Wednesday, November 28, 2012

FamilySearch Announces More Partnerships

Partner News

This folks is an awesome announcement!

FamilySearch is pleased to announce that and are the first of a new crop of Tree Access and Tree Connect certified applications that makes it easy to find and associate web pages, stories, photos, or audio and video with persons in FamilySearch Family Tree. Full Story
FamilySearch Now Welcomes Users in Their Own Language

FamilySearch is pleased to launch a new experience in international languages. This is the first of a series of updates that FamilySearch will be making within the next few months in order to improve everyone's experience on the site. Users whose browsers are set to French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, or Korean as their default language will now see a localized home page in their language. Full Story

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Too Young for Family History? Think Again!

Too Young for Family History? Think Again!

Are you trying to help one of the many thousands of youth in the Church who love to do baptisms for the dead but have never taken a family name to the temple? Maybe they don't know where to start or feel that all the work for their family is done. Regardless of their situation, following recent instruction from the brethren can be a blessing to youth and their families. Full Story

Monday, November 26, 2012

Romney was not the problem - Important Republican Read

Romney was not the problem  By: Ann Coulter  11/21/2012 05:07 PM

Small minds always leap to the answers given the last time around, which is probably why Maxine Waters keeps getting re-elected. But the last time is not necessarily the same as this time. A terrorist attack is not the same as the Cold War, a war in Afghanistan is not the same as a war in Iraq, and Mitt Romney is not the same as John McCain or Bob Dole.

But since the election, many conservatives seem to be coalescing around the explanation for our defeat given by Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots, who said: “What we got was a weak, moderate candidate handpicked by the Beltway elites and country club establishment wing of the Republican Party. The presidential loss is unequivocally on them.”
There was also the seven months of primaries, during which Romney got more votes than the rest of the field combined. So there’s that. Moreover, the idea that Mitt Romney was “a weak, moderate candidate” is preposterous.
As Trotsky said, in moments of crisis, people with no politics tend to develop the worst possible politics.
Even newly elected Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas complained that Romney failed to get across that there are “two viewpoints and directions for the country” and that he erred by trying to “be a nice guy.” As Cruz said, “I’m pretty certain Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama” in the third debate — proving once again that comedy is harder than it looks.
The idea that Romney failed to present a clear contrast with Obama or was too “nice” is also nonsense. If Republicans continue to tell themselves comforting myths about our candidate being the problem, they better get used to losing a lot more elections.
The only Republican to defeat a sitting president in the last century was Ronald Reagan in 1980, when he beat Jimmy Carter, the second-worst president in U.S. history (pending the final results of Obama’s second term). Because of that, and also because he is in the top two best American presidents, Reagan’s example is worth studying.
In Reagan’s one debate with Carter in 1980, he presented “two viewpoints and directions for the country” by vowing to save Medicare and not to cut taxes too much. Loud and clear, Reagan said: “My tax cut does not come close to eliminating (Carter’s) $86 billion increase. I’m only reducing the amount of the increase.”
There’s your bold contrasting vision!
Reagan picked a pro-choice, anti-supply side Republican as his running mate. He lavishly praised FDR in his acceptance speech at the national convention, leading The New York Times to title an editorial about him “Franklin Delano Reagan.”
Meanwhile, Romney promised to institute major reforms to Medicare, repeal Obamacare and impose a 20 percent across-the-board tax cut. He said he’d issue a 50-state waiver to Obamacare on his first day in office. (Why he didn’t promise it to all 57 states I’ll never know.) He chose a pro-life, fiscal conservative as his running mate and never praised FDR.
A careful analysis of the Romney plan thus reveals several deviations from the Democrat platform — more stark than those delineated by even Reagan.
Romney was the most libertarian candidate Republicans have run since Calvin Coolidge. And he got more votes from the dwindling white majority than Reagan did.
How many more votes would Romney have gotten by being a rude, condescending jerk? Sure, it worked for Obama, but he was the incumbent.
Some conservatives didn’t trust Romney because, as governor of a state between blue and North Korea, he had instituted a health insurance mandate, one feature of the hated Obamacare.
As governor of a purple state, Reagan had signed the most liberal abortion law in the country and imposed the three largest state tax hikes in the nation’s history. Nevada Sen. Paul Laxalt’s nominating speech hailed Reagan’s governorship of California for producing “a veritable Great Society of aid for schools, minorities and the handicapped,” as the Times put it. Reagan had also been an actual member of the godless, treason party.
This is not to diminish Reagan. It is to say that Romney wasn’t the problem.
To the extent Republicans have a problem with their candidates, it’s not that they’re not conservative enough. Where are today’s Nelson Rockefellers, Arlen Specters or George H.W. Bushes? Happily, they have gone the way of leprosy.
Having vanquished liberal Republicans, the party’s problem now runs more along the lines of moron showoffs, trying to impress tea partiers like Jenny Beth Martin by taking insane positions on rape exceptions for abortion — as 2 million babies are killed every year from pregnancies having nothing to do with rape.
Romney lost because he was running against an incumbent, was beaten up during a long and vicious primary fight, and ran in a year with a very different electorate from 1980. At least one of those won’t be true next time. But we’re not going to win any elections by telling ourselves fairy tales about a candidate who lost because he wasn’t conservative enough, articulate enough or mean enough.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

