Find My Ancestor Blog

5 Generations of Wedding Photos

This past weekend I was at the house of one of the leaders in my Ward (Church group). As we were having dinner someone asked about the photos on the wall. His wife told us that each of those photos was a wedding picture, equalling 5 generations! I was so intrigued by this I asked her if I could take some pictures and write about it on my blog. This is one of those stories that I read on other people's blog and enjoy so much so I wanted to share it with all of you.  The very bottom picture is their daughter. The one up and to the right is Karin. The one next to it is her mom. The one above Karin is her grandmother and the one next to that is Karin's great-grandmother. It isn't very often that you see 5 generation photos like this, especially when they are all wedding photos. Now, the part that I think is the most amazing is the fact that in all of the photos, all the women are wearing the same necklace!

Isn't this such a fun tradition? I think it is amazing that they have a necklace that has been passed down for generations and that each of them wore it on their wedding day. What kind of family traditions do you have in your family? Do you have an heirloom that has been passed down and it now in your possession? Possibly you know of an heirloom that you would love to have. Share with us by leaving a comment below!


Snow, Snow, Go Away – I Want to Go Outside and Play

I have never been a fan of the winter with all the snow and cold. By the time Christmas is over I am ready for spring and summer to come! I have been staring at cemetery gravestones all morning long and it is really making we wish I could go out and take photos, but I definitely don't want to do it in the snow. Am I alone in this or do some of you out there feel the same way? I know to the non-genealogist I might sound crazy, but for some reason I have an urge to go out and play among all the headstones right now!

I have also been thinking about the various websites available for volunteers and researchers to find photos of headstones, submit information/memorials and gather information on their ancestors. The two that come to my mind are and I have used both of these services, which are free, and find them to be quite useful. Find A Grave has been around for quite a while and has over 56 million grave records - that is a lot! Every single memorial and gravestone photo on Find A Grave is created and submitted by volunteers. For those who have never used Find A Grave before, the process is very simple. First, search the database to see if your ancestor already has a memorial. There have been many times I have searched the database not expecting to find my ancestor, but alas, there they are. Most of the time when I find ancestors on the website they have been contributed by someone who isn't even a relative. Many have gone through obituary records, vital records and many other types of records and have just started adding individuals from these collections. So, before you go and create a memorial make sure it hasn't already been done. There are quite a few duplicate memorials I have come across in the past because of this. If you didn't find a memorial for you ancestor, then go ahead and create one. Simply follow the easy steps on the Create a Memorial Link located on the side of the screen. Once you have created the memorial, or if you found a memorial previously created you can see whether or not there is a headstone photo already submitted. Obviously if you just create a memorial there won't be one available. One of the things I like best about Find A Grave is that you can get headstone photos for people who live thousands of miles away without you having to spend all the time and money traveling to take it yourself. Simply request a headstone picture by clicking on the request link in the person's memorial and hopefully within a few days to a month a volunteer in the area will fulfill your request. One thing to remember is that these are volunteers who are taking these pictures so you can't expect a response immediately. There are headstones I have had requested for over a year now and they still haven't been fulfilled. Just be grateful for the ones you do get because after all it is very nice of these people to take the photos free of charge. Names in Stone is another great website that hasn't been around as long as Find a Grave, but I can see some promising things happening there. One of the features that sets Names in Stone apart from Find a Grave is the fact that you can see on a map where your ancestor is buried in the cemetery as well as others who are around them. This can be a great help in finding other ancestors who you may not have know were buried there. Over the past year there has been quite the increase in the number of cemeteries added to the database and new ones added all the time. Names in Stone is always looking for new contributors to help build this mapping database. If you are unfamiliar with either of these websites, I highly suggest you check both of them out.


Mac App Store Review – Genealogy Perspective

Many of you have already heard that today the Mac App Store was released. Some of you might be saying to yourself isn't there already an App Store? There is, but the App Store that you may be thinking about is only for iPhones, iPod Touch, and iPads whereas this new App Store is for desktop and laptop computers. The new App Store allows developers to submit their applications to be placed in the App Store just like the one on your mobile device. The App Store will allow Mac users to find new apps without having to search all over the internet all day. By finding and downloading apps using the App Store you will also be assured that the application you are downloading is safe - no need to worry about what you are finding. While doing my initial look around in the App Store I found a number of applications that I already have on my computer including iWork, iLife, Evernote, Pixelmator and more. Some of the applications already said they were installed on my computer while others didn't. I am not sure why some of them were able to see that I had the application already installed while others didn't. I hope those that didn't won't have to be re-installed because I am assuming they would need to be repurchased. I also wonder if this is going to mean that Mac applications are no longer going to be available in other places other than the App Store. Also while doing my search of the new App Store I found that there are a few genealogy specific apps. MacFamilyTree, Family Tree Maker for Mac and Date Calculator were the three apps that came up in my search of "genealogy". I had previously installed both MacFamilyTree and Family Tree Maker for Mac and they both showed that they were installed.

Though there are only three genealogy apps available in the store right now, I am sure there will be more apps coming within time. The App Store on mobile devices was the same way, but now search for genealogy apps on your iPhone and there are quite a few of them. Even though there are currently only three apps that come up in the genealogy search and are made for genealogy, there are dozens of other apps available that will help you keep your files and documents on your computer organized, apps to help you publish your research, apps to help with your photos and many other apps that aren't for genealogy purposes put will help you in your efforts. What do you think abou the new App Store? Let us know by leaving your comments on this post.


I Am Thankful For – 17 November, 2010

With it being a week away from American Thanksgiving I would like to take some time each day from now until the end of the month and express thanks to those in my life who I am thankful for - both those in genealogy and those not.

To start it off, I would like to express my thanks to my grandparents who have taught me many things about my ancestors. It is such a blessing to still have my grandparents to talk to and ask questions about our family. Because of them, I have many stories, photographs, traditions and many other things I find to be genealogy treasures.

I love listening to my grandma talk about her grandfather, Alvin Leroy Soren, and how he was a dairy man who owned his own dairy. Whenever we talk genealogy she always talks about "Grandpa Soren" and her love for him. Listening to my grandma I can tell he must have been quite the amazing man.
Photo of my grandma Jenille, her brother Wally and their grandfather Alvin Leroy Soren.

Wally and Jenille - Grandpa Soren's milk truck in the background.
My grandpa is one of those people who can talk for hours about history, whether it is family history or U.S. history or World history. When I was younger and didn't have my love for history and genealogy, he would always tell stories and tell how history "really was" not how the text book taught it. Back then I didn't appreciate those things he was teaching me, but now I thoroughly enjoy listening to the many stories he has to tell.

This last February him and I were heading down to St. George, Utah for the Family History Expo and nearly the entire time heading down there he told me about his family, growing up and the many fun, interesting and sad stories that have happened in his life. I had a list of questions and he just talked and talked. I feel very fortunate to have had that time to listen to him and record those things he had to say. He has always been interested in our family history, particularly in our pioneer ancestor, Mathew Hayes Ivory. Over the past few years I have researched this ancestor and have found many new things the family had not previously found. My grandpa was always the first one to say how "amazing" I was that I was able to find all these things online. 
My grandma and grandpa. 
Thank you grandma and grandpa for all you two do for me and the many stories and memories you have left me with! I love you two very much!!