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October 31, 2006

Youth doing Family History Work

There was a very nice talk given by the Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, Elaine S. Dalton, in the October 2004 General Conference. She directed her comments to the youth of the church and how they can become Saviors to their ancestors by doing family history work and going to the temple. I completely agree because younger generations know how to use computers and the Internet much better than older generations. I am in my 20s and began using the Internet in high school. Children growing up now will not remember a time without the Internet available. They can do family history work easily if they take the time and make the effort.

Here are some excerpts:

How can the promises made to the fathers be planted in the hearts of the children? How can the hearts of the children be turned to their fathers? This can happen only when we understand our identity and roles in this work and remain worthy and prepared to enter the temple and act on behalf of those who have gone before.

Brigham Young said: “We have a work to do just as important in its sphere as the Savior’s work was in its sphere. … We are now called upon to do ours; which is to be the greatest work man ever performed on the earth.”

In the vision of the redemption of the dead given to President Joseph F. Smith, he saw many of the noble and great prophets who had been on the earth prior to the Savior’s coming. He also saw the Prophet Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, his father, and “other choice spirits who were reserved to come forth in the fullness of times to take part in laying the foundations of the great latter-day work.” Who were those other choice spirits? Our generation was somewhere there among those “noble and great” leaders, prepared in the world of spirits to be on the earth at this time! The scriptures tell us that “even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.” The labor we were prepared and reserved to perform includes “the building of the temples and the performance of ordinances therein for the redemption of the dead.”

Brigham Young foresaw the time in which we are now living. He said, “To accomplish this work there will have to be not only one temple but thousands of them, and thousands and tens of thousands of men and women will go into those temples and officiate for people who have lived as far back as the Lord shall reveal.”

....When President Faust talked to the young men in the priesthood session last October, he called on them to lead out and become a part of temple and family history work. He said: “I encourage you … to begin to unlock the knowledge of who you really are by learning more about your forebears. … You can easily access a vast collection of family history records using the Internet on your home computer or at your nearest family history center. … Temple work is essential … because ‘we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect.’ ”

The youth have been prepared “for such a time as this.” They are intelligent and bright. They are proficient on computers and the Internet. They are a great untapped resource for good in the world! They have been reserved for these latter days, and they have a great work to do. And not only do they have a great work to do there, but the temple will also be a refuge for them that will protect them from worldly pressures and influences.

As I contemplate President Faust’s words, I can visualize an army of righteous youth prepared and worthy to attend the temple. I can see families sealed together for eternity. I can see youth who understand what it means to be “saviors … on mount Zion.” I can see youth whose hearts are turned to their fathers. And I can envision youth growing up in such a way that they will come forth from the temples filled with strength to resist worldly pressures. I can see a generation of youth who will “stand … in holy places, and be not moved.”

October 30, 2006

What does your name mean?

Kimberly Powell recently posted an article called, The Hidden Meaning in Your Name. She listed a few different websites that tell you the meaning of your name. This one will give you a paragraph explanation of your name - like this:

Your natural charisma and charm makes you an influential figure able to inspire confidence in others. Material abundance and emotional contentment are seemingly drawn to you and satisfy your dreams of success. However being humanitarian you find that applying your talents and creative prowess to a worthwhile purpose is far more satisfying than material gain. Your courage, adaptability and determination overcome any obstacles.

In looking at these you have to realize that the same paragraph can pop up more than once. I tried various names, like my maiden name vs. married name, my full first name (Katherine) vs. my nickname (Katie) and it changed the description each time. But then I put in my dad's name and his description was the same as one of mine. And as Kimberly Powell said, the entries are all positive...which isn't very realistic for some people :)

I also enjoyed the site that uses numerology to find the meaning of your name. According to my numerology, my destiny here on earth is this:

Here to learn leadership, independence and decision making skills, you strive to do your best possible when involved in any project that requires your original thinking. You are a pioneer reaching out to create or invent new ways of doing things. The status quo is just not good enough, and you are always looking for a better method to accomplish a given task. Strong willed and able to stand on your own two feet, life gives you many challenges and tests. You forge forward, eager to learn, experience, and meet your goals. You can become so involved in a project, others may see you as compulsive. From your perspective, you are absorbed in what you are doing, enjoying every minute of it, and prefer to work on the project rather than break from it. You are motivated. You are self-reliant, think for yourself, and determined to be self-made. You are a leader, a promoter, and meet obstacles with courage. Be careful to not be too overpowering of others dreams and wishes. When in a negative frame of mind, you can be domineering and too aggressive. Learn to inject new and original ideas, not force them on others.

