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May 31, 2007

Branching Out on Your Family Tree

There was an excellent article titled, Branching Out on Your Family Tree, in last month's Ensign. It was written by George D. Durrant and gives wonderful insight into family research. I've met many people who only seem to care about their direct ancestors. This article is from a grandparents' perspective on wanting every descendant included. Here is an excerpt:

I remember, as a grandfather, having a picture taken of our family. Like other grandparents, I did not want a single descendant left out. What a task it was to arrange everyone’s schedule so we could all be in the same place at the same time. But it was worth it.

I think that is how most families feel. Grandparents love their children and grandchildren. They want to spend eternity with them. So why wouldn’t our ancestors feel the same way about their posterity? I think they would.

As Latter-day Saints, we have the priesthood power to provide temple ordinances that can seal families together forever. So just as my grandparents didn’t want to leave even one of their children or grandchildren out of the family portrait, they wouldn’t want to leave even one of them out of their eternal family.

Yet as we reach back through time on our pedigree, we sometimes provide the saving ordinances for only one child of each couple on our pedigree chart—the child who is our direct ancestor. We seal that child to his or her parents, but we forget about the rest of the children in that family. We leave our ancestral families like an incomplete family portrait with many empty spaces.

May 23, 2007

Lowest Ancestry Offer Ever?

I just received this following notice by email. I've never seen an Ancestry membership so cheap. A few years ago I bought a US membership for around $200, and a few months ago I bought one for $99. This annual payment would be $83.40. A World Deluxe Membership would be $155.40 annually. I wonder if all the new developments with FamilySearch are getting them worried. Either way, the great deal ends this Friday, May 25th.


May 22, 2007

I only have an hour! What can I accomplish?

I went to a Family History lesson a few weeks ago at church. The teacher passed out this list titled, "I only have an hour! What can I accomplish?" I unfortunately don't know who put it together, it certainly wasn't the teacher since he said he knew nothing about Family History! I assume this is a list that floats around the LDS wards and stakes. If you know who put it together please let me know.

* Start a list of events or "learnings" or descriptions you would like to include in a personal family history

* Sort family or ancestral photos by person or couple or family and get them into acid free manila envelopes

* Sort photos that need to be identified into envelopes and mark the name of the person you think could help you identify them so that they will be ready to grab when you have an opportunity to visit with that person

* Write a letter to one extended family member asking for one or two specific items of information. Include a SASE for assurance of their reply.

* Go to familysearch.org and look up the ordinance dates of 5 ancestors and get them entered into your database

* Re-type a biographical sketch you have in your possession onto the computer and save it to a disk, CD or flash drive for preservation

* Pray for direction

* Use a digital camera or scanner and make copies of ancestral photos to save to a CD and preserve

* Write one chapter in your personal history on any subject of your choosing

* Make an appointment with your Family History Consultant to go to the library or Family History Center or to talk over "what's next" needs

* Create a time-line of a person or couple you know you want to do more research on

* Plan a trip to the Salt Lake or Provo family history libraries; go to the Family History Library Catalog Section of familysearch.org and make copies of records you will want to check when you get there

* Make a list of cemeteries you want to visit and take pictures of headstones; check on-line to see if there are records that allow you to look up headstone locations before you get there

* Type one obituary into the "notes" section of your software program

* Enter as much data as you have on any person in your ancestral line

* Go with your Family History Consultant and "update your records" or prepare names for submission using TempleReady

A few others I might add:

* Do Family Search Indexing

* Run your file through PAF Insight (mainly for LDS researchers)

* Call your oldest living relative and ask him/her some questions

* Try a free trial of one of the popular genealogy sites

* Get a library card at your local library to gain access to HeritageQuestOnline

May 21, 2007

Footnote.com and Family Search team together

I received the following press release from Footnote.com. I am excited to hear about their free 7 day trial and plan to test it out this week. Hopefully it will be a great asset to Family History Centers.


-Revolutionary War Pension Files Will Be Available For Free at All Family History Centers Worldwide-

Lindon, Utah – May 15, 2007 –Today, Footnote.com announced an agreement with FamilySearch, historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch is the world’s largest repository of genealogical information.

This new partnership brings together two organizations that will utilize their combined resources to digitize and make available many large historical collections. The first project will be the three million U.S. Revolutionary War Pension files which will be published for the first time online in their entirety.

“The Revolutionary War Pensions will provide an intimate look into the historical events and individuals that shaped our country’s history,” said Russell Wilding, CEO of Footnote.com. “We are excited about this relationship which enables us to put many more historical collections online.”

The Revolutionary War Pension Files feature original records that include muster rolls, payrolls, strength returns and other miscellaneous personnel pay and supply records of American Army Units from 1775-1783. They provide a wealth of new information for historians and genealogists which they can share with other colleagues and family members.

“We are excited to partner with Footnote.com to provide historians and genealogists alike a tremendous source of data that will assist greatly in putting puzzle pieces together to create a rich family history,” said Paul Nauta, manager of Public Affairs for FamilySearch. “This affiliation allows us to better meet one of our goals to provide as much data online as fast as possible for those working on their genealogy.”

Also, as a part of this agreement, Footnote.com will be accessible for free in all FamilySearch operated centers worldwide. FamilySearch has more than 4,500 Family History Centers in 70 countries.

Since partnering with the National Archives in January 2007, Footnote.com has digitized over eight million historical records. Each month an additional two million documents are digitized and added to the site. Footnote.com estimates that by the end of 2007 it will have made over 25 million digitized documents available on its web site.

To see free examples of the Revolutionary War Pension Files, go to www.footnote.com/revolutionary-war.php.

Footnote.com has now begun offering free seven-day trial memberships. To start a free trial, visit www.footnote.com/freetrial.php

About Footnote, Inc.

