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November 30, 2005

Genealogy and Temple Work: A Team

For this month's LDS entry, I found a rather old article in the August 1983 Ensign by George D. Durant. It is titled, Genealogy and Temple Work: “You Can’t Have One without the Other,” and I believe it contains valuable incite into both genealogy and temple work as a pair.

Here are a few paragraphs from the article:

Genealogy and temple work—you can’t have one without the other. They are two inseparable parts of one supernal decree the Lord has given us to aid in the redemption of the dead. The process of identifying one’s family should be much more than a hobby to a Latter-day Saint. From an eternal perspective, to consider the word genealogy and not its partner temple work—or to think of temple work and disregard its twin, genealogy—makes no more sense than to try to play a game with only half a ball.

Some people feel that temple work, by its very nature, is the more important work, the sacred half—the top half of the ball, we might say. But a rolling ball does not have a top and a bottom. I’ve heard some members say, “I love going to the temple and performing the sacred ordinances. But genealogy just isn’t interesting to me.” Others say, “If I could, I would spend all my time doing genealogy. It is so exciting that I’d stay at the library from the time the doors open until they kick me out at night.” If we all felt one way or the other, we would have either a huge backlog of names at the temple or long lines at the temple waiting for names not there.

Elder Boyd K. Packer made the relationship between the two very clear when he said: “You cannot have regard for temple ordinance work without having great respect for genealogical work as well. Genealogical work is the fundamental service for the temples. The temples could not stay open without success in the genealogical program.” (The Holy Temple, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1980, p. 224.)

In October 1975, Elder Packer told a group of Regional Representatives:

“During the last two months … I have visited a number of high priest groups. Mostly I have been listening. I have been trying to determine what high priests quorums are doing about this work—and why not! It has been a most interesting inquiry. …

“I visited a high priest group with 39 members, well educated, well-to-do, and many of them retired. During the last year they have been responsible for 1,122 endowments at the temple. During the same period they have submitted, from their own genealogical research from their own family records, two names—one of which had not yet cleared. This, I find, is about typical.

“Genealogical work in the Church, for the most part, is left to those few members who have taken a keen interest in it, who have found great excitement in it, and who devote themselves totally to it.” (Ibid.)

November 23, 2005

Photo Calendar Christmas Gifts

Kimberly Powell recently posted an entry titled, "Create Your Own Printable Family Photo Calendar." She then listed 6 steps to help us create our own family photo calendar. I thought this was a great idea for a Christmas gift this year, but decided it might be easier for me to just get mine done at FedEx Kinko's since my brother is a manager at one of their stores.

My brother then emailed me some coupons that are only valid for this weekend after Thanksgiving. FedEx Kinko's is offering great deals on custom calendars and greeting cards, as well as other personalized gifts for the next few days. Here are the deals.

Thanksgiving F&F.jpg

November 17, 2005

Climbing Family Trees-Whispers in the Leaves

There is a new book recently released from Spring Creek Books on Family History. It is called "Climbing Family Trees-Whispers in the Leaves," and is written by Trina Boice and twin sister Tracey Long. The description of the book can be found at Trina's website.

* Amazing, true genealogy stories that will give you goose-bumps and inspire you to search for your own roots
* How-to genealogy tips for both the experienced genealogist and the beginner
* Tons of resources
* Creative ways to involve your family in your research
* Ideas to do genealogy through all seasons of your life
* A cool contest! Great prizes! Treasure hunt!
* Family reunion ideas
* Ways to celebrate National Family History month
* Funny, but real epitaphs
* How to use technology in your research as well as in your family relations
* Creative ways to celebrate your family's history

The retail price of this book is $14.95 and it will be distributed to bookstores such as Barnes and Noble, Waldenbooks, and Deseret Book. Perhaps it would make a nice Christmas present.

November 16, 2005

Ten Commandments of Genealogy

Dick Eastman recently posted 10 Commandments to help you produce high-quality genealogy reports that will be credible to others. They are:

1. Never accept someone else's opinion as "fact." Be suspicious. Always check for yourself!

2. Always verify primary sources; never accept a secondary source as factual until you have personally verified the information.

3. Cite your sources! Every time you refer to a person's name, date and/or place of an event, always tell where you found the information. If you are not certain how to do this, get yourself a copy of "Evidence! Citation and Analysis for the Family Historian" by Elizabeth Shown Mills. This excellent book shows both the correct form of source citation and the sound analysis of evidence.

4. If you use the works of others, always give credit. Never claim someone else's research as your own.

5. Assumptions and "educated guesses" are acceptable in genealogy as long as they are clearly labeled as such. Never offer your theories as facts.

6. Be open to corrections. The greatest genealogy experts of all time made occasional errors. So will you. Accept this as fact. When someone points out a possible error in your work, always thank that person for his or her assistance and then seek to re-verify your original statement(s). Again, check primary sources.

7. Respect the privacy of living individuals. Never reveal personal details about living individuals without their permission. Do not reveal their names or any dates or locations.

8. Keep "family secrets." Not everyone wants the information about a court record or a birth out of wedlock to be posted on the Internet or written in books. The family historian records "family secrets" as facts but does not publish them publicly.

9. Protect original documents. Handle all documents with care, and always return them to their rightful storage locations.

10. Be prepared to reimburse others for reasonable expenses incurred on your behalf. If someone travels to a records repository and makes photocopies for you, always offer to reimburse the expenses.

November 15, 2005

Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation offers Coupon for Participation

The following article was found at Business Wire:

November 14, 2005 08:00 AM US Eastern Timezone

Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation and Relative Genetics Team Up to Reward Participants in Non-Profit DNA-Ancestry Database

SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 14, 2005--Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF), a non-profit research organization dedicated to fostering global family history research and family connections by building the world's largest database of correlated genetic and genealogical information, and Relative Genetics, a leading global provider of genetic testing solutions for private companies, individuals, family organizations and genealogists, have joined forces to reward family history hobbyists who submit DNA samples and ancestry records for inclusion in the Foundation's rapidly expanding database.

Beginning today, those who submit their DNA sample (obtained with a swish of mouthwash) along with a four-generation pedigree chart to SMGF for inclusion in its database will qualify for a coupon for a steeply discounted price on a sophisticated analysis of their DNA by Relative Genetics laboratory. Those who have already donated their DNA profile and family history to the SMGF database will be eligible for the discount as well. By redeeming the coupon, SMGF participants will be able to obtain a 26 Marker Y-chromosome Paternal Line Analysis on their DNA or a mtDNA Maternal Line Analysis for the price of $95, a savings of approximately 40 percent.

All DNA-pedigree donors also have the satisfaction of participating in a visionary project that is forever changing the way ancestry research is done. The relatively new science of molecular genealogy links individuals to their ancestors using genetic profiles, eliminating guesswork and dead-ends caused by surname changes and missing historical records. Today, a visitor to the SMGF Web site (www.smgf.org) can enter the numerical values from their own Y-chromosome DNA profile into the database's drop-down menus and query a subset of 13,489 individual genetic profiles or genotypes. These Y-chromosome genetic profiles are linked to more than 550,000 individual ancestors representing over 9,400 paternal-line surnames. In total SMGF has collected 60,000 DNA samples from around the world with genealogies linked to over 2.5 million ancestral records. This additional data will be made available in future releases.

The research project is a multi-cultural, multi-racial and ecumenical endeavor that collaborates internationally with diverse universities on a database that includes genetic-genealogy information from around the globe. The goal of genetically mapping humanity's entire family tree in a free online database has an idealistic and visionary purpose. "I believe that if people know how closely related we all are, then we will treat each other better," said James LeVoy Sorenson, a renowned medical device entrepreneur who came up with the idea for the Foundation.

New participants may take advantage of this one-time coupon offer by requesting a kit from http://smgf.org/request_a_free_kit.html. New participants must submit a four-generation pedigree chart along with a mouthwash/saliva sample to qualify for the coupon. Past SMGF participants may take advantage of this offer by filling out and submitting the online form found at http://smgf.org/coupon_request.html.

About Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation

Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) is a non-profit research organization that collects and analyzes DNA samples in order to create the world's most comprehensive correlated genetic and genealogical database. SMGF's database uses sophisticated DNA analysis to link individuals together, allowing public access to the database while maintaining strict confidentiality of participants' information. Information is available at the Foundation's Web site, http://www.smgf.org.

About Relative Genetics

Relative Genetics (www.relativegenetics.com) provides genetic testing solutions to help genealogists build the branches of their family trees. The company's comprehensive testing services allow private companies, individuals, family organizations and genealogists around the world to establish relationships and identity through DNA testing, genetic interpretation and genealogical analysis. Relative Genetics offers the most complete specialized genetic testing capabilities available under one roof for extended family and ancestral origin testing.

November 8, 2005

National Family History Day

Last year U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona declared Thanksgiving 2004 to be the first annual National Family History Day. His goal for this Family History Day was for relatives to get together to talk about and write down their health problems and medical histories. Tracing the illnesses suffered by your parents, grandparents, and siblings can help your doctor predict the disorders you may be at risk of and help you prevent them from happening to yourself.

U.S. Surgeon General Carmona decided on Thanksgiving because he figured it is the start of the holiday season for most Americans. So this Thanksgiving, the second annual National Family History Day, decide to fill out My Family Health Portrait. You can either print out a copy of this easy fill-in-the-blank sheet to record your family's health history, or you can download it and use it on your computer.

November 7, 2005

Heritage Creations Salt Lake City Christmas Tour

In 1985 Leland and Patty Meitzler started the Heritage Creations Salt Lake City Christmas Tour. They decided they wanted to help genealogy researchers with a tour sponsored at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. December seems to be a slow month at the FHL with the holidays, so they have arranged a tour every Christmas since 1985. This year the tour dates are:

Sunday, December 4 through Saturday, December 10, 2005.

To find out more information about the Heritage Creations Christmas Tour click here.

Here is the cost and sign-up information for the Tour.

And here is the Class Schedule.

November 3, 2005

Kid finds Sperm Donor Dad through DNA testing

I just found a very interesting article at RedHerring.com. A 15-year-old boy decided to send a cheek swab to an online genealogy DNA-testing service, FamilyTreeDNA.com. After 9 months he was contacted by 2 men who had very similar Y chromosomes and using this information with the information his mother had of his sperm donor father, he soon found his genetic dad.

Here is the full article.

November 1, 2005

Questions and Ancestors

In September I posted about a new series coming to the BYU channel sometime in the fall and they finally announced the starting dates and times. Here is the latest information from BYU Broadcasting.


BYU Television: Tuesdays @ 5:00 PM and Thursdays @ 9:30 PM starting November 8th
BYU Radio: Saturdays @ 11:00 AM starting November 12th

What is Questions and Ancestors?

A weekly series that focuses on genealogy questions submitted by the broadcast audience.

Co-hosts Emily Wilbur (professional genealogical researcher) and Darius Gray (journalist and co-director of Freedman's Records Project), along with other family history experts field your e-mail questions.

Contact info

  Email me

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