Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Incline Software Releases Ancestral Quest 12.1

The following announcement is by Gaylon Findlay, President and developer of Ancestral Quest.

Salt Lake City, Utah (July 29, 2008) – Today, Incline Software, LC announced the release of Ancestral Quest 12.1 at the Conference on Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

All of the new features introduced in Ancestral Quest version 12.1 are designed to aid a user in comparing and synchronizing local databases with the Family Tree database of, a system being developed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The Family Tree database claims to have roughly 500 million lineage-linked records, and these records become directly accessible to users of AQ 12.1 through these new features.

Because is still being developed and tested by members of the LDS church, its Family Tree is currently only available to a relatively small number of people. The new features of AQ 12.1 require access to the FamilySearch system through their secure system, and therefore can only be used by those who have access to In the coming weeks and months, as is made available to a growing number of individuals, those users will also be able to use the new features of AQ 12.1. Incline Software understands that the Family Tree feature of will eventually be available to the general public, and therefore that the new features of AQ 12.1 will eventually be functional for all users.

These new features benefit not only users of Ancestral Quest, but also users of Personal Ancestral File (PAF), because the PAF program of the LDS church is based on an older version of Ancestral Quest. AQ 12.1 is a FamilySearch certified PAF add-in. It will allow a PAF user to synchronize his/her local PAF data with the Family Tree of Once installed Ancestral Quest will appear on the Tools menu of PAF 5.2, and the PAF user merely needs to click on that menu item to start AQ 12.1 to synchronize their PAF data with FamilySearch.

AQ 12.1 is being released in phases. The release today begins the first phase of this roll-out. It is being made available to a limited number of users of both AQ and PAF. Over the coming weeks, Incline Software expects to expand the number of users that will be able to use these features, until it will be available to all users in the very near future.

To find out more about Ancestral Quest or Incline Software, visit the web site

Get My Ancestors Now Available!

The following announcement is from John Vilburn creator of PAF Insight and its replacement Family Insight.

We are pleased to announce the release of the free download Get My Ancestors. Get My Ancestors is available for both Windows and Mac. This is a great tool for those just beginning Family History research. It will help you download your basic family tree, including birth, death, burial, marriage, and christening dates, from FamilySearch family tree. From there it will allow you to save this information as a PAF file so that you can get right to work. To download and obtain a free license key for Get My Ancestors visit

Please note that to use Get My Ancestors you will need a login to


Mark Your Calendars - UVPAFUG Meeting!


The next regular, second-Saturday-of-the-month meeting of the Utah Valley PAF (Personal Ancestral File) Users Group will be on Saturday, 9 Aug 2008, from 9 am until noon in the LDS "Red" Chapel at 4000 North Timpview Drive (650 East), in Provo. The main presentation will be by Laurie Werner Castillo on FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH AT BYU: THE OTHER FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY.

BYU's Harold B. Lee Library (HBLL) is a major university library with 5 levels of books, manuscript collections, periodicals, maps and gazetteers, photographs, and displays. Additionally, it provides an Interlibrary Loan service for patrons to see books from other libraries. The HBLL website contains a wealth of valuable digital collections with many items of interest to family historians. The family history section of the HBLL was recently designated as a Family History Library, so it is no longer a Family History Center, but a branch of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. This presentation will show some of the family history items available at the HBLL, as well as on its website.

Laurie Werner Castillo is a mother and grandmother first, and then a professional genealogy researcher, speaker, and free-lance writer. She has served at the BYU Family History Center for many years as a Consultant, Teacher, and Family History Missionary Trainer. She has also served as a Ward Family History Consultant, Stake Family Records Extraction Coordinator, President of the Utah Valley Chapter of the Utah Genealogical Association, and Vice-President and Member of the Board of Directors of the Utah Genealogical Association. Currently, she serves with the Utah Valley PAF Users Group teaching many classes there.

Following the main presentation there will be several classes taught concerning technology and family history. As usual, there will be something for everyone at all levels of expertise. The classes currently scheduled for this meeting are the following:
  1. FamilySearch Indexing and RecordSearch, by Duane Dudley
  2. Beginning Danish Research on the Internet, by Sherry Stevens
  3. Mentoring and a New England mini-class, by Becky Roberts and Lynne Shumway in the FHC
  4. Q&A on the BYU Family History Library, by Laurie Castillo
  5. Video of last month's main presentation on Digital Photography for Family History, by Marlo Schuldt
  6. Legacy 7, by Joel Graham
  7. RootsMagic, by Bruce Buzbee
  8. Ancestral Quest, by Gaylon Findlay.
All meetings of the Users Group are open to the public whether members of the Group or not. The Users Group has the goal of helping individuals use technology to further their family history and there are usually 100-125 attending the monthly meetings on the second Saturdays. Several of the officers, including Gerhard Ruf, President; Brian Cooper, 2nd VP; Eileen Phelps, PAFology Editor; Kay Baker and Gerry Eliason working with finances and membership; and Bruce Merrill, Lynne Shumway, and Marie Andersen, working with the DVD & Video Library, will all be there. They will help with membership, questions, distribute the current issue of the monthly newsletter PAFology, and check out DVD's and videos of past presentations and classes to members of the group. Information about the Users Group, main presentations, classes, and class notes are available on the Group's website For further information contact President Gerhard Ruf at (801-225-6106), VP1 Elder Don Snow at, or VP2 Brian Cooper at

Records Created By FamilySearch Indexers to Remain Free

Indexed Records to Remain Free on

28 July 2008

The recent announcements of joint census projects with FamilySearch and affiliate companies, such as and, have caused some confusion. FamilySearch patrons and indexing volunteers are wondering if the indexes created from their efforts will continue to be free to the public. The answer is a resounding YES!

All data indexed by FamilySearch volunteers will continue to be made available for free to the public through—now and in the future. Access to related digital images may not always be free to everyone. Working jointly with other organizations ensures wider availability to improved indexes and provides a tremendous benefit to millions of people around the world who are seeking to connect with their ancestors. FamilySearch is committed to working with records custodians around the world to provide faster access to more records for more people.

Where possible, FamilySearch will seek to provide free public access to digital images of original records. Due to affiliate obligations, free access to some images may be available only to FamilySearch members (volunteers and indexers who meet basic contribution requirements each quarter, patrons at Family History Centers, and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who’s contributions support FamilySearch’s operations). FamilySearch members will also enjoy convenient access in their homes or wherever they have Internet access. (FamilySearch is currently developing its ability to verify that users are FamilySearch members for future home access. This expanded access should be enabled in 2009.)

The general public will have several options to access any fee-based images offered under FamilySearch affiliate agreements. 1) Home access will be free for FamilySearch members; 2) access is free through a local Family History Center or the Family History Library; 3) access is often free through the record custodian or archive reading room; or 4) for a nominal fee, the public can access the images on specified record custodian or commercial Web sites.

Monday, July 28, 2008

PAF Add-Ins for Now Offered by FamilyInsight and Ancestral Quest

I received this message from FamilySearch for Family History Consultants

Certified Personal Ancestral File (PAF) add-ins are now available for FamilyInsight by Ohana Software and Ancestral Quest Version 12.1 by Incline Software. As explained in a previous communication to family history center directors and consultants, PAF users can only access, update, and sync their PAF databases at by using a FamilySearch genealogy management software program or related PAF add-in that is certified for these functions.

The certified PAF add-ins will enable current PAF users to not only upload a PAF file, but to also sync with Syncing will allow users to continually search, match, combine, and update their PAF file with The installation of a PAF add-in will create a sub-menu item in the Tools menu with the name of the user’s selected PAF add-in (for example, Ancestral Quest or FamilyInsight). Clicking on the application will then allow the user to interface with

In addition to the new FamilySearch features, the add-ins provide other features that go beyond the capabilities of the standard PAF application. PAF users will save time when uploading data to and will have the option of working both online or offline from their PAF program.

