Dec 19

2012 Jamboree Extension Webinar Series

For Immediate Release December 18, 2011. (Burbank, CA) 
The Southern California Genealogical Society announces the return of the popular Jamboree Extension Webinar Series, which provides web-based family history and genealogy educational sessions for genealogists around the world.

Speakers for the 2012 Series include many distinguished professional genealogists and family history lecturers.

Drew Smith, George G. Morgan, Daniel Horowitz, Thomas MacEntee, Jana Broglin CG, Barry Ewell
Michael Brophy, Kerry Bartels, Ugo Perego, Denise Spurlock, Josh Taylor, Schelly Dardashti, Michael John Neill
Linda Geiger, Jean Wilcox Hibben, Lisa Louise Cooke, Rick Crume, Janet Hovorka, Gena Ortega, Lisa Alzo

Sessions are held on the first Saturday and third Wednesday of each month. The first 2012 webinar on Saturday, January 7, 2012, will be led by Linda Geiger, CG, CGL. Linda’s presentation is “Me and My Laptop: Getting the Most out of your Laptop while Researching Onsite.” Linda will share tips for making onsite research more efficient and productive using DropBox (or similar cloud) in conjunction with spreadsheets, word processing programs, genealogy software, and more.

The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) launched its Jamboree Extension Series (JES) webinars in March 2011. SCGS was the first genealogical society to offer regularly scheduled webinar sessions. The series was developed to fulfill the Society’s mission “to foster interest in family history and genealogy, preserve genealogical materials, and provide instruction in accepted and effective research techniques.”

Webinars help extend awareness of SCGS and Jamboree around the world. In 2011, the webinar series reached genealogists from 48 US states and 7 Canadian provinces, as well as England, Wales, Ireland, France, United Kingdom, Algeria, Uganda, Australia, New Zealand and Israel.

The live webcast is offered free of charge and open to the public. “We offer these webinars as part of our educational mission,” said SCGS president Heidi Ziegler, “but are always grateful for contributions to offset our costs.” Donations can be made by PayPal, through the SCGS website or by check.

SCGS members are able to review archived sessions at any time by accessing the SCGS members-only section of this website.

To join a webinar, most participants attend via computer with audio speakers or a headset. Those with a fast Internet connection (either broadband or DSL) will have the most satisfactory experience. It is possible to phone in to listen to the presentation. Long-distance charges may apply.

Jamboree Extension Series presentations will be scheduled on the first Saturday and third Wednesday of each month. Saturday sessions will be held at 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time; Wednesday sessions will be scheduled at 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.

Full details and registration information for each session can be found on the SCGS website at

Dec 08

“My Rooted Technology” – a meme about using technology in genealogy

Yesterday Randy Seavers  posted “My Rooted Technology” – a meme about using technology in genealogy, so I decided to join in the fun in preparation for RootsTech 2012.

My Rooted Technology

  • Technology you already use: type (in blue)
  • Technology you would like to use or learn more about: italicize (in red)
  • Technology you don’t use, have no interest in using or no longer use: plain type
  • Explain or give opinions in brackets [  ] at the end of each bullet point
  1. I have a tablet computer such as an iPad that I use for genealogy [Hoping Santa Claus will have one for me this year]
  2. I have downloaded one or more apps to a Smart Phone or similar device. [I love my iPhone]
  3. I belong to a genealogy society that uses social media. [NGS, NEHGS, SCGS, GGS, Friends of the National Archives-Southeast Region have webinars and have a FaceBook and/or Twitter account]
  4. I use GEDCOM files and understand the various compatibility issues involved [not a prioity!]
  5. I have added metadata to some of my files and digital photos. [well, at least to many of them, still a work in progress]
  6. I have utilized an API from a genealogy-related application or website. [API??? I don’t have a clue]
  7. I have taken a DNA test related to my genealogy research.
  8. I have used the FamilySearch Research Wiki.
  9. I have a Facebook account and use it regularly for genealogy.
  10. I use tech tools to help me cite my sources in genealogy research. [Hmm… would one consider my research log and/or my genealogy program a tech tool?]
  11. I have developed a genealogy-related app for a Smart Phone or similar device.
  12. I use a genealogy database program (Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic etc.) [yes TMG on my PC and Reunion on my Mac!]
  13. I use cloud computer resources to store my genealogy data. [DropBox]
  14. I have made one or more contributions to the FamilySearch Research Wiki.
  15. I have attended a genealogy webinar. [many and I’ve presented webinars, and produced webinars]
  16. I have organized and administered a DNA testing group related to my genealogy.
  17. I use apps involving GPS and Geo-caching for my genealogy research. [GPS, but not Geo-caching]
  18. I have a Google+ account and use it regularly for genealogy. [yes!  We need more genies on Google+]
  19. I have created and published a family history e-book. [work in progress]
  20. I have created a wiki related to my genealogy research.
  21. I have conducted a genealogy webinar as a presenter. [and several more are scheduled]
  22. I read genealogy-related blogs to help improve my own research.
  23. I have one or more genealogy-related blogs to help improve my own research.
  24. I have a Twitter account and use it regularly for genealogy.
  25. I have one or more genealogy-related websites which I run and administer.
  26. I have created a screencast or video related to genealogy and posted it at a video sharing site (Vimeo, YouTube, etc.).  [No, but I do produce Webinars for GGS and Friends of the National Archives-Southeast Region]
  27. I use one or more digital tools to capture and record my family history. (digital camera, digital recorder, smart pen, scanners, etc.]



