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Research Notes 2017-4-17

Our April presenter, Lori Miranda, gave us a fascinating look into the need to protect and preserve family photos. If you missed the meeting, you can still download her handout at the Speaker Handouts page on SAGS Support. Scroll down a bit further and you’ll also find handouts from our recent Short Courses.

This month, the SAGS Writers group is focused on the importance of journaling to your research and your family history. SAGS members who are looking for creative ways to share their family history will find our site full of ideas, resources and tips. To join, email your request to and we will send you an invitation. Those who are already members of SAGS Support can easily add SAGS Writers to their existing reading list or email subscription.


We’ve done a bit of remodeling at SAGS Support. The change in the site design was necessary to accommodate our newest addition – the Archives. We are moving the existing archives datasets and adding additional ones. The existing Church Records, Military Research and Obituaries datasets are now located here. The cemetery inventories are still a work in progress. These archives exist thanks to the efforts of SAGS member Mac Wills and rumor has it there are more to come. Stop by the Archives section and see for yourself. Feedback is always welcome. You’ll find the comment box at the bottom of each “cover” page.


Here’s the April 14th update from Software MacKiev about Family Tree Maker:

A record 5,500 beta testers with a range of tree sizes and media content tested a series of four builds this week with improving results for each one. In the latest round, successful syncing was reported by 89% of beta testers with all but the largest trees. Of course that needs to be 100%, but we’re pretty pleased with the ground covered thus far. The advanced report generation system that I described in the last update was put into all beta builds this week, and we have so far received more than 30,000 diagnostic reports all sent automatically from beta testers. Our engineers have written scripts to analyze them, and we have reported our findings of where the syncing was getting off track to Ancestry. GETTING IT RIGHT So how do we get from here to release? We will get a series of adjustments today from Ancestry and more as they roll out early next week. And in parallel we are making the corresponding changes on our side. Then back into beta testing and we keep going until we at or above 98% successful syncing and all other systems “go”. Then we’ll release.

In a recent post at The Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell wrote that the interactive county formation maps are back online at The Newberry Library’s Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. These maps track county boundaries beginning in the early 1600s and continuing until the end of the year 2000.


Online registration is now open for the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ 2017 National Conference.

The conference will be held August 30 – September 2, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA. This year’s local host is the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society and the theme is “Building Bridges to the Past.” Register by July 1, 2017 for the early-bird discount at

Attendees can look forward to strengthening their research abilities no matter their skill level or area of interest. The program is available online at


Do you have ancestors who served in World War I? To commemorate the centennial of the United States’ entry into World War I, FamilySearch International is highlighting its free online collections of World War I records. Millions of free draft registration, service, and naturalization records online help fill in details about ancestors who served in the military during the conflict. Search the free collections at


Looking for historical newspapers? Kenneth R. Marks at The Ancestor Hunt has an impressive directory of freely accessible newspaper sites. He also provides tutorials and tools to help improve your newspaper research effort.


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”.

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