The PAF add-ins come with a free 60-day trial. That will help PAF users to easily upload and sync their current PAF file(s) with when it is available in their temple district. It is the best method to get existing PAF data into because it checks for possible duplication of information before uploading a PAF file. GEDCOM files can also be imported into PAF through the certified add-in and then migrated to After 60 days, users can elect to pay a nominal fee for the PAF add-in to continue to receive all of the functionality of the Ancestral Quest or FamilyInsight software.

PAF users interested in using a certified PAF add-in should contact the software manufacturers directly to learn more about product features, capabilities, free downloads, and installation.

For FamilyInsight, go to


For Ancestral Quest go to

1-801-280-4434 (Salt Lake City area)


FamilySearch works with affiliate software companies to assist with the development of products and services that are compatible with FamilySearch Web Services. Patrons are encouraged to choose products that are FamilySearch certified.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New FamilySearch Tree Sagas - Week 11

I found something interesting written up on the LDSFHCConsultants Mailing list that I wanted to share on combining.
Here are some tips on combining duplicate records. Remember one electronic folder for one person. To keep track of who has been combined print out a pedigree chart and as you combine mark the name off on the chart.

"Step one: start with the Individual Details screen and on the far left click on Possible Duplicates. Combine all possible duplicates for all 6 individuals in the two-generation pedigree that has been selected for work.

Step two: Combine duplicate parents. Most of the time this step will not be necessary. When the first step is complete, if an asterisk shows up indicating multiple parents, then it is necessary to resolve duplicate fathers and then duplicate mothers. Do so for all individuals in the two-generation pedigree. If the parent's names are different leave combining alone until the editing procedure.

Step three: Combine duplicate spouses. Go to the individual details screen and click on spouses and children. Look on the far left at the parent screen and see if there are duplicate spouses. If they exist, click on the down arrow for a menu and choose the pull down for combine duplicate spouses. These first three steps have combined all the parent information. It is essential that all parents be combined before trying to combine duplicate children. Some children are linked only to one parent. If at anytime another parent is found, then it usually adds another child that has to be combined later. Look for duplicate spouses for all couples on the two-generation pedigree.

Step four: Combine children. Go to the individual details screen and click on spouses and children. When looking on the left side of the screen notice the children. If there are duplicates, click on the arrow beside the child with the most correct information and choose the pull down menu combine with other siblings. Use your PAF file for comparison and be careful with this step. Look at the children for all couples on the two-generation pedigree.

Our first goal is to get everyone in a folder that is the same person. The computer has combined all of the 100% matches. It is up to us to combine the rest. We can leave the editing alone until we have finished combining. Every time a person is combined, more material that needs editing will show up. Compare dates, places, spouses, children, and other information that will indicate whether this is a duplicate person. If you can't determine a match, then do not combine the records. A sure sign that a mistake has been made is when the screen refreshes and a whole bunch of people shows up that have different surnames and definitely do not belong in the family group. At this point in time records will have to be uncombined."

A find of mine developed this. It really works and cuts down on confusion when combining.

Elder Legge
I don't know who Elder Legge's friend is, but he did an excellent job writing this up. Thanks so much for putting this down in an easy to understand format. It's pretty much what I have been doing while going through my families.

I've also had a several of comments I wanted to share from my article last week. The first is regarding my grandfather's sealing to his parent's being "In Progress".
When dates are included in ordinance fields in submissions to Ancestral File or PRF they do not show us as In Progress, they only show up as Completed. For In Progress to show up someone either has had a card printed or the name has been reserved in newFamilySearch by someone. So it is most likely that someone has previously printed a card because you don't have many relatives working in nFS.

I can't believe that I never called the Toronto temple this past week to discover if there was a submission from my sister and a missing card out there of the sealing. I have to put that on my to-do list a little higher.

There was another comments suggesting how to print out lost submission cards.
Have you checked out the Temple Ordinances section of nFS yet? There is an option to reprint ordinance cards for work that you have submitted but lost the cards. You may want to check there just to make sure there aren't any available. It sounds like you are very organized, so maybe not, but worth looking. I would think (since you've claimed his legacy) you'd be able to see and reprint any of your father's "leftovers" as well, but not sure on that one.
I lost cards in a housefire the same week I had mt first child, so that reprint option was very exciting for me.

So sorry to hear about the untimely house fire. I guess it never is timely to have one is there. Now awful. Well, I was willing to give your suggestion a try but alas no luck. I'm sure it's because the sealing was not submitted using NFS. It will be a nice resource in the future for me. Right now my temple district isn't even on NFS so I'm not using that feature. I do plan on making some reservations when I come across ordinances needing to be done. Maybe I will get through my stockpile of temple cards before NFS comes to my temple district. If I use NFS now to print Family Ordinance Requests (FOR) I would have to travel to the FHL in Salt Lake to have the cards made up. So, I'm willing to wait for now.

The next comment I received had to do with keeping track somehow of my progress on NFS.
Hi Renee,

Regarding keeping track of those you work on in NFS - couldn't you create a tag in Legacy (don't know if Roots Magic can do that) and then check the box once you have completed work on that individual? Of course, you'd have to remember to not clear all tags... I enjoy your posts on both NFS and Indexing.

That's a good suggestion and I might go that avenue if to much time passes having to use NFS without the commercial programs syncing with it. For now I really want a total of what I have worked on during my current session.

What I have decided for now to simple do is keep track of the names I worked on and the submitters for each individual by manually recording it in my Google Notebook. I love Google Notebook and have been using it a lot to organize all sorts of things. I have an add-on in Mozilla that I downloaded that lets me copy things from the web easily into my notebook. I created a new notebook and called it "NFS Stats". I recorded last weeks results in it already and will continue to do so. I'm sure I will change my system as it grows but for now I do have some type of system.

I am still working of my 4 generations pedigree chart. When I finish my great-grandparents Leroy and Alice Harris family tonight I will have to decide how I want to continue my efforts. Work down into their descendants more or continue onto my direct line only. I think I need a another week to make that decision.

Oh, I needed to report back on the family members I found as contributors last week. I have heard back from them and they are the Tambasco family I knew as members when I was young. Just didn't know how we were related. We are still in the getting to know each other again stage. This is great though a whole new branch on the family tree. Making contract with living relatives really makes working in NFS fun. You never know when you will stubble upon one.

This week I was able to work on the rest of my great-aunts and uncles on my Harris side. I worked on 9 people. There were some spouses included there. No new relatives or contributors I should say. I did find some temple dates I didn't have. I also found some information I didn't have on some individuals that my father contributed. I can't even imagine working on NFS without having access to my personal genealogy database. I refer to it all the time and make updates too. Well I better get to bed, have to work in the morning.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

46 Million New Names and 1.2 Million New Images Added to Online Census Collections

Approximately 46.3 million new records and 1.2 million new images are now available on the Record Search pilot at This brings the total number of names available on the test site to 467,180,871. Two new Records Access projects (1841 & 1861 England Census collections) were published with links to images on This is important because it tests the pilot search engine’s capacity to ingest third party indexes and link to images hosted on affiliates’ sites. Such functionality enables FamilySearch to better fulfill its goal to increase access to more genealogical records faster for its users and members. Recent Records Access news announcements can be found at

1841 England and Wales Census
Indexed Names: 15,806,949
Digital Image Count: 340,544
Comment: New - linked to FMP images

1850 United States Census
Indexed Names: 6,044,749
Comment: Updated - NY,PA,NC

1850 United States Census (Mortality Schedule)
Indexed Names: 62,269
Comment: Updated - NY,NC

1850 United States Census (Slave Schedule)
Indexed Names: 299,141
Comment: Updated - NC,UT

1861 England and Wales Census
Indexed Names: 19,178,973
Digital Image Count: 922,225
Comment: New - linked to FMP images

1870 United States Census
Indexed Names: 4,350,059
Comment: New - indexed data (15 states)

1930 Mexico Census
Indexed Names: 617,446
Comment: Updated - Chihuahua

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New FamilySearch Update on Temples Going Live

There were no temple districts going live with new FamilySearch this week, due to the Pioneer Day Celebration on the 24th.

I received the following email from my source at FamilySearch.
Sister Zamora,

Here’s an update for you. The following districts have official “go live” dates:

July 29

Apia Samoa

Copenhagen Denmark

Helsinki Finland

Recife Brazil

August 5

Nauvoo IL

Stockholm Sweden

The Hague Netherlands

Tuxtla Mexico


I have updated my New FamilySearch Roll-out spreadsheet with this information.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 52

It would seem like I have worked on FamilySearch Indexing for a year, by saying this is my 52nd week, but actually next week on August 1st will mark my one year anniversary. I am so excited about hitting that one year mark! Next week's articles on FamilySearch Indexing and my New FamilySearch Tree Sagas will trade time frames. I just have to index on my one year mark. I have this all planned out in my mind.

The last couple of weeks I have been commenting in my articles about the lack of English projects. Several readers commented to me about the lack of arbitrators on these projects.

I don't know if you see the notes from FamilySearch headquarters that are marked "Too all arbitrators", but I found out another reason why there may not have been English batches available for you a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, if there are too many batches waiting to be arbitrated, they won't allow any more to be indexed.

I haven't actually indexed a record since the last call for arbitration a couple of weeks ago and have been focused on just arbitrating - primarily the Washington Death Records. It's really thrown off my indexing / arbitration ratio. When I hit 50,000 records I was right at 25,000 / 25,000 (on purpose). Now, because I've spent so much time arbitrating, I'm at 26,000 / 35,000.
Here's the note from headquarters:

We still need your help! The number of batches being arbitrated is out of balance compared with the number of batches being indexed. Please spend as much time as possible doing arbitration, especially for the Washington State Deaths and Louisiana 1850-1954 Death Certificates projects.
If the gap between the number of batches indexed and the number of batches arbitrated grows too large, indexing batches will not be assigned (even though they are available) until the arbitration numbers come back into balance. If you notice that a project is on the Download From… list, but the system states that there are no batches available to index, please download and submit arbitration batches as soon as possible for the same project.
Arbitration is a vital step in ensuring a constant flow of data through the indexing pipeline. We sincerely appreciate your efforts.

Sue Ann
I appreciate the feedback and getting to know the rest of the story better about why sometimes my favorite projects are not available. I found it fascinating that others love to index the death certificates as much as I do.

This does make me have a question though, if they need help with arbitrating how does one go about becoming an arbitrator? I'm not necessarily sure I want to be one but I am curious.

I had a problem tonight when I went to start my FamilySearch Indexing program. It had an error and could not open the program. Some sort of JAVA error. I went to the and clicked on the indexing link. ( has a new design by the way.) I clicked on the button to start indexing, for those already registered. It downloaded the program again for me and I was all set to begin. I just love accessing everything from FamilySearch by just going to, major coolness!

There were no new messages from headquarters this week by the way. There were plenty of English projects for me, I counted 16. There was also 9 Spanish projects and one project each for Italian, German and French. That's a lot of projects.

After hearing about the arbitrating needs on the death certificates it makes me feel guilty to want to index them and cause more arbitrating issues. What is a person to do now that I have so many choices? Now it would be an easy answer for me if one of the other projects was for New York - but alas it is not being offered. It's been ages since I've been able to work on any New York projects. I just can't help by moan over that lack.

Now do I want to index the 1920, 1900, 1870 or 1850 census it has been ages since I've worked on a census. Maybe I am due for a change. What to do, what to do. I see one lone little 1850 U.S. Federal Census for the state of Missouri. I decided to take pity on it and work on a batch.

There was one big huge problem trying to set up the Missouri census the bottom highlight was off the page and I couldn't grab it to move it over. I guess I will try to use the ruler then. As I worked through the census I was amazed how quickly I could index one individual. There wasn't much information to gather per person. It was difficult reading the second page of the census but it was do-able.

The ruler method wasn't working that hot for me. I found that when I was done with the records I was short one individual. There should of been 84 in total and I had only 83. I had to go back and find the missing line. Add a line in the right place and then remove the left over line at the end. It worked but I just hate missing things to begin with.

I had my census done and decided that one batch was good for the night. I need to get to bed early tonight. I was so tired this morning when I got up that I almost would of called in sick. But, money is a great motivator and makes you keep ticking when there isn't much to tick with.

I indexed 84 individuals tonight. It's been quit a while since I've done that many names in one batch. I have indexed 7,897 individuals to date. Not to bad for ALMOST a year's work.

Oh, and don't forget to read my previous two articles that I posted on my blog. They tell about FamilySearch teaming up with to bring us the England and Wales Census. You have free access to the images at your local Family History Center. The second article is about FamilySearch and Ancestry working together on the U.S. Censuses. The images and indexes will be enhanced through joint cooperation. These also will be available at your local Family History Center for free on a ongoing bases and a short time for free on

I understand how some might be disappointed that all the images might not be available from home for free. FamilySearch is just working out how to make the most records available the quickest to everyone. We will see more and more of these partnerships in various shapes and sizes. All the indexes will be free and that's a good thing.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

FamilySearch Announces Plans to Broaden Access to All Available Censuses for England and Wales

FamilySearch Teams with and others to Broaden Access to All Censuses for England and Wales

Online Volunteer Indexers Sought to Improve Select Collections

SALT LAKE CITY—FamilySearch announced today that it is joining forces with, The Origins Network, and Intelligent Image Management—companies that specialize in providing online access to British family history resources—to make significant British historical record collections more broadly available online. The first joint initiative seeks to publish online indexes to censuses for England and Wales from 1841 to 1901. The 1841 and 1861 Census indexes are the first targeted under the agreement and are accessible now at and

In the agreement, FamilySearch, in conjunction with The Origins Network, will provide digital images for the 1851, 1871, and 1881 Censuses. It will also extend the 1871 Census index. will provide FamilySearch copies of its English and Welsh Census indexes from 1841 to 1901. The Federation of Family History Societies will help complete the index for the 1851 Census.

Initially, users of will be able to do a free search by record type, given name, surname, age, gender, place of birth, and relationship to head of household (relationship was not recorded in the 1841 Census). The free search capability at will include additional fields of data in the future. Users will be able to search the full indexes and view original images for free at FamilySearch’s 4,500 Family History Centers or for a nominal fee at

The addition of’s English and Welsh Census Collections to FamilySearch’s online databases will increase the use of the valuable record sets and increase traffic to

Jay L. Verkler, Managing Director for FamilySearch, said, “The new images and additional information provided by FamilySearch will significantly enhance and improve the overall English and Welsh Census collection. And its addition to will increase awareness of the rich Web resources of FamilySearch affiliates and the likelihood of success for patrons doing British research.”

Elaine Collins, Commercial Director at, commented, “ is delighted to be working with FamilySearch to launch the British Census Collection online. Censuses are the core building blocks for family historians and genealogists alike, and now, at last, here is the definitive version. This has been a very exciting project for us, and we look forward to collaborating with FamilySearch in the future to bring other important collections to an ever wider international audience.”

FamilySearch will utilize its impressive online community of volunteer indexers to add more fields of data to select censuses. When finished, the improved census indexes will be available on,, and Individuals interested in volunteering as online indexers for British historical projects can do so at

Ian Galbraith, CEO of The Origins Network and Upal Rahman, President of Intelligent Image Management (IIM) Inc. said, "The FamilySearch England and Wales Census project is clearly a milestone initiative in the history of genealogical research. It heralds a new era of easier accessibility to a mountain (literally!) of genealogical material available hitherto only to the privileged few, if at all. We are delighted to be working with FamilySearch and proud that they have chosen for the FamilySearch Website the 1841 and 1871 UK censuses—the most accurate available—which The Origins Network and IIM jointly developed."

FamilySearch Announces Plans to Publish Free Indexes to All Available U.S. Censuses

FamilySearch and Team to Publish New Images and Enhanced Indexes to the U.S. Censuses

New 1900 Census Images Now Available on; Volunteer Indexers Sought to Improve the 1920 U.S. Census Index

SALT LAKE CITY— and FamilySearch, the two largest online family history resources, announced today they will exchange records and resources to make more historical records available online. The first project is a joint initiative to significantly enhance the online U.S. Federal Census Collection (1790 to 1930). The original census records are among the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

FamilySearch is digitally converting master microfilm copies of the original U.S. Federal Censuses from 1790 through 1930 and, under this agreement, will give these improved images to All census images and indexes will be available on for subscribers. As projects are completed, images will be available for free in NARA reading rooms and FamilySearch’s 4,500 Family History Centers., which currently offers indexes and images to the entire publicly available U.S. Federal Census Collection, will give FamilySearch copies of its existing census indexes. Through its online indexing system and community of volunteer indexers, FamilySearch is already indexing select censuses. FamilySearch will merge the indexes with the new FamilySearch indexes to create enhanced census indexes, which will be added to both sites. Indexes to the enhanced censuses will be free on for a limited time as they are completed. Indexes will also be available for free on

Allen Weinstein, the Archivist of the United States, welcomed this agreement as a significant benefit for researchers. He remarked that, “Census records are among the most important documents the American people have to trace their genealogy and know their family history. Having two of our partners working together to enhance the indexes and images of these essential documents will enable an unprecedented level of access and understanding.”

The first census exchanged is the 1900 U.S. Census. FamilySearch completed a 1900 index in addition to’s original. In the new index, FamilySearch added several new fields of searchable data, such as birth month and birth year, so individuals can search for ancestors more easily. The two indexes will be merged into an enhanced index, available on both sites. The new 1900 census images are now available on The enhanced 1900 index will be available for free for a limited time at and ongoing at will also provide FamilySearch its original 1920 U.S. Census index. Using the index as a first transcription, FamilySearch will create a new second index with added fields and arbitrate any discrepancies between the two indexes. The 1920 project is currently in progress. Individuals interested in helping create the improved index can volunteer at Once completed, the enhanced 1920 index will be available on both sites and will link back to images on

The 1850 through 1870 (partial) and 1880 and 1900 U.S. Censuses can be searched currently at; all publicly available U.S. Censuses are already available on

Tim Sullivan, president and CEO of The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of, said, “This collaboration represents a significant step forward in making family history research more accessible. The enhanced U.S. Federal Census Collection that will become available through this agreement is a gold mine for family history researchers, and we look forward to collaborating with FamilySearch in identifying other opportunities to help people discover their roots.”

“The U.S. Censuses are arguably the most important collection of U.S. genealogical records. FamilySearch is excited to see the complete, improved indexes of these collections freely available online over the next two years. And we look forward to working with to enhance access to additional, significant collections in the future,” said Jay Verkler, Managing Director for FamilySearch.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hispanic Records Available in Record Search

This message is from FamilySearch.

Family history consultants who help people searching for Hispanic ancestors can turn to the growing collection of records available on the Record Search pilot Web site. The site, at, includes millions of records that can help those trying to find their Hispanic ancestors. New records are being added all the time, through the efforts of volunteers who participate in FamilySearch indexing efforts.

The Search section of the Web site includes these Hispanic record collections:
  • 1895 Argentina Census
  • Mexico Baptisms 1700-1900
  • Mexico Burials 1700-1900
  • Mexico Marriages 1700-1900
  • 1930 Mexico Census
The Browse section of the Web site includes these collections:
  • 1930 Mexico Census
  • Lima, Peru, Civil Registration, 1874-1930
  • Spain, Albacete Diocese, Catholic Parish Records 1550-1930
  • Spain, Ciudad Rodrigo Diocese, Catholic Parish Registers, 1550-1930
Recently, 72 million new names were added to the Mexico baptisms collection. This collection has been transcribed from Mexican parish registers dating from 1659 to 1905. It also includes records from the Middle America Vital Records Index–Mexico that was published in 1999 on compact disc. Although the collection is not necessarily complete for any particular place or region, it is still a very valuable resource for people searching for their Mexican ancestors.

Visit the Record Search pilot Web site, and become familiar with the wonderful resources available to help those searching for Hispanic ancestors. New Look

If I had just gone into the actual website last night, when I was looking up my grandfather on the IIGI, I would of seen the new look for As it was, it wasn't until I came home from work today that I saw it. It was like WAHOO!! has got a face lift, and it looks beautiful on her.

I could just smell the excitement in the air. You know things are really happening now. I'm sure the face lift was in prep for when the tree portion is added from the current new FamilySearch. I honestly didn't think we would see all this integration until the old FamilySearch was going to be officially replaced by the current new FamilySearch. It just appears that can just simply add a tab with the tree port from new FamilySearch whenever it is ready.

I just had to test out all the tabs and see what's new.
  • There is a link to the project which is called Records Search. This had been recently added to with a big ugly orange box. I guess it did it's job by getting people's attention. It has found a nice home now. If you weren't aware of Records Search it is the end results from FamilySearch Indexing. You can search the indexes created and view original documents. We are indexing the granite mountain vault microfilms so this is a massive project and currently in pilot format.
  • There is a link to volunteer or work on FamilySearch Indexing. I noticed that the link takes you to a new page. Not the current site. I wonder why it doesn't directly take you there but has a new page? Will one page eventually go away? Seems silly to have two websites to sign up on.
  • You can now search the Family History Archives. This is the books project that started over at BYU. They started by digitizing 5,000 family history books. I have no idea how many have been digitized now. You could find them linked in the Family History Library Catalog if you stumbled upon them by chance. I'm sure many did not have the direct address to search just in the books - well now they do! Nice addition.
  • There is a link to Websites - that are useful in your research. It's been a while since I looked at this page on Have they added more - it appears so. If not this is a great place to add someday the Family History Library links that are only available at the FHL for download. Great collection of bookmarked links that everyone needs access to. I hope to see this page added to in the future.
It's obvious that the new design for is still being worked on. If you go under Help>Product Support you can still see the old tab design. It would seem reasonable that we will see more changes over time.

One thing that I noticed obviously missing from is the Wiki. I wonder why they haven't included it yet? It really needs more publicity. I keep meaning to blog about it but I haven't had time to yet. You can look at the Wiki at This is a great tool to find all the research guides and information on working on your family history in different locations. The beauty of a wiki is that users can add their knowledge to it for the benefit of those that come after them. The wiki is still in beta format so maybe it's not ready for prime time. Who knows we could see it added in the next couple of days for all I know. FamilySearch is just full of surprises.

I just wanted to tell FamilySearch that I love the new design. Much more modern and pleasing to the eye. The layout is basically the same as before so it's not hard to find things. I very much appreciate having to go to one link to look at all the resources. Keep up the good job. I know there is more to come. YIPEE!!!

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New FamilySearch Tree Sagas - Week 10

I've been thinking about working on new FamilySearch all week. Right after I finished my article last week, I discovered a yellow caution symbol on my great-grandparents' file. What that means is that some temple work needed to be completed. I couldn't believe it when I realized that my grandfather hadn't been sealed to his parents.

I looked in my records and I have no sealing date to his parents. I emailed my father and he has no sealing date to his parents either. My father doesn't recalling doing the work. He might of overlooked completing the work using the old paper sheets.

I couldn't wait to get into NFS this week and do some more research. Would I possibly be able to reserve my grandfather's sealing to his parents? That would be so cool. But first I need to make sure the work wasn't already done and that my grandfather didn't have more duplicates out there. I looked again in NFS and it says the sealing is "in progress". That was kind of disappointing. This is what the help center says about it.
Temple Ordinance: In Progress

This ordinance is in the process of being completed. Specifically, one of the following events has occurred:
  • A FamilySearch user has reserved this ordinance and has not yet completed it.
  • The ordinance was assigned to the temple, and the temple has not yet completed it.
When the ordinance is done, the status will change to "completed."
I wasn't sure what category my grandfather's sealing to his parent's really is in. I sure hope my father or I didn't put on our Ancestral File submission something other than an actually sealing date. I understand that if you typed in anything in the temple date fields, i.e. DO NOT SUBMIT, etc., that in NFS it will show up in progress or completed.

