Free Training in Your Home

RootsTech 2015 was held in Salt Lake City in February with over 18,000 attendees from every state in the union and many foreign countries.  But if you were not able to come because of work, other commitments, or difficult winter weather, you can still take part, energize yourself, your societies, and your families by clicking on, and viewing many of the events preserved in video format for you to watch right now.  Selected videos are available at or just log into and click on “Watch 2015 Sessions.”

Check out these topics on that page:  Amy Archibald spoke on “Finding the Living Among the Dead: Using the Internet to Find Your Living Cousins.”  Crista Cowan and Juliana Szucs explained about “Getting the Most out of” Rhonna Farrer and Crystal Beutler covered “Family History on the Go Using Phones and Tablet Apps.”  Mark Olsen from MyHeritage spoke about a new FamilySearch Partnership, and Josh Taylor gave the keynote address to kick off the Federation of Genealogical Societies Annual Conference as part of RootsTech 2015.  Want to learn about Finding Your Family on  Watch a video presentation by Peter Drinkwater.  Want to learn about what’s new at FamilySearch, there are several options from which to choose.

This year, instead of speaking, I was asked to be one of the preliminary judges at the Innovator’s Conference held on Wednesday the day before the conference began. This was an honor to be asked to participate.  I was so impressed with the 51 new innovative tools developed by college students, programmers, and genealogy enthusiasts from around the world.  But it didn’t all happen on the day before the conference.  It took several weeks to review all the projects and to be prepared to meet with the other judges to explain our personal decisions.  It was a very fair competition where submitters were given several opportunities to explain their innovations.  Their ideas were terrific!

Want to see the future?  At click on “Agenda” and scroll down to “Innovator Showdown.”  On that page are the winners of the $25,000 in prizes.  Click on the link by the contestant’s names and take advantage of discounts to try some of these new tools for virtual conference attendees.  Imagine what could happen in the world of genealogy when ArgusSearch is released.  It is an award winning handwriting recognition technology built in Germany by “Planet”.  You can learn about it by clicking on their link on the Innovator Showdown page.

Have a desire to do research for hire or to hire someone to locate a record for you? Learn how GenMarketplace works.  It launched on Feb 11th so it is now live.  Watch the short video from this third place prize winner in the Innovator Showdown or log in to see if you could earn money using FamilySearch Family Tree.  Read all the details first as it can be very helpful.

Enjoy some of the entertainment as well.  Watch and listen to Donny Osmond (who is an avid genealogist by the way). If you want to start a genealogy business, and learn about ways to get something going listening to Ryan Heaton, Bryan Hansen, Brian Braithwait, Dallan Quass, Jimmy Zimmerman, Harrison Tang, Uri Gonen, and Luther Tychonievich.  Want to know how to get investors interested in your business?  Listen to T. Craig Bott’s presentation.

Like I am trying to say, attend RootsTech 2015 at no cost from your home RIGHT NOW!  There really is something for everyone.

Karen Clifford

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Sorry for not posting anything for the past few months. Looking back, our lack of postings was simply an indication of increased activity in other areas.  During the summer, Karen started writing a new edition of her beginning textbook. In September, she launched the Beginning genealogy course in California, and two advanced courses in Salt Lake City: “Writing and Publishing” and “Preparing for a Credential”.  All this along with overseeing the genealogy projects at GRA was pretty normal, but what happened in October was new.

It was determined Karen needed a bigger house that could accommodate both the “living and the dead.”  The building of this new home went much faster than expected.  Utah had a beautiful long autumn, with only one day of snow “on Christmas” and then it turned quickly into spring. Snow day planning for home building were not needed.

This meant that Karen had to get her current home ready to sell much sooner than she originally thought. The writing of the textbook was put on hold because of a change in the type of curriculum that was being suggested by higher education, thank goodness; however, new college courses started up again in January. This was followed by RootsTech 2015 which involved her in a new aspect of genealogy volunteerism. (She writes about that above).

Well, a few weeks ago the new home was finished. It was still spring-like weather and her fears of someone being hurt moving in the ice and snow were allayed.  The moving trucks showed up and suddenly Karen found herself in an empty house. All of the genealogy work that Karen had archived over the past 30 years was brought to her new home, and the movers took most of the furniture from her current house, but she refuses to move from the current house until Internet is installed.

She cannot live without the Internet, so we continue to stop in at her little house on the river, or help her unpack items at her new home on the hill.  She finally put the “For Sale” sign on the river trail and in the front of her house a few days ago.

Like magic, after the moving was largely completed, we had a blizzard that lasted 1 hour and left 2 inches of snow. It brought to remembrance the suffering of family and friends in the east this winter.  Hopefully their spring comes soon. In the meantime, we are back to work and look forward to future happenings.


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Why Use Multiple Genealogy Websites?

Content by Karen Clifford

There are several online genealogy companies that provide good resources not available at FamilySearch.,, and have formed a partnership with FamilySearch to help locate, index, and make available over 5.5 billion records in the next 30 years.

FamilySearch is free and contains millions of records before and after 1850. LIBR61 focuses on finding records before 1850. Ancestry also has many records such as Indexes and links to U.S. Military, FindAGrave, and their public member trees and links to other useful websites. Many people are not aware that Ancestry has the 1841-1891 British censuses online and are making other inroads into international records.

MyHeritage is especially helpful for those families searching for Eastern European, Scandinavian, Jewish, and German ancestors. They have one of the finest search engines in the world for finding your relatives once they are posted on their tree and returning the results to you.

