Wednesday, March 30, 2016

RootsTech 2016 Swag

I had such a great time at RootsTech 2016. This was my first time attending in person and my first time attending as an Ambassador. What an amazing experience!

I left the conference with some fun RootsTech swag and I thought I would share photos of those items with you today.

One of the items I received is the very nice RootsTech bag in the middle of the photo below.

Here are some close-up views of other items.

In the photo below is my RootsTech lanyard. I collected a few buttons during the week. And of course, I collected some ribbons during the week too. In addition to the ribbons collected in the Expo Hall, Thomas MacEntee, founder of GeneaBloggers, shared some fun ones with me too. He had a lot of ribbons to choose from. The "GeneaBloggers," "i tweet," and "My Brain Hurts" ribbons were from him. Thank you Thomas!

Those pretty blue and gold beads were given to me by Thomas MacEntee because I'm a member of GeneaBloggers. The smaller ruby-colored beads were given to me by Eric Jelle, Founder of Genedocs. Thanks again Thomas! And thank you Eric!

See the little green selfie stick to the left of my lanyard? RootsTech gave each of the Ambassadors a selfie stick at the Media Dinner. What a fun gift! I didn't have a selfie stick before. Thanks RootsTech!

Close-up of the lanyard buttons.

My husband and I attended the MyHeritage RootsTech After-Party on Friday, February 6. What a fun evening! I'll share more about it in a future post. We had our pictures taken in their photo booth. Each attendee was given a blanket as a parting gift too. The photo is propped up against the blanket. Thank you MyHeritage!

Looking at these items from RootsTech 2016 reminded me of how much fun I had at the conference. I would love to attend next year too.

Thanks for reading!

© 2016 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Who Do You Think You Are? Live Returns To The NEC

The following press release is from Who Do You Think You Are? Live ~


The world’s largest family history show Who Do You Think You Are? Live will celebrate its 10th anniversary at the NEC in Birmingham this April (7-9) with the help of celebrities and a full-size replica Spitfire in partnership with Forces War Records.

Sponsored by Ancestry, Who Do You Think You Are? Live offers workshops, speakers and a huge range of experts to create a one-stop shop for the 13,000 family historians who will descend on the show this year.

Ancestry are the show sponsors again for the 10th year and as well as bringing their ground breaking AncestryDNA kits to the show they will have Sir Tony Robinson joining them on Friday and Saturday to meet visitors and discuss the new and exciting developments in genealogy.

This year Who Do You Think You Are? Live is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a very special addition – a replica Spitfire, complete with its own ground crew and WW2 props in partnership with Forces War Records. Visitors will be able to climb aboard and have their photo taken inside the cockpit of this iconic aircraft.

Visitors will also have an opportunity to have family treasures dated by Antiques Roadshow experts Eric Knowles and Marc Allum.
There will be plenty of other experts on hand to help with dating photographs and a dedicated military area offering advice to those researching ancestors involved in conflict.

Anita Rani will be joining the show on the Saturday and reliving her experience from the popular TV show Who Do You Think You Are? Visitors will have the opportunity to ask Anita questions about her journey and also meet her for photos and autographs after her talks. Anita has saidMy experience of WDYTYA? moved me to my core and from the reaction I had it impacted most people who watched it too. I am very much looking forward to being able to discuss it at the Live event.”

The event moved from Olympia in London to its new Birmingham venue last year and Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine publisher, Immediate Media Co., plans to build on its success with over 130 of the biggest names in the business attending, including: Ancestry, Findmypast, The National Archives, FamilySearch, the Federation of Family History Societies and the Society of Genealogists.

The Education Zone in partnership with Findmypast is another new feature at the 2016 show. There is an area dedicated to beginners with 20 minute talks covering everything from Family history can be FUN and starting from scratch to FREE online sources for the frugal genealogist and Don’t throw that out! This area will also host the Battle of the Somme roadshow and artefacts available to handle from the Royal Artillery Museum.

Marie Davies, Show Director, commented: “We are delighted to be bringing Who Do You Think You Are? Live back to the NEC for its second year. The 2016 event is a very special one for us as we are celebrating the Live show’s 10th  anniversary following more than 100 fascinating episodes of the BBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are?”

