Saturday, May 31, 2014

Great Web Tools for Searching Historic Newspapers

From the FamilySearch blog By
Newspapers--shutterstock_31584622Countless millions of historic newspapers all over the world are now revealing their secrets as they are being digitally published online. And that means they are much more accessible to family historians—if they know where and how to find them. That was the essence of Lisa Louise Cooke’s message in her presentation “Tech Tools that Catapult the Newspaper Research Process” given at The National Genealogy Society 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia, on May 8th. Cooke is the host of The Genealogy Gems Podcast.
Cooke explained that historical newspapers are rich possible resources for family history information. In their forgotten pages, a determined sleuth can turn up birth, marriage, death records, maiden names, names of ancestors’ friends and relatives, insight into their long forgotten community.
And even photographs—which can also be insightful portals to the cultural or sociological content of an ancestor’s era. Cooke showed an old newspaper photo she discovered online of her mother as a young girl with two friends. Upon closer review, she realized they were dressed up mimicking famous personalities from the popular show Laugh-in from her mother’s generation.
“To find the right newspaper for your research,” noted Cooke, “look for papers in the geographic community where your ancestors were known to live.” And to search those published during the timeframe they lived there.
Cooke demonstrated 6 helpful online tools for finding and searching historic newspapers online.
Click here for the rest of the article and the list of several great newspapaer websites

Friday, May 30, 2014

Poor Typing Skills - Little Computer Knowledge Need Not Hold You Back

Back when Word Perfect was "The Program" my mother wanted me to teach her the computer. The reason was obvious, she was heavy into writing stories and booklets about her ancestors. My mother drove me crazy and put my patience into orbit; insisting I would teach the old woman how to use Word Perfect. I hardly knew it myself, and teach my mom - not possible!

Well, her determination was stronger than her lack of knowledge, natural talent for technology, and my impatience. The bottom line, opposition didn't hold her back. It was overcome by her desire.

For some it is easier to grasp than another, but I would guess that for most of the older generation you will have an easier time than my mom. You can do it if you choose it.

Easier, what makes me say this? Two reasons: First my mother was pretty, how can I say this kindly - dense?

Second, brainy people have come out with tools, like schools, to make it easier to learn. Below are two of them; one for typing and the other for learning about computers.

The better you are at typing the better you will be at research. The more confident you are with computers, the better you will be at genealogy.

Here is the way for you to have it easier than my mother had. If you want it, you can have it.

For online any level typing instructions: IT'S FUN AND IT'S FREE

For online basic or intermediate computer classes: IT'S FREE

FamilySearch adds significant error checking and research suggestions Family Tree is beginning to emerge from its cloud of data and become a much sharper tool for doing accurate genealogical research. In a blog post entitled "Helpful New Additions to the Descendancy View" from FamilySearch, Jeff Hawkins outlines some recent tools that will measurably increase the overall utility of the program. The emphasis here is adding information while at the same time avoid duplication and merging existing duplicate individuals. The new descendancy view is a boon to careful research. As the post suggests,

click here for the complete article by Steve Cottrell

Thursday, May 22, 2014

It's Your Day Thursday: Nancy Warriner Porter

To Demonstrate how much can be accomplished, bit by bit, this is my article number 600. There is always something to write about.

Sorry for the previous bad formatting.

Nancy Aretta Warriner is my 4th Great Grandmother. Nancy was born July  29, 1790 in Vershire, Orange, Vermont.

She married Sanford Porter in Vershire in 1812. I believe she had 13 children. I see different claims which needs to be verified.

She died May 2, 1864 in Porterville, Morgan, Utah. Her gravesite is next to her husband Sanfords in the old Porterville Cemetery.

 A neighbor of ours, also related to Nancy, provided me with a genealogy history that take her lineage back to Adam. The research was completed by his Certified Genealogist brother who has written Porter Family History books. I find this interesting. Having served in the Church History Headquarters as a missionary I get a funny look from other genealogists who I share this Adam information with. 

I find it interesting that Nancy genealogy as he has it goes to British Royalty. I have a sense this is correct based on the research I have been able to perform myself.

