Monday, April 29, 2013

Here Is An Important Family Tree Clue Regarding Uploading Documents We Have

I have been anxiously waiting to publish documents to my ancestors in Family Tree. It's one of the important missing components of Family Tree.

When I was in support we had cases every day wanting to know when the could upload their documents and should they just put them in the photos section. We gave the answer to wait. That is the wrong answer now.

Ron Tanner just posted some hot news to the request: Incorporate the capability of using digital copies (pdf, jpeg) to family tree.

His hot off the wire response: It isn't ready yet. I would go ahead and upload into photos (600 dpi minimum). The feature will allow you to upload a photo or take an existing photo and make a source out of it."

I am sure this will bring a wave of uploads to photos. Just remember what you posted there as  it appears you will need to go back and link the items to sources.

I have much to do right now, I think I will likely wait to see the component in finished form. Sure I will. Yeah. Right. OK, maybe I will wait.


Friday, April 26, 2013

So Long Farewell

It's official. Our mission has ended. What a great group to serve with. This is our zone missionary photo, taken last month. We serve patron questions that come in by phone, instant message, and email. Hundreds of support questions come in each day. Next week 7 new missionaries start in the zone (1 of 21 in our mission) and 7 of us are being released.

Serving here is a wonderful experience. We had an exit interview with Mission President and Sister Wayne Peterson. He asked me what were the positive things that were meaningful to me about our mission. My answer was that there were two that stood out. 1- The tremendous opportunity to learn about family history and genealogy. So many resources are here if we take advantage of them. 2- The spirit here. It is like we are bathed in the spirit continually. The spirit our fellow missionaries exude, so many devotionals to set the spirit, the entire campus that we serve in whether we are in one of the libraries, in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, walking around the Temple Square Campus, or in the Church Office Building. It has been truly important to me.

I have both grown and shrunk here: grown spiritually and gotten control over my weight.

You might notice the young elders, missionaries in the photo. I call them the heart and soul of the mission. There are currently 70 that can serve here. They and their families must go through an interview with the mission couple that oversees them. If they want us and we want them they get in line to be called here. There are now 58 on the waiting list. The employees are figuring out how sharp some of them are and are asking the Church to send more here, thus the number 70 is going to 76. Bringing them in is a matter of where they will serve and housing. We have limited mission housing, even for the senior couples. If you bring your own furniture as we did, you cannot use mission housing.

The missionaries are divided into two Branches for Church meeting and functions. Our branch has the Young Elders. When you are on your way in or out there is a special Branch Hail and Farewell dinner. Here are the words to the Farewell song, sung to the tune of So Long Farewell:

So long, thank you,
for service kindly given.
We'll see you again,
though it may be in heaven.

So long, farewell....
We hate to see you go....
But were so glad it's you
we go to know..

We know you simply
cannot always stay....
May life be good to you
and yours, we pray.

So long, farwell,
auf Wiedershen, adieu.
We say good bye
to you and you and you.....

Good bye....


good bye...

We have been blessed by serving here. This summer it's going to be a great summer of visiting family and maybe for the first time in our lives feeling like we had retired. We went right from working our careers to this mission. I am guessing this fall we will be thinking of what is next. Who knows, we might become like many we served with, serving multiple missions. 

A Fun Song - Appreciated By Senior Citizens/

Remember, Friday Is For Fun- And to keep a research log.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Message To The Critics. BE

Nice T-shirt

All of those at FamilySearch and Family Tree who answer your email, chat, and phone calls are here supporting your questions as volunteers, either full time, part time, or missionaries serving from home. There are about 500 of us. It is a rewarding service we give.

It would be better if many of the patrons were nicer. A missionary recently commented that when she arrived and started handling cases she thought she would hate it here. Grumble, mumble, and complain. Gripe right. And then she helped someone who was more than grateful. That made her decide it was a good thing, being here.

A lot of the complaining is merely because something on the website was moved and is different. Wow, did that bring on an onslaught of complaining last week. Personally, I skipped by the gripers, I decided I was in a mood I might not be the responder I should be.

It was not all bad, a lot of people just emailed to thank us for our work, and for how awesome Family Tree is. Thanks to you.

I'm done serving tomorrow. I will miss it. Not so much the gripers and naughty ones.

By the way, personally, when it comes to Family Tree - I LOVE IT!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sometimes People Need To Communicate Better

Phone call 144/365 (Year 2)

One day I realized that several of the cases we were receiving were really wild and funny. 
People were emailing the darndest things.
Here are a few: See if you can figure out how to help them.