Dec 07

Wordless Wednesday – Improvement Society Meeting, 1908

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All rights Reserved


Dec 04

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Dear Genea-Santa

Dear Genea-Santa,

Thank you, thank you, for making sure that I got to the 1st RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City last year!

Although it’s not easy, I’ve tried very hard to be a good genea-girl and historea-girl this year. Countless hours have been distributed to the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association, the Friends of the National Archives-Southeast Region, and the Georgia Genealogical Society.

My wish-list for this year is fairly short. Is it too much to ask for an iPad? That would make me so very happy. I’d also like some help finding what happened to my  5th great grandfather Stephen Woodward and his son Jesse (my 4th great grandfather). They were in Plaistow, NH by 1757 and that’s where my Jesse was born. Just a few hints, please, Genea-Santa!

Don’t forget any of my genea-brothers and genea-sisters when you are making your rounds. Stuff their stockings full of new hints to locate their elusive ancestors.

I’ll have special cookies and milk  (or would you prefer chocolate-raspberry coffee?) for you on Christmas Eve and special flaxseed & oats for your genea-reindeer.




Nov 30

App for

As posted on GeneaPress by Gena Philibert Ortega


New ‘ Mobile’ iOS App Gives Users the Ability to Access Billions of Historical Records to Build Their Family Tree 
PROVO, UTAH (November 29, 2011) –, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced the availability of a new, upgraded version of its Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with features designed to enable more rewarding discoveries as users build, update and share their family trees. The mobile app, which to-date has been downloaded more than 1.7 million times, is now available for free from the Apple App Store.
This upgrade adds three new features to’s existing family history app:
·         “In-app purchasing,” which allows subscribers to view, then buy fascinating historical records about their ancestors – such as World War I draft cards, Census records, birth/death certificates, and school yearbook photos, from among billions of historical documents in the database
·         A “Shaky Leaf” hinting feature that employs predictive analytics to suggest possible new connections between a user’s family tree and undiscovered documents in the world’s largest family history database
·         A new merge feature, which automatically identifies and extracts information about family members from historical records so users can quickly and easily update their family tree
“Our goal with the new mobile app is to enable more people to discover their family history through our billions of historic records, and allow them to share their findings easily with others,” said Eric Shoup, Senior Vice President of Product at “Our ‘Shaky Leaf’ hinting feature has resulted in tens of millions of successful family history discoveries online and it’s now accessible to our growing mobile user base.”
For users new to, the latest iOS app provides an easy way to get started by giving access to relevant historical documents on the site without a subscription.  For existing members, the new app gives them the ability to grow their tree using records and share them with others while on-the-go.
The mobile app offers many of the most popular features available in the online version of’s industry-leading family history website, including the ability to add and edit family information, view and share documents and photos, take and attach photos and create and navigate multi-generational family trees.
To get started, download the free mobile app to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, andeither register for a new, or log in to an existing account and choose a family tree. subscribers can download family history records in the app free of charge. Non-subscribers pay a special introductory price starting at $0.99 for each record purchased through the Mobile app’s “in-app purchase” feature.
About Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world’s largest online family history resource, with approximately 1.7 million paying subscribers. More than 7 billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 28 million family trees containing over 2.8 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site, offers localized Web sites designed for nine countries that empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include our continuing ability to provide desired content to users of the App and making the App convenient to use. Information concerning additional factors that could cause events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements is contained under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2011, and in discussions in other of our Securities and Exchange Commission filings. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date and we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements.

