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January 2011 Family History Expos Newsletter

Cheers! Happy New Year!

2011 is the beginning of many new and fantastic opportunities for each of us. This year Family History Expos launches our totally new website. Watch for it to launch as we return from the Arizona Family History Expo. The new website will increase the information available to you on each event, our products, and new classified advertising services. We are always looking for new and innovative ways to serve you and assist in your educational process.

This year our monthly Newsletter is truly geared to assisting you with finding more family members to add to your family tree. Family History Expos is the place where ol’ dogs learn new tricks and young puppies learn old ones. We are committed to sharing with you tried and tested methodologies that bring results and new technology-based tricks that speed up the process. 2011’s newsletter features include:

  • Welcome!
  • Genealogy Shopping Specials of the Month (from FHExpos and our Sponsors)
  • Expo Highlights and Announcements
  • Feature Article
  • New Tricks and ol’ Tips
  • Ask-the-Pros Q & A
  • GenTeacher for Kids
  • Calendar of upcoming events

We look forward to spending an amazing, rewarding year with each of you as we travel throughout the U.S. bringing you the best in Family History Expos. If you have a specific research subject you would like to learn more about please let us know!

Our best wishes to each of you in 2011.


Holly & Chris Hansen and the whole FHExpos Team


Genealogy Shopping Specials of the Month

Flip-Pal Scanner

by Gena Philibert Ortega

Those who have been to our Expos have had the chance to check out the Flip-Pal scanner. This small easy to use scanner is perfect for genealogists. Reviews of the scanner by those who have used it, including some of our Bloggers of Honor, talk about the ease of use, the portability and how valuable it is as a tool to take to the homes of family members to scan photographs and memorabilia.

I recently had the chance to use the Flip-Pal on a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City Utah. I wanted to see about using it to copy books that I was researching.

Let me first say that I do own another portable scanner. How does the Flip-Pal compare to my other scanner? There is no comparison; Flip-Pal is the tool to use for scanning. What I like the most about Flip-Pal is the ease of use. You literally turn on the scanner, place the item on the scanner bed or the scanner on the book, as was in my case, after you remove the lid and push the green start button. Honestly, it’s that easy.

I was concerned about “stitching” the images together since I needed to make several scans of each book page because of the size of the page. But that was no problem. It’s as easy as using the Flip-Pal software to select the pages to be stitched.

The Flip-Pal is now part of my research bag. I appreciated having an easy-to-use way to scan research materials without waiting in line at a copy machine or spending all of my spare change.

What can you use Flip-Pal for? Research trips, scanning your photographs, memorabilia, family reunions, trips to family members’ homes and more. Flip-Pal is lightweight, runs on batteries (so no hookups to computers needed to scan items), and is easy to use.

Watch for more Shopping Specials that will be available through our new Genealogy Store with the launch of the new website!


Expo Highlights and Announcements

Our Arizona Family History Expo is this weekend. You do not want to miss the keynote presentation with Lisa Louise Cooke. Lisa is the producer and host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, an online genealogy audio show at She is the author of the book Genealogy Gems: Ultimate Research Strategies and the DVD Google Earth for Genealogy, a national conference speaker, and writer for Family Tree Magazine.

We also invite you to enjoy Friday evening with us and M. Bridget Cook, national best selling author. Hurry!  There is a limited amount of tickets and tickets can only be purchased until Thursday, January 20th at 10:00am (MST). Click here for details.

You will also enjoy spending time in “The Blog House” with our Bloggers of Honor and at the Ask-the-Pros booth where you can get serious assistance with your research questions. Register online today and save!

We want to send out a special thank you to our sponsors of the Arizona Family History Expo.



Legacy Family Tree

Generation Maps

Ancestral Quest


As sponsors of the upcoming RootsTech Conference, we invite you to check out the details of this event. Watch for a totally different view on technology and what we can expect to see coming forth during the 2011 year.

RootsTech is a sponsor of the January 2011 Family History Expos Newsletter.


Feature Article

Organizing Before You Research

By Gena Philibert Ortega

Tell me if this sounds familiar. You go to a library or archive to research. You start accumulating lots of information about your ancestor, as proved by the stacks of photocopies you have, and then you get home and place all that research in a stack. The stack starts showing evidence of cobwebs about the time you start planning your next research jaunt.

Well maybe that’s just me, but for those of us who are “organizing challenged” it can be beneficial to do some of the organizing before and as you research, so that the job is less overwhelming when you get home and back to the routines of life.

Before and as you research, consider these suggestions:

Before the Trip

  • Decide how you want to organize what you will find and get that system ready. If you will organize your photocopies in file folders or binders, get those ready. If you have enough room, consider taking them with you and filing the information as soon as you find it.
  • If you will be scanning microfilm or using a portable scanner or a digital camera to take images of information found in books or microfilm, set up folders on your computer so that those images can easily be uploaded to the appropriate folder. Consider organizing images according to surname.
  • Decide how you will take notes, whether on your computer or on paper, and how those will be filed. Research notes are an important aspect of research and sometimes get lost amongst the photocopies we accumulate.

During Your Research

  • Take breaks in between making copies or digitized images to sort and file information.
  • If you are taking digital images, consider uploading them to more than one source. This way you have a backup already made in case something happens. So in addition to adding the images to your flash drive or computer, consider an online backup source like Dropbox. Dropbox allows you 2 GB of storage space for free.
  • Keep a research log that includes where you searched and what you found. A research log not only keeps you focused but it helps you keep track of what you found and can be used as an organizational tool. You can create your own research log by using a spreadsheet program or a table in a word processing program. You can also use a ready made form like that from BYU Ancestors’ site or from Family Tree Magazine .

Organizing as you research allows you to come home from a research trip and spend your time analyzing, incorporating your new findings, and coming up with a plan for additional research.


New Tricks and ol’ Tips

The Relatively Curious Toolbar

Toolbars can be added to your website browser to make it easier to find your favorite websites. The Relatively Curious Toolbar created by blogger Tami Osmer Glatz provides you quick access to links from all aspects of genealogy include free and paid subscription sites, networking and digitized content. The Resources link includes websites about cemeteries, railroads, Native Americans, immigration, encyclopedias and more. Download this free toolbar and find the links you need for your genealogy quickly and easily.

Google Guide

Looking for more information about searching Google? Try Google Guide . This website is written for everyone and includes sections for novices, experts and teens. Use it to learn how to conduct better Google searches and to understand how the Google search engine works. An online Google Cheat Sheet provides tips on searching and restricting your search to the types of information you want to find, like Google Groups or Google News. Harness the power of Google by learning how to use it to find what you need.


Ask-the-Pros Q & A

ANCESTOR NAME: Catherine Agnes Burns

RESEARCH GOAL: Trying to find who her parents were

ANCESTOR’S BIRTH: 8 Feb 1840/8 Feb 1841 Ireland

ANCESTOR’S DEATH: Oakland CA I have her death certificate

SPOUSE NAME: Deming D. Hill

MARRIAGE DATE: 22 Feb 1863 Do not know where but somewhere in No. Calif.

CHILDREN’S NAMES: Daniel D Hill 1 Feb 1864 Placer Co CA Francis D Hill 24 Jul 1865 Placer Co CA Euretta E Hill 14 Apr 1867 Solano Co CA Marietta Hill 29 Aug 1869 Solano Co CA Clarence E Hill 9 May 1871 Solano Co CA Martha M Hill 16 Feb 1873 Napa Co CA Alonzo C Hill 3 Jan 1875 Napa Co CA Oswell N Hill 26 Oct 1876 Napa Co CA Eva D Hill 25 Feb 1878 Napa Co CA Mabel P Hill 16 Apr 1883 Napa Co CA

RELIGION: Protestant -Buried Methodist section Fairfield Cem. Solano Co CA


RECORDS SEARCHED: I have searched census records, Port arrival records for SF CA, Marriage Records all Counties CA, some church records etc. I have done a pretty thorough research on her over about 30 years.

