Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Family Tree is Going To Test The Testy


...for a moment that testy person was me.

Fear not, I did get a grip on things.

I think.

Here is the story, and many many people are going to experience the same thing.

It began a couple of weeks ago when I was looking at my tree only to discover my dads mother, Blanche Bingham had a new mother and father. Personally, I think Bertrand and Darinda might be nice people, but my great grandpartents are Lorenzo and Sarah.

OK, being in love with the concepts of Family Search Family Tree I did as I should: I opened a conversation that explains the mistake. I did more, I attached a birth certificate to my grandmothers file for all the world, including this idiot, to see. You know I am jesting about the idiot thing, right?

I was so proud of myself, so happy with Family Tree. It's all good.

No, not good. Today I went into Family Tree to add a short story I found about Lorenzo. Lorenzo wasn't there, Bertand was.

Now, I took this calmly, right? Not at first.

I think we are all going to have to develop loving attitudes beyond our greatest expectation. When one is messing with YOUR family tree, YOU are not going to be happy. It is especially troublesome when they reverse the change you made.

So in all the nice I could muster I emailed this distant non cousin and kindly explained her mistake was for the second time and for her to lay off my family tree. No, I didn't say the lay off my family tree part. But some might, and that wouldn't be a good thing.

So: I opened a chat type convesation, I made the change by deleting grandma from the wrong family. It required me to explain my changes which I did nicely. I hope. This meaning to do well probable cousin provided her email address. So I emailed her and provided my phone number. I suggested she call me so I could help her understand. (She hasn't yet) What more can I do? Oh, in Family Tree it is easy to attached a document to antother person. so I attached my grandmothers birth certificate to Bertrand with a comment and explanation. Perhaps it wasn't noticed over in my grandmothers file.

So I will hope this ends it. It may not. If so I will keep on making the changes back. I do believe that there will be a process freezing someone from consistantly replacing correct that is documented for  incorrect that is not.

The benefits of sharing and collaborating are huge. Perhaps as big is the development of a non testy attitude by folks like me. Then perhaps we pass the test.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Blown Away with DNA

I just came across this article by Judy G Russell.

Judy is obviously deeply involved in using DNA to connect with living relatives. She shares here a wonderful story I ask you to read.

Here is a short clip from the article: "You never know, when you start down the path of genetic genealogy and DNA testing, what to expect. But one thing came clear to me this past week: it’s the very fact that you never know what to expect that makes the journey so worthwhile"

Click here for the article.

Beautiful Music by Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Area You Getting The Genealogy Itch?

Even dogs have ancestors

In a recent article, Chris Zdeb, in the Edmonton Journal website makes some great points for those who want to jump into family history research.

She discusses priorities and that there may be costs to obtain some of the documents you want. She discusses how some people start traveling to ancestors homelands.

There are dos and dont's.
I recommend the article but add that their are tremendous resources you shouldn't overlook that are free. Some pay sites are free at LDS Family History Libraries. There are a lot of sites that can help you may not know of.

I add links to this blog as I come across online information relating to the countries and families I am interested in. You might notice most right now are from Ireland. However, there are many and most of them are free. One cool one for those with Mormon Pioneer heritage is the BYU site I just added yesterday under Emigration Research.

I also want to plug my research blogs, even this blog. Maybe you should consider the fun and benefits of your publishing a family blog, or a research blog. We are recently getting from 20 to 60 hits a day from Google and other search engine searches sending people here. I have had a few interactions off of these blogs. I am hoping this concept grows and those with a similar focus will do some collaborating with me.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Is Your Irish Surname One Of The Top 20?

In Ireland, family pride is as enduring as the mountains. This country puts family before everything else, and betraying your family name is never an option. If you have the privilege of an Irish surname, you’ll know that name is built on an strong foundation of loyalty, courage, and a dedication to the family and its traditions.
Check out the infographic below to discover the history and strongholds of 20 of the most popular Irish family names. Please share this page on Facebook and Twitter and ignite the fire of family pride among your friends and the global Irish community: Then click here for the great Irish website GoIreland.com.

The website gives names explanations, which is real interesting. Sorry kids, there is no Cragun, Creagan, or the like. That's probably because their is 100 variations of our name.

Murphy, Kelly,
O'Sullivan, Walsh,
Smith, O'brien, Byrne,
Ryan, O'Connor, O' Neil,
McCarthy, Gallagher, Doherty,
Shea, O'Reilly, Doyle, Powr,
Fitzgerald, O'Malley

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Definition of Who Is Your Ancestor

 Many may know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is very supportive in Genealogy - Family History Service. This work is core to our understanding that families are forever. We are not only genetically tied to our ancestors, we are eternally tied to them. How cool is that? Personally, there are several of my ancestors whom I want to know better. Each story and fact that I uncover about them adds to that hope for the future. (I do want it to wait awhile though, I have many here to share time with.)

Our Temples, and the promises we make there are part of that eternal quest.

Today I fielded a call from Wyoming where a person asked, "what is the definition of an ancestor whereby I am to do their family history? They were told by one, just go up your lines.

That's not correct. If I only went up my direct lines, I would have nothing to do but to learn Spanish and crack brick walls. Three of my lines, Cragun, Bingham, and Porter have been researched by faithful genealogist from way back. The Bingham line is back to the 1500's. These are Pioneer lines. People have worked them hard. There are many records they have provided. My other grandparent, Salinas was from Mexico. The records are in Spanish. I don't read Spanish.

The correct answer that is Church policy is easy to understand: Are you blood related? Think of it another way, do you have the same genetic parenthood?  If I have a common grandmother or grandfather to another, we are then going to blood related, which can be identified genetically. Church leaders recommend concentrating family history research and temple work on our own ancestors. That, by the way, is one of the sobering facts about DNA. I have my ancestors DNA as a part of mine. You my cousins with the same grandparents have that DNA also. It is remarkably remarkable.

Do you think the creator of all this is in charge? DNA science alone testifies to me of the reality of a Loving God. An accident, I think not. One of the least interested in Church was a man I knew well. He was an Ophthalmologist, an eye surgeon.  He couldn't be bothered with religion. He confused me one day as I entered his office. An old Indian man was walking out the door to his car. The Dr. grabbed me by the arm, took me to the door, and pointed at him. "Do you see that man", he asked? Yes I said. "Two weeks ago he was blind, he was blind until I operated on him." That is awesome I said. "It wasn't me. I know it wasn't me. There was something about the operation that I knew I was being guided by a higher being." Wow! And no time or interest in God.

Back to who is my ancestor in LDS policy. An example of one who is not my ancestor for our church responsibility would be the wife of my great grandfathers son. That then would include her parents and grandparents, and up the tree. Their children are my blood relatives.

That's the good news. Yes, there is a lot of research to do.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Genealogy Search Tip - Wild Card

support the wild mustang !
A wildcard is a character that may be used in a search term to represent one
or more other characters.  The two most commonly used wildcards are:

1) The question mark (“?”) may be used to represent a single alphanumeric
character in a search expression.  For example, searching for the term
“ho?se” would yield results which contain such words as “house” and “horse”.

2) An asterisk (“*”) may be used to specify zero or more alphanumeric
characters. For example, searching for the term “h*s” would yield results
which contain such words as “his”, “homes”, “houses”, “horses”,
“horticulturalists”, and “herbaceous”.  It is usually best to avoid using
the asterisk as the first character in a search string.  A search term
consisting of a lone asterisk and no other alphanumeric characters will
retrieve every record from the database.

For we Cragun's we need wild card to search in the British Isles. Why? Our Cragun name is not found there. However 100+ variants are there. Some of the most common are Cregan, Creaghan, Creegan, Creigan, Cragin, Cragan, or Creagan.

Most search sites let you use wild cards. Instead of having to search for each of the above names I can do only 1 by searching { cr* }If I receive too many results, I could do two searches. 1 a *cra and the other a cre* .

This article shows other ways of using wild cards. When usable they can save a lot of boring effort.


Operators are used to combine search terms to identify a concept in a
document.  The two most commonly used operators are:

1) To select documents that contain all of the search elements you specify,
use the “AND” operator.  For example, searching for “herb and garden” would
yield results that contained BOTH words and would not return results
containing only one of the words.

2) To select documents that contain at least one of the search elements you
specify, use the “OR” operator.  For example, searching for “herb or garden”
would yield results that contained EITHER or BOTH words.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Tainting The Mormons" Cousin Ryan Cragun Assisting

OK, it's Sunday when I usually post something inspirational. Most often it's a great video, a beautiful hymn for example. But for days I have been pondering an article written about the church that includes slanted information provided by a cousin of mine, 1/2 cousin and down the line. He's professor Ryan Cragun. I haven't met him. I read his Facebook posts, I followed him on Facebook, I've read on his blogs.

In the early history of the church and in modern times some who have the greatest love of seeking to damage or discredit the church are those who were once quite involved. In the early history of the church apostates who were very high up were instrumental in causing the extermination order that resulted in unimaginable persecution. They led the mobs that murdered, pillaged, stole, and raped.
Now I don't give cousin Ryan that level of influence but it looks like he is trying. He's a Dr of  something and specializes in the sociological study of religion at the University of Tampa. He served an LDS mission, and wrote a book about Could he Vote for A Mormon for President. The answer is no. He received a degree at the University of Utah.

I'm guessing he like a neighbor of mine, and former member of my Church Congregation in Issaquah, Ed Decker. Mr Decker, creater of The Godmaker made money and an industry among Christian Congregations. His family remained active in our Ward, a son served a mission while I lived there.

Cousin Ryan seems to have contributed his so called expert inside information as to our Church's income and expenditures, how much we give to charitable causes and the like. Here is a quote attributed to Ryan: Given their array of corporate interests, it would probably make more sense to refer to them as "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Holdings Inc.”

The article was shallow, yet .proudly he noted in on Facebook as a good article.

I'm not concerned that I don't know the details of our church financial P & L. Why? Here are a few reasons, and they are good ones. I offer my experiences and refer you to an article the Church just published. They paint a credible picture. I know well the commitment of the Church to help bring people back to Christ, and to assist those in need.

I served as a Bishop in Bellevue Washington for 5 years. I was expected to be the steward of the members donations, treat them as the Lords trusted funds. Whether it be as the widows mite, or a large donation from a wealthy tithe payer - they were sacred donations. My handling those funds was strictly monitored. Two of us had to take the deposits to the bank. Always at least two of us, one being a member of the bishopric handled the funds from being given to the bishopric in an envelope to opening the envelope, logging in the donations, double checking for accuracy, and making the deposit. There is a reverence and respect in this process.