Nancy and Sanford were early Mormon converts. I take the following from history found on "It was in the month of July, 1830, perhaps a little over three months after the organization of the Mormon Church at Fayette, Seneca, New York, that Sanford Porter, had the first opportunity of learning anything of this new religion. During that month, two Mormon Elders, Lyman Wight and John Carroll visited Tazewell County while on their way westward, perhaps with the intention of assisting in the location of the Central Stake of  Zion. They held a number of meetings in the vicinity of the Porter home, and as is the custom with the Latter-Day-Saint missionaries, visited the inhabitants of the neighborhood at their homes.

This visit was a reinforcement to a previous vision Sanford had received which led to he and Nancy being baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Nancy and her young family were among the members who experienced horrible persecution for the sake of the religion. This ultimately led to their joining the trek westward to the promised valley, The Great Salt Lake.

When the main body of the Mormons left Nauvoo for the west in 1846, Sanford succeeded in selling his farm at a low figure and accompanied them to Winter Quarters, where he and the family lived until the summer of 1847. Two of his sons, Chauncy and Nathan, remained behind at their former home, until the spring of 1847 - the former for the purpose of assisting his father-in-law to dispose of his property, and the latter, who had sometime before taken up a farm of his own and had made some improvements thereon, remaining for the purpose of selling it. Cold weather coming on before they had made disposition of the property, kept them from joining their father and his family at Winter Quarters that year; and during the winter, Nathan cutting wood for the river steamers, thus adding a little to his store of means for the westward journey. Chauncy was let into a trick by a horse thief, who came to him with a well groomed animal representing to be a race horse which he had just purchased at a high figure. He wished to leave the horse with Chauncy, promising to pay for the pasturage and care of the animal when he should return; not suspecting anything wrong, Chauncy accepted the terms offered. It soon developed that the horse had been stolen, and when the thief was caught he accused Chauncy of being accessory to the crime. At the trial, the latter proved his innocence, but not without considerable expense, considering his financial condition at that time. In the spring, these two brothers set out for Winter Quarters, where they arrived about the 1st of June, some time after the pioneer vanguard had left for the Mountains, meeting their father a short distance from the settlement on his way to Missouri for provisions.

They traveled with 126 total pioneers in the Charles C Rich company. Nancy was 57 years old. At the onset it was believed by Sanford and others that Nancy and her youngest child should stay behind as they were concerned that they had lost so much stock and were short on teams. Sons Nathan and John President were not in favor and it was decided they would go with the company. The youngest child is Lyman Wight Porter, he and John are my second great grandparents. 

Some excerpts from Nathans journal as Nathan writes about their journey: Still in the fierry ordeal of affliction so crually imposed upon them we found our mother fully as anceous [anxious] to go with us, as we were to have her go. therefore we set too with all our energies in ful[l] faith that we would make the necessary fitout to that end. So that when Father returned some ten days following I had the pleasure of surprising him with the information that the necessary outfit was well nigh compleeted for us including Mother and Lyman—my youngest Brother—which we fully compleeted in a day or so more. So that by the 15th of June we were agane on the move with many others with our faces set for the Rocky mountain Reageon [Region][.] families moved out promiscuously as fast as they got ready. to the Pioneer crossing on a tributary streem of the Platt[e

(Now there was a Componey of Pioneeres organised of men to go in advance of the Emigration to open up the way by killing the snakes making Bridges & scerching [searching] out a country in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains

The following companies commenced leading forth on their trail from the Horn on the 20th of June following forming into 4 colum[n]s of teams abrest as a precaution against the attacts of Indians upon whose borders we were now entering. leaving the Horn, the trail led us a cross on to the Platt[e] River after trav[e]ling a few days the trains were redused in to 2 columns which was maintained for some five hundred miles; terminating at Fort Larima [Laramie] on the main fork-or rather north fork of the Platt[e]. from this point, the componies traveled in Single colum[n]s. having to incounter a mountainous reagon [region] duering [during] the remainder of the Journey Which was a wide contrast from the levil grade of the Platt[e] valley bordered by low hills on either side now & then dotted with large heards of Buffaloes whes [whose] bellowing resembled the distant thunder. Several bands of the Sious [Siouxs] & Shians [Cheyennes] were met with; there were two or three can[y]ons distributed in the several compones [companies] one in the compony [company] I was organised in—led by—Elder Charles C. Rich—these were fiered [ferried] occasion[a]lly to deter the Indians which had the dsired [desired] effect we were met on one occasion by a band who presented a hostile appearence as they approached to ward us. leaving their Women & Children in the background while the Warries [Warriors] advanced carrying a red flag. our componey was soon thrown into a defencive position[.] they came to a halt sent their flag forward which was met by one of our men. the token of friendship was extended by shaking hands and extending the pipe. the Women & children then came forward and with the men were permited to come within our lines. The Wagon b[e]aring the Cannon was drawn out to which their attention was directed. they gathered around to see the curious Wagon[.] it was plased [placed] in position and on motioning to them they step[p]ed back. the torch was applied & off she went, causing a gineral [general] stampede on the part of the Indians[.] men and Women were struck with consternation for a few minutes. We learned that the impression went out among the Indians that all our wagons would Shoot. no one wished to correct the impression as it answer[e]d well; to deter them from molesting us by day or night;

(I will here note that before leaving the Sweet water we were met by President Young & Compony on their return. he informed us that they had penetrated the Bason [Basin] of the Great Salt Lake in which they had selected a location for the Saints. And having left a few of their number to await the arrival of the Emigrating componies & to put in a <few> Seeds to test the Soil—they were returning to bring their families the insuing season. this was cheering news to all and put anend [an end] to our ankzieties [anxieties] as to where we should find a country; where we could subsist; & live undisturbed by a ruthless Bob [mob] & under the Edicts of Mob-Governers. We continued on with light hearts & Boyent Spirits without an expression of doubt as to the results by our labours in that hither-to unknown Reagion [region].

An interesting comment about Brigham Young and the Salt Lake Valley by Nathan: This Moses (of the last days) looked ca.[l]mly on the distructive eleme[n]ts before him. forbiding the approach of the confiding multitude now wending their way forwarad on the dim trail left in his rear. consisting of Men Women & chi[l]dren fleeing from a Modern Phario. destitute: with but a [s]canty supply of provisions: impeled on, with the assuerance that he whome they chosen to lead them would (under God) lead them a right.

And finally the joy of arriving. But to return. Leaving F T Briger [Bridger] we came to Bare [Bear] River from thense to the Weber, these Rivers head in Wacatch [Wasatch] Mountains on the East of the Bason [Basin] <heading> to the south east. entering the Bason [Basin]; & empting into the Salt Lake on the North East on the 1st day of October we made the summit of the pass over these ranges. When for the first time our anceous [anxious] eyes rested on the Silvery Lake & Slopes intervening in the distance below. the dusty hat, & the faded Sunbonnet was seen waveing above the head of its occupant while shouts of joy and admiration, assended up as each in his exciety [anxiety] made the summit. the tears of sorrow having now fled, those of gratitude burst forth with affusion making a pathway down many a care worn face. the contrast, between the long dreary sage plains; and this valley like a rose bed in the Desert, a wating the hand of the husband man to set it Blooming with f[r]uits s[h]rubs and flowers. coupled with the though[t] of peace and safety from the hand of the oppressor was truly Soul stiring. leaving the summit the trail led down a canyon for a short distance then baring to the right passed over a divide into another Canyon—called Emigration Canyon. here we camped for the night. on the morrow we entered the valley, and desending passed over a large tract of table land came to a more level grad[e] extending to the Shores of the Lake. we were met by some of the preseeding companies who were in advance of us: also the Pioneeres who were left—as before mentioned—
We don’t have a journal of Nancy’s writings but one can imagine her being a part of this. The captain of the Company, Charles C Rich’s wife also kept a journal. From this we learn a bit more. My husband [Charles C. Rich] fitted up his wagons and teams and we left Winter Quarters in June, 1847; he having been placed in charge of a company of one hundred wagons. We traveled to the Elkhorn River, here we had to wait until all had crossed the river, as we crossed on rafts, and Mr. Rich had to wait until they all got over so he could tie the raft and bring the rope with him. There was one young man by the name of Weatherby, who was killed by the Indians while we were here, he died in our tent.

We traveled two abreast the whole distance of the Platt[e] River, for greater safety. There were thousands of buffalo on every side, which the men would kill, so we had plenty of meat. There were also hundreds of Indians to be seen at frequent intervals all the time we were traveling up the Platt River. They were very cunning, and we had to watch them very closely to see that they did not steal everything we had in our wagons. They would shoot arrows into our cattle and sheep; so we found it took more hands to herd the cattle and drive the wagons than we had anticipated.
The Saints had made an agreement among themselves that anyone who had brought a hired man or boy with them, should keep that hired man or boy until after harvest the next year so that no one would go hungry or starve after he got to the valley. Mr. Rich thought he would have to hire two more men or boys to drive two of the wagons. There was one of his wives Em[m]eline [Grover Rich] beside myself who had no children; so we volunteered to drive the wagons until we got to the valley. He did not think we could, but we persuaded him to try us one day and see. We did so well that we had our teams every day after that as regular as the men did until we arrived in the valley. We did not grieve or mourn over it, we had some very nice times when the roads were not so bad. We would make the mountans ring with our songs, and sometimes the company would get together and we would have a dance in the evening on the grass. We did not mourn but we rejoiced that we were going to the Rocky Mountains where we would be free to live our religion, and be acknowledged as wives. We felt that we wanted to do everything in our power to help Mr. Rich out, as his children were all small and he needed our help. I had never had very good health until I started on this trip, and I got to fee1ing so well that I felt it was a pleasure to take hold and do anything that lay in my power to help.

When we got to the Black Hills there was no water for the teams they were almost crazy for want of it, and when we got to the bed of the River they had to dig holes to get a little water, but they could not get half enough. Some of the men were greedy and wanted their teams to have all the water they wanted, which would not leave enough for the other teams. Mr. Rich had charge of the company and he had to appoint men to see that justice was done to each team.
This was obviously not an easy journey. Things weren’t easy once they arrived. When the main body of the Mormons left Nauvoo for the west in 1846, Sanford succeeded in selling his farm at a low figure and accompanied them to Winter Quarters, where he and the family lived until the summer of 1847. Two of his sons, Chauncy and Nathan, remained behind at their former home, until the spring of 1847 - the former for the purpose of assisting his father-in-law to dispose of his property, and the latter, who had sometime before taken up a farm of his own and had made some improvements thereon, remaining for the purpose of selling it. Cold weather coming on before they had made disposition of the property, kept them from joining their father and his family at Winter Quarters that year; and during the winter, Nathan cutting wood for the river steamers, thus adding a little to his store of means for the westward journey. Chauncy was let into a trick by a horse thief, who came to him with a well groomed animal representing to be a race horse which he had just purchased at a high figure. He wished to leave the horse with Chauncy, promising to pay for the pasturage and care of the animal when he should return; not suspecting anything wrong, Chauncy accepted the terms offered. It soon developed that the horse had been stolen, and when the thief was caught he accused Chauncy of being accessory to the crime. At the trial, the latter proved his innocence, but not without considerable expense, considering his financial condition at that time. In the spring, these two brothers set out for Winter Quarters, where they arrived about the 1st of June, some time after the pioneer vanguard had left for the Mountains, meeting their father a short distance from the settlement on his way to Missouri for provisions.

Nancy Warriner Porter, the great grandmother of the present writer, died May 4, 1864 being nearly seventy four years old. Although the written record of this event does not state where her death took place, it may be presumed that it was at Porterville, Morgan County, Utah as this was her home and she was buried in the cemetery at that place.

Nancy M Porter Moffett writes the following tribute: “She reared her children in kindness and love. She was amiable to all and very patient through the trials of life. She left these lovely attributes to her progeny down to the present time. She was the mother of 10 children. Five boys and two girls survived her.

