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

Friday, March 16, 2018

Building a Family Tree: An Example on -- Project Two

This isn't really a series, as such, it is really a number of unconnected posts about conducting research on the Family Tree and is more of a project than a series. I decided to put my comments about the process at the end of each post for reference. 

Here is Project Two:

I am selecting this post's project from my family lines where I find that much of the "clean up" work has not been done. This is usually a good indication that there is little online activity and therefore a lot of opportunities to find people who are not presently in the Family Tree. 

As I did previously, I am selecting a person who lived all or part of his or her life in the 20th Century and who does not have any ancestors (parents etc.) in the Family Tree.

This is Arthur Tomlinson who has no parent, birthplace, or any other information other than a marriage date and place. 

The first thing I do is figure out where these people were living. Here is the information from Wikipedia
Willesden (/ˈwɪlzdən/) is an area in north-west London which forms part of the London Borough of Brent. It is situated 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Charing Cross. It was historically a parish in the county of Middlesex that was incorporated as the Municipal Borough of Willesden in 1933 and has formed part of Greater London since 1965.[1] Dollis Hill is also sometimes referred to as being part of Willesden.
I can use to find a copy of the marriage information which, unfortunately, is not attached as a source.

This record corrects the entries and adds a middle initial for his wife. Kate Faulkner is my cousin. Because I had the marriage record, I could find another English marriage record on, this one showing Arthur's father and his wife's complete name. 

This record also has a complete marriage date and place. Now, we are on our way, once we add all the new information. 

Now I look for more information based on the newly added information. I am going to guess that his birthplace is in Brent or London. Searching on FamilySearch is a strikeout. I will try The challenges are that the British Census records only are available up to 1911 and that George and Arthur are very common British names and so is the name Tomlinson.

This is the challenge of trying to find people who lived in the 20th Century. We will see the 1921 British Census in 2022. I tried the 1939 Register without success. So, this is another example of reaching the end of the records. Searching the General Register Office for a death record requires information about the date of death. Here are some other places I searched the England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991 on FamilySearch without success. Then I found a Death record for Kate Phyllis Tomlinson on the England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007.

I also found a probable death date for Arthur Tomlinson.

It is possible that there might be some additional information in a newspaper search. Once again, future research will have to wait until I can be in the BYU Family History Library or the Salt Lake City, Family History Library. My guess is that someone who is directly related to these people can use what I have found to talk to relatives. 

Explanation of how this project began and why I am pursuing it.

In this project, I am going to pick a somewhat random person from my ancestors' descendants who lived in the 20th Century from the Family Tree and show, step-by-step, the research needed to extend that person's family tree back several generations. Finding a person who has no apparent ancestors in the Family Tree is relatively easy for those who lived in or into the 20th Century. However, I am not able to use any of my own family lines because my direct lines all end back, at least, six generations. To clarify this project, I will not be reserving any of the people I discover for my own Temple List. I will simply leave the "green icons" on the Family Tree for that person's descendants to find and use for themselves. Please refrain from doing the temple work for people to whom you are not related.

Why am I doing this? For the past 15 years or so, I have been helping hundreds (thousands?) of people find their ancestors. I simply intend to document the process in detail with real examples so that you can see exactly how I find family lines. I simply want to show where those "green icons" come from. Since the Family Tree is entirely cooperative, I will simply assume that when I find a family that needs some research that I am helping that family. By the way, this is Part One of the series because I intend to do this over and over with different examples.

I may or may not find new people to add to the FamilyTree. Since the families I choose are in an "end-of-line" sort of situation, there is no guarantee that I will be any more successful than the average user of the Family Tree in finding additional family members. In any event, I hope that my efforts as recorded will help either the family members or others to find more information about their ancestral families and relatives.

There is another reason why I am doing this. Because I constantly offer to help people find their ancestors and I get relatively few that take advantage of that offer. I need to spend some of my excess energy.


  1. I certainly appreciate how you show us the process of research! It is very helpful to me!

  2. I love your blog. I would add one more step towards the end, and that is to check for duplicates for the people you've added. I have found that sometimes as I add new people from source records, the duplicates aren't found but doing a duplicate check finds them.

    1. Oops, I do this so automatically that I forgot to write about it. I will try to remember to document every step in future posts.