More interesting perhaps was that I as the local Bishop had the stewardship and was the sole decision maker as to how I looked after those in need in my Ward. I was taught principles of Welfare in The Lords Way. We sought to help each member in trouble rise above their problems and become self sustaining. In some cases the challenges were severe. However, a member in need definitely could come to me for assistance, and they often did.  If only the nation were run as correctly as is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, The Mormons.

I learned as a Bishop the role of faith in God being a greater problem solver than welfare assistance. God is real, he knows us. Our faith in him can cause us to see great miracles. People that came to me first received a partner in building faith.

Church Welfare isn't a program you sign up for. I had a local man call me one day and tell me he wanted to sign up for our rent subsidy program. I told him we didn't have such a thing. Oh  yes you do he said, my apartment manager told me so. There was a single mother in that project who did need help. I assumed that was who he was referring to, that the manager told him to contact me. I explained members who have been contributing, who are faithful, and who have exhausted all other resources can sit down with me and look at a temporary situation on what resources we can bring to their aid. That aid could include temporary financial help that might include rent. That's what I thought he said, I want to join your church. No he didn't really, he just wanted in on a rent subsidy program.

In the 5 years I served as Bishop in Bellevue we did help many people. That's what the welfare program is for. But even more than financial help we brought to their aid among other resources, counseling, job hunting support, and at the same time provided ways for them to serve others as they received assistance. People were blessed as receivers. That is part of the Lords way, when administered in righteousness. I felt the responsibility to be a just steward over the needs of my congregation as I had no bank balance, just a checkbook. As I wrote a check I knew that some of that money might have come from a struggling member striving to make ends meet, even in a far off primitive country, keeping their commitment to give back.

Unlike a program you sign up for, it's a vision of becoming self sustaining, even to the point you can assist others. Our father is a prime example of that.

When I was 15, our dad came down with Cancer. It took him out of action for over a year. He was treated with radiation treatments that blistered his groin area, caused him great pain that lasted, and sapped him of his strength. He was an electrician with little financial reserves. It was a difficult time for him, and he looked to the church for assistance. Self reliance was not an option for my dad at this time, and he was, we were the recipients - the receivers.

But, the gift of the Welfare system is that it is a blessing to the giver and the receiver. My dad recovered and we became the givers. At the time, In Idaho, the Church owned at least two large farms. The members were responsible to support them as part of the welfare system. We grew beats, carrots and potatoes. Every summer, dad hauled me out of bed to hoe beats, thin potatoes and carrots, and the hardest of them all - haul spuds. Either way it was back breaking, bending over to thin beats and carrots, or standing up lunging huge bags of spuds onto the truck.We were blessed by this, and this time we were the givers. To my dad, we were the givers back. I remember going to what is called The Bishops Storehouse to fill a food order signed by our Bishop. It was hard on him to go there. I always went with him. He would say to me, son, this is only because we need it. I guarantee you, we will give back. We did. He made sure of that.

Our expert cousin, Dr Cragun helped come up with a number that implied that for the massive dollars the Church took in, we gave back a paltry amount.

Now I ask you cousin, did you measure what I and other Bishops provided? Did you put a number to the professionals that serve in the support system? How could you have? What else did you miss?

Now to another point. I am serving here on Church Campus with about 1000 missionaries. We are here because we love to serve. We turn in our papers and know they can call us to go anywhere in the world. We may go on a humanitarian mission in a poverty stricken place. We may be called to Russia, which Kathleen feared. We were called here to serve in Genealogy support for all people who need assistance, member or non member. In our mission, Family and Church History and supporting the Church Headquarters is the focus. There is also the Temple Square Mission here. We are not here as tin robots heeding orders from the Prophet. Once again the giver is the receiver. It's called service. We serve because we want to. I now know, I would have been happier the last 5 years if I would have done this 5 years ago. I say that often, we should have done this 5 years ago. It is a rich and rewarding experience. Some we work around, I am thinking of some in the training zone, have extended their missions to the point they have been here up to 12 years. A single lady left last month after 5 years. She said she might be back, if she doesn't like it at home. In the 5 years she has been here, she  has never heard a cross word from anyone. Truly, there is a special spirit in serving on a mission.

I don't know how you put a value to all the humanitarian service performed by members, their time and skills throughout the world.

Now, I am not authorized to speak for the Church, these are my feelings and experiences. Dr Cragun isn't either.

The Church did respond with an official statement. I offer it for your reading. Click Here.

For those of you who made it this far, I thank you. I thought long and hard about responding as I felt insulted by the article and especially how it was depicted on the cover of the magazine I will not name. I was embarresed it was a cousin. It reminded me of a friend here in Utah, who was proud about his anti Mormon radio show. He was once close to the Church, also a missionary at age 19. He acted proud and unconcerned how it affected his parents and siblings, even his children.

As I said, I think of the many who turned against the Church in the beginning. People very close to the Prophet Joseph Smith that caused people to be murdered and the members to suffer. My grandfathers and grandmothers were some of those people. Grandfather Elisha Cragun died on the plains to Utah, as they emigrated, driven out by mobs. Grandfather Sanford Porter, his family was run out of their homes in the mid of winter. After a time, he returned and pleaded with a neighbor to share with him some of the food he had confiscated, so they wouldn't go hungry as they headed west.

