Family History and Indexing


Friday, February 12, 2016

Year End Report and One in A Million

Stake Year End Report

 Names Indexed and Arbitrated for the year 2015

One in A Million

Sun Rise taken by Bob Woolley in PA

One Million Names

A news release from Gympie, Australia on Feb 9, 2016 tells the story of  Irene Deans, 92 years old, who recently indexed one million names into FamilySearch. org. 

Irene is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and  stated that indexing, "is what gets her up in the morning and keeps her going." Irene gets up at 5:30 am every morning to sit at her computer and indexes for many hours. She is truly a remarkable example of someone who regularly devotes her time to service to the Lord. She is an inspiration to all.

Reaching Out

taken by Lee Schuler - PA 2015

Stake Indexers Help Black Community

Thanks to the promotion of the Freedmen's Bureau Project in the Oklahoma City Black Community, by the Church's Public Relations folks, about 25 Indexers from our Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Stake had a wonderful opportunity to reach out and help people learn how to index.

On Saturday, February 6, 2016, our group of indexers were invited to attend a 4 hour program at St. John's Missionary Baptist Church on North Kelley. There were approximately 50 people, not of our faith, who attended and they were so enthusiastic and excited about learning how to index and search their family trees. What a wonderful opportunity for all of us indexers to let our lights shine!

I was set up to help with indexing questions, but the two ladies I had the privilege to work with, Helen and Betty, were more interested in seeing if The Church had any records on their families. The result of this was that not only did I get them set up to index, but I was able to take them into so that they could look for those records. 

Betty was particularly excited, her eyes lite up and she just couldn't believe that we could find her grandma in the US Census records. What a wonderful experience that was for both of us. While she could not stay long to explore more records that day, she did accept my invitation to come to the Family History Center the next Wednesday morning, when I work, to do more searching. 

Sure enough, on Wednesday morning about 10:05 am Betty came to the FHC and I worked with her for 3 1/2 hours, on creating her own family tree and researching records to add as sources. She is so happy and said she would be back next week to do some more. What an interesting background and wonderful stories she had to tell about her family. She is even more excited to be able to start indexing those post Civil War Records from the Freedmen's Bureau Project. I was very touched by the spirit, to be able to help Betty and to learn of her family struggles and life histories. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

January 2016 News

Libraries - the places where memories are saved!

Judy Russell, posted to her blog,The Legal Genealogist,  on Jan 7th, 2016 that the New York Public Library  is offering free images of 180,000 digitized items found in the Library's holdings. These items are from material that is out of copyright protection. They are now Free, no permission required, no hoops to jump through, just use them however you might want. Ms. Russell  quoted from: 
  1. Shana Kimball, “Free for All: NYPL Enhances Public Domain Collections For Sharing and Reuse,” NYPL Blogs, posted 5 Jan 2016 ( : accessed 6 Jan 2016). 
To go to the  hot link to the NYPL Blog, just click above.

I am excited to go and look at their photos and public domain materials of historical documents that they have acquired over the years. Some of them may show up on this blog page.

If you have never read Judy Russell's blog pages you should check it out at this link:
Ms Russell is an attorney/genealogist and highly sort after as a public speaker. Last summer she was in Oklahoma City giving a day long seminar for the Oklahoma Historical Society and I was able to attend. She is a wonderful, funny, and highly intelligent genealogist.

                          OKC Stake Indexing 2015

 The total number of names indexed and arbitrated for the whole Stake, this past year, 2015


Good Job !! 

FamilySearch Partnership Offers 

You may have heard people talking about the FS Partnership offers to get free accounts with:, My Heritage, Find My Past or  American Ancestors. These are made available to you through your Church membership.   This is a fantastic value as some of these subscriptions can cost you $200.00 a year or more. 

One of the great values I have just learned about with is that they offer three features to LDS accounts that are not available to the general, or paid subscription, users. These are as follows: 
  1. You can either continue any family tree you may have started as a paid subscription user,  or you can import 4 generations from your FS Tree. You don't have to start from scratch.
  2. You can connect any individual in your Ancestry tree with your Family Search tree, and exchange details. Look for the small FS Tree icon on your person's profile page that says "Connect person to FamilySearch".
  3. Submit Names for Temple Ordinances from your person's profile page in Look for the FS Tree Icon in and click "Request" to view ordinance details. You should compare their details and update any changes first.
My Heritage contains billions of historical records and is available in 42 languages. They search for records and matching family trees while you sleep. Then they send you an email when they have found matches. My Heritage started in 2008 in Israel and have many European family trees already in their database. If you are looking for your family lines in foreign countries this is a great way to link up with fellow researchers.

