Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sometimes Wild Cards Get Awesome Results

Wild Horses - Not Wild Card

Many of us have names our ancestors couldn't spell. Yep, Cragun has 100 + spellings in Ireland, not C R A G U N. How nice that is or isn't, right?

Most search engines are structured to accept wild card searches. This is the wild card symbol * (the asterisk).

I was in a situation to use this today as I was training a new missionary. We found a child in a census that was new information to my trainee. The child was 2 years old in the 1880 census. She has done a lot of genealogy research never before to see an indication that there was this child.

The problem we had was the spelling of the name made no sense. The handwriting in the census was partly illegible. In trying to cypher what the name was we were only sure of the first 3 letters; CLA. It looked like there were a total of eight or nine letters in this name. Hummm, we wanted to add this child to his family, but what really was his name. What more can we find about him?

In came the wild card search. We went to and did a wild card search: cla*. SUCCESS - up rolled out our boy Claudius locating his birth certificate. Right parents, right age, right town the family lived in. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Learn Genealogy From Webinars

One thing that makes Genealogy and Family History so interesting is that once you have the basics down, there is always more to learn. The Easiest Way To Learn At Home is by watching webinars on  your computer.

As I have written before, there is a great website that tracks many webinars. Most webinars you attend on line are recorded and available to review for at least a few days.

You can easily pick from the menu to find the ones most relevant to where you are in your own genealogy growth.

The photo below is of those listed for the first week of November. The site is continully updating the schedule.

Click here to go to the site:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Do You Have A Genealogy Fan Chart Yet?

One of the popular genealogy charts available is a
Fan Chart.
If you have a FamilySearch Family Tree or account you can easily create one by going to the site:
I like the fact that it is so easy to see your dead ends.

Some printing companies have expanded the concept to printing a fan chart as a poster, even with a fancy backdrop or frame.

Friday, October 26, 2012

How Do You Get A Document You Possess Attached To Family Tree?

Ahah, good question my friends.

You have a document in your file and want it attached to the tree.

No Problem!

I am going to share with  you 3 different ways to attach a document you have in your possesion to the Tree.
1- Wait until later. In a few months we expect that you will be able to scan a document to your desktop and then upload it to That is the easiest way. But there will be those of you who are like me, impatient. I now introduce you to two sites for impatient folks.
2- The first is Photobucket is one of those photo sharing sites. It has been around for a long time. I use photobucket for one pagers. It's free for your use if you only have one album. That is fine with me. From your desktop upload the scanned document to photobucket. Then go to my albums. Click on the picture, find the share button, and select the direct link from a website option. Paste that link into the Tree (Create a new source). Complete the information asked for and you are done.
3- Is similar to #2. It is Slideshare is one of the website LinkedIn recent acquistions. It works a lot like photobucket. The benefit here is that you can post multiple paged documents, like stories. It's finished posting looks a little different: click here to see how it looks, but it works great. Save it as a PDF then upload it.
PS: Some of these sites are blocked by FamilySearch, temporarily because it is possible for others to upload porn to them. Big no no, right? Someone will review your link. To have it moderated just click the get approval button and in a few days it is automatically live.

Day 10 - Sharpen The Saw

See the SawsI first read the statement about the man who was too busy sawing wood, to sharpen the saw in a book by Steven Covey.

Your 10 days will have exposed you to a lot of concepts, websites, and ideas.

They may seem overwhelming. Or, to some of you, you got it.

I said in the beginning this was to make you a "Pretty Good Genealogist". Do these 10 days and it will do that for you.

However, the magic is in day 10. Day 10 continues beyond day 10. It's the concept of sharpening the saw. Sharpening the saw is fun. It is to look for every opportunity to learn more:

It's attending family history conferences such as RootsTech. These types of events happen often and all over the place.

It's finding and watching webinars that will help you.

It's reading blogs with ideas.

It's following other genealogists online.

It's liking Facebook pages of the focus that will help you.

It's recognizing you have more how to knowledge than most, you are off to a great start, and that you now are an asset to others. How easy that was. Now keep on keeping on.

Day 9

Day 8

Before You Attend The Library, Know What You Are Looking For

It's time to use the Family History Library, They are now called Family Search Centers. There is likely one near you. They aren't always open all day or every day. Click here to find the nearest one and their hours. If you are lucky enough, close enough, head for the downtown Salt Lake History Library.

Day 6 - Research - Attach - Write The Story

Hopefully you have been inspired about a particular ancestor. It is now time to execute a plan to find things about him or her, attach those items to the tree, and extract information into a story to share. You might have followed day 1 advice in gathering information you might already have and from relatives. Additionally, we will use the web and the FamilySearch family history library resources.

