Rootstech 2014

Rootstech 2014
Another Great Year although not in Utah!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Genedocs Templates membership still Exploding on Facebook

In August much of the work I had done over the past four years as Genedocs Enhancements and Genedocs Wetpaint was suddenly lost after I had a marathon membership push in one weekend with the new group Genedocs Templates.  Facebook shut down my main profile and I was left only with my name profile all because they claimed Genedocs didn't appear to be a name.  The group remained with its 1273+ members gained in just two days and a couple of members took over as admins in my confused social networking state.  I rebounded claimed my rightful place as the founder now under my own name and pressed on.

We now have almost 2100 members in just a few months - it took four years to gain the 1300+ friends of Genedocs enhancements so the Group is much more effective!  Also the group adds the following perks:

1. The File area contains all the templates for FREE download to members
    That's 30 Featured templates, 10 bonus templates, and many more series exclusives like the new Military research log format/version:



2. The threads allow for multiple examples to be on display and explained including how to tutorials when members aren't sure how something is actually done.



3.  Member only content like links to Youtube.com private videos showing how to do more complex tasks like crop people out of portraits, use GIMP to alter view angle perspective, and inserting cropped ancestors onto altered chart perspective views.

You should be joining us on facebook if you haven't already - just search Genedocs Templates!  See you there!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Back to Blogging after a Family Death

I need to post a piano composition here...to honor departed Mark Flugge

I am working on a piece and then yesterday, I combined a haunting minor melody with lyrics from Thanotopsis by William Cullen Bryant and it is worthy of a recording even in its infancy!

Genedocs Templates: New 2014 Facebook Group Spreading Like Wildfire!

Nearly 1,800 members today - 1,274 of them added in the Groups first two days - see what all the excitement is about with this grass roots give it all to them for free genea-effort!

All of the templates are being shared in the file area - featured, bonuse, series exclusives, examples, tutorials and even private Youtube how to demonstrations for the 3-D effects everyone loves.  Please join us!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

KEY UPDATE:  What is going on?  Where did Genedocs Enhancements go on facebook !!??!!??

Answers:  If you are on facebook, then let this be a huge warning - if you have a profile name for a hobby, change it right away to a person's name or variant of your own!  Facebook can delete it in an instant and without warning if you do not.  That is what killed Genedocs Enhancements formerly Genedocs Wetpaint for over 1,200 long time friends and followers.

What was lost?  About 2,000 genealogy minded friends and family and thousands of photos

However, all was not lost!

Just days before, I had established a brand new facebook group called Genedocs Templates that astonishingly welcomed over 1,250 new members in only its first two days of being up and running.
In its first week we are still seeing new members and are nearly at 1,300 strong!

Join this group where the actual templates of Genedocs and Examples of each are all in one convenient and dynamic place!



Saturday, April 12, 2014

April 5th 2014:  Genedocs Enhancements on Facebook finally reached the Milestone of 1,000 genealogy minded friends!  Maybe rootstech 2015 T-Shirts will look like the image above.  Who knows what comes next?  It will need to be outstanding to top the past three years of networking, school, and moving thousands of boxes each day for NARA.


Perhaps Rootstech will go 3-D with their logo next year.  Who knows?

Maybe a disc can store images up to 10 or 20 lifetimes, but who will be around to vouch for it lasting that long and still working in the year 3014?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

March Unveiling Series E-Magazine Articles

Since I have an extra moment and the last such post had 77 reads...here is some more of the e-magazine article reading:

Birth and Death Records - Basics and Beyond:
      Birth and death records comprise the foundation of vital records since most vital statistics are commonly available on both certificates.  The basics of either are the full names of all individuals listed, dates, and places of key vital events, and the relationships positively identified on the documents.  Going beyond these basic records involves commonly associated available records.  When a child is born there may be an announcement, invitations, memorabilia with hand and footprints, etc.  Similarly, when any person dies there are often many records associated with the death certificate such as funeral home and cemetery records, will and estate records, an obituary, etc.  Often times there are now videos and or groups of pictures on video presented at a memorial service for the departed family member.  Just remember to consider all of the possible records generated for these and other vital events.

Immigration and Emigration:
     What is the difference?  Immigration is when people move from one country to another permanently while emigration is when people move within a country settling from place to place.  Often times our immigrant ancestors are also emigrant ancestors who crossed the pond and moved around a bit after they arrived here.  Many researchers are fascinated with the fact that ancestors crossed an entire ocean to get here, but it is just as amazing to track how they moved from place to place within their new homeland.

Using Familysearch.org LDS Website for Research:
     Familysearch.org is a great website from the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints often referred to as the Mormons.  They have been collecting and preserving family records for so long that Mormons have become synonymous with genealogy.  The site is very simple to navigate a search from – just type in a name.  You can narrow the search by adding or changing first and last names, places of birth, locations of vital events, etc.  Just give it a try and you will soon see how helpful their site really is.

