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  • 08/17/17--22:11: I'm Still Here....
  • Ragged Point, California

    Just wanted to write a quick note to let my readers know that I'm still here. My blog has been on hiatus for a while now. We've been busy around here. I've been spending time with family, and we're also trying to settle into our new home, specifically with decorating and furniture purchases, etc. That sure does take a lot of time and research (at least for me) with a brand new home. It's such a blank canvas. And I want to get it right. So, for now, our walls are blank (sigh) with no photos or artwork up yet. But, I'm hoping that we will figure all that out before too long.

    So far, our summer has included trips to the Central California Coast, the birth of our second grandchild, spending time with family, hosting a baby shower for our daughter-in-law who is due any day now with our third grandchild, and the engagement of our oldest son. Such fun, happy and exciting times!

    With the upcoming birth of our third grandchild any day now, my blog may still be a bit quiet in the near future. But hopefully, I will be getting back to my normal post schedule in the not too distant future.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Jana

    © 2017 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved


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    I am so excited to announce that I've been invited to be a RootsTech 2018 Ambassador!

    I served as a RootsTech Ambassador in 2016 and had a wonderful time attending the conference. I was invited to be a RootsTech 2017 Ambassador, but I wasn't able to serve that year because we moved into a our new home in early 2017.

    What is RootsTech you ask? It's the world's largest family history and technology conference, and is hosted by FamilySearch.

    RootsTech will be held in the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah from February 28 - March 3, 2018.

    The theme for RootsTech 2018 is: Connect. Belong.

    Registration for RootsTech 2018 opens on September 20, 2017.

    To learn more about RootsTech 2018, click HERE.

    Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you at RootsTech 2018!

    Jana

    © 2017 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

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    Don't miss out on early bird discount prices for #RootsTech2018. See you there! 

    The following is a press release from FamilySearch:

    RootsTech 2018 Now Open for Registration

    SALT LAKE CITY (19 September 2017)--FamilySearch International has announced that registration to RootsTech 2018 is now open. RootsTech is a popular 4-day annual family history and technology conference where individuals and families are inspired to discover, preserve, and share their family roots, heritage, and stories. The conference will be held February 28 to March 3, 2018, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, go to RootsTech.org. (Find and share this announcement online in the FamilySearch Newsroom.)



    In 2017 the growing event attracted more than 26,000 attendees in-person from all 50 U.S. states and more than 35 countries. Family Discovery Day, a free 1-day event held on Saturday as part of the conference, is also open for registration.



    RootsTech 2018 will offer attendees a full lineup of inspiring and well-known keynote speakers; over 300 informative sessions, including hands-on computer labs taught by industry professionals and leaders; interactive activities and helpful exhibitors in the expo hall; and entertaining evening events. All are designed to inspire and empower personal family discoveries.



    INNOVATION SHOWCASE



    RootsTech 2018 officially begins on Wednesday, February 28, with class sessions beginning at 9:30 a.m. The all-new general session begins at 4:30 p.m. Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, will be the keynote speaker. Following Rockwood's address will be the all-new Innovation Showcase. The Innovation Showcase will feature the best new technology in the industry from around the globe. RootsTech is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Innovation Showcase from the public. The public can nominate its favorite family history related app, product, or service by using #RootsTechInnovation on Facebook or Twitter, or visit the Innovation Showcase page at rootstech.org. The submission deadline is October 15, 2017.



    The showcase also offers attendees the opportunity to interact and connect with industry influencers, executives, and investors. Online viewers will also be able to vote for their favorite product or service during the live showcase event on Wednesday. (See RootsTech 2018 Grows to 4 Days, Introduces New Innovation Showcase.)



    FAMILY DISCOVERY DAY



    Registration for Family Discovery Day is also now open. The event takes place on Saturday, March 3, 2018, and is designed for families and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This free and fun 1-day event includes inspiring messages from Church leaders; engaging classes for families, youth, and young single adults; and evening entertainment to inspire and help families and members discover, preserve, and share their family connections. Family Discovery Day attendees will also have access to all the interactive activities and exhibitors found in the RootsTech Expo Hall. Event details, including speakers and classes, will be made available soon at RootsTech.org. Registration is required.



    PRICES



    Early bird discount pricing is available for a limited time on 4-day passes at just $169 (a $100 discount). Single-day RootsTech passes are also available for $99. A 4-day Getting Started pass is only $69. All passes include access to the popular Expo Hall and morning keynote sessions.



    RELATED



    Watch archived sessions of RootsTech 2017



    ###

    About RootsTech



    RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.


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    We added another sweet little leaf to our family tree. An adorable baby girl was born last month to our second-oldest son and his wonderful wife. Our new little granddaughter is just so beautiful!

    It was awesome to add our new granddaughter's name to my Legacy Family Tree database. Our family tree continues to grow. 😊

    We now have three grandchildren, with one more on the way this year. We are so excited!

    Being a grandparent really is the best!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Jana

    © 2017 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved



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    Hurray for indexing! This is great news!

    The following is a press release from FamilySearch.

    FamilySearch's New Web Tool Makes Ancestry Records Easier to Find 


    infographicSalt Lake City, Utah 

    (25 September 2017), FamilySearch International, a leader in historical records preservation, has launched its new web-based indexing tool. Indexing is a technology used to make the world’s historical records freely searchable online for family history research. The new program makes it easier for online volunteers to participate using web-enabled computers, laptops, or tablets, and enables FamilySearch to expedite its online publishing of completed indexes. (Find and share this announcement and its graphics online in the FamilySearch Newsroom).



    New features enable volunteers to work on tablets, modify the layout of their dashboard based on personal preferences, set and track individual goals, and create groups with friends or others interested in working on a common project.



    Global nonprofit FamilySearch digitally preserves billions of historical records online to help individuals with their family history research. It has published billions of images of historic records from all over the world online. Researchers can find the record images in FamilySearch's Catalog or Historic Records Collections online. But searching through billions of images online in search of one's elusive ancestors is not fun for the average person. They want to type in an ancestor's name and known context, press Enter, and voilà, see highly matched results from their search query.



    "That requires an index," said Jim Ericson, marketing manager for FamilySearch Indexing. "Until the records are indexed online, they can only be discovered by browsing through often enormous collections of digital images. With a digital index, researchers can locate records in seconds by using a person's name and other helpful information as search terms. A searchable index saves researchers time and effort by returning search results from the entire collection in a matter of seconds."



    Ericson says the new web-based indexing platform will enable more volunteers to participate worldwide and increase the rate at which FamilySearch can make indexed records accessible online. "It is a straight-forward experience that no longer requires people to download software," said Ericson.


    Using the new tool enables volunteer indexers to help make it possible for millions of people to have personal family history discoveries quickly with just a few keystrokes. Indexing also fuels hints, a new feature on FamilySearch.org that makes finding records even easier by mapping indexed records against a person’s family tree and sharing high probability ancestral matches with them.


    The web-based indexing program also has new built-in helps, plus a lab section that allows you to test upcoming product features and enhancements for the new program.


    For first-time volunteers, simple training provides step-by-step instructions. To participate, go to FamilySearch.org/indexing, and click the link to web indexing.



    RELATED


    Check out or plan to participate in the Worldwide Indexing EventOctober 20-22, 2017.




    ###

    About FamilySearch


    FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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    My husband and I watched this video yesterday. It's excellent! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. After watching the video, please leave a comment. I'd love to know what you thought of it.






    Thanks for stopping by!

    Jana

    © 2017 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

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    I received the following exciting news from FamilySearch:

    Gold Olympian Scott Hamilton to Keynote RootsTech 2018

    SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (6 October 2017)RootsTech 2018 is delighted to announce that Scott Hamilton, American champion figure skater, Olympic gold medalist, motivational speaker, author, philanthropist, cancer survivor, TV broadcaster, and husband and father will be the RootsTech 2018 keynote speaker on Friday, March 2, 2018, in Salt Lake City, Utah.



    Hamilton is hailed as one of the greatest male figure skaters of all time. He won a gold medal for his stunning performance in the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo. He won four consecutive US figure skating championships and four world championships from 1981 to 1984. In 1990, Hamilton was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. In all, he has earned more than 70 titles, awards, and honors for figure skating.



    For the past 30 years, his broadcast analysis of national and global skating competitions has provided firsthand insights, and his speeches and books are uplifting and motivating.