I started simply by looking for possible duplicates of my grandfather on NFS. Somewhere the work is in progress. I ran more searches in NFS limiting information from the search fields as I went. Nothing. I wanted to see what the IIGI had on my grandfather's temple work. I ran some tests using both Legacy and RootsMagic's IGI Search. I did discover that he was listed in the IIGI with "Cleared" in the temple date field.

One thing that was interesting in this process is that Legacy and RootsMagic both brought up the same ordinance information. I noticed RootsMagic's IGI Search results come back sooner than Legacy's. RootsMagic also lets me view the details as to who submitted the information. That was useful to me. What did I learn? That someone submitted the ordinance information after 1991, and no submitter information is available.

Now 1991 was about the time my sister submitted my grandparents to be sealed together. There is a possibility that if I call the Toronto temple, where she submitted and did that work, that I might find out if we have lost a temple card somewhere along the line. I put that on my to-do list - call the Toronto temple and see if I can learn more information. I sure hope I hear something positive that I can do. I would hate to have my grandfather's sealing to his parents in limbo land.

I planned on spending the remainder of my time on NFS this evening making sure that the duplicates for my grandfather's siblings were combined and cleaned up. I was shocked when I looked at my great-aunt Hazel's file. There is a living, breathing, person with contact information in NFS contributing information on her file. Is it possible there is an unknown member in our family? The contributor is Hannah Lynn Clark and her email address is at BYU. I hurried and sent her an email. I can't wait to find out how we are related!!!

Deborah Ann Hawkins and JKubricky are also listed as submitters but I can't see that they are on NFS yet. While I was working on my great-aunt Hazel's line I ran into another relative Roni Len Tambasco. I couldn't believe it, I forgot all about the Tambasco family. They joined the Church in my early teens. I used to play with Tina all the time. I knew she was my cousin but I didn't know how we were related.

New FamilySearch is sure bringing back memories and potential research partners for me. I feel like I hit the jackpot and I'm only on the second sibling for my grandfather and have five more to go. Roni had claimed their NFS submissions so I hurried and send off another email to them. I guess I had forgotten about them because they either moved or went in-active. I can see Roni submitted one of Hazel's children's temple work back in 2003 so they must be active. WAHOO! more families. I know Hazel had five children and I only have one listed. NFS only shows one so the others must be all living and one descendant possibly a member of the Church. What a find!

It might not seem to you that I was on NFS for very long tonight but I was. I've decided since I am tired that I will work on my grandfather's other siblings some more next week. I spend a lot of time looking at my two aunt's families. It has been really insightful and I hope I hear back from the emails I sent.

I did want to mention one thing I had thought about this past week and I'm not sure if it has helped my attitude about working on NFS or not. I realized that in FamilySearch Indexing I get to see some stats when I finish and then I have a sense of having accomplished something. In NFS you have no stats to compare and judge your progress by. It would be so nice if it did keep track but I don't think it ever will.

One of the things I learned, from seeing demonstrations on how genealogy programs are going to sync with NFS, is they have the ability to keep track of who you have synced with NFS and those you have not. I loved how RootsMagic had a great opening screen to give you all these stats on how many individuals were synced and those that were not, plus those needing temple work done. It probably won't be until we are able to use commercial products with NFS that we will be able to track our progress. That is going to make a world of difference.

I don't know why, but it was just insightful to me to realize why Indexing is more motivating to me. That's because I can compete against myself and keep track of my goals and stats. I just love tracking my progress when I am working on things. Realizing that NFS right now is lacking that feedback made me understand how I tick better.

I do have to say this week was different because I had a goal; to find out if my grandfather's temple work needed to be done or not. Now I'm even more psyched because I am finding living relatives. It would be major cool to somehow track my progress on NFS. I guess I could keep track of the individuals I work on. Maybe I could make a spreadsheet. I don't know if that will be beneficial or not. I have to ponder that some more. It really won't be that long before my RootsMagic will sync with NFS and keep track of my stats for me. The future sure looks bright....but I want it now!

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Online July 23 Test - Family History Library Consultant Training - Part 2

The following message was posted on FHCNET by Merrill White from FamilySearch.

Thanks to all that have participated in our online tests. We are going to present are part 2 Consultant class HELPING MEMEBERS on July 23. You can share this with anyone interested. We are learning a lot and are excited to do another test.

Family History Library Consultant Training Part 2 – Helping Members

FamilySearch is testing online consultant training on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 from 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (MT)

The online classroom has a capacity of 200 so we are asking people to register.

To register please go to:

We are aware that many cannot attend these day classes due to work schedules etc. These are tests as we learn the best ways to utilize this technology. These classes will be offered again with many options to access the content.

This class will not be new FamilySearch training.

Thanks so much for your help, keep up the great work!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

FamilySearch Posts 1870 U.S. Census

FamilySearch Update: 1870 U.S. Census (15 states), Peru Civil Registration (Lima), and Spain Parish Records Posted

The following collections were posted on the FamilySearch Record Search pilot. Users can access them for free at Appreciation is extended to the many great FamilySearch online volunteer indexers for the wonderful work they are doing in transcribing these records for the general public to use. To see the current and upcoming projects being indexed or to help volunteer as an indexer online, go to


Indexed Names

Digital Images


1870 U.S. Federal Census



15 completed states with linked images

Lima, Peru Civil Registration 1874 to 1930


Searchable digital images only

Spain Parish Records, Ciudad Rodrigo Diocese


Searchable digital images only

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 51

Last Tuesday I tried to do my FamilySearch Indexing and I wasn't successful at getting a batch in English. So, here I am again, it's Tuesday and I'm going to try to index tonight.

First thing I did was look for any messages from headquarters. We do have one and it is available in both English and Spanish.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Censo de Argentina de 1869
Date: 10 Jul 2008

We are happy to announce that the revision page with updated instructions for the Censo de Argentian de 1869 project is available in English and Spanish. Please review and follow these instructions carefully.

To access the revision page:
  1. Go to
  2. Click on the Help tab.
  3. Click on Ask a Question.
  4. Type Argentina 1869 in the text box.
  5. Click the Ask button.
We thank you for your great work!
Now on to the batches available for download. WAHOO!! there are NINE English projects. I am jumping for joy! Do you think they read my blog last week telling how I wanted to index and nothing was available in English? I don't know; but a big thanks to whoever got more English projects for us to work on.

The choices available:
  • Missouri - 1850 US Federal Census
  • Kentucky - 1870 US Federal Census
  • Michigan - 1870 US Federal Census
  • Mississippi - 1870 US Federal Census
  • New Jersey - 1870 US Federal Census
  • Pennsylvania -1870 US Federal Census
  • Texas - 1870 US Federal Census
  • Wisconsin - 1870 US Federal Census
  • Washington State Deaths - 1908-1957
This is a tough one. Do I work on a census or the death records? Oh, I know the answer there. I love death certificates so on to Washington State.... I'm back already, it went really fast. I did two batches, one for last week and one for this week. I was going to download one more batch to work on but there were no more available right now.

I did notice that the Louisiana 1850-1954 Death Certificates were now on the list of available projects. I decided to try to download a batch. Awesome, it worked. I was able to do one batch. With that I completed 3 batches tonight with 50 records in total. My grand total is 7,813 records indexed to date.

Next week coming up should be the big one year mark for me. I went back through my old blog articles and found that I indexed my first batch on Aug 1, 2007. That wouldn't be next week. It appears I sometimes indexed more than a week apart at times. I can see that I first indexed on a Wednesday and then turned around that following Monday and did some indexing. What can I say I messed up. I guess my weeks will be off when I actually do hit my one year mark.

Oh well, I guess I'm an over-achiever! LOL!!! It sure does mess up my counting system, and I tried so hard to keep track. WAAAAAAHHHH...[deep breath]...I will live. It just gives me more time to build up my numbers and plan my party for myself. This is a milestone for me. It's taken quite a bit of effort to index every week and write an article about it too. Don't think for a minute after a year I'm all done indexing. I will be at it for a long-time to come.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Steady Roll-out of NFS Continues

The new FamilySearch roll-out continues. My source at FamilySearch has just given me the latest word on temple districts going live.
Caracas Venezuela, Johannesburg South Africa, Newport Beach CA, Redlands CA, and Santiago Chile went live on July 8.

Buenos Aires Argentina, Frankfurt Germany, Freiburg Germany, Lima Peru, and Manila Philippines go live tomorrow, July 15.

Several “go live” notices are scheduled to go out tomorrow.

I was relieved to see that things are still progressing on a steady pace. Several family history consultants at my center were telling me that there was a hang-up and everything was on hold again. I hadn't heard those rumors and evidently they are unfounded. My New FamilySearch Roll-out spreadsheet has been updated on my website.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mark Your Calendars! - For 2009

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is one of the premier genealogical learning experiences. Students choose one course for a week of in depth instruction by some of the finest presenters in the country.

The Institute will be held January 12-16, 2009 at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah less than two blocks from the Family History Library.

The course list and registration for the 2009 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is available on the Utah Genealogical Association website, We are excited for the wonderful courses being offered and the excellent instructors. Registration for night classes that anyone
can attend is also on the UGA website.

The 2009 courses for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy are:

Course 1. American Records & Research: Focusing on Localities, with Paula Stuart Warren

This intermediate level course assists researchers in learning about and using sources and methods. The 2009 classes focus on topics related to researching localities. Sixteen informative classroom hours on significant U.S. records and strategies take you beyond basic research tools. In addition, for this course, six hours of help in the Family History Library during the Institute week provides hands-on assistance and guidance. This course alternates every other year with another Institute course with resources related more directly to families. The instructors represent a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Course 2. Gulf South Research (Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas), with Mark Lowe

Come enjoy a glass of sweet tea as we discover the wonderful records of the Gulf South. Discover the wonderful letters, diaries, family histories and documents that tell the story of Southern families. Unearth the value of unique records created about our ancestors that are likely to hold
hidden treasure for the persistent researcher. Learn how and where to find these gems to advance your research.

Uncover the historic trails that lead early settlers into and across this expansive territory. Get specific clues that might help you solve difficult research questions.

Course 3. English Research, with David Rencher

This course is designed to assist you in learning about the wealth of English records available and how to apply sound genealogical methodology in your research. Learn when, why and how to use key genealogical sources to solve simple to complex research problems. Immediately apply your
learning in the vast resources of the Family History Library’s English record collection.

Course 4. Germanic Research, with Larry Jensen

Where governmental jurisdictions changed, languages varied and records are inconsistent, research is often difficult and challenging. This course will prepare and assist the researcher to overcome the obstacles they encounter in extending their Germanic lines.

Course 5. Colonial American Research, with Kory Meyerink

Eventually, many experienced genealogists are faced with tracking American ancestry into the Colonial Era (pre 1776). While much of what one has learned about sources and methodology will be useful in such research, much more is needed to be successful. Colonial research requires a deeper understanding of certain key record types, and often a more complex set of research methodologies. This course provides the information and tools needed to take ancestral lines all the way back to the immigrant, and begin identifying those early immigrants in their ancestral country. Regardless of where those ancestors lived, from Georgia to Maine, or what country they came from, this course will provide the knowledge needed to be successful.

Course 6. Effective Use of the Internet, with Rhonda McClure

Description: Great genealogists know how to effectively use the Internet. They adjust their research strategies to make the most of databases and online records. With the ever expanding resources on the Internet, keeping a leading edge to make the most of it becomes harder with every year. Come learn the latest techniques to make the most of your Internet experience.

Course 7. Hispanic Research: Discovering Your Ancestors in Spain and Latin America, with Lynn Turner

Having trouble finding your Hispanic ancestry? The Hispanic research course will teach attendees invaluable research techniques and the latest internet resources for Hispanic genealogical research to help solve research problems. Classes will focus on finding and using the best genealogical resources available at the Family History Library, online, and in archives throughout Spain and Latin America.

Course 8. Beyond the Library: Research in Archives, Courthouses and Manuscript Collections, with John P. Colletta

The materials in the Family History Library are so colossal and far-ranging that genealogists sometimes neglect to venture into the wider world of resources not available on microfilm. This course takes the mystery and trepidation out of using repositories of original historical sources: archives, courthouses and manuscript collections. What these repositories are and how they differ from one another; how to access the treasures that pertain to your ancestors; how to use those materials to reconstruct your ancestors’ lives – these issues and more are addressed.

Instructors of honed expertise and substantial experience demonstrate their lessons using numerous examples and case studies. They share practical hints and helps, conveying the thrill and satisfaction of handling and deciphering antique documents. Course participants will attend an orientation session at the Utah History Research Center, followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of the state-of-the-art records repository adjacent to the Center.

Course 9. Skill Building for Professional - Level Research, with Tom Jones

Aspiring and practicing professional genealogical researchers, and those desiring professional-level competence, will acquire skills for planning and implementing effective research, using evidence to solve research problems, documenting and reporting their findings, addressing ethical dilemmas, and continually upgrading their genealogical skills and knowledge bases

Course 10. Genealogical Problem Solving, with Judi Hansen

Have a brick wall in your research? This unique course is tailored to your individual research needs! Discover problem solving skills while working on your personal research project. Expert consultants are available for many areas and are not limited to U.S. research. Students will meet with two consultants (as specialty groups) for two hours each day (in groups of 6)
or one hour each day (in groups of 3) to review each problem. Students pay the regular tuition plus an additional consultant fee. An information packet will be sent detailing the requirements for the project submission. Project must be submitted by 30 October, 2008 to allow time for consultant review. Anyone with questions, contact the coordinator at:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New FamilySearch Tree Sagas - Week 9

The way things have been going for me I should just say I'm going to write my New FamilySearch Tree Sagas articles on Saturdays. Either that or I am way procrastinating doing this every week. I just haven't found the perfect day like Sundays are for FamilySearch Indexing.

I did received one comment on my article last week since I was wondering if there was anything new in NFS after it was down for maintenance.
Yes, there is something new in NFS this week. If you try to merge two people who are above some record limit recently established and not elaborated upon, you get the error "These records could not be combined for the following reason: the combined record would be too big". Oh great. Now we will CERTAINLY have duplication, as if it wasn't causing enough already. From what I can see, if there are already around 100 records merged, you can't add any more... no way to get around it. Wow. What will they come up with next?
Shoebox Genealogy
I actually think that the limit, as to how many individuals you can now combine into one file, was added the build before this last one. I just think some people are coming across this challenge for the first time now.

I found further information on the combining limitations on FHCNET. This is in response to someone mentioning, while trying to combine some duplicates, that they got this screen saying that they can't be combined because the file would be too large.
This refers to a change made in the .93 service pack. It makes it impossible to combine records if the resulting record would contain more than 80 records. When you try such a merge, you get the standard "Merge failed" screen with an error message explaining that the resulting record would be too large. Will be fixed in the future.

Why might records not be combined? (272faq0460)
Why might records not be combined?
In the new FamilySearch, records cannot be combined for the following reasons:

You may not be able to combine records if one of the individuals is still alive. If you were allowed to combine these records, then the individual's record would be treated as if he or she were living. Only users who are directly related to the individual would be able to see the record. This might prevent you or the original contributor from seeing it. Some individuals' records have restrictions that limit the types of changes that can be made or who can make changes.
These restrictions may prevent you from combining the records.
  • You cannot combine two records that came from Church membership records.
  • You cannot combine records if one individual is male and the other is female.
  • You cannot combine records if the combined record would be too large.
If you find an individual with two Church membership records, see How do I combine the duplicate records if an individual has two Church membership records?

