Monthly Archives: February 2011

Logan Temple Day 2011

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(Update 25 Feb 2011)

Because of severe weather conditions in and around Logan, we must unfortunately cancel the formal meeting which we had scheduled for 26 February at the Logan Temple. Family members are encouraged to visit their local temples as possible. Because of the delay in sending out this message, please forward this to others who might be planning on attending this event.

We would like to extend an invitation to all who are able to meet us in the Logan Temple February 26th for our annual Hale Family Temple Day.  Our schedule is as follows:

Gather in the temple cafeteria 11:00
Lunch/Family meeting 11:30
Dismiss to prepare for session 12:15
Session 1:00

This day commemorates the time Alma and Aroet Hale spent in the temple each year from January to February, performing ordinances for their ancestors.  Specifically, it celebrates the “Lighting of the Logan Temple,” a  phenomenon witnessed and documented at the culmination of their temple work in 1896.  A summary of this event is here.

It is an honor to meet together and carry on the tradition of our Hale ancestors.  If you cannot meet in the Logan temple, the HFO encourages you to participate in spirit through your own local temple.

The Next Generation genealogy software

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I saw a brief presentation at RootsTech yesterday by John Sumsion regarding The Next Generation (TNG) genealogy software. It is very similar to the open source PHP software which we are already using at He mentioned that he had recently installed it and uploaded a GEDCOM file and within seconds he had a nice looking, dynamic web site with all of his genealogy data. $30 seems like a very reasonable price for what it seemed to give him. (He didn’t have time to go into very many of the features)

I’m not ready to rush out and replace our own software, but I find it interesting to see new and improved offerings in the market, whether open source or for a fee… much more than what was available when I searched through the options and chose PhpGedview for our own Hale Family Organization. I don’t know how many of you might remember that our first web site had static HTML pages that were generated from PAF.  It was such a pain to work with and had to be recreated each time that the data changed. Things have certainly improved, but still have room for improvement.

RootsTech Conference: Genealogy Blogging

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RootsTech 2011 ConferenceI am attending RootsTech, a new family history and technology conference this week in Salt Lake City, Utah. After attending a few sessions about genealogy blogging, I feel a bit more inspired to do a little more at creating new blog posts. Rather than waiting for the ideal subject, sometimes it is better to just get started with what you already know. For now, I give my review of a few sessions that I feel would be most interesting to family members.

Thomas MacEntee of lead a forum discussion titled, Genealogy Blogs: Impact and Influence in the Genealogy Community. On the panel were Myrt (is that her real name?) of, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental, Schelly Dardashti of Tracing the Tribe, and A. C. Ivory of Over all, I think that the audience got the feeling that creating a blog is really quite easy to start and becomes more compelling the more that you do with it. There seemed to be a consensus from the panel that from Google is the easiest blog application to get started and doesn’t cost anything to get started. Thomas mentioned that he authors about a dozen blogs, each with a very specific focus. It appears to me as well that the best blogs are not personal blogs of the day to day mundane activities or so diverse that someone following would only catch an interesting post every now and then, but rather those that are focused on a specific theme. This way others on the internet that are interested in the same topic can identify your blog as a resource, follow your posts, and made comments and suggestions to ideas which you present. For me, genealogy has been a topic that I have been interested in since being very young and visiting my great-grandmother in her home with a whole room dedicated to genealogy research. I remember looking at her wall of bookcases with many research books and genealogy books filled with family group sheets and pedigree charts. So for blogging, genealogy would be the topic that would keep me going. (That said, I have never been much of a writer, so I’m hoping that some other family members would be willing to create posts for the this family blog as well!)

The other RootsTech class that I attended was taught by Myrt of, Self-Publishing for Genealogists and Genealogical Societies. She talked about newsletters in particular and the pros and cons of how societies and family organizations can communicate to their members. She recognized that so many of these groups have printed newsletters and that a significant portion of the membership fees that they are charged go towards printing and mailing costs of those newsletters. She suggested that converting those newsletters to a PDF document and emailing it to members is significantly better with no cost associated with it, but it is associated with many of the same problems as print newsletters because people change email addresses so often. She recommended encouraging members to use an RSS reader such as Google Reader and posting that same information to a blog. The cost and time savings would be significant, meaning that all of the work associated with printing and mailing the newsletter could be put to better use, much of that for the very purpose for which the organization was originally set up… for genealogy work! If Google Reader were the home page of your web browser, you would know instantly if there was any additional news from the family organization. Certainly there is a learning curve associated with this and a reluctance to change, but if a bunch of gray haired old ladies can get excited about this and understand it, I’m sure that the rest of us can learn how to do it too, even if it takes a little help. (Certainly, we don’t have specific plans to stop sending out our printed newsletter in the near future, but it is good to talk about it as a potential option.)


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The Hale family organization is nearing completion on a book of Aroet Lucius Little Hale (1828-1911), the oldest orphan of Jonathan Harriman Hale and Olive Boynton.  Aroet was a great man with an adventurous spirit.  His extensive journals tell tales of:

  • traveling with Brigham Young on advance parties to prepare for the westward migration of early Latter-Day Saints;
  • leading his orphaned brothers and sister across the plains;
  • serving several early missions to settle areas in the southwestern United States for the church;
  • negotiating with antagonistic Native Americans; and
  • raising a large posterity.

The book committee has used Aroet’s journals to lead them through the compilation of this book, while researching extensively by visiting the areas Aroet lived in and settled, speaking with some of the relatives who actually remember him, and investigating other written sources to give us a better perspective of Aroet’s life and adventures.  Chapter biographies of each of his wives will be included, along with short excerpts on each of his children where information has been available.  Also included will be a CD paf file of Aroet’s genealogy.  Research for this book has been going on for over a decade.

The HFO would like to finish this project up but we could use your help.  Specifically, if you are interested in writing a short history on each of Aroet’s children (or a few of them), we would appreciate the help.  We can provide you with the data the committee has already gathered and give suggestions about where you might do more research to fill in the blanks.  We have an editor so you don’t need to worry about verbiage and syntax–we just need people to sift through information and create concise summaries  This project can be done in small chunks, and every bit of help is welcome!  Use the “Tell Us Your News” link and I will get you in touch with the committee.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact us!  There is plenty to do.

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