It turns out this is not Elisha, but his nephew from St George
To help illustrate the process we will use my 3rd great grandfather Patrick Cragun
In the previous 5 days you likely found information on your selected ancestor. It is important that you attached those findings to your ancestor on Family Tree, thus you made it possible for others to see your work and move on to finding different information. You began the process of collaboration. You now made it possible for your children to not have to duplicate your work. Very noble of you.
I found this photo of Elisha by doing a Google Image Search. Did you find anything by searching Google or Google Images?
I made up a simple form in Microsoft Word so that I could copy and paste from the internet to a new document. After copying from 9 sources I then edited it from 4 pages with some duplicates down to 2 pages that I am anxious for my children to read. What I have collected already means a lot to me.

This word document that I use is simple and likely to be expanded upon as I go. The format is just an outline of the types of information I am looking for. I am sure there are better ones to be found. This does work however.
Also on a Google Search I found a story on Ben Cragun's site and a civil war index card.
On Family I found him in 3 census.
On I found a memorial and information about his death.
I found birth and death information on  

By the way - your day 7 assignment will be to go to your nearest FamilySearch Family History Library. Be thinking about that. 

 In I found more information on  his civil war duty.
Best of all, in the Source Box in the Tree someone else had placed a link to a book that told many things about Elisha, His wife, and his wifes family.

There Are Over 500 Free Research Courses

Research Courses

Using a laptop to learn about family history
FamilySearch offers a variety of free classes online and in person to help you discover your family tree. Whether you are just beginning your family history research or are an experienced genealogist, you can learn something new. These classes are taught by genealogy research consultants at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as experts from around the world.

Most definitely some will apply to your research needs. New courses are added daily.

One of your assignments for today is to pick one or more that you know applies to your research and watch it/them.

Family Search Helps Improving Your Skills on Day 5

It is very important to know about the other resources in |

Please watch this video: (Click the tab on the top to move the video forward)(Just view the overview and finding records tab for now)\

Next get a more detailed view of the Wiki: the FamilySearch Wiki. It won't tell you about your ancestor, but is the #1 source for finding out how to get the answer you are seeking.

Spend some time in the tour section:

Don't miss the videos:

1. Research Help

2. Wiki Search Tips
NEXT: click here to get an understanding of the Family History Libraries Catalog

You will be using these resources.

Elisha Cragun Story

This highly used photo is probably not Elisha Cragun son of Patrick Cragun.It is
more likely his nephew, son of James Cragun who settled in St. George, Utah.
The information below is derived from multiple sources. These sources can be viewed in FamilySearch Family Tree under Elisha Cragun (File # LHVN-6TH)  These are a summary of the sources to date:
Some of the information is found in the book Patrick Cragun, descendants in America, 1744-1969: and ancestors and descendants of Edmund Ellis, 1718-1969; documented ... by Eva L. Cragun Heiner
Hopefully this is a dynamic process where I build more to this story.
Elisha Cragun is my grandfather Simeon Cragun’s Grandfather. That would make him my 3rd Great Grandfather.  Elisha is believed to have been born at either Russell County, VA or Sullivan County, TN on February 22, 1786, the second child of Patrick and Rose Alley Cragun. While Elisha's birthplace may have been in doubt, his Virginia connection was certain through his wife. In 1811 he married Mary (Polly) Osborn, daughter of James and Mary (Whitaker) Osborn of Castle's Wood, then in Washington County, Virginia (now Castlewood in Russell County, Virginia). The Osborn's are recorded as being wealthy slave and land owners of the area.

Mary (Polly) Osborne was born December 17th 1790, in Russell Co., Virginia and died December 14th 1844, at Pleasant View, Eagle Twp., Boone Co., Indiana. She was the youngest daughter of James and Mary Osborne, of the Castlewood Settlement. She was married, in 1811, to Elisha Cragun.  Polly's father, James Osborn(e), was a member of the second group of settlers to reach the Castlewood area of Russell County Virginia shortly after 1769. It was a part of the Clinch River settlements in extreme southwest Virginia. His father, Caleb, was owner of a plantation of over 579 acres in the area of Cedar and Dutchman's Creek at the Forks of the Yadkin, Rowan County, North Carolina. James' wife, Mary Whittaker, was (probably) the daughter of one of the Whittakers whose land adjoined that of the Osborn's. Mary, married at age 21, when Elisha was 25. They moved the fifty miles or so to join Patrick and the family in Sullivan County, Tennessee, where Rebecca was born in 1812 after Elisha had departed for army service. Elisha enlisted and Mary was pregnant with Rebecca. Elisha served as a Private on the Union side in the civil war. As was common he received payment of land for his service, some 600 acres in Indiana. He is said to have served with the troops of Gen. Andrew Jackson, at the Battle of New Orleans. Elisha and Mary Cragun removed to Indiana, and settled near Mary's brother, Jonathan Osborne; and near Samuel, John, Cyrus, and Peter Alley. On September 16th 1814, Elisha Cragun entered four surveys on Pipe Creek, at the junction of Metaraora and Butler Twps, in Franklin Co. The land adjoined that of Peter Alley. On March 2nd 1819, Elisha Cragun's younger brother, Caleb, entered a survey in the same area.


Mary’s father, James Osborn was listed as a soldier at Moore's Fort in 1777. It was located at Cassell's Woods and until 1775 had been under the command of Daniel Boone who at that time departed the area to make his second entry into Kentucky. The story of Moore's Fort and the names of its' soldiers on June 30, 1777 can be found in the Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia, Pub#4, 1986, of the Historical Society of Southwest Virginia. James died on Dec 14, 1821 leaving to his widow the dwelling house, 1/3 of that tract of land and two Negroes. The remainder of his farm and eight Negroes were left to his son, Solomon. His other children, including Polly Cragun, Elisha's wife, were each bequeathed a certain undisclosed sum of money.

In 1814, Elisha and Polly left Sullivan County, TN with their daughter, Rebecca, and on September 16th. entered four surveys of land near Jonathan's property and adjoining property of Peter Alley along Pipe Creek, at the junction of Metamora and Butler Townships in Franklin County, IN. Apparently, Elisha's entry into Indiana was delayed by service in the war of 1812 in which his brothers Isaac and John also served. Both John and Elisha are said to have served with the troops of General Andrew Jackson.

Later, on March 2, 1819, Elisha's younger brother, Caleb, twin of Joshua, entered a survey in the same area in Franklin County as Elisha and married the widowed Sarah (Alley) Jones with two children. By 1828, Joshua Cragun also settled in Franklin County; however, sometime between 1825 and 1827, Elisha and Polly moved on to Noble Township near Richland in Rush County after that land was opened for settlement following the St. Mary's Treaty with the Indians. One can only be impressed with the way Elisha and his family kept following the frontier. As new lands were opened for settlement, they moved into them and developed farms bringing civilization along with them. They settled land and cultivated it in contrast to speculators of the time who claimed and simply held land against the hope of increased prices thus retarding both settlement and development of the frontier as it moved west. With the exception of Rebecca, who had married and established her own home with Aaron Beeman in Rush County, in 1835 Elisha, Mary, and their nine other children claimed land in Boone County, cleared it of growth including the black walnut trees which grew in abundance and began to farm near what became known as the Pleasant View Community in Eagle Township between Zionsville and Whitestown 

Between 1825and 1827, Elisha Cragun and family moved to Richland, Rush Co., Ind. About 1835, they went on to Boone County Indiana. There, the land was thickly timbered, and the great black walnut trees were felled and burned. It was at Pleasant View, Boone Co., Indiana, that Mary (Osborne) Cragun died. Note that when Elisha’s son’s family, Simeon immigrated to Utah, they were the first to settle in the area they named Pleasant View.

Mary died three days after, her daughter, Abigail, died and was buried by her side. One of the great trees was left to mark the graves of mother and daughter. The land is lush and green, and a stream flows through the Pleasant View churchyard. Mary’s death was on December 14, 1844, less than two years after joining the Mormon Church. This is now the location of Hutton Memorial Cemetery East of Whitestown where several family members have been buried.

Elisha had encountered two Mormon missionaries - Nathan T. Porter, and Wilber Earl. Their doctrine appealed to Elisha and his wife, Mary. A very good friend, Henry Mower, a Methodist minister, had been converted to the Latter-day Church of Jesus Christ and he also influenced their faith and baptized Elisha 15 March 1843 at Jackson's Run."

Elisha is believed to have departed with a party from Nauvoo headed for Utah and got as far as Council Bluffs, Iowa or Winter Quarters, Nebraska where he died during the winter of 1846-47 at age 61. No record of his grave has been found, but he may be buried in one of the nearly 800 unmarked graves at the cemetery near the encampment at Florence, Nebraska on Rt.#75, north of Omaha, a victim of a cholera epidemic that winter.

Elisha had followed in the path of Mary’s fat her being a big  land and slave owner. It seems he gave that all up to move to being near the center of the church and then joining the Trek West, in who itch he died

Note that his youngest daughter, Sara jane died in  1847 at age 14.

Elisha’s father Patrick died in Boone County, Indiana, probably moving there to be near his family.  Patrick Cragun was of record in Sullivan Co., Tennessee, in 1795. But, he was in Russell Co., Virginia, in 1806, when he was exempt from county levies, on 2 3 account of age and bodily infirmity. He was back in Sullivan Co. in 1812.

Elisha and  Mary Osborne Cragun (1790 - 1844)  had 10 children:  Simeon is our ancestor.

He lived: 1820 was in Brookville, Indiana (See Census on Tree) In 1 830 Census he is in Rush Indiana. Not much is known about the family during this period.

