Highlighted Main Ancestral Lines

Highlighted Main Ancestral Lines
How many Ancestors Can you Find?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Rootstech Conference Pass Contest

We made it to 5,000 Genedocs Templates Facebook Members!  To Celebrate...

As Christmas fast approaches, I have figured out just how to select the contest and winner of my Ambassador Contest Pass and it is definitely true to the heart of Genedocs legacy preservation goals - I will begin accepting submissions via the Facebook Genedocs Templates group page for one week: starting December 26 2015 through January 1st 2016.

What the Pass includes: one 3-DAY PASS, it includes the following
  • over 200 classes
  • Keynotes
  • General sessions
  • Getting Started classes
  • Expo hall
  • Evening events
NOTE:  Here are the short rules you must comply with:

1.  To qualify, you must be able to attend Rootstech 2016 Conference in Salt Lake City from Feb 4 - 6, 2016, handle the expense of your own travel to and from the conference, hotel accommodations, and meals.  The prize pass is non-transferable beyond the winner and will be instead presented to a runner up participant should the initial selected winner not meet this basic eligibility criteria.  If the winner has already secured their registration prior to the contest, then Rootstech can and will reimburse them for their previous purchase of a like valued or lesser valued pass for the conference so that they may take advantage of this prize pass.

2.  To enter, you must submit a brand new template of your own designing using MS Office tools.

3. To enter, you will submit your template including a relevant privacy screened example from your family tree to the "Files" area of the Genedocs Templates Facebook Group page with a file name that includes both the words Rootstech and Contest.

4.  Your template must be a tool that you could have most benefited from when you first began your family research whether you began last week or sometime decades ago.  It should be universally applicable to others doing similar research in the following categories.

5.   Your template submission should focus on one of the following general categories:

- Hybrid Category: Preservation of both Textual Information, Photographic Information, and Detailed Source Document Information in a better organized unique format relevant to best organizing family research findings.
- Legal Category: (best method of organizing uncovered Last Wills, Trust documents, Contested Wills, etc. and their significance to the family as a whole)
- Audio/Visual Bonanza:  Preserving a minimum of three audio and/or visual clips (1-2 minutes maximum for each clip in MS PPT

6.    Your template must be created using in MS Office (Word, Excel, or Power Point) and include a relevant  example from your family tree for at least one deceased relative (= without any concerns for privacy of the living.)  This means your template must be accompanies by a clear graphic example (screenshot  pasted from your own family tree)   Please make it professional looking enough to post on social media since by submitting your template and relevant example from your tree you are consenting for the  template and example to be viewed and tried out on other family trees by the 5,000+ like minded family researchers who make up the membership of the Genedocs Templates Facebook Group administered  by Eric Jelle / Genedocs Founder and Contest Judge.

7.   Submissions meeting all of these guideline rules prior to the cutoff date and time of 11:59 on 1 Jan 2016,
will be judged on the following elements/factors creativity,  relevancy, professional appearance of the screenshot shared example and the template as a whole, and ease of use for family researchers of all skill and experience levels.

Good Luck!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Deciding How To Award A Free 3 Day Rootstech Pass


As Ambassadors to next February's annual conference, we are provided many nice perks for being social media springboards to our many followers - perhaps a few dozen or hundred on our genealogy related blogs and hundreds or even thousands more on our own relevant social media administered groups . 
Need I mention our Genedocs Templates Group on Facebook is about 16 members away from our 5,000 member goal?

Yes - that is where I will be selecting my 3-Day Pass recipient in the next month. 
One of these can be worth up several hundred dollars with hundreds of top notch classes available to attend not to mention the always worthwhile keynotes and non-stop extravaganza of genea-activity you can enjoy and learn from in the expo hall.

If you know me at all and how I roll with offers, it is all about offering maximum quality and often a FREE cost level so do stay tuned on facebook in the next month or so if you are interested in winning a Free Pass.  Also if you have already paid for one and win, there are instructions on being credited back your original purchase if you are selected as a winner of an Ambassador provided pass to Rootstech.

What have I been up to?  Here is a peek of some of my many recent projects:


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween 2015 Update 4,900+ Facebook Members!:

Our Genedocs Templates group on Facebook has just crested the 4,900 member mark and we have less than 100 folks to add to reach the phenomenal milestone of 5,000.  Who will be the last under 100 to reap the remarkable benefits of the early bird 5,000?  There is only one way to find out ;-) Let your genealogy minded friends know they are missing a whole dimension of family research most of the world has never even seen before at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/genedocstemplates/

This Rootstech News just in this week on Keynote Speakers for Thursday!:

RootsTech Announces Thursday Morning Keynotes
We are thrilled to announce the Thursday keynote speaker lineup for RootsTech 2016, happening at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on February 3–6.