FindMyPast focuses on the British Isles and who doesn’t need help with Irish ancestors? They are currently the leaders for updating the PERSI index which covers all the U.S. and many international periodicals—sources which provide births, deaths, marriages, military, and cultural history for both LIBR61 and LIBR62.

Using multiple genealogy online resources can be of benefit in searching for your family. If you wanted to sell your home for example, you would want to have the information on the MLS, and list on other multiple sites.  You may even broadcast on TV, radio or magazines.  This would bring more interested buyers to look at your home.

The same concept can be used when doing genealogy and researching your family.  Often times you may have information that another family member may not have and vice versa.The names of your relatives can be entered into FamilySearch.  If the names are posted here only, you may not get feedback from relatives who may be using other computer genealogy programs and have access to information you need.

Like listing a home and getting multiple interested buyers, family names entered at multiple sites such as  Ancestry, MyHeritage, and FindMyPast opens up more avenues to find and share information world-wide about family relatives.

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Updates at MPC

Just a Reminder: The 6th of September is the last day you can add LIBR60 with instructor approval.

We have 24 students currently enrolled, so there is room for a few more.

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Blog Resource Survey

In the last blog post Karen indicated she would be making resources available at the blog to help students in pursuit of a genealogy certificate to update new developments that would affect a genealogy credential. Please find below four options. Vote for the one you prefer to be taught first by leaving a comment on this post containing the number of the topic you desire.

1. How do I use the new FamilySearch to obtain original records?

2. How do I take advantage of the new hints in FamilySearch?

3. How is making tools available to FSFT?

4. How do I load a family into FSFT to take advantage of the partnership?

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LIBR61 and LIBR62 Courses Canceled at MPC

Sent on behalf of Karen Clifford:

Hi, good to hear from you!

I just received notification that both LIBR61 and LIBR62 were canceled due to low attendance again.  MPC needs to have 15 students in a course for the school to carry the class. In the past the school let students register for at least the first week of school, and we would pick up enough to hold the course, but not so this year. A decision was made two days ago to cancel classes before they started this semester if the minimum number of students was not filled.
For those students who are out of state, please realize that California Colleges are still reeling from their big educational budget cuts in the past few years. I must admit, however, that it makes sense to cancel a week before a class starts if the attendance is low because instructors were ending up teaching 3 weeks with no pay for that time if the course later closed 3 weeks after the start of the semester.  That could be solved if students would register earlier for a course they want to take.  On the other hand students tell me they find it difficult to wait to receive their money back if a course cancels so they wait to register after the classes start. We have seen how that only causes the classes to cancel earlier, however.
I know what it is like to be put on hold for your education–especially those who are working to make this their new profession. For now, I’m working with MPC to have the LIBR61 offered next semester rather than to hold it off until August 2015.  We should have more students from those who pass the new LIBR60 class and could get our course full.
In the meantime, I will be adding free resources via my blog to give my students learning opportunities to bring value to the time being lost until the college is over this current crunch.   I have a family matter to handle over the weekend and must fly to Oregon.  But by Tuesday, you should receive information regarding a survey of subject matter interests to determine the greatest need for September.
I will give your contact e-mail to Kelly Martin who is my super assistant at keeping the blog updated.  She can notify you when a new blog post regarding the resource survey is being posted.  Her e-mail is if you don’t receive an e-mail inviting you to come to the blog.
Karen A. Clifford, AG®, FUGA

Instructor, Monterey Peninsula College
LIBR 60, LIBR 61, LIBR 62, LIBR 63
Family History Studies – Genealogy 

Forwarded Message

Ms. Clifford,

I hope this finds you well.  In the spring semester, both LIBR 61 and LIBR 62 were cancelled due to poor enrollment.  I was just on the school’s web site, and saw that LIBR 61 is scheduled for the fall semester.  I’d like to know if you think the class will ‘make’ this time around.

Best regards.

C. Clayton Shepherd



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Earn a Genealogy Certificate

Take six courses for credit or non-credit to earn a Genealogy Certificate while also preparing to become a credentialed Genealogist!  Detailed information below.  Click on the image to enlarge it.

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Register Now for Classes at SLCC

Register now for Fall Classes, which start at Salt Lake Community College August 20. Register online at  Look at the yellow Program Links box to the right, and click on “Current Courses.”

Karen will be teaching the following courses for Fall 2014:

Genealogy Writing and Publishing CEGN 0110-001 which teaches students to share their research by writing a book, building a Web site, adding data to existing online public member trees, making a video, or making a storybook.

Preparing for a U.S. Credential CEGN 0150-001 provides students with multiple experiences with sample competency tests (if working on an AG Credential), or opportunities to prepare a BGF Portfolio (if working towards a CG credential).

Overview of Preparing for a U.S. Credential

(In order to enlarge the image, click on it.)



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Meet Kelly!

I’d like to introduce Kelly Martin.  She is a new student at Utah Valley University. She is assisting me with Web sites, blog posts, and finding sources online. Since starting to work she has learned how to operate Photoshop to create unique lineage charts, follow hints at to extend evidence on family lines, and is learning how to use the genealogy computer program Legacy 8.0. I so appreciate her help and hope you will wish her well in her new genealogy adventure.

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Get an AA Degree at MPC

The world of genealogy has changed drastically in the past year. A better understanding of history as well as Excel and online electronic resources is critical to your success. An Associate of Arts Degree in Family Research is available at Monterey Peninsula College with 35 additional units over those posted yesterday for a Genealogy Certificate. Click on the photo boxes below to see which classes interest you and what is available now.

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