    Besides his many accomplishments in the public arena, Hamilton says his family members have always been an integral part of his success and are the most important people in his life. He is excited to share more of his personal and family stories at RootsTech 2018.



    Born August 28, 1958, in Toledo, Ohio, Hamilton was adopted when he was six weeks old by Dorothy and Ernest S. Hamilton. He has overcome many obstacles on his path to success including an illness at age two when he stopped growing. Doctors were unable to determine the cause, and over time the condition corrected itself.



    His parents supported his figure skating passion from the time he began skating at age 13. “Family in my early years of skating were all in the ice show. I remember taking pictures on our front lawn in April, all in our costumes and ices skates. . . . Once I started skating, everybody was involved. . . . We were all in, 100%. It was our ‘candy,’” he said.



    His highly publicized battles with cancer that interrupted his skating career have inspired millions. Following his mother’s passing from cancer and his own survival, he established the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education, and Survivorship) to improve cancer survivorship. In 2014, he founded the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy to rebuild figure skating and offer fresh ways for students to fall in love with skating, as he did as a child.



    His wife, Tracie, and four children are now the center of his life. While helping with recovery efforts in Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake, he and Tracie fell in love with two amazing orphans. “Now they are our own children; so now we have four,” said Hamilton. “It’s fun, and it’s crazy, and it’s non-stop, and [we] just keep going, going, going. Life is full. Life is good. And I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities to be a part of this very fun—we put the fun in dysfunctional—family.”



    When asked how he feels about keynoting RootsTech 2018, Hamilton says he looks forward to soaking in the RootsTech experience and sharing his story. “We all have a story to tell. All of us. And we all have great lineage and heritage. And we’ve got all of these generations and generations and generations [before us]—nothing started with us.” While at RootsTech, Hamilton says he is excited to meet as many people as he can and hear about how they have found their lineage, ancestors, and their families.



    “All of us have a legacy to leave for future generations,” he said. “It’s hard to be memorable in this world, but through our children, we have a chance to really make an impact,” he said.



    Hamilton feels his legacy is compassion, kindness, and generosity, “If I can raise money for cancer research and be successful in that, if I can be a good father and allow my kids to have everything they need to be successful in their lives and for their children and for their children and their grandchildren, then I think I’ve done my job."



    Go to RootsTech 2018, February 28 to March 3, 2018, to learn more about Scott Hamilton’s incredible journey, discover your roots, make family connections, and catch the spirit of belonging to generations of your family.


    ###

    ABOUT ROOTSTECH



    RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.


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    I have exciting news to share with you! The RootsTech 2018 Class Schedule is available online. You can now plan your RootsTech 2018 schedule for each day.

    Check out how easy it is to plan your RootsTech 2018 class schedule. 😃

    You can filter your choices by day,


    by type of RootsTech Pass,


    by Difficulty,


    by Category,


    and by Room.


    As you can see, those last two filters each have a scroll bar. That equals even more options than are shown here in this post. Yay!

    There's also a search box.


    As a RootsTech 2018 Ambassador, I will most likely be spending a lot of my time in the Media Hub, but I will definitely try to fit some classes in my schedule.

    I hope this helps you choose your RootsTech 2018 classes! To access the class schedule online, click HERE.

    I'm looking forward to attending RootsTech 2018 next year. I hope to see you there!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Jana

    © 2017 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved



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    I'm excited to attend RootsTech 2018! I missed last year, but did attend as an Ambassador in 2016.

    While I was there, I spent most of my time in the Media Hub, which is in the Expo Hall.

    Also located in the Expo Hall were several food vendors in a food court area. These photos are from when I attended in 2016, but I asked and was told there should be vendors here again in 2018.


    As you can see, there were several yummy options to choose from. And there should be just as many delicious options in 2018.


    One of my lunches during from the food vendors at RootsTech. 😊


    In addition to these yummy food options, there are several restaurants around the Salt Palace Convention Center. City Creek Mall is across the street and it has lots of restaurant choices, including Kneaders Bakery, Blue Lemon, Cheesecake Factory, and Chick-fil-A, just to name a few.