Monday, March 28, 2016

Favorite Family Recipes ~ Texas Tater Casserole

One of our family's favorite recipes is Texas Tater Casserole. I originally found this recipe in the Betty Crocker Favorite Casseroles recipe booklet from September 1999, #154. A slight variation of the booklet's recipe can also be found online at the Betty Crocker website by clicking HERE.

This casserole is yummy and pretty easy to make.

Cook ground beef, chopped onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a skillet until beef is brown. The original recipe calls for chopped celery. I usually just leave that ingredient out. But when I made this casserole last night, I used chopped red bell pepper instead of the celery. By the way, I didn't measure the onions, bell pepper or garlic. But that's okay.

After draining the fat from the ground beef mixture, add cheddar cheese soup, corn, picante sauce, chili powder, and pepper. 

Stir to combine.

Spoon mixture into baking dish.

Top with your favorite tater tots and bake in a 375° oven for 40 minutes. The original recipe calls for a 16 ounce bag of tater tots, but I use a 32 ounce bag.

When the timer goes off, take the casserole out of the oven,

and sprinkle with Pepper Jack cheese. I also didn't measure the cheese. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, but you can add as much as you like.

Place the casserole back in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbly.

Remove from oven and enjoy!

Texas Tater Casserole


1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed Cheddar cheese soup
1 can (11 ounces) whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained (I use Green Giant Steam Crisp Mexicorn)
1/2 cup picante sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 package (32 ounces) frozen potato nuggets (I use Ore-Ida Tater Tots)
1/2 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese (of course, you can use as much cheese as you like)


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook ground beef, onion, bell pepper and garlic in large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Stir occasionally and cook until beef is brown. Drain.

Stir soup, corn, picante sauce, chili powder, and pepper into beef mixture. Spoon into ungreased 13" x 9" casserole dish. Top with frozen potato nuggets.

Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.


6 servings

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker Favorite Casseroles Recipe Booklet September 1999, #154.

Thanks for reading!

© 2016 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter! He Lives! Hallelujah!

Image courtesy of
Happy Easter!

I'd like to share two very special videos with you today. This first video is called #Hallelujah - An Easter Message about Jesus Christ. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

In this second video, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and over 2,000 voices from around the world sing the Hallelujah Chorus.

The Hallelujah Chorus is truly a magnificent and moving piece of music. I hope you enjoy watching this wonderful video.

I'm so thankful for our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I'm so thankful for the Atonement. Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. He was resurrected on that glorious third day following his death. He paid the price for our sins and He overcame physical death. Because of Jesus Christ's sacrifice and resurrection, each of us can be forgiven if we truly repent, and each of us will live again after death. Hallelujah!

Happy Easter!

© 2016 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 25, 2016

Follow Friday ~ Fab Finds for March 25, 2016

My Fab Finds for this week are (in no particular order)
  1. Ethics, Etiquette and Old Family Letters by Denise Levenick, author of The Family Curator
  2. Oh The Changes I Have Seen in Genealogy! by Ruth Blair, author of The Passionate Genealogist
  3. How to Successfully Apply the Genealogical Proof Standard by Tyler S. Stahle for FamilySearch Blog
  4. Do I Really Need to Join My Local Society? I Have No Ancestors From My Area... by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, author of Anxiously Engaged
  5. Spanish-American War Veterans from Pennsylvania by Joanne Cowden, author of Researching Relatives
  6. The 21 Day Genealogy Challenge - Day 21: Recommitting to Your Genealogy Goals by Melyssa, author of The Golden Age of Genealogy
  7. Creating a Family Story and Memory Book by Lorine McGinnis Schulze, author of Olive Tree Genealogy
  8. 1885 Territory Map of the Various Catholic Dioceses in Mexico by Moises Garza, author of Mexican Genealogy
  9. Looking back in Norway by Martin Roe Eidhammer, author of Norwegian Genealogy and then some
  10. A NIFTY TOOL ADDED TO THE TOOLBOX by Dayna Jacobs, author of On Granny’s Trail
  11. On the Road with Chautauqua: A Friendship Begins by Patricia Desmond Biallas, author of GeneaJourneys
  12. Remembering Little Arthur Collins and his Family by Linda Hall-Little, author of Passage to the Past’s Blog
  13. My Common Characteristics & Experiences Pedigree Chart by Laura Mattingly, author of The Old Trunk in the Attic
  14. Facebook and Genealogy: 151 More Links for Australian Researchers by Alona Tester, author of Lonetester HQ
  15. The Scraps of a Well-behaved Woman’s Life Part II: Three Steps for Understanding your Ancestor’s Leavings by Diana Elder for Family Locket
  16. Suppose You Were the Only One by Colleen G. Brown Pasquale, author of Leaves & Branches
  17. A big shout out to the Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness Facebook Page by Michele Simmons Lewis, author of Ancestoring
  18. Facebook: A powerful & fun free genealogy tool by Brian Sheffey, author of Genealogy Adventures
  19. Website: Pioneers of the Westward Expansion by Claire V. Brisson-Banks, author of Budding Genealogists
  20. New Look with FamilySearch Research Wiki Upgrade by James Tanner, author of Genealogy's Star

RootsTech 2016 ~

This week's "May I Introduce To You" Interview on

New Blog Discoveries

In Case You Missed Them….My Contribution to the Blogosphere Last Week

Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog
Jana’s Place

Thanks for reading!

© 2016 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 24, 2016

My Five Generation Birthplace Pedigree Chart

Five Generation Birthplace Pedigree Chart

Yesterday J Paul Hawthorne, author of the GeneaSpy blog, shared a fun and interesting five generation birthplace pedigree chart on Facebook. He created the chart using Excel and shared the template on Facebook.

Many of my fellow genealogy bloggers created their own chart using the template Paul provided and also shared them on Facebook. My timeline has been filled with these fun and colorful charts. Of course, I had to join in on the fun, so I created my own chart and shared it on Facebook last night. I decided to share my chart here on my blog as well.

Here's a little explanation about my chart:

The chart begins with me. I was born in California. My dad was also born in California and my mom was born in Brazil.

My paternal grandmother, Ingrid Anna Gillberg was born in Utah and my paternal grandfather, Arthur Harry Iverson was born in Minnesota. They both moved to California and met there. My great-grandmother, Hilda Maria Carlsson, and her mother, Karin Johnsson, joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sweden and immigrated to the United States along with my great-grandfather, Carl Albert Gillberg, and their family. My 2nd great-grandfather, Iver Iverson, immigrated to the United States from Norway in 1858 and served in the US Civil War. He and my 2nd great-grandmother, Marit Thorsdatter, who was also born in Norway, both settled in Minnesota.

My maternal great-grandfather, Watson (Frederick) Emory Webster, was born in Ohio. He is known as "The Traveling Dentist" here on my blog. He practiced dentistry in three countries: the United States, Mexico, and Brazil. He met and married my maternal great-grandmother, Esther Matus Villatoro, in Mexico. They immigrated to Brazil sometime between 1910 and 1912. My maternal grandparents, Debs and Willis Webster and their family, including my mom, joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1950 and 1951 and immigrated to the United States in July 1952. So, that branch of the Webster family left the USA in the early 1900's and then came back again in 1952.

J Paul Hawthorn gave me permission to share his Excel chart template. So, if you'd like to make your own five generation birthplace pedigree chart, download the template by clicking on the link below. Thanks Paul!

Five Generation Birthplace Pedigree Chart

Thanks for reading!


© 2016 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Remembering My Dad On His Birthday

Note: This is a repost from the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. I changed the title and made a few edits to make the content accurate for today's date. Happy Birthday Dad! We really do miss you!

This is part of the "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" Challenge begun by Amy Johnson Crow, author of the blog No Story Too Small.

Today is my dad's birthday. He would have turned 80 years old. He passed away almost seven years ago.

Jan Albert Iverson in 1938 - 2 Years Old
Jan Albert Iverson ~ 2 Years Old

My dad, Jan Albert Iverson, was born on March 23, 1936 to his parents, Ingrid Anna Gillberg and Arthur Harry Iverson. He was the second of four children born to Ingrid and Arthur. Jan had an older sister named Joan and two younger siblings. Joan passed away in 1993 from cancer and his younger sister, Anne, passed away in 2015.