Founded in 1997 as iArchives, Inc., Footnote is a subscription-based website that features searchable original documents that provide users with an unaltered view of the events , places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At Footnote.com all are invited to come to share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit www.footnote.com.

About Family Search

FamilySearch (historically known Genealogical Society of Utah) is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through FamilySearch.org, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.

May 17, 2007

Virtual Surname Wall

I found the following announcement on Dick Eastman's site today. Here is the breaking news from the Southern California Genealogical Society:


Write Your Family Names on Our Virtual Surname Wall

You are invited to add your family surnames to the Southern California Genealogical Society's Virtual Surname Wall. This feature will be unveiled at the 38th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, June 8-10 in Burbank, CA.

There is no charge for this service, and the offer is open to the public. We encourage you to forward this invitation to your cousins, genealogy-related email lists, society members, your genealogy acquaintances, or other family historians. Entries submitted by May 22 will be included in the 2007 Virtual Surname Wall at Jamboree; however, we will continue to accept information after that date. later submissions will be included in a free-access online database that will be launched this summer.

Although this project is being sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society, we welcome family information from any geographic area, not just California. You may submit up to 10 surnames. We plan to allow for more surnames to be added and will let you know when we are able to accept more names.

Participants will be asked for the following information. You may wish to have your family group sheets, pedigree charts, or genealogy database available for reference.

1. Your family surnames (including spelling variations).
2. The geographic area in which they lived, or the migration path.
3. The associated period of time.

Your participation in the Virtual Surname Wall project is completely voluntary. Surname Wall information will be maintained by SCGS and may be included in printed or a searchable free online database that would be accessible on the SCGS website at www.scgsgenealogy.com. Your participation in the project is your authorization to include your surname information in any printed or searchable online databases that may be developed.

Of course, we have instituted steps to protect your privacy. Your contact information will not be displayed, either in print or online. You will have the option of asking SCGS to serve as intermediary, or authorizing SCGS to release your contact information should we receive an inquiry regarding a possible family connection.

If you have questions at any time about the Virtual Surname Wall, please contact us at jamboree@scgsgenealogy.com. If you are attending Jamboree, be sure to stop by the Tech Zone to check out this new resource.

Click here for more information on Southern California's Genealogy Jamboree.

Click here to add your names to our Virtural Surname Wall.

Download the flyer here.

I love having my information online for relatives to find me so I just added 10 surnames to the Virtual Surname Wall. It was hard to pick just 10, but the winners were:


May 13, 2007

A Mother's Day Tribute

Mothers are very special people. For this Mother's Day, May 13, 2007, I would like to share some of the wonderful childhood memories I have of my mother. She taught me things, she spent time with me, she encouraged me to succeed, and every moment depicts her love for me.

When I was in first grade there was a reading competition in my class. I think we got a gold star for every 10 books we read and a gift certificate to Pizza Hut for each 100. Somehow, by either my mom's competitive nature or by my own, we both decided that I had to read the most in the class. Mom would take me to the library once or twice a week to get more and more books. Given, these were books with 2 or 3 words on each page, but they counted towards my quota all the same. I ended up reading 1,000 books and got my name and picture in the local newspaper. And 20 years later I still love to read and talk to my mom about books. Sometimes when I can't find a book at my library she offers to buy it for her personal collection and lets me borrow it. What a generous mom!

A few years later my mom decided to teach me how to cross-stitch, one of her favorite hobbies. I think she taught my older sister as well, but Melissa didn't enjoy it like I did. Over the years my mom has helped me go from making a tiny little turtle to cross-stitching a Family Tree. She helped me progress from small patterns to bigger ones until I knew how to do it on my own and now we can sit and share our finished products. She cross-stitches baby blankets for each of her grandchildren, which inspired me to cross-stitch birth records and Christmas stockings for my children. Thank you for sharing your hobby with me, Mom.


Another memory I will always have of my mom is a meal she would make whenever I got sick. I don't know when it started but I loved to have her make “Eggs & Toast.” She would soft boil the eggs and butter the toast and then cut them both into bite-size pieces and mix them together. It would always taste so good when I was home sick. And even when I was older in college, I got mononucleosis and she was there to take me to the doctor and nurse me back to health with Eggs & Toast. She has helped a lot each time I've had a baby as well, especially during the first few months of morning sickness. Someday I will take care of you Mom! (but not too soon, right?)

My parents shared the title of my “biggest fan” when I played basketball. It was an early love of mine and they put me into camps every summer and paid for lots of events through the years. My mom was the one who started buying me fake Superman tattoos to wear to my games in high school. It became my “trademark.” She also decided she wanted to keep my stats each game and would show up with her clipboard and printed charts. My teammates thought she was over the top, and she was! We lived in a small town with lots of sports coverage in the newspapers, so my mom clipped out every article that mentioned me and now I have 2 photo albums full of memories. My parents were so supportive through my years of basketball that I feel bad for any child who doesn't have parents come to their games. Thank you for always being there Mom and Dad.


One more memory and this one is the most current. After I got married my mom helped me to get interested in Family History and taught me almost everything I know about researching and finding ancestors. Her and my father have done a lot of work on their lines so I have concentrated mostly on my husband's line. My mom has patiently helped me learn how to use PAF, to find more ancestors, and then to submit ancestors' names for LDS temple work. This has been a wonderful experience for me as we work together and share our heritage. What a worthwhile interest she has awakened in me and I hope we will continue to share it together.

(Cathy and Katie outside the Nauvoo, Illinois Temple in August 2002)

Thank goodness for mothers and especially mine! I never truly knew how much she loved me until I became a mother myself. What a wonderful blessing it is to know my mother loves me unconditionally and always will. I love you Mom! May we share many more years and memories together. And I pray that I will emulate your example with my own children.

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