I know, this isn't the same - or is it? Isn't it similar at least, to a degree, tainting a religion. And I ask, Cousin Ryan, for what reason?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Is Genealogy Difficult and Costly?

This is my family. The photo is copyright protected.

This is a reminder for you to not be discouraged or delay your Irish ancestry genealogy research. Some years, like the mid 1700's are harder than others.

Note this from a post on a terrific website: Irish Genealogy Toolkit. They state it well as follows:

"Irish genealogy gained a reputation long ago for being a frustrating one-way street to disappointment and headache. Thankfully, calming potions and analgesics are no longer essential equipment for the amateur genealogist because family history in Ireland has entered a golden era. More and more records – many of them free – are now available online and offline."
I too have found that too many overstate the difficulty of Irish genealogy research or encourage you to part with large sums of money unnecessarily.
Be careful about the sites or folks that ask for money. I discovered today a case where a person with access to the LDS church websites was re-selling at a price what the church provides for free. Not nice that naughty person.
Here is the link, click here to Irish Geneaolgy Toolkit.
Also, I want to point out there are many other websites offering valuable help. I have listed them under the Category of "Irish Research", currently there are 21 of them. It would be great to receive your feedback if you use any of them.
Remember, this is a detective game. A fun one. Be thorough, be patient, and use a research log in all you do.

The links below are a few published by them in another post.
No matter where in the world you now call home – whether it be the Canadian Rockies, the Australian Outback, one of the world's great "emerald" cities such as Liverpool (UK) or Boston (USA), or the beautiful craggy coast of Donegal – you'll find page after page of relevant advice on this website plus the very latest information on genealogical resources in Ireland.
Here's just some of what you can expect to discover here on Irish Genealogy Toolkit:

Friday, July 20, 2012

10 Differences Between Family Search FamilyTree and Others

One might ask, what will be the difference between the Family Search FamilyTree and other Trees.
Here are 10, and they are important: There are more.
   1- FamilyTree will be free. Understand that the church partners with many businesses. They encourage any and all to join in and grow in this massive and important work. Some businesses that we partner with compete in the same type of delivered products, such as FamilyTree. The Church recognizes that much of the great innovation wouldn't have come about without the entrepreneurs out there. That will be the same in the future. However, the commitment and resources we have, make the church a valuable partner to them. The 1940 census is a good example. Together, with partners, over 7 million 1940 census names were index in just one day last week. That is a staggering record.
   FamilyTree needs to be - because it is free. There are many who won't participate if they have to pay. Some can't, some won't. Thus an important role for FamilyTree.
   2-  FamilyTree will be one giant family tree, not many. We are all one human family and this will bring that into focus. So together we will be building a giant pedigree chart. The Church is preparing for two million new users over the first two years. There will be none like it. Since it is one FamilyTree, if I make a change on my tree, it changes it for everyone. That is different, and don't panic over this.
   3- The tree will not be private. How frustrating it is to know that someone has a document or knowledge about a common ancestor and their tree is not public, and they won't answer an email. That ends with Family tree. We will be sharing, and therefore collaborating.
   4- Documentation is public. Yesterday I uploaded and linked several documents, photos, FindaGrave memorials, and life history stories on our Bingham ancestors into FamilyTree. These were mostly collections of our mother, and were in a box, not very visible, right? They are now visible to those who are in FamilyTree. I cannot tell you the excitement I felt. It kept me motivated and working late into the night. I kept thinking, Lorenzo Freeman Bingham (for example) has many many ancestors, I wonder if they have this story. The key, I am by my contributions yesterday giving other researchers and family the ability to have, even check the correctness of the details of these peoples lives. They will not have to duplicate the work my mother has documented. They will possible know something about their ancestor they never knew. What I post is not secret, it is shared. Isn't that the proper spirit for the Church to be fostering? By the way, each document I posted required me to give detail on where it is, why I used it, and other relevant information. Also note, once that document is posted, others can use it for another ancestor. It's our ancestors document and can be connected where ever by whomever. Perhaps the document is a census with information about a child who is your ancestor. It's there for you to connect to your ancestors part of the tree.
   5-  FamilyTree has tools to organize and communicate. The everything is public about this is what is different. Your email is only provided voluntarily, so some won't input their email. However, you can start a topic in your ancestors section. This will be visible to all. Like a forum there can be an ongoing discussion. It might be best to discuss a change  you want to make before you make it. You can also select to receive an email when any change is made or data entered on any ancestor.
   6- Through a tool owned by a partner (A very inexpensive tool) you can broadcast email anyone who has contributed data to your ancestors. You can pick and choose which are to receive the email. I used it recently and loved the feedback from those that responded. From some I received thanks for my efforts (warm fuzzies are always nice) and others reached back to connect with me in my research.
   7-  FamilyTree will be supported and monitored by staff and missionaries to assure a positive experience. Already hundreds of missionaries are being trained to support the questions that will be coming in by chat, phone calls, or email. We will have a process to lock out abusers. The online training will be sufficient for most, but questions will be welcomed and answered.
   8- For those that have experienced the hassle in New Family Search that incorrect entries have caused, don't worry, be happy, you can fix it yourself. If an entry shows your great grandad married to his daughter, just remove it. You removed it for you and you removed it for everyone. How cool is that? You just must explain why you did it. That removal is put aside in a changes made file. The reason for that, if you were wrong, it can easily be returned to your ancestors tree.
   9- Anyone can join. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or not, you are all going to be welcomed in. There will probably be an organized manner in rolling it out, but everyone is going to be able to join in.
  10- FamilyTree will be loaded with millions of records from day one. All of the new family search records are now being loaded into FamilyTree. Mind you, some are disputed, but remember, you can easily fix them. The majority of the data is correct. For years the Church has had hundreds of staff and missionaries fielding cases and fixing them.
   You might be amazed at what is already linked regarding your ancestors.  However, they are probably not documented. So it will now be your opportunity to follow the road map laid out by others to verify what is there. That you will discover is the fun part. You will also discover the importance of collaboration.
   There you go, that's 10 difference between FamilySearch FamilyTree and others, there are more. Be excited. And as that catchy song says, "Don't Worry Be Happy".
By the way, the head of this project, Ron Tanner tells us to tell others, the best thing you can do to get ready is to start scanning your documentation. That advice gets you going without having to wait for the launch. Maybe I'll write a song, "Don't Worry Start Scanning".

