Arrow Fat Left Icon Arrow Fat Right Icon Arrow Right Icon Cart Icon Close Circle Icon Expand Arrows Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Pinterest Icon Twitter Icon Hamburger Icon Information Icon Down Arrow Icon Mail Icon Mini Cart Icon Person Icon Ruler Icon Search Icon Shirt Icon Triangle Icon Bag Icon Play Video

posts

#100DaysOfGenealogy Update

#100DaysOfGenealogy Update

Following April 2018 LDS General Conference, I set a goal to do 100 Days of Genealogy. I haven't been perfect, but quite frankly I've done WAY more family history work than I have since doing a family history project for one of my Young Women in Excellence projects. What I've allowed to "count" as family history has evolved, but it basically boils down to: searching for ancestors records in FamilySearch and Ancestry, indexing and doing temple work.

To keep track of my progress, I use HeyHabit. It's this awesome app (accessible as a Chrome extension so your calendar and to-do list come up every time you open a new tab in the browser, an iPhone app, or simply by going to HeyHabit.com) that my husband built to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and focus on creating habits. You can see how I'm doing on my family history goal below. It's been 51 days since I set my goal and I've done some family history work 39 of those days. As you can see from my metrics, I really struggle with Fridays and Saturdays :)

hey habit family history goal

As I've put an additional focus in my life on working on family history, I've felt a much greater love for my ancestors and closeness to them, and on days when I feel I haven't accomplished much else despite my best efforts it's been particularly helpful to me to feel I've done something incredibly worthwhile, even if it only took me 5 minutes to index a batch of names. Want to learn more about the joy of indexing? Check out this blog post. For more details on what I did to get started on my family history this go around (and an easy-to-find, concrete place you can start too), check out this other recent blog post

Continue reading

The Joy of Indexing: 101

The Joy of Indexing: 101

Indexing is a fantastic way to get involved in family history, especially if family history seems intimidating and you aren't sure where to start. I've found it has become even more meaningful for me as I've engaged in the search for my own ancestors because of the gratitude I've felt for those who have indexed records before me to allow me to find information about my own ancestors lives—for me it feels like a way to pay it forward.

The change to web indexing (it used to be a program you had to download on your computer) makes it fast and easy to get started from anywhere and pick up right where you left off.

Start by going to FamilySearch.org and then clicking Indexing > Web Indexing.

FamilySearch Indexing

Once you sign into FamilySearch, you'll be dropped onto this Indexing home page. You'll be able to set goals here and track your progress, but to get straight down to business, click the blue Find Batches button.

indexing home page

This will show you all the batches currently available to index. You can choose the difficulty level, language, etc. that you're up for too!

beginning batches indexing

Once you're in your indexing batch here are a couple of my favorite features.

1) Handwriting examples! If you just can't figure out what a letter is, open up this panel and it will give you examples of different ways that letter has been written historically. These have been a lifesaver to me in the past.

indexing handwriting help

2) Special instructions. When I start indexing a new type of record, I like to click through the "?" icon for each field, so that I know what I'm doing—it makes a big difference. For example, did you know when typing a height listed as 6' 1", you should type 6 1 (without the foot and inch symbols)? I'd been doing that wrong for years!

Special instructions

As I index, I can't help but wonder who these people were and what their life story was. I look for connections to my life and family (one person with my birthday so far!) and each time I find one it makes me smile. The greatest joy comes from knowing that as I index, I'm helping make these records searchable so that someone who loves this person and is looking for them can find them. How cool is that?

Ready to start indexing? Try it out at FamilySearch! Want to create your own custom family tree to help remember your own ancestors! Get started here.

Continue reading

The Difference Between Genealogy and Family History and Why It Matters

The Difference Between Genealogy and Family History and Why It Matters

Some circles of the interwebs believe that the distinction between using genealogy vs. family history is merely a choice of terminology or semantics. For example, as defined by Merriam - Webster, you might be hard-pressed to eek meaning out of the distinction between genealogy, defined as:

1: an account of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or from older forms
2: regular descent of a person, family, or group of organisms from a progenitor (see progenitor 1) or older form : pedigree
3: the study of family ancestral lines
4: an account of the origin and historical development of something
and family history, defined as:
1: past occurrences (of a medical or mental health condition) in family members or past incidences (of a type of behavior) by family members 
2: a record of one's ancestors 

But other circles of the interwebs, myself among them, believe that our word choice is important and telling. I, and many others, think of genealogy as the finding of names and ancestral lines and family history as the stories and heritage that surround those names. One analog I've heard several people use in explaining the difference is comparing genealogy to bones and family history as everything else built upon the bones that makes a body.

Genealogy is essential in creating a family tree. But just like genealogy itself, a family tree gains more meaning as you actively engage in family history. The more I've learned about the distinction, the more I realize that I'm intimidated by genealogy... the searching and fear of not finding... but only excited by family history. I'm a story girl who can't wait to learn "what happens next," and that's what family history is all about. That being said, without understanding where these ancestors you learn about fit in the framework of your genealogy, it's not as meaningful, and that's where having a family tree chart hanging on your wall comes in incredibly handy. Ready to get started on that genealogy wall chart? Choose a starting template and let's get cracking! 

Continue reading

Am I A Strong Link In My Family's Chain of Forever?

Am I A Strong Link In My Family's Chain of Forever?

"Am I a strong link in my family's chain of forever?" It's a question I found myself asking this evening as I read Bridges and Eternal Keepsakes, a talk given by Elder

Dennis B. Neuenschwander of the Quorum of the Seventy in an LDS General Conference in April 1999. Yep... a long time ago, but still relevant. In the talk Elder Neuenschwander spoke of a Christmas when he watched his father (aged 89) and his oldest grandchild (aged 4) enjoying each others company, and how it struck him how fleeting his grandson's memories of his father would be. Then comes the following passage:

"Not one of my children has any recollection of my grandparents. If I want my children and grandchildren to know those who still live in my memory, then I must build the bridge between them. I alone am the link to the generations that stand on either side of me. It is my responsibility to knit their hearts together through love and respect, even though they may never have known each other personally. My grandchildren will have no knowledge of their family’s history if I do nothing to preserve it for them. That which I do not in some way record will be lost at my death, and that which I do not pass on to my posterity, they will never have. The work of gathering and sharing eternal family keepsakes is a personal responsibility. It cannot be passed off or given to another."

What am I doing to gather and share eternal family keepsakes? Food for thought.

Continue reading

All About the Roots

All About the Roots

Whenever we talk about genealogy or family history, the word "roots" comes up often. We talk about "getting back to our roots," "remembering our roots," and "honoring our roots." We even use "family trees," and we all know that trees have roots. But today, we are going to talk about the word "roots" in a different context: root words; of some commonly used phrases related to genealogy and family history.

The word genealogy comes from the two Greek words genea and logia. Genea means "race" or "family" and logia means "theory" or "study."The closest translation comes out to "to trace ancestry." The word pedigree has Latin roots, coming from the words pes, meaning "foot," and grus, meaning "crane." Kinda weird, right? This is because, in early western European genealogies, a sign resembling a crane's foot was used to indicate lines of descent. As we know, English is a "younger" language, and almost every word is a variation or combination of words from other, more ancient languages. 

Root words help us figure out the origin and meaning of the language we use today. In the same way, knowing our "roots" help us figure out our origins and our purpose. We all come from somewhere, and we all mean something; because of our strong roots, we can become great trees (figuratively). Metaphors are nice, but personally, I like things I can see and hold. At FamilyTreePrints.com you can create, customize, and download a Family Tree Print that fits your needs, and your style.  So go check it out, and remember, a tree is only as strong as its roots.

Continue reading