Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Family ChartMasters Holiday Hours

Family ChartMasters will be closed December 23, 2016 -January 2, 2017.  Our team has been working hard this December and we are looking forward to spending time with our families over the holidays.

If you need last minute gift ideas, Family ChartMasters' Gift Certificates are available for purchase online here, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are printable from your home printer. Buy 4 Get One Free now through December 25! Save money in 2017 by ordering gift certificates now.

We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Family ChartMasters will reopen January 3rd, rested and ready to get to work on a fabulous genealogy chart for you in 2017!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Last Minute Gift Ideas: Family ChartMasters Genealogy Chart Gift Certificates

 Sale: Buy 4 Gift Certificates, Get One Free!
Offer valid now through December 25, 2016
Click HERE to order now 

Family ChartMasters' Gift Certificates are a fabulous last minute gift because you purchase them online and they come via email in an instant download for you to print at home, so you can purchase these even on Christmas morning if needed! Family ChartMasters gift certificates are so easy and they ensure that your family or friends get exactly what they want in a genealogy chart. Sometimes people are intimidated to create charts for others because they either don't have access to the files themselves or they aren't sure which lines to include/exclude, or they are worried that what designs their family and friends would like.  Have no fear. Gift certificates were invented for these very reasons.

If you wondering if your loved one needs a genealogy chart, the answer is yes! Click here to visit a blogpost about "10 Cool Things You Can Do With a Family ChartMasters Genealogy Chart". And for a sampling of some of our favorite charts from last year, click here

Order this thoughtful gift that saves you money and received all of the praise without the hassle and sweat. This is absolutely the best way to go for holiday gift giving! Visit our gallery here to view a larger selection of our charts, purchase your gift certificates, print them at home, and watch the smiles of the recipients as they realize the gift of love you gave them! Then turn your loved ones over to us and we happily work with them until we have designed and printed a beautiful genealogy chart for them to appreciate and enjoy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

5 People To Impress With A Family ChartMasters Genealogy Chart

In case you needed some ideas for who you could give a Family ChartMasters genealogy chart to this holiday season, we have our top five to get you started...
  1. Your Parents. Give a genealogy chart to your Mom and Dad to say thank you to them for giving you life.
  2. Your Siblings.  Impress them with your research! Show them you have your act together and that you know who's who in the family.
  3. Yourself. Enjoy the fruits of your labors as you see it all displayed in a beautiful custom genealogy chart.  Add photos, family quotes, flags, or any other embellishments that will make the chart unique to your family.
  4. Your Children.  Pass down your heritage. A genealogy chart visually represents who they are and who they came from.
  5. Your In-Laws. Earn brownie points when you present them with a gorgeous custom genealogy chart that represents their family.  They will finally like you!
The best reason to give a chart is that all copies of the exact chart are half off!  So do the work once and then have plenty of gifts to give at only 50% of the original price.

Click here to visit the Family ChartMasters online genealogy chart gallery for lots of chart ideas, upload your file here and we can get started on a chart for you, or give us a call at 801-872-4278. Check out our holiday deadlines here in order to get your genealogy charts in time for holiday giving!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Happy Holidays From Family ChartMasters Genealogy Charts

Happy Holidays from the chart designers at Family ChartMasters! We love being Santa's elves and look forward to helping him deliver meaningful gifts of family history charts.  The holidays are a wonderful time to let us help you design a beautiful custom genealogy chart for you to give to your loved ones. Visit our website here to take a look at our online chart gallery or upload your genealogy file here for a free consultation.  We can design any chart you need in any size from any type of file. 

Click here to order our fill-in-the-blank genealogy charts which make great gifts as well as our Family ChartMasters gift certificates, which can be ordered here. Give us a call at 801-872-4278 or email us at info@familychartmasters.com if you have any questions. We are here to be your holiday helpers!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Customer Spotlight: Genealogy Gifts For Holiday Giving

Last December, Family ChartMasters designed this custom decorative genealogy chart for our customer, Sally.  This bow-tie style chart highlighted her father's ancestors, showed her parents' descendants, and made a meaningful gift for her parents and siblings. Sally had donated a kidney to a sister-in-law and noted that on the chart as well. Twas the time for giving!