Using Google.com for Research:
    Google is another amazing site to conduct family research on.  Just remember to note that sources are still critical as everything you read on the internet hasn’t been verified with primary source documents.   Try searching people’s names first then add a place name and watch the results narrow from thousands to a handful.  Then add a year and maybe you’ll get lucky.  Try this will all of your ancestors and just print anything that matches up and attach it to a completed research log for ancestors’ folders.  It doesn’t get much easier.  Google also has some amazing Map features these days where you can not only view an address from a satellite view, but you can also get a photo view of most major and many minor streets.

Also you can search Google news to brows newspaper articles for notorious ancestors.  There seems to be no end to how Google can help a researcher.

NARA Preservation Presentation earlier this week by Pamela Najar-Simpson

This week I was fortunate enough to enjoy Pamela's presentation during an odd and extended lunch time break.  It was nice to see some preservation intense information from NARA D.C.

The following are my highlights/notes from her very worthwhile presentation. I hope you will be as surprised by some of her insights as I was.

           

Preservation of records - general rules to prevent damage and reduce deterioration:

0. - If what you are planning to do isn't reversible - then simply don't do it!
1. Lower temperatures - keep them cool.
2. Lower humidity - keep them dry
3. Low light - keep them in the dark
4. Low air pollutant levels -

Foxing - records with rust looking stains from higher humidity
Mold & Insects also cause deterioration and damage

Confusing and Clearer Preservation Terms:

"ARCHIVAL" - it actually has no meaning from a presevation standpoint and is primarily for mere advertising to convince you that some product is better than another.

"ACID FREE" - not a good term because no sold paper or sleeve or folder is completely free of substances that deteriorate over time.  Wood pulp with high cellulose makes paper that can last longer naturally, but it still deteriorates.




"CHEMICALLY INERT and STABLE" - as any product holding documents ages, your goal is to slow down the deterioration/natural breakdown of that inevitable process.


                                 
Better Materials to Use:
 
Polyester is a good example and Gaylord and Hollanger both sell preservation materials that are reliable in these two regards (Chemical Inert and Stable).

Beware of general plastic especially if it designed for long term storage of food products. i.e; baggies and cellophane, etc.

Acid Free Folders, Acid Free Document Boxes, Other Ideas:

The Container Store sells some pricey materials labelled "Archival"

New Terms:  "Buffered vs. Unbuffered" - buffered adds recyclable materials to reduce acid levels, but alkaline issues can be problematic - pH is a delicate balance.  Unbuffered has cellulose only so it is best.  Acetic acid was mentioned several times by Pamela which is essentially vinegar in various pH concentrations.  A difference of just a few % strength can mean a world of difference with paper, folder, and even cardboard deteriorating more quickly.

FAMILY PHOTO PRESERVATION:

Black and White photos are more stable and usually fine to last a long time when not interfered with by other adjacent less stable materials.

Color photographs, however, are problematic due to the vast array of less stable ingredients used in the various dyes so Copy/scan & digitize them for longer preservation options.  You may want to modify scanned color images with the MSO Picture Manger back to black and white and save under a slightly different name, print and file that if you like - this is incredibly easy on most recent computers.  Below are two images as an example of one of my compilation images switched to B & W which took only about five seconds to modify and save:


Image Permanence Institute - dates back to early Kodak history see also Rochester Institute of Technology.

Storing Portraits:
Polyester  L sleeves - top and side open for less restrictive storage and easier access to documents within.
Polypropylene is good too.

Problems Old Photo Albums:
#1.  DO NOT EVER FIRST TAKE AN ALBUM APART BEFORE TAKING PICTURES OF HOW ANY ALBUM IS SET UP.  THIS IS KEY TO PRESERVE THE ORIGINAL ORGANIZERS METHODOLOGY AND STORY THEY INTENDED TO TELL WITH THE ARRANGEMENT.
  
(This is where Thomas MacEntee would plug the remarkable usefulness of the Flip-Pal scanner as well)

Preserving Books:
Keep in original format - spines are biggest hurdle to scanning and preservation efforts.
Box them for protection - several companies sell custom sized versions just for books.

Shelving Books:
Keep Same or similar sizes together for support.
Store large volumes flat for stability.



Over sized items (Maps, blueprints, large family tree charts, etc):
$465 will get you a 41 inch wide five drawer cabinet at the time this article was published and that is a cheap one:  Deluxe Steel Flat File (Gray)Deluxe Steel Flat File (Gray)

These are pricey flat storage cabinets with large to huge drawers, but for a more typical budget...

1. Roll these items loose with a larger diameter and wrap with plastic and tie for protection.
2. Always avoid folding oversize items when possible because deterioration is often accelerated along any creases/folds.


Magnetic media storage (Cassette and VHS tapes):
These are short term options with a life expectance of about 20 years even when professionally done - not at home.
Technological Obsolescence: - outdated Floppy Diskettes went by the wayside too


Electronic Media: - even worse 
Physical Item is fragile and damage to it could be a total loss
CDs & DVDs - Archival Gold CD & DVR: 

Pamela hadn't heard of the Millenniata M Discs to my surprise, but who of us will even be around to know if they work in 1,000 years?

American Intuition for Conservation