Find My Ancestor Blog

I Am Thankful For… 24 November 2010

Have you been to a genealogy conference before? That is what I am thankful for today!

My first genealogy conference I went to was the Mesa Family History Expo last January. I was fortunate enough to win free tickets to the conference from the Genealogy Gems Podcast. I had no idea how much fun I was going to have, or even how many friends I would make because of that conference! I now have genealogy friends all across the country because of that conference. I even met a new genealogy friend Joan Miller who is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

At that conference I was able to attend many classes on various topics from hard drive organization by Leland Meitzler, the Genealogical Proof Standard by Mark Tucker and Google Earth for Genealogy by Lisa Louise Cooke. Those were just a few of the many great classes taught at that expo.

Since that expo I have been fortunate to attend many others including:

I am also scheduled to speak at Leland Meitzler's Christmas Tour next month in Salt Lake City Utah. For more information about that tour/conference, visit Leland's blog.

I have also been asked to present at the new RootsTech Conference that will be held in Salt Lake City next February. I am very honored to be part of the great speakers that will be presenting at this new and exciting conference about technology. For more information about the RootsTech Conference and to register, visit their website.

I am hoping to attend the Family History Expo in Mesa again this next year in January, and I am definitely going to the Family History Expo in St. George. These expos are so fun and educational! I highly recommend you attend one of these conferences if you have not been to one yet!


I Am Thankful For… 23 November 2010

Many of you who are avid genealogists and especially those of you who live in or near Salt Lake City have been to the Family History Library. The Family History Library has the largest collection of genealogical records, anywhere! The Family History Library is owned and operated by FamilySearch.

According to FamilySearch:
“FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. For over 100 years, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide. Patrons may freely access our resources and service online at, or through over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Family Connection
FamilySearch is a service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our commitment to helping people connect with their ancestors is rooted in our beliefs. We believe that families are meant to be central to our lives and that family relationships are intended to continue beyond this life. We therefore believe that all family members—those living, those past, and those future—share an enduring bond that reaches across the generations.
All Are Welcome
We encourage all people to seek out their ancestors and preserve their family histories. Because interest in family history is not limited by culture, ethnicity, or religious faith, we welcome all who wish to discover more about their family and their heritage.”
The Family History Library is located in the heart of down town Salt Lake City. The Library covers 5 stories full of microfilm, microfiche, books, maps, computers and more.  Here is some more information about the Family History Library:
Family History Library Building:
  • Address: 35 North West Temple Street, Room 344, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84150-3440
  • Dedicated October 23, 1985
  • 142,000 square feet on five floors
  • Humidity, temperature, and lighting designed to protect the collection from deterioration
  • Public phone number: 801-240-2584 or 866-406-1830
  • FAX: 801-240-1794
  • E-mail: Click here to send us an e-mail at
  • Website:
  • Founded in 1894 to gather genealogical records and assist members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with their family history and genealogical research
  • Largest library of its kind in the world
  • Open to the general public at no charge
  • An estimated 1,500 daily visits
Records Collection:
  • The collection includes over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records; 727,000 microfiche; 356,000 books, serials, and other formats; over 4,500 periodicals; 3,725 electronic resources.
  • The Ancestral File database contains more than 36 million names that are linked into families.
  • The International Genealogical Index database contains approximately 600 million names of deceased individuals. An addendum to the International Genealogical Index contains an additional 125 million names. These names have been patron submitted or extracted from thousands of original birth, christening and marriage records.
  • The Pedigree Resource File database contains over 100 million names that are linked into families.
  • Records available are from the United States, Canada, the British Isles, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
  • A majority of the records contain information about persons who lived before 1930.
  • Approximately 200 cameras are currently digitizing records in over 45 countries. Records have been filmed in over 110 countries, territories, and possessions.
Patron Resources:
patron computers
microfilm readers
microfiche readers
digital microfilm and microfiche copiers
book copiers
Seating capacity at tables
book scanners
  • Orientation and research classes
  • Currently 100 full-time and part-time professional staff
  • Approximately 700 trained volunteers
I frequently make my way down to the Family History Library and spend hours researching my genealogy and finding original documents to help me fit my puzzle pieces together.

For those of you who are not able to visit the Family History Library, FamilySearch has been working on making their records digitized and available online, free of charge! To access the millions of names and records that have already been put online, visit The digitization process will still take many years to complete, but in the meantime, be sure to regularly check back to see what new records are available. If you try to find records online, but are unsuccessful, you can still order copies of microfilm to be sent to your local Family History Center. Here is come information on contacting your local Family History Center:

Family History Centers:
  • Family history centers are branches of the Family History Library.
  • Over 4,500 family history centers operate in more than 100 countries.
  • Local family history centers are staffed by helpful volunteers.
  • About 100,000 rolls of microfilm are circulated to family history centers each month.
  • Click here to locate the nearest family history center, or call 866-406-1830 in the United States and Canada.

In closing, I would like to express my thanks towards the Genealogical Society of Utah and FamilySearch for their amazing work and dedication to helping us find our ancestors by digitizing and preserving these millions of records.


I Am Thankful For… 22 November 2010

For those of you reading this blog post I am sure you will agree with me for what I am thankful for - blogs.

During the past year the genealogy blog community has exploded with population. I began my first genealogy blog about a year ago. At that time there were only about 700 genealogy blogs on the Geneabloggers website. Now, as of today there are 1,416 blogs on the Geneabloggers list. In just one year the number of genealogy blogs has doubled. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Geneablogging community, visit their website to learn more  and to become part of the community -

Why do I blog? Why do I enjoy blogging?
I blog about genealogy and my own family history for a number of reasons.

1) I blog because it is fun. I find blogging educational and entertaining. When I made my first blog post I wondered if anyone would even read what I wrote and had to say. I wondered if anyone would even care what a 22 year old "boy" would have to say in regards to genealogy. For the most part genealogy isn't a hobby you see young adults getting involved with very often. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the comments I have received from all my readers who have began to follow me over the past year. Thank you to those of you who do follow me and leave comments. I appreciate it very much.

2) I blog and read others blogs because I learn so many things as I read what others have to say about genealogy and as I find topics to write about. It is truly amazing the things we learn from each other and the ways we are able to help each other.

3) I blog because I enjoy helping others learn more about genealogy and the various ways we can do our research with all the books, technology, conferences and many other forms of learning. I hope that the things I write about are things that help you out there learn and become a better genealogist.


I Am Thankful For – 18 November, 2010

Today I would like to express my thanks for many people who have been involved in all the amazing technology we have today that helps us do our genealogy.

Even though I never did genealogy 20, 15 or even 10 years ago, I know some of the techniques and ways of doing genealogy back then. Even 10 years ago we did not have most of the databases, internet websites and software programs we have today.

One of the most important things these days to help you accomplish your genealogical research are good genealogy database programs for your computer. There are dozens of programs available today that enable you to create a family tree or database of your family. Each program has pros and cons, but the most important thing when determining a software program is to use what works for you. As long as you can thoroughly document, organize and know how to navigate through your research, any program can work well for you.

The following are some of the most popular database software programs:



There are dozens of databases available today that we can access millions of records without leaving our house. These databases have changed the way we can do some of our research. Whereas before, now we can access some of the most common records such as census records, death records and newspapers directly from our home computer.

The following are some of the most popular internet databases: