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

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Merry Christmas everyone. 2016 was a wonderful year for us!

Judy is an avid gardener, and this year her efforts were especially rewarded. We had the best garden in the past 20 years or more!  Some of potatoes were nearly the size of a dinner plate. And we had a variety of wonderful fresh vegetables. A surprise was Judy’s other garden, at Evelyn’s house, where we had carrots that were a foot (30 cm) long and very sweet and tender.

Bill has served in FamilySearch Support for several years, but had never attended the annual picnic in Centerville Utah. This time we decided to go. His new supervisor was Andy Bavelas, the person who hosts the annual picnic. Andy invited us to stay with him and his wife Joanne!

It is a long drive from Edmonton and we had been talking about replacing our old car for some time, but this seemed like the perfect time. We bought a 2017 Elantra with most of the creature comforts and some new safety features, and set off for Centerville.

We visited Bill’s mother in Leduc, then spent Wednesday night with Judy's brother Bob and his wife Anna in Monarch, Alberta. We traveled to Idaho Falls the next day, then on to Utah the next morning. In Salt Lake City we visited the Family History Library (obviously!), the Church History Museum, and the nearby Family Discovery Center.

Andy and Joanne were instant friends! They are warm, friendly people. The house was built of adobe in 1888 for William Jennings, an early Utah entrepreneur. Much of the furniture was also historical. Around the yard there was a collection of old horse-drawn farm equipment and tools, such as Bill’s dad was still using into the 1950s. It was like being transported back in time 60 or 70 years. It was wonderful!

Judy helped Joanne make her special salsa. Andy and Bill helped set up the church for the dinner that would take place the following afternoon. We slept in a historical bed under the protection of a muzzle-loading rifle on the wall.

In the morning we helped our hosts with preparations for the picnic. By 2 PM support missionaries began to arrive. Some names were familiar from Family Tree support, and it was fun to finally meet them. Elder Lynn serves in Bill’s group, and gave us a jar of honey from his bee hives and a jar of his special BBQ seasoning. We even got to meet some of the managers in FamilySearch and their families. Bill also had a chance to ride in the Herrman's 1920 Ford Model T touring. Soon it was time to go to the church for the dinner. It was a special occasion, and we were glad we came. Would we come another year? Probably not. It was a lot of fun, but a very long drive.

We were able to make some progress on our ancestral research, most recently on one of Bill's Hunter lines (the Trane line) in Scotland and one o Judy's Kinney lines (the Kelly line) in the Isle of Man.

But the really big news this year is two new grandchildren. We love them already and we welcome them to our family! James and Karin will be wonderful parents!

In this season, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, who spent his life teaching people to live in peace and love. In this season we all feel a little kinder towards the people around us. May you and your loved ones feel joy at Christmas and throughout the coming year!

Monday, December 05, 2016

Using Dropbox and GoogleDrive Cloud Storage

My Dell Vostro died 2 weeks ago, after over 8 years of dependable service.. Fortunately, I keep my genealogy databases and the associated photos in Dropbox. I simply needed to install AQ14 on my new computer and install the SAME Dropbox account on the new computer. I opened my main database, and the photos appeared. And I was ready to roll.

In contrast I spent 2 hours one night helping a friend who had DIFFERENT Dropbox accounts installed on two computers. When she left, she said "I will be back next week and maybe we can got it sorted out then."

The conclusion I draw from this experience is that a SINGLE Dropbox account brings peace, harmony and simplicity. Two different Dropbox accounts bring endless frustration.

I use Dropbox for some files that need to be accessible from my various machines. But I depend on it most for my genealogy database and linked photos/scrapbook.

That way, I can look up information, do updates, reports, etc. from any of our three computers. I just need to remember to not have the same database open on two computers at once, or I risk to create a "conflicted copy" of my database. (This means that the two copies are out of sync.)

Since the working copy is kept in Dropbox, I backup locally to whatever computer is being used. For safety of my data, I try to follow the 3-2-1 principle. Have at least 3 recent copies of your data, on at least 2 different media, with one copy stored off-site. (My working copy in Dropbox is obviously stored off-site.) 

GoogleDrive and some other cloud drives are similar to Dropbox and more generous in the space allowed, but I know Dropbox well enough that I find it easy to use. (Dropbox allows 2 GB of free storage, GoogleDrive is 15 GB.)

Sunday, December 04, 2016

We have some tech-savy grandchildren!

Elijah just started a youtube channel that he's excited about.  He probably won't do much with it but there's a couple things on it.

And Davram has one that you've probably seen already,

They made this at school, it's pretty cute.
This segment starts with Elijah. It is interesting the things these young children are thankful for.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Book Review

On Thursday evenings, Judy and I serve in the Riverbend Family History Centre.
We have become good friends with a lady who comes in to do research while her three kids have their weekly church activities in the same building.

She loaned us a copy of "The Traveler", the first of three books she has written in the series "Legends of Thamaturga", Judy and I both enjoyed it. It is an "epic fantasy" story of an 18 year old girl with a mysterious past, whose mother may have magical powers, and of three younger children she has rescued, and a generous stranger who is more than he seems. It is fast paced, has enjoyable characters, and was fun to read! At about 200 pages, I finished it in one day. This is only the first part of a longer story, and ends on somewhat of a cliff-hanger. Fortunately, the books are not expensive so reading the next part of the story is affordable.

At, or for less shipping cost. Or much less for the e-book version.