Tuesday, December 6, 2016

BYU Conference 2017






Presenter: Kent Gardiner  

Kent's professional career was in elementary education for 42 years, including 39 years at UCLA Lab School at UCLA, California.  He has presented at many elementary education math conferences over the years and still loves teaching youth.  Three years ago he retired to Eagle Mountain, UT and enjoys hiking, his children and grandchildren, church service and doing family history.  He has a website with over a quarter million views and a video library that includes over 500 family history videos.  He has self-published 14 family history picture books.  Last year he published a picture book for each of his 6 children.  His central goal in doing family history is to inspire the next generation in living and loving the gospel and to knit their hearts with that of their ancestors.

Class #1 Title:  Creating an Online Family History Video Library

Description: This class will cover every aspect of working with family history videos and publishing them online. This includes the basics of transferring VHS tapes to your computer, creating video slideshows with music, taping relative interviews, editing video footage for inspirational impact, capturing special moments on videotape, free resources for enhancing video, online storage and retrieval, sharing videos on social media and websites, and backing up your library.  In short, making a meaningful online family history library of all of your videos which is instantly accessible to your family and friends.

Syllabus materials:

What can you document through video?
1.  Special moments with grandchildren such as their getting awards, dance recitals, participation in sports, their first day of school, have them tell a personal story, etc.
2.  Interviews of older relatives telling about defining moments in their lives, sharing stories, telling their point of view
3.  Special events such as weddings, births, graduations, reunions, funerals, baptisms
4.  Vacations, ancestors biographies, and more presented as a digital slideshow
6.  Documenting family history trips to other states, countries, cemeteries, ancestral homes and farms that tell your family history story

What should you use to video tape? What is the quality of each type of camera?
1. VHS
2. Flip camera
3. Phone cameras
4. Digital video camcorder

How do I transfer my VHS tapes to a video storage system? What are the pluses and minuses to each method?  

1. You will need a VHS machine, an analog-to-digital adapter, and a computer with a video program.
Here are three popular adapters: Elgato Video Capture, Roxio Easy VHS to DVD, Diamond VC500.
2. Use a VHS-DVD combo player3. You can pay to have your VHS tapes digitized. 
Popular services: Walgreens, Costco, Walmart, imemories.com, Southtree, Target, CVS, and Sam's Club all offer this service for somewhere between $10 and $30 dollars a disc. Typically a single disc will hold two hours of VHS tape.

How are video slideshows created?
1. Using iMovie or a comparable PC program like Filmora, Windows Movie Maker, or Virtual Dub
For more information:  https://filmora.wondershare.com/video-editor/free-video-editing-software-windows.html
2.  Where can I get free music for my slideshow? Jamendo, or Bensound Royality Free Music

What are the rules of interviewing?
1.  Subject placement
2.  Sound
3.  Open-ended Questions

20 Questions for Interviewing Relatives
Use these questions as a springboard for planning your oral history interviews.
Want to hear your relatives' stories, but not sure where to start? The best tactic for oral history interviews is to ask open-ended questions (rather than ones with yes or no answers), and to focus on people's memories and experiences.  It's much more interesting for you and the interviewee to talk about the stories and emotions behind the events in your family's past.  Take the time to ask your relatives the important questions.

Use these questions as a springboard for planning your interview:
  1. What's your first memory?

  2. Who's the oldest relative you remember (and what do you remember about him or her)?

  3. How did your parents meet?

  4. Tell me about your childhood home.

  5. How did your family celebrate holidays when you were a child?

  6. How did you meet your spouse?

  7. Tell me about your wedding day.

  8. Tell me about the day your first child was born.

  9. What were your favorite school subjects?

  10. Tell me about your favorite teacher.

  11. Tell me about some of your friends.

  12. Describe your first job.

  13. What did you do with your first paycheck?

  14. What was your favorite job and why?

  15. Who are some of your heroes?

  16. Where were you when you heard that President Kennedy was shot? (Add or substitute other important historical events.)

  17. What is your experience with or opinion of computers? (Add or substitute other modern conveniences, such as television, microwaves and cell phones.)

  18. Tell me about some of your favorite songs (also books, movies and television shows).

  19. Tell me about some of the places where you've been happiest.

  20. What haven't we talked about that you'd like to discuss in the time we have left? (This is a good way to begin wrapping up the interview.) From Family Tree Magazine, copyright 9/2/2016
How are video files stored? What are the advantages of each method?
1. Hard drives
2. Cloud storage
3. Vimeo
4. YouTube

What are the methods of backing up my videos so they are never lost?
1.  Cloud storage
2.  Back up external hard drives stored outside your home

Audience: all levels

Medium of presentation: Internet and Powerpoint

No additional av equipment necessary.

Email:  KentHGardiner@gmail.com
Website:  GatheringGardiners.blogspot.com
Last year I presented on "Inspiring Your Descendants," and the year before I talked about making your own Family History websites and on publishing Family History picture books.