If the new FamilySearch could not combine the records for any other reason, click the Feedback button, and request that a system administrator combine the records for you. In your message, include the following information:

The name and Person Identifier of each individual whose information needs to be combined. It is also helpful if you can include information such as a birth date or birthplace. The reason the new FamilySearch said that the information could not be combined. The reason you believe the information should be combined.

I believe "merrillmount" is Merrill White that works for FamilySearch. I have also heard of people getting this notice when trying to combine records on individuals with over 200-300 records already in their file. The reason you see such large files is because those records had been combined before the limitation went into effect.

It was necessary to put these limitations in place until a successful resolution could be worked out on trying to uncombine records for "IOUS" individuals of usual size. It was just a nightmare for people trying to uncombine these records when the wrong individuals had been placed in there incorrectly.

I haven't hit anyone in my file yet that had reached the size restriction in combining. But my last couple to work on, on my four generation sheet, is my great-grandparents Leroy Leander Harris and Alice Clare Osberg. Now this is the couple that my second cousins are descended from also. That means I might have more duplicate records now. Let the fun begin!

For my great-grandfather I just had two records to combine for him. Then I looked at how many combined records were in his file and there was 17. Definitely not anywhere near the limit. I did find a new "relative" that had contributed information. Their ID is Hawkins Deborah Ann1 [dhawkins916047]. Since it would allow me to claim the submission it must mean that Deborah hasn't had access to NFS yet. I wonder who this relative could be? There is also a pkubricky that is contributing information. I know this family but am unsure who is going by "P" on that line.

It appears that Deborah Ann Hawkins has contributed the wrong death year for my great-grandfather. She has the day right. I wasn't sure if I wanted to dispute her information. So I just decide to make sure mine is notated correctly. I will just check back later to see if she claims her submission. Then I can email her and discuss the date with her. For now I am fine just setting the summary information to show the correct information.

I notice that under my great-grandmother's information she has 3 more additional spouses listed. They all appear to be my great-grandfather. When I go under my great-grandfather's records it doesn't have any more duplicates for him. When I look more in depth with the advanced possible duplicates they are not listed on the first page. Since he is still showing that he needs temple work I have to find those duplicates and merge them. I also notice on my pedigree chart that my great-grandparents still have the duplicate star icon there.

At first I am at a loss why I can't find the duplicates. Then I remember Merrill White's comment on FHCNET that I quoted earlier. Sure enough as I look over the duplicate spouses for my great-grandmother all three are living. They had no information for birth or death listed. The system didn't know that my great-grandfather was born in 1879 and died in 1965. I had to go into each duplicate spouse and bump my grandfather off three times. Then he is noted as deceased and can be combined. The reason I saw these duplicate living spouses is because my name is attached as the contributer - even though they mainly came from my Dad's records.

That made for a lengthy session for me tonight. It's time for bed so I will pick up with combining the children next week. At least I got to experience something new and it's been an adventure.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Parish Records Collection goes online at FindMyPast

Embargoed until 0.01am British Summer Time on Friday 11 July 2008


Online access to millions of nationwide parish baptism, marriage and burial records pre-dating the civil registration of birth, marriage and deaths

UK family history website today announced it is adding the parish records from over 1,000 parishes across Britain to its existing collection of online family history records, offering online access to baptism, marriage and burial records dating as far back as 1538.

From today over 15 million parish burial records and memorial inscriptions will be available to view at, with a total of 7 million baptism, marriage and probate records being made available online later this year. The parish records collection brings together in one easy-to-search central place the disparate records from local parishes, which have been collated by local family history societies since 1911, coordinated by the Federation of Family History Societies.

The registers are particularly valuable sources of information for people seeking to research their family tree back further than the civil records of birth, marriage and death, which began in 1837, and the nineteenth century censuses.

Complementing the records from the National Burial Index and the complete registration of death indexes (1837 - 2006), which are also available to view at, the parish burial registers are a valuable source of information for family historians and genealogists looking to discover details about their ancestors, such as key dates, relatives of the deceased and the place of abode.

Thanks to the cross-database search facility at, you will be able to search for your ancestor by surname across all the parish records on the site without needing to know where in the country they came from, helping people to delve even deeper into their ancestors' pasts.

Elaine Collins, Commercial Director at said: "The parish registers are a key resource for people looking to trace their family tree as far back as the early sixteenth century and will help open up new avenues of research for family historians across the country from the comfort of their own home.

"With another series of Who Do You Think You Are? due to air this year, family history is more popular than ever and the extension of historical records being made available to view online will help even more people find out more about their ancestors and family tree."

Scotland Online Now brightsolid


brightsolid future for leading internet services business

Scotland Online, the leading internet services business and the parent company of family history website, has re-branded as brightsolid, in recognition of its evolving position in the UK business market and growing range of online expertise and products.

The company is experiencing significant growth, helped by new business across the range of its activities.

brightsolid has recently acquired the leading family history company The company also won the contract to digitise, license and publish the 1911 Census of England and Wales from The National Archives in Kew. In addition brightsolid operates, which is a partnership between the General Register Office for Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon.

"In an increasingly complex world we help clients to design and implement high volume, high availability, high performance online products and services, and have done so successfully since we became one of the pioneering Internet companies of the mid 1990s." commented brightsolid chief executive Chris van der Kuyl.

"We are also one of the world's most successful online family history businesses, having designed and created some of the web's most popular destinations. We are growing in this sector, both organically and through strategic partnerships, such as the acquisition of"

The brightsolid brand was developed after extensive research among major customers and other key stakeholders. While there was an overwhelmingly positive response to the company's reputation, it was felt that it could do even more to emphasise the high quality and range of its products and services.

The new name reflects the research conclusions that the company was seen to be "bright" in terms of its people and approach, and "solid" in terms of its resilient infrastructure and delivery.

The re-branding is among a raft of changes approved by brightsolid's board, which recruited Mr van der Kuyl to his role late last year, and supported the recent acquisition of from Title Research Group. brightsolid is owned by publishers D.C. Thomson (DCT) and Noble Grossart Investments (NGI).

"We aim to be the business-critical ISP of choice," added Mr van der Kuyl. "we will also create new ventures from within our core business - just as we did with our family history venture."

brightsolid owns and operates a purpose-built, highly specified data centre underpinned by a fully resilient and secure network.

Business continuity is also ensured with dual location and disaster recovery options including a fully equipped Workplace Recovery suite managed via its partnership with SunGard.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 50

WAHOO!! Week 50 of FamilySearch Indexing. In just a couple more weeks I will hit the one year mark. This was the first time in all those 50 weeks that I did not index on a Sunday or a Monday - but I am still indexing this week. So, it happens to be a Tuesday. Things were just to crazy on those other days. Tuesday work!

We had a message from Headquarters this week.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Semimonthly Message
Date: 01 Jul 2008

Sort Projects by Language

When downloading a batch, click Download select a specific project. The Project Selection window appears with the projects listed in alphabetical order by name. To sort the projects by language, click Description.

Field Helps

Each project has its own set of field helps. These can be found to the right of the data entry area of the indexing screen. They explain what information should be indexed in each field.

Please review each of the field helps carefully when switching between projects because many field helps have similar names, but the instructions may be very different. For example, some projects require you to index the Race or Color field as just the first letter (W, B, etc.). Other projects require you to index the information as it was written on the document (W, White, Wht, etc). The Illinois-Cook - Birth Certificates project even instructs you to include the nationality if it was written in the race field on the certificate.

When there are colored (usually blue) underlined words in the field helps and project instructions, they are actually links that lead to more information. Click the word(s) to see additional helps. For example, click the Example link at the bottom of most field helps to see an example image and how to index one of the records.

Indexing Tip

Every time you download a batch, zoom out to see the full image and find all of the records on the document. Sometimes an image contains a two-page document and the second page may not be visible when zoomed in at 37% or more. The Missouri - 1850 US Census project has several batches that contain two pages.

