Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New FamilySearch Tree Sagas - Week 3

In less than 24 hours after requesting to claim my legacy contribution on New FamilySearch I received the following email.
Dear Renee Zamora:

This is an automated response to your recent request to claim a legacy contribution. New FamilySearch provides an opportunity to claim ownership of information that was previously submitted to Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File, and temple submissions made prior to the release of New FamilySearch.

Your request for contributions with the Contributor ID "rzamora5528634" has been granted.

The New FamilySearch records affected by this notice have already been updated and have your new registration ID as contributor. You should now be able to edit those records.

Thank you for using New FamilySearch. We wish you success and satisfaction in your personal family history efforts.

FamilySearch Support
Originally I was told it would take 4-6 weeks for it to be approved, so less than 24 hours is fantastic. Last week I also had questions on who contributor unknown4470317 was. I appreciate Christie's comments on my blog post telling me more about that contributor.
Oh and I just checked right now because I thought unknown4470317 sounded familiar. Yup. I've seen it on my lines, too. So plugged that number in the search box in the Help Center and got the following:

Document ID: 101836
new FamilySearch: Temple records show "unknown 4470317" for the contributor name

Cannot claim "unknown 4470317" as a contributor for legacy products.


Instead of a contributor's name, you may see "unknown 4470317" if the information was submitted before current electronic record-keeping methods were in place (the code may also have been used in processing the information for temple ordinances).

"Unknown 4470317" appears if we do not have enough information to accurately identify the contributor or if the contributor does not have a contact name in our database. The code was created to track this type of submission. An "unknown 4470317" submission may not be claimed.

We have received your request to claim a legacy contribution as yourself. Unfortunately, that switch cannot be made. The ID "unknown 4470317" is a generic contact name used on thousands of temple records during a time when contributors' names were not being preserved. If the change you have requested were to be made, you would become the contact for all those temple records. However, you can add another opinion or dispute any wrong information in any of these records. You will not be able to edit any record with the "unknown 4470317" contributor name. Thank you for using the new FamilySearch.

Posted by Christie
It's just great getting feedback from those that have traveled the road before me and are now helping me out. Edith Neville also left me a post giving us directions on how to tile two window screens side by side.
To have 2 windows open side by side, you can R click on the task bar at the bottom of your computer, (a small window comes up). Click on Tile Windows Vertically. This tiles them side by side beautifully. Just be sure you only have 2 windows on the screen. Others can be open but minimized.

Posted by Edith Neville
If you want to see a visual demonstrated on how to use split screens you can go to John Willis' site www.masteringfamilyhistory.com and view his video on that.

Thanks for the tip, keep them coming. Speaking of tips, Alan Jones on the LDSFHCConsultants Mailing List came up with a handout with several wonderful tips for NFS. With his permission I have it reprinted and published in Google Doc's for everyone to take advantage of. The link is: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dsdztvf_0vvd9xtfm . I will add a direct link to it on the main page of my blog for easy reference.

One of the first things I did when I got onto new FamilySearch was to look up my mother's family and find her contributor id. Once located I put in a claim for the legacy contribution. My mother died in 1999 and I am the only one in the family working on our genealogy. I explained that to them. Now I wonder how long it will take for that request to be granted? I really need to talk to my father about claiming his legacy contribution since he no longer does genealogy. It's funny how my whole family thinks I can do all this genealogy stuff by myself. I'm really hoping that they will get on NFS, since their temple districts are now live, and catch the genealogy bug.

While I was working tonight on my family I was surprised to find out that I only have my great great grandfather Weatherwax's year of death and not his death certificate. It is really great that NFS makes you re-examine the information that you have. I really need to order my gg grandfather's death certificate now. He died in 1925 and New York should have a record of it by then.

While I continued going over this gg grandfather's family I found children without their temple work done - YIKES!! How did I over look them? I think I will have to experiment with reserving names for the temple.

I am having a really difficult time staying on my task of combining all the records for my direct line ancestors. I want so badly to add to and correct information on this old research. I know that as you combine records previously missing information might fill in the blanks. In this family I worked on tonight they didn't have any duplicates to combine.

It makes me wonder if I am being pulled so badly in this direction to correct things that maybe I need to explore going that avenue. My sister-in-law had so much fun combining people when I showed her NFS during the beta test. That really could be a good thing to have my family work on and I could clean up the details. Half of me thinks - but they might mess it up! Get real Renee, they have to catch the genealogy spirit somehow. I wonder if nobody in my family works on this with me because I don't share very well? It really has been all mine to work on. That could be possibly true, but then again I've never had any of them express an interest in our genealogy other than getting names to take to the temple. Ouch, maybe I have to re-examine motives and methods here.

As I am working through the lines it is taking forever to go over just one name. But if I just stayed with one person and fixed their records and made them correct then I could check them off my list. It just takes so long to move around in the system you might as well just visit these people once and not keep going over them multiple times. I think what I will do is finish my initial pedigree chart with only four generations on it. Then I will come back and work on all the descendants of that four generations and add and correct as I go over them again. Once I feel that sheet is done then I can plan to move on.

I really should give my siblings a call and see if I can assign them some work to do on this massive project. Well I'm doing a lot of thinking out loud here. Anyone with suggestions please feel free to comment. We are kind of learning this together after-all.

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

Confidence In NFS Roll-out Beginning

For several months New FamilySearch's roll-out was delayed. Since then we have seen several weeks of steady roll-out of NFS to new temple districts. Now that confidence in the roll-out is being felt FamilySearch has just officially notified seven temple districts of the dates they are going live.
  • Curitiba Brazil - June 2
  • Accra Ghana - June 3
  • São Paulo Brazil - June 3
  • Veracruz México - June 3
  • Nashville, TN - June 10
  • San Jose, Costa Rica - June 10
  • Madrid, Spain - June 10
Two temple districts recently received word they are in the pipeline for roll-out, with an anticipated going live date of early September.
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • St. Paul, Minnesota
I have updated my New FamilySearch Roll-out spreadsheet with this information. Keep up the good work FamilySearch!

New Temple for Phoenix Arizona Announced

SALT LAKE CITY 24 May 2008

President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced today that the Church plans to build a new temple in Phoenix, Arizona. This will bring the worldwide total number of temples built or under construction to 140, including five in Arizona.

Latter-day Saint temples differ from the tens of thousands of local meetinghouses where members typically meet for Sunday worship services and midweek social activities, and where visitors are always welcome. Temples are used solely for the performance of sacred ordinances and religious instruction aimed at strengthening members’ relationships with God and their fellowman.

To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, temples are houses of the Lord, the most sacred places on earth. Temple services bind families together forever, teach the purpose of life and explain God’s plan of salvation. Temple attendance strengthens Latter-day Saints’ commitment to living Christian principles, emphasizes personal spiritual growth and increases devotion to family.

“The blessings of the temple are eternal,” said President Monson. “Those who come to this holy house will feel of God’s love for His children and come to a greater understanding of their own divine origin and potential as His sons and daughters.”

There are currently two temples in Arizona, in Mesa and Snowflake. Two additional temples were announced last month for Gila Valley and Gilbert, Arizona.

The Church’s Temple Department reports that the Mesa Arizona Temple, close to the city of Phoenix, is attended by more worshippers than any other Latter-day Saint temple in the world outside of Utah.

The announcement of eight new temples in Arizona, Idaho, Utah and British Columbia over the last two years reflects the Church’s steady growth in North America.

After Latter-day Saint temples are built they are opened to interested members of the public and the media for open house tours before being dedicated as places of worship. The Church’s last temple to be completed is in Curitiba, Brazil. Over 40,000 guests have visited that temple this month in open house tours for the media, dignitaries and the public.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 44

It looks like there was a problem with FamilySearch Indexing this past week.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Technical Issues
Date: 20 May 2008

Due to an unexpected air conditioning malfunction, the servers that hold most of the indexing images shut down last night. We are aware of the situation and are working as quickly as possible to restore the system. You may still be able to index some batches and submit them during this time.

It may take a couple of days for the system to completely recover. We will continue to update the FamilySearch indexing home page, www.familysearchindexing.org, as we have more information. Please check there often.
I didn't notice any problem when I did my indexing on Sunday so all must be well now. I was just so tired after doing a batch of the Louisiana 1850-1945 Death Certificates that I didn't feel up to writing my article yesterday. I only indexed 20 names too. There is a lot of jumping around indexing those death certificates. It sure wasn't as easy to index them as it was doing my Irish Vital Records. It appears that the Irish Vital Records project is completed now. Since there wasn't any New York projects I wasn't sure what to index. It's kind of hard to see a project you are working on get completed, but I'm sure I will find a new one to get interested in instead.

