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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Scenes from IGHR, Samford


    It’s easy to see why the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research hosted by the Samford University Library is close to the heart of so many genealogists. I was privileged to attend Dr. Thomas Jones’s genealogy writing course and be part of the IGHR Class of 2015. If you have this institute on your Big List of Things to Do, I encourage you to move it to the top and be part of the 2016 program.

    Samford Univ Library

    IGHR is hosted each year by the Samford University Library with the assistance of
    the friendly and efficient library staff.

    IMG 0797

    What a great library display highlighting family history and genealogy! 

    Samford Beeson Hall

    Beeson Hall, where several classes (including mine) were held.

    Samford campus

    Across the green.

    Memory Leake Hall

    ‘nuff said.

    IGHR Banquet

    IGHR Banquet introductions in the beautiful dining hall by course coordinator Judy G. Russell.

    Campus Clock

    Time to think about marking your calendar for IGHR 2016!


    "Be Prepared With a Genealogy Disaster Plan" Live-Streaming at SCGS Jamboree Free Handouts

    Attend the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in person or virtually through the live-streamed video presentations beginning Friday, June 5, 2015 at 1 p.m. PDT. The series begins with “Be Prepared With a Genealogy Disaster Plan” presented by Denise Levenick, The Family Curator.

    • Learn tips to safeguard your genealogy research;
    • Discover resources to protect your home and family;
    • Learn steps to recover disaster-damaged paper, photos, and artifacts;
    • Create a Personal Genealogy Disaster Plan 

    Download the Syllabus and Genealogy Grab-&-Go Checklist HERE and visit the SCGS Jamboree webpage to register for the free Live-Streamed lecture series.

    Grabandgo Page 3


    Kick-Off Summer With 40% Off Genealogy Books

    Save 40% at Shop Family Tree with Offer Code FFSUMMER40

    In our house, summer time is reading time, and the FRIENDS & FAMILY SUMMER SAVINGS at Shop Family Tree is a great time to stock up on family history books. Now through Sunday, June 7, 2015 save 40% on genealogy books, kits, and downloadable videos.


    NOTE:  This Summer Offer has ended, but you can still Save 20% at Shop Family Tree with Offer Code ARCHIVE20.

    My new book How to Archive Family Photos is only $11.39 with this great sale. Add The Family Curator’s "Digitizing Your Genealogy Cheat Sheet" and video “5 Easy DIY Genealogy Book Projects” for more step-by-step guidance to help you control the chaos of your ever-growing digital photo collection. 

    If you're ready to work with your family keepsakes this summer, you'll find complete archival kits for preserving photos, documents, textiles, and other family history heirlooms. Check out the complete collection of Family Tree Magazine Archivist Kits -- also on sale with the special savings code FFSUMMER40.

    Family Tree Magazine Archivist Kits

    The Friends & Family Summer Savings ends Sunday, June 7, 2015. Order Now.


    A Few Thoughts: A New Leaf on the NEHGS Family Tree

    Nehgs logo

    American Ancestors magazine, website and The New England Historic Genealogical Society brand have a new oak leaf logo inspired by artwork in the Peabody family tree in the library collections. I’ve always loved the symbolism of simple nature-inspired designs, and the new oak leaf is a fitting icon to represent the deep and expansive roots of NEHGS. 

    When I first learned of “the genealogy library on Newbury Street” I couldn't imagine I would one day be researching my own ancestors in its collections. I was certain that my ancestors came directly from the Old World to the midwest, and then on to California. It wasn’t until after both sons spent four years each in Boston area colleges that I discovered my New England ancestors. And it was a good thing too, because the brick streets, autumn colors, and white steeples of New England felt so much like “home” I was reluctant to give up those annual parent weekends and visits.

    So I didn’t.

    The NEHGS Library seemed like the perfect place to begin my on-site genealogy research, untangling the twigs and branches of a hand-sketched family tree that showed our roots going back to the golden days of Camelot, or at least King Uther Pendragon.


    NEHGS Library, before the entry remodel.

    I was sure I would find the answers I sought at NEHGS and registered for the annual NEHGS Spring Getaway in 2009, four days of guided research in the library collections. NEHGS did not disappoint. I was stunned to discover that my grandmother’s hand-sketched family tree (few citations, of course) was basically sound, and “YES! We do have New England roots!” It was a turning point in understanding that family stories like ours could be factual, and that it was possible to discover the records to support those conclusions. I didn’t NEED royalty in the family tree, but I sure wanted to know that at least some of those names might be correct. 

    Levenick roberts nehgs

    Working with Gary Boyd Roberts in the library research
    room. He makes Register Style seem "easy."

    The morning lectures, followed by conversations with experienced genealogists like Chris Childs, David Allen Lambert, Rhonda McClure, and Gary Boyd Roberts gave me a nudge to move forward and trust what I was learning. I showed Chris Child a copy of our family tree featuring the Child family, joking that we might be “cousins.” I expected a laugh, not a brisk walk to the stacks to find a family history that connected our two families. And I really didn’t expect Chris to show me Gary Boyd Robert’s work outlining connections to notable kin that nearly reached back to King Uther.

    It was an A-ha moment. And I made a pretty excited phone call to my family that evening. I think I even impressed my skeptical sons! 

