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May 31, 2005

Genealogy is a Personal Responsibility

I used to think that genealogy was just a good hobby for my retired parents. I figured that I didn't need to do it because they were doing it for me. I started learning more about this "hobby" though and realized that it is for everyone. Not only is it enjoyable and fulfilling, but according to an article by Elder Theodore M. Burton in the January 1973 Ensign it is also each of our responsibilities as members of the LDS church.

Here are a few excerpts from Elder Burton's article titled, Genealogy: A Personal Responsibility.

Stated, then, in simple words, I say to every member of the Church that you have a personal, individual responsibility to become engaged in priesthood genealogical activity. The real impact of the priesthood genealogy program is one of individual responsibility. The actual work must be performed by individuals, not by organizations. What is everybody’s business is nobody’s business, so I must say that this work is your individual responsibility and each of you, as an individual, must become converted to this work as a personal responsibility. It is not my responsibility alone, nor that of your stake president, nor that of your bishop alone. It is not confined to the high priests. Neither is genealogy and temple work reserved for older people. It should not be put off until you retire or become too old and infirm to do anything else.

Priesthood genealogy is an exciting, living, vital program involving the whole family. Elijah came to turn the hearts of children to their parents and parents to their children, so priesthood genealogy and temple work is a family affair, a total family program involving children, youth, and parents. We ought to change our attitudes toward priesthood genealogy and realize that the real impact of this program converges on each individual member of the Church.

Some persons have asked me, “Just what is my personal responsibility in this work?” I answer that your individual responsibility is to be, or to become, worthy to enter the temple of God to participate in ordinances of salvation for yourself and for others. Youth are to be baptized in behalf of the dead. Young adults are to receive an endowment of power and to be married in the Lord’s appointed way. Wives are to be sealed to husbands and have their children sealed to them for all eternity. Thus, just as you can be saviors for the living through active missionary work, so you are to qualify yourselves to become saviors for those who are dead who rely on you for help and assistance.

May 28, 2005

Global Searches in PAF

I recently figured out a new trick that can be used in the PAF 5.2 program. My mother has a friend who needed to delete the word "submitted" in about 1600 of her names so that she could run them all through TempleReady again. My mother used the Global Search tool to delete all 1600 "submitteds" and then told me how to do it.

1. Click on "Tools"
2. Go to "Global Search and Replace"
3. You then decide which area you would like to search in, the Places, Dates, Names, etc.
4. Put the word you're searching for and then what you would like to replace it with.

For example, I just merged 2000 names into my file from somebody else and this person likes to abbreviate states, such as OH instead of Ohio. I don't like to abbreviate states, so I went to Global Search and clicked on Places and searched for "OH" and replaced with "Ohio." It then produced a report that showed me every change that was made; 250 places were changed to match my preference.

I also have a city in my file named Marlborough. Unfortunately when I've added others' information to my file they spell it like the well-known cigarette, Marlboro. I easily just fixed all of those mistakes by doing this Global Search and now they are all spelled correctly. This is a great tool to utilize and hopefully others have figured it out much sooner than I have.

May 27, 2005

PAF 5.2 - Free Genealogy Software

The first thing you need to start your family history research, is a good computer program to record your names. The program I use is called Personal Ancestral File (PAF) and can be downloaded for free by following these simple steps:

1. Go to
2. Click on "Order/Download Products" in the upper right corner
3. Click on "Software Downloads - Free"
4. Download the 1st version in the list - "Personal Ancestral File"
5. You will have to agree to the License Agreement and register for the product w/ your name and address.
6. You can then download the software in any of the following languages: English, German, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, or Swedish.

This program is user friendly and keeps all your ancestors' names well organized. And if you are LDS, this is the program that all the temples and family history centers use for genealogy work.

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