10 Genealogy Blogs Worth Reading

There are hundreds, if not thousands of genealogy and family history blogs online, offering a daily or weekly dose of education, enlightenment, and entertainment. While many of these genealogy blogs offer outstanding reading and current information on new genealogy products and current research standards, the following are favorites of mine for their excellent writing and timely updates, and because they each bring something special to the world of genealogy blogging. In no particular order:

1. Genea-Musings

Randy Seaver's excellent blog stands here as a representative for the many great personal family history bloggers (since there isn't room in this short list to highlight all of the great ones). His site includes enough of an ecletic mix of news, research processes, personal reflections, and genealogy debate to make it of interest to almost any genealogist. He reminds me of me, I guess...and will probably remind you of yourself as well. He shares genealogy news and new databases as he finds and explores them. He shares his research successes and failures so you might learn from them. He even shares the ways in which he balances his research with family and personal responsibilities. Randy's musings bring out the genealogist in all of us... click here for the rest of her story

Thursday, November 22, 2012

On This Thanksgiving Day - Try It You'll Like It

Pray Family Mormon
Not long ago one of our church leaders spoke of a visit he and his family had from one of the General Authorities of the Church.

We members are encouraged to pray together as families morning and evening. During this visit it came time for family prayer. The Church leader asked the husband if he would pray and not ask for anything, just have a prayer of thanks.

Don't we all pray and ask for things, even good things? Please bless someone, or help us with something, things like that?

This leader spoke of how different and sweet that prayer he gave was to all of them. He encouraged us to try offering a prayer like that - just sincerely thanking Heavenly Father for things that come to our mind, things for which we are thankful for.

I followed that advice not too many days later, with just Kathleen and I, an evening prayer together. I didn't make a big deal about it, just offered that prayer. As we climbed into bed, she commented how neat that prayer was, and how different it felt.

Today is a good day for remembering to give thanks, and I suggest you end your day that way too.

Try it, you'll like it, and if you aren't praying alone, so will those with you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Website On Mormon Pioneers - Read the Notes

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868,16281,4117-1-2144,00.html
Between 1847 and 1868, Mormon emigrants traveled on the pioneer trail in more than 250 companies departing from various outfitting places. These companies in which about 60,000 LDS Church members traveled include freight trains, independent companies, handcart companies, and various types of other Church companies. By its very nature, travel on the trail was unavoidably informal and disarrayed which may account for discrepancies in reports and accounts. After beginning their travels, companies often divided into small divisions or traveled in a scattered condition, thereby arriving in the Salt Lake Valley over the period of several days. The database is a compilation of names obtained from rosters and other reliable sources of individuals that traveled on the pioneer trail during this 22 year time period. It does not focus on railroad travel, but rather trail travel. It identifies the companies in which approximately two-thirds of the Mormon emigrants traveled on the trail. The captain's name is the name the company is listed under and basic information is provided for each company, including a photograph of the captain where available. Where possible, a bibliography containing diaries, journals, letters, and reminiscences written by company members or contemporary reports about the company is also listed. The bibliography includes the institution(s) that have copies of the sources cited. Methods of travel and advancement in transportation, technology, knowledge, and skills changed over the 22-year time period, resulting in different experiences for the companies over the years. By looking at the sources found in various repositories, one can get a glimpse of the experiences each company encountered in traveling overland. Although the dates and other statistical information were obtained from the most reliable sources available, they should generally be considered approximations. The database is updated as new information is obtained. If you have information that could improve this index, you can submit a request to add or correct information.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Amazing Bagpiper Amazing Grace - El Divo

The more you learn about ancestors and your history the more you want to learn. Like many Irish, the could be really Scottish. It seems they moved back and forth freely between Scotland and Ireland. Are the Craguns Scottish  or Irish? That is to be discovered. Of course I now know that this spelling of Cragun was never used by our ancestors.

When this handsome guy appeared in the video with El Divo I thought, he must be an ancestor. He looks so cool, plays so fine.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Getting Going On Genealogy Research Is Quite Easy Now

Stop: I'm not interested
Recently I had an interesting exerience with a tourist at the Family History Center. This person was in a tour group, which part of the tour was to stop for an hour an a half experience at the Family History Center. Part of the experience was to have us help the tourists on a one on one experience in doing family research.

My tourist immediatley said "I'm not interested. I've spent 5  years researching the owner of the property next door, and I can tell you it's a pain. I'm not going through that again for any reason.

My response was to ask for one ancestors name who for sure had passed away. I was given the name and I went to Immediately I found that great grandfather and his family in a census.

