Family History and Indexing


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Family History Gathering and Stories

Summer Reunions and Family Stories

Summer is the time when most families get together and meet for family reunions. What a wonderful time to gather some family history information and stories of your ancestors. I always attend with a hand full of family group sheets and a completed pedigree chart. Most family members have no trouble helping me fill out a sheet for their family. If you aren't sure where to begin in writing your family story then you might be interested in attending this workshop down in Norman this Saturday.  

Nathan Brown, Oklahoma's poet laureate, will lead a workshop this Saturday, July 20th,
on preserving family stories at the Norman Public Library
at 10:00 a.m.  and at the Noble Public Library at 2:00 p.m. 

"Family Stories: How to Begin"

will feature tips on how to get started in research and recording of family stories
 that can be handed down from one generation to the next.
The workshops are free. No Registration is required.

Indexing Report from FamilySearch
FamilySearch recently reported that as an Indexing community we have completed 71,509,934
records, not names, (which could mean 10 - 50 names per record), this year!  Thank you from the Stake Indexing Group for helping to reach that total. I am very thankful for those who are indexing in our Stake.
You never know when the name you index may be the very name someone is looking for to document their family tree.  Below are a few recommendations from FamilySearch for new indexing projects. Try to look at them and see if you can find one you might like to work on.
  • U.S., Texas, Del Rio-Allen Arrivals, 1906-1953  - Many cards are typed, if the first batch you down load is too hard, try another one. 
  • U.S. Tennessee - Deaths 1956-1961
  • U.S. applications for Headstones for Veterans 1941-1949 - read instructions about the way to index the back of the cards.
  • U.S. Main - Vital Records Prior to 1892 for 80 Towns
Remember that a 3 level batch means you will have to add or mark lines blank, or no extractable data. A level 5 batch means you may have to add lines, and  that there are overlays that require special handling.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Spirit of Elijah

A Special Video for the Youth 

and adults as well

At the Rootstech 2013 conference held in SLC last March, a heavy emphasis was placed on the youth and family history work. On Saturday over 2,000 youth attended special all day workshops on family history. There were also classes for Family History Consultants that day. What I learned from some of these classes was that the Church is promoting the calling of youth to positions as Family History Consultants. They are to work with the senior Consultants and to take family history into the homes of the members in their Wards and Stake. In turn they are to prepare their own names to take to the Temple.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June Indexing Results

Happy Fourth of July !!!!

Stake Indexing Cumulative for 2013

Ward total Indexing for June 

WARD                                                                TOTAL FOR JUNE

Clinton                                                                   1794
Edmond 1st                                                            2784
Edmond 2nd                                                            914
Okc 5th                                                                  3587
Okc 1st                                                                  4721
Okc 3rd                                                                 3972
Quail Creek                                                            4716
Village                                                                    4187
Woodward                                                             2597

Edmond 1st                                                               77
Okc 5th                                                                     10
Okc 1st                                                                    487
Village                                                                      946   

Suggestions for Easier Indexing Projects
If you are having a difficult time finding an indexing project that you can work on I would like to suggest you look at and try one of the following projects. There are lots of helpful examples under Project Instructions that clearly you show you what to do.  Look at these:

  • US Massachusetts, Plymouth Colony Probate Index 1881 - 1939  (typed)  20 names/batch.
  1.  If there are two names associated with a case, then put each name as a separate entry. You may need to go to tools to add another line.  
  2.  If it is an adoption or name change and it says something like: "John Jones from John Edwards" then in  the Surname field put "  Jones or  Edwards" and in the Given name field put " John"  
  3. Call me for help if needed.
  • Massachusetts State Vital Records 1841-1920  Marriages, Births, Deaths ( some typed some handwritten all have been 1916 era with good handwriting) 

  1. Call me for help if needed.
  2.  Do not assume the state name or county name, if it is not written on the record
  3.  Father's surname is not on the birth records, do not put the child's surname for the father's surname, just tab past it.
  4. If a child is recorded to have been "STILLBORN" do not use Stillborn as the given name. Put the word STILLBORN in the titles or terms field. Also if the child is reported to have been a "TWIN", put that in Titles or terms field.
  5. You may need to add more lines for these records so go to TOOLS at the top of your page and choose NUMBER OF RECORDS PER IMAGE and add the appropriate number of lines.

Remember you can return any batch if you think it is too difficult . All batches are only keep in your work box for 7 days. After 7 days  it is taken back and any part that you might have started to index will not be counted toward your goal.  When you are finished with a batch it should automatically ask you if you want to submit it, click on OK. If you are not ready to submit it (maybe you have to ask someone a question about it) then say NO. When you are ready to submit it later, be sure you hit SUBMIT BATCH, not RETURN BATCH.  

On Line Family Trees
As most of you know and offer on-line family trees. FamilySearch is also using this same approach with their new FamilySearch Tree, which we all need to learn how to use. With these trees we are offered many possible matches with our own tree data. Right now I have over 5,000 possible smart matches with MyHeritage and hundreds of Shaking Leaves with matches in  my tree. I am always getting emails from them saying they have found something new. Now for some this would be a wonderful opportunity or it might be a dreaded burden. How would you spend your time looking at all of those matches?

 First of all you need to look at your motivation. Do you really want to spend all day checking each and every one of them out, or do you just want to focus on the line you are working on at the time. I think I will follow the later idea and just work on the important ones. Those notices will stay out there and besides how do you even know if they are correct. You should  not  assume they are correct. Rather you should just use them as a guideline to future research. Never accept someone else's work unless there is documentation that you can follow and verify. Sources are the key to whether you should accept someone else's data.

You may ask why do I even bother with an  or tree when it is all there in the  FamilySearch tree. For one thing, it is wise to have your family tree data in several different places to make sure it is going to survive. It also broadens your opportunity to collaborate with more folks. Personally, I like My Heritage because it is a company that started in Israel and  the eastern European genealogists have already entered their families. Which suggests to me that my family, that came from across the ocean, may connect with their families. Not only does MyHeritage connect to family trees but it also connects to documents like Old Newspapers and US Census records with a 97% accuracy.

Family Search Tree is adding features that makes it  very valuable  to all genealogist.  Features like the ability to add photographs and stories to your ancestors. They are working on the capability to add outside sources, like those you found in a courthouse and not on the internet. That would be wonderful since most people have a lot of those sources. The major attraction, for all genealogist, to FamilySearch Tree is that we know they are not going to be going out of business and our data will always be preserved. To me it is like putting it in the Granite Mountain Vault of computer bases.