Family History and Indexing


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Source-full Saturday

Building your Family Tree

Family Tree Webinar

Last night the Utah Genealogical Association - Virtual Chapter offered a free Webinar which featured Ron Tanner, a Product Manager for the Family History Department of the Church. Tanner discussed the newest features of FamilySearch Tree and the coming features that look very exciting to me as a contributor to the Tree.
These features include the following:
  • History List - under People tab, shows the last few persons you viewed and lets you add someone who is "not connected to your tree".
  • Ability to select the preferred person to display on your tree such as a second wife instead of the first wife.
  • Search Records for person you have opened in profile view . It puts in all of their information into the search fields and pulls up all documents available in Family Search. Very nice feature! Then allows you to add them to your source list and attaches them to your person in your tree.
  • Sorting your sources - there is now a up/down arrow on the right side of each source which allows you to move a source to a new position in the list.
  • Stories and Photos - I love this feature!  You must tag your photos after you add them and they will go onto your assigned person in the tree. You will also see photos that others may have entered for you person. Stories can be written and attached to multiple people in your tree. These stories can be copied by others and edited in their word processor as they write their own stories, but as I understood things, they can not be edited in your tree.
New Features to be coming soon in FamilySearch Tree are:
  • Printing out a Fan Chart for the person you are viewing and allowing you to move another person in that chart to the #1 position and printing a new chart.
  • Adding Sources and Notes from New Familysearch to the Familysearch Tree. The new Family Tree will hold up to 15 pages of text in Notes. Always add a source, otherwise it is just hearsay.
  • Scanning and adding documents as images and attaching them to a  source citation, which you have to write, and then attaching them to a person in the tree.
  • Deleting a person - you will have to give a reason before deleting a person. If this privilege is abused then you can report the problem and the person responsible for deleting someone in the tree will get a call from the FamilySearch and if it continues they could possibly have their account deleted.
  • Re-directing all users to FamilySearch Tree by the end of the year. We all must learn how to use the Tree.
One thing to remember when you are working in the Tree: When you are adding a new person, if you click on "FIND" you are only searching your tree. You should click on "SEARCH" as that will search all trees, and you never know if someone else may have already added your person. Avoiding duplication is a key thing. Always look for duplicates.

I just love the new tree. Many people who are use to using New FamilySearch may find it complicated, but like any new upgrade to a computer program, you will find that once you learn how to use it you will see that it is much better and in this case more collaborative. Be sure and check your profile and allow users to see your email address so they can contact you, but not your other personal info. Come to the library and let the Consultants show you how to use the Tree for an exciting experience.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Regional Family History Meeting

Regional Family History Meeting at South Stake

Rainbow in the Pocono Mts of Pa. taken by Bishop Bob Wooley 2013

Last Sunday, September 15th, all the Family History Consultants, High Priest Group leaders, High Councilmen, and anyone interested in Family History work were invited to attend the Regional meeting, and the place was packed.  Brother Abram who is the Area Family History Advisor was there, as well as Brent Summerhays from FamilySearch. Brother Summerhays  is the Area Manager for  the Church in the North America Southwest area. Summerhays was the main speaker and his presentation was very interesting and uplifting. He was followed by the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Temple President, Don Hanson.

Brother Abram's said that they hope we would all come away from this meeting more determined to be involved in family history. He quoted D&C 110, Vs 13; "Behold the time has fully come..." and said that was a very historic time and that the time has fully come for us all to do the sacred work spoken of in that chapter. He said " Just imagine when you get to the other side of the veil that our ancestors will either greet us with arms thrown around our necks and with tears of thanksgiving, or with looks of disappointment because we gave up and did not do their work."

Brother Summerhays  talked about  the purpose of the meeting, which was " Members with Temple Recommends and Family History responsibilities are now invited to become ambassadors for change in the work of Salvation." The work of the Lord is hastening, we need to do this work, it is our responsibility.
He presented a very nice power point program and video presentations to support the changes in Family History and the new direction it is going. But, he said first we need to turn the hearts of the people we help, let them learn the stories of their ancestors, then produce the charts. Some of the recent changes in FamilySearch  that he briefly talked about are listed below. To learn more about how to use the new features come to the Family Search Center and talk with one of the trained Family History Consultants. They will show you how to get into your Tree and add names or Photos or Stories.
  • Include Photos and Stories of you Ancestors. It is easy and fun. They will be preserved in your tree.
  • Family Tree display - easier to move around and see who needs Temple work completed
  • Interactive Fan Chart - you can change the person in the #1 position and see what lines need more work
  • Beginner Help -  Five new excellent videos and instructions to get started. A resource Guide for the Tree, in PDF format
  • Turning Hearts without Technology - a new booklet called " My Family, stories that bring us together" which is free if ordered through LDS.Org and will be passed on to the youth as well as those who lack computer skills.
  • Calling Youth to be Family History Consultants (FHC's)
  • High Priest Group Leaders deciding whose members home  the team of FHC's should go to and help with their family history. This unifies families and brings them to the Temple to do the work for their ancestors.
  • Use of the Member's Guide to Temple and Family History Work be used in Ward Council meetings.
  • High Priest Group Leaders should meet regularly  with each Family History Consultant in Ward.
  • All of the largest Regional Family Search Centers are, eventually, going to be transformed into Family Discovery Centers. [Read earlier blog to see what they will include]
All of these things are pointing toward Family History being done at home, on your own computer or with help from a friend with a computer. The youth are feeling the change in their hearts and are embracing family history work.

