Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
In 2010-2018 Iserved in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Friday, February 27, 2009

I am still waiting to hear from the AGS but in the meantime I am preparing my syllabus. Here are some of the things I am thinking of including: Putting Your Genealogy Online A presentation for the Alberta Genealogical Society 18 April 2009, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Please be aware that we are dealing with technology which is especially subject to Murphy’s Law. If anything can go wrong, it will! (sooner or later) The step-by-step instructions in the syllabus will allow you to put your genealogy online regardless what may happen in the next 50 minutes or so. That said, let’s relax and enjoy the presentation! I can realistically complete the online family tree and the blog in the time available. If time permits I will discuss Scribd and RootsWeb message boards. In any case, the syllabus will give you the steps you can use at home. Turn the tables … help lost relatives to find YOU! Everyone "googles" their genealogy these days. Are they able to find you and contribute their help? Learn to put your genealogy online so that people can find it! Create a personal website, contribute GEDCOM files to public family tree sites, start a blog, post documents on the internet, and make postings to message boards. Put yourself in the position to receive research help from others, while sharing what you know. NOTE: Keep a record of your account information for these free online accounts you will be creating. Put You Family Tree Online Create an instant family tree online with a gedcom file and 15 minutes! Tribal pages is one of the easiest and most impressive of many such sites. It is easy to create a graphical family tree by uploading a gedcom file. (Make sure that your gedcom does NOT include living people unless you have their permission!) ... Select your GEDCOM File [Browse] [Send File !][Import Names] [Done] [My Family Tree] [Ancestors]Wow! A pedigree chart already!!! Mission accomplished. NOTE: This site allows you to add notes, photos, etc. but only one "family tree". This means that all of your genealogy must be included in one gedcom file, even if it actually represents multiple family trees. Good work! At this point you can click [Sign Out] above. Start a Blog A Blog, is like an online newspaper column you write. It requires no more skills than writing a letter. It is basically text, but you can add pictures and video clips. You can include information about your research and links to online sites and documents, but you cannot upload files to the blog itself. Since Blogger belongs to Google, we will use it, so your blog entries will be indexed by the world's most powerful search engine. ... Good work! At this point you can write and publish your blog!!! (Check the sample blog at to see how you can use a blog to publicize your Tribal Pages website as well as highlight one particular family. If you do this on a weekly basis, you will soon start appearing in Google searches.) Posting Genealogy Books and Charts on the Internet Most genealogy software can generate electronic versions of books and charts quite easily. For example, PAF (the free Personal Ancestral File software from has a "Print to File" option that will allow you to create books and charts that can be read by most word processors. If you add one of the free PDF writers like you can also create PDF files of the "printed" output. You can also use your word processor to write books and articles in your own words to be posted on the internet. But how are you going to post your electronic books and charts on the internet? Here is an easy way! Go to Sign up for a Free Account ... Click on Share to get the URL of one of your documents to include in your blog. For example Posting Messages on Message Boards and Mailing Lists Posting an entire family tree is a "scattergun" approach. It works well but sometimes you are seeking information on specific individuals or specific couples. That is where message board postings come in handy. Rootsweb has 20,000 different message boards, one for almost every surname and locality. RootsWeb is a volunteer organization is a commercial genealogy service, but they host RootsWeb for free. also hosts the free GenForum message boards. So to give due credit to … they do a lot for us for free. Let’s sign up for message boards. Normally you register once for a message board site and it gives you access to post on any of the boards you have joined. Go to ... Now you can click on the [Messages Boards] link and post messages. If you subscribe to lists, any new message board postings will be emailed to you. Message boards are an excellent way to make contact with others who are researching your end-of-line families. How are they different from a blog? A blog is more flexible, but a message board allows you connect with the huge number of researchers who use message boards. You own a blog, but you use some one else’s message board. When using a message board, it is best to have a permanent email address. And the subject line should identify the specific family and time period at a glance, because everyone skims over the Subject lines and only takes the time to read those messages that seem relevant. On old message board posting allowed me to establish contact with a branch of my family that were out of touch with for 150 years, since James Waller emigrated to Australia in 1856! WALLER-L Archives Archiver > WALLER > 2000-06 > 0960961273 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Daniel Kerr [email address removed] Subject: WALLER FAMILY Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 15:41:13 +1000 I am searching for information and kin of my g.g.grandfather JAMES WALLER christened in Rogate Sussex in 1834, mother ANN WALLER [James was illegitimate]. If anyone can help me with Ann's birth/parents/siblings it would be wonderful. Cheers from Irene Kerr As a result of contacting Irene, I now have a large book called "From Sussex to Sidney" (the family of James Waller and Mary Anne Wheeler). Also, because Irene posted that message I have been able to trace my Waller line back into the late 1500s! One of my brick walls was blasted wide open. Putting your genealogy online may allow you to do the same! Don’t expect instant results, every few months I am contacted by someone who is researching my family. That wouldn’t happen if I hadn’t put my genealogy online! There are other ways of doing it but these methods are easy and effective! There is usually no need to do things the hard way. I wish you success in putting your genealogy online, and being found by long-lost relatives! Bill Buchanan

Monday, February 09, 2009

I have had some "hot matches" from Genes Reunited that actually were for my family. Recently I have had contact with two men interested in the Fosberry line. One is definitely related to my Thomas and Mary Fosberry of Chithurst and Iping parishes in Sussex, England and the other one may be. I also have had contact from a relative on my Linnen line and another on my Eley line, and another on my Waller/Walder line. So for about $20/ 6 months there does seem to be a payback. None of these contacts have been able to extend these lines further back than I already had them, but one was able to add a descendant I was unaware of (and this descendant's wife). I am waiting to hear whether the AGS wants me to do a presentation at their April 18-19 conference.

Monday, February 02, 2009

For the past few weeks I have been putting the archived contributions to the Buchanan family listserv on into the form of a book. Now I am seeking the permission if the other contributors. So far three have given their approval. I am also trying as a place to post books online. It seems to be impossible to upload books or other documents to although pictures and video clips are allowed. It would be a handy addition.