To zoom out and view the full image:
  1. On the toolbar, click the magnifying glass icon with the minus (-) sign.
  2. Continue to click the icon until you see the entire image.
I didn't realize I could click on the description field and have it sort the languages in order. That was way cool. The results, four English projects, one French, one German and one Italian, nine Spanish projects. I of course picked an English project and that would be again...Louisiana 1850-1954 Death Certificates. It's tried and true for me, what can I say. Well, that was until I found out they had no batches to download. Now what was I going to do?

I decided to work on the Mississippi 1850 US Federal Census - Mortality Schedule. Then that one too said no project available. OK, since doing all this playing around two of the English projects didn't even show up on the list anymore. I decided to pick the Virginia 1870 US Federal Census, again no work available. This was getting CRAZY!! How about the Wisconsin 1870 US Federal Census, NO WORK AVAILABLE.

What is a person suppose to do when they want to work on indexing and there are no projects in their language? I protest and won't learn a new language TONIGHT. Can you tell I'm a little frustrated. This is hurting my record here. Can you count that you indexed if you really didn't index but tried to?

I didn't think indexing on a Tuesday evening would be so hard!

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Mark Your Calendars! - UGA Meeting

The speaker at the July meeting of UGA will be Beau Sharborough. He will be speaking about Footnote, a website having images of historical documents. These images are available without cost at most family history centers. The meeting will be held Friday, July 20th, at 7 pm. The location is 85 N 600 East in Provo, Utah. You do not have to be a member of UGA to attend.

For additional information or questions email

Sunday, July 06, 2008

RootsMagic Insider

My favorite genealogy software program "RootsMagic" is planning it's BIGGEST upgrade ever in RootsMagic 4 and the RootsMagic "Insider" just started a new blog to tell us all about it. The blog is called rightfully so the RootsMagic Blog.

Here is what's planned:
As your faithful insider, I will show you all the new features coming in RootsMagic 4. And by “show you” I mean with real screen shots and descriptions. But as a big tease, I’m going to start with the itsy bitsy new features and work up to the big (really cool) ones.
If you haven't figured it out the RootsMagic "Insider" is none other than the program's creator Bruce Buzbee. Yes, we will get word on RootsMagic 4's new features straight from the horses mouth and that is the best source to get it from. You can bet I have that blog subscribed in my reader.

Bruce hasn't even told us what's in store yet and I just know it's got to be good, especially considering it's BIGGER than what we already have in RootsMagic 3. Now that's saying a lot.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

New FamilySearch Tree Sagas - Week 8

I wasn't stuggling to get on New FamilySearch this week. I was just super busy. Late this afternoon I started to transcribe the minutes from the last UVPAFUG monthly meeting. All day I've been wondering if I could squeeze in my New FamilySearch time. It hits 9pm and the minutes are not finished. Soooooooooo, I stop what I am doing just to get into NFS. I am really curious to see what the new updates were since maintenance Sunday and Monday.

On the main page where you sign in there is a link off to the right that says "Click here to view a list of recent updates to the new FamilySearch" I was disappointed to find that no new announcements are there. It still has the updates from 19 May 2008. Well, maybe I will stumble upon the new enhancements while I work on my family members.

Last week I found my grandmother's middle name was Lavina on NFS. I had called my father to confirm it was in fact correct information and it is. WAHOO!! new data. I do wonder why in all these years I've never asked my father that question before? I think I even had only "L" for my grandmother's middle initial when I interviewed her back when I was a kid. She told me the story of her premature birth. Everyone had given up hope on her survival but her aunts. They kept her in the oven and feed her drops of brandy. She was so tiny you could put a tea cup on her head. Boy, have I got to get those tapes digitized SOON!

Because I am thinking about my grandmother Sarah Lavina Miller I decide to work on her parents and siblings tonight. Donald Carlton Miller and Ella Spinning. I have an interesting situation with my great-grandmother Ella Spinning. She was born illegitimate so my father had her sealed to her grandparents instead of her mother. Years later I had her sealed to her birth parents. Now I get to see the mess that is causes sealing children to their grandparents. I also found someone working on that line wapblair2043184. I have no idea how I might be related to that person. They appear to not have claimed their submission on NFS yet.

I had to go a couple generations back to get all the combining of parents done so I could work out Ella Spinning's relationship to her parents and grandparents. I was hoping it would let me change the relationship to her grandparents and note it as a sealing line. But, wapblair2043184, had contributed that information and I couldn't edit it. So I just disputed the relationship to her grandparents as her parents and then put a note as to why. It was rather an interesting process to work on that.

The above graphic is hard to read but you can make out the two little crossed out circles in the middle, next to Ella Spinning's name. This shows her relationship to her parents (grandparents) is disputed. I'm actually OK with this. My note and the symbols explain the situation. It doesn't look like her mother is her sister anymore. If someone would bother to look at the "Other Parents" listed then they can see the correct information for her.

See, I think this is all fine for me. I really wouldn't want her to be removed from her grandparents family because this is a sealing line. In the eternities she might decide she wants to be with them and not her parents that never married. She has the option to choose which family she will belong to in the next life and I wanted to make sure it was available to her. I just want NFS to also show her correct blood line.

Some of the things I found interesting tonight were:
  • I have census events on some of my records. I must of submitted them with their personal records when I processed the names for the temple. I was surprised that carried over.
  • I found some old notes that must of been off my Dad's family group sheets that he submitted to Ancestral File. It was under my name with my Dad's id next to it. It was one of the legacy contributions that I claimed. So it wasn't until today that I realized I should of been looking under individual and family notes to see what had been submitted previously to the Church. I could of been missing a gold mine by now. I wish they had put some type of flag next to the notes to make you realize they contained something. I had just assumed they were blank up until this point.

I'm still not sure if I have stumbled upon anything new in NFS. It didn't appear to be working any faster either. Well, it's past my bedtime and I have a full day ahead.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Family History Library Consultant Training

News From FamilySearch:

Family History Library Consultant Training – Helping Family History Happen

FamilySearch is testing online consultant training on Thursday, July 10, 2008 from 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM (MT) The online classroom has a capacity of 200 so we are asking people to register. To register please go to:

Thanks so much, keep up the great work!"

FamilySearch Certified

Since Gordan Clarke first mentioned it, I have been watching for more word on the FamilySearch Certified process. These are programs that are approved to sync with New FamilySearch. I just saw that the Generations Maps has received word of their certification. You can read more about it on Janet Hovorka's blog "The Chart Chick" on her recent article "Official Certification from New FamilySearch".

Products and programs that are FamilySearch Certified will have the FamilySearch Certified logos on them. My understanding is that there will be various levels of certification. Janet quotes Gordon Clarke as saying that will link to certified products in the next 30-60 days. And then New FamilySearch will be integrated into towards the end of the year.

That makes me happy in two ways. First, we will see which products are certified to work with new FamilySearch. Second, did you catch that - NFS will be integrated into towards the end of the year!

They must be on schedule to roll-out NFS to the world by the end of the year! YIPEE!! Maybe the rumors that NFS will roll-out to the Wasatch Front in September are true.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

New FamilySearch Training Class

Have you been waiting to take the Utah South Area Family History Training Center week day classes? Their Five Day Class gives you intensive Family History Training, which also includes training on new FamilySearch. I just learned that they have openings right now for all classes.

Class dates for 2008 are:

July 7-11, Aug. 4-8, Aug. 25-29, Sep. 15-19, Oct. 6-10, Nov. 3-7, Dec. 1-5

The class runs Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM (with an optional Extraction class on Wednesday night from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM)

The five-day intensive training course offered by the Utah South Area Family History Training Center covers both the research and computer aspects of Family History work. You have group training and then a one-on-one training to complete assignments given you. This is the best family history training class I have ever taken.

I would recommend that if you are interested in attending the classes that you do it now. BEFORE a new FamilySearch date is announced in Utah and Idaho. They are anticipating that the demand will be overwhelming once the announcement is made.

NOTICE: The Five Day Class is now incorporating instruction on the New Family Search program.

If you click on the link for the New FamilySearch Classes it will tell you it is not available. It is available under the Five Day Classes.

It you are interested in attending one of these classes please click here for more details.