Heiner also reports that Elisha sold all or part of his holding to Washington St. Clair on September 8, 1845. This perhaps marks the breakup of the homestead done in preparation for the next shift to the west, which is explained by Heiner as follows: "During their moves from one county to another, After the death of his wife and daughter and sale of his property, Elisha made his way to Nauvoo, Illinois, to be near the head of the church there receiving a Patriarchal Blessing on November 10, 1845. Heiner also reports that Elisha was accompanied by several members of his family. With him at Nauvoo were his sister, Elizabeth, and brother, Syren. The record also shows that all of his surviving children except Hiram departed for the west. Two sons, James and Simeon and three daughters: Mary, Tyresha, and Tabitha ultimately completed the treck and settled in Utah. Rebecca Cragun Beeman and her family were reported by her son, Elisha, living in 1909 near Elizaville, Indiana, to have gone as far as Council Bluffs, Iowa, and then turned back for unknown reasons. Elisha Cragun's fifth child, Enoch, and his wife, Molly (Peters), got as far west as Missouri then went north to Minnesota establishing a branch of the family which still lives in the area of Brainard, Minnesota. Sara Jane, Elisha's youngest child, is reported to have died in 1847 or 1848. Nothing further is known of her.

Friday Is For Fun - How About A Cow Concert?

Day 5 Moving Beyond Beginner Genealogist

We have covered some pretty cool things up to now and it's time to advance your skills. Remember that things have progressed so fast that you can easily do now, what was impossible for your parents or grandparents. The world has come alive with indexing and posting data to the internet.

Using the four websites: Family Search, Find A Grave, Ancestry, and Google creams off the easiest part. Much can be found in this research. Hopefully your four generation chart and your family tree is getting some detail.

Now I want you to make a shift in emphasis from a shotgun effort to fill out your chart to a focus on one ancestor.

Remember rookie mistakes #'s 3 Rookies often have vague research goals. | 4 Rookie researchers jump between families too often. | 5 Rookies start research on the farthest back ancestor with the least data. | ??? Well, it's time to ponder today which ancestor you are going to focus in.

Additionaly I ask you to guess what is the thing your great great grandfathers children want most from you, and likewise what will your great great granchildren want most from your time. In like manner what will give you the most satisfaction as a genealogist? The answer is  s e i r o t s backwards.

Not long after I arrived on this genealogy mission I phoned my son and asked what my mission could do for him that he and his family would like?  Would you like me to teach you what I am learning? His answer  - "No dad, just get me some stories".

In a recent church genealogy staff and missionary business meeting our boss, Dennis Brimhall aluded to a new emphasis on stories. I believe Family Tree is being developed for people to be able to actually build life histories from Family Tree. What we see as they open up Tree is just the beginning.

Today we begin this fun process, building off what we have already begun in this 10 day series.

In other words: You will pick one ancestor to research. You will find information about that ancestor. You will attach that information to the Tree. You will then turn it into a story. It will be awesome! I know that because I am doing this.

I spent months researching Patrick Cragun my 4th Great Grandfather who supposedly came from Ireland, came at age 15, jumped a ship in Boston Harbor, and did awesome things such as was in the Boston Tea Party. I spent days trying to prove these legends to no avail. Then one day I felt I was hearing the words, "focus on Elisha". Elisha was one of Patricks 11 children. His story is one that binds me to him. His wife died at age 54. Their 20 year old daughter died 3 days prior. So far I have attached 9 sources of his life to the Tree.

But what is even cooler, someone else, identified as dcragun just attached access to the book  Early Osbornes and Alleys with notes on allied families Author: Sutton, Rita Kennedy. This book had new and supportive information to what I was researching. How awesome to have someone else adding to my efforts. How awesome is the Tree in that we now collaborate. I have spent days in the Family History Library without finding this book. How thankful I already am for FamilySearch Family Tree.

I will post his story and replace what I have as I build upon it.

You too will do this, if you follow my 10 day plan. I hope you do and I hope it is successful for you.

Your ancestors are alive in the next estate of our lives. They know us. Perhaps one of mine spoke to me that day, to focus on Elisha. I believe our ancestors want to be found. I believe they want their stories told.

Day 5 will be looking at ways to go deeper into our research, the rest of the 10 days will be  building the story and learning more ways to be a pretty good genealogist as we build that story. 

Where Should You Be By Day 4?

10 Days To Becoming A Pretty Good Genealogist is a real concept which I take new missionaries through during their first 10 days of their mission here at Church Headquarters.

By now  you should be getting familiar with basic ways to search for your ancestors, you should have started filling in your first 4 generations of grandparents, and you should start being comfortable with FamilySearch Family Tree.

Hopefully you are beginning to catch the spirit of this great work.

Today I want you to really study Family Tree. Go through each training video here: Note the videos are slow to load up. Use the manual if you need additional  help,it's on this blog and on the video training website. Do some searching for ancestors and see if you can add some names to the Tree. See if there are any errors and go ahead and fix them. Look for a discussion to start about one of your ancestors. Add more sources from websites.

Leave any  questions you  have as comments on one of the articles, I will be most willing to help  your questions get answered, it will help me improve this 10 day plan. I am likely to  update it as I work through more new trainees in this mission.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Adding A Source That Is Found on Websites.

This process of sourcing to the Tree will be a process you will use often. A lot of resources reside on other websites. This video (click here) shows you how to add a source from a website that is not


The Rome Italy Temple Will Have Copies Of The Original Christus and 12 Apostles

This was accidently posted before Sunday as planned, but had so many hits I am letting it go up early. Sunday is usually a spiritual song or video. Enjoy.

The 4 Search Websites That Do The Most Good In Research

Yes, these are the four main places to start searching. I suggest you go to after you have searched on . is really good, but has a monthly fee. The way around that is to go to a nearby LDS FamilySearch Family History library where they have a contract with and you can search under our license. There are advantages to having your own membership such as you can contact people who have made entries. Using Google and Google Images to search often deliver suprising new finds. There are advanced Google Searches one can learn such as Boolean entries. Click here for an article on that.
So your assignment for day 3 is to use all of these sites to research. Keep track of your searches so you don't duplicate your work.
I am attaching above, an example of how I color code (with highligher pen) to keep track of what I have found. I also add a black ink T when I attach the source to the tree. In this example the red is when I find them on the yellow is birth sourced, the green marriage, and the orange is when I find them on a census by writing in the year.

Thoughts on Personal Records Management Software

This topic is a difficult topic in our training zone. For many years the focus of  the zone has been to teach new missionaries how to research and document, placing the sourcing of that research into the Free software PAF.

There are commercial products such as Roots Magic, Legacy, Family Tree  Maker, but we have been teaching PAF to not be endorsing a commercial product.  After years of using and teaching PAF the Church leaders are asking us to stop teaching to document to PAF, shift to FamilySearch Family Tree.

The trainers here struggle with this transition. The main reasons are that they know PAF so well, they know what is in PAF is accurate and not corrupted by someone elses actions, and that the reporting options are so good. Family Tree has no printing or reporting options at the current time (such as pedigree charts), and may never have them.

I might  point out here that all of these desktop programs have ways to syncronize with and will likely be soon syncronizing with Family Tree. There is a danger in this if you bring down information to your desktop software that you have possibly corrupted the data you thought was accurate, as you put it in. We do not teach how to sync to your PAF for this reason. To me that point dismisses one of the reasons people buy these programs.

In the training zone, we have almost 10 days with new missionaries. What do we teach is the question? We are being asked to document to Family Tree. Do we document twice, to the Tree and to PAF? Some say yes. I've decided no is the right answer. Certainly we can educate people to the benefits of a personal records management desktop software but we have limited time.

Family Tree is not  built to make everyone into accredited genealogists. Most who participate will have limited time, similar to ours in the training zone. They are likely to be like the missionary I recently heard about. His trainer was having him do sourcing into both PAF and Family Tree. After a while the trainee said this is grueling, lets just do it once. Believing in PAF, he said OK,  and they only sourced to PAF.

That decison defeats the purpose of Family Tree, and diminishes the huge investment the church has made in building Family Tree. Those who use Family Tree, participate in the discussion parts of the Tree, add documents, photos, stories to the Tree, and provide sources are becoming collaborators with each othe in building the facts and stories of our ancestors.

To me the answer is that we should make people aware of the options they have, but with limited time recognize that the priorities are in using our time to work on the tree and to become the best researchers we can be.

Moving PAF from the primary curriculum to a conversation is difficult, but for many with an interest in gathering new information and skills vs allocating our time to double entry sourcing the Tree may turn out to be the best solution. Time will tell if I change my attitude.

What If Your Tree Is Blank At The Start

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are likely to have their tree looking like a very complete pedigree chart. For many  years the church has been inputting relationships from various sources, including submissions by the members. Also,, the predecessor to Family Tree has been functioning for many years.

That fact gets many people off to a fast start. The problem with this is that much of the information in the Tree is incorrect. In their entusiasm many were sloppy in what they did. Many weren't concerned about doing careful research or documentation of what they put in the Tree. Many depended on family legends rather than research. Some came upon the mistakes and asked the Church to fix things in and some did not. This caused a great burdon on the Church missionary force, creating a need for several hundred support missionaries.

Family Tree allows one to fix the mistakes on their own, but please follow the concept of being careful and methodical. When  you fix something provide the documentation to the Tree that proves your decision.

Now, if you find that your Family Tree is blank, that might be a blessing for the reasons above. You are in a position to do it right from the beginning. However, as  you start going out several generations you are likely to connect to work that is in the Tree by a distant cousin. Follow the same process of verifying and documenting the facts you find.

The process of the software is to input details of the ancestor you are entering, letting Family Tree search to see if that ancestor is in the system - accepting that is the right person - or, adding that person as your ancestor.

These videos do a good job of showing the process of adding a person or adding information about that person.

Click here to add a person not yet in your tree.

Click here to learn how to add to the vital information

To access the entire training site, click here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Navigating The Family Tree

Navigation in FamilySearch Family Tree is very intuitive, but this short video is worth viewing before you get going.Click Here

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Summary of Day 2 In 10 Days To Becoming A Pretty Good Genealogist

Society of Genealogists

This day has started by having you searching, sourcing, and attaching sources to ancestors in your Family Tree.

Remember cousin, it's not your grandfather, but our grandfather. In the FamilySearch Family Tree we are all collaborating together to document mankind.

