Your tombstone stands among the rest;
Neglected and alone.
The name and date are chiseled out
On polished, marbled stone.
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you
In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
Entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
One hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
Who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
And come to visit you.
Source: " Genealogy Poetry and Prose
Hung Up on the Tree
They think that I should cook and clean, and be a model wife.
I tell them it's more interesting to study Grandpa's life.
They simply do not understand why I hate to go to bed.
I'd rather do two hundred years of research work instead.
Why waste the time we have on earth just snoring and asleep?
When we can learn of ancestors that sailed upon the deep?
We have Priests, Rabbis, lawmen, soldiers, more than just a few.
And yes, there's many scoundrels, and a bootlegger or two.
How can a person find this life an awful drudge or bore?
When we can live the lives of all those folks who came before?
A hundred years from now of course, no one will ever know
Whether I did laundry, but they'll see our Tree and glow.
Cause their dear old granny left for them, for all posterity,
Not clean hankies and the like, but a finished family tree.
My home may be untidy, cause I've better things to do.
I'm checking all the records to provide us with a clue.
Old great granny's pulling roots and branches out with glee.
Her clothes ain't hanging out to dry, She's hung up on the Tree.
Online Research Classes -
The following classes are provided online by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and other sponsors. Learn the basic methods and key resources to start your family history.
England Beginning Research
Principios básicos para la investigación genealógica en Hispanoamérica (México)
Reading Handwritten Records Series - New!
Research Principles and Tools - New!
U.S. Research - New!
Before you visit a library, visit it online. This can help you save time in three ways:
Check the basic information about the facility, including its location and hours. You don't want to plan a trip for the wrong time.
If the Web site contains an overview of the collection, it may help you determine if the library is one you actually wish to visit.
You may be able to access the library's card catalog through their Web site.
Searching the catalog from home before your trip may save significant amounts of on-site research time, allowing you to spend more time with the materials you came to see.
Source: "Time- Saving Tips for Genealogists", by Michael John Neill, Genealogy.com
Print one bibliographic page for each book or source you plan to use.
Documenting your research is extremely important. However, it frequently slows down on-site research. To allow you to spend more time with the materials when you go to a library or archive, create one sheet for each book or record you plan to search. If you've used the online card catalog, copy and paste the bibliographic information into a word processor, using one sheet for each book. Make research notes on the sheet for use at the library or archives. Then when at the facility, you can make additional notes regarding the success (or failure) of your search. If you make copies from the source, attach them to the sheet for ease in tracking sources and entering data when you return home.
Source: "Time-Saving Tips for Genealogists", by Michael John Neill, Genealogy.com
To Google or Not to Google
We are all familiar with the many large genealogical databases that we can join to search their resources, but what if we want to find resources on our own without joining a website?
Many of the resources we can get through genealogy databases can be found for free if we know how and where to search. A search engine such as Google will help your search be a productive one. I personally like to use a search engine that has an "advanced search" screen. The advanced option makes filtering your search results easier. You are given fields such as "All these words", "Exact phrases", "Any of these words", or "None of these words". Sometimes this is not important but if you are searching for Jeffery Mason Massachusetts, you may get every stone mason in Massachusetts named Jeffery and these are added results that can make finding the correct information more tedious. I searched for Jeffery Mason Massachusetts with a regular search box with no extra tools and found 280,000 search results. I could see that most of these did not have anything to do with Jeffery Mason. I added "Genealogy" to that search box and trimmed the results down to 35900. Still too many to find what I need. I then went to the advanced search option in Google. And moved "Jeffery Mason" to the field that said "this exact wording or phrase" and searched. This returned 174 results. Much better. I then added "stone brick mortar" to the field "But don't show pages that have any of these unwanted words:" Now the results were 10. You can change the combination any way that you like.
You might reverse the name phrase to "Mason, Jeffery" and this would bring different results. If the person lived in various towns, you might enter "Boston, Worcester, Salem" in the field "one or more of these words:". This would give your search a variety of words to include. As you can see, using a search engine to search is only limited by your imagination for entering search combinations...
Source: Paula Vilburn, Ogden Regional Family History Center Newsletter, April 2010
Question: Are there some good mailing lists to help family history consultants with questions?
Answer: You may try the following. Click the link, which will open your email program. Simple add the word "subscribe" (without the quotes) in the subject and message boxes, then click Send.
LDS WARD CONSULTANTS LDS FHC CONSULTANTS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Looking for Married Names - Know a woman's maiden name but not her married name? Try these strategies:
. Search legal documents, wills and probate records for her parents-a daughter may be named in them.
Seek out obituaries for siblings. Most will list brothers and sisters among those "survived by."
Check census records for her twilight years, when she may have been living with a sibling.
Ask, ask and ask. Even your near and dear family members remember things differently.
Source: Family Tree Magazine Newsletter, July 2010.