Paula Williams Madison
Author, Filmmaker, and Retired NBC Executive

Paula Madison Paula Madison is chairman and CEO of Madison Media Management, a retired NBCUniversal executive, and the author and filmmaker of Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China, a personal story about discovering family connections as she discovers her long-lost grandfather.

Bruce Feiler
Best-selling Author and New York Times Columnist

Bruce Feiler Bruce Feiler is a New York Times best-selling author, columnist, and frequent contributor to NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. His most recent book, The Secrets of Happy Families, is the result of a personal three-year journey to find the smartest and most novel solutions to make his own family happier.

Stephen T. Rockwood
President and CEO of FamilySearch International

Steve Rockwood Steve Rockwood is the newly appointed president and CEO of FamilySearch International, the largest genealogy organization in the world and host of RootsTech 2016. Prior to working with FamilySearch, Steve was a successful entrepreneur, creating unique services for worldwide customers such as Disney and Citibank.

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover, preserve, and share their family stories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.
For more information about RootsTech 2016, visit RootsTech.org.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

ROOTSTECH 2016 UPDATE:  I have been officially accepted as a Rootstech 2016 Ambassador!

I am looking forward to this 2nd opportunity to attend in three years and excited to meet new folks and collaborate on ideas for moving family research technology into more useful and available medium without high cost and hassle.  If you can make it, I look forward to seeing you.

I had entered 3 Genedocs presentations and a Lab for using GIMP and MS Paint together for 3-D ancestor effects, but my presentation experience and topics sadly didn't make the cut.  Maybe next time Rootstech :-D

GENEDOCS TEMPLATES  UPDATE:  We are nearly at 4,700 members as of 18 September.  Will you be in the critical first 5,000 and learn what benefits come with that early bird grouping?

There is only one way to find out!  Join us as

Monday, June 29, 2015

What Has the Most Jurassic Impact on Your Family Research?

Recently Jurassic World surpassed all box office movie release records with its first weekend surpassing $500M and in just its first two weekends $1 Billion!  That is thunderous proof of the global enjoyment of the historical impact of dinosaurs brought back to life on screen via impressive technological delights 22 years in the making since the first franchise movie debuted. 

What on earth possibly has that kind of T-Rex quaking impact on both our family trees and our legacy preservation efforts?

The only answer is the death of a loved one.

When we endure all that goes along with the death of a beloved close family member, we are transformed deeply and emerge from the loss as a different person, hopefully wiser and stronger.  Multiple deaths experienced in a short duration magnify this impact exponentially and the lessons learned.  We can't help but walk away without the wonderment of what the impact of our own life will mean to our survivors.

This is a big part of why Genedocs offers the Life Legacy Changing Forms Series:
(Use them or approach your family's next death at your own risk)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Rootstech 2016 Update:

It has taken some serious financial rearranging, but I can now confirm I will be attending rootstech 2016! 
The First Big News is I have also been busy submitting Genedocs presentations 2 of 3 or 4 completed!

Hotel Reservations - CHECK!
Round Trip Non Stop Flights - CHECK!
1st Presentation - Genedocs Featured Forms Series Overview submitted - CHECK!
2nd Presentation - Genedocs Hybrid Chart Presentation submitted - CHECK!
3rd Presentation - Bridging the Gap Past to Future - (WORKING)
4th possible Presentation - TBA at a later date ;-)

The Second Big News is Genedocs Templates membership on Facebook has surpassed the 4,000 mark!
I have been so busy I needed to appoint two trusted admin helpers also.

Wow!  It seems like just yesterday that I pulled the "all-weekender" to attract our first 1,274 folks in the groups first 48 hours!  It is clear that FREE innovative templates are a huge draw and now members are sharing their own creations and top finds.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Facebook has been very fruitful with Genedocs templates group membership (now over 3,400) so I have been lacking in my posts here and am grateful we have more than 30 followers - Yay! and thank you to those who have chosen to follow here.

What is in the works for Genedocs?

1.  I am working on a Naturalization article for a Swedish great grandfather in NARA's Prologue magazine.  If it is accepted in its 2000 - 3200 word limit and abundance of photos and relevant document images, then I will be sharing here and in Facebook at least.

2.  I am seriously working on financing a 2016 Rootstech trip to Salt Lake.  It will be more impactful by far than the 2013 sputtering as a newbie who maybe met a couple dozen folks in the 7000 attendees.  Yes if I can make it happen, then there will be some level of presentation and it will be my first conference presentation - yikes!  Not really too bad as I presented for work to small groups, in the military for larger class setting, and of course at our Norwegian reunion for nearly 60 folks in Sioux falls back in 2002, but I am a little rusty and will need to get my timing and nonverbal controls down to a smooth working presentation - um - LOL!

3.  Once I am there, I think everyone is going to love my T-shirt ideas and yes I will get some Geneablogger beads if I have to tackle Thomas MacEntee and Dear Myrt both in one fell swoop of a hug.

NEW:  A Canadian census version of the Census Summary added to our group's File area.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Rootstech 2016

With rootstech over for 2015 and dozens of new members (surpassed the 2,700 member mark today) reveling in the offerings of the Genedocs Templates facebook page - my thoughts turn to the possibilities for ...

Rootstech 2015 days 2 and 3

Day 2 I was not privy to Live Streaming with so much to get done before the weekend began, but enjoyed all of my fellow Geneablogger and facebook friends posts of their experiences - ohh the rush rootstech give you when you are there in person - you can't sleep!  Too much excitement - too many new friends just as nuts about genealogy and technology as you are!  It is about as close to a heaven as we can produce for the family researcher and that is just dandy with me!

Saturday, I awoke early and chimed in just in time for the live stream with Shipley Munson to announce A.J. Abrahms (of "I'm a Cousin" fame) and later watched and listened to Donnie Osmond share his family life and perform some for us all.  Both did a great job and left so many memories just by blessing attendees with their heartfelt presence and various photo ops throughout the day.

The only problem with rootstech is that it is not every month, every week or every day!  They added a whopping 8,000 more attendees to this years event - that is as many registered adults as we totalled for the event two conferences ago!

21,000+ attendees in 2015
13,000+ attendees in 2014
7,000+ attendees in 2013 (my first adventure to SLC)
4,500+ attendees in 2012
3,000+ attendees in 2011

I expect Rootstech 2016 to easily surpass the 30,000 registered attendees mark and honestly think I should plan for an air mattress, pillows and sheets because that small city population definitely justifies a three night sleepover  if not also a nightly lock in!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Rootstech 2015 Day 1

Sure, I would have opened Rootstech a little differently today - perhaps running out on the stage claiming to have won the 500+ million dollar Powerball jumping and dancing to the podium before I revealed the truth that I actually won a bigger lottery, that each of us did - just to be here this very minute - alive and breathing on earth when so many billions of others are not - if that doesn't change your perspective to a more appreciative one, I don't know that you could change your view alone.

2015 Event Bag:

While managing to multitask at NARA today, I caught the first few hours of the opening of Rootstech via Live Streaming and everyone did a phenomenal job - I missed the first few minutes and don't know where Shipley Munson usual emcee was, but the whole thing went off without a hitch  From beginning to Tan Le drawing tears from many eyes in the crowd, it couldn't have gone much better!

Tonight I'll be trying to catch up whenever the rest of the shared streams are posted to enjoy.  Do I need to take a half day off tomorrow - definitely!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

What Most Defines “You”?

 – credit to Lori Jelle for inspiring this meaningful tangent

During different periods of our lives, the answer to this simple sounding but actually quite complex question can seem to vary greatly.

In our youth we may be most defined by our studies, our sporting interests, our friendships, or deep familial bonds while the emphasis may shift among these and onward into our career and forming our own family, home, and personal legacy in this world as we age and mature.

A better way to word this question might be “What constant in your lifetime most defines ‘You’?”

Suddenly the answer jumps out like the brightness of a 1,000 watt bulb.  Nothing holds a candle to the influence of our family members and family history on just who we are and more importantly who we become.

Sadly, many people go through most of their entire lives either completely uninterested in learning more about their family and roots or, even worse, honestly believing it is something that isn’t interesting at all because of some unsuccessful initial attempt or attempts at learning more because they went about it in a completely ineffective way.

     In 1984, I couldn’t tell you the first thing about what the last name “JELLE” meant or where it even came from.

     In 1985, I could at least tell you this surname was from Norway and who brought it to America in our family and loosely how it was likely pronounced per passed
down tradition.

     In 1996, I could rattle off a wide array of vital statistics for all of the people with the JELLE name on records in both Minnehaha County, SD and Rock County, MN.

     In 1999, I could share the meaning of the name, how it originated from the Odda Community in Hardanger, Norway, describe the heraldry of Odda Crest, loosely detail how the family farm had records dating back to the 1600’s, list a cousin whose parents still lived on the farm, and show you a group portrait from 1887-1888 clearly showing my great grandfather, five of his seven siblings, and a spouse for nearly each of those siblings.