1- I want to find my sister. Please help.

2- I want to report a problem. When I go to FamilySearch to search for an ancestor, I can't find them.

3- FamilySearch chose the birth place of Patrick Anderson, Why?

4- I cannot locate the following people in my tree: Mr. Bateman and Mrs. Bateman. I would like to find them. 

5- I am searching for my grandmother. Can you help please?

6- I have 30,000 names. Maybe I broke it!! 

7-  Why is my husband birthday incorrect?

And these were all in one day. Fun!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Which Is Her Daddy?

One of the not so obvious tasks in Family Tree (I hear it will be made easier) is selecting the father or mother you want to show up in the Family Tree.

In my case, do I want Edward The Rogue South
who fathered my mother in the tree. Even more curious will my sisters, my cousins, or other relatives select him? I guess that's a matter of collaborating to decide.

However, when we want to change who is selected, the process is not so simple to figure out in Family Tree.

The developers call this "Preferred Parents And Spouses"

In my case if I want to set Thomas Salinas, who my mother knew as Daddy, who grandmother Nancy was married to in the Logan Temple as the person in the tree you can currently do it in new.familysearch

or you can pick Thomas as an example: by going to the child node, which when you click it brings up the parent link you want to be in the tree. This choice will remain if you do it that way.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Genea-Musings, A Blog To Follow

Randy Seaver Says about himself, "I am a native San Diegan, a graduate of San Diego State University, a retired aerospace engineer, a genealogist and a family guy."

His blog posts are worth following. Randy recently questioned the layout of the new website and immediately had the attention of the techies at FamilySearch. Thanks to his questions some changes immediately took place. 

The blog has been up since 2006 and is loaded with content. Randy must love it as he posts often.

Make Randy's website a regular stop.

Click here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

3 Cheers For FamilySearch - The Upgrade Is Going Live This Morning Check it out now

CheeringWhat a team those developers are. They were up through the early hours with the big question, is it a go or a no  go?  For weeks the target was today and today it is.

I am writing as we go into a support group webinar. You are getting the latest info.

It looks like Family Tree is live and FamilySearch is not yet.

I will be updating this throughout the day as I see more changes.

1- Everyone will have access to publish photos and stories. At first they will add 200 per day to test out the band width impact.

2- There is a new design. I like it.
3- Anyone can easily get live help via chat, phone, or email. This includes research help.

4- It will be easy to find a local LDS Family History Centers. (There are 4,000 English Speaking)

5-  The new fan chart is cool.

If you have a problem use anything but Internet Explorer 9 as your browser.
They didn't make it with the printing functions. Dang.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tomorrow It Is A Go Or No Go

Several upgrades are targeted to go live tomorrow. Will it be a go or no go? We are all excited for it to be a go. I can hardly wait to see what makes it. Will it be the printing functions? It should include moving access to photos and stories directly to the tree. Click the photo link in the upper bar and you would be in. I think it will include adding 50 from the general public each day, having authority to upload photo's. That is how they handled member access.

I would expect the cool version of a fan chart to be live.

I know that one thing that was holding up the process last week was the support system. Currently we receive about 500 email, phone call, and chat request for help each day. This is expected to rise.

I would suggest those of you who have been wanting access to photos start looking at Family Tree (via late this evening.

If tomorrow, great. If not tomorrow I sense it will be soon.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My 12 Favorite Genealogy Website Addresses

Note: This is an update with two important additional sites:

I can't help reviewing in my mind how grateful I am that Kathleen and I were called to serve here in Salt Lake City on a Family History Mission. We have gained so much. My knowledge of genealogy and the tools that help have increased immensly. Gaining an understanding of the spirit of this work that permeates amongst all people, all religions is a blessing too.

In this aritlce I'd like to share with you what I feel are the top 12 most important website addresses for everyone to use.

1- Family - - This free site is the most complete genealogy and family history site in the world. It is more than a search site with billions of records to find and millions added each week.  If you learned everything published here  you would be a fantastic genealogist.

2- - This pay site rivals in many ways. It has records not found on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has a partnership type arrangement with We provide some of our data to them and they provide free access to the institunional version in our family history centers world wide.

3. - Find A Grave currently has 95 million memorials posted. Some just have a photo of the headstone of an ancestor. More important, many have photos of the ancestor, some have their obituary, and a lot have links to their parents and childrens memorials.

If you are doing a search for an ancestor, and use these 3 sites, you have basically creamed for 80% of the research available.  Beyond this it gets more difficult, but you are up to a challenge aren't you.

4. Family Tree - Yes it's a subset of It too is free, and anyone can have access to the tree. Please click this link and read why I say "Family Tree Will Change Genealogy Research Forever".

5.  Family Tree Training Video Site - It's important that you really know how to use family tree. This site is the best way to learn it.

Here is a quote to consider: Genealogy Without Sources Is Mythology"

6.  Google - Yes Google. Don't forget Google Images as an important Google Search. Click this article for some advanced search tips.

7. FamilySearch Wiki - This site is also a part of It won't find your ancestor, it will tell you resources on finding an ancestor. If you select the "Find Records by Place" section, then go to the state or county sections you will end up with a number of categories for research. In essence that page can become your research plan.  I have written 8 articles about the Wiki you can read by clicking here

8. FamilySearch Resarch Courses: Yep, another component of FamilySearch. Perhaps you are understanding by now why I selected as #1. Currently there are over 500 video courses (FREE) for all skill levels.These are given by experts.

9. The Salt Lake City Family History Library Catalog - The Worlds premier source of records. Sure much is published online but so much more is on microfilm. Those microfilmes can be viewed at one of the local FamilySearch libraries. Formerly Family History Libraries. There are over 4,000 english speaking libraries and many in all parts of the world.

10. Genea Webinars: This may suprise many. It's a site that lists webinars, one of the best ways to learn, live or recorded webinars. This site is a directory of upcoming webinars.

Bonus: If you have Mormon Pioneers, this site: Click Here  is full of great stories, a fascinating read.

# 11 is important as it help you move into the process of searching local county websites. See this article: click here


#12 This is a great site, links assembled by one of the missionaries at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

# 13 O K, it's a bakers dozen: Cyndi's List, a great resource:

And don't forget to return here

It's OK to add your favorites as a comment. Who knows, you might change my priorities or make the list more than 12.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Does Blogging Have Google Power?

Blogging can be a terrific tool with the search engines. On another blog I wrote

The Top Ten Ways To Become #1 On Google Searches


Go take a look if you want to be found by the search engines. I have had amazing results in connecting with unknown family members that have had awesome information they shared with me. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nathan Tanner Porter, A Favorite Uncle

Nathan Tanner Porter is one of my favorite Uncles.

No, I never met him he is a little older than me. He was born in 1818. I will be anxious to meet him when passing to the next life. (Many years from now of course)

For one thing, he was the missionary that first introduced the gospel to Elisha Cragun, his wife Mary Osborne, and his 10 children. (Nine of them actually. The oldest was married and out of the area.) So On my fathers side, Cragun, and on my mothers side of my genealogy, Porter there is a connection.

Since my mission days in England I have loved missionary work. Nathan was a great missionary and very committed to sharing the gospel.

I have been given access to his journals that are stored on microfilm at the Salt Lake City Church History Library. I've also been given permission to copy them.

Some of his journal addresses the trials the early Mormons suffered through mobs and persecutions of unthinkable acts.

I'm attaching some more of his journal. On page 89 he is writing about his father Sanford's discussions with  some of the less faithful Saints. On  page 80 he writes about his committment to leave his family and preach the gospel, even to the ends of the earth.

Nathan mission 2 from Larry Cragun

You can enlarge the stories.  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The collections mentioned yesterday.

FamilySearch Adds 19,206,333 Images to New United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920, Collection

FamilySearch has added 23.9 million indexed records and images this week with new browsable image collections from Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, England, Italy, Mexico, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 19,206,333 images from the new United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920, collection, the 2,005,113 index records from the United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, collection, and the 930,622 index records from the U.S., New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1925-1942, collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at
Searchable historic records are made available on through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Collection Indexed Records Digital Images Comments
Belgium, Liège, Civil Registration, 1621-1910 0 3,198,973 New browsable image collection.
Belgium, Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1608-1912 0 794,954 New browsable image collection.
Brazil, Civil Registration, 1870-2012 0 608,365 Added images to an existing collection.
Brazil, Piauí, Civil Registration, 1875-2012 0 103,398 Added images to an existing collection.
Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965 132,929 241,847 Added index records and images to an existing collection.
Colombia, Catholic Church Records, 1600-2010 0 1,234,380 Added images to an existing collection.
Colombia, Valle del Cauca, Miscellaneous Records, 1549-1955 0 82,009 New browsable image collection.
Czech Republic, Land Records, 1450-1889 0 128,500 Added images to an existing collection.
India, Gujarat Diocese Protestant Church Records, 1854-2012 0 39,573 New browsable image collection.
Italy, Cuneo, Saluzzo, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866-1942 0 470,403 New browsable image collection.
Italy, Ragusa, Modica, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866-1942 0 26,653 New browsable image collection.
Italy, Salerno, Vallo della Lucania, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866-1929 0 109,257 Added images to an existing collection.
Italy, Torino, Torino, Military Conscriptions (Comune), 1790-1886 0 23,904 New browsable image collection.
Korea, Collection of Genealogies, 1500-2012 0 2,830 Added images to an existing collection.
Mexico, San Luis Potosí, Miscellaneous Records, 1570-1842 0 121,496 Added images to an existing collection.
New Zealand, Probate Records, 1860-1962 0 77,458 Added images to an existing collection.
Peru, Junín, Civil Registration, 1890-2005 0 20,019 New browsable image collection.
Peru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874-1996 0 23,232 Added images to an existing collection.
Peru, Puno, Civil Registration, 1890-2005 0 11,762 Added images to an existing collection.
Poland, Radom Roman Catholic Church Books, 1587-1966 11,043 0 Added index records to an existing collection.
Russia, Samara Church Books, 1869-1917 442,772 1,232 Added index records and images to an existing collection.
Spain, Cádiz, Testaments, 1550-1920 0 91,400 Added images to an existing collection.
Ukraine, Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates, 1840-1845 651,980 48,922 Added index records and images to an existing collection.
United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920 0 19,206,333 New browsable image collection.
U.S., Illinois, Lee County Records, 1830-1954 0 108,387 New browsable image collection.
U.S., Missouri, Cole County Circuit Court Case Files, 1820-1926 0 27,710 New browsable image collection.
U.S., New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1925-1942 930,622 0 Added index records to an existing collection.
U.S., New York, State Census, 1875 0 23 Added images to an existing collection.
U.S., North Carolina, Civil Action Court Papers, 1712-1970 0 35,267 Added images to an existing collection.
U.S., Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953 19,236 25 Added index records and images to an existing collection.
U.S., Texas, Deaths, 1977-1986 0 41,065 Added images to an existing collection.
United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 2,005,113 0 Added index records to an existing collection.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Take A Peek At The New Look of Family Search.Org

This upgrade is  scheduled for a little over two weeks from now. is also getting a similar upgrade.

The fan chart is a fun option. You will be able to create a fan chart for any of your ancestors in the first few genearations. It's a cool way to see your family and  points out where your dead ends are.

Photo's and stories is in beta and due to be live to all by early May. I've been able to post about 200  photo's and stories already. It may not be the most important part of genealogy to some, but it is truly interesting and getting a lot of buzz. I can hardly wait until they add oral  histories.

The photo on the right  is a clip of some of the photos I have added to the tree. 

If you double click on the photo it will enlarge. 

Family Tree is live to all. New sign ups are  happening each day. People are learning to collaborate together, they are discovering the benefits of each others work. I have made great family connections due to the tree.

The indexing community is incredible. People from all parts of the world, with different religious affiliations, people of all ages are helping the indexing intitiatives. Each day over 1.5 million indexed entries are added to for all to use for free.

Most don't understand the serious support committment the church has made to every phase of family history. A few days ago we handled the 3,000,000 th case. Hundreds of employees, full time, and part time missionaries serve the publics questions and issues. It's truly amazing to be a part of this work.

PS: The 1.5 million new indexed additions to is a quota to those who serve in the vault. For over 100 years records have been stored in a granite mountain vault and have been copied to microfilm. They are now copying the microfilm data to digital and to the web.
I just noticed on the family search blog that a huge block of data was moved to Family Search. Here is that post:

FamilySearch Adds 19,206,333 Images to New United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920, Collection

World with film surrounding itFamilySearch has added 23.9 million indexed records and images this week with new browsable image collections from Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, England, Italy, Mexico, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 19,206,333 images from the new United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920, collection, the 2,005,113 index records from the United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, collection, and the 930,622 index records from the U.S., New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1925-1942, collection. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at Full Story


Here is a more in depth look at the upcoming upgrade, click here.