Family History websites for Beginners, - Many websites can help beginners with family history research. This article lists several and how to use them.
Write it down, neatly - Time spent writing something on paper and filing it is time well spent. Do not trust your memory, or you will find yourself back at the library again. Do not write sloppily or you will misinterpret what you have written. Do not use scraps of paper that are easily lost. Do not use a crayon or lipstick that will be impossible to read next year.
Source: "Time-Saving Tips for Genealogists", by Michael John Neill, Genealogy.com
Research Questions - Ask personal questions about your ancestors other than birth, death and marriage. Make a chart for your ancestor with their name, birth, death, marriage, spouse, etc. You might have a list of questions for example, Immigration, Occupation, Religion, Adoption, Military Service, Spoke Foreign Language, Family Stories about this Person. These questions could also add some color into your gathering of materials on your family as time goes by. After all genealogy is not just about birth, death and marriage. We want to know about the history of our family. You might just find some interesting facts on your family lines.
Source: "Tips on Gathering your Family Information, 'Research Guidelines'". Genealogical Journeys in Time http://springviewreliefsociety.blogspot.com/2010/04/geneology-tip.html
Q and A
Question: I understand "state", "county", and "city", but what is a "ward" in the U.S. census?
Answer: In the United States census, a ward is an optional division of a city or town, especially an electoral district, for administrative and representative purposes. The Library of Congress has detailed ward maps of major cities. These show the census districts and political divisions of large cities. Valuable finding aids for City Ward maps is on microfilm found at the Family History Library.
Question: My son needs to interview one of his grandparents for a scout activity. What are some good questions to get the interview moving quickly and put both interviewee and interviewer at ease?
Answer: The internet is overflowing with great ideas. Following are just a few:
"Tips for Kids on Interviewing Grandparents"
"50 Family History Interview Questions"
"50 Questions for Family History Interviews"
"20 Questions for Interviewing Relatives"
"Oral History Interviewing"
Question: My Dad recently died. Will his death certificate be posted on the website where the Utah death certificates are listed? If so, when can we expect it to happen?
Answer: Utah death certificates are available online at
and contain certificates from 1904-1956.
Utah State Archives contains certificates from 1904-1958. Access restrictions on the Archive site says "The Inspection of Vital Records Act (HB 84), which passed in May 1998, made historic death records available to the public fifty years after the date of death." Both sites indicate they were updated March 2010.
Question: If you suspect you have Swiss ancestors, one of the first places you should check is the Familiennameenbuch, or Swiss Surname Book. This book lists the family names of all Swiss citizens in Switzerland in 1962 and indicates the place of origin, the year in which citizenship was originally granted for that surname in that place of origin, and the ancestry (previous place or country of citizenship). The book does not list individuals, only family names. It is extremely useful for tracing a family name to a region (place of origin). Is there a local copy available?
Answer: We have the "Familiennamenbuch" or "Swiss Surname Book" on microfiche #6053507 at our Center, but not in book format. The book is available at the Salt Lake Family History Library, Call No. 949.4 D4f.
Question: In NewFamilySearch, if a child appears in a family and he doesn't belong to that family, is there anyway to remove him from the family?
Answer: If you were the one who put the child in the wrong family by mistake, you can remove him. If not, you should contact the submitter, explain why you think it is a mistake and ask them to remove him. If there is no contact information for the submitter, you'll need to wait for the submitter to register for nFS or for nFS to provide a new solution.
To determine who entered him in the family, click "View relationship details", (spouses and children view) then "edit" .
To remove him from the family, select the options icon (arrow left of name in spouses and children view). Select delete/dispute relationship from Mother and/or Father.
Question: Nowadays there seems to be much discussion about which genealogical program one should use, but there seems to be no concensus or standard of comparison. Is there a chart or would it be possible to have a chart (or sheet) comparing the virtues, benefits, costs, etc. of the various genealogical programs such as PAF, Legacy, Roots Magic, All my Ancestors, etc.?
Answer: I'm not familiar with "All my Ancestors", but there are comparison charts available for PAF, Legacy, RootsMagic and Ancestral Quest. Try one of the following:
Question: I have had a few people ask me how to combine info from PAF that are on floppy discs with NFS. They have spent days, months, putting info onto floppy discs but it was not submitted and they do not want to have to redo it all on NFS. Any ideas on how to combine?
Answer: You can upload a GEDCOM to NFS from PAF if the individuals are NOT in NFS. If it is new or updated information for existing individuals, they would need to use an additional program such as Family Insight or Ancestral Quest to sync their PAF data with NFS.
Question: In NewFamilySearch, I entered a child in the wrong family. Is there anyway to remove him from the family? I see the arrow to the left of his name which gives the option of deleting or disputing. Would "delete" just remove him from the family or remove him forever?