Temples are an important part of the Mormon faith. Families are sealed for time and eternity through covenants made in the temple. All will have the opportunity to choose to accept baptism, marriage, and sealing ordinances performed in temples. In researching Nancy’s genealogy and from genealogy research I have obtained from other Porter descendants it appears that Nancy came from British Aristocracy, even those influential in early American times. It appears by looking at when temple ordinances were offered by proxy to these ancestors that Nancy may have known about them. For her parents, grandparents, great grandmother Elizabeth Pynchon, John Pynchon, Amy Wyllis, and even Governor George Wyllis 1581 - 1694 all had their temple work performed in Nauvoo, St George, or the Logan Temple in the very early days of the church. (most around 1899) George Wyllis was the 4th Governor of Connecticut. Much is written about him. I will feature him in his own story.
Emma Porter Walton submitted the following life sketch: “Nancy’s colonial ancestor was William Warriner of England who tradition says, in the year 1600 eloped with the Lady Alice Clifford and made their escape from Lincolnshire along with other members of the Warriner family who fled the wrath of offended noblemen of York. In crossing a river some of the party were drowned - William, Lady Alice, and one other   were saved. William Warriner is mentioned in Canterbury Cathedral records many times. His children were christened there and   his wife, Alice, was buried there in 1619. He is said to be the same William Warriner who sailed to America in 1639 and married Joanna Searle. William Warriner and his descendants have furnished soldiers for all the American wars, and they have been well represented among the clergy of several Christian churches; Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Methodist, and Baptist. The were sturdy, stalwart patriots and pastors.
Nancy’s father and mother made their homes in Wilbraham, Mass. Where their first three children were born. Then he was called to serve in the Revolutionary War. He served in Colonel Pynchon’s regiment and in Captain Abel King’s regiment of Springfield county. After his discharge from the army, he and his wife and three children moved to Vershire, Vermont where the rest of their family of nine children were born. Nancy was the fifth child and third daughter of the family.
Here in the green hills of Vermont, Nancy grew up and with the children of other homesteads caught the maple sugar sap as it flowed form maple trees and gathered nuts and berries in the wooded rolling hills. Among those children was Sanford Porter. Nancy and Sanford went to the same schools, attended the same socials, went to the same church, and became sweethearts.
In those days the rule of the eldest son in a family to inherit the father’s entire property forced the younger sons to go out by themselves and make their fortune, so Sanford being the third son left Vershire and Nancy to make his way in the world. With Nancy, to whom he was betrothed , he left his promise that as soon as he had a homestead of his own, he would come back for her. He went into Western New York State and made a claim on land and went about the arduous work of clearing and planting.

In the year of 1812 Sanford enlisted in the service of his country in the war with Great Britain leaving Nancy, a bride of a few months, in a little log house he had just finished on his homestead. Her oldest son Chauncy Warriner Porter was born while her husband was in the service.
Sanford’s personal story, published in volume 1of Porter Family History by Joseph Grant Stevenson tells of Nancy and Sanford’s pre marriage days. “I concluded that I must have a house and housekeeper, for the way I had to live was too troublesome. I had agreed with a young woman in Vermont to marry her. I had written two or three times to her, but received no answer, and I concluded she had given up on the bargain and thought she would not go so far from her father and mother. I wrote a letter to that effect and told her to marry to suit herself if she could. I would not stand in her way and I gave up the idea of going back to see her. I went looking about to see if I could find anyone I liked to keep house for me. I went down the creek about 10 miles from Abner’s to a meeting, and I got talking to a young man there and told him what my name was and where I had my claim., and it was very unhandy for me to go so far night and morning to work and I needed a woman to keep house. He said he knew of one he thought I could get and he would introduce me to her. I stayed with her that night; she seemed very willing to marry me and wanted to know when I would be coming again. I told her I did not know; I had no house of my own and I didn’t know when I could get one. Perhaps in a week or two. I thought I would go and see her again. I went over to the spring and was making ready to go to the meeting and see that girl (when) here came a person and handed me a letter from my sweetheart in Vermont. She wrote with so much affection that I sat down and wept freely. She wrote that she was astonished at the last letter I wrote her - that she had written three or four letters and I had got none of them - that she had not changed her mind at all, and had been preparing to go there as soon as I thought proper; that she was willing to go into that country and her folds were willing she should go there. We all were well acquainted with each other, for we lived within a half mile apart for about 10 or 12 years, and been at the same school together every winter. I did not go and see Miss Polly Done and I heard that she was very much disappointed, for she thought to catch me, and was preparing to keep house for me.