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why Email An Old Picture,When You Can Post And Email A Link?

From Nancy Day Flickr Account

Photosharing: Why email an old picture, when you can post and email a link?

While emails are a great resource, placing them online is a much better way to circulate them for one never knows when a relation is looking for just that one photograph. Also by placing them online, this author has discovered that younger generations often locate them and ask about their ancestors. This opens the door to creating an interest in another generation and provides an opportunity to build another relationship with a new cousin; both are a great value return for simply posting ancestral pictures online in one of the many programs available online to do so.

Click here for the full article:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yeeeeeeek, This Is Frustrating - New Family Search

New Family Search is the LDS church family tree software. Frankly, it's great on one hand, and a mess on another. The messes keep happening. Above are examples of how people, perhaps carelessly create the messes.

In red you see a Kent Smith, not my grandfather now married to Blanche Rebbecca Bingham. Grandma Blanche and my Kent Smith had no children. I know the lady who did this, as she left a note that Kent Smith is still living. That should have been a clue to her, as live people don't show up in new family search. She showed the wrong Kent Smith married to my grandmother and then said in a comment that Kent Smith is still living. I have loaded our Kent Smiths Birth Certificate, Funeral Program, and a photo of him in FamilyTree to make it easier for her to use documentation when she makes entries.

What an improvement this will be to those who care about accuracy. We should only enter data we can document. We will be able to make the documents public to others.

PS: To add insult to injury she connected my grandmother to the wrong parents. I have the option of submitting it to the church support team to fix, or just wait for FamilyTree and do it myself. I think it will be more fun to wait and do it myself. So there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bertha Cragun writes about her Great Great Grandparents Sanford Porter and Nancy Warriner

My mother, Bertha Cragun left us boxes of family history information and stories. They need to come out of the boxes and be shared.

One such story in bound in booklet form. I am going to share a few items from it. It is found in the Morgan County Library, Historical Records section, for you to be able to read.

20110725-IMG_5638Bertha introduces the book as follows; "One of the most precious memories I have is of my Grandma Porter (Electa Elizabeth). When I was a young girl she told me many precious memories she had of her Grandma Porter (Nancy Warriner), and of those dear hearts and gentle people who founded my hometown."

Please know that I spent two years researching and verifying their lives and this is factual and true.

Nancy Warriner spent her early childhood years in Vermont. She lived a half mile down the road from the Nathan Porter family and their son Sanford was her age.

Even though Sanfords grandfather West had been a Baptist minister for over 30 years, neither Sanford nor his father, Nathan had joined any organized religion.  Nathan believed the Bible to be the word of God, but did not believe any church on earth was actually following the signs and laws that Christ laid out.

Nancy loved the way Sanford could confound the evangelist, preacher, or layman when it came to proving things from the Bible.

She tells of their courtship which is very interesting.

They were married and moved to New York.  Sanford built their first home in one day, by himself. She was astonished. Shortly after the war of 1812 broke out. His militia had to furnish eight men. They cast lots to see which were the eight. Sanford with his new wife pregnant was one of them. 

As I write this, this story is interesting, the book is too. If you want a copy leave me a comment and we will figure out a way to get you a copy. It's about 70 pages in total.

There are miracles in their story.

Sanford was a visionary man. They had endured financial problems which troubled him. One experience was he prayed to God to show him the way to go that he might support his family. Almost immediately a messenger came from the spirit world. He told Sanford to sell their place and go to the state of Illinois. He was told to go there to a place called Fort Clark. This move was complicated and a story book adventure. 

In May of 1828 Nancy gave birth to their 11th child, Justin Theodore. 

Sanford farmed in Illinois, then saw the opportunity to build a saw mill.  He ran it with his boys. It was there he had the experiences that led him to join the Mormon church. He experienced many spiritual things, special things. One of them caused Sanford to sell his mill and move abruptly, in the winter to Missouri. He was the leader of 500 families in this trek, many were people Sanford had taught the gospel.  They crossed rivers and ice. This was begun in December 1831 and the journey required they exercise great faith. This was a four month journey.

