Wednesday, May 18, 2016

We're back and ready to go.

1) Thank you to the National Genealogical Society for having their 2016 national conference in Fort Lauderdale Florida, thus causing everyone to look into cruise schedules.  

2) Thank you to Erin Roudabush for almost 10 years of amazing service to our clients and her great commitment to helping each family express their heritage in a beautiful way. 

3) Thank you to Erin's husband Scott for his unwavering support for Erin's hectic schedule and loyal work ethic. 

4) Thank you to Royal Carribean for taking us to beautiful places and pampering us with great service, fun activities, and delicious food. 

5) and a BIG thank you to Christine and Linda for keeping things humming and running smoothly at home.  (And another BIG thank you to my parents for keeping everyone and everything running smoothly at our home home.)

We are back now, rested and ready for a busy family reunion season. You can send us your family information at  We're looking forward to designing and printing the perfect chart for you!!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Online Genealogy Courses at Salt Lake Community College: GEN1000 and GEN1014

Sign up here

I've just finished teaching the first semester of my new course "Making Money in Genealogy" at SLCC and I want to tell you about the two genealogy courses I teach for the genealogy program at Salt Lake Community College.  They keep me fresh and focused on the needs of genealogists as I get to work with wonderful students.  The program teaches you to become an excellent genealogist and are all taught entirely online.  In fact the entire SLCC program is academically rigorous and you can receive college credit while you are sharpening  your family history skills.  Now is the time to sign up for summer term  if you are interested.  I'd love to have you join us. 

I've been teaching GEN 1000 "Computer & Internet Tools for Genealogy" for 6 years now and I think it is a fantastic way for anyone to bring their genealogy technology skills up to date.  Kelly Summers and I wrote it together and we came up with a program that works for beginners as well as seasoned genealogists who just need to brush up on their tech skills.  After learning about basic genealogy research and documentation standards and how to enter your research into genealogy software, students use census and vital records to carefully document their own lives, their parents and their grandparents.  There are lessons about picture tagging and restoration, oral interviews, and internet publishing and sharing, and then the midterm project is just to take 6 hours to do something that needs to be done in your family along those lines.  After learning about continuing education opportunities and watching a webinar, and then surveying software and mobile apps, the final project is simply to turn in the three generation research compiled into software generated reports with complete documentation.  Grades are based on methodology, not the amount of research completed.  Most genealogists I know haven't taken the time to completely document the first three generations of their family and by the time the student is finished, they are ready to move forward with excellent technology and documentation skills.

Then, the new course I've just developed is GEN 1014, "Making Money in Genealogy."  This is the course I wish I had had 12 years ago when we started Family ChartMasters.  I've poured all of the things I've learned into this course to save the students all the learning curve I've had to overcome.  We survey genealogy opportunities and the structure of running  your own business and then the second half of the course is all about marketing (something all genealogists can improve on.)  By the end of the course you have written a complete business plan, begun branding, and interviewed a professional genealogist.  I think the course has everything students need to get started on the right track to becoming a successful genealogy professional. 

You can take either course for credit or as an audit and seniors who live in Utah can take each course for only $10.  The entire genealogy program at SLCC is an excellent curriculum that unfortunately is not very well known in the national genealogy community.  Hopefully that will change soon.  The program is designed to prepare students for credentialing with ICAPGEN or BCG and has fantastic instructors. There are 13 courses and you can complete enough in one year to obtain a certificate of completion. I've really enjoyed working with Kelly, Karen Clifford, and Sharon DeBartolo Carmack.  They are excellent genealogists and wonderful people.  I can highly recommend this program to anyone who is serious about becoming an excellent genealogist. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Customer Testimonial By Geneablogger True Lewis From NoTeS To MySeLf

We love it when our customers are thrilled with our work.
At RootsTech 2016, we met geneablogger True Lewis who writes about her slave and European ancestors on her blog, NoTeS To MySeLf.  She set up an appointment with a personal designer at the conference and we were able to talk about different options for her custom chart.

True shared the positive experience she had with Family ChartMasters in a recent post from her blog and granted us permission to link to her blog in addition to sharing her thoughts here.

She says:
"I love looking for different genealogy products that will make my family history research stand out.  I'm always looking for something detailed and special for my family...I attended RootsTech 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I made my appointment to meet with a consultant 2 weeks in advance.  I met Ms. Janet on a Thursday...We discussed and went over ideas i had on how we could make this chart come to life.  This is the end product of what I had in mind."

She enjoyed how easy it was to work with Family ChartMasters. "I was able to choose every detail on this chart.  It was very personalized.  It came out to have a total of 35 pictures.  A Bible verse.  Trimming, edging and sepia background.  The size is 24" x 36" in stature.  There is no limit to what you can do for your chart...It arrived fast and in a shipping tube."

As we work with our clients, we are happy to help you get your genealogy chart exactly the way you want it and it shows.  True writes, "They were very patient with me in getting all the details from my tree I keep on I had a few revisions and they worked with every move I made...I'm excited about presenting this to the family. It feels so good to see all that I have come from....I can't even express my thanks to Family ChartMasters and their staff for making this masterpiece for me.  It will be cherished for centuries to come.  Thank you for all your patience, kindness and professionalism through the whole process."

True's experience with us made us smile. We would love to help you with your family history chart as well. Take a look at our gallery for ideas and inspiration and then visit our website for a free consultation.  We want to help you create the perfect chart for your family.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Genealogy Chart Spotlight #1 - My Own Epic Family History Chart

We're going to start a new series on the blog.  We had such a great response from our Favorite Charts from 2015 collection that we've decided to start featuring more of our client's charts on the blog.  If your chart is chosen, we change all the information on living people (or all the people) and you get a $25 gift certificate.  It is great "cousin bait" to let us show off one of your charts and we promise to forward any inquiries to you as well.  So let us know if you want your chart to be considered in this new series. 

I'm starting this series off with the chart I've been working on for my own family.  My parents recently moved to a new house and there was a perfect wall above the staircase, already fitted with track lighting.  So of course, design work on the most epic Family ChartMasters chart began.  We showed off a draft copy of this chart at RootsTech.

(Click on the image to see the full chart)
Since this version, we've added more stories, more icons and we're just about ready to print.  The final version will be 7 feet tall and 10 feet wide, printed on canvas. It will have 140 stories and 80 pictures and 9 icons for soldiers, immigrants, pioneers, etc. etc.  There is no way any grandchild will grow up in this family without knowing all about our family history.

And like many of our clients have experienced, the exciting part has been how many new breakthroughs we've made while we've been working on this chart.  I have grandparents and great-grandparents who have collected all of this information, so it has been fun to make new discoveries in their research as we've been putting this together.  My Mom has been putting together the stories and has discovered all sorts of new characteristics and struggles and triumphs of some of our lesser known ancestors.  And yesterday, she was able to connect with a cousin to find a couple of long lost journals and biographies along one line.  The cousin didn't realize they had all this information until my Mom pursued the issue.   Goldmine. 

I'll let you know when we get it installed.  If you ever want to put together an *epic* family history chart for your family, you know where to come.  You just start with a free consultation and we take it from there.  We'd love to print one for you too. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Price changes

At Family ChartMasters we work hard to keep our prices down and we've been pretty successful.  We haven't raised prices on anything in years, and our shipping prices are the same as they were when we started in 2003.  For all these years it has been:
  • 1-3 charts $11.95
  • 4-8 charts $16.95
  • 9-15 charts $24.95
  • 16+ charts $29.95

 But the post office has finally squeezed us out.  With the recent changes in postage, we have to raise our prices on shipping.  Here are the new fees:
  • 1-3 charts $16.95
  • 4-8 charts $24.95
  • 9-15 charts $29.95
  • 16+ charts $34.95

We want to give you a little notice, in case you were budgeting and have a chart you want to get finished up and printed.  We'll be changing these fees on April 15th.  So send us your information at  We're happy to get right to work on the perfect chart for your family. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

6 Steps to a Gorgeous Custom Genealogy Chart

We often hear the comment, "I'd like to have a genealogy chart printed, but I'm not sure where to start." Here's an infographic to make it easy for you. 
Click the image for a larger view (scroll in & out with ctrl+ and ctrl-)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Goodbye to Wendy and Hello to Linda

Our wonderful designer, Wendy Johnson is getting married and moving and we are so happy for her.  We send her and her new husband John off with our very best wishes.  We will miss Wendy terribly, but we are excited for her and her new adventure.

The good news is, we've found another wonderful person to help us create beautiful charts for you.
Linda is a native Californian girl. She moved to Utah 7 years ago, but still dreams of the beach. Living in the Rockies has made her a bit of a farm girl enjoying raising chickens and gardening. She has four wonderful children who constantly amaze her. She has been married to her sweetheart for 24 years. After receiving her BA from BYU-Hawaii, she went on to finish her Masters of Library and Information Science, turning in her thesis paper with her two year old wrapped around her leg and a newborn in her arms. Linda says she could live in a library as it is filled with her favorite things…books and people who love books. Her favorite place in the summer is the family cabin at Electric Lake, where she loves to bribe her children into taking long hikes to spot wildlife with her. Linda’s children think her greatest talent is baking for them; apple pies disappear quickly at their home. ¬¬Her grandmother was the family genealogist so she is excited to get to carry on the tradition and help others create beautiful family history charts.