Another interesting story about Nancy, from the Porter Family History takes place when Sanford seriously hurt his leg with an axe. After attending to him with what would be like first aid they agreed she should get help from an Uncle Dake, two miles away. He laid on the floor for fear if he stirred much his foot was start to bleeding again. In no time she opened the door and came in. He describes the dialogue: “Said I to her, Who did you meet?” She said she didn’t meet anybody.” “Well why didn’t you go there?”
“She said she had been there.” “What! Dake’s?” “Yes.” “said I, you haven’t for it is not possible.” “She said it was possible and Uncle and Aunt Dake were coming in all the slop and the slush.” “Yes said I,            your clothes don’t look much wet nor shoes nor stockings.” She pulled off  her shoes and there was but a little water in them. “Why don’t you pull off your stocking and wring the water out?” “She said there was none that would wring out. In about half an hour Uncle and Aunt Dake came. They had on boots -both of them - that came nearly came to their knees, and as full of water as they could hold and have them walk. Their clothes were dripping wet, “why said I, Nancy’s clothes, shoes or stockings don’t appear much wet,  Why said I?” “No because she flew. They knew she flew because they saw her start from them, and her feet did not touch the water. They called her to stop, but she paid no attention, but kept on flying and soon was out of their site. He clothes were not muddy like theirs. This was a mystery to us all. We could not solve or comprehend it, try as we would. To go 4 miles through deep slop and slush, mud and water almost knee deep, and come home dry! It was beyond the supernatural.

The story of Sanford and Nancy is a legend to what is estimated by some as over 5000 descendants. It is an example of the value of writing our life histories which Sanford did, or in his case dictated it. I have the printout provided showing Nancy to Adam. I have spent some time trying to document this work and feel it is credible to a point. Not that I challenge the work done by Mr. Stevenson, but it would be important to document what it claimed. A sign in the family history mission is appropriate: “Genealogy without sources is Mythology.

Below is a copy of a form provided by staff of the Salt Lake City Family History Library. I like it a lot and it is included below. As you will note, there is little documentation. FamilySearch Family Tree is all about sourcing, collaborating, and working together to document mankind. In Nancy Warriners file there are currently seven attached sources. One source is a census of 1850, three are headstone images, and three are stories. There are dozens of possible sources to add facts to this great story. A complete and accurate story would delve into these many sources. I invite you to assist in this effort. Help us know for a sure about what seems to be a great heritage.

Larry K Cragun

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What’s New on—May 13, 2014

Discussions: Users Can Now Delete Legacy Disputes

A few years ago, copied disputes from into the Discussions feature in Family Tree. Those disputes are referred to as “legacy disputes.” When they were copied into Family Tree, the contributor of the dispute was listed as FamilySearch, and the comments could not be deleted.
Because information in could not be corrected, most of the legacy disputes were comments about what the correct information should be. Many of these legacy disputes are no longer needed because users have already corrected the information in Family Tree.
Any user can now delete a legacy dispute and the comments associated with it if the dispute no longer applies.
1. To remove a legacy dispute and the associated comments, go to a person’s details page.
2. Either click Discussions or scroll down to the Discussions section.
3. Under Discussions, if there is a legacy dispute, click Legacy Disputes.
4. Click the Show Comments link.
5. Read the comments for the legacy dispute, and determine if they no longer apply (for example, if the problem has been corrected).
6. Click the appropriate Delete link.
  • To delete the entire legacy dispute, click the Delete link below Legacy Disputes.
  • To delete only a specific comment, click the comment’s Delete link.
The system asks if you are sure you want to delete the comment or legacy dispute.
7. Click Yes.
Warning: When you delete a legacy dispute, it cannot be restored. Only delete the dispute if the information in the dispute is no longer needed.
Changes to the Source Feature
A couple of changes have been made to the Source feature.
  • If more than 30 sources are attached to a person, the first 30 sources will be displayed, with a More link at the bottom of the list. To see the remaining sources, click the More link.
  • The Source note field size was increased to 10,000 characters.

PS: This is post number 600, proof a little at a time adds up to a lot.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Have You Been To The Family Search Blog Lately?

Good for you. For the others here are some recent topics:

Discussions: Users Can Now Delete Legacy Disputes


FamilySearch Adds More Than 5.1 Million Images to Collections from Belgium, England, India, Italy, Sweden, Ukraine, the United States


New Online Training Now Available

Several new research classes have been added to the Learning Center on The new training includes courses in Swedish, Danish, and Czech research, as well as 8 Spanish language research courses

The Sociology of Cemeteries

Information gleaned from cemeteries can provide very insightful details about our ancestors summarized Helen Shaw from Rockport, ME, in her presentation on The Sociology of Cemeteries at The National Genealogical Society’s 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia

Free Online Webinars in Spanish: Sharing the Expertise of the Family History Library

Friday, May 16, 2014

Do You Want A Job?

