Friday, July 23, 2010

FamilySearch Indexing Webinar Report

Hello Everyone!

In case you wonder where I have disappeared to again, allow me to explain before giving you my report.
My mother-in-law had not been able to get around for some time and decided to have her hips replaced. She was doing fine after 4 weeks of rehab but she caught pneumonia and ended up in ICU until they decided there was no way to save her. She was returned to the nursing home/rehab center where my husband and I took turns watching over her 24h/day until she passed away on June 26. It really blind-sided us because she was in fairly good health other than the fact that she needed someone to help her every day.
The last month of her life was horrible and her death came as a real relief for both of us and her too I'm sure.
Let's face it, she took priority over a lot of other things and I hope you will accept my apologies for not being more active with you here.

I had seen the invitation to attend the webinar on the new install of the FamilySearch Indexing but didn't think it was any big deal and would not have attended it if it weren't for Ruthann asking me if I was.
So I did yesterday. And I am glad I did.
Did anyone else attend this webinar in our stake?

There has been a lot of issues whenever the site gets updated or when Java updates its program so they have created a new program that will prevent java problems from occurring. They asked that 2 indexers in each participating stake try this new program.
Really, you can all try it, as they are looking for help in testing it thoroughly before its public release.
They have no version ready for Mac computers but are working on one and that too will determine the release date. They will inform everyone when they are ready to test the mac version. Sign into your FamilySearch indexing account and check the announcements there so you may know when.

The new program is HUGE and so they suggest those using dial-up ask for someone using the same version of Windows as they are to save the file on a disk so they can use the disc to install on their pc.
BE AWARE that the program detects the version of Windows your computer uses so for ex. if you are using Vista and the person you are helping is using XP, you will not be able to give them a copy of the program.
In other words:
if the indexer using dial-up uses Windows XP, find a computer that also uses Windows XP and download and burn a copy off that computer.
if the indexer uses Windows Vista, find a pc that has that version of Windows to download and burn the program before giving it to him/her.

OR the indexers using dial-up can start the download before they go to bed and it should be done by morning.

Go to
scroll down to FamilySearch indexing - New Install
and download the new program from there.

This version has an already integrated version of Java that will not interfere with the one your pc uses. It will not need to be updated separately either.
If you have any questions call 866-406-1830 or email
International contacts should use the site at http://contact.

ONE WORD OF ADVICE That is always good:
BEFORE you download this program, make sure you have submitted all the batches you are presently working on so as to insure you won't lose any work.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT piece of information:
The merging of user names is about to be stopped so if you have not yet done so, please do it as soon as possible.

Make sure you use all of the program's functions and let Salt Lake know if there is something you think they could improve on, or even if you don't think any of their stuff is helpful. They aim to make this program as friendly as possible.

We appreciate your dedication and your help in this part of the Lord's vineyard!
Thank You for everything you do to help. Nothing is too small!

Let me hear from you!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mark your Calendar: Next Session: July 10!

Just received the news!

"Thanks to all that participated in our first online test. We are going to try the same class again on July 10. If you were not able to make it please register and try again. You can share this with anyone interested. We learned a lot and are excited to do another test.
Family History Library Consultant Training – Helping Family History HappenFamilySearch is testing online consultant training on Thursday, July 10,2008 from 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM (MT)The online classroom has a capacity of 200 so we are asking people to register.To register please go to: so much, keep up the great work!"
(From: Merrill White)

This is such exciting news!!!

Good luck to all those who were unable to attend but might be able to register this time!

Register to Consultant Site!

As a quick follow-up on Monday's conference-class.
The main focus really was the efforts that are underway to provide training for the consultants and priesthood leaders.
Of course it's only going to work if we actually follow their directions.
I know many other people have been saying this for quite some time already so it may sound redundant but we need to make sure that not only all the consultants register and get their online training but that all our leaders do the same.
That's harder because they don't hear past "new program that's replacing TempleReady" and don't necessarily see how it can affect anything more than 'Temple Work".
Truth is it is SO MUCH MORE!!!
And the consultant IS the key.
But we must register to the given site (see below) with the proper information and we must make time to take the training and then put our heads together and draw out a plan to make this fit in our wards and branches.
It is an incredible program that can re-energize us into doing the right things.
In the elearning, not only do consultants get to learn better ways to understand their calling and the reporting order but they can also learn new research methods through college classes... and all for free.
Yes, I am glad to be alive today.

