The buzzword for this event has been “New FamilySearch”—referring to the highly anticipated revamp of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ genealogy Web site, which is scheduled to go public in early 2009. Several classes focused on how the new system works, and what it means to genealogists. Developers from AncestralQuest, PAFInsight and RootsMagic genealogy software gave demos on how their programs will “sync” with the New FamilySearch.
Here’s a snapshot of other news:
- Newcomer FamilyPursuit is a Web-based family tree program that aims to make it easy for families to collaborate on recording and researching genealogy. It’s currently in a public beta phase—you can get sneak peek at its features on the Web site, or sign up to become a tester.
- Milennia Corp. is preparing to release version 7 of its Legacy Family Tree software in March. The new edition will add wall charts and source templates, among other features
- GenealogyBank, the subscription Web site for historical newspapers, government records and primary documents, is adding hundreds of Hispanic newspapers to its collection.
- Ancestry DNA, the genetic genealogy arm of data megasite Ancestry.com, will be adding surname groups this spring, along with groups for different geographic locations and haplogroups.
- I spotted a few interesting new (well, new to me) books, including the two-volume Census Substitutes and State Census Records by William Dollarhide (Family Roots Publishing, $32.50 per volume); Crash Course in Family History for Latter-day Saints by Paul Larsen (Fresh Mountain Air Publishing, $27.95) and Jana Sloan Broglin’s Hookers, Crooks and Kooks, two volumes with a third on the way (Heritage Books, $22 for volume 1 and $21 for volume 2), lists “ill-reputed” ancestors from the 1880 census.
- Add Family Tree and Me to the list of companies offering decorative family tree charts. Owner Shirlene Dymock aims to provide designs elegant enough to display in your living room—see samples of the layouts, backgrounds and frames online.
- Online genealogy TV channel RootsTelevision has now posted all the episodes of both PBS “Ancestors” series. You’ll also be able to catch interviews from the Expo on RootsTelevision.
- Podcaster Lisa Louise Cooke was also busy doing interviews during the Expo. Among the conversations to be featured in upcoming episodes: Richard Black of the Godfrey Memorial Library, Kathy Meade of Swedish church records Web site Genline, and presenter Kathryn Lake Hogan speaking about immigration resources. Visit Genealogy Gems for details on subscribing to this free online radio show.
- Speaking of Swedish records, Meade tipped me off to a recent news story on genealogi.se about a reinterpretation of Swedish law that would allow more-recent church records to be digitized and posted online—shrinking the 100-year waiting period to 70 or 85. Watch this blog for announcements on where and when those records may become available to you.