Save the date: October 24th

Saturday the 24th of October is the date for this year’s Family History Conference in Tempe. Here’s the announcement:

Announcing the 2015 Family History Conference sponsored by the Mesa AZ FamilySearch Library on Saturday, October 24, 2015, at the Tempe Institute of Religion on the ASU Campus in Tempe, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.  The Library may be closed, but family history work goes on!

This year’s conference will feature a keynote address by Todd Powell of FamilySearch.  Mr. Powell is a Senior Product Manager for the FamilyTree Department at  He graduated from BYU and has over 25 years working in technology and business leadership.  Todd is a native of Phoenix and the Gila Valley and enjoys visiting extended family in Arizona.

This year’s theme is “Putting It All Together” and provides a wide variety of over 50 class choices for all types of learners, from beginners to the most advanced genealogists.  Come and learn how to be more effective and efficient when doing your research.  Learn to trace your roots with DNA.  Learn to document your sources.  Get specific information on various ways to research in specific countries.  If you are new to family history, come learn the basics.  Some of the most popular classes are repeated in an effort to accommodate everyone.   Spend all day or come for a single class or two; you may attend a maximum of five classes.

Registration will begin online on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.  At the time of registration, registrants will be given the opportunity to purchase lunch from Jason’s Deli.  Otherwise, the conference is FREE.  See you in October!

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New books in our library

These three books were donated recently and are now available in our genealogy club library. Right now they’re conspicuously placed in the library’s renamed “Newbies” basket. Later they’ll be shelved as indicated:

The titles provide links to Google Books. The last two are available there as ebooks in various formats. Irma Franke donated the dictionary. Sun City residents Norman and Frances Wells gave us the Pennsylvania book. Thanks to all.

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West Valley sponsors DC research trip

This trip in early December is out of Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, and includes air and hotel. You need not be a member of the West Valley club. Here’s their announcement:

The West Valley Genealogical Society, 12222 N. 111th Avenue, Youngtown, AZ is sponsoring its annual research trip to Washington, D.C., December 2 through December 10, 2015.  The deadline for full payment is coming up: September 15, 2015. This trip, led by Linda Swain, past President of the Family History Society of Arizona, provides access to the world’s largest body of research material.  On-site orientations will cover the National Archives, the Library of Congress and the DAR Library.  Non-researchers are also welcome to come along and explore this exciting city; see the White House, Capitol, Smithsonian, and the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.  Visit and click: events/activities/Washington DC for full details.  For additional information call Linda Swain at 480-893-0469.

Carole Roath, Publicity
West Valley Genealogical Society

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Social Security Applications and Claims Index

New recently at the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936 – 2007. This is a “companion to” the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) we’re all familiar with. It contains about half as many records as the SSDI, but has some individuals not listed there, since it isn’t just death benefit records. I wasn’t able to find any of my relatives in it, but Ancestry’s Juliana Szucs did. For a detailed discussion please see her July 24 blog post, or this post in the NGS blog.

This is an “index” database, that is, it has transcribed data but not photos of the original records. FamilySearch doesn’t have this data yet, as far as I can tell.

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Windows 10 and genealogy software

The newest version of Windows, Windows 10, has been released. It’s available as a free download if you’re running Windows 7 or 8. (There was no Windows 9.) Our club PCs qualify for the upgrade. Further details are given in this FAQ from Microsoft.

The Windows 10 user interface is somewhat different. I have no advice on whether to upgrade, except for one thing: it’s best to be using the latest version of FTM or Legacy before going to Windows 10. (Any changes 10 required may only be in the latest version of the genealogy program.)

I did check for compatibility of our genealogy programs with version 10:

  • FTM (Family Tree Maker): The only information I found is in the online discussion groups. A June discussion contains many reports of FTM working well under Windows 10, while a discussion started today reports a problem. A user says Ancestry said they are working on a fix.
  • Legacy Family Tree: Geoff Rasmussen reported on June 1 that Legacy works great with Windows. Google didn’t find any other info for me.
  • LastPass: This is the password manager we use in the club rooms. Windows 10 has a new default browser called “Edge” and LastPass is not available for that yet. But it is available for other Windows 10 browsers including Internet Explorer.
  • Fences: The desktop organizer we use in the club rooms works with Windows 10.
  • Ancestry, Fold3, Newpapers, & GenealogyBank should not be affected because they’re websites rather than PC software. But they have some browser add-ons that might fail.

I’ll upgrade just one of our club PCs soon, both to see if there are problems and so members can try out the new Windows if they like. The rest I’ll leave alone for now. Please comment/reply if you have thoughts or questions.

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