This is a picture of my dad at his home in North Hollywood, California. I love that this picture of my dad shows the inside of the home that his father, Arthur, built with the help of others.

Jan Albert Iverson as a Young Boy

My dad spent the first ten years of his life in the Los Angeles area of California. When he was ten years old, his family moved to Portland, Oregon. This was after his mother, Ingrid, had remarried following the death of my dad's father, Arthur. Ingrid and her second husband, Wayne, had three children. One of Ingrid and Wayne's children, Pamela, passed away in 1972 at only 24 years of age. She had leukemia. Their other two children are still living, so again, I won't give their names here for privacy reasons.

My dad loved sports and played basketball, football, and track during his sophomore year of high school.

This is a picture of my dad when he was 15 years old.

Jan Albert Iverson - 15 Years Old

My dad served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the East Central States Mission from May 1956 until May 1958. This is a picture of him taken in 1956 before his mission. He was 20 years old at the time this photo was taken. In his Mission Journal, he mentioned living and traveling in the following states: Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Mississippi, and Maryland.

Elder Jan Albert Iverson - 20 Years Old ~ 1956

In the summer of 1958, my dad was inducted into the United States Army. He went to Basic Training at Fort Ord, California from August 1958 to October 1958. This photo of my dad was taken in October of 1959.

Jan Albert Iverson in Uniform

After he completed Basic Training, my dad served at the Presidio in San Francisco, California. While he was there, he met his future wife (my mom). Her name is Elizabeth.

They became engaged in the spring of 1959. Then came news that my dad was being sent to Korea. In August of 1959 he left for Seoul, Korea and served overseas for eleven months. He and Elizabeth wrote letters to each other while they were apart. They even sent tapes to each other. My dad was a wonderful artist. He loved to draw and paint. We have a cartoon that he had drawn showing himself sitting at a desk listening to one of the tapes Elizabeth had sent to him. I will be sharing that cute cartoon in a future post.

After his return to the United States, he and Elizabeth were married. This is a photo of my dad and mom on their wedding day.

My dad was a wonderful husband and father. He loved his family. He also had a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He served in many callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during his lifetime.

He worked hard to provide for his family. He worked as a computer programmer for many years.

My dad had a love for genealogy and family history. He served as the Family History Center Director at our local Family History Center for about five years. My mom served as an Assistant Director alongside my dad.

It was while my dad was serving as a Family History Director that he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He hadn't smoked during his life. The suspected cause of his cancer was acid reflux that he suffered from for years. He bravely and patiently endured the trials that went along with his cancer diagnosis. He had major surgery to remove the cancerous portion of his esophagus and then had chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Jan Albert Iverson Grave Marker May 26, 2012

On April 29, 2009, a year and a half after being diagnosed with cancer, my dad passed away. He is very much missed by all who knew and loved him. But, we are comforted by the knowledge that we will see him again someday.

Happy Birthday Dad! We love you!

Thanks for reading!

© 2016 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

How To Add Sources Using The FamilySearch Tree App

This is just a quick tutorial about how to add sources using the FamilySearch Tree App on a smartphone. I use an Android phone. I'm assuming the FamilySearch Tree App works the same way on an Apple phone too, but I don't know for sure.

If you haven't installed the FamilySearch Tree App yet, you can do so by going to the Google Play Store and searching for FamilySearch Tree. You can also just click HERE.

So, let's begin. Open the FamilySearch Tree App on your smartphone.

Here's the FamilySearch Tree App home screen.

Choose an ancestor from your pedigree chart.

You will then be taken to that ancestor's Details page.

See the little blue circle near Amanda's picture? That tells me there are record hints.

Click on the blue record hints icon. You will be taken to the list of record hints.

Click on the record hint you would like to review.

Scroll down and click on "Review."

The Record Review screen will appear.

If this is the correct record for your ancestor, click on the blue paper clips and then scroll down and click on Attach. It's also a good idea to include a reason why you are attaching this source in the box provided.

That's all there is to it. You've just attached a source record for your ancestor.

To return to the Detail page for your ancestor, click on the X next to Record Review at the top of the screen. 

The FamilySearch Tree App makes it super easy to do family history at any time. How fun is that?!

Thanks for reading!

© 2016 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 18, 2016

Follow Friday ~ Fab Finds for March 18, 2016

My Fab Finds for this week are (in no particular order)
  1. Join our New Group: We Are Genealogy Bloggers by Lorine McGinnis Schulze, author of Olive Tree Genealogy
  2. Free Access to ArkivDigital this weekend! by ArkivDigital Blog
  3. Celebrating Fill Our Staplers Day by Nancy Messier, author of My Ancestors and Me
  4. 4 Fun Ways to Make Your Family History Come to Life by Hadley Duncan Howard for Blog
  5. Tech Tuesday: Index the Records You Most Want by Devon Noel Lee, author of A Patient Genealogist
  6. Don’t Burn Your Family Letters When You Declutter AND How to Preserve Old Letters by Amy Johnson Crow, author of Amy Johnson Crow Blog
  7. 3 Ways to Ensure Your Research Meets the Genealogical Proof Standard by Tyler S. Stahle for FamilySearch Blog
  8. Lesson Learned? by Jacqi Stevens, author of A Family Tapestry
  9. With a little help from our friends by Russ Worthington, author of A Worthington Weblog
  10. A kick in the stomach when priorities are lost in genealogy by Vera Miller, author of Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family
  11. Tip: Age Calculator on Ancestry's Search Form by Christine Manczuk, author of Ancestry Island
  12. How are your descendants going to know who is in that photograph, where and when it was taken? by Hilary Gadsby for Worldwide Genealogy ~ A Genealogical Collaboration
  13. What can you find in Grandma's Scrapbook? by Debby Warner Anderson, author of Debby’s Family Genealogy Blog
  14. Do One Simple Thing To Save Your Favorite Heirloom by Denise May Levenick for Ancestry Blog
  15. Digitized Land Patent Plans at Archives of Ontario by Gone Researching Blog
  16. FamilySearch Sends Alerts for GenealogyBank Obituaries by Thomas Jay Kemp for GenealogyBank Blog
  17. Comparing Autosomal DNA by Terri O’Connell, author of Finding Our Ancestors
  18. RESEARCHING IN IRELAND by Linda Stufflebean, author of Empty Branches on the Family Tree

RootsTech 2016 ~

This week's "May I Introduce To You" Interview on

New Blog Discoveries

In Case You Missed Them….My Contribution to the Blogosphere Last Week

Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog
Jana’s Place

Thanks for reading!

© 2016 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

Monday, March 14, 2016

RootsTech 2016 ~ Ken Krogue: "Don't think the word blog, think the word newspaper or magazine."

My day 1 of RootsTech 2016 began with the Innovator Summit General Session, which was held on Wednesday, February 3, 2016. One of the keynote speakers was Ken Krogue - co-founder of

Ken Krogue

Ken Krogue's keynote address was wonderful. I especially loved what he said about blogging. He shared the chart below that showed the results of a research study by a business magazine. The study asked "Which medias are most important?" The answer was blogging.

Here are some quotes by Ken Krogue about blogging that I really liked:

  • "Don't think the word blog, think the word newspaper or magazine. It's a digital magazine for you. Your voice can be heard around the world if you blog. is nothing but a big Wordpress blog." ~ Ken Krogue
  • "I would recommend that you get a blog. Tell your own story." ~ Ken Krogue
  • "So, start your own blog. It's got some horsepower." ~ Ken Krogue

What Ken Krogue said about blogging really resonated with me. I especially love that he advised us bloggers to think of our blog as a newspaper or magazine. Blogging is important and powerful. As he said, "Your voice can be heard around the world if you blog."

I know firsthand how beneficial blogging can be. I wrote a blog post about the benefits of writing a family history blog in my post The Benefits of Genealogy Blogging.

I have also taught a class about the benefits of genealogy blogging at various family history events.

You can watch Ken Krogue's full keynote address in the video below.

If you don't have a blog yet, begin one now. Through your blog, you will be able to tell your own story, as well as the story of your ancestors.

Thanks for reading!

© 2016 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved



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