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August 31, 2006

Family History Quotes

I found a website, Winslow Farr Sr. & Organization, with Family History Quotes from many prophets of the LDS church. Here are a few I enjoyed.

"If the veil were lifted off the face of the Latter-day Saints and they could see and know the things of God as they do who are laboring for the salvation of the human family who are in the spirit world..., this whole people, with very few, if any, exceptions, would lose all interest in the riches of the world, and instead thereof their whole desires and labors would be directed to redeem their dead."

Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 152

"Every father and mother has a great responsibility resting upon them to redeem their dead. Do not neglect it. You will have sorrow if you do. Any man will who neglects the redemption of his dead that he has power to officiate for here. When you get to the other side of the veil, if you have entered into these temples and redeemed your progenitors by the ordinances of the House of God, you will hold the keys of their redemption from eternity to eternity. Do not neglect this!"

-- Wilford Woodruff CR, p. 90, April 10, 1898

"The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead. The Apostle Paul says, "They without us cannot be made perfect,' for it is necessary that the sealing power should be in our hands to seal our children and our dead for the fullness of the dispensation of times -- a dispensation to meet the promises made by Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world for the salvation of man."

-- Joseph Smith

"I want to see the temple built in a manner that it will endure through the Millennium. This is not the only temple we shall build. There will be hundreds of them built and dedicated to the Lord. This temple will be known as the first temple built in the mountains by the Latter-day Saints. And when the Millennium is over, and all the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, down to the last of their posterity, who come within the reach of the clemency of the gospel, have been redeemed in hundreds of temples through the administration of their children as proxies for them, I want that temple still to stand as a proud monument of the faith, perseverance and industry of the Saints of God in the mountains in the nineteenth century."

--Brigham Young, October 6, 1863, Journal of Discourses, 10:254

I find this last quote interesting, since the Sacramento Temple is the 124th temple to be built. I went through the open house last weekend and it is beautiful. It will be dedicated this Sunday and open for temple ordinances after Labor Day.

August 30, 2006

Genealogy Halloween Shirts

JMK Genealogy has launched 3 new shirts for the Halloween season.


The 3 designs are available on t-shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops, and even throw pillows and mousepads.

August 29, 2006

Style Sheet for Genealogy

Recently Julie Miller, a genealogy columnist for Broomfield Enterprise, wrote an article titled, "Using Style to Enhance your Genealogy." She says that every genealogist needs a style sheet to help define their writing style. Some items deal with genealogical standards and others are based on preferences. One of these preferences might include how you like your surnames written. My mother likes hers all in CAPS. I like mine in lowercase letters.

Here is Miller's list of examples.



Unknown name — a question mark inside square brackets in place of unknown name. Example: [-?-]


Day, month, year; month is written out; numbers are not used for the month; four digits are used for the year. Example: 29 July 1956.


First word in a sentence is written out. Example: One hundred dollars

Page numbers - write the full form of the numbers. Example: 145-146.


County abbreviated as Co. Example: Broomfield Co.

State spelled out. Example: Colorado

Order is city, county, state, country. Example: Lyons, Boulder Co., Colorado


Jr. and Sr. without commas. Example: "Harry Warren Jr. has four brothers."


Birth registration (state level)

Joseph L. Brown, birth certificate no. 1889 (1915), South Dakota Department of Health, Pierre, South Dakota

So the idea is to make a style sheet for yourself in order to display your research consistently. A good idea.

August 28, 2006

Irish Ancestors

The other night I was at a genealogy meeting and a woman asked me if I was Irish. I told her that I was and she said that I had a distinct Irish look about me. Unfortunately I don't know very much about my Irish ancestors. I have not been able to continue my Irish line. I know that my great-great-great grandfather, John Printy (or Prunty), was born in Ireland in June 1817. And his wife, Margaret, was born there as well around 1822. So perhaps I need Ancestry.com's Product Pick of the week.

Product Pick of the Week

Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide
by David Ouimette

"If you're lucky enough to be Irish, you're lucky enough." So says the Irish proverb. And with more people of Irish descent living outside of Ireland than on the island itself, you just might be that lucky. Ancestry is pleased to announce the publication of Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide, by David Ouimette It is the ultimate resource to help you trace your Irish roots back to the Emerald Isle.

Divided into four sections, the first helps you get started with basic principles, a timeline of Irish history, information on surnames and given names, place names and land divisions, and the Irish overseas. (An excerpt from the section on Irish surnames is available in the Ancestry.com Library).

The second section deals with major record groups like vital, church, census and land records. The third section takes a look at records like gravestone inscriptions, newspapers, commercial and social directories, wills and administrations, national school registers and occupational records.

The final section provides information on where to research, with sections on Internet sites, the Family History Library, Irish Heritage Centres, archives and libraries and on visiting Ireland.

The book includes an appendix with registration districts, a glossary, and a bibliography of recommended reading.

Normally Finding Your Irish Ancestors retails for $14.95, but today you can buy it in the Ancestry.com Store for $11.95.

