MAY Family History Goal

  For May I have updated the monthly family history goals to include QR Code handouts. The QR Code takes you to the monthly goal with explanations and links to optional fun activities. We hope this will appeal to young and old alike! This month we are celebrating Memorial Day! To see other goals with their helps go to the Consultant Resources  page. May QR Code Handout

Quick, Simple, Fun, and Yet Instructive Family History Ideas

I have dreamed for years of creating a simple plan for introducing the novice to family history concepts in short fun increments. I have provided my first plan for fun, simple, quick, and yet instructive activities that will introduce both young and old to FamilySearch . The goal is to introduce them to the essentials and then let the spirit of Elijah direct their family history path. These links will take you to the PDF version and the Word version of my one-year plan.  Use it as you please.  OVERALL YEAR LONG FAMILY HISTORY PLAN-PDF OVERALL YEAR LONG FAMILY HISTORY PLAN-Word Document I will share the step-by-step instructions on the Consultant Resources Blog Page  and update the 2022 Plan as FamilySearch changes throughout the year.
  LIGHT BULB MOMENT I MUST SHARE I often have had a hard time navigating the FamilySearch Learning Center to find the videos I am looking for on various subjects. Even when I know they are there I can't always find them.  I just discovered the FamilySearch Wiki page for the Learning Center! It has a "Table of Classes" numbered 1-2118. WOW! It has links to the classes! Here is the link:  Enjoy! Happy learning!

FUN Family History Activities for Young and Old

During the quarantine, I have been doing family history activities with my grandchildren. We started with indexing. I was surprised at how much they enjoyed it because I do it out of duty. I decided to refine some activities I had used in the past for them to play with and engage in a fun way with family history. These activities are designed to be a bridge to help them discover and also learn key concepts while having fun. I have been impressed with their abilities to maneuver the FamilySearch website and their interest in what they learn along the way.                                         Family History CANDY SHOP FUN The seven-year-old who is not pictured above was not able to participate and was very bummed. He was so excited to finally turn eight that he made me come over on his birthday and sign him up for FamilySearch. Unfortunately, we learned that you have to be 8 years and ONE day old to register. Now he is happily participating also. He indexed two full batche

FamilySearch Family Tree Person Page CLASS

FamilySearch Family Tree Person Page We took a whirlwind tour around the Person Page yesterday. There are some fun new features to explore. Be sure you put a WATCH on your first 4 generations and anyone to whom you contribute a memory. The PowerPoint has been posted here:  Fall 2019 Classes Scroll down to:                                          Thursday 12 September 2019                                          2-The Amazing Updated FamilySearch Person Page Next week we learn about record hints and document analysis. You won't want to miss it!

Classes Have Started

Classes have started! Between the morning and evening classes, we had around 65 people attend. Wow! We have plenty of room for more if you can think of anyone else who might be interested: family, friends, neighbors, etc. I have posted the PowerPoint from this past Thursday's class "Family Tree Tips and Tricks for Getting Started".  Click on this hyperlink and then scroll down to the hyperlink on "Thursday 5 September 2019". It is under the tab "Classes 2019-2020". Practice merging duplicates and recover any of your missing lines. If you desire, put your tree in center focus as was shown in class. Then more of your tree will show. I look forward to seeing you this next Thursday when we will discuss the FamilySearch Person Page and give you some more tips and tricks.

Classes Starting!

For those people who live in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Peggy Ash and Jeanne Koniuszy will be staring classes beginning next week.  A link to the class schedules is here:  Fall 2019 Class Schedules   Contact information for both of us is included with the schedules.  For those who don't know us: We served as missionaries at the Mesa FamilySearch library until it closed.  Jeanne Koniuszy has a degree in Genealogy from BYU and a wealth of experience. You don't want to miss her RootsMagic classes!   Peggy Ash has a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University and has attended many conferences and institutes, including Tom Jones Advanced Methodologies course. Peggy is currently working on her accreditation and is hoping to find others who would like to do the same.  Peggy teaches her beginners series in the fall and her research series in the spring. Jeanne's fall classes repeat in the spring. I am also including  updated times and locat

Document Analysis

Although this topic may be considered a bit more advanced, serious beginning genealogists would be so much further ahead if they knew this information starting out! When we run up against brick walls or just want to know more about a certain part of our ancestor's lives we need to revisit what we have already found. Often a thorough analysis of a document can give us more information or give us ideas about where to look for more information in other records. Document Analysis PowerPoint PDF Document Analysis Handout The GPS or Genealogical Proof Standard guides us to properly collect sources, cite them, analyze them, resolve conflicts we might find in them, and then make accurate conclusions based on them. When done properly any documentation found thereafter will not disagree with or change the conclusion. To begin, we need to focus our research into a single question. Then search for records that are relevant to that question. Next, we evaluate each document to determ


What hidden treasure will YOU find once you explore the FamilySearch CATALOG? The FamilySearch CATALOG is where ALL of the records that FamilySearch has are located. Including books. After they have been added to the Catalog the records will eventually migrate to Historical Records and the FamilySearch Wiki. If you want access to EVERYTHING, then you need to search the CATALOG. This PowerPoint will show you how to search the CATALOG with various types of searches and then show you how to get creative in that search process. There are neat shortcuts and tips and tricks to help you find more things faster. Your research treasure chest will overflow with new and precious gems! It's time to start digging! The HIDDEN GOLDMINE: The FamilySearch CATALOG PDF The HIDDEN GOLDMINE: The FamilySearch CATALOG PDF-Handout Version


Now that we no longer have help from the Mesa FamilySearch Library we can find our own help on genealogical topics by turning to the AMAZING FamilySearch WIKI. The FamilySearch Wiki is where you can begin to become an EXPERT in genealogical topics and places. Wonder what records are available for a certain time period in a certain place? Look in the Wiki. Want to know more about a certain record collection? Look in the Wiki. Want to learn more about research in a foreign country? Look in the Wiki. Need some genealogy forms? Look in the Wiki. With the new GUIDED RESEARCH, it couldn't be easier! Now is the time to give it a try! That brick wall may find itself crumbling with the tools that you find available. I became a convert over ten years ago. After one of James Tanner's classes at the old Mesa FamilySearch Library, I approached him with a difficult genealogical conundrum. One that had perplexed many others. James didn't know the answer so he sat down at the Wiki

Beginning Searches with the FamilySearch Person Page and Partners

It is always exciting to be able to explore original records left behind by our ancestors. It validates their existence and also validates us and who we are as individuals as we connect to them. When we have a tree on FamilySearch or it's partner websites we are given hints for records that the database thinks apply to our ancestors. We can look at these records, evaluate them, and when we are convinced that they are relevant to the individual or individuals in our tree we can attach them to those individuals. However, these hints are just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more! But to find more we will have to embark on a search. Searches can be done as a scattershot approach where we just take anything the search results give us or we can specifically focus our search to achieve a goal. The goal all family historians should undertake is to make sure their ancestors, within the first four generations, have as many vital records and censuses as it is possible to find w

Finding FamilySearch Source List Images

The image on the upper left is a typical example of the Memories tab on a FamilySearch person page that has not been enriched with the images available in the list of Sources. The image on the lower left is that same Memories page once the Sources list's images have been located and added. Finding FamilySearch Source List Images PowerPoint PDF Finding FamilySearch Source List Images PowerPoint PDF Handout Version Someone new to family history will view Memories long before they will view, understand, or utilize the Sources tab. Original documents speak to hearts. They validate a person's life and give us a peek through the window of time. When documents are made readily viewable in Memories novices may see a census or vital record for the first time. When these documents are about people that are meaningful to them they engage more fully in family history. Because of this, there is great value in enriching Memories pages with images of original documents.  Without

Beginning Family History Step 8-Organizing Digitizing and Preserving Photos

The flood of photos in this digital age can be overwhelming. How do we keep up? Well, the good news is that digital photos on a computer or cell phone are quick and easy to view. You can view hundreds if not thousands in minutes. In the PowerPoint below are presented some ideas to help manage and preserve your multitude of contemporary photos. Number one: Get them all in one place! Labeling can be tedious and time-consuming unless you know the shortcuts. Being able to batch label and batch metadata photographic images can be a time saver. If you have photo editing programs you can use them. If you don't you can easily do it in Windows File Explorer or use the free program called Adobe Bridge. Mac users would best be served by using Adobe Bridge. Nondigital photos can be scanned to make them digital. This PowerPoint covers the basics of scanning photos with suggestions for the necessary resolution as well as file formats and what they mean: tif vs jpeg. The basics of how

