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Members Helping Members and a New Look for the Database

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

By Beth Finnson

A new Icelandic Roots program called Members Helping Members, and database updates were the topic for Samtal Hour on January 30, 2023.

Over forty people filled the Samtal "room" as Rob Olason explained his new initiative-- an Icelandic Roots database user help session called "Members Helping Members."

The sessions are open to any and all members who want to learn more about how to use the Icelandic Roots database.

With nearly 775,000 individuals and almost 40,000 media items, the database is a complex and robust system with so much information about our ancestors, families, and cousins that new users can easily get lost in all that data. Helping users navigate and become proficient database sleuths is the goal of the once-a-month Members Helping Members interactive zoom session.

Did you get stuck somewhere in the database? This monthly session is your opportunity to ask questions about how to navigate the IR Database.

Found a neat new trick that is your "go-to" move for data searches? Share your discovery with other members so they can benefit as well.

The concept for the help session is simple: we all know a little bit (or maybe a lot) about working with the database, and we can help others when we share that knowledge.

Rob will feature at least one of the IR genealogists to help when you can’t find what you are looking for.

Yesterday, Rob’s guest genealogist was Lorne Hallgrimson who shared the new menu design with the latest updates. The most impactful change is titled “My Training and Resources”. It is located in the blue bar on the left-hand side of your home page. A great way to learn is to just click on all the options in the blue bar to find out what resources you have available.

Diagram of the "blue menu" design changes.
Diagram of the "blue menu" design changes

Lorne ran through all the changes to the menu design including a fascinating new feature called "Unknown Photos" which can be found under the "People" tab. Icelandic Roots has a collection of thousands of historic photos containing unidentified people, and this new link for "Unknown Photos" will offer up a fresh selection each month that all database users can view, and if they find one they recognize, easily notify the genealogists. Once the confirmation is made, the photo will then be attached to the identified person's individual record in the database.

Attending “Members Helping Members” will be your chance to share your recent challenges. I’m certain another member attending has already encountered a similar issue and most likely has an answer for you! Or perhaps you want to teach us all about your newest discovery.

What are your best tips for using the database? I like learning Icelandic history by clicking on “people”, then “interesting people”. Did you know there are 895 people on that list?

All Icelandic Roots members are invited to join Rob for each month's session. The zoom link will be in your Members Update newsletter so watch your emails. You can check for the next monthly meeting on the Icelandic Roots Event Calendar.

Let’s all help each other find our families. “Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

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