This should have been posted on a different day, but friday is for fun.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Uploading A Gedcom Into Family Tree, Is It Possible?

One of the common questions that comes to the support zone might go like this, "I have 5,000 names in my Roots Magic program. How can I upload them into family tree?"

I might add, they usually come with a hope they can get this done.

Now if this is your thought, consider this - it's one tree for all mankind. For almost a year now thousands of users have been working to fix what was sent into family tree from When I say fix I mean fix.

Years ago I sat in a genealogy conference of about 1/2 LDS and 1/2 non LDS participants. In the keynote address it was announced that the Church was going live with family tree and that it would be free for everyone. There were a lot of positive reactions; but not the lady next to me. Her response was "Oh brother, the Mormons I have seen do genealogy on line are careless as to what they consider fact."

In fact, the body of amateurs, many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, have been pretty sloppy. An issue I witnessed over changes in family tree had one side of the conversation say, "I don't care what your source says, I know what my mother told me."

Every tool possible, every response from the support zone, every teaching effort has been put in place for us to make the tree perfect. It has a long way to go but my observation is that the concept is working, I see much more effort on people to source their claims. I see people collaborating. I see that people care. I see fewer green arrow chasers for you LDS genealogists to understand.

Now, back to the topic of the title of this article: can I upload my thousands of names in a gedcom into family tree? The answer is a good old, yes and no. It will not allow you to just dump in your PDF with its likely errors. It does have a logical system. It will have enhancements later.

The PDF below has detailed explanations, but in a nutshell:

GEDCOMs cannot be uploaded directly to Family Tree.

You can easily copy information from an uploaded GEDCOM file into Family Tree.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

MyHeritage is such a great website:

This is their keynote video from RootsTech 2014

Click here for the video

By the way: are you scheduled for RootsTech 2015? It's a not miss event for any level. The RootsTech conference is in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 12-14, 2015. RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, has quickly become the largest family history conference in North America. The unique culture of the RootsTech conference attracts growing throngs of attendees from around the world both in-person and online seeking to discover and share family connections, stories, and history.

RootsTech is a three-day family history conference offering over two hundred classes for beginners, avid hobbyists and experienced researchers.

RootsTech topics:
  • Finding and Organizing: search tactics, resources, specialized tools, methodologies, solutions, metadata, apps and software
  • Preserving Your Work And Legacy: family trees, digital migration, audio and video solutions
  • Sharing: social media, tools for collaboration, wikis, crowd sourcing, community building, blogs
  • Stories and Photos: storytelling and interviewing, capturing stories, preserving stories, enhancing stories with photos, photo restoration, movies and presentations, photo editing, oral histories
  • Tools: technology introductions, gadgets, genetic research, DNA, breaking down barriers,
  • General: family history topics in general including geographic research, time-period research, inspirations, market trends, research trends, adjacent industries, record types. (Please note, there is still an expectation in this category that technology is a part of the presented topic.)
  • Family Traditions And Lifestyle: cultural arts, handicrafts, food, influential historical events, everyday living standards, social customs, pastimes, artifacts. (Please note there is still an expectation in this category that this knowledge assists the learner in family history and that technology is a part of the presented topic.)
RootsTech Innovator Summit
  • Developer: standards and API’s, mobile app development, social applications, record imaging and visualizations, apps for youth, software and tools that enable the work of family history.
  • Business: funding and investment, startups- success stories and tips, opportunities and market trends, networking and partnerships, insights and entertainment
For more information, download the complete Call for Presentations document. It includes presentation and evaluation criteria, the submission timeline, and process details.
Questions regarding the RootsTech 2015 call for presentations can be emailed to the Content Committee at
Do you know someone who would be a great presenter for RootsTech 2015? Please share this article with them.