Answer: "Delete the individual" removes him permanently from the database. Instead, choose the "Delete Relationship to father/mother" options to remove him from the family so you can then connect him to the correct family.
Question: Why can I no longer sign in to "old family Search" where I could view all the choices for temple ordinances for an individual as opposed to NewFamilySearch which allows me to see only one choice for each ordinance?
Answer: You can still sign in to "old FamilySearch" and search the IGI for temple ordinances. The message simply warns you that it is not being updated. For new ordinances, you would need to search thenew.familysearch.org. To search the IGI specifically, go to FamilySearch.org, click the Search Records tab, select Advanced Search, then select IGI from the list on the left.
Failte Romhat - The personal Web site of John Hayes might not be the first place you'd expect to visit, but his site actually offers a surprising number of online Irish databases and transcribed documents, including Land Owners in Ireland 1876, Irish Flax Growers List 1796, Pigot & Co's Provincial Directory of Ireland 1824, cemetery transcriptions and photographs, and much more. Best of all, it is all free! http://www.failteromhat.com/
Fianna Guide to Irish Genealogy - In addition to excellent tutorials and guides for researching ancestry in Ireland, Fianna also offers transcriptions from a variety of primary documents and records. Free. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~fianna/
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War - National Graves Registration (Union & Confederate). A searchable database of Union and Confederate soldiers who served in the Civil War. Information includes enlistment data and burial locations.
Submitted by Barbara DeHart
Mormon Migration - This website, designed and hosted by the Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, provides a place for historical and genealogical research into the world-wide migration records and history about the 19th and 20th century movement of thousands of immigrants from many nations who are part of the membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. lib.byu.edu/mormonmigration
Wyoming Newspapers - I just discovered a new website for Wyoming research. It is called the "Wyoming Newspaper Project." http://www.wyonewspapers.org/ These are digitized newspapers covering 1849-1922 (over 900,000 pgs.).
Submitted by Ruth Castleton
Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's - Over 7100 families and 250 ships. Find ships by name as well as complete passenger lists.
Immigrant Servants Database - The Immigrant Servants Database is a project designed to help Americans trace the European origins of their colonial ancestors. http://immigrantservants.com/
Ancestry.com Wiki - The free beta version of Ancestry.com Wiki includes online versions of "The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy" and "Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources" as well as other resources. They are every word searchable.
German Roots - Anyone with immigrant ancestors should check out the "Emigration & Immigration Records" section. You'll find lists of ports and their records with links to online sources and instructions on how to access offline sources. Other sections of the website have information specific to German research.
Ellis Island Passenger Arrival Lists - If you have ancestors arriving in the U.S. between 1892 and 1924, check this site for passenger arrival lists. http://www.ellisisland.org
Castle Garden Passenger Arrival Lists - Before Ellis Island, immigrants came to Castle Garden. This site includes transcribed lists from 1830 to 1892, although Castle Garden didn't actually open until 1855. http://www.castlegarden.org
Census of Ireland 1901/1911 - All 32 counties for 1901 and 1911, searchable by all information categories, are now available at http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/
New Irish Church Records Online - FREE! Irish Genealogy, hosted by the Ireland Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, has added a large number of new church records of baptism, marriage and death to their free Web site, bringing the total to over 2 million church records from Dublin City and counties Kerry and Carlow, plus a subset from Roman Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Cork & Ross. Check it out
Pioneers and Prominent Men - The book Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah is now available online. http://www.archive.org/stream/pioneersprominen00esshrich#page/n5/mode/2up
Australian Gold Rush Immigrants - Was your Australian ancestor a digger? If he/she arrived in Australia during the 1850s or in Western Australia during the 1890s, it is certainly a possibility! You might try searching search arrival manifests in Australia.
Unassisted Immigrants to NSW, 1842-1855 - an index of unassisted (or free) passengers who came to Australia at their own expense, including ships' crew.
Unassisted Passenger and Crew Arrivals, 1854-1900 - The Mariners and Ships in Australian Waters Web site offers transcribed passenger lists and links to digital scans of the original lists for "Shipping Inward" lists from the Shipping Master's Office.
Victoria Passenger Lists - Immigration records for Victoria 1852-1899 are online from the Public Record Office Victoria, including the Index to Unassisted Inward Passenger Lists to Victoria 1852-1923 and the Index to Assisted British Immigration 1839-1871.
National Archives Wiki - The National Archives has started a wiki "for researchers, educators, genealogists, and Archives staff to share information and knowledge about the records of the National Archives and about their research." Their wiki is located at: http://www.ourarchives.wikispaces.net
London Lives - This free website has posted 240,000 manuscripts and 3.35 million names of "non-elite" 18th-century Londoners. Sources include criminal and court records, parish registers, workhouse records and more. Registration isn't necessary to search, but you can register to create a personal workspace and link documents together into biographies. http://www.londonlives.org