I do have to say that Death Certificates are very interesting. Even though you don't need to index the cause of death I always take a look at it. My husband got to hear the cause of death for all 20 of the people I indexed last night, even if he wanted to know it or not. I was kind of surprised at how many people had parents by the name of "Don't Know". I could just imagine the excitement a researcher would have finally finding a grandparent's death certificate and bam the person giving the information on the death certificate didn't even know their parent's name. I would hold the other information on the death certificate as suspect if they didn't know the person's parents names.

There was a 2 month old baby that I indexed in my batch. Cause of death - died in their sleep. How sad. I could just feel for the baby's parents. I also indexed an infant that lived 30 minutes. It was a premature baby estimated at 7 months gestation. I wasn't sure how to index the age on that one since it wasn't even a day old. I just left the field blank. I don't recall the oldest of the individuals I indexed but I do remember I indexed a 45 yr old man that died by being crushed to death in an auto accident. It listed all the bones broken. Very gruesome. With all I take in about the people while I index is it any wonder it takes me so long to index just a few names!

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

Thursday, May 22, 2008

FindMyPast.com Adds More National Burial Index Records

Parish records from Yorkshire online now

Leading UK family history website findmypast.com has today announced that it has added to its online collection of over 10 million National Burial Index records, which go back to 1538.

Working in partnership with the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS), findmypast.com has published online burial index records from the parish of Selby. These comprise over 10,000 records from Selby cemetery in the West Riding of Yorkshire, as well as over 800 records from Bubwith All Saints in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

These parish records are crucial for any family historian as they predate the start of civil registration in England and Wales in 1837 - a seemingly insurmountable brick wall for many. The index gives the date and place of burial as well as age at death.

The records can be searched as part of an Explorer subscription to the findmypast website, or with pay-per-view units.

More parish records will be added to the website over the coming months.

Aren’t You Too Young to Be Doing Genealogy?

SALT LAKE CITY 21 May 2008

Family history research, or genealogy, has traditionally been a hobby pursued mostly by middle-age adults and seniors. Formal college courses and advances in technology are now attracting teenagers and young adults to the pastime.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints places a large emphasis on family history research and maintains FamilySearch.org, one of the largest genealogical Web sites in the world. Members of the Church, who believe they will be reunited in the afterlife with family members, consider it a religious obligation to trace their family history.

Avril Carranza, a sophomore from Mexico City, was exposed to genealogy early in life when her father took her to the Latter-day Saint family history center in their area.

Carranza is now studying family history in the School of History at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. When the major was introduced a few years ago, only a handful of students signed up. Now, she is one of over 100 young adults learning about genealogy at the school owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The university has created an online family history resource to make researching a little easier.

“Finding the right dates and actual documents from my ancestors’ time is very fulfilling,” Carranza says. She hopes to take her knowledge and passion for family history back to her home in Mexico after she graduates.

Brandi Hales, another young student, says by doing family history she is better able to understand her family and herself.

“It’s like being a detective for your family,” said Gerald Haslam, BYU family history coordinator. “After finding what you are looking for, you can share it with your living relatives. It really brings people together.”

In addition to creating family bonds, Haslam says, family history builds a sense of security and teaches life lessons about discovering one’s heritage.

Haslam says the program has attracted students from Iceland, Brazil, Denmark and other countries.

BYU is not the only school that offers genealogy courses to people of all ages. According to Web site www.my-history.co.uk, there are over 50 college and university courses available in the United Kingdom alone.

Recent college graduate of BYU Cara Whiting, originally from Connecticut, has taken her interest in family history to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., where she helps visitors with online research. Whiting has been fascinated with family research from a young age.

“I was the only child in my family that could place which cousin went with which aunt and uncle,” she said.

Whiting believes family history has become more appealing to young people because of the technology that is now available.

“The way things are becoming more available and easy to access makes it easier to do,” Whiting said. “It doesn’t need to be an all-day commitment like it used to be.”

Paul Nauta, manager of public affairs for FamilySearch, says family history work is a fun diversion from other activities young people are involved with. With new advances in technology, Nauta says it is more appealing than ever for them to get involved in family history.

“Young people are Internet savvy,” Nauta said. “They are early adaptors to new programs online, and they can help those around them.”

Calvin Coy, an 18-year-old from Sydney, Australia, juggles a busy lifestyle and still manages to squeeze in time to learn about his forebears. In his spare time he is able to get on the family computer to check the scores of his favorite sports team, send an e-mail or two and still have time to do some family history research.

Coy’s interest in genealogy, and specifically in Scottish history and the tribal interactions between ancient European cultures, began over five years ago. Reading books and watching movies about the time period inspired Coy to learn more and eventually get interested in family history research.

“It was not until later that I learned of my Scottish heritage,” Coy said. “I thought it was such a coincidence that something I was so interested in really was a part of me.”

Michael Otterson, director of media relations for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, encouraged students at Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2006 to join others who are engaging in family history research.

"Thousands of people have awoken to the realities of how our electronic age can transform our knowledge of our forebears and help us discover what was previously almost impossible to find," he said.

FamilySearch Update: New collections added to the Pilot Record Search collection

The following unindexed digital image or indexed record collections were recently added to the FamilySearch Record Search test site. Patrons can search these new records and millions of others for free at at http://pilot.familysearch.org. The pilot site is testing new search engine technologies or applications that will ultimately be used on FamilySearch.org. User feedback is encouraged by using the Feedback utility on the test site.
  • 1870 United States Census - New1880 United States Census - Updated with add'l authorities
  • 1900 United States Census - Updated with add'l relationships
  • Germany Baptisms 1700-1900 - New
  • Germany Marriages 1700-1900 - New
  • Mexico Baptisms 1700-1900 - New
  • Mexico Marriages 1700-1900 - New
  • Michigan Births 1867-1902 - New
  • Michigan Deaths 1867-1897 - New
  • Michigan Marriages 1868-1925 - New
  • West Virginia Births 1853-1930 - New
  • West Virginia Deaths 1853-1970 - Updated with add'l data
  • West Virginia Marriages 1853-1970 - New

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ancestry's U.S. Military Collection Free til May 31st

Ancestry made the following announcement in their recent press release.

To commemorate the NARA-Ancestry.com agreement on the eve of Memorial Day, Ancestry.com is making its entire U.S. Military Collection -- the largest online collection of American military records -- available for free to the public. From May 20 through May 31, people can log on to http://www.ancestry.com/military to view more than 100 million names and 700 titles and databases of military records, the majority of which come from NARA, from all 50 U.S. states.

Monday, May 19, 2008

New FamilySearch Tree Sagas - Week 2

It's Monday night and me and my ancestors are meeting up on new FamilySearch. I am still into developing this new habit and I have done nothing but think about it all week. I was trying to work out in my mind just exactly how I am going to keep track and delve into this humongous combining project.

When I finally signed into NFS tonight I had this thought pop into my mind. I had heard that once a family history consultant had access to NFS that all the training materials were available there for them and they don't need to sign into Net Dimension. At first I couldn't find the materials, I knew I should have a special tab, but then I realized it was in the Help Center and not on the main page. The tab is called "Training & Resources". I went under the E-learning Courses and I received the following message:
"The Internet Learning System has found an account that was created for you when you completed the Family History Consultant registration survey".
It listed my name with the user names I used on Net Dimensions. I clicked yes that that was me. It took a few minutes and then I had this message:
"Great! The training history from your previous account is now connected with this new account. From now on, you must come through the Help Center in the new FamilySearch to view your online training (just as you are doing right now).
Thank You!
Then this popped up.
You have been automatically enrolled in new modules. Please review your current course listing on this page for this new information.
Now I was finally into the new training materials. I could see a new link "The New FamilySearch". It said: "This training course instructs family history consultants and FamilySearch Support missionaries how to use and support the new FamilySearch. For printable handouts, click the following link."

I didn't click the link I was just "looking". I found that they have the video presentations made at the Family History Consultant Fireside held on Thursday, 8 Nov 2007 at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square. I didn't get to attend that one so I will later take the time to watch the video. These are neat tools. I'm sure I will make use of them now. For some reason I was really bad about going to Net Dimensions to do any of the training before.