Four Recent Changes to Sources And Discussions In Family Tree

Below are four recent changes to sources and discussions in Family Tree:
1) Discussions- Users can now delete Legacy Disputes and comments.
Several years ago FamilySearch migrated all of the Disputes in NFS to Discussions, gave them the title of Legacy Disputes, and added the dispute as a comment to the discussion. Most of these disputes had to do with information that could not be corrected in NFS, but can be corrected in Family Tree. Discussions can only be deleted by the person who created them. These Legacy Disputes were migrated as contributed by Family Search so users could never delete them, even if they were no longer valid. With this new feature any user can delete a Legacy Dispute and the comments associated with them.
As part of this feature FamilySearch did a one-time clean-up and deleted any Legacy Dispute Discussions that did not have any comments associated with them.

2) Source Citations no longer show HTML tags <I>.
Source citations now show italics and not the html tag.

3) Source note field size was increased to hold 10,000 characters.
4) Source gadget now shows 30 sources with a more link to display all of the sources if there are more than 30.

Monday, May 5, 2014

What Grabs You, Is Your Role?

It's all fun. There can be a great spirit in any part of this family history - genealogy hobby.

I previously suggested you take a tour through family tree. The reason for that is to get a sense of the big picture, which includes sources, relationships, family units, photos and stories (memories).

There are so many ways to be involved. A couple I recently met with have decided to mainly do indexing. They feel a responsibility to assist in this great work.

This is one option that has a fulfilling return.

I am working on a few dead ends in Cragun and Whitaker.

I spend some time with cousin lines I see need work through One line is of a Cragun who stayed in the midwest and many of his descendants were strong Baptists. I am feeling like fixing their line in family tree I am preparing it for a day that one of those descendants discover family tree.

There is so much to do and so many interesting options I suggest you first get a sense of your pedigree status. The best way to do that is start with your parents, then look at their parents, start working out, discover what is there, see what you can add, keep moving out until your heart catches a sense of your role. It's all good.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Explanation Of New Feature: Quick Attach

Quick attach summaryl from Larry Cragun

This applies to most census records from 1880 on. It is a nice feature. It even adds family members in a census but not in Family Tree

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Great Additions to the Descendancy View

What’s New on—April 29, 2014

Two powerful new features have been added to the Descendancy view—Research Suggestions and Data Problems. They help you identify where people might be missing in your tree and where you might be able to improve the quality of your data.
You also can now use Settings to choose what information you see in the Descendancy View. You can choose whether to display the preferred portrait or the spouses. (For example, not displaying the portraits lets you see a lot more people on a screen.) Changing a setting is easy and quick, so you can change them as often as you want.
Research Suggestions and Data Problems
The system analyzes your tree and lets you know if a person might have had a spouse or another child or if the data has a problem (like the wife died before she had children). When the system identifies an opportunity for finding more people or discovers a data problem, you will see the icon displayed on the right side of the person.
Click on the icon for the specific information for that record:
What the System Evaluates
Over 25 rules are evaluated for each person—most of the rules deal with data problems; the rest are for research suggestions.
Data Problems: The system identifies unlikely dates for an individual or family. For example, the system lets you know if the dates indicate that a person died before he or she was born or if a girl was too young to bear her oldest child. The system also looks for duplicate entries in the same family. For example, it will indicate if the same child seems to appear twice in a family. This helps you identify errors you could fix.
Research Suggestions: The system checks for research opportunities, like missing information or people. For example, the system looks for large gaps between children (which might indicate that there was another child), for couples who may have had children but no children are listed, and for missing information.
In a future release, you will have an option to dismiss Research Suggestions that are not valid for a particular person. For example, if you know a person never married, you will be able to tell the system not to suggest that you look for a spouse for that person.
Using Settings
You have 4 settings you can select to determine what information you see in the Descendancy view:
  • With preferred portraits and spouses
  • Without preferred portraits
  • Without spouses
  • Without portraits or spouses
By default, you will see preferred portraits and spouses. To change the settings, do the following:
1. In the upper right portion of the screen, click Settings.
2. To remove a setting, click the option.
3. The system removes the check mark from the box, and you no longer see that option.
4. To see the option again, click Settings, and click the option. The system adds a check mark, and you see the option.
Here is the same section of Family Tree displayed with the different settings.
With preferred portraits and spouses:
Without preferred portraits:
Without spouses:
Without portraits or spouses: