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

Saturday, November 30, 2019

5 Hidden Pages on the Website

There are quite a few "hidden" pages on the website. What I mean by "hidden" is that these pages are not in any of the easily discovered pull-down menus. They are also only marginally publicized by FamilySearch. Usually, after the initial blog post announcing the new page and perhaps a few pop-up notices on the main startup page, these pages go invisible to the casual user and even those who use the program almost daily, they soon fade into the background of things we once knew about but have forgotten to use.

The first of these pages is not the Timeline. However, this link on every person's detail page is usually ignored. The actual hidden page is on the Timeline page but unless you go to the Timeline page, you are not likely to ever see this "hidden" page and use it.

Yes, it is the Map page. Here is what happens when you click the slider switch to "turn on" the page.

Now you not only have a timeline you also have a map showing every place identified on the person's detail page including sources and Other Information. In addition, there is yet another level to this page. Down at the bottom of the page, there is a button to "Show Route." Clicking on that button shows you the chronological movements of your relative or ancestor. Here is a more complicated example.

You have to zoom in to see the details of all the movements.

Well, that was pretty simple. What about the next hidden page? Here is Number 2.

This pop-out page comes from clicking on the light bulb icon located in the lower right-hand corner of each page. These links can be quite specific and helpful. They are context-oriented so as you move through the pages on the website, the content changes to provide detailed instructions about the items showing on each page. You have to keep clicking on the icon as you move through the website to see what this means.

That brings us to page Number 3.

We begin by clicking on the Help link in the extreme upper right-hand corner of each page. I suppose I could consider every page in the drop-down menu to be hidden, but I am really only going to look at the last item in the list, "Helper Resources."

When you click on this link, you don't just get one more page, you get a whole part of the website that is hidden.

You could spend some time exploring the resources that are linked from this page but I am going a step further for hidden page Number 3. We start this journey by clicking on the last item on the list, "Additional Resources."

Remember, you are now two clicks down into the parts of the website that are not visible to the casual user. Now we are going to scroll down this list to the section entitled "How to Use FamilySearch." Here we find a link entitled, " Basics." Hmm.

This link doesn't take us just to another page on the website, it takes us to a whole new website.

It takes you to The Family History Guide.

Here you have hundreds of additional pages with thousands of links on a whole encyclopedia of helpful subjects. You might want to go to The Family History Guide startup page and watch the Overview Video and see what this website is all about.
This wonderful website opens a whole new world of learning about genealogy and family history.

We are now back to finding hidden page Number 4.

To get to this next hidden page, we need to go on a short trip to the very bottom of some of the pages on the website. Here we find a link called the "Solutions Gallery."

Here is the Solutions Gallery.
You might argue that the page isn't really "hidden" since it is directly linked from the main startup page but it is at the bottom of the page and when was the last time you scrolled all the way to the bottom of any of the pages on the website? This is a page for you to explore on your own. You may find some very interesting apps or programs.

We have now come to hidden page Number Five.

There is a link on the startup page that says "Volunteer." The Volunteer page has a number of further links.
This is another page for exploration. If you click on "Volunteer on Facebook," you will find a whole new world of FamilySearch.

I could have had ten or more hidden pages, but I will stop at five.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

How can I #LightTheWorld?
Quoting from the Come Unto Christ website,
Each Christmas, we celebrate the life of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. By following His teachings, we let his light shine—in our lives and in the lives of others. This year, use this calendar for inspiration as you plan your Christmas activities to help #LightTheWorld by serving those in need.
Here are 25 ways in 25 days.
Go to the #LightTheWorld website.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

#LightTheWorld Watch "The Christ Child": A Nativity Story

The Christ Child: A Nativity Story | #LightTheWorld
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great blight: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Isaiah 9:2 
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no bend, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6-7

Saturday, November 23, 2019

This is Family History

Here is a short video from FamilySearch that touched my heart.

This is Family History

This is also Family History:

Those of us who are working to preserve family history and submit the names of our ancestors to the temples are also family history. Lest we forget.

Friday, November 22, 2019

125 Years of FamilySearch

You may find it hard to believe but FamilySearch is really 125 years old this year 2019. The explanation for this is quite simple: FamilySearch is the trade name (and now the actual name) of the Genealogical Society of Utah that was founded back in 1894. Hence, 125 years. You can read a short summary of the history of FamilySearch on this blog post.
Here is a more condensed version of the history in a timeline.

Monday, November 18, 2019

The 5 Most Common Mistakes made while working on the FamilySearch Family Tree

We all make misteakes. Oops. We all make mistakes. For genealogists, the Family Tree is an excellent example of what can happen when mistakes are abundantly made by the contributors both historical and current and I am certainly not excluding myself. For some time now, FamilySearch has provided a system of error notification using icons with red exclamation points. But there are a lot of errors that are not identified by the FamilySearch program. In this post, I have selected what I think are the five most common errors and explained why they are so common and what we all need to do to correct them.

The advantage of the Family Tree is that anyone can correct an error and hopefully do the correction without creating yet another error. My immediate family and I spend a lot of time correcting errors whether or not the errors have been identified by FamilySearch. Errors in a collaborative family tree are like weeds in a garden. Inevitable and simply part of the process of maintaining a vibrantly live family tree.

Here we go with my opinion of the five most common errors. First, some qualifications. Omissions due to lack of information are not errors. Failure to provide a standardized date or place name is not an error. It is necessary to standardize but the fact that someone has the right location or date but fails to put it in a standardized format is not an error. You cannot create a historical error by mandating a standard format or response. That issue has to do with programming and search engines, not history. Estimates are also not errors. Entering "about 1840" informs others that the exact date is unknown but is not an error.

There are other similar issues that are also not errors. So what are the errors?

1. Adding the wrong child, wife, or husband to a family.

This is error or type of error is extremely common in the Family Tree. It is usually the result of focusing solely on names and dates and ignoring the locations. Granted, this error is more common in countries with a lot of similar given names and surnames, but it is particularly irksome when someone adds a child or a spouse without a source record supporting the added person. For example, people kept adding children born in England to my Tanner family in Arizona back in the early 1900s when travel would have made such an event nearly impossible and a long list of U.S. Census records did not show any children born in England.

2. Failing to check that an event location actually existed at the time of the event.

Here is a classic example of this error from the Family Tree:

Kentucky became a state in 1792. Harrison County was created in 1794. The first permanent settlement in Kentucky was constructed in 1774. The United States did not become an independent country until the Revolutionary War which began in 1775 and ended in 1783. Unless Thomas Hamilton was French or a Native American, it is totally impossible that a marriage took place when and where it is recorded. There are a number of ways to check dates for places in the United States. I suggest using the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries from the Newberry Library. This brings us to the next topic.

3. Adding or changing information to the Family Tree without a source citation.

Even if the information added to the Family Tree is correct, without a source citation there is no way a subsequent user can determine that the information is correct without redoing all of the research. In the case of the entry shown in #2 above, the lack of a source citation is understandable because the information is not real. By the way, there is no way to "estimate" the location of an event. For example, the information about the location in Kentucky in the year 1749 cannot be an estimate because the place cannot exist.

4. Making up names or putting in extraneous information for a name.

Again, the example above demonstrates this error. The wife's name, "Mrs. Thomas Hambleton" could not possibly be correct. At one point in time, people would add this space-filler type name in order to do the Temple ordinance work. But putting a Mrs in front of the entry does not really identify anyone. What if this person and more than one unknown wife? Does this wife get the name and the rest go begging?

I have also seen places in the Family Tree where the person's name is "baby" or "Mrs." or even "?" Here are some examples.

In this example, the Mrs is part of the name. By the way, my search in the Family Tree resulted in 547,016,135 entries with Mrs. as part of the name. This error comes from a previous standard accepted by FamilySearch but adding a place holder is nothing more or less than an error. Here is an entry with a question mark.

There are 11 sources listed for Christopher Sanderson and even a Find A Grave record showing a burial date but nothing connecting the Christopher Sanderson to the one born in 1575. If we just leave the entry empty, we can guess that the information is unknown. There is no need for a question mark. Another problem occurs when the title or "Junior" is used as one of the names when there is no source showing that designation as an actual part of the name. With "Junior" for example, that designation did not always mean father and son; it was sometimes used to differentiate between unrelated people who had the same name but different ages.

5.  Failing to do the math.

This is one of the most easily detected errors. Here is an example.

Look at the birth dates listed for the children. Then look at the death date of the father. Do you see a problem? If not, you are part of the problem. When I examine the sources, I have records for two different people named "John Watson" one christened in 1791 and one christened in 1785. Time for more research.

All of these errors can be avoided by careful research and thinking about what you are doing when you add information to the Family Tree. The general rule should be to leave it blank if you don't have a specific source. You can estimate dates but be careful not to estimate an out-of-range date making other dates impossible.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

See how you are related to other users on the FamilySearch Family Tree
This is an interesting feature added to the Family Tree. Previously, we have been able to see our relationship to the people in the Family Tree but now that extends to the contributors.

Here is a quote from the announcement from FamilySearch.
If you have ever used Relatives at Rootstech to hunt down cousins at a conference or experimented with Relatives Around Me on the Family Tree app, then you already have a pretty good idea of how the new feature works. Each of these tools allow you to directly see how you are related to someone here and now, not just your past ancestors in the tree.
The difference? The new feature doesn’t require you to be within 100 feet of another person. It gives you the option to view your relationship anywhere you spot a contributor name on the Family Tree, so long as he or she has opted in to use the new feature. 
Excited yet? Try this for yourself on FamilySearch, or read more about how it works below. 
Hmm. However, the feature requires both you and the other contributors to the website to "opt in" in order to see the relationship. I really have no trouble allowing anyone who is working on the Family Tree to see me, but I guess if I start to see someone working on one of my close family lines who "opts out" of allowing me to see how we are related, I will probably send them the new message through the website asking how they are related anyway. 

I just got my list of changes for this week and I will get busy and see how this works and if anyone will respond.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Thoughts on Reality and Your Temple List

In talking to people about their genealogy the last few days, I have been mentioning the Ordinances Ready app. Some of the responses have surprised me. One couple explained that they didn't need to use the Ordinances Ready app because they had 3000 names on their Temple list and they were supplying names to their family members. Of course, I am also aware that many other people have far greater numbers of individuals on their Temple lists into the tens and even the hundreds of thousands.

First of all, I cannot imagine accurately finding that many validly sourced people without simply copying names from records without actually doing any individual verification. But more importantly, in effect, you are creating your own private "Spirit Prison" without knowing the actual people involved in your list. As long as those people are sitting on your reserved list, it is not possible for anyone else to do their Temple work and you are effectively keeping those people in the Spirit World from their progression even if they are ready and waiting for the ordinances to be done. Do you really want to face all those people when you personally go to the Spirit World?

FamilySearch has yet to set a limit as to the number of names that can be reserved at one time, but I imagine that if FamilySearch sees a continuation of the accumulation of names in the Reserved Lists, limiting to the total allowed will become a possible solution. However, there is presently no need to accumulate a huge list of names. All of those extra names, more than a few months or maybe a year's worth, should be shared with the Temples. Granted, there may be a backlog of names for the Temples, but that is being resolved regularly by the dedication of new Temples.

Here is what I am doing. I am still researching and adding people to the FamilySearch Family Tree but I am not reserving any more names than I presently have for my own list. I am sharing all the names I find directly with the Temples. This way, given the way the Ordinances Ready app finds names, any member of my family can find these shared names by using the app. If I need a name or names to take to the Temple, I can use the app also to reserve a name I may have already shared. I can get names off of my shared list. Yes, as long as the names haven't been printed, I can get them back.

Guess what? FamilySearch is telling me when someone performs the ordinances for one of the people on my shared list so I can still see the work is being done. There is no real incentive to keep more than a few names on my private reserved list. In fact, I am sharing all the women on my list with the Temples because there are none of the women in my family who need names because of their own work or because of Ordinances Ready.