Find My Past deals mainly with records from the United Kingdom back to AD 875. I don't know much about this site.

American Ancestors is a data base of family trees that deal with 17th century colonial New England through 21st century immigration. It is a product of the New England Historical  Genealogical Society.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 2016

Washington DC Temple 2016
photo by Bob Woolley

Showing Gratitude This Holiday Season

After reading a holiday message on the Family Search Blog :   I decided that there are many ways we can, and  we all need to, step up our work on our family history.  Just a brief review of this short article will tell you how. I think that when we look at our family tree and can't find anyone who needs their Temple work done it is because we need to search more records and find more ancestors. 

When your parents or grandparents did the genealogy research they did not have the electronic databases and indexed records to search through. It is so easy these days to find  new records, more and more are added each day as indexing speeds forward. So go into "Search Records" in the Familysearch Tree and get the census records that give family members names (1850-1940) and add those cousins to your tree. You will probably add more names that need Temple work.

You are the beneficiary of this incredible Indexing work,and right here I want to say THANK YOU TO ALL  INDEXERS for making it possible to find more and more records in Familysearch tree. Keep up the great work, keep indexing in 2016.  But start out the New Year by working on your family tree and adding sources and family photos or stories. Another thing you might do is to share Familysearch Tree with others, show them how to use it.

Philadelphia Temple to be dedicated Fall of 2016

Teach someone how to use

Now that I am a family history consultant I am willing to share my knowledge of with members of my Ward or those who come into the Family History Center when I am working. . Part of this work includes teaching classes in the FHC during the second hour each Sunday, on using FamilySearch. There are many new features and documents to find on FamilySearch and I suggest that each Ward should have on-going family history classes, to help everyone to learn how to use the program.

 OKC 1st Ward  is making an effort to help members learn how to find names in their family trees that might need Temple work done. There is a beautiful family tree on our bulletin board in the hallway of the Stake building that displays photos of  the First Ward member families and how many names they have completed in 2015, at the Temple. It represents their dedication to Temple and Family History work.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Fallen Leaves

Autumn in the Pocono's taken by Bob Woolley

November brings Fallen Leaves and Turkeys!

Along with a memorial Veteran's Day, this month brings us lots of changing weather, whirling leaves and that big food day when we celebrate and give thanks for our Pilgrim ancestors;Thanksgiving Day. 

Why do we have so much food on the table when our families come home that Thursday to help us celebrate. I feel it is because we, following in the Pilgrim's footsteps, are thankful that we have family and that we have had a year of bountiful blessings, no matter how big or small they have been. We  want to gather our family members together to give thanks to the Lord for these blessings.

Some of my warmest memories of Thanksgiving are having all of my sisters (4) bring their families home. We shared  some wonderful fellowship and memories as a family, thankful for each other and our parents. Some of us this year may not have that opportunity to be with our family, but we can still be thankful for Heavenly Father and His Son, for watching over us this past year.

Since my release as the Stake Indexing Director in Oklahoma City Stake, I have fallen down on my time that I spend on Indexing. It appears that many others have taken a break also. That is ok, but I plan to re-dedicate more time to this wonderful service to the Lord.  I would also like to continue this blog to post some wonderful ideas about Family History work and of course some indexing tips. 

Freedman's Bureau Project

Some of you may have wondered what was going on with the Freedman's Bureau Project. This is an indexing project which the African American community has been invited to index, through efforts made by the Church Public Relations Committee and Salt Lake City. Indexers who know how to index these records could volunteer to help train the african american community members so they can get started indexing. For more information on this please contact Jan Larsen, Public Relations Director for our Stake.

This project includes records that were generated after the Civil War and marks the first time that there are documented records of the slaves that were emancipated. When the Civil War was over depression and poverty levels were very high in the south, not just for the freed slaves but for many white people too, whose names may appear in these records as well.

There are different types of records in this project which  include employment contracts, food records, marriage and school records, just to name a few.  Although we have been asked not to index the records ourselves, we should become familiar with them and how to do the indexing for them. On November 8th there was a open house event at the Stake Center to which over 150 people were invited and several of our Indexers were there to help. I understand that in January there will be a big Indexing event for this specific purpose. When details are available I will let you know when and where.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mid July wanderings

Summer at the Lake in PA.,  taken by Bob Woolley

This photograph exemplifies the beauty and serenity of a lazy summer day. Likewise indexing, to me, is an example of the beauty of providing a service to others, to  our Lord and to our ancestors. A service that has resulted in over three billion searchable records at FamilySearch that help others find their ancestors.  How beautiful is that? How do you feel when you finally find a record on-line that supports your family records? That is only possible because someone took the time to help create a computer searchable index.

I am so very thankful for all of you who are indexing and arbitrating in our Stake. Your contributions are beyond words of mere thanks!! Keep up the good work and help someone else learn how to index too.

Writing a Life Sketch in Family Tree

Have you consider writing a life sketch for your ancestors in FamilySearch Tree? You might want to view these guidelines before you start and maybe you will find the answer as to why you would even consider doing such a thing.  Go to this link to see a one page handout that will be of great help:

Several reasons why I would want to do this are listed below for your evaluation:

  • Life sketches lend stability to the record.
  • It is a brief, about 1,500 words,  thus a sketch - avoid personal pronouns
  • Include facts that will help other researchers
  • Calls attention to the problem of other people merging or editing your information
  • Everyone can see it at the top of the profile

Accidents Happen!

Have you ever added someone to your tree by mistake and you don't know how to get them out of your tree?  I have and it wasn't funny. It took awhile till I figured out how to delete him or unlink him from the parents. I found a great short video that will show you how to handle situations like this. Click on the link below and go watch this video, or visit with you Ward Family History Consultant for help.

Friday, July 3, 2015

June 2015 Stake Indexing Report

Happy 4th of July 

June Stake Indexing Report
YTD CUM 230,012
Ward                                    Total Names
  • Clinton                                             552
  • Edmond First                                   267
  • Edmond Fourth                               3728 
  • Edmond Second                              2499
  • Okc Fifth                                         1103
  • Okc First                                          3394
  • Okc Fourth Branch                              13
  • Okc Seventh                                     3312
  • Okc Third                                         1399
  • Quail Creek                                        350
  • Village                                                739
  • Woodward Branch                                34
  • Edmond Fourth                                     227
  • Okc Third                                                31

Freedmen's Bureau Project
You may have seen in your list of Indexing projects an increase in the Freedmen Bureau batches. You may wonder how that affects you, maybe your family roots don't fall into this category, but these records extend to just about anyone who lived or worked in the south in the years following the civil war.
It includes anyone who needed help after the Civil War. These records reflect the massive effort of the federal government to assist the newly freed slaves and anyone impacted by the war. They provide a look at the legal system and how it worked, or didn't work in those days.
Various records included in this project are: work contracts, marriage records, birth records, school records, wills, food and clothing rationing lists, property settlements, etc.
 More importantly for the black community it was the first time that the names of the children and parents were recorded. The first vital records for this community. These records reflect a massive effort to stabilize the south following the Civil War, and you may even find your ancestors listed there.
Go to the link listed below to hear the Announcement made on June 19th, 2015, 150 years since the day of emancipation,  in Los Angeles, by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and NARA. 

Ever wonder how indexing can help you overcome the world? Watch this short video and see what changes can come into your life through indexing. The Spirit touches each indexers life with power and purpose. Learn to recognize that spirit through indexing.
Just click on the link below to view.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 2015 Stake Indexing Report

Washington DC Temple, taken by Bob Wooley

Oklahoma City Stake Indexing for May

Stake Total for May   23,801 
44 active indexers

    Ward                           total indexed and arbitrated
  • Clinton                                                        615
  • Edmond First                                              481
  • Edmond Fourth                                        5,132
  • Edmond Second                                       6,385
  • Okc Fifth                                                  1.222
  • Okc First                                                  4,127 
  • Okc Seventh                                            2,922
  • Okc Third                                                 1,260
  • University                                                      20
  • Quail Creek                                                 395
  • Village                                                      1,083 

  Youth Indexing Totals for May

  • Edmond Fourth                                          90
  • Okc Fifth                                                    51
  • Okc Third                                                   18     

Stake Cum to  31 May 2015

(787,689 to go for 1 Million goal)

Worldwide Arbitration Event May 1 - May 8th

8, 658 arbitrator's - 1,042,454 images arbitrated
and the work goes on
If you would like to become an arbitrator please contact me via email or phone