the blessings found within the gospel of Jesus Christ.  But then with all of the new amazing things coming on to FamilySearch with Photos I find myself drawn to digitizing and uploading everything I can get my hands on from my various lines. And of of course I still have a lot of grandparents who are still alive (which I realize is unique for a genealogist), so I recognize the need to get their stories recorded and interview them. Not to mention the responsibility I have as the mom of my own family, to preserve our history, which I've tried to do via a family blog, yearbooks and year-videos.  Aye aye aye, so much to do so where do I start?  Oh yeah, then there's this little thing called life...so I don't actually have that much spare time to devote to said addiction. :)

So, every time that my husband and I find ourselves discussing this "problem" I have, we always ultimately come back to focusing on the preservation of the histories of those who are still alive.  And we've tried to schedule the interviews we'd like to do, then allow the other things to fall in around it.

Now I confess, I don't have the BEST methods for preserving family stories out there, and definitely not the best equipment, but I guess I feel that if I can at least do it, I'm going in the right direction.  That said, I've been working on getting my husband's grandparents life interviews on video interview, Vern and Sue Thacker.  They are absolutely adorable, I have loved getting to know them as we've done this, and we are only one good session away with each of them from having their life stories recorded.  Not sure what I'm going to do with them exactly when we're done, but we're one step closer.  

Meanwhile, they had a 60th anniversary creeping up on us and I had this fantastic idea. So with the help and support of both my mother in-law and my incredibly supportive husband. I was able to squeeze some additional interview time in, and put this together from our interview recordings.

It's not perfect or professional, but I don't think it needs to be, it's preserved. And I did it for very little cost.  I used my computer and an external webcam to do the filming. I used my husband's phone, for a back up recording of audio, which I was very happy to have, it made the audio much more clear.  Then I used Premier Elements to edit and clip the audio, video, and pictures together.  I love Premier, I've been using it for several years, but you could really clip something similar together just using whatever free video editing program comes with your computer, the two common ones are Windows Movie Maker, and iMovie.  A great site to use if you're a beginner and need some help learning the basic how to's using these different programs is, www.Lynda.com.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

So one of my favorite genealogy resources is Dick Eastman's Online Genealogical Newsletter.  A friend introduced me to it when I become the director in Virginia, and I've followed every post since.  It's not only a great genealogical resource but a great technology resource as he generally writes several posts per day and the all focus on genealogy or technology related subjects and what the latest and greatest things happening are.

Today he had a particularly interesting post that I thought I would share, which he snagged from Google's Public Policy Blog entitled "Plan Your Digital After-life with Interactive Account Manager".

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

LDS Family History Site Enhancements released in BETA

So I came back from a week off and it was a difficult week of vacationing.  You probably think that I'm kidding, but it was super frustrating  I came back from my amazing RootsTech experience armed with all sorts of new resources for doing my family history work, and I didn't have a chance to play with them for a week and a half.  The time with family was great, and I am glad I went, but I'm really excited to be back and digging into all that I learned.

The real problem is that I got back from vacation and FamilySearch decided to go ahead and release a Beta version of their new "enhanced" site while I was gone.  I've been dying to witness it ever since the Genealogy Conference I attended in early March where Dennis Brimhall introduced the new enhancements via a demo video.  So with all of these new products, my mind is on fire, and I can't decide where to focus my efforts, so I can't report in full on any of it, but I've been playing around with the new FamilySearch Betat site and I'm ecstatic about the new features.

My favorite so far, the new interactive fan chart.  When logged into Family Tree you can select the "tree" tab and you have the option to view a pedigree or fan chart.  The great part is you can select any member on your fan chart and view them in the head position, which just makes navigating the tree awesome!  My 2nd favorite feature is the new "opportunities" tab under temple.  This is obviously only available to members of the LDS church & it didn't provide much for me, or else this may have been my favorite feature. Although, it's worth noting that when writing this post, I returned to the site and had more ordinances found the 2nd time I clicked on the "opportunities" tab, so give it more than one shot. Lesson learned.  So, I think this is an awesome feature & has huge potential.  It will show you anyone 3 generations back and sorts through aunts & uncles too, so you can quickly find those closer relatives who are waiting for work to be done.

So much to discover, I'm sure I've only skimmed the surface, but as I said in a message to my ward yesterday, "It just keeps getting easier to do your genealogy work, and you really don't have a good excuse not to do it anymore.  It's super exciting."

Test out the new enhanced site here: http://www.lds.org/topics/family-history-preview or here https://beta.familysearch.org/ (I'm sure these link will go dead once the version goes live, but happy playing in the meantime)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

So, I got a free 6 month subscription to My Heritage at RootsTech, and I think I may be in trouble....it has AMAZING features, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the websites, but that's never been enough to get me to join; BUT I'm finding it also has a timeline view that I've been messing around with and is just awesome for too many reasons to post; AND it has "smart match", which finds sources for your ancestors once you upload your family tree; and I don't feel like I've even scratched the surface of all that it's offering me.
Thanks Jared, for giving me the free 6 months even though I didn't technically qualify since I had already created an account!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Interview with Dear Myrtle

A highlight of RootsTech for me...I was trying to learn about Story@Home at their booth when Pat of DearMyrtle, approached me.  She was clearly in a hurry and mumbled something about someone canceling on her, and quickly asked me what my booth was.  After explaining briefly what it was, she said "I need you", and led me back to her media booth explaining what was going on.  Somewhere in the chaos of it all, I was able to figure out that she had reserved a booth and she was intending to interview me about the product I was representing.

Anyway, while waiting my turn I was able to chat with a man from Fold3 who had been dragged to the media booth in much the same circumstances.  It was kind of fun, and the interview ended up being kind of fun.  Check it out....


Genealogy, technology, genealogy, technology, genealogy, technology...........I don't think it gets any better than this!  A 3 day event so full of amazing resources and technology to help in your genealogy research, I can't really imagine anything better.  I'm afraid my husband thinks I'm officially crazy but I LOVE IT and I can't even help it.

I learned about RootsTech about a year ago when I first got introduced to genealogy, when trying to learn everything I possibly could before teaching a class on the subject (yes, I got in over my head), I stumbled upon one of the RootsTech recorded classes, I then realized that it was an amazing resources of the latest and greatest in genealogy and technology.  So if I wanted to be at the edge, this is where I needed to start.

So here I am a year later, when I found out we were moving to Utah, I signed up as quickly as I could, and this is what I got out of the deal.  Amazing keynote speakers, a Demo Hall with a nearly endless supply of information and resources, and so many classes I could barely narrow each session down to 4 or 5 classes that I wanted to attend.  So I guess my number one complaint, too many awesome topics, how do I choose which ones to attend?!?

Anyway, I loved every minute, and haven't stopped thinking about it since it ended.  I highly recommend attending next year, and watching the recorded classes from this years conference, which you can get online at www.RootsTech.org.