Class #2 Title:Share Your Family History Through A Website  

Description:  What is the best way to collaborate with others on Family History?  A blog!  What is the best way to share Family History with the next generation?  A blog!  We will discuss the advantages to publishing your family history records online, how to set up a blog, how to easily share and collaborate, how to digitally archive your research, making your records instantly accessible, and how to make an organizational structure for your photos, histories, videos, newspaper clippings, maps and research log.

Making Your Own Family History Website Using Blogger.com

Here are some of the advantages to publishing your family history records online.  

1.  Easily share and collaborate with others around the world

A previously unknown relative in Australia saw my website and sent me 50 names of relatives with verified sources and photographs on a family line I'm researching.  She found my blog while surfing the internet using common family names.  She immediately recognized she had valuable research that I would be interested in and contacted me.   

2.  Digitally archive your research

Back in the 1920's my grandmother, Emma Scholl, paid a genealogist to research her Swiss ancestry.  He found approximately 4,000 names with no verification as to the source.  Good family history work depends on primary sources that verify family relationships.  A website shows others your primary sources so they can collaborate with you.

3.  This is a no cost method 

4.  Records are instantly accessible anywhere at any time

A few years ago I made 33 DVD's of my father's life and to my knowledge few watched it as only 3 people acknowledged they received it.   People won't drop a DVD into a machine and play it but they will click on a website.  My site has had 150,000 views in about five years.  

5.  Provides organizational structure for your photos, histories, videos, newspaper clippings, maps and research log

How do you make a blog into a website on Blogger and back up the information to your computer?  

Anyone can easily set up a website for free through many blog service companies.  I use blogspot.com and will be talking about how I formatted their program to make it user friendly to family history work.  For other services you can link to this article, The 15 best blogging and publishing platforms on the Internet today. Which one is for you? https://thenextweb.com/businessapps/2013/08/16/best-blogging-services/#.tnw_m0gSxBfo

The advantage of using Blogspot.com for your website is that it is free and easily accessible to everyone. You can backup your website to a computer in a minute or two.  If you want to move your information to another website you can easily back up your site and transfer the file to another site.

To Start:  
1.  Sign up for a Blogger account and pick a template.  This is where you decide what you want your blog to look like. I like simple ones without all the side panels. http://blogger-hints-and-tips.blogspot.com/2010/03/types-of-blogger-template.html

Here is the link to Getting Started 
Make a few posts and add photos and text from you family history records.  I use one page per person.  On that page I post histories, photographs, newspaper articles, videos, grave markers and documents. https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/1623800?hl=en&ref_topic=3339243

Here is a page on How to Make a Blog into a Real Website   

2.   To make one of your posts a homepage go to Design in the upper right corner of your blog on blogger.  Then click on Posts on the left of your dashboard.  Click on the post you want to make your home page and change the date of the post to the distant future.  This page will come always come up first. All other posts will have a published date as you add them.

3.  With two pages posted you are ready to make a hyperlink.  Copy the address on the designated post that you want the reader to go to which we will call post B.  Then open post A.  Type in the title of post B in Post A.  Highlight the words, go up to the A with an underline and color it blue.  Then with the words highlighted click on Link and paste the address of post B.  Click Update and you have added a hyperlink. 

Here is an article with more detail on adding hyperlinks to your website: How to Add Internal Links Within Blogger Posts  

4.   To have one page per ancestor go to your dashboard/ Settings/Posts and choose Show only 1 post on main page.

5.   Hide the "blog-specific" values from posts, by going to dashboard/Layout /Blog post/Edit  

At a minimum the things to turn off to make your blog function more like a website are:
  • Post-date
  • Posted-by
  • Post-time
  • Comments
  • Links to this post
  • Labels
  • Reactions
  • Email post links
  • Post sharing
What can you upload to your website? 
newspaper clippings
grave information
research ideas
journal entries
certificates on deceased persons (birth, death, marriage)
emails you want to save (with initials of originator to protect privacy).

What does my site look like?

How many views will you get? 
Many, depending on how much you post and who you tell about your site.

What are the additional benefits of your own site?
1. You control the content
2. You can easily share the information with FamilySearch 
3. You can share videos using Vimeo or YouTube.
4.  People interested in the same families will see your posts and contact you.

Class #3 Title: Popcorn, Picture Books and Miracles in Family History

Description:  A friend once said, "Family history is like popcorn.  Heat it up a little bit, move it around and pretty soon your family tree will explode." This class will give examples of miracles that have happened related to family history and how these miracles can happen to you. Once you compile your family's miracles, what is the best way to share them?  We will cover sharing these stories on social media, genealogical websites, and self-publishing.  We will explore how sharing faith promoting stories is already impacting the next generation.

What types of stories are inspirational?

1.  Family history miracles
2.  Pioneer stories
3.  Stories of persistence
4.  Stories of overcoming impossible odds 
5.  Touching stories with heart
6.  Stories of faith
7.  Stories of courage

Where do you find the details to make your story come alive?

