Sunday, October 31, 2010

Celebration DVD Now Available

One of the highlights of the NGS 2010 Family History Conference held last April in Salt Lake City, was the Thursday evening spectacular, A Celebration of Family History, hosted by FamilySearch. The event included musical numbers by the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, talks by award-winning author David McCullough (1776 and John Adams) and President Henry B. Eyring, and several inspiring video presentations showing the impact that family history can have on individual lives. Previously I made you aware of the link to watch these video presentations on YouTube. Due to the positive response to A Celebration of Family History, FamilySearch has made a DVD of the entire event available! You won't want to miss this! To learn more and to get your own copy of the DVD for $4.50, click on the link below. Shipping is free!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Church History Library

The Church History Library (state-of-the-art storage and research facility) was completed and opened in spring 2009. The focus of the library is history of the church (circa 1830 to the present) and, consequently, the history of Church members. This differs from the Family History Library, which collects and makes available genealogical information from around the world. Family historians come to the Church History Library for multigenerational histories or to find family diaries, memoirs, photographs, oral histories, and correspondence. Family historians also look for materials that offer common context in time, place, and experiences for their ancestors through works of fellow countrymen, townsfolk, neighbors, fellow emigrants and travelers, and others with similar occupations and social experiences. The Church History Library may have historical sources that can help you bring your family's story to life. Chances are the historical materials in your hands, such as diaries, memoirs, letters, audiovisual materials, digital files, and photographs, can also be helpful to other family history researchers. To contact a Church History Library associate about donating or sharing your materials related to Latter-day Saint history, you can email the library at or visit the library at 15 E. North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, UT. General Library hours are: Monday - Wednesday, Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Free Online Classes

FamilySearch now offers 81 free lessons on, enabling people anywhere in the world to access family history experts anytime. The topics range from basic research to training on specific record types and are for both beginners and experienced researchers. All of the classes can be accessed on by clicking on "Free Online Classes."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

News From FamilySearch

The update of the New FamilySearch Training database is now complete. You can access the training database at and sign in with your LDS account. The exercises have been updated to include additional practice scenarios. After completing the exercises, you are encouraged to expire your account and begin using the new FamilySearch at Please note: The maps option is unavailable at this time, as is the Common Questions section. These two features are still under construction and will be available soon.

Mark Your Calendars!

The Boise Area Fall Family History Conference will be held at the Nampa North Stake Center (6111 Birch Lane) on Saturday, October 16, 2010, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This conference is sponsored by the Community Connections Department at BYU-Idaho. It will include a choice of lecture style classes geared to the beginning, intermediate, and advanced family historian. Classes include instruction in the New FamilySearch, Family Insight, Beginning Your Research, Resourceful Research Tools on the Internet, New Features in Ancestral Quest, and many, many more! If you would like a copy of the complete schedule, I can make a copy for you. Course handouts will be posted on the BYU-Idaho website at least one week prior to the conference. You will be responsible for providing your own handouts. To register, go to the following website: Registration fee is $10 online with a deadline of October 12. At-the-door fee will be $12. Come for all or part of the day.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Integrated software for Apple is ready!

A certified Record Manager for the Apple MacIntosh is ready. After over 18 months of development and coordination with FamilySearch Developer Support, MacFamilyTree version 6 is fully integrated with Get the details about their public beta test at

Inspirational videos available

Nine videos from the widely acclaimed "Celebration of Family History" that was presented at the Conference Center in April as part of the National Genealogical Society annual gathering are available to view online at: These are very inspirational videos that you will want to share with your family and friends.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

County Resources

Idaho's county resources can be found in the county seat. Land records are filed at the county recorder's office, probate records with the probate clerk, and court records with the district clerk of the court. A survey of the counties indicates that some hold vital records before the date of mandatory recording, and land records and court records, including judgments, minutes, and miscellaneous records, are available previous to county formation. Naturalizations generally begin at the year of formation of the county and are held by the clerk of the district court. The website "Access Idaho" at provides links to Idaho's county websites. The Idaho State Historical Society library also holds microfilms of most of these records. Other large collections on microfilm are at the Family History Library.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cyndi's List

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet ( is a free, categorized and cross-referenced index to genealogical resources on the Internet. The site is 14 years old and contains more than 280,000 links to genealogical sites. Be sure and visit this site and you will be amazed at the resources that are available to us as family historians. Cyndi also keeps a blog of random thoughts, advice and tips at

Sunday, July 4, 2010

FamilySearch News

Twenty-nine new collections were updated or added last week at -- with 26 million names and 1.5 million digital images! The international collections continue to expand, with exciting new additions for Costa Rica, France, Hungary, Mexico and Spain. In addition, nine indexes were added to the U.S. 1910 Federal Census collection -- that means it is 37 percent complete. This project is moving along quickly. There are now 428 collections from original source records available online. Search all of these great collections at

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Get In Sync

Family Insight is a third-party program certified to synchronize information with FamilySearch. It is a tool created to help reconcile and consolidate multiple records for the same ancestors. With Family Insight, you can compare your database with the records in the new FamilySearch family tree.
  • You can add information to your file from FamilySearch. You can: Choose to replace information in your file with better information; add additional information that enhances your record; add additional relatives to your file, such as children, spouses or parents; mark your records with the FamilySearch ID for future reference.
  • You can add new information and people from your file directly into FamilySearch. There is no need to type each person into FamilySearch. Family Insight will do it for you. Relationships will be linked as you add these people. To prevent duplication, Family Insight will search for your person before you add them.

To learn more about Family Insight, and to take video tutorials, go to There is a one-time fee for the download.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The DAR Collection

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Collection is a small manuscript collection consisting of Bible records, cemetery records, church records, marriages, deaths, obituaries and wills. It was microfilmed in 1971 at the DAR Library, Washington, D.C., and is at the Family History Library (FHL films 849914; 869290; and 907987).

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Obituaries can help to round out the story...

Obituaries are one of the best -- and at times only -- resources for uncovering the identity of ancestors. According to David Rencher, chief genealogical officer for FamilySearch, "obituaries fill that unique niche of being able to tell you where people went, as well as tell you how people are related. Names and places make obituaries especially valuable. " The "survived by" listings are usually a reservoir of family names. They often identify key locations, such as the cemetery where the deceased is buried, areas where he or she lived and places children have relocated to." Obituaries can provide precious details about occupations, marriages, military service, religious affiliation, and family lore. "It may provide information that no living person could give you about the person's life", says Paul Smart, a certified genealogist and popular lecturer. However, they are written from memory and may be subject to error and bias. Therefore, they must be scrutinized and verified with other documents whenever possible. While the undertaking of putting old newspapers online is tremendous, it is well under way. has 4,300 US newspapers in its database covering all 50 states and ranging from 1690 to the present. It is a commercial subscription site, but you can try it out for 30 days for a nominal fee. The National Digital Newspaper Program has made newspapers from 15 states and the District of Columbia between 1880 and 1922 available online. As more become available, "there will be a lot of mysteries solved through obituaries."

Friday, May 14, 2010

FamilySearch Forums

FamilySearch invites you to become a member of the FamilySearch online community. The community resources will become invaluable as you do your own family history work. One of these resources is FamilySearch Forums. On this site, you can find answers to any question that you may have. Here you can ask about:
  • Specific ancestors that you're trying to find
  • Which records are best for a particular time period
  • Locations of resources
  • Features of
  • Any other FamilySearch product or web site, such as the indexing site.

To access the FamilySearch Forums, click here:

If you register on the site, you will need to set up a user name and password because the Forums site has not yet converted to the LDS Account system. Hint: It is recommended that when you register for Forums, you choose the same user name and password that you use for your LDS Account so that you will not have to change your user information later.

Join the community and find the answers you need, and contribute what you know to help others!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Public Archives

The Idaho State Historical Society serves as the state archives and holds a variety of public records created by state and local governments, such as state agencies, counties and cities. The collection includes territorial records; papers from most governors; selected vital, financial and court records; and a variety of other materials. The library is located at 2205 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise, Idaho. The library holds a substantial collection of Idaho newspapers on microfilm, including both daily and weekly titles, and a variety of irregularly published materials. Also available are a limited number of early titles from other western states, such as California, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Newspapers contain a variety of information that could be very useful in your searches. For example, you may find information on marriage, birth and death notices, local "gossip" columns, legal notices, announcements, etc. To see an index of newspaper holdings and the years available see the PARL site: Search by city names (also search in nearby cities for information as well.) For other records available at the library, visit online at

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mark Your Calendars!

The Boise Area Spring Family History Conference will be held at the Nampa North Stake Center on Saturday, April 17, 2010, from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. This conference includes a choice of lecture style classes geared to the beginning, intermediate and advanced family historian. Classes include instruction in New FamilySearch, PAF, Family Insight, Sourcing,, Digital Photography, and many others! If you would like a copy of the complete schedule, I can makes copies for you. To register, go to the following website: Registration fee is $9 online by April 13. At-the-door fee will be $12.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

LDS User Accounts

In a past lesson, we discussed briefly about the new LDS User Account, which enables members to use a single registration to gain access to FamilySearch and all other church websites. Enjoy the convenience of just one user name and password for each of these sites. For those of you who have not yet created this account, you may do so by visiting Feel free to use the same user name and password that you used when you registered for the new FamilySearch.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Family History Conferences April 28-May 1, 2010

There will be four major family history conferences all in one week this spring in Salt Lake City:
  • National Genealogical Society 2010 Family History Conference
  • BYU 2010 Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy
  • BYU 10th Annual Family History Technology Workshop
  • FamilySearch's 2010 Developers Conference

The premier event of the week is the National Genealogical Society's annual conference. The theme for the conference is "Follow Your Ancestral Trail." It will be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 28 - May 1, 2010.

Price and registration information can be found at There is an early-bird discount until March 8, 2010.

Over 200 classes will be presented by industry leaders and experts from the local and national genealogical community as well as staff from FamilySearch. Products and services from genealogy companies will be showcased in an exhibit hall. There you can also meet with specialists for free personal consultations on research questions or problems.

NGS Conference details and the class schedule are available online at:


  • Hours at the Family History Library have been extended until 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday during the conference
  • The BYU 2010 Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy will be held at the same venue on April 26 - 27.
  • The BYU 10th Annual Family History Technology Workshop will be on April 28, also in the same venue.

This promises to be a full week of family history learning and activities!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Web Sites with Census Records

  • -- This is a paid subscription site. Ancestry has the most complete census records on the web.
  • -- Has various census records; these collections will continue to grow as volunteers update the records.
  • -- Has various census records throughout the world. Some are indexes or images only. This site is continually growing and changing, so keep checking back to view the additions.
  • Free sites at the Family History Centers include:

1911 UK Census...........1911 census for United Kingdom

The Genealogist.........United Kingdom census records

Godfrey Library.........Various census records worldwide

Heritage Quest...........Has US Federal census records

World Vital Records......Various census records worldwide

Friday, February 5, 2010

Synchronizing Information

Last week we reviewed the steps to add missing individuals into the new FamilySearch. Another way to add individuals is to use one of the family history computer programs that have been certified to synchronize information with FamilySearch. You can use these programs to:
  • Add information from your database (PAF) to the new FamilySearch Web site.
  • Add information from the new FamilySearch Web site to your database
  • Correct or delete information
  • Mark information as incorrect
  • Reserve names for ordinance work

Two certified PAF add-ins are Ancestral Quest and Family Insight. These programs allow users to access, print, update and sync with online information in They are intended for use with PAF 5 to read and write PAF files and Gedcom files in conjunction with the online family tree at new. For a complete list of third party computer programs that synchronize information, see:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Family History Library Lesson Series

To access this series of lessons: (1) Go to the home page of . (2) In the Whats New section, click on Family History Library Series Provides Useful Guides. This provides links to several short lessons, which cover a variety of Family History topics available for download in PDF format. These lessons may be used as self-study guides.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Research Wiki

FamilySearch Wiki is a large, on-line library where you can find thousands of articles and how-to instructions about doing family history. It is being developed by the Family History Department and the genealogical community. It also contains a Forums Beta. Use the Forum to search for information, ask questions, or offer answers to others. To learn how to use this site: 1. Go to and sign in 2. On the home page, click Help under the Navigation tab 3. Click on Begin Your Genealogy Research 4. This portal contains articles, tutorials, and links on the following topics:
  • How to use the Wiki video demo (under Wiki tutorials)
  • Where to start
  • Research analysis
  • Organization and Documentation
  • Get Started in Research
  • Technology
  • News and Events
  • Links to other Internet sites with online family history tutorials

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ireland Beginning Research Series Available

The Ireland Beginning Research Series has been added to the Research Series Classes Online page of the Web site. It introduces key principles and processes for conducting research on Irish ancestors. It includes helpful tips on how to find and use records and sources for Irish research, including:
  • Church records
  • Civil Registration
  • Immigration
We invite you to visit and view these classes.