Joe Everett is a genealogist at FamilySearch working to help people discover their family history. He recently returned to FamilySearch, after spending 7 1/2 years at Ancestry.com, working to put new databases online. Joe is currently managing an international team of research consultants who assist people at the Family History Library and worldwide through Internet learning tools. Joe was previously the head of International Reference at the Family History Library, and also worked for several years there as a technical services librarian, cataloging Slavic and Germanic records. Joe earned a B.A. in Russian Language and in Family History/Genealogy (Germanic emphasis) from Brigham Young University and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University (Kansas). He has been a member of various library and genealogical associations and has lectured and published articles on Germanic & Slavic family history and Central & East European historical geography and migration.

21 October 2013

Forever Preserved: Genealogical Records after the Bohol Quake | Lahing Pinoy

Forever Preserved: Genealogical Records after the Bohol Quake | Lahing Pinoy:  This is a nice piece by a friend in the Philippines, highlighting the importance of the work that FamilySearch does in preserving the world's family history records.

21 August 2013

Diane L. Loosle Named Director of Family History Library in Salt Lake City - Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

I have known Diane for many years, having worked together at the Family History Library, first as peer managers in reference starting back in 2003 and more recently, as a member of her leadership team. She is an inspired leader and I am excited for the future of the library under her direction.

20 August 2013

Turn-of-the-Century Odessa Directories Now Online

News from Gary Mokotoff's Avotaynu e-newsletter: Turn-of-the-Century Odessa city directories are now online.  Odessa address and business directories (Vsia Odessa) for 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902/1903, 1904, 1906, 1908, 1910, 1911, and 1914 are now searchable at http://genealogyindexer.org. Search results link to scans of the directories on the Russian State Library website.  You can find them via global search or filter by place to limit results to Odessa. The site include capability to search using Roman characters as well as Cyrillic.  You can also browse the directory images on the archive site at http://genealogyindexer.org/directories#Odessa.

19 June 2013

Hamburg Passenger Lists now indexed for 1850-1914

I just learned that the Hamburg Passenger Lists have been updated on Ancestry.com. (URL: http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1068.) The name index now covers 1850-1914 (previously it was 1877-1914). This means that the bulk of this collection is now indexed, including the time period of peak migration through that port. The only remaining piece to index are the records following WWI (1920-1934). (You can still browse the images, though).

The update adds over eight hundred thousand new records to the index, which now includes over 4.6 million names.

(Note that they have not updated the little yellow notification in the search box to reflect the expanded index coverage yet. The "About this database" section has the updated coverage information, though. I have also tested numerous searches for the earlier years back to 1850 and they are working.)

12 June 2013

Want Emotionally Healthy Children? Tell Family Stories - Church News and Events

Want Emotionally Healthy Children? Tell Family Stories
Social science research helps confirm what genealogists have felt all along--that there are significant benefits to sharing family history with young people.

18 April 2013

All new FamilySearch

FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org) has had more than a face lift, it has some great new features that will make it a much more engaging place to discover and share family history.  New features include an interactive fan chart view of your tree, the ability to add photos and stories, and a redesigned help section that highlights the free personal help and other learning tools available on the site.  Check out the new features at https://familysearch.org/whats-new/.

24 March 2013

Can't we all get along?

"Can't we all  get along?" I like this question posed by Tim Sullivan at RootsTech, to which he also answered, "Yes!"  He was referring to whether beginners and experts can collaborate together on the same family history platform.  He was referring to the Ancestry.com website, but I would broaden that question to the entire genealogical community across the many varied platforms that exist today, including various free or fee-based online records sites, genealogy software programs, apps, etc.  Can't we all get along? Can't we all work together?

I just came out of a meeting with FHISO, a budding organization trying to do just that: bring together voices from the full spectrum of the genealogical community, including vendors, genealogical societies, and individual family history researchers in order to develop standard methods for sharing information.  As users of genealogical products, we would all love to have more seamless ways of making and sharing discoveries and conclusions, across different web sites, mobile devices, and client software applications.  FHISO organizers are busily working to build a framework for all of us to work together to make this a reality.

Bringing together this group is a little bit like trying to sit the whole extended family down to plan a major family event.  There goes Uncle Bill again, thinking he is in charge of everything, and Grandpa is making sarcastic comments from the peanut gallery, while Charles and Linda are just trying to make sure everyone is included and has a say.

It felt a bit like that in the meeting on FHISO today, as members of the panel, which included such distinguished genealogists as D. Joshua Taylor and Drew Smith, and representation from FGS and major vendors like Ancestry.com, FindMyPast, and RootsMagic, instead found themselves in the hot seat.  Many in the room misunderstood, thinking that the panel is FHISO and that they are the audience, and that this committee "up there" was going to be handing down standards.  That's not it at all.  We are all part of the same family, folks!  If you care about making family history data easier to manage and share, if you care about standardization, if you want your voice heard, then you, too, have a seat at the table.  Let's not give the people who are trying to bring us all together a hard time.  Let's join them, and come with a willingness to do our part to make this family thing a success.

22 March 2013

Collaboration is Key

I have been very pleased to hear the CEOs of FamilySearch and Ancestry.com talk about working together as partners.  Both keynote addresses at RootsTech have highlighted the relationship between the two organizations.  There is a new spirit of cooperation that is refreshing and exciting.  The first big collaboration will be a project to digitize and index millions of U.S. probate records. I look forward to finding out