Register for Classes Now at MPC

Register NOW for a full semester online course at Monterey Peninsula College, California

You can still register for one of three fully on-line 15-week genealogy courses without an add code up to August 24, 2014! If you register after August 24, you will need an add code by e-mailing  Classes start at Monterey Peninsula College on August 26.  LIBR 60: A 15-week beginning genealogy and computing course covers research methodology and technology used to trace ancestors who lived between 1860 and the present day; LIBR 61:  A 15-week course covering genealogy record groups not covered in LIBR 60, research methodology used to trace ancestors who lived in the 1860s and back to the 1700s; or LIBR 62: A 15-week course covering record groups not covered in LIBR 60 or LIBR 61 along with the research methodology used to trace to your immigrant ancestors homeland. All courses are fully online. Register at this blue link for one of these online classes.


September 6, 2014: Last Day to Add or Drop Classes at MPC
If you need to drop a class, the 6th of September is the last day you can do so without receiving a “W” grade and also be eligible for a refund. If you need to add a class September 6th is the last day with Instructor’s approval.

September 12, 2014: Last Day for Nonresident Students to Drop Classes
If you are an out-of-state student registered in online classes, September 12th is the latest you can drop a class and still be eligible for a refund.

To view the MPC list of Important Events, please click here.

Below are the core courses required for a Genealogy Certificate through the Library Department at MPC. In addition you’ll need 12 units from a variety of interesting historical and publishing options. The other 12 unit options will be placed below the core courses. Click on the photo boxes in order to see the full list.

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RootsTech 2014 Revival of PERSI

Those of you who have been in involved in genealogy research for the past decade are likely very acquainted with PERSI (the Periodical Source Index).  Even if you are new to this awesome finding aid, you may be thrilled to hear about the “Next Generation of PERSI” as it was introduced by Curt Witcher who has been its inventive mind since it was creative.  It  is being débuted in its new format at with options we have all awaited for years.

First a bit of history!  PERSI is the largest index to Genealogical Society journals, newsletters, transcriptions, abstracts and indexes from the local unique sources found in a particular geographical area. This means if your ancestor lived his life in a particular area, it is likely something will be mentioned about him in the records of his locality, but not necessarily in government records.  What about local clubs or fraternities that existed in that area?  Where would someone post a copy of their family Bible when the family arrived from the old country?  Likely in an ethnic organization publication.  And the best way to find those records easily is through PERSI.

PERSI is also the index to the more heavily sourced, noted and photographed Historical Society series including those with unique subject matter and ethnic compilations. It also includes Surname Society Serials full of details from family members, and Ethnic Society publications with bibliographic insights and so many wonderful details on the customs of each group. is noted for its British Isles materials, and they feel there are tools they can bring to this index to make it more valuable to researchers.  PERSI was launched on the findmypast site during the RootsTech 2014 conference with increased functionality, more search options, impressive web space and a commitment to a dynamic data file where users will be able to obtain copies of the documents directly from the index, or using inter-library loan features to study the actual periodical.  Having this best technology with this best index is totally awesome for users.

Another fantastic learning experience from RootsTech 2014.



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RootsTech 2014

It was a wonderful four days at the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City.  The weather stayed cold but inside everything was warm and full of enthusiasm.  Before I go any further, I promised hundreds of you that I would have my presentation posted at my Website.  But I haven’t been able to figure out how to post a PowerPoint at the Website, so I left a thread there to look at my Blog.  And now “alas” I find I need some sort of Plugin to load it here as well.

So if you would like a copy of the presentation I gave on Saturday at RootsTech 2014, just send me an email at, title your e-mail “Karen’s RootsTech 2014 Presentation”, and I will send it to you via e-mail.  The title was Applying Technology to Each Step of the Genealogist’s Research Cycle.

The biggest news at RootsTech was how broadly FamilySearch has expanded its partners network.  FamilySearch had calculated that it would take them 300 years to digitize the records needed to access in a more meaningful way the records that now exist.  But they cannot wait 300 years because of the destruction of records that is constantly taking place.  But by partnering with other like-minded individuals they calculate the job could be done in one generation.

Throughout the conference we heard about new partnerships in this past year including those with BillionGraves, OCLC,, E-Book Partners, Italian Indexing, Preserve the Pensions Project-War of 1812; Homestead Records-National Park Service,, Archives,, fold3, MyHeritage, and many more.  This means if you already have an subscription, you will be able to use it in the future to share information from at Ancestry, and the other way around.

I will add more to this information in the weeks ahead.

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The Magic of RootsMagic 6

As promised, here is another genealogy computer program update, this time about RootsMagic 6. In this new version, the user can compare and exchange sources between their program and FamilySearch, as well as tag, un-tag, or detach sources on FamilySearch from their database. However at this time, RootsMagic cannot upload notes into FamilySearch, but keep your eye out for that!