October 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Great-Grandma


Birdie was the first and only person to graduate from college (University of Utah) in her family. She always knew she wanted to be a teacher and she taught school for 45 years. She had a reputation for teaching excellence and people would move to her school in order to have her as a teacher. She was married for 3 years and had 2 daughters before losing her husband. Later a German fellow asked her to marry him, but she felt he wouldn't be nice enough to her girls. My grandmother said, "She was a feminist before it was in."

October 26, 2006

ABC News advertises 3 free days of Ancestry

Ancestry.com was on Good Morning America this morning and traced Chris Cuomo’s roots. They will also be on tomorrow, October 27th, and next Thursday and Friday as well.

The Genealogue alerted me to 3 free days of Ancestry use by going to the ABC website. I guess I've got some work to do. See you in 4 days!

October 25, 2006

Genealogy Hotspot

JMK Genealogy Gifts has another good design out for people addicted to genealogy. "If you are a hotspot of genealogical activity then you gotta get one of these!..."


You can buy it here.

October 24, 2006

RootsWeb's WorldConnect

Recently Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings wrote about Ancestry Member Trees. He wondered if anybody had uploaded their family tree to Ancestry and how it had gone. I proudly commented that I had.

I have my genealogy file uploaded to Ancestry's Family Tree, and RootsWeb's WorldConnect. (I was going to link to my file at Ancestry, but I just realized that having the tree "public" at their site means that my full name as well as all other living members' full names are visible. With all the identity theft issues, I decided I better mark my tree "personal." People can still find out information on my deceased ancestors, but no information on the living ones.) RootsWeb just shows living people's last names. I guess this isn't a whole lot better, but it gives me a little more comfort - and people can't tell which of the living members I am.

Two different women have found me in the last month through my RootsWeb file. One has emailed pictures and information to my mother and me about our Mullins line and the other one has mailed many documents and sources to me on my Bickel line. I also found someone else just last week who emailed me a picture of my husband's GGG Grandmother (picture below), an ancestor who's been quite elusive to us. I've only had my file up for a few months, but I have had some great finds since then.

I was also recently contacted by someone through Ancestry, but we haven't shared any information yet. I'm excited to continue finding more cousins!

Emily Wilson - Born in 1814 in Kentucky, parents unknown.

(I feel like I just wrote one of those success stories in the RootsWeb Weekly Emails :>)

October 23, 2006

Happy Birthday Great-Great Grandpa Isaac


Here is a funny story that Isaac's daughter-n-law liked to tell about him.

When Ike and Bernice were newlyweds they decided to visit a relative in Alabama with Ike's parents. The relative was about a days buggy ride away (probably 30-40 miles). Ike and Bernice were riding in a buggy, driving a young brown mare. Ike's parents were coming along behind them in a gig drawn by an old yellow male named Pete.

Now Pete and the brown mare were real fond of each other. Pete grazed in the pasture with her every day and never let her out of his sight. So Ike being "devilish" whipped his mare into a gallop every time they went around a curve on the "turnpike" so Pete couldn't see them. As soon as Pete realized she was out of sight, he would let out a loud Hee Haw and tear out as fast as he could run until he caught up.

The neighbors gathered along the road wondering what was the matter with Pete. They all arrived at the relative's house about noon.

This story always sent Mabel, Ike's daughter-n-law, into convulsions as she visualized Pete running and braying.

October 20, 2006

Great Grandparents


These are my great-grandparents, Lee and Ruby, courting in 1914. They got married 2 years later in 1916. A sad story - Lee and Ruby died 4 days apart. It is assumed they were given the wrong medicine for something they both had and it accidentally terminated their lives. Believable because they both were young and healthy, Lee was 32 and Ruby was 28. Unfortunately there were no tort lawyers in those days. They left behind 3 young children.

October 19, 2006

Genealogy Bank - New Website

A few people have posted about a new website available for Family History research. It is called GenealogyBank.com.

Genealogy Bank offers:

Historical Newspapers 1690 - 1977

Historical Books 1652 - 1900

Historical Documents 1789 - 1930

America's Obituaries 1977 to current

Social Security Death Index 1937 to current

You are allowed to search names for free and see what hits were found. But then you will have to pay $19.95 per month for access to everything.