go to
Click on Serving in the Church
and choose Family History
then your choice of Prietshood leader or Consultant
It really won't matter as you will end up in the same place in the end but...
Then click on the Registration link until you come to the Registration page
You will need your ward/branch Unit # along with your membership ID # and your personal information.
If you are in a district that is preparing to deploy the new FamilySearch you will have to wait 72 hours before registering to the new FamilySearch site. Your Training Material will be redirected to the new FamilySearch.
After you have registered to the new FamilySearch, sign in and then click on the
Help Center at the bottom of the Home page
Another page will pop up.
Click on the "Training and Resources" tab in the upper right corner and then on the left you will "Elearning" and a lot of other links underneath
I recommend the wonderful videos that are found there too.
They will come on a DVD to your stakes but this way you have advance access and really you can already share it by showing it to others through your login.
DO ALL the classes, as ALL the classes pertaining to your calling are listed there.
None others will remain.
For example community volunteers who have been given access to new FamilySearch do not need access to the Priesthood training classes and they therefore do not find them among theirs to take.
MOST OF ALL... Have fun!!!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Online Beta Training from the Family History Library

After more than 6 months of silence I am back.
I have no idea if anyone is still here reading but I feel like writing.
Truth is I should be working on making an index for Belgian Laces but can not seem to focus very long on it right now. Instead my attention comes back here.

A little over a week or so ago we were advised that there would be an Online Beta Training offered throughthe Family History Library. Only 200 people could register however so I jumped on this opportunity with both feet.

The FHC and World Wide support team had explained at the FGS Conference last year that this was in the works to train FHC directors, new and tenured (6months and more) and consultants but nothing had been heard since.

In our stake, we are so scattered that training is difficult and costly. This would be perfect!
I let our people know of the training opportunity but only one other was able to get in on time.
Softy as I am, I felt selfish to keep my login to myself so I enquired to see if they would be interested in watching the seminar with me, taking advantage of my login. And what a treat it was!

Even though I hope those who drove a good hour to see this were not disappointed that my laptop didn’t accept the local projector. I had never had trouble hooking one up before...
We will know better for next time... Besides, when the FHL people talked about making sure I had speakers, I had no idea what they were talking about… I had brought my pc speakers from home but in truth I needed an extra cord to hook up to the projector as well…
SO… we will be prepared for the next time, if necessary…

Eight of us were able to attend this session that was seen by many others (at least 199 others) across the country. It was done using Adobe Conferencing. I had seen what it could do but had never participated live to a conference so this was all new to me.
Before we started, a map showed us people as they were signing in. It was so cool… We were among the first online but we soon disappeared off the map as the others signed in.

I must tell you I was a bit nervous as when I clicked on the link the window announced that “the session was over” and I was getting concerned about how it would work but… 30 minutes or so before it started the page opened into a new conference and that’s when we began seeing the people appearing on the map.

My favorite part was when the presenter read 1 Nephi 16:23
"And it came to pass I Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my father: Wither shall I go to obtain food?"
He then compared the FH consultants to Nephi.
He made these things YET he went to his father and asked him WHERE he should hunt.
In other words, we need to prepare ourselves but look to our leaders for direction.
To repeat (although not quote) him, we need to go to our leaders and tell them, “ Here, see the bows and arrows we have made, tell us where to shoot”

This brought on quite a few giggles among us as we pictured ourselves targetting our members with arrows... All we needed was the apples...

There is a new reporting line that is well defined in the new manuals and this is explained in the files they made available for download:
- the Priesthood Manual (book 2 Section 9) ; which can be downloaded also from your new FamilySearch Help Center
- The new FH Administrative Guide (8 pages) which outline everyone’s duties quite clearly, also downloadable from the new FamilySearch
- And the new, still draft version – but Jun 2008 – of the Consultant Training Manual.
If anyone reads this, just contact me and I'll send you my copy.

As a Stake trainer I have sent a copy to our people and told them to print it and become familiar with it. Using it will help them not have to reinvent the wheel as they set out to work through priesthood channels.

The session was suppposed to last 1:30 hour but instead ended after 45 minutes. There could have been a Q&A session but none of us were savvy enough to want to try it I don't think.
We were told that in the future these would be downloadable so could be replayed like podcasts… This should prove excellent for training purposes.

This was so wonderful!!! I am so grateful to have been able to participate in this today!

Explore some of the sites they suggested to try:
- http://paftutorial.byu,edu/

They reminded us gently that "Our effort is not to compel everyone to do everythinm but to encourage everyone to do something."(Elder Dallin H Oaks, "Family History: In Wisdom and in Order, Ensign, June 1989, p6) And how true that is!
If we all were doing the exact same things we would have too many bakers, too many butchers, and not enough tailors and farmers etc... We need everyone to do their part and no part is too small...