The response from this tourist? Glued to the screen the comment was, "there is a child in that family I never knew about." Hooked might be a good word to describe the remiaing hour. We found many more and printed the documents to take home.

Getting started, getting excited is just about that easy if you just go to and do as this tourist did with me. Enter a name in the search boxes and go. It's as easy as Google.

In the upper left hand column of this blog is the link box pictured below. It has some simple and valuable tips on searching on

If you want to start building a pedigree chart and be a part of the world wide family tree sign up for a family search account and get going on FamilySearch Family Tree.The videos in the upper part of the blog, as depicted below can be reached by clickin that link.
Next, if you want to become a pretty good genealogist go through the series I am building on the right hand column called 10 Days To Becoming a Pretty Good Genealogist. Pictured here:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Update: QR Codes An Exciting Technology

The following information was gleaned at Rootstech 2012
class provided by Thomas Mac Entee
Still A Viable Technology  

Smart phones and digital technology have created another wonderful family history application. Picture this, you come upon the gravesite of a person who might possibly be an ancestor. It has a QR code embedded in it, such as the one above. You place your smart phone against the QR code and it delivers the story of the ancestor buried there.

QR Code stands for “quick response code” and is much like the bar codes we’ve become used to seeing on our packaged foods at the grocery store as well as any retail item. A QR code works in much the same way – it can be scanned and deliver to the user a website, a document, or even a family tree or a biography of an ancestor.
When you think QR codes think “more” or “scan for more information.” The scanning process is performed with the camera built in to most smart phones or mobile devices. A special “app” (most if not all are free) reads the image from the camera and then uses the device’s web browser to display the information.

QR codes are becoming more popular because more and more people are using smart phones and devices to access information. These devices already have the tools needed for someone to access the information wtihin a QR code:

Of course there are numerous other applications: Place it on a poster or other media as an advertising purpose, put it on a business card, place it in a manual, in a book, on a website, and of course on a grave marker.

Generate Your Own QR

Now that you understand more about QRcCodes and their possible uses, you might want to generate your own. There are many websites and applications – again, most are free – which can take your URL or text and convert it into a QR code. A partial list of QR code generation apps and websites can be found in the Links section below.

QR Code Readers

QR Code Generators
Google Chart Tools – QR Code Generator
QR Code Uses – Business Cards
TEC-IT QR Code Business Cards
QR Code Uses - Conferences

QR Code Uses - Documents
QR Code Uses - General
QR Code Uses – Headstones & Memorials
Living Headstone™
QR Code Uses - Libraries
QR Code Uses – Historical Sites
QR Code Uses – Museums

Monday, November 5, 2012

Were The Craguns A Scottish Clan?

The more research I do about the Irish Cragun genealogy, the more I realize they might have began their clan in Scotland. That too is a beautiful Country. Enjoy this slide show about Scotland.

And the big mystery, how did they spell Cragun? Chreagan, Creghan, Cragan, Mccreagan, Mc Chreagan, Mc Creaghan, Creggan, Craghan, Croghan, Creggan, Cregghin, Cregan, Creagan, or any other way other than how our family has spelled it since Elisha Cragun.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Find A More Powerful Than Most Know

A lot of folks search on without using it's full power. It's amazing  just how many headstones, photos, obituaries, and memorials are found on findagrave. It's great when they link to memorials of other relatives, parents, siblings, or children.

This article illustrates what some miss.

The website home page is quite cluttered. The red arrow shows how to search.

In this example I searched for a pioneer grandfather: Sanford Porter.

He is in an old Porterville, Utah Cemetary. The information is great, but: The section in the red box below is what is often overlooked.
By searching for all Porters in the Porteville Cemetary I found many more Porters, many are directly related to me.

The list is extensive. Many times this search has delivered new wonderful results. Gotta Love it!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

How Beautiful It Is - Family Tree Is Officially Live

Tonight at 10PM FamilySearch Family Tree is officially turned on to all who have a account.

After all these months of anticipation and expectation the tree is live to all subscribers. You will see your access to the Tree in the Upper bar after you have logged in.

(The general public can still gain access to the tree, but they will still have to use the invite page to get access. We will release to the public as soon as we verify that the system’s performance will hold up under the increased load.)
Because of the release, you will see the following changes in NFS and
  • Family Tree will show up in the header on for NFS users who are signed in:
  • Family Tree messaging will be visible in NFS on the sign-in page and on the home page. (I took these screen shots on our beta system, so you see the beta banners here.)
  • The combine/separate features will turn off in NFS. This will be seen in several places throughout NFS:
o On the Possible Duplicates tab, you will see a message instructing you to use Family Tree.
o On the Parents and Siblings and Spouses and Children tab. (If you clicked the circle icon, options would appear that let you combine duplicates. The other options are still there. The options for combining are gone.)
o On the screen where you can switch the pedigree to a new spouse, the tabs for combining duplicates are gone:
o You can still see the combined record, but it will lack the check boxes and Separate buttons: