First, I received an invitation to this dinner because I am a blogger (sort of?) Anyway, I received a tech pad. I'm not a tech person but it's this neat device to keep all those cords in one place. You know: those that go with all of our tech devices. Thank you, familysearch.
Now, am I there under false pretenses? I don't blog regularly. I don't often write about events and I almost never ("never say never") write about products. But I was at this lovely dinner.
The most fun was the bloggers I sat with and the stuff I heard. Another Karen but she's from Ohio: www.karenmillerbennett.com. Then Ruth Blair www.familyhistorysearchers.com from Ontario, Canada, She mentioned that copyright laws are different in Canada. We often forget about that. Then Julia Langel at http://geneajulia.blogspot.com.
I talked "briefly" with Dick Eastman. Well, I reminded him that he had come to Arizona for the 2011 Family History Society of Arizona annual meeting.
I also met a woman who is real: Kimberly Powell. I've been recommending her web site/blog for years. It's www.genealogy.about.com. In my opinion (and of course this entire blog is my opinion), it's one of the best sites for information, particularly for beginners. But researchers of all levels can benefit from her site.
I learned about becoming a blog ambassador. I signed up a few minutes ago.
Now for the really exciting part.
Did you know that familysearch.org has historical record collections from over 60 countries? And, one of the newer collections will be the 1802-1940 Civil Registrations from Italy will eventually be online with images and then indexes with an agreement between familysearch and Italy. WOW!!
Daily, there are about 10,000 volunteers online to answer patron questions in 13 languages and sometimes as many as 17 or 18. WOW!!!
More than 650 societies have registered to help with indexing the 1940 census. (Family History Society of Arizona is one of them. Thank you!!) What's really amazing is that a little over 30% of all of the 1940 census records have been indexed in 37 days. If we continue at this rate, the entire 1940 census may be indexed in July. We really need to keep working. Don't slow down just because the initial excitement is over.
Now, this may not seem quite as exciting as the 1940 census project, but family search has plans to add more and more images to their web site. And you all know what that means. Indexing! INDEXing!! INDEXING!!! When we finish the 1940 census we will want to continue our efforts. After all, the more indexed records, the easier we will find records what may include our ancestors.
So, thank you familysearch.org. Thank you to my dinner companions. And a special thank you to all of you who help make those records searchable.