Beginning Family History Step 7-Family History and Digital Management of Historical Items

Digital management is a hot topic in many fields but because of the uniqueness of everyone's personal genealogy and style, it can become a bit complex in the subject of family history.  There are many classes, books, webinars, etc. on the subject in relation to genealogy. I have watched, studied, and read many. What I have discovered is that there is no perfect system. Some I like better than others and you will too. What I have included in this PowerPoint are examples of some of the better methods and ideas. You can choose what suits you. Metadata is introduced with various free methods of adding metadata to your image files. This allows you to add source citations to your images that stick with them wherever they go, as well as a variety of other options. Hopefully, you will be able to make some more informed decisions in the future. Family History and Digital Management PowerPoint PDF Family History and Digital Management PowerPoint PDF-HANDOUT VERSION Batc

Creative Iterative Searches on FamilySearch and Ancestry

Why doesn't my ancestor show up in the census? Well, maybe he did! When a record doesn't immediately pop up in search results it doesn't mean that it isn't available. It may just take a bit more creativity to find. What is an "iterative" search? It is a search where you vary the parameters of repeated searches to improve the results. Thus you evaluate the results and then determine what new search parameters might be used to improve the results. FamilySearch and Ancestry have very different search engines. FamilySearch uses a tightly filtered search while Ancestry uses a fuzzy search. One is not better than the other, they are just different. When you understand how they work you can make both systems work to your advantage. If you don't have all of the birth, marriage, death, and census records for your first 4-5 generations, it is time to start getting creative in your hunt for them! This PowerPoint will give you tools you need to start making yo

Family History Educational Resources

With the closing of our local Mesa FamilySearch Library, those of us here in Mesa are left without access to the MFSL conferences, classes, and resources we have had in the past. We look forward to the opening of our new Discovery Center and renovated temple in 2020. During the interim, I thought I would share the wealth of resources that are available elsewhere. I am providing a list of links to resources that I am aware of, and although somewhat comprehensive, there are many more opportunities available for those who keep searching. New learning opportunities are continually arising. It is a popular market! My advice would be to not pay for anything until you have exhausted the free material first and have a good feel for what else you want to learn. Then if you have more interest you can start paying. LEARNING RESOURCES The FamilySearch Learning Center-Articles an d Lessons The FamilySearch Wiki Ancestry Academy Riverton Family History Center YOUTU

Beginning Family History Step 3-HIDDEN DUPLICATES in FamilySearch-How to FIND and RESOLVE

In 2017 I conducted a hidden duplicate experiment on my first five generations to see how many hidden duplicates I could find in FamilySearch. This project began because of a failed attempt to help my husband find a new family to add to his FamilySearch tree. I spent some time pre-finding a person for him to research that was without a spouse or children. I did a "Possible Duplicates" search on the individual before I started looking for family and trusted it when it said there were none. I pre-found the family in records and then spent 2.5 hours helping my husband "find" them.  It wasn't until we added the third child to FamilySearch that the system found a duplicate which was attached to the whole family. It was very discouraging. All that research time was wasted and the temple work was already completed.  I learned a huge lesson. ALWAYS DO A CAREFUL HIDDEN DUPLICATE SEARCH BEFORE YOU RESEARCH OR ADD ANYONE TO FAMILYSEARCH! Don't have the ex

San Tan Valley North Family History Fair

San Tan Valley North Family History Fair 41246 North Barnes Parkway Saturday 8 September 2018, 9:30 am For the three classes I taught: Handouts   Ancestry DNA 101-Ethnicity Estimates and Beyond Handout Online Digital Newspapers: Breathing Life into those Names and Dates Handout Preserving Memories in the Digital Age Handout PowerPoints Ancestry DNA 101-Ethnicity Estimates and Beyond PP PDF Online Digital Newspapers: Breathing Life into those Names and Dates PP PDF Preserving Memories in the Digital Age PP PDF

Beginning Family History Step 6-The FamilySearch Updated Person Page

Beginning Family History Step 6-The FamilySearch Person Page Peggy Ash Now that we have a tree and record hints attached we need to take a closer look at what FamilySearch calls the "Person Page". When a new individual is added to the FamilySearch Family Tree they are assigned an identification number and a Person Page is created for them. The Person Page has only as much or as little information as users have entered. Most Person Page's could benefit from a little TLC. TLC comes in the form of verifying, standardizing, correcting, adding, and organizing information. A Person Page can become a work of art when well crafted. Make your 4 generations a valuable masterpiece! This PowerPoint will give you some tips and hints: Beginning Family History Step 6-The FamilySearch Updated Person Page PowerPoint PDF

Beginning Family History Step 5-Magical World of Record Hints

The miracle of modern technology meets genealogy with the magical world of record hints! Add an individual to a tree in one of the major online genealogy sites like FamilySearch, Ancestry, Find My Past, or My Heritage and within seconds record hints have been generated. The websites use the information from your tree to search their databases to find records that pertain to your individual. Hints are produced for records that the systems have found and with a high degree of confidence believe apply to your individual. Even though the systems are often quite good at bringing us valid hints, each hint still needs to be evaluated and the record analyzed. Even when there seems to be very little information, each piece of information can be a clue that leads us to more information and can be used as evidence to support or contradict what we already know. As new information is identified it needs to be added to the tree. FamilySearch does not automatically correct or transfer vital i

Beginning Family History Step 4-Adding Your 4 Generations to the FamilySearch Tree

We have discovered our family in Ancestry but now we want to make sure that the information is in FamilySearch. Before we add any new individuals to the FamilySearch Tree we want to make sure that they are not already in FamilySearch. There are three ways of doing this: 1. Check for Duplicates on the FamilySearch Person Page 2. Use the FamilySearch synch feature in Ancestry 3. Use the FIND feature in FamilySearch When you have checked FamilySearch and most of the individuals being added to the FamilySearch tree are not in FamilySearch or your individuals contain much more information than what may be in FamilySearch, then you have the option of uploading a GEDCOM file to FamilySearch. A GEDCOM file is a Data Communication file specifically designed by the LDS Church to transmit genealogical information. It has become the standard file format in the genealogical community. A GEDCOM can be exported from Ancestry and uploaded to FamilySearch. On FamilySearch, these files are rea

Beginning Family History Step 2b-Find Your 4 Generations When There are No Online Trees

When the tree hints run dry and you no longer have trees to extend your family tree what do you do? Search for information in records. The best records to identify other family members are census, marriage, birth, and death records. When you initiate a search you want to focus on those records. As you find records you can attach them to your Ancestry tree along with those individuals mentioned in the record. Ancestry is nice because, unlike FamilySearch, you can also add information from the record to the information in your tree or replace information in your tree with better information from the record. This is where things start to get FUN! Beginning Family History Step 3-Find Your 4 Generations When There are No Online Trees PDF

Beginning Family History Step 2-Jump Start Your First 4 Generations with Ancestry Trees

Online trees are a wonderful source for quickly extending your personal pedigree. These trees have been placed online by an individual who did some or a considerable amount of family history work and shared it for public access. The original trees may have then been copied, often many times, by others and then reposted online and shared so there could be many trees on any given family line that are quite similar. FamilySearch has tried to create one combined family tree from all of the trees posted to their website with the hope of eliminating or at least reducing the amount of duplication of effort. Ancestry, on the other hand, has kept their individual trees in the private space of the creator and given the owner the option of sharing their tree/trees. Because sharing is the default, most people share their trees. At last count, Ancestry says it has  100 million family trees . The odds are pretty good someone has started a tree on Ancestry with some of your family members i

Ancestry DNA 101

Ancestry DNA 101 PowerPoint PDF Ancestry DNA 101 Handout In April of 2018, I completed the semester-long Boston University Genealogy Course and received their genealogy certificate. It is a well respected and wonderful course but it was intense. I loved it, although the pressure around the weekly due date was not fun. Being graded on my work was a long forgotten stress. I did well but not without immense effort. Lots of writing! The course is designed to prepare you to become a professional. My intent was not to become a professional but to acquire the knowledge of a professional. I feel that I did, but there is always so much more to learn! Part of this course was on Forensic Genealogy which included a study of DNA. In this day and age, a true genealogist must have a working knowledge of DNA. The course spurred me into learning even more. Understanding how confusing it was, not long ago, when I took my first DNA test, I realized that there was a lack of beginning DNA resources