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Research Notes 2017-3-27

Friday, March 31st, is the deadline for submissions to the April issue of the Ancient City Bulletin. Stories about your ancestors, research tips, genealogical book reviews and app reviews are all welcome. Visit the Submission Guidelines page for details on formatting and submission.


FindAGrave fans will be happy to learn that the platform is being updated. The news and a demonstration of the improvements was presented at RootsTech. The primary goal of the upgrade is to move to a newer codebase (programming language). This will make the site more secure and easier to maintain. It also makes it possible to incorporate responsive design features. That means page views will adapt to the screen size of the computer/device you are using to view the site. It will be much easier to add memorials using your mobile phone while you are in the cemetery.

Find A Grave demo

Find A Grave demo site

This is an example of the new design. It looks like they are taking advantage of the connections you can make at the existing site to link to memorials for other family members. In this example shows how those connections – with links – appeared on Dolph’s screen. I like that!

You can take a test drive of the developmental site at This is a “sandbox” site where you can move around the site and try out the features but can’t save any new content. It’s quite impressive. At RootsTech they estimated that the site would be ready for rollout by late April. Because so many people love the original version, it will remain online for quite a while so we all have time to adjust.

Anybody up for a Find A Grave/BillionGraves cemetery walk once the site is updated?


Our April member meeting is scheduled for Saturday, April 15th, at the Southeast Branch Library. Lori Miranda is our speaker this month and her topic is Picture This: Family Photos and Other Piles, and What I’ve Learned. Lori is a Fernandina Beach resident and a board member at the Amelia Island Genealogical Society. She is also a registered architect and partner with her husband in their architectural firm.

Check-in begins at 12:45pm and the meeting starts at 1:oopm. 

Our April short course will begin after the speaker’s Q&A and a short break. This month’s subject is Automating Your Searches With Google Alerts. Learn how to create and save a search which Google will then run repeatedly on a schedule you determine. When results are discovered, Google will automatically notify you.


If you are reading this Research Notes edition – either in your inbox or with the WordPress Reader – you can very easily follow the Writers Group too. The same login you created to access SAGS Support is used to connect you. All you need to do is send your request to and we’ll take care of the rest.

This week’s Storytelling topic at SAGS Writers takes a look at today’s journaling apps with a number of creative ideas to use these apps for capturing your family history – past and present.


Recommended Reading

For those of you who are using the WordPress Reader to follow SAGS Support, we have some additional genealogical sites you might find interesting. To add sites to your reading list, just click the Manage button next to Followed Sites in the left sidebar then enter the URL (address) to the site you want to follow. Check out the SAGS Support guide for more information.

Follow Sites Graphic

This week’s recommendations include:

  1. Lisa Alzo is a well-known genealogy speaker and frequent contributor to Family Tree Magazine and other publications. She also blogs as The Accidental Genealogist (

  2. You may already know Maureen Taylor as The Photo Detective. She also blogs at (

  3. These sites aren’t the only ones offering genealogical research support. There’s a tremendous amount of instructional information already online. Genealogy 101 ( can point you to them. It will also keep you updated on the latest deals, news from the archives, software updates and more.

Final Notes

Each new post published at SAGS Support is automatically emailed to member subscribers and/or delivered to their newsreader. Research Notes is published every Monday morning and other articles are posted during the week. Subscribers have the option to control how often these updates are delivered. Look down at the bottom of this message and you will find a Manage Subscriptions link in the fine print as you see in this example. Click it and you will be taken to the Subscription Management page. Use the Delivery Frequency column to change your delivery options from “Immediate” to either “Daily” or “Weekly”.

Fine Print

Sample of the “fine print” at the bottom of each post.

Also down at the bottom of each delivered post is a Comment button. If you would like to comment on something discussed in a post or ask a question, just click the Comment button and you will be taken online to the comment section of the post where you can share your thoughts and read what others have shared.

To learn more, download a copy of the SAGS Support Guide.

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