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!

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 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 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

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 can count on it!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dead Fred - a Photo Archive

Want to find a picture of an ancestor?  Check out Dead Fred - a Genealogy Photo Archive.  Most of the pictures posted are free to download.  There are thousands of pictures.  Type in your ancestor's name and see what comes up. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Where did the old stuff go on FamilySearch?

Have you been wondering what happened to the Old FamilySearch where you could search through the IGI or Ancestral File, etc.?  Well, for a time, it is still around.  Here is how to find it.

1.  Go to
2.  When looking at the home page - take a look to the Right Side of the page and you will see a blue box that says "Go to Previous Site".  Click on that button.
3.  Now you are at the old view of FamilySearch.  From here put your cursor over SEARCH RECORDS (found in the blue menu bar) to see the drop down menu.  Click on ADVANCED SEARCH.
4.  Now you can see the various programs on the Left Side of the screen that you will be able to search.

I hope this helps!  I am not sure how much longer this old site will be available but for now, enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blogging Helps

Recently I taught a class about Blogging.  For those interested in setting up a blog (free of course), check out  Come up with a title for you blog and a website address.  If you need assistance, contact me by email. 

Be sure to read the HELP section for questions.  To customize the look of you blog, open the DESIGN tab then TEMPLATE DESIGNER.  Check out my handouts for assistance.  (Class Handouts)

Below are some websites I found to help with a variety of aspects of blogging.  (Provided by WordPress)

Here is a great site that will explain just about everything about blogging.   Listed below are some of the main topics that will help you with blogging.  See the All Topics to get even more topics of interest.

Introduction to Blogging « WordPress Codex   Introduction to blogging - ALL TOPICS   Top Blogging Platforms   Online Tools to Make Your Blogging Life Easier -   Web Application for Content Writers   Using a Blog Theme Productively   Using Themes for Your Blog   How to Make Your Blog Post Memorable   What to Write on Your First Blog Post   The Positive Results of Blogging   The History of Blogging   How to Prepare Your Blog for Vacation   Few Tips to Make Your Blogging Life Easier   How to Survive Blogging   The So-called Copy and Paste Blogging   A Blogger's Code of Ethics   Common Factors of a Productive Blog   Getting the Right Connection With Your Readers   Simple Tips for Getting More Comments on Your Blog    The Fundamentals of Increasing Your Site's SEO (Search Engine Optimization)   Best Free SEO Tools for Your Blog   Productive Ways to Get Subscribers for Your Blog   Blogs as SEO Tool  Top Tips on Creating a Blog Post  Making Your Blog Brandable  Why Do Some Bloggers Fail?  Socialize on Blog Top Sites with the Follow Feature   Exploring Blogs on Blog Top Sites    Have Your Blog's First Visitors    Making Your Blog Work   Tips on Finding a Blog Topic   Things You Should Know About Blogging   How To Install a Tumblr Theme   How to Install a Blogger Template   Determining Your Blog's Layout   Choosing the Right Colors for Your Blog   How to Use Different Fonts on Blogger   Classic Blogger Templates

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 NOW at Family History Centers

We now have FREE on the computers at the Family History Centers.  This is very exciting because now you can look up your family names FREE.  It is United States only but it will get you started with your US families.

Family Search is changing many things - starting with so many ways to help everyone find their family in the easiest ways possible.  Their Family History Center site includes Genealogical Resources, Classes and Workshops, and One-on-One Assistance. 

Genealogical Resources
     - Premium Subscriptions - When using the computers at the Family History Center, you will be able to access programs such as, World Vital Records, Footnote, Genline Family Finder, Godfrey Memorial Library, and more.  All of these are subscription programs but you can use the free when accessing them through the FHC computers.
     -  Family Search - Access the FamilySearch site where you can do research and so much more.  There are millions of names that have become available to research through the Indexing program and are being updated often.
     - Family Search Indexing - Learn how to participate in the World's Greatest Service Project by helping index the millions of records available now on microfilm and microfiche.  When indexed, they will be available to all us us FREE of charge to find on the Internet (at in the convenience of our own homes.  Anyone can do it - it's easy - it's fun - it's a way to serve yourself and others.
     - Family Search Microfilm Ordering - Very shortly we will be able to order microfilm and microfiche right from our home.  The film/fiche will still go to the Family History Center to be viewed but you don't have to make a special trip just to order.

Classes and Workshops
     - Online Research Courses - This is fantastic!  Free classes by those who really know.  They will teach you whatever you need to learn to search for your family.  Learn the very basics of how to do genealogy to learning how to research in Italy, Germany, Poland, France, and more.  You can even learn what you need to do to become a professional genealogist - take the classes!
     - Family Tech - Technology tips for genealogists and family historians.  Find help in computing, software, devises, Internet, how to's, and contribute.  They help with twitter, cameras, printing your genealogy, and so much more.

One on One Assistance
     - Family Search Research Wiki - Free family history research advice for the community, by the community.
     -  Family Search Forums - Helpful family history research and FamilySearch product information provided by experienced FamilySearch patrons.  You can search previously asked questions or ask them yourself - get answers from others that know.
     -  Family Search Help Center -  Ask a question and get help from the Knowledge Base, get local assistance, community assistance, or Family Search assistance. 

Also check out the new look to!  Have fun researching!