I couldn't resist and I finally clicked on the New Family Search materials. It says it's a 4-5 hour course. It's broken down into smaller lessons but wow that must be a lot of material to take that long. I will definitely come back and go over that. Since I've answered that question that popped into my mind it was now time to get back to working on my family.

I say my family and I know that isn't the right mindset. New FamilySearch is not just my family it's our family, everyone's family. I just have to make sure that my ancestors and their descendants are included in it.

As I tried to go back to the main page I had four windows I had to close just to get out of the training materials. Wow, it would of been nice to not have it open so many windows. Well, at least I don't have to click the back button. I don't know just me mumbling I guess. Not sure which would of made me happy.

See Me and My Ancestors is the page I want to start on. I've been thinking about this all week and this is my plan of attack.
  1. Open up my personal genealogy software database so I can make sure I am combining the right people.
  2. Resize the NFS and the genealogy database screens so half is side by side. That way I can "see" everything better. I was pleased that NFS resized so I can see the details without having the scroll left to right to view everything.
  3. Print out a four generation pedigree chart from my personal genealogy database so I can keep track of where I have been and where to start.
  4. Work my way combining starting a generation at a time. This would mean I need to work on my grandparents. I heard it is best to combine the parents, then do the children. So I started to look at my mother's parents just because I was there last time.
  5. I am not going to get bogged down in all the details. I just want to combine right now. My siblings are going to get into this sooner than later and I want them to see their lines and get excited. I will work on adding details later. I am building the skeleton and will add flesh on the bones later.
I couldn't resist I am sidetracked and wondering who contributor unknown4470317 is? Could that be my mother's submission? She is deceased should I claim it as my legacy submission? It only says it was submitted by LDS Church Temple Records then it notes: This contributor submitted information to either Ancestral File (AF) or the Pedigree Resource File (PRF). If you are the person, you can Declare This Legacy Contributor as Yourself. I decide to note the contributor id and watch it and see if I can determine if it is mine or my mothers submission. I changed my mind I decide to see if the same id is on my father's parent's records and it is. So it might be my Dad's submission. I need to make some phone calls before I claim this legacy as mine own. I will give Family History Support a call tomorrow and find out how you determine who the submission was submitted by.

It's already getting late and I haven't combined a single person yet - YIKES!! I know haste makes waste so I need to calm down this urge to fly through things. I decided to look at my mother's parents and instead of going onto the next generation I looked at all the children and low and behold duplicates. I didn't look at my mom's sibling last week. I also find that my aunt's duplicate is also my temple submission record for her. I can finally experience claiming a legacy submission. It's really easy just make sure you click on the link for the submitter so it will finally bring up the link so you can "Declare This Legacy Contributor as Yourself". I did so and it told me it would take 4-6 weeks for the action to occur and gave me a case number. WAHOO! this is great I actually did something.

My mother had 12 siblings so there were a lot of records to go through. I had such an urge to keep moving down my first aunt's descendants and get lost in their records. It was with great effort that I kept moving down all the siblings. It was kind of cool to see my temple submissions get combined together. It made me feel better some how. Yes, I will try to keep up this pace and work on my direct lines and make sure I combine all the children's information. I will work my way down and around the lines after I get the skeleton of the family outlined.

There is so much to do and I have to give myself a pat on the back. I was able to combine several records tonight and put in a claim for a legacy submission of mine. I guess if I hadn't stopped to look at the Family History Consultant training materials I would have been able to get to work on my father's parents. Hopefully someone out there needed to know that information. At least all father's siblings are living so it shouldn't be that hard to check off that family. Out of the 13 children on my mother's side only one of them is still living.

Well, I have another week to mull over what plan of action I should take and if I am on the right course. For now I feel good. Wish I could of done more but you do the best you can with the time that you do have. I certainly am further ahead than if I did nothing at all!

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

Family History Library Catalog 2.0

I was just reading Paul Allen's blog and thought I would pass along his recent article "Family History Library Catalog 2.0" to you. He discusses the new vision for the Family History Library Catalog. The comment section is very enlightening too.

Here are some of the key points:
  • Catalog 2.0 will be available in the coming months via FamilySearch and FamilyLink.
  • Users will be able to enhance and extend the value of the catalog
  • Users will be able to add new sources and thus extend its scope of coverage.
  • Users will be able to improve the source descriptions, and even rate and review sources as to their usefulness.
  • The catalog will directly link to the online version, whether they exist on Ancestry.com, WorldVitalRecords.com, FamilySearch.org, Footnote.com, NEHGS.org, or on Google Books, Microsoft Live Books, USGenWeb, WorldGenWeb, or other web sites, saving researchers countless time.
  • The vision is to link the Catalog to all databases and sources, regardless of whether they are currently in the FHLC or in the library in Salt Lake or not.
  • The goal is to catalog eventually every genealogy source in the world, not just the ones held in a particular library.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 43

It's been a busy week for me and an even busier week for FamilySearch. On the 13th they made some updates to the system. You can read about it in their message to us below.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Notification of System Downtime & Upgrades to the Web Site
Date: 13 May 2008

The FamilySearch Indexing server will be down for maintenance at 1:00PM today. During this downtime several exciting updates will be made to the Website.
  • Home Page. The home page will have a new look, including an area where messages can be posted with news and other information regarding all aspects of FamilySearch indexing.
  • Record Search. A link to the Record Search pilot site will be included in the messages on the home page.
  • Spanish translation. A drop-down list located in the upper right corner of the home page will allow users to switch between using English and Spanish on the Web site.
  • Ask a Question. The Ask a Question box under the Help tab will include a drop-down list to allow the choice of searching for indexing or UDE questions.
  • Install Now button. The Install Now button will not appear on the home page. Instead, the Start Indexing button will have all of the same features as the old Install Now button and will also include many updates to help the indexing program run smoother on operating systems such as Windows 2000 and Mac OS.
  • Administration reports. Group administrators and area advisors will be able to download reports in CSV format and then bring them up in a program like Excel for further formatting and calculations.
  • Links for MAC and Linux users. MAC and Linux users will now be able to use the links from within the indexing application.
We anticipate the system being down for approximately one hour. If you plan to index during this time, you can download up to five batches before 1:00PM, work on them offline, and submit them when the system is back online.

Thank you for your patience. We greatly appreciate all you do.
I took a look at the website at www.familysearchindexing.org and really liked the new layout. It's just wonderful that you can reach Record Search off the indexing page. While I'm on the subject of Record Search they also made an update to their system this past week. This is from their blog.
  • No login required: We have opened the site up for quick and easy access without registering
  • Improved Home Page: Modified a bit of the look to freshen the site for new users
  • Improved Place Suggestions: Country and State suggestions are significantly better - see if it works better for you. But don’t forget searching by county and or city is still very much supported.
  • Client Side Caching: The site updates are better managed and subsequent startup times should be quicker
  • New Collections: Civil War Pensions and US 1860 Census (one state)
Things just seem to get better and better all the time! We did have another message from headquarters this week.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Semimonthly Message
Date: 16 May 2008

Highlights are available with many indexing projects to help you locate the requested information for each field. Occasionally, the highlights do not seem to fit the document that you are working with correctly. To adjust the highlights:
  1. On the menu bar, click View.
  2. Click Adjust Highlights.
  3. Move your cursor into the image area, over the information to be indexed. A yellow grid of highlights with a think red border should appear.
  4. Adjust the highlights using one or more of the following options:
  • Adjust the small red boxes on the red border by clicking (and holding) the box and dragging it to the desired place.
  • Adjust all of the highlights at once by moving your cursor over one of the yellow boxes until the four-pointed arrow appears, then click and drag to the desired location.
  • Adjust a single yellow box or column of yellow boxes by moving your cursor over the block square that appears in the center of one of the yellow boxes (a white hand with a dashed square should appear), then click and drag to the desired location.
To return to normal view:
  1. On the menu bar, click View.
  2. Click Adjust Highlights.
You may change the color, transparency, or whether the highlight appears as a solid rectangle or as an outline. To make changes:
  1. On the menu bar, click Tools.
  2. Click Options.
If you prefer not to use highlights, you may choose to use the ruler instead. To do this:
  1. On the menu bar, click View.
  2. Click Show Ruler.
Note: Sometimes you must close the batch and reopen it for all of these changes to take affect.
While I was indexing today I decided to work on my old faithful Irish Marriage Indexes 1845-1868. I knew the newer Irish vital records are typed so I was wondering what these older ones would look like. I did two batches and it was all handwritten in a lovely script. It was a pleasure to work with. There were less names in the batches but that was ok. I indexed 169 names today, which gives me a grand total of 7605 indexed records to date.

