Ancestor Searching Newsletter, Volume 4, # 2

When Roots Television debuted on September 29, 2006, it was a low-key launch in beta mode intended to draw enough traffic to test the site and work through the technical bugs that are a part of experiencing new online ventures on the Internet.  However, the low-key launch has quickly become a tremendous success as the word has spread about Roots Television which drew viewers from five continents in the first 24 hours!  Not surprising really, since family history commands one of the largest and fastest-growing markets in the world.

Roots Television has a huge variety of content to choose from.  They've filmed many very interesting conference lectures, but their strengths are the pieces on real people and their ‘lighter side’ videos. There are four channels which includes a British Channel, a Hispanic Channel, a Societies Channel, and a Libraries & Archives Channel. This is still an evolving method of presenting genealogy topics on the web, but the Roots Television library of offerings continues to grow and it's entertaining as well as informative.

Roots Television is a great site that is excellent for genealogists. Many of the programs available for viewing are taken from genealogy seminars. Here’s what they have to say about their endeavor, “Perhaps what is surprising is that no one thought of launching a family history channel sooner.  After all, there’s a golf channel, a wine channel, a sailing channel, a horse channel, and poker channel, and even a shipwreck channel.  Why not a channel for what’s said to be the second most popular hobby? Some of the topics they presently have are DNA, Homeland, How To, Legacy, Civil War and much more. Future plans call for “special” programs that will require a fee to view, but for now, everything is FREE!

Today, roots fever is hotter than ever, with over 113 million Americans interested in their family history, and roots-sleuthing running at near-epidemic proportions in other countries, such as the U.K.  Yet this audience has been largely neglected by television.  Roots Television is uniquely positioned to be one of the first media outlets to take advantage of the inevitable merge between television and the Internet – and in so doing, serve this global and long-ignored audience.”

According to Family Tree Magazine, Roots Television is “TV That Won’t Rot Your Brain.”  Their review noted, “We give it two thumbs up, but the addiction potential is high, so get hooked at your own risk.” 

Headquartered in Utah, Roots Television, LLC is an independent media company that is the brainchild of national media producer Marcy Brown and professional genealogist Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (yes, her real name).

Largely a virtual operation with partners scattered around the globe, Roots Television takes a broad view of family history and is committed to providing programming – both original and from talented producers and independent filmmakers around the world – that appeals to avid genealogists and family history lovers of all types.

Whether you’re an archives hound, scrap booker, cousin collector, roots-travel enthusiast, Civil War re-enactor, DNA fan, reunion instigator, sepia-toned photos zealot, Internet-junkie, history buff, old country traditions follower, cemetery devotee, story-teller, multicultural food aficionado, flea market and antiques fanatic, family documentarian, nostalgia nut, or mystery-solver, Roots Television has something for you — and that “something” is quality programming. They have an online shop to buy books, DVD or videos, and Roots gear (including t-shirts). They sell the set of Roots, Civil War and Ancestors in their shop.

Future plans will unite the computer with television to watch these programs. The best part is it’s available from home! (NOTE: One caveat – the videos won’t work in dial-up mode only DSL or cable).

Genealogy Workshop

Fact: Roots Television also has a blog site which contains online columns. Also, something unique labeled Vlogs. While a Blog is like an online journal, a vlog is similar but in video form. For example, one is called “Your Ancestors Are Watching You.”

Tip: Interested in being on Rootstelevision? Become part of the Roots Television revolution! For those passionate about any aspect of genealogy, heritage or history -- from cemeteries to the Civil War to DNA -- they want to hear from you! It’s possible to submit videos to RootsTube. Just follow the simple instructions or upload a sample to Google Video or YouTube and email them with the link.

Genealogy News

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

“Two million new records were added to the FamilySearch Records Search pilot. The completed statewide deaths index for Alabama was published—over 1.8 million names. This collection covers deaths from 1908 to 1974.”

From Dick Eastman’s Online Newsletter is this interesting item:

Video Teaches Correct Citations of Online Sources
Mark Tucker has created a YouTube video that describes the process of source citations. The seven-and-a-half minute video consists of two sections.  The first section discusses some of the current issues with citing sources especially when it comes to online sources.  The second section demonstrates an approach to quickly and accurately cite online sources.  As Mark states in the video, "The technology needed to accomplish this exists today."

The video stresses the use of standardized citations as specified by Elizabeth Shown Mills' excellent book, Evidence Explained. The video focuses on the correct citations of online sources.

Mark's video clearly shows step-by-step instructions illustrating how to create proper citations in one of today's leading genealogy programs. Similar techniques can be used with any modern genealogy program.

This video is a great tutorial and I would suggest that all genealogists should view it to make sure they are entering proper source citations of online references.”

View Mark Tucker's A Better Way to Cite Online Sources on the Heritage Room’s blog ‘The Bones Collector.'