Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Four New Videos Added to the BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel

Our Brigham Young University Family History Library YouTube Channel just keep rolling along adding new videos almost every week. We would encourage you to subscribe to the BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel to receive postings of any updated videos. It has been extremely interesting to produce these videos over the past year or so. We have started to have a number of comments about them from patrons at the Library. We are always happy to receive suggestions for future videos, although we are already working on the schedule for November.

Here are four of the newest ones added:

FamilySearch: Obscure Elements Revealed by Ann Tanner

Google Searches at Warp Speed and Accuracy - James Tanner

Yes, Ann Tanner is my wife and she is also an accomplished genealogist.


  1. I really enjoy these videos. Always nice to learn new information and be reminded of things I used to know.

    Now I don’t mean to be annoying, but to have run across the following “exception that proves the rule” so quickly after listening to your “When the Baby was Born, the Mother was There” video was just funny. This is regarding your discussion about travel distances, in particular the research that showed that in an average English parish, people rarely left an area six miles in radius before 1850.

    This morning I have been working on the family of my wife’s great-grandmother. I was able to find her sister’s husband whom I had not looked for before. He was born at the farm Kulild (now Kolle) in Fusa, Hordaland, Norway in 1876, only a couple decades after 1850. Instead of having him christened at the parish church that served that farm, they traveled to Os Kirke, in Os. This is clearly documented in the parish record for both Fusa and Os. His mother was from there, so that is probably why they went.

    On a Norwegian mapping system I use, the recommended route today between Kulild and Os is 20 miles, including one ferry crossing over a fjord. A shorter route would be to take your own boat about 1 1/2 miles straight across the fjord then travel just 10 miles by land. I don’t know if they might have just taken a boat all the way down the fjord to Os, which would have been about 12 miles by water. I’m going to have to do some research one of these days on exactly what travel options would have been available to them in 1876. I can’t picture them actually rowing 12 miles down the fjord then 12 miles back. Maybe there was a commercial service with routine boat routes up and down the fjord.

    In any event, that was a long way to go with a 22 day old infant. But then, those Norwegians were a pretty hardy crowd.

    1. As they say, sometimes the exception makes the rule. My comments on this rule always contain a proviso that an exception needs an explanation. How did the event happen, if it happened in a distant location? Thanks as always for your expert contributions.

  2. Bro. Tanner, you are amazing! I don't know where you find the time and energy to produce so much information. I find it hard to keep up with you! Thank you for your efforts. I use many of the BYU webinars for our Sunday School class. One comment about that, Sunday School only gives us about 35-40 minutes where most videos are over an hour. Perhaps you could consider making several shorter ones that would fit into a class time? Also, have you considered either dubbing some of the videos with other languages or producing in other languages? I did my mission in Argentina and that's where I met my wife. We travel there most years and while there for a couple of months I try to help with the family history (their library had been closed for 3 years in her small town and after considerable effort over about 3 years it is now up and running again). But training is always an issue and some of these videos would be wonderful if we could use them there!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment. You suggestion is interesting. We have a lot of shorter videos in the 10 to 15 minute range. We will discuss the length of the videos and see what everyone thinks. As to languages, I have suggested doing some in Spanish since I speak Spanish and we could consider doing other languages if we can find presenters in other languages. This is also a topic of discussion.

  3. I have been debating for the week or so whether or not to comment more on your video “A Guide for Entering Information in the FamilySearch Family Tree and have finally decided I might as well. After all, you don’t have to post it. It is a great source of information, but there was a topics you slipped past that I feel is very important. As I have listened to discussion regarding some of the stranger looking records in Family Tree, I have realized that people often skip a very important step, that is to ask one simple question: Why?

    It comes in several varieties. “Why does the record look the way it does?” “Why did this contributor think he or she was doing things correctly?” “Why was this record considered acceptable?”

    As an example of how this simple question helps, let me take the example of your slide “The Challenge: How do I find and verify this information?” which shows (daughter) (daughter) Pyall with birth abt 1669 of Biddenden, Kent, Eng and Burial 8 Feb 1671.

    My first question would be, why is there a burial date but no burial place?

    My response: Assume this is an untouched import from some past record source. Why would that source have just a burial date? The first thought that springs to mind is that the old Family Group Sheets had a tiny box for the death date but no place at all to enter a death place. I also recall that it was standard practice when those forms were used to put a burial date in that box if you did not have a death date, entering it as “bur. 8 Feb 1671.”

    My second question would be, why is there an “of” before the birth place?

    My response: Sticking with the standards used for the old Family Group Sheets, I recall that “of” meant, when used for a birth place, “this is the first known residence of this person.” “Of” was used in this way due to the limitations of the paper forms. Since this was standard practice, everyone knew what it meant. Using that interpretation, I would say that I know nothing about where this person was born, but I do know her first known residence, in this case that residence is her grave. Following today’s standards, I suspect I would have left the birth place blank and entered her burial as 8 February 1671, Biddenden, Kent, England.

    (I do have to say at this point that I disagree with how you corrected “of Biddenen, Kent, England” towards the end of the video to be just “Biddenden, Kent, England.” You removed without a good reason a very important piece of information represented by that “of.”)
    To Be Continued....

    1. As usual you make some very good points. I put the of back in the entry.

  4. My third question would be, why is there an “abt” before her birth year?

    My response: “About” is most often used when a date as been calculated or estimated from an age. Since the only concrete piece of information in this record is the burial date, I think one could safely assume that the birth year was estimated from her age at time of death.

    My three “why”s lead me to the hypothesis that the original contributor of this record was staring at a parish register for Biddenden at the following entry:

    Buried 8 Feb, Henry Pyall’s daughter, age 3.

    and wrote down that record correctly according to the standard, approved instructions for the Family Group Sheet.

    “How do I find and verify this information” in order to confirm my hypothesis? The Family History Library catalog has for Biddenden, on film 1473744, which as not been digitized yet but could be ordered, “Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1669-1687. Baptisms, burials, 1688-1812; marriages, 1688-1754. Marriages, 1754-1812; marriage banns, 1754-1814. Marriages, 1813-1932. Baptisms, 1813-1837.” It be thrilling to take a look at that film and see if I have reconstructed the original record correctly.

    After going thorough this exercise, I decided to see if I would be lucky enough to confirm any of this by finding the Family Group Sheet the record must have based on according to my hypothesis. I found her in Family Tree and saw that she had a sister with ordinance work done in 1969, the cut-off date for microfilmed Family Group Sheets. I took a look and was able to find the family. Unfortunately, the sheet does not have any sources, either. I attached the sheet as a source for the family in case you haven’t seen it and want to take a look at it.

    1. OK, I agree. But I am now sorry that I didn't explain where all that stuff came from. I am very much aware of the baggage we have picked up from paper Family Group Sheets. Unless I do the research I usually will make no changes except to obvious typos or abbreviations. The entry I used as an example has not been changed except to delete the (daughter) (daughter) entry.