    So...there's no need to go hungry while you're attending RootsTech. Mmmm...so many fun and delicious options to choose from. See you there!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Jana

    © 2017 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

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    Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York, to keynote RootsTech 2018
    I received the following press release from FamilySearch:

    SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (25 October 2017), RootsTech is delighted to announce that Brandon Stanton, creator of Humans of New York, will be the keynote speaker at RootsTech 2018, on Thursday, March 1, 2018. Stanton is a world renowned photographer and storyteller. He is recognized for his incredible talent of telling the story of everyday people he photographs, helping them feel important. At RootsTech 2018, Stanton will share his story, motivations, and some of the messages that his camera has captured in his quest to find the stories that drive the lives of the people of our world. Easily find and share this announcement online in the FamilySearch Newsroom.

    In 2010, Stanton was laid off as a bond trader in Chicago. Undaunted, he bought a camera and set out to create a photographic census of 10,000 everyday people on the streets of New York. He published his initial work on his website, Humans of New York, and then added quotes of his subjects to create short, heartfelt, personal glimpses from their lives. His efforts were noticed—gaining over 20 million fans across TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

    Stanton’s work beautifully illustrates that every life has a story—an important story. He masters the art of visually telling each person’s story, which he now conveys in his popular new weekly Facebook series for a TV show called Humans of New York: The Series. Some messages are sweet, some surprising, some sad, and many contain homespun nuggets of insights that people have found in the chronicles of their lives.

    Since his journey began in 2010, Stanton and his camera have roamed the streets of New York and through more than 20 different countries, including the streets of some of the world’s most remote and troubled regions. The storytelling power of his social media sites have provided a platform to raise money to help change the situations of thousands of people in difficult circumstances.

    Stanton is also the author of two books that catapulted to number one on the New York Times Bestsellers list: Humans of New York (2013), and Humans of New York: Stories (2015). His Children’s book, Little Humans (2014), a 40-page photographic picture book, was featured on the New York Times Children’s book bestseller list.

    Learn more about Brian Stanton’s RootsTech 2018 appearance or his Humans of New York website, Facebook, and Instagram pages.


    ###

    About RootsTech



    RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.


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    As you probably have noticed, I haven't been posting my weekly Genealogy Fab Finds for some time now. Life has gotten pretty busy around here, especially lately.

    So, this post is to let you know that Genealogy Fab Finds is on hiatus until further notice. Thank you so much for reading my Fab Finds posts in the past. They have been some of my most-read posts.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Jana

    © 2017 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

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    How would you like to attend RoostTech 2018 for free? Yep. That's right. I said FREE.

    What is RootsTech you ask? It's the world's largest family history technology conference. And it's super fun and exciting! Imagine spending four days with people who share your passion for family history.


    As a RootsTech 2018 Ambassador, I have the awesome opportunity to give away a FREE 4-day pass to RootsTech 2018!

    This free 4-day pass ($279 value) includes the following:


    What this free 4-day pass does not include: Airfare, meals, hotel, luncheon events, paid workshops, or other expenses.

    You say you've already purchased a RootsTech pass? No problem! If the winner has already purchased a RootsTech 2018 pass, they will get a full refund. How cool is that!?

    The winner will receive a certificate with instructions on how to redeem their 4-day pass.

    RootsTech 2018 is being held February 28 - March 3, 2018 in the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    The winner will be chosen at random using Rafflecopter and will be announced on November 28, 2017. Good luck!


    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Jana

    © 2017 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

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    First of all, before I announce the winner of the FREE RootsTech 2018 4-Day Pass, I want to thank everyone who entered my contest. There were 106 entries! Wow!

    The winner was chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. So, here we go. Drumroll please....

    The winner of the FREE RootsTech 2018 4-Day Pass is... Lise Harding!

    Congratulations Lise! You are the winner of a FREE RootsTech 2018 4-Day Pass!

    I will be emailing you a certificate with instructions on how to redeem your 4-day Pass.

    Thanks again to everyone who entered my contest! There are still other contests running for a chance to win a 4-Day Pass to RootsTech 2018. Just click on the Conference Keeper site's link below to see a list of the contests. But hurry. These contests end on November 30th.

    Conference Keeper Contests

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Jana

    © 2017 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

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    Finding Your Roots' Henry Louis Gates Jr. to Keynote RootsTech 2018

    Dr. Henry Louis Gates is host of PBS' Finding Your Roots and will be a keynote speaker at RootsTech 2018.
    The following is a press release from FamilySearch:

    SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (9 January 2018)--RootsTech is pleased to announce Henry Louis Gates Jr. will be a keynote speaker at RootsTech 2018 on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Easily find and share this announcement online in the FamilySearch Newsroom.)



    Dr. Gates is perhaps best known in genealogy circles for his current role as the host of Finding Your Roots, his groundbreaking genealogy series on PBS, now in its 4thseason. The series combines traditional genealogical paper research with genetic Y-chromosome DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and autosomal DNA to discover the family history of well-known Americans.



    Gates has been engaged in genealogical and anthropological studies for most of his career. Prior to Finding Your Roots, he hosted and co-produced African American Lives 1 and 2, using genealogy and DNA to document the lineage of more than a dozen African Americans and hosted Faces of America, a four-part series examining the genealogy of 12 North Americans of diverse ancestry—also for PBS.



    As an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, he has created 18 documentary films. His six-part PBS documentary series, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (2013), which he wrote, executive produced, and hosted, earned the Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Program—Long Form, as well as the Peabody Award, Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, and NAACP Image Award.



    Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University (first titled the W.E.B Institute for African and African American research)—a position he has held since he arrived at Harvard in 1991. During his first 15 years on campus, he chaired the Department of Afro-American Studies as it expanded into the Department of African and African American Studies with a full-fledged doctoral program.



    He has authored or co-authored 22 books and is also hailed as a literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder. Professor Gates serves as chairman of TheRoot.com, a daily online magazine and chair of the Creative Board of FUSION TV. He also oversees the Oxford African American Studies Center, the first comprehensive scholarly online resource on the topic and, through a funding grant, has developed a Finding Your Roots curriculum to teach science through genetics and genealogy.



    Gates received his B.A. in English language and literature summa cum laude, from Yale University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Cambridge in 1979. Since then he has received 55 honorary degrees and numerous prizes. In 1981 Dr. Gates was a member of the first class awarded “genius grants” by the MacArthur Foundation. In 1998, he became the first African American scholar awarded the National Humanities medal. He was named to Time’s 25 Most Influential Americans list in 1997, Ebony’s Power 150 list in 2009, and the magazine’s Power 100 list in 2010 and 2012.



    He is currently a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and serves on a wide array of boards, including the New York Public Library, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Aspen Institute, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Library of America, and the Brookings Institution. In 2017, the Organization of American States named Gates a Goodwill Ambassador for the Rights of People of African Descent in the Americas.



    For more information, or to register, go to RootsTech.org



    ###

    About RootsTech




    RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.


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    President Dallin H. Oaks to Speak at RootsTech 2018 Family Discovery Day 

    Salt Lake City, Utah (24 January 2018), RootsTech 2018 Family Discovery Day is pleased to welcome President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, as the keynote speakers at Family Discovery Day at 1:00 p.m. MST on Saturday, March 3, 2018. They will share insights from their family experience in family history work, the importance of individual families and family connections, the corresponding importance of temples and temple work, and insights into how each person can contribute to family history based on their circumstances. Family Discovery Day is a one-day, free event, but registration is required at RootsTech.org. (Find and easily share this announcement online from the FamilySearch Newsroom).



    FDD_RootsTech_2018_collage.jpgElder Oaks is a strong proponent of family history work and redeeming the dead. He notes that family history work is more than gathering names and dates and encourages everyone to do something. He and Sister Oaks will share special insights into where families belong in the tapestry of human life and the weaving in of individual family heritage—past, present, and future.



    Additional Family Discovery Day special guests are Hank Smith, Jason Hewlett, Evie Clair, Kenya Clark, and Alex Melecio, who will celebrate families, the inherent strength of family, family history, memories, and family support.



    Popular inspirational speaker and BYU professor Hank Smith has spoken to audiences in nearly every state in the U.S. Smith loves to teach youth and young adults from the scriptures, and he reminds listeners that life in a family has its challenges, but the rewards are eternal. He returns by popular demand from RootsTech 2017 Family Discovery Day.



    He will be joined on stage by Jason Hewlett, a world-class performer, who uses comedy, music parody, and impressions to receive standing ovations from audiences worldwide. He began his career with Las Vegas Legends in Concert and has been a member, since 2003, of the National Speakers Association. He has appeared at more than 2,000 events and venues during the past 10 years and is one of the country’s premier corporate event headliners. He has performed in every major casino in Las Vegas, appeared on the nationally televised Jerry Lewis Telethon, and has won numerous Best of State Entertainment Awards in Utah. Together, these two will show youth how to make family history fun!



    Evie Clair (13) a recent finalist in America’s Got Talent 2017, credits her father, one of her biggest supporters and her inspiration, for her determination and talents. She began onstage as Annie at the Hale Center Theater at age 8. She arranges music on the piano, released two pop singles before she was 12, sang her original song on a movie soundtrack, and is a popular YouTube performer. Evie’s father passed away a week before her final performance on America’s Got Talent. She sang her original song for the final show with celebrity James Arthur, who tweeted that it was his new favorite song.



    Alex Melecio, originally from Sinaloa, Mexico, is an accomplished Latin singer who combines the masculinity of the classic Mexican Charro with the soft sweet poignancy of a pop balladeer. Melecio’s music is fresh and inventive, featuring an acoustic pop sound of his own. His music speaks of hope, courage in hard times, and the longing for home, blending tradition with invention. He has won the hearts of Hispanic audiences in concerts performed in homes to shows in front of 20,000 people. In 2012, his voice reached a national audience as a finalist on Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento, one of the most popular television shows among Hispanics in the U.S.



    Kenya Clark, a member of One Voice Children’s Choir and a band singer with the Caleb Chapman's Sound House, has been a singer all her life. This year she toured Japan and France with the One Voice choir. Her Moana video cover won Best Music Video by the 2017 Utah Music Awards.



    In addition to hearing guest speakers, guests can attend numerous free sessions specifically designed to help Latter-day Saints with callings and give them the latest tools and resources, one-on-one help, interactive activities, inspiring messages, and fun.



    RootsTech Family Discovery Day is a one-day free event for LDS individuals and families to celebrate their heritage on March 3, 2018. Although RootsTech originates in Salt Lake City, Utah, interested parties around the world can join live online. Video streaming will be in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.



    Admission is free, but event registration is required. Visit RootsTech.org/family-discovery-day to register.



    Watch the live stream



    If you can’t attend Family Discovery Day in person, you can still participate virtually! General sessions will be streamed live on the home page of LDS.org in English, Spanish, and Portuguese so that members of the Church around the world can participate.



    Watch later



    If you can’t watch live on March 3 starting at 1:00 p.m. MST, videos of the messages from Family Discovery Day will be archived at lds.org/discoverfamily for later viewing in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.



    ###



    About FamilySearch


    FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.


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    I recently opened FamilySearch.org and saw the following fun discovery tool on my homepage.



    The discovery tool asks the question: "What Were Your Ancestors Doing in 1880?"

    I clicked on the "See Their Occupation" button and was taken to the following screen.


    How fun is this?! It shows some of my ancestors and what their occupations were in 1880. There's my 3rd great-grandfather, Moses Augustine Webster, in the number one position (furthest to the left) on the screen. He was "At Rest" in 1880 and was 68 years old.

    Under the title "My Ancestors' Occupations" it shows the different occupations of my ancestors and the number of my ancestors in those occupations. I found that whichever ancestor was in the number one spot (furthest to the left), that occupation turned green in the list. See how the "At Rest" occupation is green?


    When I clicked on the occupation of "Carpenter" the ancestor changed in the number one position to Ebenezer Perry Carlisle Webster, my 2nd great-grandfather.



    This is such a fun tool! The screenshot above shows what it looked like when I clicked on the occupation "At Home."

    Different ancestors and their occupations in 1880 will appear when the right and left arrows are pressed. Also, the statement in the red box (below) indicates where the ancestor occupation information was found. In case it's difficult to read, this is what it says, "Occupations were indexed from the U.S. 1880 and the England and Wales 1881 census records."



    I hope you'll give this fun tool a try on FamilySearch.org. What ancestor occupations do you have in your family tree?

