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.

My Photo
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.
Since April 2010, I have served 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

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It has been a fun week!

Lost Great Aunt, Now Found
While I was checking birth records on for Judy's Davidson family in the Liverpool-Everton area of Lancashire, I discovered a great aunt Margaret Davidson, christened 1 Jul 1888 in All Saints Church, Liverpool, Lancashire, England. This was an unexpected bonus! I was just trying to find exact dates rather than approximations. I never expected to find a missing child. Margaret probably died very young, as Judy's father never mentioned her. (I have also had fun filling in some gaps in the Ralph Davidson - Margaret Ellen Pickavance family, as well as Margaret Ellen's parents' family.) This family has a special place in my heart, as Ralph's daughter Mary Elizabeth Davidson Towns was "Aunt Mary" to Judy.

Websites Old and NewMy friend Octave asked me to change the rates posted for his hay hauling business, which I did. But it also caused me to reexamine the free websites I created for the Ukrainian Genealogical and Historical Society and for Alberta GenWebs. These were sitting on and I was unable to update them. I could sign in, but their server would refuse my FTP connection. I changed my password and tried again.  No luck! The changed password was accepted, but the FTP connection was refused. I finally gave up and looked for a new free webhost. I found one, and it looks to be working well. UGHS is at and my Alberta county GenWeb sites are at It is nice to be able to update the sites again!

Dead-end Trees
At the Family History Center, I tried to help someone who had built her family tree online, and then discovered there was no way to move it or download it. She would have to rebuild it each time she wanted to move it. Please save yourself time and effort by making sure that any website where you build a family tree will also allow you to download it (usually as a gedcom file, readable by all genealogy software). The best of these sites also allow you to upload an entire tree in the form of a gedcom file from your software. So building a tree on these sites takes a few minutes and not many hours if you keep your data in one of the good free genealogy programs. AncestralQuest, RootsMagic, PAF, and Legacy all have excellent free software that can import and export gedcom files, as well as adding, editing, and deleting records. To find them try a Google search for: download +(name of the software)

RootsTech 2011
Everything I have seen indicates that this conference was a smashing success. With over 3000 registered participants, plus hundreds more who visited the free displays of genealogy and technology, this conference was apparently the largest held in North America. Those who attended raved about it. It was a feast for techno-geeks as well as the white-haired set. I would love to have been there! (I sort of fall into both categories.)

What will the next week bring? I guess I will have to wait and see.


Post a Comment

<< Home