I ran into two new situations while indexing my batches. I was kind of surprised when I was indexing this one person that had two last names: Cunningham ors Shelliday, Martha. I quickly looked at the instructions for the surname column and found the following:
"Surnames that follow the abbreviation ors. should be indexed in the surname field after the alphabetical surname."
I took that to mean to index it once as Cunningham and then right below it on the next line index it with the Shelliday last name. What a relief it is to have little helps to quickly look at along the way.

My second situation didn't have any suggestions or guidelines for it. I had two page numbers listed for an individual. I suppose the correct thing to do would have been to write headquarters to get their input but I just reasoned out a solution. I hope I am right.

I decided that since they want you to index two surnames as separate records that it would be logical to index two pages as separate records. So I did the first one as referenced on line 132 and the next line I typed the same information but with the second page number 139 listed instead. It seemed reasonable to me to do it that way. Other than that everything went well while indexing. I was even able to listen to DearMyrtle's podcasts.

It was kind of nice to get back to handwritten records. It made me wish I had some New York marriage records back in 1845-1868 time frame to work on. I have some people I sure would love to look at marriages records for back then, which of course don't exist in New York that early. I'm sure the records I indexed will be very useful to others down the road.

See you tomorrow, for tomorrow is alway another genealogy day!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

FindMyPast.com Launches New Version of the 1901 Census Online

Leading UK family history website findmypast.com today unveils its brand new version of the 1901 census. Records from the first two counties, Somersetshire and Gloucestershire, are now online and available to search at findmypast.com, and the remaining counties will be added gradually over the coming months.

Applying its trademark meticulous approach to quality control, findmypast has completely retranscribed the 1901 census from scratch, with the aim of providing an industry leading product. In addition, a variety of fields have been transcribed, making it possible to search for an individual using, for example, their calculated year of birth, their age or occupation.

To narrow down results, try searching for a second person living at the same address. It is also possible to search for an address on the census, as well as for a person. You can also choose in what order you want to view search results - by birth year, oldest first; by birth year, youngest first; alphabeticaly by name A to Z or alphabetically by name Z to A. In addition, the free search results include the name of the county of residence - a boon to anyone not familiar with every registration district.

These new features have also been added to all the other censuses at findmypast.

And finally, search criteria are now also retained, making it easier to carry out the same search across all the censuses on findmypast.

This addition of the 1901 census to the website sees findmypast take a step closer to its mission to offer a full set of England and Wales censuses online by the end of 2008.

About the 1901 census

The 1901 census was taken on 31 March and gave the total population as 32,527,843.

1901 is perhaps best remembered as the year that Queen Victoria died, after a 63 year reign. She was succeeded by her son, Prince Albert Edward, who became Edward VII. Other key events in 1901 included the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia, the creation of a fingerprint archive by Scotland Yard and Marconi receiving the first trans-Atlantic radio signal.

FamilyLink.com, Inc. to Add Online Functionality and Enhancements to Popular Family History Library Catalog

I posted the press release from FamilySearch earlier on my blog. I thought it would be nice to show the press release from FamilyLink.com perspective.

Provo, UT, May 16, 2008 --(PR.com)-- FamilyLink.com, Inc has teamed with FamilySearch to improve the user experience of the Family History Library Catalog for millions of people worldwide by adding new Web 2.0 functionality and enhancements. The improvements will also enable users to spend research time more efficiently by directing them to the information that will generate the quickest results.

FamilyLink.com’s improvements to the catalog will make it searchable by major online search engines and allow users to annotate item descriptions—increasing their accuracy and enriching the content.

FamilySearch’s Family History Library Catalog is used extensively by family history enthusiasts. It is a window to the vast collection of genealogical resources amassed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over the past 100 years—millions of microfilms, fiche, and books from 110+ countries throughout the world.

Genealogists use the popular online catalog to see if FamilySearch has any material that can help them in their research. Materials are then ordered on an interlibrary loan one FamilySearch’s 4,500 local family history centers worldwide.

“The enhancements FamilyLink.com will help make to the Family History Library Catalog will increase its usability and exposure. Beginners will find it particularly easier to navigate, and searching and browsing will be more rewarding,” said Paul Nauta, Manager of Public Affairs, FamilySearch.

Improved Searching
In a typical search of the Family History Library Catalog, users first identify known facts about a family and then go through a step-by-step process to locate records. Newly integrated FamilyLink.com tools will help users better identify information. Guided searches will help users decide what they want to learn about their families, point them to relevant records, help obtain and search the records, provide clues to more information, and assist with the application of the new information.

As part of the enhancement, FamilyLink.com will make searches more useful by allowing the user to browse, sort (by popularity, relevance, most used, etc.), and perform multiple searches. A new “probability engine” feature will calculate the likelihood that a particular source contains the desired item. It will also be able to search across someone’s entire family tree to determine which ancestry lines have the highest likelihood of success based on known sources.

“We are excited to work with FamilySearch and to add this extensive catalog to our database collections,” said Paul Allen, CEO, FamilyLink.com, Inc. “We have looked at doing this collaboration for quite a while. We will enhance the catalog by connecting it with new innovative tools, along with the best resources of our WorldVitalRecords.com databases, the FamilyLink.com social networking site, and our We’re Related application in Facebook. Putting all of these resources together will dramatically change the meaning of 'search' in genealogy.”

Social Networking
Another enhancement to the Family History Library Catalog will be its increased interactivity. Every entry in the catalog will link to an online or digital source, if available. The user will then be able to link directly to the publisher, buy the book, or search for the nearest copy.

FamilyLink.com will also add an annotation feature that allows users to suggest a new source, enhance an existing source by adding a place (location) or a time period, and rate and review a source based on its usefulness.

“We know that search traffic will increase on both the FamilyLink services and FamilySearch’s site when users discover the new guided search tools,” said FamilyLink.com President David Liffereth. “Last month we had over 700,000 unique visitors and 8.5 million page views. We are predicting that these numbers will more than double after the first quarter of use.”

Friday, May 16, 2008

Temples Now Live with NFS

FamilySearch has been busy with the roll-out going well and moving forward. I have updated my New FamilySearch Roll-out spreadsheet. There are now 41 temples live with NFS. In case you have missed some of the announcements, here is a list of recent temple districts to go live.

April 8
Bismarck ND
Monterrey Mexico

April 15
Oaxaca Mexico
Toronto Canada

April 22
Dallas TX
Melbourne Australia
Perth Australia

April 29
Bern Switzerland

May 6
Adelaide Australia
Brisbane Australia
Campinas Brazil
Sydney Australia

May 13
Houston TX
Lubbock TX
Porto Alegre Brazil

Temples announced for May 20th release are:

Bogota Columbia
Chicago IL
Halifax Nova Scotia
Manhattan NY

Nothing has been announced beyond the 20th.

A couple of temples received word that they will go live in either 4 months or 90 days.

Edmonton Alberta - live in about 90 days.
Palmyra New York - live in 4 months
Columbia SC - live in 4 months

Of course dates are subject to change, but all things seem to be rolling nicely along. Lets just hope it stays that way!

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

NEHGS Announces New York Web Portal

If you do research in New York the following press release will be of interest to you. The Family History Library in Salt Lake has free access to NEHGS.

NEHGS is pleased to announce a new Web portal that highlights the tremendous New York resources available to our members.

Visitors to www.newyorkancestors.org can access a wide range of important resources specific to New York state research, including a series of articles by Marian Henry published in book form 2007 as New York Essays. Visitors can also find for sale a variety of publications helpful to the New York researcher. A wide range of databases, including vital records, probate records, census, tax, and voter lists, cemetery records, church records, court records, and published genealogies and biographies, are available to members of the Society.

The Society has seen a tremendous increase in our members’ interest in New York State research over the past few years. In fact, today New York represents the second-most popular state for member research, behind Massachusetts, and we are working to increase our online resources in this area. While the portal has a different address, all NEHGS members have full access to the materials.

www.newyorkancestors.org is part of the growing NEHGS family of web portals, including www.newenglandancestors.org, www.greatmigration.org, and www.notablekin.org.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

FamilySearch Teams With FamilyLink.com, Inc. to Bring German Collection Online

PROVO, UT, May 13, 2008 — FamilySearch recently announced an inaugural project in concert with FamilyLink.com, Inc., to digitize and index a valuable German genealogy collection containing over 3.5 million names from the period of 1650-1875.

The Brenner Collection contains 3.5 million names on more than 750 rolls of microfilm, representing between 900,000 and 1.5 million images. A final count will be determined once all of the records have been indexed. The complete Brenner Collection database is scheduled to be online at WorldVitalRecords.com by the end of this year, although segments of the database will be launched in the interim.

“The genealogy market for German records is hungry for online data. FamilyLink.com was selected for this project because of the company’s focus on international vital record sets,” said Paul Nauta, Manager of Public Affairs, FamilySearch.

The FamilySearch Records Access Program (RAP), announced in 2007, works with record custodians and companies to preserve and publish the world’s genealogical records faster, more effectively, and efficiently. Under the RAP agreement for the Brenner Collection, FamilySearch will digitize the records, and FamilyLink.com will create the indexes. When completed, the index will be available for free at FamilySearch.org and WorldVitalRecords.com. Access to the images will be free to FamilySearch members and WorldVitalRecords.com subscribers.

“This is our first project with FamilySearch, and we are excited to collaborate with them,” said Jonathan Burton, COO, FamilyLink.com, Inc. “This database will be an invaluable part of our growing German collection. Certainly it will be priceless to the descendants worldwide of the families listed in these records.”

The Brenner Collection was discovered in a Bavarian barn and includes data from approximately 97 parishes primarily within the vicinity of Ansbach, and also other places in Mittelfranken, Bavaria.

“I love that that these German records have found a home on our site,” said Paul Allen, CEO, FamilyLink.com, Inc. “This collection will be a highlight of the German records coming soon on our site, and will provide important links to information for those with German ancestry.”

Using the extracts found in the Brenner Collection is comparable to searching the original parish registers, with the exception that these records have been alphabetized and arranged in families by FamilySearch over a ten-year period.

“The Brenner Collection is a fabulous collection because you receive information on such a large section of the population. No other microfilm collection exists of this material,” said Warren Bittner, German collection management specialist for FamilySearch. “You would have to go from village to village to receive the same information that you can now find in one place.”

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

FamilySearch Engages FamilyLink.com to Enhance Its Popular Online Catalog

FamilySearch Engages FamilyLink.com, Inc. to Add Functionality and Enhancements to Popular Online Family History Library Catalog

SALT LAKE CITY-FamilyLink.com, Inc. has teamed with FamilySearch to improve the user experience of the Family History Library Catalog for millions of people worldwide by adding new Web 2.0 functionality and enhancements. The improvements will also enable users to spend research time more efficiently by directing them to the information that will generate the quickest results.

FamilyLink.com's improvements to the catalog will make it searchable by major online search engines and allow users to annotate item descriptions-increasing their accuracy and enriching the content.

FamilySearch's Family History Library Catalog is used extensively by genealogy enthusiasts. It is a window to the vast collection of genealogical resources amassed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over the past 100 years-millions of microfilms, fiche, and books from 110+ countries throughout the world.

Genealogists use the popular online catalog to see if FamilySearch has any material that can help them in their research. Materials are then requested through one of FamilySearch's 4,500 local family history centers worldwide.

"The enhancements FamilyLink.com will help make to the Family History Library Catalog will increase its usability and exposure. Beginners will find it particularly easier to navigate, and searching and browsing will be more rewarding," said Paul Nauta, Manager of Public Affairs, FamilySearch.

Improved Searching
Upgrades to the Family History Library Catalog will allow it to be combed by the major Web search engines. That means Web searches done by millions of family history enthusiasts who may not have been familiar with the rich content of the Family History Library Catalog will now discover exciting new sources to assist them in their genealogy pursuits.

In a typical search of the Family History Library Catalog, users first identify known facts about a family and then go through a step-by-step process to locate records. Newly integrated FamilyLink.com tools will help users better identify information. Guided searches will help users decide what they want to learn about their families, point them to relevant records, help them obtain and search the records, provide clues to more information, and assist them with the application of the new information.

As part of the enhancement, FamilyLink.com will make searches more useful by allowing the user to browse, sort (by popularity, relevance, most used, etc.), and perform multiple searches. A new "probability engine" feature will calculate the likelihood that a particular source contains the desired item. It will also be able to search across someone's entire family tree to determine which ancestry lines have the highest likelihood of success based on known sources.

"We are excited to work with FamilySearch and to add this extensive catalog to our database collections," said Paul Allen, CEO, FamilyLink.com, Inc. "We have looked at doing this collaboration for quite a while. We will enhance the catalog by connecting it with new innovative tools, along with the best resources of our WorldVitalRecords.com databases, the FamilyLink.com social networking site, and our We're Related application in Facebook. Putting all of these resources together will dramatically change the meaning of 'search' in genealogy."

Social Networking
FamilyLink.com will also add an annotation feature that will encourage user contributions and make the catalog much more dynamic and current. Users will be able to add or suggest a new source, enhance an existing source by adding a place (location) or a time period, and rate and review a source based on its usefulness.

Another enhancement to the Family History Library Catalog will be its increased interactivity. Every entry in the catalog will link to an online or digital source, if available. The user will then be able to link directly to the publisher, buy the book, or search for the nearest copy.

"FamilySearch is excited to work with FamilyLink.com to enhance the Family History Library Catalog. They are leaders in the Social Networking space and will greatly enhance and extend the catalog and its usefulness to millions of people," said Ransom Love, FamilySearch Director of Strategic Relations. "We hope this is the first of many other possible opportunities for FamilySearch to outsource key infrastructure components to innovative companies like FamilyLink.com. They will receive access to key resources to help them grow much quicker and FamilySearch's assets will be upgraded and extended in return."

"We know that search traffic will increase on both the FamilyLink services and FamilySearch's site when users discover the new guided search tools," said FamilyLink.com President David Lifferth. "Last month we had over 700,000 unique visitors and 8.5 million page views. We are predicting that these numbers will more than double after the first quarter of use."

1860 U.S. Census and Civil War Pensions Index to Be Published

FamilySearch Teams with Footnote.com to Publish Historic Civil War Era Records
1860 U.S. Census and Civil War Pensions Index are first projects

SALT LAKE CITY-FamilySearch announced today its records access agreement with Footnote.com to publish two significant Civil War Era databases online-the 1860 U.S. Census and Civil War Pensions Index. The two relevant collections will provide free online access to millions of names of individuals from the 1860 to 1865 period in the United States. The completed databases will expand FamilySearch's growing, free U.S. Census collection online and Footnote's Civil War Collection.

The censuses and Civil War pension files are the most used collections of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The 1860 census provides a snapshot of families living during the Civil War Era. The index to the Civil War pension applications allows searchers to quickly see if a Civil War veteran or his widow applied for a pension-which can lead to rich family history information contained in the original pension document.

Under the agreement, FamilySearch will provide the digital images of the original documents for the 1860 U.S. Census, and Footnote.com will provide the indexes to both the 1860 U.S. Census and Civil War Pensions. FamilySearch plans to publish the indexes for both of these collections for free this year at FamilySearch.org. The images of the original documents will also be viewable at Footnote.com or accessed for free through the 4,500 FamilySearch family history centers located worldwide.

As segments of the collections are completed, users will be able to search them at http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch.

Civil War Pensions Index
Ten percent (3 million) of the U.S. population served or fought in the U.S. Civil War, and 2 percent (620,000) died-more American casualties than The American Revolutionary War, World War I, World War II, The War against Switzerland, The War of 1812, and the Vietnam War combined. If soldiers or their families applied for a pension from the government, an index card for the pension application should exist.

The index also extends beyond the Civil War to include veterans who served between 1861 to 1917 in the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Boxer Rebellion, and the regular establishment.

Each card usually lists the soldier's full name, rank, company and regiment, when he enlisted and discharged, and provides a certificate number required to order a copy of the original pension application from NARA. The completed index will allow users to search on a name, or browse by state, arm of service (infantry, cavalry, militia, etc.), regiment, and company to locate individual records.

1860 U.S. Census
The 1860 U.S. Census index will allow users to quickly search the names of 31 million people captured on the census. Additional information includes the age, sex, color, place of birth, and marriage status. Slave schedules show the name of the slave owner, number of slaves owned, number of freed slaves, and the age, color, and gender of the slaves. The names of the slaves were not included in the 1860 Census.