     In 2002, I could detail exactly what it takes to bring nearly 60 descendants of my 2nd great grandparents in Odda, most of whom had never met one another, to a three day family reunion in the Sioux Falls, SD area.

     In 2010, I could attest to the amazing full capabilities of Microsoft Excel’s use for genealogy applications – something in 2005 I would have thought impossible because Excel was completely foreign software!

     In 2015, as the Founder of Genedocs an Archives Technician, I can explain how genealogy is a powerful daily influence in countless millions of peoples’ lives and a tremendous segment of a growing market to one of the largest interests on and off line. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Yes - I am clearly not a champion blogger as many of my cohorts in the family research world!

It is the end of January and I am still toting a header with Rootstech from last year- LOL!

Anyway, this week an important milestone was reached in the Facebook Community at our very unique group "Genedocs Templates".  - We surpassed the 2,500 member mark!
STATISTIC OF THE WEEK:  It took about 5.5 months to double our membership at regular promotion speed.  Something I astonishingly accomplished with the first 1,274 members added to our group in its first 48 hours of existence!

That is even a little baffling for me to embrace after sacrificing 1,300 previous friends of the Genedocs Enhancements formerly Genedocs Wetpaint facebook profile now only listed as software interest page with over 1,300 likes - thank you team Zuckerberg!  I had wisely invested 2011 to Aug 2014 gaining those genealogy minded friends and will certainly reconnect with them all again after searching out each of them to promote our fantastic group so they can be members with access to the templates without going to a separate website as folks had to prior to 9 Aug 2014.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR GENEDOCS?:  Many people are likely wondering and even a few have had the gumption to ask me directly where this momentum is taking the Genedocs Improved Family Research Tools program.  Here is the answer everyone will likely fall in love with!


    Since 2011, I have received 99.9% positive feedback on all that Genedocs offers so the next logical step is to build something  productive that can generate tremendously
needed income after struggling since 2003 with an inheritance theft, delayed lawsuit, and fruitless collection efforts to date that can put my wealth of family research knowledge, technical knowledge, military/ corporate/ and federal experience, estate planning and legacy preservation hindsight all to great use helping others in our new era of digital family history preservation.  

     In addition to generating a PayPal site where interested group members will be exclusively offered a once in perhaps a year opportunity to have an attractive digital chart generated, I will also set up a site to accept donations from folks loving the program, but not yet certain they are ready for my vastly improved custom charting business.  


I have been encouraged to charge anywhere from $60 - $100 for some of the charts I generate which seems a bit high, but since I did earn my Bachelors Degree and am making no where near the $48,000 a year DeVry claims it is worth ;-), I will offer a fair price for the effort and time it takes to generate each chart - more later on that.

DISCOUNTS? COUPONS? :I will reserve the right to offer discounts via coupons or other promotions as I see fit.
This will be done at my own pace so long as it does not detract from the quality of business output and my own time management.


     I will be seeking out a handful of fortunate volunteer members from our groups first 2,500 for gauging the fundamentals involved in common business practices; specific agreement of parties, dispute resolution, input on promotional chart examples for comparison, and of course their sampling of a random family grouping to base time needed to gather information and materials in reliable digital formats, electronically send them, examine them for legal use, and generate a proof for a prospective client.

     The materials and information will revolve around the following common aspects of family research and related businesses:

1.  All ancestors to be listed on charts must be deceased
     in order to preserve the privacy of the living.  Death 
     Certificate images MANDATORY Sibling data will be 
     limited to year spans and states of vital events for 
     the same reasons but they may be alive although the 
     likelihood of this combination would be particularly

2.  All imagery (portraits, documents, graphics, etc.) 
     provided by any client must be their sole property and 
     not under any copyright restriction or other legal 
     limitation.  The client alone will bear the full legal burden 
     of violating copyright infringement laws.  Suspect imagery
     can be withdrawn from proofs or a final chart at any time
     with no impact on pricing, payment, or recourse in 
     dispute resolution processes.

3.  The designer/compiler of the digital chart will hold full 
     rights to display completed charts (not proofs) as 
     Genedocs promotional materials for future business 
     development and growth without restriction whatsoever 
     from any client. 

4.  This charting business is strictly my personal endeavor 
     and not related to my previous or current work at the 
     National Archives primarily in a warehouse labor capacity 
     which to date has had nothing whatsoever to do with 
     NARA's genealogy services.  

More will be determined as future business related efforts unfold...now to change my blog header to something more current!