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Jana

    © 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

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    RootsTech 2018 Announces Lineup of Keynote Speakers


    The following is a press release from FamilySearch:

    RootsTech 2018 Keynote SpeakersSALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (January 31, 2018), RootsTech 2018, the world’s largest family history conference hosted by FamilySearch International, announced its full lineup of keynote speakers, including Brandon StantonScott HamiltonHenry Louis Gates, Jr., and Natalia Lafourcade. Fueled by the popularity of DNA genealogy, social platforms, and related mobile apps, RootsTech had over 50,000 in-person and online attendees in 2017. The conference is held in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 28 through March 3, and select content is broadcast live daily online.



    Keynote Speakers



    RootsTech 2018 kicks off Wednesday, February 28, with the latest in DNA genealogy classes and other popular topics and a keynote by Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International. Brandon Stanton, a world-renowned photographer and storyteller, will then take the stage March 1 to share his remarkable gift of photographing and sharing people’s stories on his website, Humans of New York. Stanton’s art focuses on everyday people—illustrating that every life has an important story. The website and associated TwitterFacebook, and Instagram posts led to his two New York Times bestselling books.



    Scott Hamilton, hailed as one of the greatest male figure skaters of all time, will address the crowd on Friday, March 2. His skating prowess won Hamilton an Olympic Gold Medal, World and US Championships, and induction into both the United States Olympic and World Figure Skating Halls of Fame. Hamilton is a cancer survivor, career TV broadcaster, author, motivational speaker, and—most importantly to him—husband and father.



    Saturday, March 3, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., will share his experiences in documenting genealogical and anthropological finds on film and African-American research. Gates is perhaps best known for his current role as host of Finding Your Roots, his groundbreaking genealogy series on PBS. This Emmy Award-winning filmmaker has created 18 documentaries, PBS productions, African American Lives 1 and 2, and documents the lineage of more than a dozen African Americans using genealogy and DNA; Faces of America, a four-part genealogical series, explores family histories of twelve diverse North Americans; and his six-part, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, won multiple prestigious awards.



    Natalia Lafourcade, internationally recognized singer, songwriter, and one of the most successful singers in the Latin America pop rock genre, will also keynote on Saturday, March 3. She is perhaps most known recently as the voice in the closing credits of the hit Disney movie Coco singing the popular song “Remember Me.” Lafourcade, who has captured hearts all over Mexico and in countries around the world, will share her musical talent and love for family on the RootsTech stage.



    Classes



    RootsTech 2018 offers more than 300 classes and activities for families and individuals with varying interests and skillsets. Select classes will be broadcast live. Learn more or register at RootsTech.org.


    Find this announcement online in the FamilySearch Newsroom



    ###

    About RootsTech



    RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.



    About FamilySearch



    FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,921 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah

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    While doing research on my Mexican ancestral lines, I found a very interesting death registration record. Or perhaps I should say I found it again, because I had saved it to My Shoebox in Ancestry.com some time ago. I was doing research in FamilySearch.org when I found this record again.

    What record did I find? A death registration record for Felicito Villatoro.

    My maternal 3rd great-grandparents were Demetrio Villatoro and Isabel Vasques. I don't know much about them. What I do know so far is that Demetrio passed away sometime before 1902 and Isabel passed away sometime between 1902 and 1925.

    My records indicate that Demetrio and Isabel had six children:
    1. Raymunda Villatoro Vasques (Abt 1863-1923) My 2nd Great-Grandmother
    2. Francisca Villatoro Vasques (Abt 1866-?)
    3. Camilo Villatoro Vasques (1868-1934)
    4. Felicita Villatoro Vasques (1874-1902)
    5. Elpidia Villatoro Vasques (Abt 1875-?)
    6. Zenon Villatoro Vasques (1879-1944)
    The death registration record I found could mean that there is a 7th child we didn't know about. Here's the record.1


    Here's a close-up of two highlighted portions in the record.




    Since I don't speak Spanish, I turned to Google Translate for help. The translation isn't perfect, but it provides me with some important clues.
    Google Translation:
    "Camilo Villatoro of 29 twenty-nine years old married natural farmer of the Jalisco farm of this understanding and saw that in compliance with the law news that in his house he died today at eleven o'clock in the morning with the intestines, Mr. Felicito Villatoro at the age of 26 twenty-six years ? natural laborer and neighbor of estates Jalisco estate. That he was the second son of the late Demetrio Villatoro and Mrs. Ysabel Velasquez, 55, fifty-five years old, a natural widow of the Soldedad and Vicina farm in Jalisco."
    So, could this Felicito be a previously unknown son of my 3rd great-grandparents, Demetrio Villatoro and Isabel Vasques?

    Some interesting clues jump out at me. Camilo, who appears to be the informant, is one of the sons of Demetrio and Isabel. It would make sense for him to be the informant for his brother. Camilo's age doesn't match what I have though. In this record it says he's 29, which puts his birth year at 1875. The birth year I have for him was calculated from his death record. Perhaps the informant for his death wasn't correct.

    In this record Felicito's parents are listed as Demetrio Villatoro and Ysabel Velasquez. Vasques and Velasquez are kind of similar. There are three different variations of Isabel's last name in three of her children's death records. In Raymunda's death record, Isabel's last name is listed as Vasquez. In Felicita's record, Isabel's last name is listed as Basques. And in Zenon's death record, Isabel's last name is listed as Vazquez. So is Felicito's record just another variation?

    Also, the record states that Felicito Villatoro was the second son of Demetrio Villatoro and Ysabel Velasquez. The fact that he was the "second son" fits with my Demetrio and Isabel Villatoro family. Camilo was the first son. And Zenon was the last son and was born in 1879. Felicito could have been the second son since his calculated birth date is 1878.

    Some information that we can glean from this death registration record:

    Decedent's Name: Felicito Villatoro
    Death Date: 6 November 1904
    Decedent's Age at Death: 26
    Estimated Birth Year: 1878
    Father's Name: Demetrio Villatoro (deceased)
    Mother's Name and Age: Ysabel Velasquez, 55 years old
    Informant: Camilo Villatoro

    I definitely need to do more research to verify if this Felicito Villatoro is the second son of my 3rd great-grandparents, Demetrio Villatoro and Isabel Vasques. But, this death registration record is a very exciting find.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Jana

    © 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved



    1 "México, Chiapas, Registro Civil, 1861-1990," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-G5B4-9V4Y?cc=1916246&wc=MDLQ-Q68%3A205687701%2C206171401 : 16 January 2018), Arriaga > Nacimientos, matrimonios, defunciones 1897-1937 > image 2201 of 2930; Archivo General del Registro Civil del Estado Chiapas (Chiapas Civil Registry State Archives), Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Accessed 6 February 2018

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    There's a fun new feature on FamilySearch. It's called Compare-a-Face. And it's really cool. It compares photos of you with photos of your ancestors.

    Here's what the feature looks like on my FamilySearch home page.

    Simply click on "Try Compare-a-Face"




    and you will see the next screen where you can upload your photo, or photos. As you can see, I uploaded several different photos of myself.


    Here are some of my results with two of the photos I uploaded:

    Comparing photos with my maternal great-grandmother, Esther Matus Villatoro.




    Comparing photos with my paternal grandmother, Ingrid Anna Gillberg.



    Comparing photos with my maternal grandmother, Sarah Vasques Madeira.



    Comparing photos with my Mom.




    Comparing photos with my Dad, Jan Albert Iverson.







    See the ancestor photos at the top of the page? To compare with another ancestor, just click on one of their photos.


    This shows my photo compared with the photo of my 3rd great-grandmother, Amanda Melvina Carlisle.

    See where it says "List" with the arrow at the top left of the page? Click on that and it takes you to a list of your matches.





    You can also upload more photos.

    It was fun and interesting to compare photos of myself with photos of my ancestors. If you'd like to give this fun new feature a try, click on the link below.

    FamilySearch Compare-a-Face

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Jana

    © 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

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    While going through some of my mom's things at her house, I found this box. I'd never seen it before.


    I opened it up and look what I found!


    A stack of photos! What an exciting discovery! Unfortunately, many of the photos are not marked on the back. But, I recognize some of the people in some of the photos. I'll be scanning them and sharing at least some of them here on my blog.

    While looking through some of my mom's things, I also found this stack of business cards.



    Warren D. Webster, D.D.S. was my maternal grandfather. He was a dentist and changed his name from Debs Warren Webster to Warren D. Webster after immigrating to the United States from Brazil.

    More to come about this discovery in future posts.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Jana

    © 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

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