    At home, I continued my research from home in Southern California using the ever-expanding digital collections at the NEHGS website. I discovered further New England connections, and found branches on my family tree that reached out in all directions recording “generations as they branch from past to present,” as NEHGS President and CEO D. Brenton Simons noted in a recent member letter. 

    The new oak leaf logo for NEHGS is an apt symbol for NEHGS and it’s deep history in American genealogy. With the addition of new webinars and other educational opportunities, NEHGS expands far beyond New England to reach out to researchers everywhere. Today you’ll find digitized databases for England, Ireland, Canada, Italy, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, and Australia, as well as over 350 United States digital collections. 

    New England may include six “official” states, but research at the New England Historic Genealogical Society includes a much larger world. If you haven’t been to New England lately, try a “virtual visit” to NEHGS to learn more about your American ancestors.

    Read more about my Spring Getaway research trip:

    Family Curator Visits NEHGS Spring Research Getaway 2009

    My thanks to NEHGS for permission to use the logo and research photo in this post.


    7 Tricks With the New Eyefi Mobi Card

    Flip scan

    The FlipPal Mobile Scanner and Eye-Fi Card are great partners. The original Eye-Fi Mobile SD Card was a straightforward device that added wireless transfer to the familiar SD memory card. For most digitizing genealogists that was enough, at least until we added tablets and smartphone cameras to our digitizing toolkit. And then we wanted more.

    I was an enthusiastic user of the early Eye-Fi card, with a whopping 4GB of storage. I loved the easy (but sometimes slow) transfer between my FlipPal Mobile Scanner and my desktop computer. It was a real time-saver when I needed a quick image for a blog post or email. And my Eye-Fi card was a handy backup when my digital camera card was full but I wanted to snap a few more pictures. I didn’t see much need to upgrade my Eye-Fi card as new editions were released, but I’m glad I finally did.

    Eyefi Mobi teaches the original Eye-Fi Card some great new tricks.

    I tried out the newest Eyefi card for my book How to Archive Family Photos, and I can’t believe I waited so long to move up to faster WiFi transfer, more storage capacity, and easier setup. 

    AnnivEd smCards mobi

    Each new edition of the Eyefi card has added features, expanded services, and increased capacity. If you’re still working with the original Eye-Fi card, you might be surprised at what you can do with the newer Eyefi Mobi editions: Eyefi MobiPro (32GB) and Eyefi Mobi (8GB, 16GB):

    1. Mobile Setup (Mobi and MobiPro)

    All setup can now be done directly from smartphone or tablet, as well as from your computer. The original Eye-Fi cards could only be set up at your computer. New users anxious to start scanning old family photos had to follow step-by-step instructions to install the Eyefi desktop application and sync the card to their computer. The process wasn’t difficult, but it was a bit “fiddly."

    The new simplified mobile setup uses a 10-digit code to instantly pair the Eyefi app on your smartphone or tablet with the Eyefi Mobi card. This makes it the perfect quick pick-up while traveling if you need more photo storage and want to see your camera captures on your tablet or phone.

    2. Saves Photo and Video Files (Mobi and MobiPro)

    Eyefi Mobi cards will save both photo and video files.

    • Supported photo formats include: .jpeg and RAW.
    • Supported video files indclude: .mpg, .mov, .flv, .wmv, .avi, .mp4, .mts, .m4v, 3gp.

    3. Wirelessly Tranfers RAW Files (MobiPro)

    The Eyefi MobiPro with 32GB of memory allows instant transfer of both .jpeg and RAW files from the camera to your computer or mobile device via your home or office WiFi. No Cloud service required.

    4. Selectively Transfer Photos (MobiPro)

    Use your cameras menu to select and transfer only the photos you want to move.

    5. Backup, Sync, and Access via the Eyefi Cloud (Mobi and MobiPro)

    Full resolution digital images can be transferred to the Eyefi Cloud subscription service where they are organized into a chronological timeline from all your devices. Add previous photos using the uploading tool and keep a backup of everything in one cloud storage location.

    6. Three Apps to Manage Your Digital Photos

    You now have three choices for managing your Eyefi-captured images: 

    • Eyefi Mobi Desktop to transfer photos directly from the card to your Windows or Mac computer.
    • Eyefi Web App to work with photos in your Eyefi Cloud account.
    • Eyefi Mobi App for iPhone, iPad, and Android to transfer photos from your card, sync card and phone camera with the Eyefi Cloud, and work with images on the Eyefi Cloud.

    7. More Eyefi Tricks

    Use IFTTT to upload photos from Eyefi Cloud to Facebook, Dropbox, Flickr, Twitter, or Tumblr. 

    Use IFTTT to add photos from Eyefi to Dropbox.

    I still use my old Eye-Fi card as backup, but I like the new Eyefi Mobi card for its easier setup and faster transfer times. I’ve tried the integrated Eyefi Cloud and think it’s a good option while traveling or for families who want to share photos privately and quickly. As a longtime Dropbox user, it makes sense for me to stick with one Cloud service, but that’s a topic for another post :>)

    Learn more about using Eyefi cards as part of your genealogy digitizing workflow in my new book How to Archive Family Photos: A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally. Now available from

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