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January 31, 2007

LDS Family History Basics

I just found a beautiful talk by President Boyd. K. Packer, acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The article is titled, “Your Family History: Getting Started,” and can be found in the August 2003 Ensign. President Packer shares some stories and experiences with Family History and then gives some basic Family History tips at the end.

Family History Basics

There are several basic component parts to family history and temple work. Over the years, they may be rearranged somewhat in emphasis, or the approach in programming Church participation may change somewhat. But the responsibilities stay about the same.

1. Each of us is to compile his or her own life history.

2. Each of us is to keep a book of remembrance.

3. As individuals and families we are each to seek out our kindred dead, beginning first with the four most recent generations on each line, and then going back as far as we can.

4. We are each to participate in other programs such as name extraction when asked to do so.

5. We are to organize our families and hold meetings and reunions.

6. If we have access to a temple, each of us should go to the temple as often as possible to do ordinance work—first for ourselves, then for our progenitors, then for all the names that have been gathered by means other than our own.

January 29, 2007

Family Search Beta Testing Coming Soon!

Renee Zamora already posted about this earlier, but I just wanted to let my readers know as well. This morning an email was sent to those people who participated in the first round of Family Search beta testing over a year ago. This means the 2nd round should hopefully be starting up again soon. Renee pointed out that everyone has to take a survey to see if they meet the desired criteria. I am in the 18-25 age range and now live in California, so hopefully I will be chosen due to my youthfulness and geographical location.

I'll keep you posted.

January 25, 2007

5 Unknown Things about Katie

Well, I feel honored to have gotten tagged by Craig Manson at GeneaBlogie since I am turning into an inactive blogger. All the genealogy bloggers are tagging each other to play a game of truth. I'm supposed to share 5 things about myself that people may not know. Here goes nothing:

1. I have an undergraduate degree in Travel & Tourism, but have never left the United States :)

2. I love to play basketball and was All-Conference for 2 years in High School

3. My favorite book is Pride & Prejudice

4. I am very weak when it comes to donuts - they are SO good

5. I am a stay-at-home mom with 2 little boys (that's why my blogging is almost non-existent these days). And I want 2-4 more kids - that should be a surprising statement since almost everyone stops at 2 kids these days.

And that's me! Every blog I read in the genealogy world has been tagged, so I'll end my round of the game here.

January 17, 2007

Ancestry.com Special Offer


I canceled my ancestry membership over a year ago because I didn't think it was worth the current price. I began using HeritageQuestOnline for my census searching. But they do not cover the 1850 or 1930 censuses and their search engine isn't as good as Ancestry's. So I think I am going to sign up with this discounted price. I think it will be worth the $8 a month.

Sign up for monthly payment for U.S. Deluxe Membership

Sign up for annual payment for the U.S. Deluxe Membership

Sign up for monthly payment for the World Deluxe Membership

Sign up for annual payment for the World Deluxe Membership

January 16, 2007

New Family History Business

The following is a press release from Verify Family History


Summit, NJ, 1/16/07. On January 15, 2006, Martin Luther King Day, Verify Family History was launched, in fulfillment of its business dream. Its dream is comparing and verifying ancestors’ temple ordinances with the official temple ordinance records of the Church.

Several people have genealogies that include temple ordinances. Unfortunately, many people have not verified their ancestors’ temple ordinances. And unfortunately some and even many temple ordinances are not listed on the official Church records. Thus many ordinances are not considered done.

Verify Family History has eight Church members in Jinja, Uganda, located in East Africa. The employees have been extensively trained to inexpensively compare, verify and document people’s temple ordinances. Utlilizing the Personal Ancestral File (PAF) program and the internet, the eight employees are easily able to perform the verification work.

Having temple ordinances inexpensively verified allows family historians to easily authenticate their ancestors’ ordinances, frees them from the repetitive drudgery and allows them to explore the more interesting unknowns of their genealogies. Furthermore, the compiled information of the ancestors’ missing temple ordinances allows for easy submission to the temple. Furthermore, it provides a peace of mind.