You have probably experienced this important part of finding information and adding from FamilySearch to Family Tree.

Tomorrow we expand outside of  FamilySearch. There are 3 more major websites we will work with on Day 3. Adding those sources to the ancestor is just a little more difficult, not much more however.

 Clicking Takes you to the guide

Be Familier With Adding To The Source Box

Review of adding sources to your source box.
As a big part of todays assignment you are to
connect those sources in your source box to the ancestor that source relates to.

Lets Get Going On Day 2

Our focus today will be in starting to work in FamilySearch Family Tree. Gaining access was a day 1 assignment. You will have logged in or signed up and logged in to If the Family Tree isn't turned on (you would see it in the upper part of the screen).
Yesterday you also were to search on family search for records of people in your pedigree chart.
You then added them to the source box.

You will waste a lot of time if you don't keep track of the searches you made on each website.

Don't act like a rookie, take the time to do it.

Now lets go to the tree and see what your Family Tree looks like. It might be blank. In that case you will need to start inputting names and details about your ancestor. It might be filled in. In that case you will need to start verifying and even documenting those that are delivered as your family. It is likely to have errors. No problem, they are easy to correct now.
So lets look at the options. If there are no names in your tree you can input them, and all sorts of information about them. Here is a good video explaining how to add information to your tree.
C:\Users\FHUNIV24\Desktop\ft1.png takes you to the video below.

Your next assignment for today
is to make sure your family, your parents, and your grandparents
are entered into the tree.
It's ok to spend a few hours on this exercise.
After that, go out to and see how many sources you find on this website about those ancestors and put those sources in your source box.

Summary of Day 1 - Off To A Fast Start

Soles of trainers.Upon completing day 1 you will have started on some very important basics of being a pretty good genealogist.

You will have been assigned to start gathering information and building a pedigree chart.

Your signing up for FamilySearch and Family Tree opens the door for some cool experiences tomorrow.

It doesn't matter that each of you has a different experience level, a different knowledge base, and a different learning ability.

You might be a whiz and accomplish day one in a short time, or it might take a while. I do suggest you follow these steps. Leave a comment if you want a particular  problem you are having addressed, I will be glad to respond.

Monday, October 22, 2012

See What Family Search Has For You - Part of 10 days to becoming a fairly good genealogist is the best place to start looking for records of your ancestors. 

Your Day 2 assignment is to see what you can find on each of the ancestors you have on your 5 generation chart. This can be interesting and fun. You may find them in a census. Study it if you do. You might find 
a birth, death, or marriage certificate. Some death certificates are full of family information. Its fun.

When you find a document or record, save it to your source box. 
You will learn more about the source box at a later days training. 


This video gives tips on using Learn how to get started for free using the resources and records available at, the largest organization dedicated to the preservation of genealogical records and promotion of family history. FamilySearch is a non-profit organization dedicated to help everyone discover their ancestors Category:

My Current Internet Search Log

You can go to  and print this form. The important thing is to easily keep track of what searches you used and the results. This form is giving me 26 searches on 1 form with space to note if there was a record found and to note if I attached a source to the tree.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 1 Goal

GoalsI propose you have two goals: The initial goal is to document as much as you can about your first 4 generations of ancestors.

This could take up our 10 days to being a pretty good genealogist.

Or, if you are like one of the new missionaries, you will be from a country where that is an impossible goal.  She is using the time here in training to write her own family history.

Later I will refer you to having a research plan. This will emphasize working on a small project. Picking this will be your second goal.

For your 10 day plan I will encourage you to cover a lot of ground with me. We will be exploring a lot of techniques for research as we do this.

You might also decide what you hope to accomplish. For our new missionaries we want them to go home and be an asset in Genealogy/Family History for their community, their church, and their family.

I started because I got the bug through a sunday school class on genealogy. I saw how fun it was to find people I was related to. I then decided it was a great Sunday activity. I would spend hours just doing family history work.

You don't have to start out with a huge expectation or by being intimidated. There are so many resources now, it won't take you more that 10 days to be confident.

Absolutely - Every Online Search Should Start at

Here are 4 reasons why every online search should begin on
    1- It is the most complete database of geneology records in the world.
    2- Every workday 1.7 or more million records are added to the database.
    3- It is free.
    4- A simple touch of a button places that record in your FamilySearch Family Tree source box.

Day 1 Assignment to start searching on :

With this assignment you have already gained access to FamilySearch Family Tree. You have created a 4 generation chart, to the best of your ability. At least you have started one.

Now pick an ancestor that has passed on and place their name in the search box, click search and you have begun.

In this example I just input my great grandfather John President Porters name. I could have been more specific as in the red bordered box, but it's better to start with less information.

His death Certificate came up.

I knew I would want this so I clicked and added it to my source box.

Then I opened the certificate to read by clicking on the title. Death certificates are full of good information. Double click it and take a look.

Perhaps you found a census record. Study it. Write down what you see in an ancestor profile log.

If your Day 1 is ended and you still have time, move on to day 2.

Tips on Getting Started On Your Family History

Get Started!

You Won't Do This All At Once, but start working on this list.

Remember what you can

Take a few minutes to remember and write down what you already know about your relatives and ancestors.
Record information by family, then use it as a roadmap for the information you need to find.

Look for information in your own home

Look for information in:
  • Attic, basement, storage areas
  • Personal files, desk
  • Closets, book shelves, drawers
Try to find:
  • Letters, diaries, journals
  • Certificates, legal documents
  • Heirlooms, Family Bibles
  • Obituaries, newspaper clippings
  • Photographs (check the backs for information)

Interview your relatives

  • Interview your oldest relatives first
  • Contact relatives ahead of time and asked them to make copies of important documents
  • Record your visits (paper, audio, or video)
  • Don’t make your relatives self-conscience
  • Identify people in photographs or listed in documents
  • Ask questions that will encourage relatives to share facts and stories

Genealogy 101: Assess Where You Are

The first thing I do with a new missionary (I train new Family and Church History Headquarters Mission missionaries) I do an assesment with them:

1- What do you want to accomplish while you are in training and in the mission. (OK, so what do you want to accomplish?)

2-  I figure out where they are in experience. It's ok to be a rookie. Even those with experience are unlikely to know FamilySearch Family Tree.

3- I print out a chart of their first four generations of their ancestors. (See mine below) You can do this manually on a piece of paper or on a computer generated chart. There are several records management software programs that will easily do that. I'll review that separately. We cannot promote a business so we don't promote one of the excellent commercial products. The church currently offers a free program that has a lot of features called PAF. You can download that here. It is not going to be supported forever, but right now it works fine.

All of these programs will print a pedigree chart. It is one of the reasons  you might want a desktop genealogy file management software. I used PAF which you can download for free at this website:

Family Tree Went Live Late 11/1/2012 Login At

If, when you login to you don't see the link to family tree in the sidebar, stay loggen in and click this link to turn it on. it matters not whether you are a member of the LDS church or not. It for all of Adams family.

The Tree as many of us call it is functioning pretty well. Yet, it is not fully ready to be officially released. I noticed yesterday that several features were working that weren't the day before. That's  OK, I can get you on, just know it isn't fully functional, there may be some bugs.

You must have opened up a FamilySearch account and be logged in. For that go to Family and sign up for a new account. Then copy this link into the browser:   (Just click it and it will turn the Tree on. Then, once turned on for you every time you login to it will be an option in your upper menu bar) 

Officially we may be a couple of weeks from being live. But in fact, the Tree is very functional.

Below is an example of some of what is still in process:
When we released the sources feature, we knew that we needed to add a way to verify the URLs to prevent FamilySearch from being used as a portal to get to inappropriate web sites. We are using a third party solution to review the web sites, and we turned this feature on about three weeks ago as a test.
If you enter URLs for Dropbox, Google docs, Flicker, and other web sites where it is possible to upload questionable materials, you now get a message that the URL can be submitted for review. The reason you are seeing this message is that we won’t automatically approve links to these public storage sites. Users could upload all kinds of bad material and use FamilySearch as a portal to view it.
So we ask you to submit the specific URL for review. When we approve it, we e-mail you and ask you to create the source again. This is a bad user experience, but it was the quickest and easiest thing we could do with the time constraint we had. Here is what we are changing to make this experience better:
1. In a few days, we will change the error message to remove the word inappropriate and make the message a little softer.
2. Also in a few days we will e-mail users that submitted a URL for us to review to tell them they can re-enter the source with the URL if it was approved.
3. Today, we started working to change the entire flow for reviewing URLs. It will take a couple of weeks to complete the work. When we are done, this review process will be automated. When a user creates a source with a URL that needs to be reviewed, the source will be created, saved, and added to his or her source box. The URL field will say Under Review. When the source is approved, the URL will appear. No other action will need to be taken by the user. If the URL is not approved the source will be deleted, and the creator notified.

Friday Is For Fun: Work on it!

Naga integrated Bus terminal

Buses stop at bus stations. Trains Stop at Train Stations. On my desk is a work station.

I know a guy who wanted a career. It turns out he only wanted a paycheck.

In  filling out an application, where it says, "In case of an emergency, notify: He put DOCTOR.

Was Grandpa In The Military?


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

(It's Live) FamilySearch Family Tree Go Live Has Been Pushed To This Coming Thursday

Mobile 2.0 Europe Developer Conference 2010
Be patient oh excited ones. There are 600 developers and engineers working on this project. It isn't quite ready to go. Hang in there, it's close. Trust me, Family Tree will be worth the wait.

You can now get access to family tree. Please let me know in comments what you think.

Here is the article explaing how to get on.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cool Video On FamilySearch Wiki

FamilySearch Wiki
to see a video on how to  use the FamilySearch Wiki
You won't be sorry

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rules to Follow In Family Tree

Rules of the Inn 1786Remember these two principles for Family Tree:

1- A purpose is to document all you put on or change on the Tree. The phrase "Genealogy without documentation is mythology" is more than just a fun statement. It is a fact. Folklore may be true, but does it override documentable sources? Probably not.It is time for us to stop being slapstick amateurs and just put up what we think is right, or even what our family stories are. Take your time when adding, deleting, or changing what is on the Tree. You don't have to fix things that are wrong overnight. Be methodical. Be serious. Be a pro.

2- Another purpose is to collaborate with other ancestors. I have to laugh, I received a brisk email from an unknown cousin challenging what I had put on the Tree regarding HIS Great Great Grandfather. Humm, his? No, ours. The Point - Let us collaborate!

I have discovered there is a lot of family stories that just might be folklore. Good stories, but true? Perhaps. So lets collaborate with each other in the section called discussions. Decide together the best facts.

Don't change add or delete things without documentation. If unsure, start a conversation. It's easy, it's fun, and it's important.

PS: Don't get testy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Get Ready - Get Set - GO | One Week To Family Tree

On Your Marks

FamilySearch Family Tree is set to go live for all the world one week from today: Tuesday October 16th. Cross your fingers, it's going to be awesome. You won't have to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to participate.

You also won't have to be learning a program that is difficult.

My suggestion is that you sign on today to get a family search account. Get that part over with. Beside having access to the Tree you will have access to more data than if you merely went to and searched.

The video training at is what I find to be the best, start with that.

You are encouraged to start searching on if you want to search for family members. After that search on Next use Ancestry is a pay site, but free at your nearby FamilySearch family history center. To find one near you just click on the FamilySearch center link on the top of

To the scoop on Family Tree click here

PS: This is the # 300 article I have posted, how is that for cool?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

My favorite Genealogy Research Sites

Enjoy a slide show of Ireland

These links to genealogy research and search sites are in the right side bar of this blog. I post them as an article for your convenience. Most of them are Great Britain: England and Ireland, which is where most of my ancestors are from. I actually add to them as I find a site that might help me in my own research.

Irish Research Information Sites

·         |Irish Toolkit | | 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.

  • Ask About Ireland:  | AskAboutIreland and the Cultural Heritage Project is an initiative of public libraries together with local museums and archives in the digitisation and online publication of the original, the unusual and the unique material from their local studies' collections to create a national Internet resource for culture.


    • »The number and location of households of the name in Ireland in the 1850s;
    • »Variant spellings or associated names;
    • »Surname dictionary entries;
    • »The number and location of births of the name in 1890;
    • »Published or printed family histories;
    • »A possible coat of arms associated with the name.











Irish Searching Websites

More Roots Ireland: |  Ireland's Largest Family Records Database  Over 19 million records online. This website contains a unique set of Irish family history records including Birth, Death, Marriage and Gravestone records the majority of which are only available online on this website and cannot be found online elsewhere. This website was created by the Irish Family History Foundation (I.F.H.F.), an all Ireland not-for-profit organization, that is co-ordinating the creation of a database of Irish genealogical sources to assist those who wish to trace their Irish ancestry.

National Archives of Ireland | | Mission; To secure the preservation of records relating to Ireland which warrant preservation as archives. To ensure that appropriate arrangements are made for public access to archives

British Research

·         Vision of Brittain: | Search by placename to view historical statistics, maps, writings and more...  Topographical, land use and administration maps from the 19th and 20th Centuries:  Since 1801 the Census has created a uniquely detailed record of our changing communities. For data on your chosen town or village, search by place from our main home page. This part of Vision of Britain is about the census itself, including:Listings of all reports published from 1801 to 1961, and all tables in those reports. Unless you ask, we list only reports and tables for which we hold data or text. The contents of selected tables, with headings and notes. Full text: Abstracts 1801-41, Preliminary Reports 1851-1961, and England & Wales General Reports 1871-1921

Free British Birth Death Marriage Info | | Welcome to FreeBMD. | 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. It is a part of the FreeUKGEN family, which also includes FreeCEN (Census data) and FreeREG (Parish Registers

Researching in Indiana

Researching Scotland

Scotlands People | | Welcome to ScotlandsPeople, one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. If you are researching UK genealogy, your Scottish ancestry or building your Scottish family tree, we have almost 90 million records to look through. From Scottish census records, Scottish wills, birth certificates and death certificates, we have a comprehensive choice of Scottish records to bring your Scotland ancestry to life. Build the complete picture of your Scottish ancestry with ScotlandsPeople.

Scottish Archive Network. |  e Scottish Archive Network is a project whose partners are the National Archives of Scotland (NAS), the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), and the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU). The project aims to revolutionise access to Scotland's archives by providing a single electronic catalogue to the holdings of more than 50 Scottish archives. To preserve fragile historical records and improve their accessibility SCAN digitises records on a huge scale. SCAN maintains the,, and websites, as well as hosting sites for several associations and bodies with interests in Scottish archives and history.

Researching in Tennessee
Good Tennessee Wiki Site:

Avoiding the common rookie mistakes from