We are excited that Sally has returned to Family ChartMasters this year to have us create another decorative genealogy chart for her. This new chart highlights her mother's ancestors and again shows her parent's descendants, but this time with baby and adult pictures of them.  Her second chart has the same design and look as her previous chart so that she can hang them together on the wall as complementary art pieces.

Family ChartMasters would love to create a genealogy chart for you to gift to your family this holiday season. Visit our online genealogy chart gallery for lots of chart ideas, then to go familychartmasters.com to upload your file for a free consultation.

This is a busy time for us so click here to see our holiday deadlines.  We want to make sure you have your charts at your door before Christmas morning!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Family ChartMasters Genealogy Charts Customer Testimonials

Happy customers with beautiful charts is our number one priority here at Family ChartMasters, so we are really smiling big when these happy customers tell us how pleased they are...

Family ChartMasters would love to turn you into one of our happy customers too! Upload your genealogy file here, let us know what style chart you would like or if you need some chart ideas, and we will gladly get back to you with a free consultation including a size and price estimate.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Family ChartMasters Black Friday Weekend Special: Blank Genealogy Chart

Announcing our Black Friday Weekend Special as 25% off our Fill-In-The-Blank-Charts!
Valid November 25- November 27, 2016.
Use Promo Code BLANK25OFF.

With over 15 different designs and prices that start at $19.95, these charts make great holiday gifts for your family members.  See a sampling of the designs below and visit our website at familychartmasters.com to order!

 Tree Chart         Blank Chart Simple Tuscany




Thursday, November 10, 2016

Get Help From Professional Genealogists: Introducing genealogyDOTcoach

If you would love to print a genealogy chart from Family ChartMasters, but have hit a brick wall in your research, we have the solution for you! We are excited to announce the launch of our brand new company, GenealogyDOTcoach! We offer genealogy specialists (coaches) in over 45 different areas to coach you in a one-on-one session to help you find answers to your genealogy questions.  Visit genealogy.coach to book a session today!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Customer Spotlight: Beautiful Genealogy Charts

Family ChartMasters is absolutely thrilled to offer genealogy charts that become focal points in our customers' homes. We recently designed a genealogy chart for Kathy from Arizona who turned it into a beautiful art piece.  Displayed on a large easel, she had it framed and matted in a gorgeous ornate gold frame that complements her home decor. 

Kathy loved her chart so much that she decided to have Family ChartMasters create a posterity chart for her mother, Pat.  This memorable chart included Pat and her husband, and all their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren with many family and individual photos on the chart to keep her loved ones close.

Family ChartMasters' genealogy charts make excellent gifts for the holidays.  Let us know when you submit your file for the free consultation that your chart will be a gift. We can then size it for standard frame sizes.  Let us do the designing and printing, then all you have to do is wrap it, and enjoy the smiles when your loved ones receive your gift of family history love.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

8 Reasons To Choose Family ChartMasters For Your Genealogy Chart

We know that you may find other companies to design and print your genealogy chart...but here are 8 reasons why you should chose Family ChartMasters:
1. Experience. Family ChartMasters has been creating, designing, and printing genealogy charts for 14 years with thousands of happy customers. Take a look at Family ChartMaster's blog, TheChartChick, to read our many glowing customer testimonials.

2. Customer Service. Family ChartMasters serves you with high end customer service. Our customers have commented that our team is friendly, patient, and will meet your needs with a smile. We don't quit until you are 100% happy and satisfied.

3. Expert Designers. Our designers have created thousands of charts in many different styles and layouts.  They are experts in genealogy standards and willing to suggest complementary design elements, layout ideas, and color combinations that can display even the most complicated family relationships.

4. Any Kind of Chart. Family ChartMasters designs and prints ancestor charts, descendant charts, fan charts, circle charts, all-in-one charts, and inexpensive working charts for your family reunion so that attendees can write in updated info. We also design custom decorative genealogy charts that can be displayed as a beautiful art piece in your home.  These are all individualized for the needs of your family. The Family ChartMasters online gallery shows over 50 chart design ideas to get you started thinking about what type of chart you would like. If you need other ideas, we are happy to brainstorm and consult with you. 