I never cease to be amazed and grateful to live today when technology makes all this possible.
I would not have made a very good handcart pioneer. My mother-in-law was telling me the other day how I just don't diversify our meals enough... I apologized to my husband saying that cooking is a necessity to me not something I love doing. Maybe it's not right... I hope it's not wrong...

In any case, today was the first of many I hope...
It was wonderful!!! Can't wait for next time!!!
Only wish more people could be aware of this...
Update: 7/3
Becky Jamison shared a link that enables direct download from a site. Allow me to share the link with you so you can use it to your own benefit:

Friday, November 16, 2007

On Stand By

Maybe I should have known better than to commit to a weekly blog...
The last time I committed to being there started a series of unfortunate events I have yet to see the end of...
SO... this was no different...

Yesterday was the first day in 3 weeks that I could say I felt half way decent.
It turned out to be a good thing I was not busy elsewhere, as the new FamilySearch updated their site and I ventured there long enough to discover one of our children had died, unbeknownst to us!

The problem was fixed right away as the trail was fresh.

A student gets lost easily when they don't attend church services and live in apartment complexes... He was named after his grandfather who passed away a few years ago and when the missionaries called my mother-in-law asking about Richard, well... she never thought they were asking about her grandson... and told them he had passed on... And so, our son was decreed dead! He thought it was pretty funny...

The sister at the Church Membership Records Dept was extremely helpful and in no time the issue was straightened out. The question of whether or not the new FamilySearch would have that updated right away was unclear but I am happy to report that as of this morning, the Church agrees with us that our son IS alive and well, well... we hope...

I was very impressed because the sister at the Church membership Dept said it could take 2 months.

As the title said... I am 'on stand by' with the mission as I am really struggling with health issues right now. Hopefully I will be back with stories of digitization for you before you know it.

I hope you will forgive me for getting your hopes up and now letting you down.

To everything there is a season and my season of digitization will have to wait a little bit...
I'm sure we won't run out of books... (=

Until next... Happy Thanksgivings!

Dans les vallées
Au cœur saignant
Taches rouillées
Feuilles de sang,
Les feuilles mortes,
Les souvenirs
Vont en cohorte
Semblant s'unir.
Extrait de "Feuille d'automne"
Charlotte Serre

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


This morning I made my way to the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne.
I could not have picked better weather. A perfect Autumn morning!
The air was crisp, the sky was blue, the sun was shining bright where the Autumn morning fog had not yet lifted. It was beautiful!

October 17 was set aside for training us, the new 5 part-time service missionaries who will help with the digitization of books selected by the ACPL at the Fort Wayne Digital Processing Center.

We waited upstairs for Elder and Sister Muchmore to come and get us. 2 volunteers also came in to train with us. We each received a packet with a basic ‘how-to’ and a form to fill out so we could also be recognized as ACPL volunteers. Curt Witcher paid us a quick visit to welcome us, then we were introduced to others on staff in the basement office.
Several of us don’t live in Allen County and so don’t have one of their library cards.
We turned in our volunteer application and after being interviewed we will receive an ACPL volunteer badge and a sticker or something that will cover any parking fees in the ACPL lots.

We were then instructed with the help of PowerPoint presentation laying out the main lines of the project.

I had seen the product of this work and had heard about it through presentations but had never dreamed I’d be able to participate.

Sister Muchmore mentioned that Fort Wayne is the first satellite operation for this project, mainly because they also espouse the Church’s philosophy that genealogical and historical materials should be made available free online that help individuals know and appreciate their ancestors.

Although the Orem Digital Processing Center started first the learning curve is still very high and so we were likened to pioneers, which explains my choice of Blog name.

The books selected for this process are those written in English (some handwritten ones are online but these can not be OCRd - optical character recognition - so are not as user friendly for the researcher)

The church has focused its attention on published family histories but the ACPL has chosen to digitize local histories first.
Some of the books are very old. Those that can be cut are run through a form feeder scanner while those that can not be are scanned on an amazing machine that reminded me of a hospital scanner. 3 scanners are in use at the ACPL at present: 2 Cannon form feeder scanners and a Minolta PS7000. The form feeders work fast while the other is slower.

No matter the process to get one of these books online is a meticulous one.
Before any scanning is done, it is necessary to set up the digital pagination.
Great care is given to ensure ALL pages are accounted for, even the blank ones.

Once each book is finished it becomes available through the FHL Catalog and also through the BYU site at
Later they will also be accessible for free from the Allen County Library website.

I look forward to sharing my weekly experience here…
It’s going to be wonderful, I hope…
Much to learn… I hope my brain doesn’t fry…