Monday, July 22, 2019

Evidentia Offers Class on July 25th

Ed Thompson of Evidentia has announced a new live class about the popular software program.

On July 25, 2019 at 9PM Eastern (7PM Mountain) we will focus on what it means to catalog a claim in Evidentia, and what it means to tag a claim in Evidentia.
We will explore the benefits of each, and see how cataloging claims is at the core of Evidentia.
There is only room for 100 active participants, but the class will be recorded and shared on our website as well as YouTube.
If all goes well, expect to see more frequent mini classes on a single topic.


See you Thursday!?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Reminder: Unsung Heroes Awards Nominations Due August 1st

Don't forget that nominations for this quarter's Unsung Heroes Awards are due by midnight August 1st! Full details and links to the nomination forms can be found at the website for Aha! Seminars, Inc., producer of The Genealogy Guys Podcast, at

The Unsung Heroes Awards is a quarterly awards program designed to recognize its recipients in five categories: individuals, genealogical/historical societies, libraries/archives, young people, and a new posthumous certificate award. The awards are presented by The Genealogy Guys, George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, co-hosts and producers of the oldest continually produced genealogy podcast, and Rick Voight and Randy Fredlund, the principals of Vivid-Pix, makers of RESTORE photo and document restoration software.

We want to sing your praises!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Old Letters and Postcards

Don't condemn your relatives for being packrats. Sometimes the materials they maintain can be the source of tremendous clues for your research. Ask your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles if you may look through old letters and postcards for addresses and dates. Sometimes the dates and return addresses will help you locate or place a lost or missing relative. The contents of these written communiqués can provide additional details on their lives and those of other family members. This information may be just the missing link you need to make the connection to the next research step.

In addition, savor the images you find on vintage postcards. They may show the places where your ancestors lived at the time they were there, and that can provide you with a visual perspective of their daily lives. Picture postcards from places they may have visited and their observational comments on the obverse side of the card may expand your understanding of a journey they made. Either way, you are building the context of their lives.

Vintage postcard from the early 1920s of Peace Institute (now Peace College)
in Raleigh, North Carolina. The author's aunt was attending at the time and
this postcard provides a visual context of where she lived for two years.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Using Vivid-Pix RESTORE on Downloaded Images

Anyone who reads this blog already knows that I'm a huge fan of Vivid-Pix RESTORE software. I'm using it every day these days, not just for my own digital photos and documents but also for images I find on the Internet that I feel could be made clearer and more helpful. This applies to photographs, of course, but to digitized documents such as census records, parish records, civil registrations and vital records, wills and probate records, land records, and newspaper images.

My attention is often piqued by just seeing an historical image that I want to see more clearly. That happened again this morning when The Florida Historical Society posted the image shown below on its Facebook page. This photo dates from 1898 and shows some of the forces who processed through Florida on their way to Cuba in the Spanish American War. You remember ... that's the one during which Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders captured San Juan Hill.

I saved this photo to my computer and opened it in RESTORE. With one click I selected the image you see below. (I could have made adjustments to lightness and contrast and fine-tuned the image a bit more.) However, before I saved the image, I also added metadata to it. The metadata window I completed looks like this:

Essentially what I added in the way of metadata was what the Florida Historical Library of Florida had placed on the typed label it scanned with the photograph. Once I added metadata, I clicked the OK button. I then saved the image to my computer. The new image is shown below.

You can now see a lot more detail that you might not have noticed before, including the shadow cast by the photographer in the lower right corner. I could have cropped the image to eliminate the label because I now have all of that in the metadata I saved with the image. When I locate the image (on my Mac in this case), I highlight the image in the directory, right-click my mouse, and select Get Info. The image below displays all the metadata I had added. I can use that to search for files on my computer, including the keyword tag I added for Spanish American War.

Now I not only have a cleaner image, I have incorporated data that I can use to more effectively manage my images. 

Take advantage of a free trial of RESTORE at Vivid-Pix for PC or Mac by entering the code 3GenealogyGuys3R. I think you will be as impressed as I am with the results. And don't forget to use it on documents and newspapers, digital microfilmed images, and more.

In the meantime, improve your knowledge of history and learn more about the Spanish American War at Wikipedia at

Sunday, June 23, 2019

RootsMagic Adds Live Chat to Its Customer Support Options

From the RootsMagic News (June 2019)

MyHeritage Announces the Speaker Schedule for MyHeritage LIVE 2019 in Amsterdam

From the MyHeritage Blog (20 June 2019)

We are excited to announce the schedule for MyHeritage Live 2019 — our second annual international user conference that will take place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, September 6 – 8, 2019. Offering an exceptional mix of engaging lectures and workshops on the latest in genealogy, DNA and MyHeritage features, participants are sure to have a fantastic weekend and go home with some new skills to enrich their family history research.

Three Conference Tracks

At the heart of MyHeritage Live 2019 is a jam-packed schedule centered with three different tracks for participants to choose from: a genealogy track, a DNA track, and track dedicated to hands-on workshops. Lecturers will include world-renowned experts in the fields of genealogy and DNA, as well as presentations by senior MyHeritage staff members. Hands-on workshops will offer unique opportunities to discover MyHeritage tools and features. The tracks will run simultaneously and participants can pick and choose their favorites from each of the three.

The lectures and workshops will be led by an incredible lineup of international speakers, MyHeritage staff, and local experts including MyHeritage Founder & CEO Gilad Japhet, Chief Science Officer Prof. Yaniv Erlich, Blaine Bettinger (The Genetic Genealogist), Yvette Hoitink (Dutch Genealogy), Diahan Southard (Your DNA Guide), Roberta Estes (DNA eXplained), Leah Larkin (The DNA Geek) and more.

The genealogy track includes world-class lectures taught by industry experts and top MyHeritage staff. Topics include ways to maximize your research with MyHeritage record collections, uncover immigration stories, best utilize MyHeritage matching technologies, get overviews of major MyHeritage historical collections, and learn top insider genealogy tips.

In the DNA track, you’ll discover MyHeritage’s latest exciting features — Theory of Family Relativity and Autoclusters. Explore the Autoclusters feature in a session given by their actual creator. Learn how to use your DNA results to uncover your ancestors’ stories. Discover the future of DNA testing and advancements in the field of genetic genealogy with top experts in the field, such as MyHeritage’s Chief Science Officer, Yaniv Erlich.

The hands-on workshops run by top MyHeritage staff will take you through the top MyHeritage tools and features step-by-step and teach you how to use them to maximize your family history discoveries.

Meet us in Amsterdam

The conference lectures and workshops offer unparalleled opportunities to expand your knowledge of MyHeritage and learn more about researching your family history. Participants will still have ample opportunities to mingle with hundreds of genealogists and MyHeritage users from all over the globe as well as enjoy world-class performances and entertainment.
Amsterdam is a city brimming with life and a rich history. Not to be missed are the city’s vast archive collections, museums, and beautiful canals and architecture. Don’t miss out on what is sure to be an unforgettable experience!