5. Any Size of Chart. The size of your chart depends on many factors including how many people are in your file,  how many generations are included, how much information is listed in the data boxes, and how many photos or other decorative details you choose to place on your chart. Our designers will work with you to design a size that works best for your needs. We can print your decorative chart in a standard frame size for easy framing, or we can print up to 150 feet continuous without a break.  The largest chart Family ChartMasters has printed was over 700 feet!

6. Any Kind of File.  Whatever file or form your data is in, we can turn it into a genealogy chart. Family Search, Ancestry, PAF, Gedcom, Legacy, RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, Excel, Word, Apple Pages, or even your own handwriting. As long as you have the info, we can create a chart for you!

7. Creativity. The talented and creative Family ChartMasters designers can make your family's info come alive in a beautiful chart that works for your decor needs. Because our genealogy charts are hand-crafted, we have the ability to create original, one-of-a-kind charts that perfectly represent your unique family.

8. Trust. Family ChartMasters will represent your family's information in a way that will make you proud.  We have high standards for quality control in our inks and papers. We print and ship in time for your deadlines.  You can trust your genealogy chart with Family ChartMasters.

From inexpensive draft working charts to high end giclee canvas fine art pieces, Family ChartMasters is truly the master in genealogy printing. Give us a call or visit the Family ChartMasters website and we will gladly provide you with a free consultation.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Family ChartMasters Genealogy Charts Holiday Deadlines 2016

Holiday deadlines are coming up and with our price changes in effect November 1, 2016 we want to give you plenty of notice so we can help you get your gifts ready on time.

Here are Family ChartMasters' deadlines for sending us your family history information and starting a genealogy chart if you want to avoid extra rush fees or expedited shipping charges:
  • Nov 28th Charts that need International Shipping
  • Dec 5th Decorative charts shipped in the United States
  • Dec 12th Working charts (no preview) shipped in the United States
  • Dec 16th User-Designed charts (no preview) shipped in the United States
We're happy to work on charts for you after these dates, but there will be a $45 rush fee added and there may be expedited shipping charges.

If you can't decide what you are looking for, check out our Gallery.  You may also find inspiration on our Decorative Chart Pages or in the charts section of this blog.  Virtually anything you can dream up, we can design.  Just send us your information for a Free Consultation and we'll have your own personal designer send you some options.  Or if you are an Ancestry.com or FamilySearch user you can use our new Ancestry Upload Page, or the FamilySearch Upload Page.  We want to make it really easy for you. 

Last year Family ChartMasters created a chart for a wonderful lady that was donated by an anonymous benefactor.  We had so much fun participating in this generous act of kindness, and spoiling this sweet client with lots of attention and making sure she received exactly what she wanted.  Please know that we love helping you with stealthy gift giving. We'll treat anyone who receives one of our gift certificates like a VIP.

And if you want to design a chart yourself to give, we'll work back and forth with you over a private email account, leave the invoice out of the package, and ship to alternative addresses. When you give the gift of a chart we'll do everything we can to meet your deadline and make it perfect.  And the gift certificates are an instant download.  Let us know what you need us to do to keep this gift a surprise and we will make your special person feel well taken care of.  We love making you look good and we are really awesome at keeping secrets.  Think of Family ChartMasters as your undercover gift giving elves; making it easy on you and bringing total delight with a meaningful gift.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My new project genealogyDOTcoach featured on Extreme Genes and Dear Myrtle's Hangouts

It was great to talk to Scott Fisher about genealogyDOTcoach this week.  He is excited about this new venture and has really caught the vision about how much this will help the genealogy Do-It-Yourselfer.  We appreciate Scott’s support and look forward to helping his listeners with their genealogy challenges.  Take a listen.  Our interview starts at the 25 minute mark but the rest of the podcast is great too!  http://extremegenes.com/episode-158-using-the-fan-club-principalcluster-genealogy-coach-launches  Thanks Fish!

And then last night I got to talk to Dear Myrtle with our wonderful coaches Nicka Smith and Valerie Elkins.  Myrt's hangouts are fun and tonight, she was actually out to dinner but her "cousin Sadie" came to chat with us.  It was fun to show off Valerie and Nicka's expertise and get responses from people in the audience.  "Cousin Sadie" actually showed off how to book an appointment and we all had a great time.  You can listen in at http://hangouts.dearmyrtle.com/ww-genealogydotcoach.html

I just love the people I get to work with.  I hope you have a great time listening to the fun we had and all the excitement about this new opportunity to work with professional genealogists in a new and exciting way.  Check it out at http://genealogy.coach

Friday, September 23, 2016

Our Customers Love Their Genealogy Charts

We love creating genealogy and family history charts for your families and we absolutely love it when our Family ChartMasters customers share how pleased they are! Here are some of our most recent happy emails from our customers....

From Lesley who presented the chart at a 50th anniversary: "...I never go back to you after our family get together to let you know how well the chart was received. You did a fantastic job and everyone loved, loved the chart!"

From Teresa who gave a chart as a gift to her parents: "Here's a photo of my parents with their chart.  I posted it on FB and got so many compliments; several asked where I'd gotten it done so I passed along your info.  My parents were thrilled with their gift and it generated a lot of discussion at our family gathering.  Thanks very much for such a fine job, especially under tight time constraints."

Susan decorated for a family reunion: [When she received the chart] "I am so pleased with the 12 generation ancestor chart color coded! It is spectacular. I can't wait to show the family…[After the event], “All generations and even the staff at the hotel enjoyed the charts.”

Maureen took her chart all the way to Europe to share with her family: "To say the Cannon Wall Chart was a huge success is truly an understatement. They loved it! They were amazed I had so much information about them. The little ones were delighted to see a photo of themselves… Many thanks for your wonderful work and service in providing such a splendid gift for me to share with my Irish cousins….Everyone who has seen my chart is so impressed."

Family ChartMasters would love to create a chart for your next big family event or for gift-giving in the upcoming holidays.  Check out our chart gallery or upload your file here for a free family history chart consultation.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

All In One Genealogy Charts: Anything You Can Dream Up

As we here at Family ChartMasters has gotten better and better at displaying complicated family information, one of the most frequent requests we get now is to show off "all of my family tree."  Many times people have researched deep into in-laws family lines, step families, or multiple extended lines where they go off in different directions.  And our answer is always YES, WE REALLY CAN DESIGN ANYTHING YOU CAN DREAM UP. According to my knowledge, Family ChartMasters is really the only place you can find charts like this which print everyone in your file in an understandable way.  We have examples that show 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousin lines with multiple lines of ancestors, as well as ancestors of all the in-laws and step families.

Most of the time we can do it in either a left to right, or top to bottom format.
Often we'll use color coding and photos to help the viewer orient themselves to the tree. These samples are color coded so that you can clearly see the unique layout in these small thumbnails.  Most of these charts were originally 3x6 feet or more. 
As always, you can send us your information through the Family ChartMasters free consultation page.  When we have a request for a chart showing all of the individuals in the file, we usually send you three options.

The first option is to use the Family Tree Maker software and print an extended family chart.  This is usually a descendancy type chart with anyone who doesn't fit into the regular descendancy format (in-laws, step families and such) shown off to the right of the chart.

As a second option, we'll give you our best effort for fitting most (not all) of the people in your file with a descendancy chart or two.

Then the third option would be our All in One charts.  We take all of the people you want on the chart, manipulate it around, and create a custom chart for you like the samples you see in this blog post. On this type of chart we would make sure everyone is connected and it will be a little easier to understand than the Family Tree Maker chart.  We can place a title on the chart, and decorative border, and add pictures or a background if you want to.  We will also create an on-line preview so you can approve the chart before it is printed.  The pricing for this type of chart is dependent upon the paper you choose and we will keep you informed of that as we go.  When you choose this option, we are happy to work back and forth with you until it is perfect--all included in this price.

We can even fit in pets, neighbors and friends.  Truly anything you can dream up and describe to us, we can do.  Let Family ChartMasters know when you are ready for your amazing All-in-One chart.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Family ChartMasters Price Increase For Custom Decorative Charts

Amazing, perfect, gorgeous professional charts are our specialty.   And experts are pretty much who we have at Family ChartMasters.  Experts who will attend to every detail, work back and forth with you until it is exactly what you are looking for.  Experts who will do whatever it takes to make sure it is perfect for you. 

You want a cream distressed background? They can do it.

You need 38 photos added to your chart along with a map of your ancestor's hometown as the background?  They can do it.

Want to show every single person in your file, sidelines, in-laws, in-laws ancestors, neighbors and pets and who all the fire fighters are in your lines?  They can do it. 

These talented graphic designers take your black and white data and wave their magic wand in the form of carefully arranged layouts, meticulous attention to detail, and customization of each chart until it is the perfect genealogy chart for you. But expert designers don't come cheap.  Since they will take leaps and bounds to make you happy, we need to keep them happy and pay them nicely for their skills.

We are raising prices on our custom decorative family history charts on November 1, 2016, so we are giving you a little heads up.  October 31 will be the last day at our old prices.  Not only are we saving you money, but saving you time because if you order your chart in September or October, you will beat the holiday rush.  And let me tell you, it gets a little hectic around here in November and December.  Send your file now to Family ChartMasters and let us create the perfect family history chart for you.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Genealogy Charts: Family Trees with Family Branches

We showed off a pretty new chart this summer at the BYU conference. We combined two "branches" trees to complete a wedding chart.  The wife's ancestry is on the right and the husband's on the left.  I think we had more comments on this chart at the conference than we have ever had on any chart 
we've ever shown. 
 We can add children as flowers or in the grass along the bottom, and we can change up the coloring or anything you want to do. 

Let us know if you want one for your own family.  You can just send Family ChartMasters your file and we can send you a mock up to preview.  We'd love to create a beautiful chart for you. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

New Online Genealogy Service: GenealogyDOTcoach

As you know, for us it has always been about making genealogy easier for everyone and helping people understand how important it is.  We think this is a game changer that will really help.  Introducing GenealogyDOTcoach.

Press Release:
New Genealogy Service Poised to Fill Critical Gap in Genealogy Industry

CEDAR HILLS, Utah - August 29, 2016 - A new family history service launched today that will fill a critical gap in the multi-billion dollar genealogy industry.  genealogyDOTcoach (SM) is a new online service that matches up professional genealogists (called Genealogy Coaches) with people who want to have all the fun of making family history discoveries for themselves but just need a little assistance from someone they can trust.

"With do-it-yourself sites like Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org it has become so easy for anyone to start climbing their family tree," says co-founder, Janet Hovorka.  "But, sometimes people get a little stuck in the process.  The traditional option at that point has been to purchase a 10 or 20 hour research package from a professional genealogist.  Many people can't afford that kind of help.  Others are reluctant to do so because they want the joy of making those family history discoveries themselves.  genealogyDOTcoach aims to fill that gap."

The service launches with 25 coaches across 47 different categories.  Topics include:  getting started; genetic genealogy/DNA; tree analysis and writing a research plan; and document translation.  Coaches also specialize in research for different regions of the world and different ethnic groups.  The initial group of coaches have an average of 25 years of training and experience a piece.  They are researchers, authors, and lecturers.  The impressive list of coaches includes some of the most well-known genealogists in the industry.

On the genealogyDOTcoach website, users can select a topic and see a list of coaches who specialize in that topic.  They can review comments and ratings from previous clients, to help them select a coach they would like to work with.  Sessions can be scheduled for 15, 30 or 60 minutes.  Pricing starts as low as $15 for 15 minutes.

Shortly before the coaching session, an email link is sent that allows the user to log in to a private video chat room.  There they meet face to face, via video chat, to share screens and documents with the genealogy coach, and receive the help they need to keep them moving along in their family history journey.

"Clients leave the coaching sessions with a game plan for how to move forward in their family history research," says Hovorka.  "Just like life coaches or athletic coaches, genealogy coaches can give you the boost you need to be better at what you enjoy."

About genealogyDOTcoach
Complete listing of coaches with their bios found here:  https://genealogy.coach/project/all-coaches/

Friday, August 26, 2016

Two new wonderful additions to the Family ChartMasters team

This summer we were lucky enough to find two more wonderful people to help us with your genealogy charts.  We'd like to introduce you to:

Lynette Salmond

Lynnette is a California girl from Cupertino, home of Apple Computers, before they were born, when it was the home of prune and apricot trees. At 23, she served a humanitarian mission in Paraguay where she gained a desire to help children in need. She met and married her husband nearly 30 years ago in California and soon discovered that, as children, they had attended the same family reunion.  She started researching her genealogy and found where their family trees had merged a few generations back.  She earned her BS at BYU in Sociology Education, with a minor in Spanish Education and graduated when she was pregnant with her second child.  After graduation, she and her sweetie returned to the Bay Area where they stayed for 15 years.  They soon became foster parents and have adopted 5 of their foster children. Life is always an adventure at their house.  They moved to Utah 10 years ago when the economy in California started to swing and they haven't looked back. She is now a grandmother and is excited for the adventures yet to come.


Karli Ledkins

Karli was born and raised in Utah. She met her wonderful husband 16 years ago and has 2 amazing children. She came from a big family, which is very close, but knew she wanted a small one. One boy...one girl...the perfect balance. She loves spending time with family and does not often go anywhere without her children. They love the outdoors and spending time fishing, 4-wheeling, hiking and exploring new places. She loves anything crafty and often spends hours creating fun projects. Karli got the genealogy bug about 4 years ago. She loves researching and is excited to find new stories, photos, and especially ancestors. Always thinking her family history was complete, she was pleasantly surprised to find there was much work to be done!  She loves working on her own family history and is equally excited to be helping others with their own charts!

Both of these delightful ladies are ready to help you create the perfect expression of your family's history.  Let us know what you are envisioning on our free consultation page.  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

What I did for summer "vacation"

Took lots of these to the post office.
Well, I've never worked so hard in my life.  That's what I did.  My last post seems like eons ago and I've done almost no other social networking either. But I'm back now and I've missed it. I've had my nose to the grindstone.  We did take a few short breaks, but I'm glad we had that great break with the Roudabushes in May because we were about to pay for it.

We have had the busiest summer ever at Family ChartMasters.  Yea!  We hired two new employees (next post tomorrow) who we had to just throw in the mix and let them swim for it.  We didn't even have any time to train them.  But they've done beautifully and we're excited to have them. Double Yea!!  It is so delightful to be able to help so many people create amazing family history displays for their family reunions. We're excited to share some of the beautiful charts we've done here soon too. 

We had a great time talking with everyone at SCGS and at the BYU conferences.  Those conferences are busy but they don't seem like work because we love visiting with you all so much.  And I did get to run away up to Sundance one blissful night with Lisa Louise Cooke.  The kids have been busy with Eagle Scout Projects, humanitarian trips, cosmetology school and learning to drive so it has been exciting around here. 

But the biggest thing I've been working on is a new project that I am super excited about.  We will be making announcements on Monday and I can't wait to tell you about it.  It is something we're so passionate about, we have been working all day for Family ChartMasters and then Kim and I have been working all night on this new thing.  So stay tuned...  We've got some big news coming down the pike..... 

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 https://familychartmasters.com/consult.html.  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 Ancestry.com. 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 http://www.familychartmasters.com/upload.  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.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

What is the Genealogy Business Alliance?

Image from Zap The Grandma Gap: Power Up Workbook

So it seems I've struck a nerve.  Again.  I think the phrase is "fools rush in...."

From the moment I put the link to http://thechartchick.blogspot.com/2016/01/slig-colloquium-2016-and-gba.html out on facebook I've been inundated with side conversations and personal messages from people looking for help with how to run a genealogy business.  That's so exciting, but I think I haven't clearly stated what I was going for with this new idea.  It looks like I've created some confusion.  

I usually take the day off on Sunday, but I had some inspiration today about the new "Genealogy Business Alliance" facebook group and I think it is time to clear things up.  Hopefully this will clarify--if not, I'm sure there will be another blog post, and hopefully more inspiration.  Here's my thoughts:
  • If you hire and fire employees
  • If you run vendors' booths at the major genealogy conferences
  • If you mainly spend your day managing and developing rather than researching, lecturing or writing
Then this group is for you.

If you aspire to such things you might find value here and you are welcome to join us.
  • If you are an independent researcher, writer, lecturer, media person, etc or currently work for someone in that capacity this is probably not the group for you.  In that case we would suggest working with APG, GSG, ISFHWE or starting your own specific group.  Though it may briefly touch on such subjects in the context of running a genealogy company, the concerns of an individual genealogy consultant is not a topic for this group.

We intend not to talk about genealogy, but rather how to run a company in the genealogy market.  Specifically this group exists to foster already existing "Mom & Pop" genealogy companies into becoming healthy corporations, thus creating more genealogy jobs, and encouraging all the boats on the genealogy sea to rise.

I'm sorry if this isn't the particular need everyone is looking for.  However I think the more focused this group is the more valuable it will be to the people who really need it.  I'm really excited about it. Already I've learned valuable things about QuickBooks and issues regarding an LLC.  There has also been talk of doing some purchasing together, shipping together, outsourcing together (what if we could create a full time job for something several of us only need a small part time job for. Or don't like (think taxes!))  So cool.

If you are interested, please fill out our google doc at out at https://goo.gl/M1WoZ7.  You can also request to join the closed facebook group "Genealogy Business Alliance".  Feel free to contact me if you have any problems with that. We'd love to talk to you.

Friday, January 22, 2016

SLIG Colloquium 2016 and a GBA

Last Saturday I was invited to participate in the SLIG Colloqium held at the Salt Lake Hilton.  The question posed for leaders from across the genealogy community was "What prevents genealogical organizations and societies (including APG, CAFG, GSG, ICAPGen, ISFHWE, NGS, and other national, state or provincial, and local organizations inside and outside the United States) from officially adopting or endorsing Genealogy Standards (published 2014 by BCG)?"  If you are interested, there will be a full article about the discussion in the spring issue of Crossroads magazine from the Utah Genealogical Association (SLIG’s sponsor society).

The discussion was a fascinating display of the politics between the different organizations in the genealogy community.  There are lots of good people serving in these many organizations and it is interesting to watch their various missions and values come into play with each other.  We are so lucky to have so many people who are passionate about family history working to help genealogists be better at their craft.  I came away with a new appreciation for the talent we have in genealogy--and a new respect for the diplomatic talent of many of the players.

The ultimate outcome of this discussion was an initiative to create a coordinating committee between the various organizations that could come up with a small number of basic principles of good genealogy research that we could all get behind.  With a core set of principles, we could be a united voice to new genealogists and help raise the quality of genealogy research across the board.

Most interesting to me was a part of the discussion in the middle.  Someone (I'm sorry I don't remember who) suggested that we should cast this net wide to include those companies that serve genealogists as well as the research entities.  Specifically she mentioned a developer at RootsMagic that she knew and suggested that these principles could be incorporated into that software and other databases and tools that genealogists use.  She knew that the developers would have more buy in if they were included in the discussion rather than just informed about it.  An interesting conversation ensued about who was "qualified" to put these principles in place and whether or not genealogy business owners were up to the task.  Having a Masters in Library and Information Science, and yet being on the "Companies that Serve Genealogists" side rather than the research side, I found this discussion very intriguing.

As the Colloqium concluded, Christy Fillerup volunteered to be the point person for developing this coordinating committee.  (Go Christy!  I know from personal experience with her that she will be fabulous.)  As things were wrapping up, I was approached by several people, including Christy, about creating and coordinating a voice for the genealogy business community that could be a part of this board.  While I watched groups from other organizations talk about how they are going to coordinate within their entity and then send a representative to participate, I felt suddenly quite lonely.

Similarly, as I've recently written the "Making Money in Genealogy" course for Salt Lake Community College (You really should sign up--it did turn out quite fantastic in my humble point of view :)  I found there were precious few resources about running a genealogy business.  There is a plethora of resources about how to do good genealogy research, but very very little about how to make a living doing it.  And if you can't make a good living at it, you can't be as effective at doing genealogy. 

I have long felt the need for a genealogy business organization--a coordinated effort between businesses where we could share some of the load of developing a genealogy company.  The genealogy market is very different, and in a lot of ways business resources from outside the community don't apply.  I've seen other communities with such organizations, such as the LDS Booksellers Association, or the American Independent Business Alliance or even the California Avocado Commission and the Battery Council International where such entities coordinate scholarships, conferences, workshops, share marketing ideas, joint buying projects (such as insurance) and create resources for new business owners to learn and network.  If there is a National Association of Firefighter's Credit Unions, I think it is time for us.  I think in general, most genealogy business owners have started companies because they love genealogy, and then find themselves responsible for other people's jobs without a lot of business know-how.  There are trade associations in most every field.  I think it is time to start talking about one in genealogy.

For starters we could develop:
  • A resource of best business practices 
  • A united buying power 
  • A resource for asking business related questions 
  • Networking activities 
  • Partnership opportunities 
  • A united voice in the genealogy community
What if we could take membership fees and provide grants to societies so that they could have larger conferences and vendors could find more value there? Hmmmm.  Where could this go?

What I'm talking about here isn't particularly an association for genealogy researchers.  While those researchers are welcome, most researchers can usually find the resources they need at the Association for Professional Genealogists.  What I'm talking about here is an organization specifically about business for genealogy business executives, that includes people like me--people who serve genealogists--the people who buy space in the vendors' hall at major conferences.

I know that the real value I find at conferences has always come at the lunches and dinners I go to after the conference, where I can talk with my peers and find out what is working best for them.  I'd like to solidify that more.  So:
  • I've started the closed facebook group "Genealogy Business Alliance".  Feel free to contact me to join.
  • We have created a google form that will collect information about people interested in the group.  Fill it out at https://goo.gl/M1WoZ7
  • I'm going to organize an exploratory committee to discuss where this could go and feel out support.
  • I'll be passing out flyers at RootsTech to inform people about the effort.    
As I've started talking to people about it, I think there is a real need.  So.  What do you think?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Favorite Charts from 2015

We are excited to show off some of our work from 2015!

We did something new this year.  We went back through all of the charts we created and picked out a few of our favorites.  We've contacted the clients who worked with us to create the charts and asked if we could share them with you.  In years past, we've been too shy to ask because we know these are such personal creations.  But this year we got brave and boy did it pay off.  Every client we asked was really excited to show off their chart.

We did several charts for special occasions.  We love making your family events even more special:

We also did some very popular charts that looked like a natural tree:

Sometimes we put together several options for a client, and all of them turned out so well it was hard to decide:

We did some amazing all-in-one charts (more on that to come in a future blog post--but here is a taste) We can put in in-law lines, other side lines, color coding, second cousins, all sorts of things:

And of course you won't find the kinds of color coding we can do anywhere else. This year we color coded by place, by descendancy, and many other things:

We created some beautiful charts with icons and color coding to highlight a certain trait:

And of course the pictures. Who doesn't love a beautiful chart with beautiful pictures?

And maps--highlighting where the family was from:

So many beautiful families we get to enjoy:
Gorgeous blended families and step families:
We've changed the information for the living people on each of the charts.  But if the client requested, we've left their deceased ancestors because of the value we've found in having charts on display as "cousin bait."  Every year, as we've displayed charts at conferences, we inevitably have people come up and say that they share the same ancestors.  We've promised the owners of each of these charts that we'll forward any interested parties' emails to them so that they can collaborate on future research.  With a hope for new cousin connections, and a $25 gift certificate, everyone we contacted was excited to show off their great work.  And what beautiful families they have--don't you agree?

Join us this year at the conferences we attend (including RootsTech next month) to see these charts live and in person.  And don't be surprised next year if we choose your chart as one of our favorites.  We look forward to creating a beautiful chart for your family too!