Friday, May 1, 2015

BOOT CAMP - LESSON 1 - Getting started on Family Tree

Every month we will have help for you to get started or progress in your search for family information.

Use these training ideas to help you learn the ins and outs of Family History. 

For additional help, email us at
It helps to have an interest in your family to go from the - Yeah, I love my family - to - I love my family enough to help us be united for eternity.  Help your love for your family grow by getting involved in your family history.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has taken the work out of Family History. Find our family and their information has become so much easier. Today we are going to take the very first step to learning how to do Family History. Some of you may be long past this stage and for you, I encourage you to keep going.  For those of you who have not started doing any kind of research, let's start at the beginning.  This information will also be very helpful for those you are teaching.

We will be working with Family Search and a few sites that will not only be interesting and informative, but also fun. Just click on the highlighted words to get more information as you go along.

This month we will be getting the "feel" for Family Search.  You will get logged on and do some simple exploring before we actually get started on researching. Take some time to look at your family tree and follow through on some of the lessons available.


1. Log onto or sign up for an account.  

To Log on - Go to Family Search home page and in the upper right hand corner (using your LDS account or your Family Search user name and password) click on Sign-In.

To open a new account - Go to the  home page of Family Search in the upper right hand corner and click on Free Account 
or click HERE (watch video) to learn how to sign up.  You do not have to be a member of the church to sign up for an account.  Note:  You will get a message in your email that you will need to confirm to finish the account sign up.  

2.  Now let's learn a bit about using the Family Tree - click HERE for basic instruction on how to use Family Tree.   Practice some of the things taught and be sure to "connect" YOU with your ancestral lines if that has not been done.  If you still do not understand this step, please ask your ward/branch consultant for help, visit your Family History Center, or email me at

NOTE: Family Tree mostly works with deceased people.  If your parents are still living, you will need to manually add them - refer to the instructions given in step #2.

This course will help you get a good start on understanding Family Tree.  We will discuss many of these topics covered in more detail in future newsletters.  HERE is another place to go if you have questions.

by Diane (Sandpoint Stake Family History Consultant)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Family Home Evening

This last week for Family Home Evening, our son and his family came for dinner and a lesson.  Our lesson was on Family History.  We started by watching a cute little video to help start everyone off with an interest in doing family history.  After the video, we divided into groups.  I had 4 computers and assigned 2 or more to each computer.  My mother lives with us so my son was assigned to her. The oldest child was assigned to my husband, the next child to me, and their mom took the two little ones to help with her assignment.

Each child (counting my son - the dad of these kids - as a child) was to interview their person about a parent or a grandparent.  As the interview went along, the child typed what was being said in a word program.  When all was finished, each group then made sure the writing was corrected then published it on our Family Tree in FamilySearch.  It was more of a training assignment to teach how easy it is to add information to your ancestral lines.  Everyone was excited to actually accomplish this goal.

My daughter-in-law also ended up contacting FamilySearch by live chat to help her resolve a problem in her family tree.  She had her son (who is living) in there twice.  With the help of the "live chat" person (you can find this in the upper right hand corner of the FamilySearch screen under Help), she was able to delete one of the accounts so she now only has one child by that name.,

This was a fun and very successful family home evening and a great way to help others learn how simple it is to add information to their Family Tree.

For more information on how you can add stories to your family tree, go to and sign in (you will need to open an account to get to your own family tree - if you are a member of the LDS Church, use your record number.  This is a FREE program for everyone - not only members of the church).  Once you have signed in, you will see YOU as the first person.  You will then need to link your family members to you.  This program mostly works with deceased people.  You will need to manually add the living relatives to your tree.  When you get to a deceased person, try doing a search to see if they are already in the system somewhere.  When you find the right person, click to add them to your tree line.  If they were not in the system, you will need to also manually add them.

Once a person is added to your line, you can add photos, stories, and much more.  Go to FamilySearch and click on the Learning Center (click on Help in the upper right hand corner and then click on the learning center) or click HERE.

For more information and/or help, go to your local Family History Center for some one-on-one assistance.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Newsletter to your email

We have now set up an email request for everyone that would like to hear more of what's going on in Family History and to offer encouragement to help you with your family history.  Look to the RIGHT side of this blog and fill in your email address.  You will be asked to follow through with the request by putting in the code and then going to your email folder, open up the email sent by FeedBurner and click on the link in blue.  That's it!

You will receive the actual post on this blog right in your email.  We will send announcements of activities in the area, hints that will help you with your research, some learning ideas to help you with problem areas you might be having when trying to use the computer or some of the genealogy programs.

Please feel free to email us at with questions or ideas of what you would like to learn.  We are here to help you.

This is for anyone and everyone - even if you don't live anywhere near Sandpoint, Idaho.  Go ahead, sign up now!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Everyone is always welcome at the Family History Centers.  It is FREE and one on one help is available to guide you in your search for your ancestors.  For information about times and locations, look in your phone book and find the nearest Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Give them a call and they will be happy to direct you to the nearest Family History Center in your area. 

To begin finding your family online with FREE website services, go to  You may begin searching millions of records for your family anywhere in the world.  If you register, you will be able to build a FREE online Family Tree.  Any of your family members will be able to contribute to this tree as it will be open to all of your family (once they register and connect to a deceased relative).  You will also be available to view lessons FREE from how to begin your research to how to do specialized research in a different country.  This is without a doubt the very BEST site to begin or continue your search for your family and it's FREE.  

100 Websites for Genealogy

Genealogy In Time presented this wonderful list of websites for 2014.  CHECK THEM OUT!!!

2014 Top Websites for 2014

Sunday, March 25, 2012

1940 US CENSUS - Nation Wide Service Project

In April we will have the opportunity to join a huge nation wide service project. The 1940 census will be available online. The main problem with accessing it is, you have to know exactly where your family lived to find them......SO, there is a massive Nation-Wide Service project getting ready to start Indexing the entire 1940 census. They need the help from EVERYONE!

It is easy and so beneficial. If you are just beginning your family history, it will help you to find your family in just one step. All you will have to do is type in their name on the FamilySearch website and the indexed information will come up. You will then be able to click on the actual document and view it...and all of this for FREE! (Indexed names will be updated on a regular basis so the faster the names are indexed, the faster you will be able to access the information.)

So what do you need to do to help? Just sign up to do Indexing at and follow the steps to register. You will need to download a program. Once you have downloaded the program, you will need to get registered then you will be ready to begin. It is so easy to sign up. You will need a sign in name with a password (if you belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, you just use your church sign in name and password).

After you have downloaded the program and signed up, you will be able to download a batch. A batch is generally 1 or 2 pages of the census record. Other types of records are available too as the Church is working on indexing all of the microfilm/microfiche that they have photographed over the many years. Many of the records available are in other languages. You only choose the language you will feel comfortable indexing. If you do read another language, they really need some help from indexers that can read foreign languages.

The batches are not that long, as I said before, just a few names. Most batches take about a half hour to do. You can do as many or as few batches as you'd like. You have about a week to complete one batch. If you do not finish the batch, it will be taken away in a week for someone else to complete. If you find one batch is too difficult and you do not want to do that batch, you can just send it back.

So this is what's happening, you download a batch from the website server and work on it on your computer. You can choose to work offline or stay online and work that way. You have to be online to download a batch and online to submit the batch but if you only have dial-up or if you want to load some batches to do while traveling, you can download them, work on them offline, then go back online to submit them. You can load up to 10 batches at once.

There is awesome help for indexing. For complete help and even live chat assistance, click on the HELP section at the Indexing website. Every batch has it's own set of instructions so be sure to read them before you start. If you cannot read something or something is missing that should be there, refer back to the HELP section for assistance. As I said, if you really cannot find your answer, click on LIVE CHAT (found in the HELP section) and someone will be more than happy to assist (you can also call or send an email for assistance).

Who can index? If you can read, you can index (age 13+). You do not have to be proficient on the computer. You do not have to be a fast typist. You work at your own speed, in your own home, and on your own computer. If you can give a few minutes a week to this project, you can do it. It is easy to learn. If you only have a few minutes of one week a month, you can do this. If you have time at your lunch break, when the kids are down for a nap, when you are waiting for a call, you can do this. If you feel that you are bored and nothing interests you, try indexing.

A word of warning, you can become addicted. Time flies by so fast and you may have the boss, kids, or spouse tapping the desk for you to get back to their needs but just tell them you are doing a service project. Ask them to join in. The age for signing up is 13+. I knew a lady in her 80's that decided to do something with her days. She learned how to use the computer (just enough to do indexing - nothing more) and began indexing. She ended up working an easy 8 hours a day every day until she died (into her 90's). She even learned how to do the Spanish records and she never spoke or read Spanish before. She just wanted to learn so she did!

Join us in this wonderful World Wide Service Project (general indexing) and our National Service Project (1940 census) and find how truly rewarding it is to offer service this way. Maybe you will even find some of your family while doing it! Check it out today! You do not have to wait for the 1940 census to get started. There is tons to index right now so go take a look. They even have a little "Test Drive" to see what it is all about. If you know someone who needs purpose to their life, have them try this. It is the best therapy you can imagine. I hope you will not just take my word but will actually give it a try. Join us today!

For more information on the 1940 census go to

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Free Research in England

For those looking for ancestors in England, try this site.  "FreeBMD is an ongoing project, the aim of which is to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, and to provide free Internet access to the transcribed records".

 I have not used this site but it was sent to me as a good one to check, go ahead and try it and let me know what you think!