August 24, 2006

Placer County Genealogical Society

I have decided to join the Placer County Genealogical Society, now that I live in California. The cost is only $10 a year and they offer monthly evening meetings, monthly day study meetings, and a monthly User's Group for Family Tree Maker. I'm not sure that I'll take advantage of all these meetings, but I am very excited to start off my first meeting tonight by hearing from Stephen P. Morse - The One-Step Website guy. Here is the advertisement for the meeting tonight featuring Mr. Morse.

August Evening Meeting - Thursday, August 24, 2006 7:00 pm

Stephen Morse
One-Step Webpages: A Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools

The One-Step website started out as an aid for finding passengers in the Ellis Island database. Shortly afterwards it was expanded to help with searching in the 1930 census. Over the years it has continued to evolve and today includes over 100 web-based tools divided into twelve separate categories ranging from genealogical searches to astronomical calculations to last-minute bidding on e-bay. This presentation will describe the range of tools available and give the highlights of each one.

Stephen Morse is an amateur genealogist who has been researching his Russian-Jewish origins for the past few years. His websites on searching the Ellis Island database and the 1930 census have attracted attention worldwide. He was the recipient of the IAJGS Outstanding Contribution Award in 2003.

In his other life, Steve is a computer professional who has spent a career alternately doing research, development, teaching, consulting, and writing. He is best know as the designer of the Intel 8086 microprocessor (grandfather of today's Pentium processor) which sparked the PC revolution twenty years ago. He has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and still enjoys tinkering with electronics in his spare time.

I've been using Steve's website today trying to understand it better and there is really a lot of good information there. I've found a few birthdays for living people in my file using his Obtaining Birthdays in One-Step feature. His site makes it so easy to search different databases.

I look forward to hearing what he has to say tonight. And if you live in the area, come along!

August 23, 2006

Pick-up Lines for Genealogists

There's a new pick-up line being advertised on t-shirts from JMK Genealogy. They have switched the phrase "Hey baby, what's your sign?" to "Hey Baby, what's your haplogroup?" This has to do with the growing use of DNA testing in genealogy research.

Haplogroup (definition from NationalGeographic.com)
Branches on the tree of early human migrations and genetic evolution. Haplogroups are defined by genetic mutations or "markers" found in Y chromosome and mtDNA testing. These markers link the members of a haplogroup back to the marker's first appearance in the group's most recent common ancestor. Haplogroups often have a geographic relation.

This made me wonder if there were any other good genealogy pick-up lines and of course Chris Dunham has posted a Top Ten List at The Genealogue. Numbers 8 and 9 are my favorite.

August 17, 2006

Dick Eastman's Voice Chat Tonight

Last week Dick Eastman initiated his first conference call for genealogists using the Internet. This is available through a free service from Skype that allows anyone with a computer, microphone, and headphones to make a call over the Internet for free.

Here is his original announcement.

And here is his write-up of the first voice chat.

Tonight will be the second voice chat session starting at 10 PM Eastern Time, 7 PM Pacific Time. Last week there were around 20 people chatting together and I bet there will be a lot more tonight.

August 15, 2006

How to Become a Professional Genealogist

Lately I've been trying to find out how to become a more qualified researcher. I'm not ready to become certified or accredited yet, but I would like to improve my genealogy skills.

Here is a list of 10 ways to become a professional genealogist from Kathleen W. Hinckley, CGRS.

1. Join the Association of Professional Genealogists

The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) is an international membership organization for all genealogists supporting high standards in the field of genealogy. Their current membership of over 1,100 includes not only professional researchers, but also librarians, archivists, writers, editors, columnists, booksellers, geneticists, computer specialists, and publishers. They publish a quarterly journal with articles ranging from communicating with clients, and preparing lineage society applications, to home office tax concerns. APG welcomes anyone contemplating the career of professional genealogist. Visit their Web page for more information, and send a SASE to APG, PO Box 40393, Denver, CO 80204-0393 for their pamphlet titled, "Are You Ready to Become a Professional?"

2. Prepare and Apply for Certification and/or Accreditation

The best way to measure yourself against standards established by the profession is to apply for certification and/or accreditation. The Board for Certification (BCG) grants certification to qualified applicants in six categories — Certified Genealogists (CG), Certified Genealogical Record Specialist (CGRS), Certified American Lineage Specialist (CALS), Certified American Indian Lineage Specialist (CAILS), Certified Genealogical Lecturer (CGL), and Certified Genealogical Instructor (CGI). For more information, go to their Web page.

The Family History Library offers accreditation (AG) in specific geographical areas to those who meet their criteria. For more information on accreditation, contact the Family History Library, 35 North West Temple St., Salt Lake City, UT 84150.

Certification and accreditation both require a demonstration of in-depth knowledge of a variety of sources, and the ability to communicate effectively through written reports.

3. Attend Educational Seminars & Workshops

Genealogical education is continuous, whether it involves learning that a new source has been discovered in a courthouse attic, or developing research methodology to solve a particularly difficult problem. Attend local workshops sponsored by genealogical societies, and as many state, regional or national conferences as your budget will allow.