President Hanson of the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Temple said that in eight years we will have 200 Temple, and with the infrastructure in place to hasten the work, that we really need the conversion of the hearts of the members. He stated that only 3% of the Church membership have ever turned in their four generation charts. 

President Henry B Eyring said that we need to rise to our call. That your calling as a family history consultant [and Indexers or Arbitrators] has eternal consequences and that we do not work alone, the Lord is with us. 
All of these things are happening because we have a terrific force of Indexers and Arbitrators who are helping move this work along. Thank you to everyone involved in Family History work in our Stake. We are doing a great job with eternal consequences and blessings.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thoughtful Indexing Thursday

pinned from

New FamilySearch/ Agreement

Today as I was enjoying the sound of thunder and rain in the background my attention was drawn to some recent posts on the FamilySearch blog page, The Ancestry Insider blog and  on my favorite blog, Genealogy's Star.
 A new announcement from FamilySearch recently talked about a new agreement they have made with It appears that, which is a for profit genealogy company, has offered to put up over $60 million dollars over the next five years to help Familysearch bring on-line approximately 1 billion global historical records that have never been seen. You can read about the new agreement at the FamilySearch blog or on .Why would they do that? For several reasons, that I can discern.

It costs a lot of money to prepare the digitized images for Indexing and Arbitration at FamilySearch. Also in the past many records have been shared with Ancestry so that they can be accessible to a bigger, worldwide, market place.  Does that mean that those of us who are indexing for FamilySearch will have to pay to now see what we have done? NO.  The records will still be available for FREE.

All historical records that are indexed and arbitrated are available to anyone for free on just has they have been in the past.  They are also free on if you come to a Family Search Center and use the on-line portal. Tim Sullivan of said "the two will share international sets of records more collaboratively...... A significant part of our vision for family history is helping provide a rich, and engaging experience on a global scale." FamilySearch officials said " We look forward to more exciting developments as we continue to work with leading organizations in the genealogy community."

My thoughts are that I will still continue to index and arbitrate records because I love to help people experience the joy of finding their ancestors.  Volunteer indexers play a vital role in genealogy research. Our help will be needed for many more years. Even a small donation of time and talents will make a big difference for an unknown researcher. We all benefit from our indexing efforts, in more ways than one. It is good therapy for cold rainy days or  nights when you can't sleep.

Our Ancestors are Waiting

My cousins taken in 1930's in Pennsylvania

If you are researching for the records of your ancestors you may find that  you come up empty-handed. Don't be discouraged as all records are not on-line. You may have to visit the county that they lived in to find their records.  But that can all change if we index and arbitrate the images that we can get. Your dedication to the work may provide the records that can lead researchers to their ancestors.
As you know each batch is indexed by two people. If they both agree then no more work needs to be done and they can be published. If they do not agree than a third person will compare the two batches and fix the differences. This is called arbitration. Most arbitrators have indexed at least 2000 names and have at least a 95% - 97% arbitration rate.

As reported by Jennifer Anderson, in the FamilySearch Indexing Newsletter, "FamilySearch Indexing  is behind in arbitration by nearly four million images. That represents some 10 million individuals who names cannot be published."  If you are currently an arbitrator, thank you and keep up the good work. If you have not been arbitrating for awhile, then there is a new arbitration tutorial that helps you review the instructions. Just click on Help, next time you log into indexing, and look for the New Arbitrators video.

If you would like to become an arbitrator please contact your Stake Indexing Director or the Ward Indexing Group Administrator. Arbitration is a very vital part of the Indexing Program.Training is available.

Monday, September 2, 2013

September Indexing Cumulative for 2013

Posted by PicasaTop 5 Youth Indexers in 2012
On Display in Stake Center, Edmond and Surrey Hills Bldgs. 
Posters made by Toni Stowell - Village Ward

Hopefully you have seen this poster in one of our Stake Buildings that honors the 5 Top Youth Indexers. If you haven't please look for them in the foyer and take a minute or two to read the youth's bio's. They are a wonderful group of youth who worked very hard to earn that distinction last year. We are proud of all of the Stake Youth Indexers and may they all realize the tremendous work that they  are doing when they index each name. Thank you Toni for taking the time and your talents to make these beautiful posters.

New Family Search animated Video about indexing
Click on the link below to view the latest video created by FamilySearch as found on Legacy Family Tree Site. It is cute and explains why we index. A good film for youth to watch too.

Photo taken by Linda Hardy

Stake Indexing Cum for 2013
Indexing  & Arbitrating Cums to 2 Sep 2013 by Wards
Ward                   Total         
  • Clinton                                  13984   
  • Edmond 1st                           40875      
  • Edmond 2nd                          23951
  • Okc 5th                               27547
  • Okc 1st                                 53032
  • Okc 4th Branch                             5
  • Okc 3rd                                 39582
  • University                                   184
  • Quail Creek                           73,323
  • Village                                    53706
  • Woodward                             70348
Primary Age
Primary Okc 1st                                    164
Primary Quail Creek                              223

Edmond 1st                                         2988
Edmond 2nd                                          464
Okc 5th                                               2128
Okc 1st                                                3865
Okc 4th Branch                                        75
Okc 3rd                                                1773
Quail Creek                                           3272
Village                                                 13667