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

Thursday, November 29, 2018

If you have Italian ancestors, you need to know this
Quoting from a recent news release from

FamilySearch International announced free access to over  150 million Italian historical genealogical records—the largest online collection of its kind. The unprecedented initiative is the result of collaboration between FamilySearch, the Italian government, the Italian State Archives (Direzione Generale per gli Archivi or DGA), and many other archives. The free collections include over 200 years of digitized images of birth, marriage, death, and other significant family history records from all regions of Italy and many other repositories. Search the free Italy collections online at 
If you have Italian ancestors, you need to read the entire news release linked here.

I seem to go through phases in helping people find their ancestors. A while ago at the Brigham Young University Family History Library, I went through a series of people asking about Italian ancestral research. For quite a long time, I had one after another requests for help with Italian research. This new announcement indicates that in the future, I should be able to help almost anyone with Italian research. Here is another amazing quote from the news release:
The Italy civil registration records are the most complete of FamilySearch’s collections. FamilySearch also has Church records in Italy dating back to the 1500s. Starting a little later, Italy's court (tribunali) records can be found. Civil records became available after 1806. After annexing large sections of Italy during his reign, Napoleon Bonaparte introduced civil registration and the mandatory creation of duplicate records. Copies of birth, citizenship or residency, marriage, and death documents were kept in the community, and a second set were sent to the court having jurisdiction for the area. Today, these are a gold mine for Italian family history researchers—as they continue to become accessible online.  
Through agreements with Italian governments and other repositories, FamilySearch is preserving not only the civil records online, but also millions more from archives throughout Italy—essentially helping to open Italian archives to patrons all over the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The digital images are also a safety net against natural calamities and loss to human handling. 
Obviously, as the new release explains, if these records were indexed it would greatly facilitate the ability of researchers to search the records but having researched records from countries speaking Romance languages for years, I know that the key to finding families is identifying the location where the family originated. The records are arranged chronilogically and geographically and researchers are able to trace families back generations. We do not have to wait to do extensive research.

Please read the entire article for further information and if you can read Italian, please help index the records. Indexes make starting your research a lot easier. Go to to find the records. Here is the link to the Italian records:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Give on Tuesday for The Family History Guide

We are raising money for The Family History Guide Association and your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500.  Every little bit helps.  And on Giving Tuesday, Nov 27, Facebook and PayPal will match a total of $7 Million in donations. 
Simply go to our Facebook page by clicking HERE 

Thank you for your support!! 
Your donation will be automatically MATCHED TODAY ONLY by Facebook and PayPal!!                      
We've included information about The Family History Guide Association below. 

The mission of The Family History Guide Association Charity (501c3) is to greatly increase the number of people actively involved in family history worldwide and to make everyone's family history journey easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable.
Find Out More About This giving opportunity and The Family History Guide

Sunday, November 25, 2018

New FamilySearch Ordinances Ready Feature

FamilySearch has introduced a new Family Tree feature called Ordinances Ready. Here is a description of the feature from the above blog post. 
For Church members, the ultimate temple and family history goal is to provide saving ordinances for their ancestors. 
This can happen whether you are able to serve as proxy for an ancestor in person or if you share the ordinances with the temple for someone to perform in your (and your ancestor’s) behalf. 
But, for various reasons, it can sometimes be difficult to identify an ancestor needing ordinances.
The new Ordinances Ready feature in the FamilySearch Family Tree app can help. Here’s how it works: 
Ordinances Ready searches FamilySearch Family Tree, as well as temple reservation and shared lists, to find available ordinances for people you are related to. It verifies that the person:
  • Is related to you.
  • Was born at least 110 years ago.
  • Has chronologically consistent birth and death dates as compared with family relationships.
  • Is not a duplicate, based on the information available in the tree.
In the near future, the Ordinances Ready search will expand to include ordinance reservations from the temple inventory, ensuring that anyone that uses it will be able to find and request ordinances to perform in the temple.
There are some important tips regarding the program also from the blog post.
Tips for Using Ordinances Ready 
  • If you request ordinances using the new feature, be sure to take them to the temple on your next visit or give them to family, friends, or ward members. Under certain circumstances, ordinance reservations might expire after 90 days or longer.
  • The Ordinances Ready feature will help generate just a few ordinance reservations at a time to make them easier to sort through and use for each new temple trip. If you need more ordinance reservations than you find on your first search, consider encouraging others try the feature for themselves for a fun family history experience.
  • The first step when using Ordinances Ready is to select the ordinance type you are looking to perform. Notice if the results include other remaining ordinances for that person. Depending on the circumstances, these other ordinances can be shared with a family member or the temple, so others may do them. You can also unreserve the ordinances to make them available in Family Tree.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

