NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at FamilySearch.
Salt Lake City, Utah (22 January 2018), FamilySearch is a global leader in fun, online family history services with over 9 million users in 2017. In 2018 FamilySearch will be expanding its free site and services by adding new family discoveries, more online connections, expanded global reach, and millions of new sources to search. (Find and share this announcement online from the FamilySearch Newsroom).
1. Personalized Home Page
Refinements to the FamilySearch personalized home page will enable signed-in patrons to make many more new discoveries and easily engage with their family trees.
As new photos, stories, or documents are added by other members of the family, they will be shown on your personalized home page and prioritized based on relevance. You will also be able to see new additions as relatives add them.
Enjoy more adaptive, relevant FamilySearch Record Hints. As millions of new records are added to FamilySearch weekly, the search engine maps them with your family tree. FamilySearch will specifically begin looking for new ancestor record sources you don’t already have in your tree. It will be easier than ever to add them.
Relevant ancestor event notifications, if you want, will be able to prompt you throughout the year regarding relevant dates in the lives of your ancestors. These can be great nudges to learn more about your forbears.
2. Historical Records
FamilySearch will digitally preserve over 400 million images in 2018 and publish the majority of them online. It will also add hundreds of millions of indexed, searchable names in historical records, thus making it easier and faster to find your ancestors.
New additions will include prominent international collections from Europe, Central and South America, and the United States. New images will first be accessible in the FamilySearch Catalog Viewer. Once they are indexed or have additional metadata, they’ll be published in the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.
3. Online Discovery Experiences
FamilySearch will introduce fun, new personal “discovery” experiences online and in additional physical locations in 2018. The online experiences will be similar to the popular attractions currently found in select FamilySearch Family Discovery Centers.
4. Family Tree
Refinements to the FamilySearch Family Tree in 2018 will extend its reach globally to more devices through improved language support and making the service faster and easier to navigate in lower bandwidth regions of the world.
An underlying goal of the FamilySearch Family Tree is to ensure new developments regarding data are always converging towards more accuracy and completeness.
An upcoming feature will help improve collaboration while encouraging more sound edits and discouraging poor edits to good data.
5. Family Tree Mobile App
FamilySearch will continue to update its FamilySearch Family Tree app and mobile experiences, which extend the website’s functionality. Currently, the robust app has 90 percent of the functionality of the web feature.
The app will provide fun, location-based experiences for making family discoveries wherever you happen to be. The popular 2017 “Relatives Around Me” feature allowed crowds or groups to discover who in the crowd was related to them and how.
New experiences in 2018 will build upon this, allowing interaction based on your proximity to people or locations with which you have a personal ancestral relationship.
The app will also continue to enhance the research capabilities of the mobile experience, including a new Research Mode that will allow multiple windows to be opened simultaneously to facilitate multitasking and research from within the app.
Individuals are now uploading millions of family photos and documents for free permanent storage at FamilySearch. In 2018, patrons will be able to add multiple photos to a family story, rather than just one.
The FamilySearch Tree Fan Chart will help patrons, at a glance, easily discover areas in their tree where memories and sources are attached to ancestors, and help them identify opportunities where they need to be added.
7. FamilySearch Web-Based Indexing
FamilySearch will end its desktop indexing software in 2018 as it continues to roll out more updates to its new web indexing platform. The new web tool is easy to use and works with any digital device (besides cell phones) with a web browser. It enables hundreds of thousands of volunteers worldwide to make millions of historical images easily and freely searchable by name so online family history researchers can quickly discover ancestors.
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch International, will continue to expand its support of community growth, personal development, and exciting industry innovation. This popular global family history conference will attract over 100,000 attendees (in-person and live online viewers).
Keynotes this year will include: Scott Hamilton, olympic figure skating champion, Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York photographer and writer, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Finding Your Roots. and Natalia Fourcade, internationally renowned Mexican pop-rock singer.
The RootsTech Innovation Showcase will highlight exciting innovations related to family history. It will replace the Innovator Summit and Innovator Showdown.
9. Oral Histories
Family history in oral (no written documentation) cultures are kept in the minds of village elders—walking, human libraries. When they pass away, the library is lost forever. FamilySearch will increase the number of oral histories it captures from these tribal historians significantly throughout Africa.
FamilySearch appreciates its growing customer base (over 134 million visits in 2017!). When you visit FamilySearch in 2018, be sure to sign in to your free account to enjoy the most of what FamilySearch has to offer. Come back regularly to add your own family memories. Enjoy the new content added daily and the new features coming soon. Collaborate with your family to upload your favorite photos, documents, personal histories, or journals from previous years, and update your ancestors’ stories.
Each year at this time, Ol’ Myrt here has the opportunity to encourage others to stop researching and try something else.
STOP RESEARCHING?!! That’s right. Stop researching and share an memory of an ancestory. Share something about his or her life that you remember, or that you’ve discovered in your research.
All this reasonably exhaustive research and following the GPS (Genealogical Proof Standard) is for naught if we don’t share what we’re learning about our progenitors with others.
YOUR REWARD? Well, of course, there’s the obvious reward of keeping the memory of our ancestors alive. But in this case, Ol’ Myrt here has a tangible reward for one lucky winner – a free pass to RootsTech 2018 to be held in the Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah from February 28th through March 3rd (Airfare, lodging, meals and labs not included.) This annual event has become the single largest genealogy technology event in the world.
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT #RootsTech 2018 thus far
ENTER TO WIN
- Submit a link to your Share a Memory item in comments to this Share a Memory Contest 2017 post at Myrt’s Musings .
- Your item may be blog post, micro-blog, tweet, Instagram photo, Pinterest Board, video (YouTube, Vimeo, Animoto).
- Deadline – Sunday, 29 October 2017.
- Members of DearMYRTLE and Cousin Russ’ family are ineligible.
- One winner will be announced during Mondays with Myrt 30 Oct 2017 and posted with an update.
- The winner will be given a code to process the free registration at www.RootsTech.org
- If the winner has already registered, the basic registration fee will be refunded by RootsTech.org who has provided this pass for the contest.
SO, STOP RESEARCHING and Share a Memory!
NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at RootsTech.org.
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (6 October 2017), RootsTech 2018 is delighted to announce that Scott Hamilton, American champion figure skater, Olympic gold medalist, motivational speaker, author, philanthropist, cancer survivor, TV broadcaster, and husband and father will be the RootsTech 2018 keynote speaker on Friday, March 2, 2018, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Hamilton is hailed as one of the greatest male figure skaters of all time. He won a gold medal for his stunning performance in the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo. He won four consecutive US figure skating championships and four world championships from 1981 to 1984. In 1990, Hamilton was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. In all, he has earned more than 70 titles, awards, and honors for figure skating.
For the past 30 years, his broadcast analysis of national and global skating competitions has provided firsthand insights, and his speeches and books are uplifting and motivating.
Besides his many accomplishments in the public arena, Hamilton says his family members have always been an integral part of his success and are the most important people in his life. He is excited to share more of his personal and family stories at RootsTech 2018.
Born August 28, 1958, in Toledo, Ohio, Hamilton was adopted when he was six weeks old by Dorothy and Ernest S. Hamilton. He has overcome many obstacles on his path to success including an illness at age two when he stopped growing. Doctors were unable to determine the cause, and over time the condition corrected itself.
His parents supported his figure skating passion from the time he began skating at age 13. “Family in my early years of skating were all in the ice show. I remember taking pictures on our front lawn in April, all in our costumes and ices skates. . . . Once I started skating, everybody was involved. . . . We were all in, 100%. It was our ‘candy,’” he said.
His highly publicized battles with cancer that interrupted his skating career have inspired millions. Following his mother’s passing from cancer and his own survival, he established the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education, and Survivorship) to improve cancer survivorship. In 2014, he founded the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy to rebuild figure skating and offer fresh ways for students to fall in love with skating, as he did as a child.
His wife, Tracie, and four children are now the center of his life. While helping with recovery efforts in Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake, he and Tracie fell in love with two amazing orphans. “Now they are our own children; so now we have four,” said Hamilton. “It’s fun, and it’s crazy, and it’s non-stop, and [we] just keep going, going, going. Life is full. Life is good. And I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities to be a part of this very fun—we put the fun in dysfunctional—family.”
When asked how he feels about keynoting RootsTech 2018, Hamilton says he looks forward to soaking in the RootsTech experience and sharing his story. “We all have a story to tell. All of us. And we all have great lineage and heritage. And we’ve got all of these generations and generations and generations [before us]—nothing started with us.” While at RootsTech, Hamilton says he is excited to meet as many people as he can and hear about how they have found their lineage, ancestors, and their families.
“All of us have a legacy to leave for future generations,” he said. “It’s hard to be memorable in this world, but through our children, we have a chance to really make an impact,” he said.
Hamilton feels his legacy is compassion, kindness, and generosity, “If I can raise money for cancer research and be successful in that, if I can be a good father and allow my kids to have everything they need to be successful in their lives and for their children and for their children and their grandchildren, then I think I’ve done my job.”
Go to RootsTech 2018, February 28 to March 3, 2018, to learn more about Scott Hamilton’s incredible journey, discover your roots, make family connections, and catch the spirit of belonging to generations of your family.
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.
NOTE: As an official Ambassador for RootsTech 2018, I am authorized to cross-post Gold Olympian Scott Hamilton to Keynote RootsTech 2018 to my channels.
RootsTech.org just announced the availability of the 2018 class schedule for the conference to be held Feb 28th through Mar 3rd at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City Utah. Categories for beginning, intermediate and advanced family historians include classes on:
- Ethical Issues
- Family Trees
- Online Library Resources
- Photos & Stories
- Social Media
Ol’ Myrt here serves as an official ambassador and will spend much of my time in the media hub doing interviews. You can bet I’ll take the class on “Records Access & Preservation” in addition to “Making the Most of English and Welsh Parish Records.”
What strikes your fancy? What genealogical or technological conundrums will you solve this winter at RootsTech?
Click here to check out the class schedule for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday sessions.
Click here to complete your RootsTech Registration.