Monday, November 30, 2009

UGA Board Member.

So guess what? Another bit of wonderful news this morning. You are reading the blog of a new Utah Genealogical Association board member. Whatdaya know? I hope I can be useful to them. I think it is quite possible that I have no idea what I'm getting myself into. Looking forward to our first meeting on Saturday. I'll let you know.

Our new mission statement

Last month at the ICAPGEN conference, I went to a presentation by Crista Cowan where she talked about doing an annual "wilderness retreat" to re-evaluate personal and company goals, and what that means for where the company is headed. So Kim and I decided to try it, and last weekend we took off to get back to the all important questions about what the ultimate goals of Generation Maps are and where that needs to lead us in the future.

Out of that came a new/revised mission statement. It is strong and powerful to me and I'm so excited to share it with you.

Generation Maps exists to visually express a family's history, which helps spread throughout that family:
--the feeling of love that comes from knowing they are enveloped in a family.
--the confidence of realizing the potential embedded in their inherited traits.
--the nurture of emotional healing by creating more understanding of their family's past.

--and the spiritual power of family history.

We strive to make these things constantly present in the daily life of the family's members.

I'm also happy to report that this is exactly what I want to do with my life. I honestly believe that family history is vitally important and literally can solve the world's problems. I came home so energized that I couldn't wait to get back to work this morning--even more so than usual.

Thank you to Mary Hill, Robert Raymond, Erin Roudabush, Pat Carpenter, Bruce Buzbee, Holly Hanson and others who have helped me think things out and lay the ground work for our new direction.

And just wait to see what we have up our sleeves for 2010. You're going to love it.

Wow. I'm Geneasmacked.

I'm Verklempt. Or perhaps Geneasmacked.

Tamura Jones named the Chart Chick the best genealogy vendor blog in his 2009 Geneablog Awards. I'm so honored to be recognized by such a well respected blogger. Thanks.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours

From a newsletter we sent out a couple of years ago:

One of our treasured Thanksgiving recipes comes from rural Wisconsin where Kim grew up. Kim's mother taught us how to make it the way her mother made it and we are so grateful she did. We miss her now that she has passed on, but are grateful to remember her every year at Thanksgiving with this dish.
1/2 Orange peel,
2 Oranges peeled,
2 Apples, cored with peel left on,
1 cup nuts (we prefer pecans)
1 pound cranberries.
Grind each ingredient in a food processor until chunky. Mix together in a mixing bowl and add sugar to taste.

I know you've probably already eaten this Thanksgiving, but this recipe is good with lots of different main dishes, or any other big dinner you might have coming up for the holidays.
We hope you enjoy your family's traditions this year, and then continue to make more of your own.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ten questions to ask around the table on Thanksgiving.

From our newsletter.

I've gathered for you a few conversation starters:
  1. What are the most important lessons you've learned so far in your life?
  2. What was the greatest time of joy in your life? The greatest time of sadness?
  3. Who were your favorite relatives? Do you remember any of the stories they used to tell you?
  4. What has been your favorite family tradition?
  5. What personality traits do you admire and how have you tried to develop those traits?
  6. What was the biggest turning point in your life? Looking back, how would you have dealt with it if you had known what you know now?
  7. What was your most embarrassing moment?
  8. What are you most proud of? Is there anything you have always wanted to do and haven't?
  9. How would you describe your sense of humor? What was your all-time favorite practical joke?
  10. What message would you like to leave your descendants? How would you like to be remembered?
One of my greatest regrets, is that when Kim's mother died and the family gathered together, I didn't have a tape recorder running as the everyone reminisced and told wonderful stories about their memories of her. Luckily, we do have other records that she left us. But I hope you will capture those great memories while people are remembering better than I did.

These questions actually work after Thanksgiving too. In fact, did you know that next Friday is actually a National Day of Listening in the US? There is a wonderful National Day of Listening website set up by StoryCorps that can give you further ideas, including a Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide and Question Generator. And there are great stories that people have submitted too. Or try the easy to use software Personal Historian, a full featured software designed to help you capture the wonderful stories in your family's history.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

RootsMagic Releases Free Genealogy Software

SPRINGVILLE, Utah. — November 18, 2009 — RootsMagic, Inc. announced the immediate availability of RootsMagic Essentials, free desktop genealogy software based on their award-winning RootsMagic 4 system. RootsMagic Essentials contains many core features found in its namesake and is the only completely free desktop genealogy software certified to work with the New FamilySearch system.

Essential Features for Everyone

“Many of our users have told us that they have friends and family members who are interested in getting started in family history but aren’t ready to invest in a more comprehensive package like RootsMagic,” said Bruce Buzbee, president. “RootsMagic Essentials gives them the features they need to start researching and recording their family tree at a price that can’t be beat—free!”

RootsMagic Essentials shares many of the same features with the full RootsMagic software including clean and friendly screens, the ability to add an unlimited number of people and events, pictures and media management, the SourceWizard to write your source citations for you, powerful merging and clean-up tools, dozens of reports and charts, support for international character sets, FamilySearch integration, and the ability to share data with other people and software programs. The full version of RootsMagic is available for purchase and includes features not available in RootsMagic Essentials.

New FamilySearch Made Easy

As a FamilySearch certified application, RootsMagic Essentials bridges the gap between your personal family history data and the New FamilySearch internet site. It can seamlessly share your family tree with others through New FamilySearch as well as retrieve the information that you don't have. It also simplifies cleaning up, combining, and correcting information.

RootsMagic is the first software certified to reserve and request LDS temple ordinances. It identifies persons that need ordinances, checks for duplicate ordinances, and reserves ordinances for you to complete. When you are ready, RootsMagic will even print an ordinance request at home that can be taken directly to the temple to print the actual ordinance cards.

Perfect Upgrade for PAF

Users of the PAF genealogy software will discover that their software is unable to directly work with New FamilySearch. RootsMagic Essentials has all of the fundamental features of PAF combined with New FamilySearch integration and much more. It also makes the transition painless by directly reading all of your information from PAF.

Free and Available Now

RootsMagic Essentials is available now for free at Users of other genealogy software products will find it easy to experiment with RootsMagic Essentials using their own data. RootsMagic Essentials can directly import data from PAF, Family Tree Maker (through 2006), Family Origins, and Legacy Family Tree. It can also read and write data using the popular GEDCOM format.

"We're excited to make RootsMagic Essentials available to the community," said Michael Booth, vice-president. "Our mission is to provide 'software to unite families' and our hope is that RootsMagic Essentials will encourage more people to record their family trees and connect with their family histories".

About RootsMagic, Inc.

For over 20 years, RootsMagic, Inc. has been creating computer software with a special purpose—to unite families. One of our earliest products- the popular "Family Origins" software, introduced thousands of people to the joy and excitement of family history.

That tradition continues today with "RootsMagic", our award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history fun and easy. "Personal Historian" will help you easily write and preserve your life stories. "Family Reunion Organizer" takes the headaches out of planning those important get-togethers. And "Family Atlas" creates beautiful and educational geographic maps of your family history.

For more information, visit

Source: RootsMagic, Inc.