"These record collections provide a valuable view of America during a critical time in its history," said Russ Wilding, CEO of Footnote.com. "Together with the other Civil War documents on Footnote.com, visitors are able to piece together a picture of our history that few have seen before."

Ransom Love, director of Strategic Relationships for FamilySearch, added, "Footnote is targeting U.S. historical records and building their Civil War Collection. FamilySearch wants to provide free indexes to all of the U.S. Censuses online. This joint project helps bring both companies closer to their respective goals."

Monday, May 12, 2008

New FamilySearch Tree Sagas - Week 1

The time has come and a new saga begins in my life. Finally I am going to start working in new FamilySearch. I was involved in beta 1 and beta 2 but now this animal is alive and it is breathing down my neck. As I drive in my car or wake from my sleep I wonder when am I going to start and of course also write about my frustrations, pleasures and desires in working in new FamilySearch.

I found writing my weekly article on my Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing has created a beautiful habit. I wanted to move that forward and keep a chronicle of my new adventures in working on the Family Trees in NFS. My first assignment to myself was what day will I commit to working on NFS. If I don't have a set time and place it's really hard for me to develop the habit. Naturally I would love to do it on Sunday's but that's my indexing time. I have puzzled over and wondered to death on what day of the week I could commitment to working on NFS.

Monday seems to work for me. My family doesn't have Family Home Evening that night because my husband is working. Instead of working with my living family on Mondays I am going to work with my deceased family instead. In doing so I hope I can also connect to my extended family and pull us closer together and accomplish more with their help. When I finally settled on the day and sat down to begin to write I could just feel the flood gates open and my deceased family members surround me in my little computer room.

I know this article has to be written. That my saga will also become your saga and we will learn together as I wind my way around the trees. Yes, this is a big moment. I am going to place my hands on The Book of Adam's Children and leave my mark. I will be numbered among the valiant souls that labored to clean it up and make it one day presentable to the Lord. Can you not feel humbled by what you are stepping into? This is a project that is starting to be combined and I am alive to see it. In fact I feel like this combining generation is the only ones with the patience and ability to move the ancient records into the modern era. This generation has used both pen and paper and computers and knows how to make the transition. We are the chosen pioneers to embark at this epic in time.

I feel like I am marking the workings of my life with this beginning. I don't know if I will ever complete it in my life time, but then again who does ever complete their genealogy.

To begin one must sign into new FamilySearch. The website is located at http://new.familysearch.org . I don't have any figures as to how many people have access to NFS right now but at last count I have 34 temple districts live. All the Family History Center directors have access and those lucky enough to attend special classes offered by the FamilySearch department have logins. I attended a FHL class for FHCons. with the added bonus of receiving NFS access back in early Feb. That is how I received my access to NFS. It was right before the roll-out was put on hold and no one else could get access - so I was lucky. I don't know when or if those classes will resume. I will let you know when I hear word.

You have to have your membership number and confirmation date in order to login. I did this a while ago so I'm kind of rusty on the login part now.

The first thing I do when I learn something new is to visit all the tutorials available. I think it is especially important to do so when you login to NFS for the first time. You need to capture the vision. I noticed that the "Introduction to FamilySearch" that takes 10 minutes has a new "player" being used. I like the tans much cooler. It is a nice overview and I am not going to recreate it for you, you need to view it when you get access.

At the end of the introduction I realized that our FHC needs to get some headphones so patrons can listen to the introduction. All of our computers have the sound turned off so as to not disturb anyone. We really need to encourage people to listen to the tutorials so headphones would be nice. I had an older pair somewhere... I think I need to find them and make a donation.

At the end of the introduction they have two PDFs for you to read.
  • Introduction to New FamilySearch - Chapter 1 in a User's Guide to the New Family Search. This is 16 pages long.
  • A User's Guide to the New FamilySearch - 138 pages.
I downloaded both and have given myself the assignment to read then during the week. I know many people will skip these over but it's really important to read the directions. How long can it really take you. Think of the many hours of frustration you will avoid if you don't. Since I have some experience in NFS and have attended classes I just briefly skimmed over Chapter 1 of the User's Guide.

One thing I was trying to find was a mention or warning about making sure you create a sign-in name or contact name that you can live with. I went to the help center and found this article.
"You cannot change your sign-in name, contact name, password recovery questions, or information that came from your Church membership record, including full name, address, birth date, confirmation date, and membership record number."
I have all my contact information viewable and have my name as Renee Zamora. I've heard of some kids entering slick or cool names and then regretting them later. So a warning to you parents make sure your kids or yourself pick names that you can live with for the rest of your life. I figure my name is good enough - even if my husband died and I remarried I would probably still go with Renee Zamora since my kids are all named Zamora.

There are other helps and guides to teach you how to use NFS. I just played the one called "Help Me Get Started with Family History". After viewing it I made my first feedback/suggestion to FamilySearch.
It's short and sweet but I feel it doesn't give enough emphasis on making sure you have combined and searched for duplicated before submitting names for temple work.
Combining is the major emphasis that I will be working on in NFS. I felt like that 5 minute video missed a major point. I know FamilySearch listens to our suggestions so it's important to contribute to making it better for every one else down the line.

Now I do what I've been dying to do. I look around at the information NFS has about "Me and My Ancestors". My old Ancestral File submission has been linked to me so that makes it nice. I notice already that I submitted my children's birth places with the name of the hospital in the field. That's not how I feel it should be. The hospital name should go in the notes. WAHOO!! I could actually change my old submission stuff. Major coolness.

I realize that no one else is going to ever really see this information on my living children but me, but I am sorta playing and trying out the system. After I changed the locality to the standardized place I made sure to add the hospital in the notes and added myself as the source of the information. I remember giving birth!

It wasn't until my third and last child that I realized the flow is kind of messed up for editing an event. If you change the place and then go into add notes or sources when you come back the changes to the place are gone - unless you saved it earlier. But if you save it (hit done) then it takes you out of the edit screen and you have to re-open it to make the change. I sent a feedback on that. It's those types of little things that makes working in the system become even slower. Can you tell I like to give a lot of feedback.

My main objective was to finally see if there was anyone out there that has contributed information on my deceased mother. I could only find one other person (other than Church membership records) and I think it is my father's submission on Ancestral File. I had no combining to do for her. I looked at my grandparents and there were no duplicates for them to combine either. Well all this has taken until 11:30pm and I need to go to bed.

I will write more as I work in new FamilySearch. This is going to take me FOREVER!

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

Calling all John Taylor Descendants

Did you know that November 6, 2008 will mark the 200th birthday anniversary for President John Taylor? At least I was told it was the 6th but on the Ancestral File it says his birthday was November 1st 1808. Anyways, the point is - the descendants of President John Taylor, the third President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are planning a 200th birthday anniversary commemoration.

The commemoration for John Taylor's 200th birthday will be held in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. The featured speakers will be Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and wife Barbara T. Dayton Perry (gg granddaughter).

The services will include a tribute to Duane Cardall and an audio-visual presentation on the life of President Taylor.

From the Ancestral File the President John Taylor Family Association has obtained the names of 2,800 descendants. About one-third of them are no longer alive. A majority have no known addresses. If you are or know of a John Taylor descendant it is requested that you contact Lee Cox at lecox5@juno.com so they can have an accurate accounting of all his descendants.

It is requested that when you contact Lee Cox that you include in your email which wife of John Taylor's you are descended through.
  • Leonora Cannon
  • Elizabeth Kaighan
  • Jane Ballantyne
  • Mary Anne Oakley
  • Sophia Whitaker
  • Harriet Whitaker
  • Margaret Young
They are also requesting the names of your grandparents, your physical address, email address and phone number.

Please forward this information on to anyone that might be interested.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 42

Happy Mothers Day! I hope all you mothers out there had as great a day as I did.

I haven't been the only Zamora in my household working on FamilySearch Indexing. My daughter is recovering nicely now from knee surgery and at the point that she is bored. I told her how easy it was to index the Irish vital records and she was ready to give it a go. I haven't stopped into the bedroom to see if she has finished the batch yet but she was working on some marriage indexes the last time I checked.

I also worked on the Irish Marriage Indexes 1845-1868 and completed one batch with 359 individuals and I got credit for indexing 359 records. Yes, thats right they have stopped giving you credit for records that you mark blank. The set number of records for my batch was 80 and then I had to add more rows to the batch to cover everyone else. I am so glad they are giving you credit for indexing how many individuals on the page and not some preconceived number. My grand total of records indexed to date is 7,436 - Wahoo!

We received a new message from headquarters this week.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Great Work!
Date: 06 May 2008

To all indexers, arbitrators, and group administrators:
Congratulations! As of 5:30pm today, we have over 140,000 registered users who have indexed over 50,000,000 names so far this year.

Thank you and keep up the great work!
Can you believe that - 50 million names in a little over 4 months - that is fantastic!!

With all that was going on in my life last week I forgot to mention that FamilySearch Record Search - where you can see some of the results of our indexing efforts, just released pilot version 1.3.

A few of the highlights of this release:
  • Search for christening and burial events
  • Search at the county and city level
  • You can now do different kinds of searches including exact
  • In-context view of record details and images. This provides a new summary view of all the results next to the details and image views
  • Name of person featured more prominently in the record
  • Common actions grouped together at the top of record details
I only had a chance to play around on Records Search for a little while today. I really like how I can type in a place with no name and it will bring me back the results of all the names that have been indexed there. I used to have to just start looking at the images after finding the locality in a project - very time consuming that other way. Indexed results are much quicker to move through than reading the image. I do a lot of research in a given locality so seeing the indexed results are very helpful for me this way. You can also refine your searches or start over. I don't know you probably could of done that before but I don't recall previously doing that.

I also noticed that FamilySearch Record Search is also using the standardized names for localities. When you type in a locality name it will present to you the standards used for it - this way you can make sure you have the correct and full locality name. I knew new FamilySearch was using the standards on localities but I didn't realize Record Search has the same feature. If you weren't aware of this previously you can see the standard for names, places and dates on another project on FamilySearch Labs called Standard Finder. It's kinda cool.

Well, my computer only needed to be rebooted once while writing this article. And, I thought it was beginning to behave itself. I just received today a "new" computer. It's used, about 2-3 years old - much newer than the one I currently have. I want to buy a larger hard drive for it before I transfer everything over. It's for sure cheaper to purchase a new hard drive than to buy a new computer. I don't know how long that project will take me but hopefully before this old one quits on me.

I have a lot of work to do and articles to write. Yesterday I attended the UVPAFUG meeting where Ancestral Quest, Family Insight and RootsMagic gave wonderful demonstrations on how they will sync with new FamilySearch. They all have unique and have different approaches on how they will sync. I hope to write that article real soon.

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

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mark Your Calendars! - UGA

The meeting of the Utah Valley chapter of the Utah Genealogical Association will be a little earlier in May, on Friday, the 16th. The meeting will be held at the Utah South Area Family History Training Center located at 85 North 600 East, Provo. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m.

The speaker will be Fran Jensen from the Research Support team at the Family History Library. The topic will be the new Family Search Wiki -- a place where you can share your information and gather information from others. It will be specifically helpful by location. Bring your friends, this will be a new and exciting adventure for you and for them.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Vatican letter directs bishops to keep parish records from Mormons


By Chaz Muth
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In an effort to block posthumous rebaptisms by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Catholic dioceses throughout the world have been directed by the Vatican not to give information in parish registers to the Mormons' Genealogical Society of Utah.

An April 5 letter from the Vatican Congregation for Clergy, obtained by Catholic News Service in late April, asks episcopal conferences to direct all bishops to keep the Latter-day Saints from microfilming and digitizing information contained in those registers.

The order came in light of "grave reservations" expressed in a Jan. 29 letter from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the clergy congregation's letter said.

Father James Massa, executive director of the U.S. bishops' Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, said the step was taken to prevent the Latter-day Saints from using records -- such as baptismal documentation -- to posthumously baptize by proxy the ancestors of church members.

Posthumous baptisms by proxy have been a common practice for the Latter-day Saints -- commonly known as Mormons -- for more than a century, allowing the church's faithful to have their ancestors baptized into their faith so they may be united in the afterlife, said Mike Otterson, a spokesman in the church's Salt Lake City headquarters.

In a telephone interview with CNS May 1, Otterson said he wanted a chance to review the contents of the letter before commenting on how it will affect the Mormons' relationship with the Catholic Church.

"This dicastery is bringing this matter to the attention of the various conferences of bishops," the letter reads. "The congregation requests that the conference notifies each diocesan bishop in order to ensure that such a detrimental practice is not permitted in his territory, due to the confidentiality of the faithful and so as not to cooperate with the erroneous practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

The letter is dated 10 days before Pope Benedict XVI's April 15-20 U.S. visit, during which he presided over an ecumenical prayer service attended by two Mormon leaders. It marked the first time Mormons had participated in a papal prayer service.

Father Massa said he could see how the policy stated in the letter could strain relations between the Catholic Church and the Latter-day Saints.

"It certainly has that potential," he said. "But I would also say that the purpose of interreligious dialogue is not to only identify agreements, but also to understand our differences. As Catholics, we have to make very clear to them their practice of so-called rebaptism is unacceptable from the standpoint of Catholic truth."

The Catholic Church will eventually open a dialogue with the Mormons about the rebaptism issue, Father Massa said, "but we are at the beginning of the beginning of a new relationship with the LDS. The first step in any dialogue is to establish trust and to seek friendship."

The two faiths share intrinsic viewpoints on key issues the United States is facing, particularly the pro-life position on abortion and an opposition to same-sex marriage.

However, theological differences have cropped up between Mormons and Catholics in the past.

In 2001 the Vatican's doctrinal congregation issued a ruling that baptism conferred by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cannot be considered a valid Christian baptism, thus requiring converts from that religion to Catholicism to receive a Catholic baptism.

"We don't have an issue with the fact that the Catholic Church doesn't recognize our baptisms, because we don't recognize theirs," Otterson said. "It's a difference of belief."

When issuing its 2001 ruling, the Vatican said that even though the Mormon baptismal rite refers to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the church's beliefs about the identity of the three persons are so different from Catholic and mainline Christian belief that the rite cannot be regarded as a Christian baptism.

Latter-day Saints regard Jesus and the Holy Spirit as children of the Father and the Heavenly Mother. They believe that baptism was instituted by the Father, not Christ, and that it goes back to Adam and Eve.

Msgr. J. Terrence Fitzgerald -- vicar general of the Diocese of Salt Lake City -- said he didn't understand why the Latter-day Saints church was singled out in this latest Vatican policy regarding parish records.

"We have a policy not to give out baptismal records to anyone unless they are entitled to have them," Msgr. Fitzgerald said of his diocese. "That isn't just for the Church of the Latter-day Saints. That is for all groups."

Though he said the Salt Lake City Diocese has enjoyed a long-standing dialogue with the Latter-day Saints, Msgr. Fitzgerald said the diocese does not support giving the Mormons names for the sake of rebaptism.

Mormons have been criticized by several other faiths -- perhaps most passionately by the Jews -- for the church's practice of posthumous baptism.

Members of the Latter-day Saints believe baptizing their ancestors by proxy gives the dead an opportunity to embrace the faith in the afterlife. The actual baptism-by-proxy ceremony occurs in a Mormon temple, and is intended to wash sins away for the commencement of church membership.

Jewish leaders have called the practice arrogant and said it is disrespectful to the dead, especially Holocaust victims.

"Baptism by proxy is a fundamentally important doctrine of the Latter-day Saints," Otterson said. "We have cooperative relationships with churches, governments -- both state and national -- going back to the last century. Our practice of negotiating for records and making them available for genealogical research is very well known."

Father Massa said he is not aware of aggressive attempts to obtain baptismal records at Catholic parishes in any of the U.S. dioceses.

He also said the Catholic Church will continue to reach out to the Mormons and carry on the efforts of understanding that have already begun, especially in Salt Lake City.

"Profound theological differences are not an excuse for avoiding dialogue, but a reason for pursuing dialogue," Father Massa said.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 41

What a crazy week I have had. My oldest son turned 25 years old and that made me feel way old. Older than my 25th anniversary did. Then my daughter had surgery on her knee. The knee surgery came on us fast. She saw the surgeon on Thursday and was scheduled for the following day. The surgeon was going on vacation for three weeks so it was then or way later and she needed the surgery sooner than later.

My daughter's apartment is on the second floor and I just knew there was no way after surgery that she could get up on the second floor or even take care of herself even if she did get up there. Since my two sons don't share a room anymore she had no bedroom to sleep in at our house. Both my son's beds are part of a bunk bed and therefore low to the ground - not good for someone with knee surgery to get up from. My husband and I gave up our bed to her and have been camping out in the living room on an air mattress. Which surprisingly isn't that bad to sleep on. Its just low to the floor and a killer to get back up from - at least we are more able to do that than she is.

