The Evolution ofTechnology and Family History             Ben Baker
Thinking vs. Doing• According to a 2008 BYU study  – 95.9% of members think that doing family history    is very important...
Mission StatementsFamily History Department• Free spirits from spirit prison• Broaden member participation• Prepare the fo...
Words of Wisdom from Mom“Computers were invented to do genealogy.”                    Ruth Ann Baker (aka Ben’s Mom)
Areas of Acceleration• Growth in the number of temples• Technological innovations• Technology applications to family histo...
1950-51• Ben’s Dad was baptized at age 23• Endowed in Logan Temple a year after baptism   – Did a lot of temple ordinances...
1976• Ben was born• 16 temples worldwide• Home personal computers beginning to appear  (Ex. Apple II, Atari 800)• 5¼ inch ...
1984• Ben was baptized at age 8• 32 Temples worldwide• IBM PC-AT and Apple Macintosh introduced• Hard disk drives appearin...
1995-1997• Ben on mission• 47-50 temples worldwide, including  Bountiful• Digital imaging of records hasn’t quite  begun (...
2000• Ben graduated from college• 102 Temples worldwide - exceeding President  Hinckley’s challenge• CDs (700MB) and DVDs ...
2005• 122 Temples worldwide• First beta release of  new.familysearch.org• Cloud storage and  computing appearing• Facebook...
2011•   134 temples, 12 under construction 14 announced•   Genealogy on prime time TV•   Publicly-traded genealogy company...
Future• Integration of “new” FamilySearch  (tree) with familysearch.org  (searching for records/viewing  images)• Linking ...
Growth in Temples
Technological Growth• Storage Capacity – kilobytes to petabytes• Processing Power – thousands to trillions of  operations ...
My-Tree-itus to The BookWorking together in Our Tree• Reduces temple duplication• Minimizes research re-work  Pre-1984    ...
Availability of RecordsIndividual Archives   Family History Centers   At Home
Church’s Family History Websites• http://www.familysearch.org   • Searching for digitized family history records• http://n...
End “Temple Welfare”Have had 68% increase in individualssubmitting at least one name of family memberto the temple since l...
Indexing    http://indexing.familysearch.org    Makes it possible to easily find    people in records    Anyone can help –...
End User Experience“I found out a year ago that I have a terminal illness. Idon’t feel well enough to leave my apartment v...
State of Family Member Submission                 • Typical ward at 2.7% for                   year                 • Red ...
Increasing Member Temple Submissions                  • Ward has structured                    program                  • ...
End User ExperiencesI was able to find my long lost Grandmother my parents could never find. We were ableto seal her to my...
Never Forget the Dead“I make these plain statements, so that mychildren, or my children’s children, can trace theirgenealo...
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The Evolution of Technology and Family History

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Presentation I gave at the SORT Conference in 2011. A historical perspective of how family history has evolved over time using mileposts from my own life.

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  • Top left image – Church Media Library (CU061228_sm01_OquirrhMtn.eps)Top right image – screenshot I created from new.familysearch.orgBottom left image –Church Media Library (41285.tif)Bottom middle image – Church Media Library (80514.tif)Bottom right image – Church Media Library (AV100223cah107.jpg)
  • I hope to inspire some of you to actually do more family historyI don’t claim to be great at this myself – my life experiences and current job have given me unique perspectiveChurch has put out great book about doing temple and family history work – is free (showing importance) on online distribution center
  • Mission of FHD and Product Engineering division directly from department meeting slidesTrying to save whole human family – need technology to accelerate
  • Remember hearing this often when younger and even occasionally nowNot 100% true – other reasons computers were invented, but definitely necessary to accelerate family historyMaybe only inspiring to me, but wanted to review a bit of a timeline of some areas of acceleration
  • Top right image – From my personal collection (picture of my father)Bottom left image – Church Media Library (41285.tif)
  • Top right image – Church Media Library (MCCT28comp.jpg)Bottom left image – Church Media Library (AV080107_cah067.jpg)
  • Top right image – Church Media Library (80514.tif)Bottom left image – Church Media Library (106834A.jpg)
  • Top right image – Church Media Library (samuelped.tif)Bottom left image – Church Media Library (AV080117cah153.jpg)
  • Bottom left image – Church Media Library (CU50168_2005cr.jpg)Bottom right image – Church Media Library (AV060818_cah1125.jpg)
  • Top right image – screenshot I created from new.familysearch.org
  • Learned a new term when I came to church – petabyte14 TB/daySo many things not enough room for pictures
  • Top image – Church Media Library (Birth_Record.tif)Bottom image – Screenshot I created of new.familysearch.org
  • Top left image – Church Media Library (CU061228_sm01_OquirrhMtn.eps)Bottom right graph – created by me
  • Left image – Church Media Library (samuelped.tif)2nd image from left – Church Media Library (AV060818_cah1125.jpg)3rd image from left – screenshot I created from www.familysearch.org4th image from left – screenshot I created from new.familysearch.orgMy-Tree-itus started way back when we only had forms to use. Each sheet was yours. If anyone else wanted it they had to hand copy. It wasn’t until the 80’s when we got a photocopy machine.Then PAF came along and it was a great step forward in collaboration and helping us work together. We still had our own stuff but we could share the paf file. But genealogy research was still mostly an individual endeavor. Different people were struggling to find ancestors that were already found by someone else.Next we moved to www.familysearch.org so we could share genealogies in an effort to reduce research duplication. It helped, but not everything was sourced so a lot of the data was just opinions.Now we have new.familysearch.org. We put all of the submitted genealogies into the database and released it in an effort to reduce ordinance and research duplication. But we didn’t give you tools to do Our Tree. It was still a bunch of My Trees.
  • Graph on top – I personally createdLeft image – Church Media Library (CU040624_ceo03.tif)2nd image from left – Church Media Library (CU040405_bkf010.jpg)3rd image from left – Church Media Library (CU040422-005.jpg)Goal is to put the tools in front of members to do family history at homeRiverton Family History Center was an experiment that exceeded expectations – place to go for training and help
  • Going to focus on new FamilySearch, a bit on indexing
  • Top left image – Screenshot I created of a portion of new.familysearch.orgTop right image – Image from personal collection (my grandmother)Bottom image – Image from my personal collection (my great-grandfather, grandmother and great-uncle)
  • My 9-year old has even done indexing (and wants to)Left image – Screenshot I created from indexing.familysearch.org
  • The Evolution of Technology and Family History

    1. 1. The Evolution ofTechnology and Family History Ben Baker
    2. 2. Thinking vs. Doing• According to a 2008 BYU study – 95.9% of members think that doing family history is very important – 84.6% of members spend less than one hour per month doing family history
    3. 3. Mission StatementsFamily History Department• Free spirits from spirit prison• Broaden member participation• Prepare the foundations of the bookProduct Engineering DivisionCreate, deploy, and manage technology solutions thataccelerate the freeing of spirits, turning of hearts, andorder in the records
    4. 4. Words of Wisdom from Mom“Computers were invented to do genealogy.” Ruth Ann Baker (aka Ben’s Mom)
    5. 5. Areas of Acceleration• Growth in the number of temples• Technological innovations• Technology applications to family history work
    6. 6. 1950-51• Ben’s Dad was baptized at age 23• Endowed in Logan Temple a year after baptism – Did a lot of temple ordinances in Logan• 8 Temples worldwide NO temples in California• Computers took up entire rooms, could only store kilobytes of data and perform thousands of operations/sec• We sat and hand copied (maybe typed) our family data unto our pedigree charts.• Church had been microfilming records for 12 years (1938)
    7. 7. 1976• Ben was born• 16 temples worldwide• Home personal computers beginning to appear (Ex. Apple II, Atari 800)• 5¼ inch floppy disk introduced• The Family History Library was in the Church Office Building• Granite Mountain Records Vault completed in 1963• Still hand copying/typing our family data unto our pedigree charts and using card catalogs to find records.
    8. 8. 1984• Ben was baptized at age 8• 32 Temples worldwide• IBM PC-AT and Apple Macintosh introduced• Hard disk drives appearing – a few MB for thousands of dollars• PAF 1.0 for MS-DOS was released• Family History Library not quite finished (1985)
    9. 9. 1995-1997• Ben on mission• 47-50 temples worldwide, including Bountiful• Digital imaging of records hasn’t quite begun (1998) – Still using microfilm/paper• Internet beginning to be widespread
    10. 10. 2000• Ben graduated from college• 102 Temples worldwide - exceeding President Hinckley’s challenge• CDs (700MB) and DVDs (4.7 GB) popular• PAF 5.0 released (Windows)• Genealogical databases often on CDs/DVDs or library databases
    11. 11. 2005• 122 Temples worldwide• First beta release of new.familysearch.org• Cloud storage and computing appearing• Facebook was a year old
    12. 12. 2011• 134 temples, 12 under construction 14 announced• Genealogy on prime time TV• Publicly-traded genealogy company• Facebook apps to link families• FamilySearch YouTube channel• Over 60,000 FamilySearch research wiki articles• Over 1,000,000 registered users on new.familysearch.org• Hundreds of millions of images and 2 billion names now available• Collections worldwide in several languages• Cloud storage (petabytes of data)• 200 cameras worldwide digitizing more original documents
    13. 13. Future• Integration of “new” FamilySearch (tree) with familysearch.org (searching for records/viewing images)• Linking from person in tree to/from original sources• All 2.4 million rolls of microfilm will be digitized – much of it indexed and searchable• More social media collaboration• ???
    14. 14. Growth in Temples
    15. 15. Technological Growth• Storage Capacity – kilobytes to petabytes• Processing Power – thousands to trillions of operations per second• Availability – physical archive to home• Connectedness – worldwide online community
    16. 16. My-Tree-itus to The BookWorking together in Our Tree• Reduces temple duplication• Minimizes research re-work Pre-1984 1984 1999 2005 My Tree Our Tree The Book
    17. 17. Availability of RecordsIndividual Archives Family History Centers At Home
    18. 18. Church’s Family History Websites• http://www.familysearch.org • Searching for digitized family history records• http://new.familysearch.org • Building your portion of the family tree and preparing ancestor’s names for temple ordinances • Will be integrated with the main site in a year or so• http://indexing.familysearch.org • Launch place to help build indexes of records• Other services – blogs, wiki, courses, etc.
    19. 19. End “Temple Welfare”Have had 68% increase in individualssubmitting at least one name of family memberto the temple since launch of newFamilySearch
    20. 20. Indexing http://indexing.familysearch.org Makes it possible to easily find people in records Anyone can help – great for youth
    21. 21. End User Experience“I found out a year ago that I have a terminal illness. Idon’t feel well enough to leave my apartment veryoften, so I have very few opportunities to serve as Iwould like. Someone in the ward suggested that I tryindexing.What a glorious experience it has been! I findthat I feel a lot better when I am sitting at mycomputer doing indexing. At times the spirit is verystrong, and the veil seems very thin. I have indexed84,000 names during the last ten months, and I hopeto do many, many more.Thank you for giving me thisopportunity to serve.”
    22. 22. State of Family Member Submission • Typical ward at 2.7% for year • Red = person sitting in sacrament meeting who has submitted name to temple
    23. 23. Increasing Member Temple Submissions • Ward has structured program • Monthly ward council reports • New members assigned • Class > 3 months • 3+ consultants
    24. 24. End User ExperiencesI was able to find my long lost Grandmother my parents could never find. We were ableto seal her to my Dad and his family in the temple. What a glorious experience!Searching takes less time than in the archive, is better quality, and I can do it on thecouch at home. I love being able to view actual census records.I have found my beloved Czech ancestors. I am in tears. This is a miracle! I had no ideathat the church had permission to film in the Czech Republic.I have spent 30 years researching, and because of this program, I have accomplishedmore in the last few months than in all 30 years.
    25. 25. Never Forget the Dead“I make these plain statements, so that mychildren, or my children’s children, can trace theirgenealogy of our dead . . . I felt the responsibilityof looking after the dead, as the last words of myfather were “Thomas, never forget the dead.” Isay the same to my posterity, until all the deadhave been redeemed.” Thomas Briggs, (aka Ben’s 3rd great grandfather)

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