Here are some links to other blogs with reviews:

Dick Eastman's article

Genealogy Blog's Article
DearMYRTLE's Article

October 18, 2006

18th and 19th Century American Nicknames

I found an interesting link on the Roots Web email this week. They linked to a page of the Connecticut State Library website. The page is titled, A Listing of Some 18th and 19th Century American Nicknames.

I thought this might be helpful to some others as well when searching census records. Some of the nicknames are obvious, like Abe for Abraham or Zack for Zachariah. But other ones are surprising, like Fanny for Nathaniel (isn't Fanny a girl's name) or Kersty for Christina. It's fun just to peruse the old names that aren't used anymore; like Relief, Mehitable, Experience, Theophilus, Virgil, and Obediah.

October 17, 2006

A Genealogy Shirt for the Old-Timers

There's a new shirt offered by JMK Genealogy Gifts. It's a pretty good one for the old-time genealogists. It says, "Internet ?! Back in my day we did genealogy right. With shoe leather, paper, pencil and a huge, huge eraser."

You can find the design here.


October 16, 2006

Grandma Paula


This a picture of my Grandma in New York in 1939. She and two of her friends decided to go to New York on a two week vacation to visit the World Fair. On the train to NY they started kidding about staying in NY and getting jobs. They decided to give it a try.

They arrived on a Monday and all had jobs by Friday. My Grandma went to work for John Powers Modeling Agency. The other models were pretty ruthless though and would steal her outfits when she was out on the runway. After awhile she didn't enjoy modeling anymore and decided to get a job where she could use her intelligence and gain some respect.

Paula died when I was very little on October 16. I don't remember her, but I know she was a great lady. A quote from her obituary. "She will be remembered for her twinkling eyes, warm heart, ready sense of humor and dynamic personality. If nothing else is said, she was a successful mother."

October 12, 2006

First X-Chromosome DNA Test Announced

Breakthroughs in Genetic Research for Genealogy

Thursday October 12, 9:30 am ET Family Tree DNA's New Houston-Based Lab to Offer Latest in DNA Testing for Genealogy Purposes, Including First X-Chromosome DNA Tests

HOUSTON, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Family Tree DNA, whose growing array of DNA tests for genealogical purposes has established them as the world leader in genetic genealogy, will introduce ground-breaking new X chromosome tests (X-STR) in early October. The X-STR tests are the first ever available for genealogy applications by focusing on linked "haplotype blocks" which are inherited intact over several generations. This test will be processed locally at the company's recently established Genomic Research Center. Headed by Thomas Krahn, whose German-based DNA-Fingerprint company was recently merged into Family Tree DNA, the state of the art Genomic Research Center is located at Family Tree DNA's Houston, Texas headquarters.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

October 11, 2006

Interviews and Oral Histories

Since October is Family History Month, I think it's a good idea to try and get some stories from your family members. I don't live near any immediate family, but I have emailed my parents for some stories on their ancestors and it's been fun reading about them and posting some pictures and stories (and there are more to come).

I found a good article at Genealogy Today called, How to Talk to Family: Interviews and Oral Histories. If you have a chance to talk to some relatives this month, make good use of your time. And if you don't see any family until the upcoming Holidays, prepare yourself and have your tape recorder or video recorder handy. My husband just bought me an MP3 player and I'm excited that it works as a recorder too. It would have been helpful last month when my father-n-law was visiting and started telling stories about his dad and grandfather. Next time I'll be ready. :)

October 10, 2006

Update on Family Search

Arlene Eakle recently posted an update on Family Search acquired from "Elder Marlin K. Jensen, LDS Church Historian and Recorder, Director of Family History and Genealogy. Keynote Address, Northern Utah Genealogy Conference, Eccles Conference Center, 6 Oct 2006."

Here is an excerpt that interested me.

Beta testing is ongoing. Duplicates in the current databases are being eliminated or merged: 1 billion, 200,000 names have been shrunk to 700,000 million names during Beta I. Beta II will be restricted to members of the LDS Church to further shrink their family data to about 500,000 million names. It is estimated that about 130,000 LDS members submit information to the databases on a regular basis. They will participate in Beta II.

I was part of Beta I and had no idea we shrunk that many names. Hopefully we can get Beta II going soon.

