Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SEARCH YOUR FAMILY HISTORY - FREE

 
 
Thank you to everyone that made our 2014 Fair such a success.  If you missed it, please check for next year.  Until then, check with your local Family History Center to see what's happening in your area. 
 
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 www.familysearch.org.  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 www.Indexing.familysearch.org 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 www.familysearch.org/1940census.

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 out....so, go ahead and try it and let me know what you think!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New Website for Service

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has opened up a new website for all of those wishing to serve.  Please check out www.vineyard.lds.org to see how you can help.  There are a variety of opportunities from submitting photographs to transcribing information into different languages to helping with family history.  We all can find ways to help.  If you want to find a way to serve right from your own home, check it out!

Friday, June 3, 2011

5 Minute Helps from Family Search

The Church has put out some great little video clips by FamilySearch.org to help and inspire us.  Take a look.  Each video is pretty short and to the point.

5 Minute Genealogy - Find a record in five minutes

5 Minute Genealogy - Recording what you know

5 Minute Genealogy - Write it down

5 Minute Genealogy - Learn from family

I am sure they will have some more classes for us so keep watching.  These videos might be good ways for you to get your friends started.  Check it out!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Words From the Grave

Recently my husband and I took a road trip across the United States.  One thing we incorporated into the trip was cemetery searching.  I thought it would be fun to check out cemeteries of where some of our ancestors were buried.  We visited several cemeteries, in some we found our ancestors and in others, not so lucky.  The whole experience was wonderful.  Oh the excitement when we found those graves of our loved ones that we had only gotten to know through our researching endeavors.  We did discover that we were quite unprepared for really using this search as a tool in helping us discover more information.  We agreed that we want to go back to many of these cemeteries and do it right this time.  Here are some problems we faced and what we decided we needed to do next time.

First, we did bring along a computer that assisted us in looking up what we had already found and helped us to decide where we wanted to go looking.  In all circumstances on this trip, we knew the names of the cemeteries and the towns where they were located.  We also brought along a GPS which made it possible for us to find some of these cemeteries by coordinates.  I doubt that we would have been able to find them any other way.  We also used the Internet each night to check out the locations of these cemeteries so that we could plug it into the GPS to find them.

The thing we were not prepare with is that almost all of our visits to cemeteries were on the weekend.  Not a great plan.  There was no one to go see if we had questions about locations and plot maps etc.  The other thing, we had no rubbing materials or cleaning materials and many of these old stones were extremely difficult to read due to wear and mold and such.

Here is a list of things I think need to be done if you plan on searching out cemeteries.  (From my other blog http://www.grandmaschitchat.blogspot.com/)

1.  Get your facts -  Try to know as much about your ancestor as you can.  It helps to know the cemetery where he/she is buried (or at least the town).  Check all of your lines to see if there are others that might be in the same cemetery (try to do as much as you can at one cemetery as possible).  Check out Find A Grave on the Internet.  It is free and will be a huge help.

2.  Do ground work ahead of time - Write the county or town hall to see if they have any information about the cemetery that would be of help to you - like a plot map showing where graves are located (this will save huge amounts of time walking and searching).

3.  Gather supplies - Do research on how to extract information from decaying gravestones (brushes, cleaners, rubbing materials, etc).  There are right and wrong ways to clean gravestones - be sure to research this!  Bring a computer or printed material of your genealogy.  Bring a clipboard and plenty of paper.

4.  Plan enough time - It is amazing how fast time flies when you are searching gravestones.  If you have to factor in cleaning time, your time will go even faster.  Don't rush!  Don't over plan your day (don't try to do several cemeteries in a day) - be flexible.

5.  Document what you find and where you found it - Take pictures but also map out those around your ancestor - they may be related in some way.  It is amazing how quickly you will forget what picture goes where.  Take notes of your pictures so when you are looking at them, you will know who it is you are viewing and who they a re related to....(many times you will find a stone that says the family name with no information but in front of the stone you see mother, father, child, etc. This can be very confusing if you are only looking at pictures.). 

6.  Week day working hours may be best - If you need to talk with someone at the cemetery or in a court house, funeral home, etc., they may only be available during work hours.  If you plan your cemetery visit during the weekend, you may be out of luck if you need to speak to someone (believe me, you very well may need to do this).

7.  Take the family - What a fantastic experience for your whole family.  Get the kids involved.  Everyone can search in a cemetery.  How exciting it is to see your ancestor's grave.  This would be a great time for you to tell your family about some memories or research experience you may have had with this ancestor.  These were real people with real life struggles.  Believe me, there will be some touching moments when you see your ancestor's grave.
Your family can tell you so much from the grave but be prepared before you go.  Plan to enjoy the experience.  Bring the generations together and share your experience with your family.  Have fun, this will be a most rewarding time for you...you can count on it!