Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cemetery Records Are Vital

A cemetery record is an account of the names and death dates of those buried in a cemetery. Cemetery records can be a useful tool for genealogists because they can tell you details about past relatives and their deaths. Especially for those who cannot find a death record certificate, cemetery records can share almost the same amount of information. One helpful online source is Death This site has all types of interesting information about your potential ancestors, including the locations of cemeteries, historical information about the cemeteries, photographs of graves and records of those buried in the cemeteries. Another excellent resource is Find a On this site you can browse by location, date, and/or by name. It is a fascinating site for amateurs and professionals alike.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Research Wiki

"Learn More" on the Research Wiki
By Caroline M. Pointer has over 2.5 billion records online, but did you know that by clicking the “Learn More” button featured with each record set, you can connect to additional information about the record sets on the FamilySearch Research Wiki? By clicking on the “Learn More” button you are instantly accessing a wealth of information on the FamilySearch Research Wiki that can add depth and insight to the records you are using for your family history research.
While the information provided can vary slightly, there are 10 types of basic information that are provided for each record group, including:
  • Collection Time Period—This indicates the time period the collection encompasses.
  • Record Description—The description tells the kinds of records a collection contains. If a record collection contains only baptisms and marriages and you are looking for a death record, for example, then looking in this record collection may not be the best place to start.
  • How to Use This Record—Have you ever wanted or needed instructions on how to use a record collection? It may sound silly, but it is important to know how to use a particular record collection. FamilySearch Research Wiki provides detailed instructions on how to use each collection in an easy to understand format.
  • Record History—Knowing the historical context in which the records were created as well as the reliability of the records contained in the collection can help in evaluating the records.
  • Related Websites—FamilySearch Research Wiki provides links to additional information for the collection.
  • Related Wiki Articles—If there are volunteer-contributed articles that pertain to a record collection, then the links to those articles are listed here.
  • Known Issues with the Collection—Record collections can have issues and concerns that come up from time to time, and knowing these can help in evaluating records.
  • Contributions to This Article—This is where users can add any information they have on the particular record collection, adding more insight to the records.
  • Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections—No more worries on how to cite a record—examples are provided here.
  • Sources of Information for This Collection—Knowing the sources of a collection can affect users’ decisions about records.
As you can see, provides vast collections of records, but the FamilySearch Research Wiki provides added value to those collections by providing more information about them. Click the “Learn More” button while you research, and let the Research Wiki add depth to your family history records.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Naming Patterns in England, 1700-1875

  • 1st son -- father's father
  • 2nd son -- mother's father
  • 3rd son -- father
  • 4th son -- father's eldest brother
  • 1st daughter -- mother's mother
  • 2nd daughter -- father's mother
  • 3rd daughter -- mother
  • 4th daughter -- mother's eldest sister

Younger children would be named after earlier ancestors, but the pattern in their case was more varied.

One variation from the above was for the eldest son to be named after the mother's father and the eldest daughter after the father's mother. In this case the second son would be named after the father's father and the second daughter after the mother's mother. Occasionally the second son and daughter would be named after the father and mother instead of the third son and daughter. Another variation was to name the third daughter after one of the great-grandmothers instead of after the mother. In such a case, the fourth daughter would usually be named after the mother.

(Are you confused yet???)


Seventeen Ways to Find a Maiden Name

  • If within the past 100 years - death certificates
  • If more than 100 years - all her children's death certificates
  • Newspaper obituaries
  • Her children's marriage certificates (the application is probably a more likely source)
  • Public Church libraries
  • Unpublished records microfilmed at branch LDS libraries
  • International Genealogical Index (IGI) on microfiche at LDS libraries
  • Divorce papers from county courthouse where filed
  • Survey of American Genealogical Periodicals indexes by Skip Perry; also state and local historical society quarterlies
  • Newspaper indexes by Anita Cheek Milner for records from burned-out courthouses and churches no longer in existence, bibliographies in book form
  • Look for wills. Write local historical societies and ask for an index check.
  • Send out queries to periodicals and quarterlies in the areas where your ancestors were.
  • Deeds and other land records
  • Sometimes a census will mention a mother-in-law.


Friday, September 23, 2011 is now Fold3

Fold3, formerly, is a website that provides access to US military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served. The Fold3 name comes from a traditional flag folding ceremony in which the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans who served in defense of their country and to maintain peace throughout the world. Original records at Fold3 help you discover and share stories about these everyday heroes, forgotten soldiers, and the families that supported them. You can combine records found on the site with what you have in your own albums and shoeboxes to create an online memorial for someone who served. Fold3 is a paid subscription site; however it is FREE at the Family History Library. Also offered is a 7-day free trial, during which time you can access all records without a charge. Check it out at!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Boise Area Family History Conference

The Boise Area Fall Family History Conference will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2011, at the Nampa North Stake Center (6111 Birch Lane) from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Devotional speaker will be Bruce Allcott, former mission president of the Yekaterinburg Russia Mission. Various classes will be presented throughout the day, and include all skill levels. Some of the classes to choose from include: Google Your Way to Family History, Using Rootsmagic, What is a Family Research Wiki?, New Family Search for Beginners, and much, much more! BYU-Idaho is pleased to offer online registration, at For more information on the conference and for handouts, go to

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Name Indexes and Category Lists

Name Indexes use your ancestor's names to find information about them. The largest name index is Internet Family Finder, located at This site indexes more than 100,000 published family histories and other information located on thousands of web sites around the world. Other major name indexes include:,,, and Category Lists help users identify research sites. The best known of these family history web sites is Cyndi's List at, which lists over 308,000 web sites in over 186 categories. Another major comprehensive site is Genealogy SiteFinder at which lists over 50,000 web sites. Both have searchable indexes of their lists. To use these indexes, think about what you know about a specific ancestor or surname and then look in the appropriate categories. If you were trying to find informtion on a Quaker couple married in Virginia in 1766, you could look in categories for marriages, Virginia, Quakers, or Colonial records. These web sites also help locate information about an ancestor's culture, traditions, homeland, and history. This information gives you a greater appreciation of your heritage, the sacrifices your ancestors made for you, and a better understanding of what their life was like.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

FamilySearch YouTube Channel

FamilySearch has unveiled a newly updated YouTube channel giving viewers an informative, fun and fascinating look at several different aspects of genealogy through a growing number of videos in five playlists. High quality videos are available for the rookie genealogist and the seasoned veteran alike. The Genealogy in 5 Minutes playlist demonstrates how, in just a few minutes, individuals with little or no genealogy experience can make some headway on their family's history. The Woven Generations playlist features powerful, personal experiences from those who have found success or inspiration through family history work. Additionally, FamilySearch sent camera crews to Virginia, Ohio, California, Indiana and other locations for a closer look at how FamilySearch works with societies and archives to provide access to more records online and to further mutual interests in family history. These videos can be found in the Societies and Archives playlist. These videos and others are available at and can be powerful tools in family history. Check out the videos and share them with your family and friends!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Newspaper Archive Now Available

An additional site, "Access Newspaper Archive", has been added to the other subscription fee-based Premium Family History Websites offered for free at Family History Centers. Here is a description of the site: is the world's largest online newspaper archive. Featuring billions of articles from historical newspapers around the U.S. and the world, NewspaperARCHIVE makes exploring history and genealogy easy and fun. Discover fascinating news in archived newspapers hundreds of years old -- including obituaries, birth announcements, sports articles, comics, and more -- to fill in the life stories you are interested in. All newspapers are full-page and fully searchable. Try exploring and discover your history today!

Free Online Collections

The latest additions to FamilySearch's free online collection of historic record collections have pushed the total to 600! There are new international records from Argentine, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, France, Honduras, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, U.S. and Wales. The updates to the U.S. collections include: California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and the Virgin Islands.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Civil War Records

As the United States marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, people who had ancestors involved in the conflict can access millions of historical records recently published on the website. Millions more are coming, as volunteers enlist ( in an online campaign over the next five years to provide access to the historic documents. The collections include service records for both the Confederate and Union armies, pension records, and more. Some of these records have been available for some time, but are now being added to as part of this project. Many records are specific to the war itself, such as enlistment or pension records. These documents can provide key family data, including age, place of birth, or the name of a spouse. Other collections, such as census records, tell the story of ordinary civilians who lived during that turbulent time. About ten million of FamilySearch's Civil War records are indexed; however, there are many more that need to be indexed, and that's where the volunteers come in. This growing collection will be one that will serve the needs of numerous descendants of the participants on both sides of the conflict. (Information taken from the Church News, May 14, 2011)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

BYU 43rd Annual Conference on Family History

The 43rd annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy will be held from July 26 to July 29, 2011, at the BYU Conference Center and will feature more than 100 classes for beginning, intermediate, and advanced participants. This year's theme focuses on building and strengthening your family ties through family history. Instruction topics include:
  • New Family Search
  • Family Search
  • Research Methods
  • Using computers, Internet, and Technology
  • British Research
  • Computer Tools (hands-on workshop)
  • Church Records Worldwide
  • Writing Family Histories
  • United States Research
  • International Research
  • Scandinavian and German Research

Click on the link below for further details:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Get Your Geek On!

Technology is a wonderful genealogical tool. TechTips provides easy to understand information on how to utilize technology in your family history research. Articles range from techniques you can use to restore old photos, tips for scanning documents, ways to use mobile genealogy tools, and much more. Have some technology pearls of wisdom to share? Techtips is always looking for community contributors. Visit TechTips today.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Treasured Story of a Little Heroine

Do you have a family story that is intriguing and you wish you knew the facts? One such story posted in the FamilySearch Forums was about two sisters, one of whom died, in a fire in Wyoming. Through the FamilySearch Forums, the research help community assisted in finding the true story by pointing to online digitized newspapers for Evanston, Wyoming, where an article about the fire was found. There was a fire when the parents were away from home. Three-year-old Jennette Quintrell and her little infant sister Alberta were surrounded by fire. Jennette's heroic courage was amazing as she pushed Alberta before her out of the home even though her own clothing was on fire. Jennette died shortly after from the burns, but her heroism and love for her sister is an inspiration to us all. Every day, people discover their family stories through FamilySearch Forums. Click here to see for yourself how the Forums work.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

U.S. Federal Census Records

People who want to learn about U.S. ancestors usually turn to census records for help. Censuses since 1850 list the names, ages, and occupations of all members of the household, as well as their relationship to the head of household. They often yield information leading to land, immigration, and military records. The question for genealogists today isn't whether to use census records, but where to find them. That's where the Family Search Research Wiki community comes in. To begin using the U.S. census to find your ancestors, visit the United States Census page. It links to pages that list the types of information available on each census. Click on the state links to go to pages that will lead you to the best sources of census records for each state. Be sure to leave feedback about what you find here, and share your experiences finding ancestors in the U.S. census. You'll find this and more at the Family Search Research Wiki.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Important Milestone

In March 2011 the website registered its one-millionth user! Recently a limited number of members of the general public have been given access to the Family Tree. This number will gradually grow until access to the Family Tree is open to everyone. Free access to the Family Tree site will bless the lives of millions of people.

New Online Course

A new course on finding and using courthouse records, featuring professional genealogist Christine Rose, is now available under the Learn tab in Courthouses are places where you can find answers to genealogical problems. They are a rich source of written records created as a result of the laws then in use, the time period, and the personal activities of your ancestors. The steps delineated throughout this course will assist you to be more effective as you visit courthouses in your search for genealogical information. To view the course, visit .

Thursday, April 14, 2011

RootsTech update

If you missed the popular inaugural RootsTech 2011 conference, you can now get a sampling of what all the excitement was about. The wildly popular new technology and family history conference held last month in Salt Lake City, Utah, made its keynote addresses and a few other popular presentations available online, free of charge. The six free presentations can be viewed at The RootsTech keynote videos are now available online through the home page, or you can go directly to the video page:

New Records Added

Over 30 million new records have been added to through indexing efforts in the last few months. Records from the following countries have been included: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, United States, Venezuela, Wales, and Zimbabwe. In addition, the 1881 England and Wales Census index has received significant enhancements.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Family Photoloom

Family Photoloom is paving the way for a new generation of "image-enriched genealogy." Purposefully designed for family historians, Family Photoloom is a free web application that makes it easy to tag and link pictures, cross-index family and extended relationships, and archive and share images with anyone you choose. There is no software to install or upgrade -- Family Photoloom runs directly from your browser. Learn more and register for your free Family Photoloom account at: To use New FamilySearch with Family Photoloom, you must be both a Family Photoloom member and New FamilySearch user.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The National Archives

The National Archives has custody of millions of records relating to persons who have had dealings with the federal government, including but not limited to: censuses, land records, naturalization records (after 1906), passenger lists, passport applications, claims for pensions and bounty land, etc. You can learn more about the archives at

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring 2011 Family History Conference

Registration has begun for the Boise Area Spring 2011 Family History Conference. The conference is sponsored by BYU-Idaho, and will be held on Saturday, April 9, at the Nampa North Stake Center from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The cost for the conference is $10 if you register prior to conference day -- at-the-door registration is $12. For more information and to register online, go to

Monday, January 31, 2011

Our favorite TV show is back!

Travel through time and deep into the family stories of eight celebrities as they solve centuries-old mysteries and uncover long-lost family ties. Don't miss the Season 2 premiere of Who Do You Think You Are? Tune in on February 4............Fridays............8/7c............NBC

Monday, January 24, 2011

Family ChArtist

A newly certified product from FamilySearch affiliates is Family ChArtist. Family ChArtist is the easiest way to create custom charts of your family history. It is a simple-to-use website -- no software to learn or buy. Create your own chart directly from New FamilySearch. You can edit incorrect information, immediately add pictures, and create countless combinations with beautiful graphics including temples, flags, nature and other artwork. Print FREE 8.5 x 11 charts from your printer, or for a small fee, purchase either a poster-size archival print or high quality electronic image file. Inspire your family, honor your ancestry, and envelop your descendants in a loving heritage with the click of a button using Family ChArtist. This website can be found at

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Changes to the FamilySearch website

Take a peek at the new changes and refinements at the site. Technology is zooming forward! New changes recently made to this research site include more scanned records and documents, improvements to searches, and interactive forums. Tutorials are available on the site to help with navigating the new site and the old site will be available through the transition. Also recently, four million records from seven countries, including the first from South Africa, were ready for searching. Other countries include Brazil, Canada, Germany, Guatemala, the Netherlands, and the United States. About 1.7 million of these records are indexed, according to a news release. Check out the changes and additions at

New Family History and Technology Conference

Rootstech is a new family history and technology conference to define the future of genealogy. It will be held 10-12 February 2011 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. Family Search is hosting this new three-day conference. What you will do at Rootstech:
  • IMPROVE your genealogy and research skills
  • FAMILIARIZE yourself with the latest in genealogy
  • DISCOVER emerging technology, concepts and devices
  • PARTICIPATE in new product demos and provide feedback
  • COLLABORATE with technology creators
  • LEARN from great speakers
  • HAVE FUN mingling and networking with your peers at social events

To learn more and register, visit