Family historians may start to have their ancestors’ temple ordinances verified by attaching a PAF (Personal Ancestral File) or gedcom file to an email sent to proviah@verifyfamilyhistory.com, or access the verifyfamilyhistory.com website to obtain more information. The cost is $0.75 per ancestor and the first 10 names are free. (more)

So, on Martin Luther King Day, some may have heard their ancestors rightfully shouting with joy: “Free at last, Free at last, Free at last!”

About Verify Family History. VFH is a New Jersey corporation working with 24-7 Uganda Ltd., an Ugandan corporation. Both corporations are owned by Merrill Clark.

Contact: (Mr.) Merrill J. Clark

Verify Family History

72 Division Avenue

Summit, NJ 07901

(973) 985-8641

(973) 847-5147 fax


I am honestly rather perplexed by this press release. Verifying temple ordinances is free if you use the IGI at FamilySearch.org. I don't know why this new company is starting to charge people for it. I checked out their website and they clearly state that they will be using the IGI to "verify" our family history. They charge an "inexpensive fee" of 75 cents for each individual. If you have only 100 individuals in your file, you will pay $75. Many people have more than 100 people in their file, try thousands. This would get pricey.

I think I'll keep checking my ancestors free by using the IGI myself. Also, I bought PAF Insight a few years ago for $20 and that checks the IGI for me pretty easily. It is much quicker than doing it by hand, though sometimes I have to admit it does miss some ordinances that have been done. I still haven't figured out why.

NOTE: You do have to be a member of the LDS church in order to see the temple ordinances in the IGI.

January 4, 2007

GenClass: Online Genealogy Classes Start Today!

GenClass was first announced about a month ago. Here is a link to Dick Eastman's announcement. Genealogy classes are now being offered online by instructors who previously taught classes for MyFamily.com.

There are 6 classes offered for January:

Family Tree Maker 16 - The Basics - Learn The Basics of FTM with an Expert.

Jump Start your Genealogy!
- Just where do you start if you are interested in your family tree? - detailed instructions.

Native American Genealogy
- Learn how to start your research for your Native American Ancestors.

Northeastern United States Genealogy
- Research in the NE states is fundamental to the trees of many Americans.

Adoption Investigative Class - Detailed search advice and assistance for successfully locating and reuniting adoptees and birth families.

Lost Friends and Family Investigative Class
- Detailed search advice and assistance on the methods to use for successfully tracing "lost" relatives and friends.

I signed up for the Northeastern US class and hope that it goes well. It is a 4 week course with 2 lessons each week. I already read the 1st lesson and it was pretty good. There are also 2 chat sessions each week in order to ask questions and talk about the lessons.

My only complaint is not knowing when the chat sessions would be when I signed up. Neither of the times are very convenient for someone living in the Pacific time zone. The class cost $30 and will be worth the cost if I feel like I gained valuable knowledge in the end.

January 1, 2007

Generation Maps

In November Dan Lawyer posted about his 7' x 4' map from generationmaps.com. I liked the idea of displaying your genealogy, and had also seen a post from Randy Seaver in October displaying his calligraphy-written ancestry chart.

Since I am currently working on a cross-stitch of my family tree, I am not in the market for ordering one of these charts yet. But when thinking about Christmas gifts, I thought it might be a good idea for my parents and my in-laws. I decided to test out generationmaps.com (since I don't have very good handwriting for making a chart of my own). I ordered each of them a 6 generation fan chart with a picture of the Salt Lake Temple in the background (both of them having gotten married there). Uploading my gedcom to the site was fairly easy. The problem came when the price of my shopping cart didn't change. I uploaded my file 4 or 5 times before the shopping cart price finally changed and I was able to then check out. That was a little frustrating, but could have been my own fault.

Everything else went very smoothly after that. I ordered the charts and had an email from one of their workers named Janet the very next day. She verified the 5 files I had uploaded and said she would get a mock-up to me soon. When the mock-up came I approved and disapproved things very easily and fixed information I didn't know was missing. I also wanted birth places, in addition to dates, and Janet put those all in by hand. She was always quick to change things and mailed the charts to me priority mail so that I would have them in time to ship for Christmas.

Sometimes companies do not impress me with their customer service, but Generation Maps had wonderful customer service. I highly recommend ordering a wall chart from them. Both of my charts look very nice and hopefully were a nice Christmas present. Thank you Generation Maps!

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