1.  Newspapers
2.  Family records
3.  Interviews
4.  Historical records
5.  Statistical accounts
6.  Photos
7.  FamilySearch, Ancestry, Google images

Why publish a book?

A family history book is a way to talk to future generations with information on the lives of their ancestors that preceded them.  Would you like to share your knowledge of your ancestors with your grandchildren or great grandchildren?  In a picture book, your family history is a unique way to do just that.

What is the best way to share your book?

1.  Internet
2.  Self publish
3.  Email PDF
4.  Making a book into a video presentation

What ways can you format the book?

1.  A Life Story

I have a written a life story in picture book format on my great grandparents entitled, Robert and Margaret Gardiner, Pioneers of 1868.   It is a narration of their lives from the time they left Scotland until they died in Salt Lake City in the early 1900's.  The text was originally written by their son, Clarence Gardiner, in the 1950's, and I later adapted it to fit a picture book format.  https://gatheringgardiners.blogspot.com/2015/03/robert-and-margaret-pioneers-of-1868.html

2.  Multiple Life Stories

I wrote the Brown Heritage, Life Stories of Faith and Courage book to include 50 ancestors related to one couple, Jim and Marjorie Brown.  Each ancestor has their own page with a picture (where available) and a life story or reflection.  The book includes their 5 generation pedigrees and historical photographs.   

3.  A Life Story From Historical Documents

When I attended the 1980 World Conference on Records held in Salt Lake City, a speaker said, "Using historical documents it is possible to tell what someone ate, what their house looked like, what they wore, how they traveled and where they worshiped."  A few years ago, using the internet, I researched and wrote on the lives of Robert and Elizabeth Stewart, Their lives in 19th Century Scotland.  The book is a life story borrowing on customs and culture of the time period in which they lived with photographs and information obtained from the internet.  I was able to document the type of clothing they wore at the time, the food commonly eaten and type of transportation used in the highlands of Scotland in the 1800's.  

4.  Autobiographical Stories From Journal Entries

My first wife, Suzanne Gardiner, passed away in 1994.   She left behind her personal journals which became the basis for a book on her life entitled, Suzanne Marie Gardiner, Handmaiden of the Lord.  I edited her writings and found content that touched on faith, family and personal reflections.  This book is a treasure to her six surviving children and 13 grandchildren.

5.  Autobiographical Stories and Reflections

In the 1980's President James E. Faust came to California and spoke to a stake in Valencia about how to write your personal history.  He said don't write a journal with mundane entries, write about the defining moments in your life.  Defining moments could include how you met your spouse, birth of a child, how you picked a career, things you have accomplished, how you viewed an historical event, your testimony, etc.   Defining moments are the basis of a good family history book.  I took this counsel to heart and wrote my personal history book focusing on the defining moments of my life.  I included my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and certain reflections I wanted my posterity to know. https://gatheringgardiners.blogspot.com/2014/11/kent-hulet-gardiner-my-life-stories-and.html

6.  Stories Based on an Object

My son's father-in-law lives in Nevada.  While growing up his father owned a large red stake bed truck.  When the father died he gave the truck to his son.  Over the years the truck got older and eventually ended up in a field.  However while all of this was going on, the man collected family stories related to the truck.  He drew pictures that fit with each story and entitled the book, A Boy, His Dad, and a Truck.  It makes an interesting read and a collection of wonderful memories for the family.

How Do I Publish?

There are a number of online publishers like Apple's Ibooks, Pinhole Press, Kindred Prints, Blurb, Lulu, Shutterfly, Artkive, Snapfish, Impressed, Artifact Uprising, and Mixbook. 

A comparison of some of the best self publishing companies can be found online at http://coolmompicks.com/blog/2013/12/04/11-best-custom-photo-books/.

Important Considerations: 

Here are some important considerations when publishing a book.

1.  Choose page color, font color, and layout based on the formality of the book.  A white background or black background will always make a more formal book.

2.  You can create each page in outside programs like Photoshop for total control of how the photographs and text are arranged on the page prior to uploading to a publisher.  You can also use templates from various publishers if you want less control but want to make the book faster.

3.   Some companies use archival quality paper which will last longer and keep the photographs crisp and clear.

4.  Proofreading is very important.  When I did my last book, which was only 30 pages long, I had four people proofread the text and each person found errors even though the previous person thought they had found all errors.  When you think your book is error free, publish a single copy because you will probably find more errors in the printed copy.

5.  Labeling photographs with the place and date is very important for future generations.  Do the best you can and if all else fails make an educated guess based on the age of the person in the photograph and where it was taken.

I have seen my books being used in family home evenings, and excerpts used in talks and lessons.  They are read to our grandchildren.  They have also been shared at family reunions and online content for my family history blog, GatheringGardiners.blogspot.com.  Publishing a book today is easy, cost effective, and will be a treasure for many generations to come. Publishing a book has the power to inspire our descendants.