Additionally, if I use the Ordinances Ready app to find more names for the Temples, I can find new names fairly quickly should I use up all the names on my shared list (which is not going to happen). So look at your list realistically. Share everything on your list and start using the Ordinances Ready app to supply your own names and encourage your family members to obtain their own names from the Ordinances Ready app. That way, you may have a more pleasant experience meeting your relatives on the other side.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

10 Ways to Enhance and Improve Your Experience with the FamilySearch Family Tree

There are a number of very specific things you can do to enhance and improve your experience with the Family Tree. After teaching hundreds of classes and answering innumerable questions about the Family Tree, I am boiling down all the answers to all the questions and my comments about the Family Tree into just ten short suggestions. They are "suggestions" because you still have to choose to improve your own experience. Here I go with the list and explanations.

1. Take the time and effort to improve your computer and keyboarding skills. 

Young or old, many people are still typing with two fingers. Others are still at the stage of trying to remember their logins and passwords. If you lack basic computer skills, you will be challenged to use the Family Tree and almost any other computer program.

When I start to help someone and the first issue is remembering their login and password, I can only assume they have little or no experience with the website. This obstacle can come always using the memorized passwords from your computer's operating system or from Google, but you should have a procedure, such as writing down your passwords, to retrieve the password without using a second forgotten password.

If your computer skills are lacking, it may be time for some formal training. There are many online free educational websites that provide instruction for both Apple and PC computers. You can get started with the links from The Family History Guide's free Intro pages Computer Basics.

However, it may be obvious that if you are reading this blog post, you have some basic computer skills and telling you to go to a website to enhance those skills may be entirely unneeded. But, if you know someone with limited or no computer skills you might want to help them find the website I cite below.
2. Take additional time to learn how and why the Family Tree works.

Even assuming you have some basic or even more advanced computer skills, that does not mean you understand how or why the Family Tree works. Many users are frustrated because the Family Tree is an open, collaborative website. This means that anyone can add to, change, correct, or in some limited circumstances, delete information in the Family Tree. Understanding this process and not being challenged or frustrated by the way the Family Tree works is one of the biggest challenges to overcome. Those who do understand the Family Tree learn to work through the changes and apply some simple procedures that will minimize unwanted or incorrect changes. Here is a video that will talk about those procedures.

Handling the changes made to the FamilySearch Family Tree?

3. Learn the basics about sources, standardization, and merging

These three topics are the ones that challenge even people with extensive genealogical research backgrounds. Fortunately, there are specific sections in The Family History Guide that teach you how to use these tools with simple, step-by-step instructions. To begin, see The Family History Guide section on the Family Tree and then look at the Project Goals listed at the top of the page.
4. Get to know the people in your first six generations. 

You may not even have six generations of your direct line ancestors and other relatives in your portion of the Family Tree, but get to know all that you do have. What I mean by this is that you know all the surnames of, at least, your direct line ancestors by memory so that you can recognize related family names when you run across information that may be about your family. Keeping track of all the descendants is an entirely different matter but that is why it is important to know the core ancestors. People you meet (in real life, not genealogy) will sometimes ask if you are related to them. There are some online apps, such as the one on the mobile Tree app, Relatives Around Me, that can help to see if you are related, but it is a good idea to have the core ancestors in your own memory to take advantage of these "relationship" experiences.
5. Focus on descendancy rather than searching for 16th and 17th Century holes.

The existence of a hole in your direct line ancestry back in the 16th or 17th Centuries can be overwhelmingly alluring. But generally, those holes or missing ancestors are there because adequate records are missing. Your experience with doing genealogical research will be much more pleasant if you focus on filling in the gaps among the descendants of your first four to six generations of direct line ancestors and all their siblings. These people are your cousins and they are your relatives. If you need help in doing descendancy research, take the time to learn about the resources for doing this type of research. Here is a good place to get started.

Basic Series: Part 3 - Beginning Descendancy Research

6. Start with your primary spoken language research first.

I talk to a lot of people who speak English and who are just beginning their genealogical research experience and too many of them want to begin by starting with research into their German or Scandinavian ancestors when they know nothing about the history of Germany or Scandinavia and do not speak or read any of the necessary languages. Moving into research into a language you do not understand adds an overwhelming challenge to the already difficult task of learning how to do genealogical research. If you first become proficient in researching in your native language, then moving into another language is possible, but not easy. If you do speak two or more languages, all the better. But you still need to begin doing research in one of the languages before you move on to another one. Here is a link to The Family History Guide section on Countries that will get you started in almost all the major countries of the world.
7. Learn to use the FamilySearch Partner programs.