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) each sponsor a national conference each year.

4. Subscribe to Genealogical Journals/Magazines and Read Every Page

We learn by researching, but we can also learn from someone else's research. Case studies are continually being published in the leading journals. Carefully read and study the articles, even if the research problem is in a different geographical area than you normally research. Believe me...you will learn something.

5. Explore the Local Courthouses, Libraries, and Archives

We all know that no one knows where everything is located, whether it be the courthouse or the library. And we all know that treasures can be found in the most unusual places! The only way to find those treasures is to spend time exploring card catalogs, archival inventories, and bookshelves. As a professional, your discoveries, and consequent knowledge of local records, will make you a hero with some clients and colleagues. Your explorations are another form of continual education.

6. Network with Fellow Genealogists, Librarians, and Archivists

A professional genealogist cannot work in a vacuum. Share your ideas, research problems, and discoveries with other professionals within the field. We all benefit.

7. Volunteer with the Local Genealogical Society

Involvement with the local genealogical society reaps rewards that can never be measured. Even if you are stuffing envelopes with a couple of other members, the conversation may turn to research problems that will give you new ideas for your own research. The genealogical society is another network that is critical to professional growth.

The local genealogical society is your training ground for writing articles and lecturing. The base of your career will always be with the local society. Nurture it.

8. Develop a "Pet" Abstracting or Indexing Project

Abstracting or indexing a group of records is another form of education. Your skills in interpreting handwriting will improve, as well as a deeper understanding of the records. Publishing the results of your project will enhance your professional credentials.

9. Develop Business Skills

Regardless of how skilled you may be in genealogical research methodology, you cannot be successful as a business person unless you give equal attention to advertising, accounting, taxes, publicity, time management, and correspondence. Learn the difference between billable and non-billable time and the true meaning of overhead.

10. Continue Researching Your Own Family History

We've come full circle. The desire to become a professional genealogist began when we enjoyed researching our own family history. Don't stop! We will spend more time on a problem within our own family history than we will for a client for whom we must budget the time, thereby learning about new sources or research techniques. But most of all, our own family history is priceless and can should never be shelved.

All of the steps involved in becoming a professional genealogist have a common theme — education. Perhaps that is why the profession is so attractive. There is always something to learn, something to find, and something to share.

August 11, 2006

Unsolved Ancestry Awards

If you have hit a brick wall with one of your genealogy lines, Unsolved Ancestry.com could help you. I learned about this site from a post by Dick Eastman. All you do is post your question with all the known facts and offer an award. The average award seems to be around $100 - $200. Some of them are as little as $10, which might not entice many people to help you, but others go as high as $500...even an $800 reward. I'm sure there are some professional genealogists and amateur genealogists interested in making a little extra money, depending on how hard the problem is.

If you are interested in solving the mysteries, you will need to provide "proof" by genealogical standards. The unsolved mysteries are listed by surnames, so you can't just search for your area of geographical expertise.

The highest award listed right now is for $1500! It is to find the parents of Arthur Garfield Taft. The original award was for $500, but then someone else who was interested came along and added a $1000 reward. This seems like a good way to get a mystery solved. My mother and I are both having trouble working on our Reed line, so perhaps we should pool our money together to offer a big reward for some help.

You are allowed to post your unsolved case for free for the first 3 months. Then it will cost $10 for the rest of the year. And once your mystery has been solved with adequate proof and you pay your award, you will also have to pay 3% of your award amount to Unsolved Ancestry. So you need to remember that extra 3% when determining your award.

August 9, 2006


A year ago I wrote about a new website called Map Your Ancestors. Originally the idea was for you to fill out a 5 generation pedigree chart and email it to the support team and they would map our your ancestors for you. Soon after I found out about the site they stopped taking emails though, so I didn't get my map.

I just revisited the site and now you can sign up (for free) and publish your own map and pedigree. The site is a little slow to work with, but I've finally finished inputting 5 generations, starting with me. The map then plots the birth and death of each person. I have chosen to keep my web page private, since there is personal information for living people, but here is a screen shot of my map.


August 4, 2006

Affiliate Programs

If you have a website related to genealogy, you could earn a little extra money by joining Ancestry.com's affiliate program. Here is their description of the program:

Ancestry.com Affiliate Program

Earn extra $$$ by promoting family history research!
Join our Ancestry affiliate team and begin earning commissions by helping other Internet users find Ancestry.com!

We pay more than $300,000 per month in commissions
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The leading genealogy site in the world, Ancestry.com signs up tens of thousands of new subscribers each month. Now with more than 700,000 current subscriptions, Ancestry ranks behind the Wall Street Journal and Consumer Reports as the most successful subscription service on the web.

Join our program and we'll teach you how to:

* create useful genealogy pages on your website
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Then we do the rest! We keep track of all your visitors. Check out our complete commission plan.

Here is a link to a list of other genealogy-related affiliate programs.

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