Tuesday, December 6, 2016
How to Actually Find New Names to Take to the Temples -- Part Two
I am going to demonstrate exactly how I find names to add to my Temple list. I will show each step in the process and explain what happens if you find something different than you expect. This technique or method will work in any language with anyone's portion of the FamilySearch.org Family Tree.
There is an immediate tendency to start clicking out the pedigree shown to find the last person in the family line. Please avoid this tendency. Blank spaces on any portion of the Family Tree are there because no one has been able to find these ancestors for over a hundred years of research. If you and your family have not submitted any family history to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints previously, then you may have a blank pedigree. If you have no previous experience in doing family history research, this is the time to start learning about the process. Please start with The Family History Guide and learn about the process. At the same time you are learning, you can begin by adding your first deceased ancestors. If your parents and/or grandparents are still living, you may need to add them first until you reach the first dead people. If you add a living person, that living person will not be visible to anyone else using the Family Tree. In essence, you have created a duplicate of that living person that will not become visible to anyone else until that person dies. There is no reason to add living descendants, i.e. children, and grandchildren. They can add themselves.
Now it is time to begin the process of finding people to add to the Family Tree. You start with yourself. There is really no need to add in a lot of information about yourself unless you really want to do so. Again, any information you add about living people will only be visible to you until you die. Next, you move to your parents. I have skipped giving a screenshot of my parents because for my demonstration, I am choosing to show my Parkinson line where I am currently finding a considerable number of people to add to the Family Tree. So, I am starting with my paternal grandfather, Leroy Parkinson Tanner.
The goal of this process is to find the name or names of identifiable individuals to add to my Temple list. For many of the steps in this process, I would be able to move quickly to the point where I have been doing research, but for demonstration purposes, I will go excruciatingly slow and explain every step. If I click on Leroy Parkinson Tanner's name in the pedigree view, I get the following pop-up information card:
At this stage, the information I am seeking is whether or not this particular person was baptized a member of the Church. I also want to see if the information about this person is well documented. In this case, I happen to know that Leroy Parkinson Tanner was born in the covenant (BIC) to parents who have been sealed in the temple. There are already 36 sources and 77 memories about Leroy. Since my goal is to find new people, I will not stop to add more information or sources to Leroy at this time. I will move on to his parents.
Because the Family Tree is unified, anyone can view these people by merely searching for them using their ID numbers. The ID numbers are the series of numbers and letters that are unique to each of the people who have been added to the Family Tree. We can tell if we have duplicates in the Family Tree by noting that the same individuals show up with two or more ID numbers. In this case, I am now to my first Parkinson ancestor, Eliza Ellen Parkinson. Both Henry Tanner and Eliza Parkinson were born to parents who were already members of the Church. So, I will be moving on out the pedigree that is shown in the Family Tree. Remember, if you are following this procedure with your own portion of the Family Tree, you may have already reached the end of a family line. In this case, you are ready to begin doing additional research. This would also be the case if you have reached the first person in any of your family lines who was not a member of the Church during their lifetime. If you or your ancestors joined the Church during the last 100 years or so, you will find these people after very few generations. In my case, I have to go back quite a number of generations to find the first ancestors who never joined the Church during their lifetimes.
Consequently, I need to keep moving back a few more generations. The next generation is Eliza Ellen Parkinson's parents.
If you are confused about what I am doing. Here is a screenshot of the pedigree as it appears in the Family Tree to this point.
At each point in this process, I must determine the reliability of the information in the Family Tree. Here are the summary cards for Eliza and Thomas Parkinson, her father.
In each of these cases, the family has done extensive research on these individuals. The number of sources and memories, per se, does not mean anything. In this particular case, when I first started doing research on Thomas Parkinson, there was no documentation in the form of sources listed supporting any of the birth, marriage or death dates for Thomas Parkinson or his ancestral family members. The lack of documentation or sources indicated that very little information had been added to the Family Tree about this family. Before going any further back in time to another generation, I needed to substantiate the dates already present in the Family Tree for Thomas and his family. There were no documents recorded that connected him to those individuals recorded as his parents and grandparents.
The process of finding the Parkinsons in documents and records took a considerable effort. Here is the extension of the Family Tree showing the ancestors of Thomas Parkinson and his wife Mary Ann Bryant.
The key document that began the process of documenting this family was the discovery of his father, James Parkinson, and his family in the 1841 England and Wales Census records. Here is a copy of the Census record for the family.
The Census record gave information about the exact location of the family in 1841. Subsequently, I was able to find documents that traced the family from England to Australia and then for Thomas Parkinson, to the United States. He either married Mary Ann Bryant on the ship coming over from Australia or in California when they arrived. Thomas and Mary Ann had joined the Church in Australia and were emigrating to Utah.
The process of documenting the entries as they exist in the Family Tree is crucial to extending the family lines as well as finding additional people who are not already recorded. You must have a level of confidence that you are working on the right family and that the people shown in the Family Tree are correctly identified.
I am now ready to move on to the next stage in the process. In this case, I am going to choose a new family line and concentrate on the Bryants. Initially, I had no particular reason to explore the Bryant family line, but I have learned that there is a spiritual component to this process. You need to be sensitive to feelings and promptings that may come to you during your exploration. After all, we are looking for our ancestors who may have already been taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and accepted baptism. So, remember to pray about the process and listen to the Spirit.
In the next installment, I will begin with Mary Ann Bryant.
Past posts in this series: