Wednesday, August 29, 2012

FGS 2012 - Tuesday

From the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Birmingham, Alabama:

Just because this post has "Tuesday" in the title is no guarantee there will be a post here every day from FGS. Keeping up with blogging along with everything else going on at a conference is sometimes impossible - at least for me.

After a little research this morning in Morgan County, Alabama and an 80 mile drive from there to Birmingham, I arrived at the conference hotel about 1:00 and was pleased to get checked right into my room. The rest of the day was spent running into old friends and meeting new ones, picking up the registration packet and attending the FamilySearch Blogger Dinner.

Paul Nauta, Public Affairs Manager for FamilySearch
FamilySearch is offering a special early registration discount for RootsTech 2013 at FGS but you don't have to be in Birmingham to get in on the deal. From 8/28 - 9/1 (2012) RootsTech registration is available for $119 (a $100 savings). Just go to and enter the promotional code blog119 to get the reduced rate.

In other news:

FamilySearch recently added several Alabama record groups including Alabama County Marriages, 1809-1950, Alabama County Probate Records 1830-1976 and the Alabama State Census for 1855 & 1866.

FamilySearch's free online research help now includes over 500 courses, 66,000 wiki articles, live free research assistance for beginners and community Skype and Facebook groups.

Everyone in the genealogy community surely knows by now that the 1940 U. S. Census Community Indexing project was a huge success but the need for volunteer indexers didn't stop the day the 1940 census was completed. The new indexing focus is directed toward U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Records. The 1940 U. S. Census consisted of 3.5 million records with 132 million names. 165,000 volunteers completed the index in 4.5 months. In comparison, there are 200 million U. S. Immigration & Naturalization Records containing 500 million names. With only 50,000 volunteers currently working on that project it will take four years to complete. There is also a push to index 115 million Italian records containing 500 million names but that project only has 800 volunteers. At that rate, it will take 30 years to complete. The need for indexers continues to be great.

Speaking of the 1940 U. S. Census project, 434 societies participated in that effort by indexing 15.2 million records and arbitrating 6.6 million. The accuracy rate for indexers attached to those societies was 98%!

Plans for the future, in addition to digitizing more records every day, include making online records easier to use, adding functionality for alternative spelling and other user index correction capabilities and having more complementary projects with partners.


Thanks to FamilySearch for another enjoyable and informative evening.

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