Not only does RootsMagic work with FamilySearch Family Tree, a user can also publish information to If you would like to learn more about and what features it has, please visit

Users can access a variety of information using RootsMagic, from the county and state FamilySearch wiki page to an interactive state map, which shows historical county boundaries. RootsMagic also allows users to look up counties and states in the U.S., Canada, England, and Australia and view information about them; attach links to websites; conduct searches of the database based on numbers (ex. number of spouses, number of children); create an unlimited amount of research logs; and check to see if a county being entered into RootsMagic existed during a certain time period.

You certainly do not want to miss these exciting new updates to RootsMagic. If you would like to learn more about these features, check out the What’s New page  as well as the blog at Roots Magic’s website. Let us know what you are most excited about using, and feel free to share your thoughts with us!

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Five Minute Skill Building Answers

Are you ready to see how you did on last week’s Five Minute Skill Building practice? Today, we are posting the answers so that you can check up on your skills. Good luck!

List of Appraisement of the Est L. J. Cox continued
1 Note W. Y. Whittington
1 Do Wm. Graws
1 Do J. A. Dew
1 Do H. H. Tort
1 Do on same man unknown
1 Do F. D. James
1 Do S. D. Loue
1 Do Jas. DuPree
1 Do Frank Greenwood
1 Do Wm. McDowell
1 Do Jas. Godbold
1 Do J. C. Hays
1 Do Lewis Hirrin  circumstances unknown
1 Do Jesse Easterling
1 Do Thos. S. Grill
1 Do H. H. McCunighan
1 Do A. E. Moor
1 Do M. Isman

Any questions? Comment and we’ll answer them for you! If you have anything you want to share about how this exercise went for you, feel free to comment as well.

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Five Minute Skill Building: Practice

Remember the last Five Minute Skill Building post? Do you recall the various abbreviations for names, superscripts, or the myriad ways to spell a name? What about other abbreviations used, such as “Do” or the crook S? Well, it’s time to put your memory and knowledge to the test. Today we have a small sample for you to practice. Here’s what to do:

  1. Go to and click on Search.
  2. From the list of options across the top (underneath the FamilySearch logo), choose Catalog.
  3. Under “Place Name,” type in South Carolina, Marion. Choose the first option, the one that says what you typed. Then click Search.
  4. Scroll down the list of options until you reach the one that says South Carolina, Marion – Probate records (4). Choose that one, then click Marion County, South Carolina estate records, ca. 1869-1915.
  5. In red, the page will say South Carolina Probate Records, Files and Loose Papers are available online, click here. The word “here” will be a maroon color. Click the here.
  6. In about the middle of the page, it will say Browse through 654,824 images. Click on that. (Don’t worry, you won’t be indexing all 654,824 images!)
  7. Under the list of counties, choose Marion.
  8. Under Court Name and Record Type, choose your only option, Probate Court, Estate records.
  9. The date range you want to select is the very first one, 1869-1882.
  10.  Under File Description, choose the only option available, Rolls 2117-2156.
  11. Notice the white box that allows you to choose which image you would like to view. Type 100 into the box, then click on the Go button that will appear on the right.

Type the title (written across the top of the page) and the first 18 names, then post them into the comments section below. Next Friday we will post the correct transcription. Good luck!


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Good News

Recently, Karen received an email from a former MPC student, sharing some exciting news. Karen was thrilled to hear about it and asked this student if we could share her good news here, which she happily agreed to.

I was thinking of you the other day knowing that you are getting ready for several fall classes. This year I decided to pursue membership in the DAR through my 5th great-grandfather, Thomas Carter. You had encouraged me in this at one point when we met at the MPC library, especially noting the access to records afforded to members. I went to a couple of local Commodore Sloat chapter meetings [a chapter of the DAR in the Monterey Peninsula in California] in the spring and submitted my application in May. I just received word today that it has been verified by national and my membership will be put before the local board in October! Whoo hoo! So I wanted to share the news with you and thank you for your encouragement to further my research. Of course, this will mean an opportunity for my two sisters and four nieces. Not to mention two sons who can now pursue Sons of the American Revolution should they so choose (let’s just say teenage boys aren’t quite as enamored as I am by this)!

For those of you who don’t know, the DAR is an acronym for the Daughters of the American Revolution, a national women’s organization that works to increase patriotism, preserve America’s history, and further education for children to secure a better future for America. Any woman at least eighteen years old who can provide proof of lineal descent from an ancestor who either provided service to or directly assisted in America’s independence can become a member. If you would like to learn more about it, you can visit their website.

As the email mentioned, there is also an organization for men called the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR).  Membership is based on lineal descent from an ancestor who supported the American Revolution. This society works to remember and provide memorials for those who were a part of the revolution, preserve records, and help keep our independence alive today. The SAR is for men, although there is a National Ladies Auxiliary Sons of the American Revolution. To learn more, visit them here.

Have you achieved a goal in your research recently? Learned something interesting about your ancestors? We’d love to hear about it, and your success will continue to inspire others.

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MPC Student Update

To All Monterey Peninsula College Students:

At this time, we regret to inform you that LIBR60 (Beginning Genealogy) is full. However, there are many spots open in both LIBR61 (Pre-1850 Research) and LIBR63 (Writing and Publishing). If you have already taken a beginning genealogy course at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) and live in California, or if you are a graduate from a high school in California, it is a financial bargain to take classes at MPC because tuition is so much lower than at other colleges. If you find yourself unable to register for LIBR60 and have already taken a beginning genealogy course, sign up for LIBR61! An add code is needed from Karen in order to register, so if you need one, please contact Racquel Hansen at as soon as possible. You can take LIBR63 if you have already completed LIBR60 and either LIBR61 or LIBR62. LIBR63 focuses on writing and publishing information you have gathered about an ancestor, and that information must already be in a genealogy computer program. This class is only offered once a year during the fall semester, and fill up about every other year. Plenty of places in the class are available, so make sure you email me for an add code (see the email address above) to be added to the class. Here at, we encourage you to register as quickly as possible to ensure that there is a spot in the classes for you!

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A Peek at Ancestral Quest

As many of you may have heard, the BYU Conference on Family History was held July 30th through August 2nd. Besides teaching, Karen and her assistants had the opportunity to learn about updates in Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic, and Ancestral Quest. As promised, we will be sharing those updates with you! We’d like to start off with updates from Ancestral Quest.

Ancestral Quest displayed a poster about what’s new on Ancestral Quest, so we took a picture to allow you to see for yourself. Ancestral Quest now allows the user to see data from three different databases at the same time, as well as the features named on the poster (typed below for your convenience):

(Please click on the image for a complete view.)

  • CORRECT DATA ON FAMILY TREE in moving the data from nFS to Family Tree, often the best data was transferred, but too often erroneous data was transferred from nFS, leaving the correct data only on the nFS system or in your personal file. Select the correct data from nFS and move it to the Family Tree. This is an exclusive feature of AQ.
  • INCORRECTLY COMBINED RECORDS Many of the records on Family Tree seem to have the wrong information, because they were improperly combined with records of different people. The easiest way to discern and analyze these records is by using AQ’s unique ability to view the other opinions of nFS along with the Family Tree data.
  • MATCH YOUR RECORDS TO FAMILY TREE When the records on Family Tree have been improperly combined, they have data that no longer matches your records, even when they are a match. When you use AQ’s ability to see the other data from New.FamilySearch, you will often see the data in these records that matches your records, thus helping you correctly match the records in Family Tree with your own records.

You can learn more about Ancestral Quest 14 by clicking here. As always, please share your comments and experiences here on; we’d love to hear from you and your experience is very beneficial to others.


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Ready to Make the Move from PAF?!

It’s the day many of you may have been dreading. PAF is no longer available for download, and support is no longer accessible either.

Of course, you’ll still be able to use PAF after July 15, but if you have problems or find that it just isn’t keeping up with the latest technology, you won’t be able to receive support or upgrades.  For those of you actively involved in the newest FamilySearch release which we call FamilySearch Family Tree (FSFT), you should know that FamilySearch has affiliated with three different programs that allow PAF users to easily upgrade: Ancestral Quest, Legacy Family Tree, and RootsMagic ( Each of these programs have free downloadable versions; and each offers either a direct use of your PAF file such as AQ, or a simple import conversion as in Legacy or RootsMagic.

Ancestral Quest

Ancestral Quest (AQ) was actually created from the original PAF window program donated to FamilySearch! As you move your PAF database into AQ, there is no conversion required, and the two programs are very similar. AQ is Family Tree certified, and AQ users can see information on FamilySearch Family Tree (FSFT) in a split window view, which allows them to correct data and match their records to Family Tree, but sources are not linking directly to FSFT at this time. Currently, AQ is offering a limited time offer for PAF users of $10 off the normal full price for their program. To learn more about AQ and to decide if it is right for you, head over to

Legacy Family Tree

If you choose to move from PAF to Legacy Family Tree (Legacy), you can move everything (from notes to Family Group Records) with a simple import. Legacy will work with Family Tree to allow you to pull info into Legacy and put information from Legacy into Family Tree. Legacy can organize your Family Tree, help you find ancestors with Research Guidance (analyzes your ancestor, creates a custom To Do list, suggests the kind of records that would be most helpful, and more), share and publish your research, reserve LDS temple ordinances, and track temple cards. Legacy is the only FamilySearch certified program that will search FamilySearch and has built-in Research Guidance.  Start with the standard edition free of charge, and you can later upgrade to the deluxe edition (or begin there!) beginning at $29.99. Learn more at


RootsMagic is actively developed and updated, allowing it to work with the latest technology and genealogical technology. All of PAF’s features can be found in the program, as well as book publishing, color coding, wall charts, shareable CDs, a mobile application, and more. RootsMagic is certified to collaborate with FSFT, and after a quick conversion from PAF to RootsMagic, you’ll be good to go! PAF users will be able to upgrade to the full RootsMagic for $19.99, which includes a quick start-up guide. Find out more at

Karen Clifford will be checking out each of these programs. However, doing this is time consuming, so stay tuned for more information about each program!

We hope that you’ll be able to make a painless switch from PAF to whichever of these three programs you choose. We would greatly appreciate it if you would share your experience with us, we’d love to hear from you!  You words of encouragement are extremely helpful to others.

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