Friday, July 6, 2012

Cool New FB App from FamilySearch



I was excited today to receive a sneak peak at a brand-spankin' new Facebook app from FamilySearch called "FamilySearch Fresh".  Its a work in progress but so far it looks great.  The design is clean, the presentation is informal and light.  They seem to have put a lot of thought into making this an easy and simple way for newbies to catch the genealogy bug.  It also seems designed to appeal to a younger demographic than is the norm for the genealogy community. Ahem.  As Martha would say, that is a good thing.

Today I was only able to access the photo and family tree features but it appears that there will also be a search feature, live help,  and sections for interviews and stories to be added in the future.  Like I said..its a sneak peek not a finished product.

First, you connect the app to your Facebook account. It asks for some permissions but you can skip giving them and go directly into the app.  It then automatically finds your family members' profiles and photos to create a simple family tree for you.  You then can edit and add people and photos.  When it created my tree, it correctly rounded up all four of my children.  It mis-identified a friend as a child but that was easily corrected.  The tree and photos are presented in the form of a virtual book.  It isn't clear if there will be an ability to print the books later on but for now you can share them on Facebook (obviously).
I have many cousins already on Facebook who are somewhat interested in the family history but not really into doing the research.  This will be a fantastic way for my cousin Chris (the other genea-nerd in the family) and I to share our discoveries and hopefully pique their interest.

Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Oklahoma Confederate Pensions



In 1915 the Oklahoma legislature passed a bill providing pensions for former Confederate soldiers and their widows.  Index cards for the pensioners are now online. You can browse or search the individual index cards here.
The Oklahoma Dept of Libraries is also in the process of digitizing the entire pension file for each pensioner.  This should be completed and online later this year (2012).
Also, don't forget to look for your female ancestors in this collection.  There are many files on widows too.
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