IN THIS EDITION -- January 24. 2002

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GenTech Merges with NGS

On the eve of its 2002 conference in Boston, GenTech announced it will become a division of the National Genealogical Society. GenTech, which started as a small group of volunteers who wanted to promote technology in genealogy, has turned into a larger venture than volunteers alone can handle, according to a statement on the group's Web site, www.gentech.org. NGS will take over GenTech's administrative functions and form an advisory council of officials from both groups. GenTech will still hold its annual conferences, the statement says. This year's conference will be held Jan. 25-26 at Boston's Hynes Convention Center, and focuses on genetics in genealogy.
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Kentucky Cemetery Records Coming to the Web

For the last 25 years, volunteers have been locating and transcribing hundreds of thousands of graves throughout the state of Kentucky to create the Kentucky Cemetery Records Project. Soon, this terrific resource from the Kentucky Historical Society will be searchable online. So far, the database contains records from half of the state's counties. For more information about the project (and to keep checking on its launch), visit www.catalog.kyhistory.org.
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Scottish Ancestry Site Goes Live

If you've ever considered journeying to Scotland in search of your roots, a new Web site can show you how to make it happen. Ancestral Scotland at www.ancestralscotland.com launched this week. Learn where to begin the search, where to stay, whom to contact and relevant places to visit. Traveling to Scotland is simple with the current, accurate information you'll find on the site. If you're still sketching out your family tree, you can search the site by surname, parish or place. You'll quickly discover where your ancestors lived. Old photos, history lessons and a calendar of events add to the site's useful information.
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Don't Waste Your Library Time

 

A tip from Dale Marshall of Athens, Ga.:

"When visiting an 'away-from-home' library, you never have enough time to finish your research. After finding information about one of your ancestors, never take time to totally read through all the ancestor's information. Instead, photocopy the relevant pages for casual review later at home.

"Also, copy the title page of the book or the volume, issue and year as well as the name of the library and call number of the source of your newly found information. This way, if you should find later that you need to copy additional pages, you know where to find the original if you can't find it elsewhere."

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Working in the Family History Library

 

Working in the Family History Library is not that difficult. We have heard people say they couldn't possibly visit the FHL because it is too big and there's too much there. Think about it in simpler terms:

* It is a library.
* It has a catalog.
* You should search by subject, place, title, author and keyword.
* You find your call number in the catalog.
* You use that number to find your book, microform or map.

These are the same basic steps used at any library. Each library you go to is a bit different from the previous one. The FHL has one special attribute many libraries don't have: It encourages genealogists to visit.

Things may be numbered, cataloged and shelved in many ways. At any library ask about the systems used. At the FHL, you are fortunate; it has aids you may not find at other libraries:

* Online catalog with extensive instruction.
* Classes at the library and elsewhere on the FHL and the catalog.
* On-site orientation in Salt Lake City.
* Books and articles on the FHL and the collections.
* Numerous staff and volunteers to show the way.

See, it needn't be as daunting as you think.

-Paula Stuart Warren & James W. Warren, authors of Your Guide to the Family History Library www.familytreemagazine.com/store/display.asp?id=70513