There was also a more thorough update in the Deseret News about 10 days ago. It was written by Carrie A. Moore and gives some different details on the Family History Overhaul.

October 9, 2006

Great-Great Grandmother

Edla, my great-great grandmother, was a very compassionate and giving person. She was born in Vaksala, Sweden. Two LDS missionaries were proselyting in her town when she was a teenager. They taught her the Gospel and soon she was baptized, though her parents did not join. People in her town would spit at her and call her the "Mormon." She came to America and married a good man and they raised their 6 kids in Salt Lake City.


October 6, 2006

Family Search Labs

FamilySearch Labs is a new website available to show different projects that the Family History Department is working on. Dan Lawyer posted about this today at Taking Genealogy to the Common Person.

The only project there right now is a Pedigree Viewer that Dan posted about last week. When you visit the site you can upload your gedcom file and try it out yourself. It works just like Google Maps and is really interesting and fun to see.

Here's my pedigree:


October 5, 2006

Grave Stones and Hackers

There have been 2 interesting posts at Amidst A Tangled Web over the past week. One is a funny story about a name on a grave stone - a good reminder to check for a death date when out searching cemeteries.

And today's post is about the idea of Genealogists becoming hackers. This is definitely something to think about. Many times I've connected with someone through email who is a distant relative and we shared personal information about our lines. One of these people could easily use my mother's maiden name to try and gain access to a bank account or something. Perhaps we need to have a genealogist test to give to people to see if they're truly an avid researcher looking for relatives, or just a "hacker" trying to find our personal information.

October 4, 2006

New England Historic Genealogical Society

I recently received free access to NEHGS's website, NewEnglandAncestors.org, because of a survey I took. There was free access to their Register for a few days back in March, and they later emailed me offering free access to their whole website if I took a survey. I was very excited for this since I have many relatives from New England. And I was not disappointed. I found a lot of information at their site, including at least 10 maiden names for women in my file.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is the oldest genealogical society in the country and has been helping new and experienced researchers trace their heritage in New England and throughout the world for over 160 years. Their mission statement is as follows:

The New England Historic Genealogical Society advances genealogical scholarship and develops the capabilities of both new and experienced researchers of family history by collecting, preserving, interpreting, and communicating in a variety of accessible formats reliable genealogical data with emphasis on families and communities connected to the New England.

For me, the most helpful database on their website was the Massachusetts Vital Records. I recently posted about a site with free access to the MA Death Index, but you can't look at the actual image there. You are able to see the image for all vital records (birth, marriage, or death) at newenglandancestors.org and both parents' names are listed...usually including the mother's maiden name. This was very exciting for me. And this is why I didn't post many blog entries last week, because I was busy researching as often as I could before my free week expired.

This is an image I found with a death date for an ancestor from Ireland I hadn't been able to find until now.


Mary Toomey Bixby died 17 May 1902 in Boxford, MA. Further to the right it tells me that she died of cardiac disease and that she was born in Ireland to Cornelius and Ellen M. Toomey. I wasn't sure of her maiden name before and I certainly didn't know who her parents were.

To find out the different membership plans and fees to join the NEHGS, click here.

October 3, 2006

Happy Birthday Grandma!

In honor of Family History Month I am going to post pictures of my ancestors throughout October. Today is my grandmother's birthday, so she will be first. If she were alive, she'd be 88.


Mary Ruth (my Grandmother) with sister Bonnie in Utah about 1925.

She is the only grandmother I ever knew. She raised 5 children while working as a schoolteacher for many years. She loved kids and always spent lots of time with her 19 grandchildren. I recently taught my son one of the songs she taught me growing up.

Cherries are Ripe
Cherries are Ripe
The Robin sang one day

Cherries are Ripe
Cherries are Ripe
Let's all go out and play

October 2, 2006

October is Family History Month

In 2001 Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah introduced Family History Month before the U.S. Congress. Here are a few links with information on this bill.

The Family History Society of Arizona

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Kimberly Powell has listed 10 Ways to Celebrate Family History Month at About.com. I really like her idea of making a family cookbook.

There are also some fun activities for kids at Crayola.com (registration required).

And for those who live near Oakland, the California Genealogical Society is hosting free classes for 3 days every weekend this month. They are during lunchtime every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in October. Here is a link to the schedule.

Happy Family History Month Everyone!

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