HELPFUL INFO: History Of Solano and Napa Counties says that she came to CA via the isthmus as early as 1849. 1900 census says she was born Feb 1842. Immigrated 1862. 1920 census say she immigrated in 1852. In 1930 she was living in nursing home in Oakland CA and there are no patients listed at that nursing home, only the Dr. and his staff that lived there. Her death certificate says she was in US 82 years. She died in 1931 so that would mean she immigrated about 1849. Ages on census reports vary from year of birth from between 1840 to 1842. All pretty close. 1930 census for her daughter Marietta says her mother was born in Northern Ireland. This would agree with her being Protestant. I questioned her daughter, Martha M. (my great grandmother), in the late 1950’s about her mother and her family and she did not even know if her mother had any brothers and or sisters. Strange. Perhaps you can give some insight as to where I should go from here.


You’ve indicated that you’ve done quite a bit of searching over the years. The list of sources that you’ve checked is probably quite extensive, so it is understandable if you’ve not listed them all. Here are some avenues to consider:

First, explore the differing dates of immigration listed. It is possible that she arrived in the U.S. in 1852 as you found in the 1920 census, but did not come to California until the 1860’s. This would involve searching the passenger lists for the eastern U.S. ports, Boston, New York and possibly New Orleans and Canadian ports. She would only have been 10-12 years old in 1852 and would probably be traveling with her parents.

Since her birth date is after 1837 when civil registration began in Britain, you might check the FHL records for Ireland and Britain to see if she was recorded. There are many Irish and British websites now available for search, including and other subscription sites both here and in Ireland and Britain. County records for many of the Irish counties are now available online. Also, “A Guide to Irish Parish Registers” by Brian Mitchell and “Irish Records” by James C. Ryan are good source references. The second title is a very good listing of what is available in each location.

In this country, check “The Search for Missing Friends, Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot.” Generally called just “Missing Friends,” this is the collection and index in many volumes of the ads placed to locate missing family and friends from Ireland. The ads are from people all over the U.S. and Canada and are an excellent source for locating Irish immigrants. This collection was the key to finding my own great grand parents in Ireland.

If Catherine was indeed in California by 1852, you should check the 1852 California Census “the Gold Rush Census.” The index is available from the Southern California Genealogical Society (818-843-7262). Also check Nevada and Oregon locations for the missing marriage record, as well as the local newspapers for the counties involved.

Check the DAR California Pioneer lists and family histories.

Although Catherine was buried in a Methodist section of the cemetery, do not assume that she had been a Methodist all her life. There are British records for “non-conformists” – those people who were not Anglican (Episcopalian) and these should be checked.

In checking the census records, look at the surrounding families for anyone born in Ireland and certainly for anyone with surname Burns born in Ireland.

Tax lists, probates, wills, deeds etc. should be checked.

Records on her husband and his family might also hold some clues as to her background.

Many of the records mentioned are available through the Family History Library (FHL) and can be ordered at your local Family History Center.

Answered by Billy D. Edgington, BA


GenTeacher for Kids

Adding Postage Stamps to a Family History

By Gena Philibert Ortega

As you work with your kids or grandchildren to learn more about their family history, consider adding historical items to that family history. United States Postage stamps tell the history of America, by depicting historical figures, occupations, vintage items and events. Kids could use stamps to put together scrapbook-like pages with photographic images, details of an ancestor’s life and the postage stamps to show historical events that the ancestor lived through or even what postage was available during their lives. Postage stamps allow children to add a historical element to their family history scrapbook pages that help put their ancestors in historical context.

The first American postage stamp was issued in 1847. You can find pages about kids and stamp collecting at the Just for Kids Page at the American Philatelic Society website.

Stamps for collecting can be found through retail stamp and coin shops. The American Philatelic Society has a stamp dealer finding aid at their website. The United States Postal Service has Philatelic Centers in some Post Offices that have stamp collecting supplies and stamps. For a list of Philatelic Centers across the United States click here.


Upcoming Events

For more information, please see the Expos tab on our website at

January 21-22, 2011. Arizona Family History Expo

February 25-26, 2011. St. George Family History Expo

April 9, 2011. Migration Family History Expo

April 10-15, 2011. Family History Library Research Retreat

June 24-25, 2011. Colorado Family History Expo

October 29, 2011. Military Family History Expo

October 30 – November 4, 2011. Family History Library Research Retreat

More details on our events will be available soon!


Family History Expos, Inc.

PO Box 187

Morgan, UT 84050

Main Office: 801-829-3295

© Family History Expos, Inc. 2011. All rights reserved.

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