A Family History Mission: Looking Back

Reading Room, Maryland State Archives
No. 90

Note: You can do a Google search for "A Family History Mission James Tanner" to see all the previous posts in this ongoing series. You can also search for "James Tanner genealogy" and find them or click back through all the posts.

In July 2017, my wife and I decided to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of our age and possible future physical limitations, this looked like about the last time we would be able to serve somewhere besides our home. While attending a workshop for Area Temple and Family History Consultants in Salt Lake City, Utah, we heard about an opportunity to serve in the Washington, D.C. North Mission as FamilySearch Record Preservation Specialists, i.e. camera operators. After exploring this opportunity we began processing our application and after a few months of preparation, we received our mission call and were on our way down the hill from our home in Provo to the Missionary Training Center (MTC).

The year on our mission passed slowly and quickly at the same time. Once you are well into the "elderly" category, you find that time seems to flash by at breakneck speed. After spending two weeks in the MTC, including a week of camera training, we were on our way across the United States to our new home in Annapolis, Maryland. We knew almost nothing about what to expect so we were constantly surprised from the moment we arrived. We had never been to Annapolis but many years ago we lived in Dundalk, Maryland next to Baltimore while I was serving in the US Army.

Our first impressions were of the intense traffic and narrow winding roads. We found ourselves assigned to a nice apartment and soon found out that we were serving with five other couples. We overlapped the service of two couples whose missions were soon over. Although we arrived just before Christmas, we were immediately busy learning our task of digitizing the probate records in the Maryland State Archives.

One of the first learning experience was the fact that as Senior Missionaries working in a government office, we served as "volunteers" and did not wear missionary badges or missionary apparel. We also quickly learned that preparing and digitizing records is hard work. We were quickly into the middle of the work. Our lifestyle changed dramatically. We were up at 5:30 am and to work by 7:00 am, later changed to 8:00 am. We had a short lunch break and worked until 4:30 pm or so. This was our schedule five days a week except for state holidays.

As volunteers, we served as guests in the Archives. Over the year, we did make many good friends among the employees and were well treated and welcome. But we did have to be careful to observe the administration's rules about the security and operation of the Archives. As I noted above, because of security reasons, the Archives limited our access to between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm. We were encouraged to be out of the building by 4:30 at the latest. There were exceptions, but we tried to follow the rules.

In the last 89 installments of this series of posts, I have described our work in detail so there is no need to go into that topic. Outside of our work, we were on our own time. Before arriving, we were unsure about our involvement in the other missionary activities of the Mission, but we soon learned that there was enough to keep us busy and that our contact with the young full-time missionaries was limited. Essentially, since we worked every day during normal business hours anything else, such as buying food, washing clothes, etc. had to take place after work or on Saturdays.

We were encouraged to take advantage of local cultural activities on Saturdays. My wife and I spent many of our Saturdays exploring the beautiful city of Annapolis or riding the Metro to Washington, D.C. to see the museums and monuments. We did not attend missionary district or zone meetings but we did occasionally have some enjoyable activities with the other Senior Missionaries assigned to the Washington, D.C. North Mission.

We began by attending the Annapolis Ward in the Annapolis Stake. At first, we were encouraged to help with the Military Relations Missionaries who served the Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. We became good friends with the Military Relations Missionaries but after a short time helping with the Academy, we began attending the Spa Creek Branch (Spanish Speaking). I have an extensive Spanish language background but Ann, my wife has very little Spanish language skills. That actually worked out perfectly because while I could work with the Spanish speaking members, Ann could work with those who spoke English and we found out that the Primary was conducted and taught principally in English because almost all the children spoke English fluently.

Since we both have extensive family history/genealogy backgrounds and since we were serving as FamilySearch missionaries, we took every opportunity to help people discover their ancestors. The Branch President and Elders Quorum President for the Branch set a goal to have trips to the Philadelphia Temple, because of the closure of the Washington, D.C. Temple for renovation,  during the year we were there and encouraged the members of the Branch to let us help them find their own family names to take to the Temple. The Branch President and Elders Quorum President recruited people almost every Sunday to work with us in the Annapolis Stake Family History Center which was located in the Stake building where we attended church. They made two very successful Temple trips while we were helping the Branch where many of the members were able to perform ordinances for their own ancestors and other relatives. I also volunteered in the Family History Center on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

During the year, we taught genealogy classes at various locations including a Lunch and Learn session at the Maryland State Archives and several classes at the Washington, D.C. Family History Center. We also joined the Anne Arundel County Genealogical Society and attended their meetings. I also did some extensive research for people who contacted me during the year. Ann helped one of the Archive volunteers publish a three-volume book about the cemeteries in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Listing all our activities and experiences would be impossible. I did keep writing on a reduced schedule however and also managed to present a few webinars for the BYU Family History Library.

What are our plans for the future? Mainly survival. We are visiting some of our children's families on our way home and then we will be plunging back into our activities in Provo. I will be offering to serve again at the BYU Family History Library. We will also be attending genealogy conferences and teaching again. I will be serving again as an Ambassador at the upcoming RootsTech Conference. I will be returning to help teach and write for Family History Expos. We will both we serving on the Board of Directors of The Family History Guide Association and will be helping at The Family History Guide booth at RootsTech. Other than that we will have to see what other opportunities that might come our way.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Using MyHeritage to correct entries in the FamilySearch Family Tree

For some time now, I have had access to the Tree Sync program that can synchronize data with the Family Tree but unfortunately, I have not had the time in wrapping up our service at the Maryland State Archives to do much more than look at the program. I will be working on evaluating the features and benefits in the not too distant future.

What I can say now it that when you begin the process of synchronizing, you import the initial information from FamilySearch and create a new family tree in MyHeritage. So the data in this family tree is the same as the data in the Family Tree. For this explanation, I am using the term "Family Tree" with initial capital letters to refer to the Family Tree any other family trees will have initial letters in lower case.

As I worked with the newly imported data now on MyHeritage, I began to realize that I have been using the MyHeritage family tree to correct the corresponding entries on the FamilySearch Family Tree and I further realized that now that I have the same data in both websites, I can rely on error correction program on MyHeritage to correct the information on my part of the Family Tre. I also thought it would be a good idea to explain the process in detail. In my opinion, the benefits of using MyHeritage for this purpose far outweigh the demands of the somewhat complicated procedure.

This process only works if you have a family tree on the website and some of the same information on the Family Tree. You can do this with any family tree on MyHeritage, but it works much better with the synchronized, newly created family tree. You will also need to have the full data subscription to (equivalent to the FamilySearch Partner version that is free to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

To start to review the information, you go to the Consistency Checker listed in the "Family tree" menu item and choose a person to correct.

This section of the Consistency Checker shows children who are born before their parents or in other words are older than one of their parents. The first one on the list is William Hobbs. Here is the MyHeritage Essentials page for this person.

The key here is that if this error shows up in MyHeritage, it came from my imported file from the Family Tree. You might note that there is a link from this person back to the same person in the Family Tree on the left side of the image.

Here is the same person's entry in the Family Tree:

If you examine this entry in the Family Tree, you can readily see that William Hobbs is listed as being born in 1689 and his father, Richard Hobbs is listed as being born in 1695. Why was this information carried over from the Family Tree? Why haven't I corrected this information previously? The answer to the first question is simple; this MyHeritage family tree is a copy of what is in the FamilySearch Family Tree. But the second question opens up a world of issues with the Family Tree.

This particular person is from my wife's family. That is not an excuse, that just reflects the reality that because of the history of the Family Tree and the way it was created, unlike for most people who would not see their spouse's family, I am connected to my wife's entire family. Part of that reason may also lie in the fact that I am distantly related to both my wife's father and her mother on separate lines.

But the real reason this person has not been corrected is that he is too distantly related and we have yet to work our way back that far in the family lines. We can tell that it has been some time since this person was edited or reviewed by realizing that the birth date is non-standard in the Family Tree. The date should be standardized.

Now, back to William Hobbs. He has no sources listed in FamilySearch, but there is a Record Hint that seems to correct his birth date. However, here, the real problem is with the person listed as his father. Richard Hobbs. The date listed as his birth dates is actually the date of his christening which is supported by a source. Without some extensive research, there is no way to determine his birthdate. He could have been born years before his christening. The simple solution to the problem is to remove the birth date or change it to reflect that it occurs "before" the christening date. There are other issues with the entries including standardization, duplicate entries, and other issues. What may look like a simple solution, actually leads to a cascading increase in issues that may take hours or longer to resolve.

But with a few clicks from MyHeritage, I can determine a valid research point on the Family Tree. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution for this apparent data issue.

Let me give another example.

Here is another entry from the Consistency Checker.

There appears to be a problem with Thomas Selfridge's birthdate. So I can use the link to go back to his entry in the Family Tree. Indeed, there appears to be an error. But as I examine the different sources I find that there seems to be some inconsistency about his birthdate. Some of the sources, such as census records, give an estimated date of death as 1792 or 1793, if these later estimates of his birthdate are more accurate, his mother's birthdate in 1785 becomes less problematic. Since the present entry in the Family Tree is an estimated date of "about 1786" and given the differences of the birthdate in different sources, it is likely that there is no real issue. The problem can be resolved by entering a different estimated birthdate based on the sources with the later date or simply removing the birthdate altogether due to the conflicts. I chose to make the estimate correspond to the later birthdate.

Again, the tools on have been useful in correcting an entry in the Family Tree. But, in reality, both of these examples indicate the limitation of the sources already cited and the need for additional research.

I could continue to give examples because the Consistency Checker indicates that there are 775 inconsistencies in my portion of the FamilyTree. This is somewhat discouraging, but not at all unexpected. I certainly cannot say that my family tree is complete.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Thou Gracious God, whose mercy lends

Thou Gracious God, Whose Mercy Lends - Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Thou gracious God, whose mercy lends
The light of home, the smile of friends,
Our gathered flock thine arms enfold
As in the peaceful days of old.

Wilt thou not hear us while we raise
In sweet accord of solemn praise
The voices that have mingled long
In joyous flow of mirth and song?

For all the blessings life has brought,
For all the sorrowing hours have taught,
For all we mourn, for all we keep,
The hands we clasp, the loved that sleep.

The noontide sunshine of the past,
These brief, bright moments fading fast,
The stars that gild our darkening years,
The twilight ray from holier spheres.

We thank thee, Father; let thy grace
Our loving circle still embrace,
Thy mercy shed its heavenly store,
Thy peace be with us evermore.
Thy mercy shed its heavenly store,
Thy peace be with us evermore.

As we leave Annapolis, Maryland to return home after our mission, we will be eternally grateful for the people we have met and the love they have shown to us. We are especially thankful for our opportunity to serve in the Spa Creek Branch (Spanish Speaking) of the Annapolis Stake. I thought these words of Oliver Wendell Holmes were particularly appropriate. I am not sure any of the Branch members will ever see this post, but I do hope they realize what a great experience we had working with them for nearly an entire year. We hope to see them all again sometime.

We would also like to express our thanks to all those volunteers and missionaries who worked with us at the Maryland State Archives. They made the whole experience worthwhile. I truthfully can not understand how we could have done our work of digitizing without the combined effort of all the missionaries working together to solve the challenges and problems that arose.

We will remember you always. Here is another version with the King's Singers.

Thou Gracious God, Whose Mercy Lends - The King's Singers & the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

What are the "New Records" on FamilySearch?

Each month, I receive an updated email outlining the newly added records in the Historical Record Collections. Usually, the Digital Records column is all zeros. This month there are a few new digital records. Has FamilySearch stopped uploading new digital records? Absolutely not. I know that from first-hand experience digitizing records at the Maryland State Archives. But what is happening here?

Some time ago, FamilySearch made the decision to separate the announcement of new records by those that are indexed as opposed to those records that are only available as images. The image-only records are still being added to the website, but the list sent out each month mentions only those records that are indexed and thereby searchable. So where are all the unindexed records that are available?


I have been writing about this situation for the past couple of years and I still find that very few of the people I work with know that the bulk of the digitized records are only listed in the Catalog.
In short, you will find all of the records, including those in the Historical Record Collections, listed in the Catalog. Here is a short video I contributed to the Brigham Young University Family History Library YouTube Channel some time ago that explains how this works.

Where are the Digitized Records on - James Tanner

FamilySearch is still adding millions of new digital records, you just have to know where and how to look for them.

New Video Resources on the BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel
The Brigham Young University Family History Library has maintained a steady stream of new videos being uploaded to their YouTube Channel. Here are a few of the most recent offerings:

Using American Migration Patterns to Find Ancestors - James Tanner

Fuzzy Gazetteer by Barbara Starkey

Autosomal DNA Testing Plans - Paul Woodbury (1 Nov 2018)

What's Happening at the BYU FHL by Joe Everett

Ordinances Ready Family Search by Judy Sharp

We now have over 400 videos on almost every conceivable genealogical topic. If you find that YouTube is blocked, you may wish to view the videos directly from the BYU Family History Library Webinar Library. In the Webinar Library, you will find the videos listed by category.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Major Technological Advances Announced by MyHeritage

Gilad’s Keynote Address - MyHeritage LIVE - November 2018
In the image above, you can see only one of the fabulous technological advances discussed by Gilad Japhet, CEO of, at the MyHeritage LIVE Conference in Oslo, Norway. If you have the slightest interest in family history or genealogy, you need to listen to the entire presentation. I have reviewed many of the highlights of the presentation in my blog post on Genealogy's Stat, "Major Genealogical Advances Announced by MyHeritage." Please take the time to watch Gilad's presentation, but if not, then read my summary then you will probably want to watch the presentation.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

A Family History Mission: Coming to the End

No. 89

Note: You can do a Google search for "A Family History Mission James Tanner" to see all the previous posts in this ongoing series. You can also search for "James Tanner genealogy" and find them or click back through all the posts.

As the leaves fall and the temperatures drop here in Annapolis, Maryland, we come to the end of our one year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The entire experience has been significantly different than I expected. At the time of this post, we have only five more days working at the Maryland State Archives and that time will pass very quickly. We do have a few things left to do including a farewell dinner with the Washington, D.C. North Mission President and his wife and one more visit to the Annapolis Stake Family History Center. But essentially, our time here is finished. We also have a long drive back to Provo. On the way, we will stop off to visit with some of our children and their families, so it will be a time for transition and reflection.

Here are a few random thoughts about serving a Senior Mission.

Traditionally, Senior Missionaries served after "retirement." Since my retirement did not really have a specific date and I kept working at my usual 12 hour a day level, I never really felt like I was or am "retired" in any sense. I certainly have not focused on "leisure" activities. I am going back to Provo with the expectation of serving extensively in the Brigham Young University Family History Library, as a member of Board of Directors of The Family History Guide Association, and as member of the Board of Directors of Family History Expos. I am already scheduled to present at the Annual Yuma Family History Seminar on January 19, 2019 in Yuma, Arizona. I will also be attending the upcoming RootsTech 2019 Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have a long list of topics for classes and webinars for the BYU Family History Library that will be posted on the BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel..

Neither my wife nor I had any idea about how physically demanding digitizing documents all day, five days a week world be. I have never really had a regular 8:00 to 4:00 or 5:00 job five days a week in my life. Every job I have had has been flexible time. Of course, some times in the past, I have worked at two and three and even more jobs at the same time, but they were always somewhat flexible. The constant daily work takes quite an adjustment and we don't have much energy to do anything after work. We also have the usual overhead of daily living; buying food, car maintenance, cleaning the apartment, washing clothes, eating, etc. All of this takes time. I maintian my usual schecule of working 10 to 12 hours a day, but eight or nine of those hours are at the Archives.

Many missionaries have misgivings about leaving their families for a mission. I suppose that had we gone to another country, we would have had less contact with our children and grandchildren but by being in Maryland, we actually saw almost all of our children at one time or another and kept close contact by phone and online conferences. Our children live all over the United States and so they are used to traveling and almost all of them could come for a visit during our mission.

We have certainly enjoyed our association with the other Senior Missionaries serving here in Annapolis. I understand that some missionaries do not have the benefit of being assigned in a group of Senior Missionaries and I think that would be much more difficult. The support and friendship of the other missionaries has been wonderful.

In our particular assignment, we have had very limited contact with the young Full-time Missionaries. We have also had only limited contact with the Midshipmen from the Naval Academy. Other Senior Missionaries have had more contact. Early on, we decided to attend the Spa Creek Branch (Spanish Speaking). This has been one of the highlights of our mission. We have enjoyed the great fellowhip and friendship of the Branch members.

One of main activities we have had on our mission is the opportunity to help members of our Branch and others, including the Senior Missionaries, discover and find their ancestors. We joined the local Anne Arundel County Genealogical Society when we arrived and that has also given us an outlet for participating in genealogical activities. I have spent almost every Tuesday and Wednesday evening in the Annapolis Stake Family History Center and that has also resulted in a number of opportunities to help people find their ancestors.

During our mission, I have participated in several conferences, including one in Pennsylvania for FamilySearch and done several webinars for the BYU Family History Library. These have been significant contributions to our overall experience here in the Washington, D.C. North Mission.

I would strongly encourage all of our senior members of the Church to seriously consider serving either a full-time or part-time mission. You may have a vision of your retirement or older years that looks more like time in Sun City or Leisure World, but I can assure you that you will ultimately find those activities to be hollow and less fullfilling than serving a mission.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Official Statement on Ward Family History Organization

Please Note: 
I have found several references to the content of this letter online, but the language in Handbook 2 does not yet reflect this exact information. Unless your Stake and Ward leaders have received the referenced letter, I suggest waiting for further instructions. 

The changes in the Priesthood quorums of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has also affected the Ward organization of those involved in temple and family history. Here is a quote from a letter dated October 6, 2018, to General Authorities; General Auxiliary Presidencies; Area Seventies; Stake, Mission, and District Presidents; Bishops and Branch Presidents; Elders Quorum Presidencies; Stake and Ward Relief Society Presidencies from the Priesthood and Family Department, it
“When assigned these responsibilities, the elders quorum counselor responsible for member missionary work will act in the role of ward mission leader or will supervise a ward mission leader who is a Melchizedek Priesthood holder. Similarly, the other elders quorum counselor will act as the ward temple and family history leader or will supervise a Melchizedek Priesthood holder who is called to that responsibility. Whether a bishop calls a ward mission leader and a ward temple and family history leader or the counselors in the elders quorum presidency fill those roles is up to the inspired direction of each bishop.”

 “To facilitate priesthood-directed member missionary work and temple and family history work, the Relief Society presidency may follow the pattern of the elders quorum, with one counselor assigned to help with member missionary work and the other counselor assigned to help with temple and family history work.”

Additional clarification:
  • If neither elders quorum counselor takes the family history responsibility then a Melchizedek Priesthood holder is called, much like the ward mission leader, as the ward temple and family history leader. This is a calling made by a member of the bishopric and is sustained in Sacrament Meeting. 
  • The ward temple and family history leader does not replace the lead ward temple and family history consultant. That lead ward consultant calling can be filled by a sister or a couple. 
  • The ward temple and family history leader (or elders quorum counselor) has administrative responsibility to ensure ward consultants, including the lead, are called and trained, help motivate and make sure family history discussions are happening in the ward council.
  • Ward lead consultants, in addition to helping ward members one-on-one, train the new ward temple and family history consultants. They can call upon stake lead consultants for assistance if needed. 
  • It may be that the ward temple and family history leader could also be the lead consultant but would need to be a Melchizedek Priesthood holder and take on both sets of responsibilities. This is up to the bishop.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Update on the MyHeritage and FamilySearch Tree Synchronization

One of the most fantastic advances in online genealogy is the ability of the large family trees to share information with each other. At the 2017 RootsTech Conference, MyHeritage announced that they would be implementing a way to synchronize a family tree with the Family Tree. Unless you have been as involved as I have been with MyHeritage and FamilySearch, you cannot imagine how important this development would be. But after a short BETA testing phase, the program did not work well and was taken down.

A short time ago, I was once again contacted by MyHeritage about a BETA test of the tree synchronization program. After working with the Development Team from MyHeritage for a couple of weeks, I was finally able to get the process to work. There are still some things that need to be worked out, but this is a major step in resolving the issues I have with the Family Tree using the fabulous tools available on For example, I have 778 issues using the MyHeritage Tree Consistency Checker.

You can see, I have a LOT of work to do. I am not sure when the program will be generally available.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Work at The Family History Guide booth at RootsTech 2019

The Family History Guide has openings for booth workers at the upcoming RootsTech 2019 Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Of course, you will have to attend the Conference, but this is an opportunity to be on the Exhibit Floor where the action is at RootsTech 2019. My wife and I will be helping at the booth. Here is a drawing of the Booth planned for the Conference:

Here are some details from the management team about what is involved in volunteering. I would suggest that this is a great opportunity but involves a lot of standing and talking. Also be careful to note the prerequisite skills necessary and the need for LOTS of ENERGY.

What: The management team of The Family History Guide Association is looking for people interested in volunteering to help with vendor booth operations and promotional operations at the upcoming RootsTech 2019 Conference in Salt Lake City at the Salt Palace Convention Center.   Our booth will be a 30' by 20' island.

Why:  See RootsTech from an “inside” perspective! Actually be an integral part of the largest Family History conference in the world! Meet thousands of the most interesting people and personalities in Family History from all over the world! Volunteers will receive a free pass to the Exhibit Hall. If you want to attend conference sessions you must register for yourself. HINT: Saturday conference sessions are free but you must register online to attend. You won't want to miss this unique opportunity and be a part of the hottest new thing in Family History, The Family History Guide.

Who: Anyone over the age of 14 yrs. who wants to have some fun at the largest family history/genealogy conference in the world.  Prerequisite skills include a working knowledge of Family Search, The Family History Guide and personal success at finding and helping others find ancestor names. Lots of ENERGY is a MUST!!  

When: RootsTech 2019 is February 27 – March 2,  2019

Final Orientation Meeting and shirt pick-up: February 21, 2019, 7:30 pm at the SGFHC
How: To sign up to be a booth worker:
  • Click HERE to go to the application form
  • Read the instructions at the top of the form
  • Enter your email address (on the form)
  • Read the Booth Worker Information document (on the form)
  • Watch the videos (on the form)
  • Fill out the rest of the form
  • Submit the form
  • You will receive an email confirmation

  • The final orientation meeting will be held at the SGFHC (Sandy Granite Family History Center, 2720 east Newcastle Drive, Sandy, Room 101) unless otherwise noted. 
  • Transportation to and from the Salt Palace is the responsibility of the volunteer. Carpooling and TRAX are encouraged. 
For more information contact: Bob Ives, Conference Coordinator (email only: or Angelle Anderson (