One of my grandfathers is Lyman Wight Porter, a younger son of Sanford. He was named after one of the missionaries who converted them. Lyman was born 5 May 1833. Nancy was 43 years old. This was 13 months after they moved to Independence, Missouri. 

The book covers their concerns about the mobbery taking place. Finally, at threat of being murdered they had to quickly, in November, load what they could into their wagon, and leave Missouri. More miracles and heavenly experiences are written about this adventure.

"The trials of the Porters were much like being reduced to the lowest poverty level, making a living by day labor, jobbing, building, or woodcutting." The violence and turmoil extended on for years.

Their faith was sorely tried.

This story is so interesting I have decided to find a way to put it online for you to read it in it's entirety.

Nancy lost four sons. She was later comforted listening to The Prophet Joseph Smith teach , "all mothers who have lost infant children, who died before the age of accountability, who were too pure, too lovely to live on earth; therefore, they are delivered from evil, and we shall have them again, and mothers will have their children in eternity. 

The last 3rd of the book discussed the journeys to Porterville and issues they had to deal with. I'm going to end here, I may add another post later. I'm glad mother wrote it, I am sorry it took me years to read it. I wonder what else I have missed.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Locate Your Irish Ancestors On A Flat Out Cool Tool

If you are going to research your Irish Ancestors, you must know what county they are from. Now that can be tough, I assure you. Where is Patrick Cragun from? Where was he born? How did he spell his name? My not knowing any of these facts is making me spend hours looking at microfilm. Supposedly he was from Dublin. It's a big city folks, and was back in 1740. I spent 4 hours today, looking for any spelling version of our name, looking at Church of Ireland, St Anne's Church Dublin birth, burial, marriages, and baptisms from 1719 to 1822 and found no Creagans - Cregans and yes any version of Cragun. Help, I need to know the County!  After I did all of this research I did what men are known to do - "ask for help"......  The Salt Lake City Family History Library has consultants on some of the floors, like the British Floor. This fine person showed me http://irishtimes.com/ancestors/ . It's cool.

I will use Cragun as an example of how helpful this is. 1- There are no Cragun's in old Ireland. 2- There are hundreds of  other versions of our name: Creagon, Creggan, Craigan, Cragge for example.
3- When you reach this site you see a search box We searched with Creagan and received the results in the photo below.

It automatically pulled up 7 most common versions of Creagan. It tells me what County they were in. This is 19th century data by the way. Even so, 75% of the results are in Limerick. She told me Limerick did have a part in the plantation movement. Guess where I start looking next? Limerick. You betcha matey. I know, that's British.

You might notice under surname there are 5 more suggestions, one of which I had not seen before: Croidheagain. I like Cragun better, don't you?

On the bottom right of the photo above I barely clipped the second surname feature. If you knew that a Creagan married a Sweeney you would use the second surname as part of the search.

I'll point out now that I have added to the links on the right for more Ireland, Scotland, England, and Emigration websites you can go to. England usually includes Wales. Some sites are not free, and some are not even free at the LDS Family History Centers.

The end...

PS: Pray for me that I can find Patrick and his Family where he was born. I'd appreciate it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Family Search Family Tree For Members Now

You can now access Family Tree if you are a church member with your passwords. Those not members will start soon we hope. This is still in Beta mode, but enough is done that there is a trail for LDS members to sign up. Note the Users guide is in the right sidebar. It's a big file and takes some time to load up. Just click the picture in the sidebar.

Today I fixed a problem that was bugging me, of my dads mother having two sets of parents in the new.familysearch.com site. I undid the wrong relationship and documented my work. It was cool.

Here is the path to get access: go to https://new.familysearch.org/ and login.
Next: Go to the "help center:
Next: Scroll down to the bottom to the Family Tree section and follow instructions when you click "Gaining Access to the FamilySearch Family Tree.

And don't forget: don't make any changes without documentation and explanations. That's the point of this.

I might add, the linking process will become simpler I am sure. The goal is to link documents to the ancestors. Right now I am doing that by linking to a unique URL from Flickr.com or an article I post on a blog. I have seen a mock up of a future website that leads me to believe it will be a simple upload to familysearch.org that will provide you the ability to link the document, story, etc to your ancestors.

By the way, I have seen a version of the updated website and can tell you that it will be great. Easy to use, with features you will love. These people are serious.

I encourage you to make sure you have read the article "Family Tree Will Change Genealogy Research Forever". It is in the sidebar as one of the sites most read most popular articles or you can click here.

Some Great Bingham Posts, Recently Up On Bingham Family Research Blog

I recently had a fun day posting documentation and stories about my Bingham ancestors on the Bingham Family Research Blog. I then linked them to FamilyTree. Here are the links and titles of those postings:

Kent Smith: Husband to Blanche Bingham Funeral Program

Emma Adams White Guthrie 96 Bithday Announcement - Newpaper with photo

Lorenzo Freeman Bingham Birthday Announcement Newspaper with photo

Emma Adams White Guthrie Life History
Life Story Blanche Rebecca Bingham

Sarah Rebecca Guthrie Bingham Story

Erastus Bingham = My Great Great Great Grandfather

From Blanche Rebecca Bingham 2 handwritten stories

Click this, the link to the Bingham family research site.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Family Search Blog - Daily Doses of Data

Take a look at the latest from the Family Search Blog: Make it a part of your daily readings.

Here are a few interesting stats about the website familysearch.org: Users have viewed over 700,000 courses found on family search.org. There are a total of 481 courses online in familysearch.org. Over 870,000 ancestors were found as a result of those courses.


New Books at the Family History Library — July 2012 Update

Full Story

1940 Census Index Project Adds Minnesota and Rhode Island: Report for—July 9, 2012

FamilySearch is excited to announce the addition of Minnesota and Rhode Island to the list of completed and searchable states in the 1940 US Census Index Project. To date we have indexed 84.35% of the entire collection with 31 states fully indexed and available for searching at FamilySearch.org.  Additional states will be following soon as we complete the finishing touches of those states that are finished with their indexing and arbitration. Full Story

Free Guide to Tennessee Ancestors

Do you have Tennessee ancestors? If you do, you’ll want to check out the free guide to Tennessee ancestors available at FamilySearch.org. Full Story

1940 Census Index Project is Going Strong: Report for—July 6, 2012

We’re still moving right along with the 1940 Census Indexing project. To date we have indexed 82% of the entire collection with 29 states fully indexed and available for searching at FamilySearch.org. The end is in sight. You have all done a remarkable job of taking a collection of more than 138 million names and turning it into an easy to use, searchable index. What’s best is it’s available to the public free of charge because of all your hard work. Full Story

FamilySearch Indexers Leave a Legacy in a Record Setting Event

Baseball Grand SlamOn July 2, FamilySearch indexers and arbitrators from around the world joined together for 24 hours in what became a mind-boggling event in so many ways. Who could have guessed that we would MORE THAN DOUBLE what was already an aggressive indexing and arbitration goal to complete 5 million records? Simply unbelievable! In baseball terms, that’s an “out of the park grand slam!” Full Story

Digital Preservation – Easy, right?

The LDS Church has been a pioneer for many decades in preserving important family history records, keeping them safe from the dangers of both man and nature. It took many years to build the Granite Mountain Records Vault, where microfilm records are safely kept today. But what about all this digital information that Family Search is generating to assist researchers on the Internet –how does that get preserved from generation to generation? As you might imagine, digital content is a bit more complex and fragile than microfilm to preserve long term. Digital preservation is a lot more than just tape backup. Let’s explore some of the nuances and complexities of long-term, digital preservation. Full Story

What’s Hot—Get and Give Help

Do you have questions about researching family who lived in any of these states? Full Story

What’s Hot—The Research Wiki

Are you familiar with FamilySearch’s Research Wiki? The research wiki is a powerful tool for doing genealogy and family history research. You can search the Wiki to find out more about what records exist and where your family lived. Here’s how you can search the Wiki and find some great information. Full Story

Events—Genealogy and Family History Conferences

The following is a list of selected Genealogy and Family History Conferences throughout the United States. Full Story

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Enjoy A Slideshow Of Irish Castles

These are photos from Flickr.com a great bloggers resource. In Flickr, you can turn sets and searches into a slide show.

I suggest you enlarge the screen by clicking the go arrow and then the lower corner of the slide show as depicted above.

Ballymote Castle, Sligo Ireland

Ballymote Castle, Sligo Ireland
 Kathleens Family comes from Sligo. Hummm, I wonder if this castle played a role in her history? There are 3300 Castles in Ireland. Source of the saying, "my home is my castle"? If you look in the right sidebar under :"Irish Research" You will see a link to Sligo Headstones. I'll keep adding sights that I think might apply to either mine or Kathleens ancestors. Check out http://cragunfamilyresearchblog.blogspot.com/

Ancestry Ann's Top 20 Ancestry Search Tips

An interesting blog to follow: finding forgotten stories has collected 20 great tips articles regarding Ancestry.com. Here are a few: to see the full article click here:
  1. Shaky Leaves
  2. Place Pages
  3. Card Catalog
  4. Finding Local Histories

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

FamilyTree Update

Recently new logins for FamilyTree were halted. The development is about two weeks behind in delivering the ability to delete or add relationships. It appears that as soon as that part is completed an agressive initiative to sign up new users will begin. It's getting close. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Are You Irish? Well You Dog You!

You may have learned how important the Irish were in our fight for independence from Britain. They were a tough bunch, seasoned by over 200 years of oppression in Ireland. They were willing to fight to their death. They were unwilling to relive the oppression  Ireland endured. Truly, coming to America for freedom sake meant more to our Irish Ancestors than it did to many. It was more than opportunity.

I had the opinion, before I started digging into Irish Genealogy, that researching our Irish ancestors was nearly impossible. Certainly the British conquerors did destroy many records. There were records destroyed in fires. However, the spirit of genealogy research is alive and passionately well in Ireland. It is more than a government project, the people of Ireland are searching for records and publishing them online at a feverish pace. 

One of my greatest desires is to locate our immigrant grandfather Patrick, even his parents in Ireland. The stories about him are intriguing. However little is documented and the records of his parents are not found, yet. We don't even know his mothers name.

(I am writing another blog about my Cragun research, click here to find it. )

I have been collecting online Irish Genealogy Websites  resources and listing them in a category of "Irish Research"on the right sidebar of this blog. I'll be adding to it as best I can.

Knowing what County in Ireland your ancestor was born, baptized, lived, was married, or died in is really important. Most of these links are going to help those who know the right County.
Today I added a link that takes you to a website that is proving the latest updates from Ireland Genealogy Project archives. These updates are from Counties: Donegal, Dublin, Fermanagh, Galway,Kilkenny, Tipperarry, Sligo, Waterford, and Wicklow.

I welcome you to guide me to additional sources. I'll post them gladly.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Linking Documentation To FamilyTree, An Important Process

The engineers and developers at FamilySearch.org are in all out mode to complete FamilyTree and make it availble for free to the public.

I am in the group that has been using it in Beta mode and am excited about it's future.

As it is nearing a level it will be introduced and made available to everyone I am changing a few things that are significant that is part of my research. What I am referring to, is where I document my research.

FamilyTree will allow us to link to our documentation. Any online source has a unique URL or web address. Think of the value in seeing a headstone, a story, an obituary, a marriage or death certificate, or any source posted online by another researcher. Think of the awesome value of not having to go find that document when someone else found it and posted on your FamilyTree a link to that document. Realize that you now, thanks to that link, can move on to a different challenge. Pretty dang important. Since it is a one world tree concept, when you or I link a document to my great great great grandmother, we link it for all others to view. It is called collaboration, which the church is intentionally inviting on FamilyTree.

With that in mind, as of yesterday I started using FamilyTree as the only on line place I am documenting my ancestors. I do it for me, I do it for you. You do it for you, you do it for me. I am keeping hard copies using the filing sysem I have written about: Click here

I am excited as to how this will help us all. A grave headstone has a lot of credible information. I use http://findagrave.com/ and http://billiongraves.com/ as part of my research process. In searching Isaac Cragun, son of Patrick Cragun, I found additional facts I hadn't planned on. For example, I was having trouble finding his grave and cemetary. The many spellings of his name were part of the difficulty. I knew what state he died in, Tennessee, so I finally just searched for Tennessee using the 3 different spellings I knew he used.

Hot dang, it worked. I found his grave. But I also found several others in that cemetary. Rather than ignoring the find, or just writing them on a research log I opened another browser, pulled up FamilySearch FamilyTree, and went through the quick process of linking the headstones to their FamilyTree for my future benefit and for all others that come to the tree later.

My point, all linking of documents are best done in FamilyTree, that's what I am doing now, that's what I recommend you prepare to do, or if possible start to do.

The series of photo clips from my screen illustrate the process I went through yesteday.
1- I was having difficulty as I looking for Isaac Cragun in findagrave,com. I came across Elizabeth Shideler who is married to a grandson of Patrick Cragun. WARNING! Begin your search with a plan or you can get lost on bunny trails.

My number one focus is Patrick Cragun, where there is little documentation to support the many stories about him.

Most of his 12 children remained in Tennessee, Indiana, or Virginia. Three of them joined the Mormons and went west. It is you who are descendants of those who stayed I am hoping to connect with. You might have journals or stories that all of us can benefit by. Most of my Patrick Cragun research is on this blog: http://cragunfamilyresearchblog.blogspot.com/
This is a photo from findagrave.com There is much more at the website memorial of Elizabeth Shideler Cragun. There are also links to other family members.

I will not proceed much further on her at this time, but I am going to link this memorial to her FamilyTree in Family Search. I may want to go back someday and work further on her family and there are possible collaborating benefits by helping others.

I went to http://familysearch.org/ - loggd in, and as I have access to FamilyTree it is my options on the top.

You might check to see if you can get permission to access it. They do make it available for a few new users from time to time, during this beta period.

A quick search for Elizabeth led me to her tree

By clicking on her name I can open her file and find a place to either discuss her in a chat mode or create or work with sources.

Once you create a source you can easily add it to any other applicable person. You can organize your sources in the source box.
Notice what you are required to enter as you create a source: all important for future reference.

Now, as I have completed the linking a new visitor to her FamilyTree file will see by her name their is a source that has been entered.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Have You Considered Blogging For Genealogy Purposes?

Riverton Family History Library
There are many benefits to blogging for genealogy purposes. Kathleen and I will be sharing many of them September 15, 2012 at the monthly Saturday Family History Seminar.

Our presentation will discuss reasons to blog, how easy it is, and the various objectives you might have. We share our successes in meeting some of our goals. We will have a hand out that covers our discussion which we hope will be extremely valuable. We discuss the 5 reasons, really 6, not to blog and the 10 reasons to blog.

Our class will explain how Google and other search engines treat our blogs, and how to be found on page one of Google, a big asset in bringing people to your site with common research of family interests.

We presented this a couple of months ago at the Salt Lake City Family History Library and received great feedback.

The seminar will begin at 9Am with a keynote speaker (always good) and then two one hour break out classes. There are usually 4 different classes per hour to select from. Ours will be one of those.

We invite you all to attend these monthly sessions, and would love to see you in our class.

One class cannot teach all that one needs to know. We understand this and expect to provide the attendees handouts and other resources we will provide possibly every thing they need to execute a blogging plan that works for them.

And..... for those of you back home in the Pacific Northwest - come on down!