It has been a long couple of days and today was a killer being the first shower after surgery. It was finally with relief that I told my husband he was on call for her. Literally on call - we use the cell phone for her to call when she needs help. We don't answer it we just go running to her. When I sat down finally to do some indexing, I found two messages from headquarters for us this week.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Questions and Answers for the Freedmen Letters
Date: 29 Apr 2008

We are so grateful to all those who have downloaded and submitted batches for the Freedmen Letters project, and invite all others who are interested to participate. So far, 20% of the batches for this project have been indexed and submitted. If we can keep up our current pace, we should be able to meet our goal of finishing this project by the beginning of June.

If you have questions regarding this project that are not answered by the project-specific indexing instructions, please visit the project revisions page to view answers to questions that we have received here at Indexing Support.

To access the project revisions page:
  1. Go to the FamilySearch indexing homepage, www.familysearchindexing.org.
  2. Click the Help tab.
  3. Click the Ask a Question link near the top of the page.
  4. Type "Freedmen Letters" into the box provided.
  5. Click Ask.
  6. Click the Indexing Project Instructions: Freedmen Letters link.
If you still have questions, please feel free to contact Indexing Support toll-free at 1-866-406-1830 or by email at indexing@familysearch.org.
Here is the second message for us.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Semimonthly Message
Date: 01 May 2008

A few tips to remember as you index:
  • Louisiana Death Certificates: Records per Image & Highlights
The data entry area of these batches is set to three records per image. When you download a new batch, scan through all of the images to see how many records are on each image. If there is only one record on each image, change the number of records to one by clicking the Tools menu and then clicking Records per Image. In the box next to Number of records, change the number to 1. Click the Apply to all Images box. If there are two records per image, follow the same steps but change the number to 2.
There are three sets of highlights for this project. To change from one set of highlights to another, click the down arrow in the Highlights box on the toolbar. Click Type 1, 2, or 3. If your first selection doesn't fit the image well, try the next selection and so on.
  • Wisconsin 1895 State Census - Locality Field
Some census pages include the name of a ward at the top of the page instead of a city, town, or village. When this occurs, mark the Locality field as blank. We are not indexing wards. Do not index the city, town, or village from the previous or next page.

We are also not indexing the county. The county information will be added later.
  • For Arbitrators: Record Matching - Moving Multiple Lines at One Time
You can select multiple records to work with at the same time. To do this, click the first record. Then press (and hold down) the Shift key and click the last record. All the records highlighted can be moved together by using the up and down arrows on the toolbar above the data entry area.

This also works with No Matching Record(s), Remove Record(s), and Delete Full Record(s).
I wanted a project to work on that was easy and relaxing so I decided to work on just the Irish Death Indexes 1922-1944. I only had to run to my daughter four times while I worked on my batch. So much for Dad taking care of things. I can't blame him I have the art of fixing pillows and moving her leg just right.

Finally I did finish indexing 246 individuals but received credit for 300 records. Now I have a grand total of indexing 7077 records to date. I don't know what happened in the December quarter of 1944 but there was 21 babies (0y) that had died on my batch. There was also 8 more children under the age of seven that had died. That was a really high number compared to my other Irish Death Records batches. My guess is that is had something to do with poor nutrition during World War II.

Even with the depressing thought of children dying it was nice it was to get away for a while to index. My husband fixed us all a nice dinner so that was an added bonus. I really can't wait for bedtime and getting some sleep tonight. I know tomorrow will be better than today was for my daughter and myself. At least now I know when times are tough instead of saying Calgon take me away, I can say Indexing take me away - and it will.

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

Friday, May 02, 2008

FamilySearch Teams with Findmypast.com to Increase Online Access to British Historical Records

Retired servicemen and merchant seamen records are first projects

SALT LAKE CITY-FamilySearch announced today it is working with the UK family history Web site www.findmypast.com and The National Archives of the United Kingdom to increase access to select British historical records. The first major projects will provide access to millions of names of deceased British soldiers and seamen from eighteenth to twentieth century.

Findmypast.com and FamilySearch were recently awarded licenses by The National Archives to digitize and make available both the Chelsea Pensioners retired soldiers records between 1760 and 1914, and the Merchant Seamen's collection of records dating from 1835 to 1941.

Chelsea Pensioners and Militia Records
The three-year project will digitize and index nine million images from the War Office's Royal Hospital Chelsea Soldiers' Service documents dating from 1760 and Militia Attestation Papers documents from 1870, through to 1913.

The records truly bring to life the comings and goings of pensioners (patients) in the Royal Hospital Chelsea, including each ex-serviceman's name, age, birthplace and service history, as well as details of physical appearance, conduct sheet, previous occupation, and in some cases the reason for discharge. After 1883, details of marriages and children may also appear.

Merchant Seamen Records
The Board of Trade's merchant seamen records from the periods 1835 to 1844 and 1918 to 1941 will also be digitized and indexed. When the project is complete, the public will be able to easily search online for the names and date and place of birth of ancestors who served as merchant seamen.

Many of the twentieth century records include portrait photographs of the sailors as well as personal details and summaries of their voyages. The records include people of many nationalities and women's service records.

Nearly a third of UK families have ancestors who served as a merchant seaman, and many Americans have British roots, making this series of records extremely important to genealogists and family historians.

Digitization partnership
FamilySearch will digitize the records on site at The National Archives, and Findmypast.com will create indexes and transcriptions to enable online patrons to easily search the records and images at both www.findmypast.com and www.familysearch.org.

Elaine Collins, Commercial Director at findmypast.com said, "This is great news for anyone who has hit a brick wall in their family history research. Servicemen and merchant seamen played a hugely important role in the United Kingdom's military, economic and social history. The details included in these two sets of records will open up a wealth of new information about their lives to family history enthusiasts and military historians alike."

Ransom Love, director of Strategic Relationships for FamilySearch, added, "FamilySearch is working with cultural institutions like The National Archives [of the United Kingdom] and genealogy-related companies like FindMyPast.com to preserve and provide access to genealogical records faster, more effectively, and more efficiently. We are excited to begin the Chelsea and Merchant Seaman projects with FindMyPast.com and The National Archive and look forward to more exciting initiatives together in the near future."

Dan Jones, Head of Business Development at The National Archives, said, "Being able to add these popular records to the growing list of The National Archives' resources available digitally is yet more evidence of the importance and effectiveness of forming partnerships across the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. We are very pleased to be able to announce the start of these two exciting projects and the continuation of The National Archives' strong relationship with findmypast.com and FamilySearch."

FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization that maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources. Patrons may access resources online at FamilySearch.org or through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries. FamilySearch is a trademark of Intellectual Reserve, Inc. and is registered in the United States of America and other countries.

New Genealogy Guides for England and Scotland

SALT LAKE CITY-FamilySearch announced today the release of two new free research tools that will help those with British and Scottish roots to find their ancestors. The research guides, Finding Records of Your Ancestors, England, and Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Scotland feature easy-to-follow instructions, colorful graphics, and removable worksheets. Free copies can be viewed, downloaded, or printed online at FamilySearch.org.

The guides will help take the guesswork out of British and Scottish genealogical research by simplifying the process and giving users a specific, proven strategy to use. In an inviting workbook style, the guides show users which records to search, what to look for, and what tools to use. The steps and tools needed to navigate British and Scottish historical records to find ancestors are colorfully outlined.

Finding Records of Your Ancestors, England and Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Scotland, are the latest additions to the popular series of free online publications. The guides are designed for those who have already gathered some family history information about their British or Scottish ancestors and are ready to search public and private records-they are must-have reference tools for researchers of British or Scottish genealogy.

The guides explain different types of records in England and Scotland and instruct the user when and how to use specific records. Real-life case studies allow readers to see for themselves how the research process works. Expert search tips, including tips on how to use the Family History Library Catalog, are included. Also included are maps, key dates in British and Scottish histories, and guides for reading respective genealogical records.

Other guides in the Finding Records of Your Ancestors series include African American, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Jewish, Mexico, Norway, and Sweden.

FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization that maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources. Patrons may access resources online at FamilySearch.org or through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries. FamilySearch is a trademark of Intellectual Reserve, Inc. and is registered in the United States of America and other countries.

Finding Records of Your Ancestors, England

Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Scotland