I’m really glad you’re here! Thanks for checking in!
Day Three and I wasn’t so exhausted from the first two days that I needed extra sleep. In fact, excited about the day’s classes, I couldn’t sleep past 6:30 AM!
Today’s keynote presenter, Rod DeGiulio, titled his talk, “FamilySearch: All About Records.” DeGiulio is a Senior Executive Vice President of FamilySearch International, and heads up the acquisition and digitization of records around the world. It’s FamilySearch’s goal to provide free and easy access to the world’s genealogical records, so they are working to ramp up the digital pipeline of records.
DeGiulio discussed the 2.5 million rolls of microfilm in the LDS vault, said that 23% of those images have been digitized, and that they have a goal to have the whole collection digitized in the next 3-4 years. That’s not to say all the images will be indexed at that time, but they hope many will help in the ongoing indexing projects.
FamilySearch currently has 210 camera crews capturing images in 48 countries throughout the world. Their goal is to bring an image from capturing it to online in two weeks! Today they have 607 million images from 1225 archives, and are adding one million images each day. A contract has just been signed to digitize ALL the civil registration in the entire Italian nation. That’s 130 million records!
Concerning indexing, 155,000 FamilySearch volunteers have indexed 99.9% of the 1940 U.S. census. DeGiulio asked for continued indexing help, now focusing on the U.S. immigration project.
What’s next for FamilySearch?
- Make online records easier to use.
- Lots more online records and images.
- Adding index correction capabilities.
- Many more projects with partners.
- Help nations to document the undocumented.
What can you do?
- Pray technology will continue to develop and doors will be opened to records.
- Indexing: Immigration, and Non-English Vital Records
- Serve to help preserve vital records
After DeGiulio’s presentation, I attended a lecture by John Titford titled, “Who Was Mrs. Williamson? An 18th and 19th Century Genealogical Detective Story.” Titford had acquired a manuscript book of entries dating 1833-1846 that he had determined were made by a Mrs. Williamson. Through the 1841 England census, Titford determined Mrs. Williamson had an agency for placing servants in homes and the book was a recording of her notes. By correlating many records, he determined the identify of Mrs. Williamson.
While giving this lecture, Titford presented one page from this book on the PowerPoint screen. Titford wasn’t tracing the servants, so it was just a random page from the book. To our surprise, one of the students in the class pointed to one of her ancestor’s name on the page!!!! It was amazing.
Titford addressed things to do when you hit a brick wall in your research. He recommended questioning the original facts and testing them one at a time.
I also attended Titford’s lecture titled, “Marry ‘em off, Kill ‘em off. Researching a London Family 1640-1840.” Titford used a case study from his family files concerning research in metropolitan London. He showed how English research should span many counties to prove a case.
Two lectures I attended were taught by Alan Mann, an employee of FamilySearch. He titled these presentations, “Recently Filmed Resources for Irish Research,” and “England’s Records of the Poor – Coming to a Website Near You.” Mann instructed us on Irish Tithe Applotment Books, Griffith’s Valuation Records, and pre-valuation records such as House books, Field Books, Tenure Books, and Quarto Books.
The last class I want to mention was taught by Hannah Z. Allan titled, “Organizing Records: Burying the Dead, Not the Living.” Allan’s lecture led us to more digitization of our sources and described a new product to help do just that. I attended an overview of this product and will write more about it another day. I think you’re going to like it!
So again, this girl is cooked. Time to relax. Now, I’m going to try to get some sleep.
Disclaimer: I am an official blogger for this conference and BYU has covered my registration, but I am not beholden to BYU in any way. The opinions expressed herein are solely my own.