Nov 26

RootsTech 2012 Here I Come!

Excitement and anticipation mount as I begin my preparation for the 2nd annual RootsTech conference in Salt Lake. I was fortunate to be able to attend the first RootsTech session and was blown away by the diversity of programs and exhibit hall.

During this second three-day conference, 102 sessions are planned. It is important, therefore, for me to take time to develop my personal schedule before I get to the conference—so many choices. RootsTech website makes that task easier because the schedule is posted. The sessions are categorized by interest to genealogical software/applications developers and for users, and since I wear a several different hats (Board Certified Genealogist and website designer), I need to consider both categories.  Once again, I’m wishing I could split myself in several segments so that I could attend more than one session each hour… Tough choices!

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved

Nov 06

To All Concerned Georgia Researchers

I’m sharing a letter from the Georgia Genealogical Society’s President to the membership. The letter should be addressed to “All Concerned Georgia Researchers.”


Dear GGS Member,

The 2011 session of the Georgia General Assembly saw the budget of the Georgia Archives slashed, yet again. The situation has become so dire that the Archives is open to the public only two days per week. This once proud and nationally respected institution is but a shadow of its former self. Staff positions have been eliminated, and programs abolished or much diminished.

Of all state archives, the Georgia Archives has the dubious distinction of being open to the public the fewest number of hours per week.

It is time for a change. It is time that our elected officials be made aware that we, the citizenry, are outraged that our access to public records is limited to seventeen hours per week (Friday and Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.).

The following chart from the Friends of the Georgia Archives and History illustrates the decline in Archives budget and staff over the past 30 years:

Year Budget Budget in 2011 Dollars Number of Staff
1982 $3,297,000 $7,523000 90
1992 4,166,000 6,538,000 65
2002 5,409,000 6,620,000 54
2012 (projected) 4,819,000 4,819,000 18
Reduction since 1983 -36 %


Source: 2011

Action is needed now. Do not wait until the 2012 session, or it may be too late. I urge you to contact your state representative, your state senator, Gov. Nathan Deal, and Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Let them know that you support the Georgia Archives and that you want to see its budget restored and public access hours expanded.

You can find the name and contact information for your state representative and senator at:

Secretary of State Brian Kemp may be contacted through the link on the Secretary of State’s website: or send a letter to: Secretary of State Brian Kemp, 214 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334.

You may e-mail Governor Deal through the “contact us” link at: http://www.Gov.GA.Gov, or send a letter to: Gov. Nathan Deal, State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334.


Thank you.

Linda Hughes, President

Georgia Genealogical Society

This letter was originally published in The Scribe, the GGS quarterly newsletter, (Vol. 18,  No.4 ~ November, 2011, page 2).

Linda Woodward Geiger


Nov 06

Georgia Archives Open 8 More Days in 2011

It’s a sad state of affairs. Currently, the Georgia Archives is open to the public fewer hours than any other state (at least to my knowledge)—Friday & Saturday unless there is a state or federal holiday that falls on Monday or during the weekend.

Those whishing to conduct historical or scholarly research at the Georgia Archives need to be careful scheduling precious visits. During this month of November the Archives schedule show four days of operation and we’ve already seen two of those fly by. When the Archives is open the operating hours are from 8:30am to 5:00pm (out of the research area by 4:45). Here is the schedule for the remainder of the year:

4 November: open
5 November: open

11 November: closed (Veteran’s day)
12 November: closed (because they closed Friday from Veteran’s day)

18 November: open
19 November: open

25 November: closed (Thanksgiving day on Thursday)
26 November: closed (Thanksgiving day on Thursday)

2 December: open
3 December: open

9 December: open
10 December: open

16 December: open
17 December: open

23 December: closed (Christmas is coming)
24 December: closed (Christmas Eve)

30 December: closed (New Year’s Day is approaching)
31 December: closed (New Year’s Eve)

I know times are hard, but there is no excuse for this—ignorance on the part of Georgia’s legislature is, however, a reason. The legislature continues to support fishermen and a few of their favorite recreational activities, while cutting funding (that means hours and staff) for the Archives and many of Georgia’s State and Historical Sites  (most of the later are generally open to the public only 3 days a week, Thursday through Saturday).

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.


Nov 03

Do You Know Where Your Files Are?

As we progress through our family history research, e.g. from beginner, novice, … advanced, we often find ourselves shifting from one filing method to another. As the storage space in my small mountain home becomes more of a premium, I find that digital is really the way for me to proceed. Consequently, I continue to spend hours scanning paper files, reports, documents, and photographs, so that the material is digital. I’m a tactile person, so I still like, paper. Yet, there are reasons beyond storage for digitizing—sharing, backup, and easy access.

Once the records are digitized, we need to face conjuring an efficient and flexible filing system. I’d like to share what works for me.

When organizing my computer files, I’ve found it helpful to use a scheme based on surnames (females are filed under their maiden name) and thereafter by ahnentafel numbers (ahnentafel number is German word meaning “ancestor table”).  Children of my direct ancestors are given folders under that ancestors ahnentafel folder.

Research notes, resources, documents, etc. for my personal ancestry are filed in a main folder that I call, “Research – Personal.”  The first set of subfolders are tiled by record type, such as cemeteries, communities, etc., that pertain to more than one surname. In order to make this system efficient, it is important for me to scan or download digital images as records are located and to file them in the appropriate folder.

My “Research – Personal” files are stored in DropBox so that the files are always current, no matter which computer I’m on when revisions (or additions) are entered.

Figure 1 illustrates some of the file folders found under my main research folder called “Research – Personal.”

Figure 1

This file scheme allows me to quickly determine what records I’ve located and what records I need to look for in the future. This method, also, assists me when constructing research plan. Of course, other research tools are also considered when formatting a research plan.

Let’s look inside the “Family – Perkins” folder—you’ll see files prefaced with ahnentafel numbers (Figure 2).

Figure 2


Figure 3 is a snapshot of the files under folder “#0012 Perkins, John Butters.”

Figure 3

In Figure 3 ”0012-01 Perkins, Charles” indicates that Charles was the first child of John Butters Perkins, “0012-02 Perkins, Etta Belle” indicates that Etta Belle was the 2nd child of John Butters Perkins, etc. Files for Etta Belle’s marriage and information regarding her children are readily found in her folder.

Figure 4 illustrates some of the digital files stored under #0012 Documents”—#0012, John Butters Perkins was my great grandfather.

Figure 4

Figure 4 illustrates that I have very few digital images for documents that relate to great grandfather John Butters. All I’ve digitized are the front and reverse side of the State of New Hampshire’s copy of his death certificate and some images of his tombstone in Mount Hope Cemetery [Loudon Village, New Hampshire]. Many years ago I abstracted information that I found on the state copies of the birth and marriage records of John Butters Perkins, but now that the digitized images are on FamilySearch, I can obtain digital images from their website.

Obviously, I also need to obtain images of census, deeds, probate, etc. which provide additional evidence for John Butters Perkins.

So if you have difficulty finding your digital files, this scheme may work for you, or perhaps you’ve devised another.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.


Oct 23

RootsTech 2012: Have You Registered?

Have You Registered Yet? If not, you have a little over a month to do so. The banner to the right appears on the RootsTech homepage as a reminder that the “Early Bird” deadline is fast approaching.

Happily I was able to attend the first conference in 2011 and I can’t wait for the 2012 conference to begin. I’m already browsing their website as I try to make decisions about what classes to attend (a total of 105 sessions are currently planned), special events (lunches and evenings), and what not to miss in the Expo Hall. It is at these times that I truly wish I could split in several parts so that I could be in more than one place at once.

There is no other conference where the Users can meet the Developers. Although I enjoy using almost all software applications as a family historian and as a professional genealogist, I found the opportunities to meet and provide input to the developers invaluable. The sessions reminded me of way back when the GenTech conferences were held — but RootTech is much more “Uptown.”

Hope to see you there!

© Linda Woodward Geiger, CG, CGL. All Rights Reserved.


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