There are quite a few FamilySearch Partner programs or websites in the Solutions Gallery. Here is a link to the Solutions Gallery. The link on the website is located at the bottom of the Home page.
It may seem even more difficult or complicated to add other programs or websites to your use of the Family Tree, but many of these programs resolve some of the frustrations of using the Family Tree rather than add to them.  Foremost, from my perspective, is The Family History Guide. This free website provides a structured, sequenced educational experience about using the FamilySearch Family Tree and about many other subjects.
But don't stop there. Try out several of the websites and see if they help you with some of the challenges of using the Family Tree.

8. Be sure to correct names, merge duplicates, standardize dates and places, and work to complete entries before branching off into research. 

This step might seem a little repetitious but I cannot overemphasize the importance of "cleaning up" your entries before attempting to move on to researching those same entries. The most important thing you can do is to make sure that the places listed in each entry are as accurate and specific as possible. If you have learned how to do this using the previous suggestion, then you need to actually apply what you have learned.

9. Attend a class or genealogy conference and talk to other users of the Family Tree.

Genealogy is a very solitary and personal activity or persuasion. To avoid getting overly frustrated with the Family Tree, you should spend some time in a class or attend a genealogy conference. This gives you some perspective about how others are coping with the difficulties of working with online websites and other challenges. A good conference to consider is the upcoming RootsTech 2020 Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 26th to the 29th, 2020.

10. Don't give up.

You have to realize that learning about a complex website such as and all that goes with it can be a real challenge. There are a bundle of skills that go along with learning genealogical research and then putting those skills into the online technological challenges adds yet another level of difficulty. The results are worth the effort. You can succeed. It may take so time and effort but there are substantial rewards. Get busy and start learning.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Challenge of Multiple Online Family Trees: Part One Introduction

When I point out either to classes or individuals the advantages of having record hints from all of the major online genealogy database websites, the one most common response is to object to having multiple copies of their family tree information. This concern is often coupled with a complaint about how the information in the Family Tree is "changing" all the time. Interestingly, the two issues are obviously related. The addition of historical sources to unsourced family trees inevitably leads to changes in the unsourced data. So the real issue is whether or not the advantage of having the automated record hints outweighs any concerns about either changes or the difficulty in "maintaining" multiple family trees on multiple websites. For this particular post, I am going to limit my comments to only four online family tree websites:,,, and All four of these websites have record hint technology coupled with a family tree. Two of those websites, and, provide a pathway for members of The Church Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to synchronize all or part of the data generated by those record hints with the Family Tree.

I intend to go into the details of the synchronization process for both Ancestry and MyHeritage in later posts in this series, but for now, I will simply say that the ability to synchronize the information between family trees is fundamentally the answer to the issue of maintaining and benefiting from multiple family trees. But even absent an efficient way to synchronize data, the record hints are worth the extra work involved in maintaining more than one family tree.

At this point, it is important to point out that many of the same people who question the need for multiple family trees know little or nothing about the resources provided by the four online programs and how those resources in the form of vast collections of records differ from website to website. The collections maintained and added to by each of the four websites are substantially different and each of the websites has its own unique records not available on the other websites. For example, has an integrated, extensive, entirely indexed, and searchable collection of newspapers that is rapidly growing. MyHeritage Record Match discoveries in newspapers are included in the record hints automatically supplied to LDS users of the program. MyHeritage is the only website of the four that presently includes newspaper matches as part of its LDS Account offerings. Both and have separately charged subscription newspaper websites. Likewise, both and have collections that are not available on Granted, that these advantages are only available to members of the Church and those without an LDS Account will have to pay for all of the subscription services.

One of the core issues with multiple family tree websites is the added burden of remembering logins and passwords. This is a universal background burden on all online activities. Of course, you can pay a subscription service to maintain a database of all your passwords, but then you still have to remember the service's login and password and when you change a password you still have to tell the service about the new password. If you are worried about your passwords being hacked, it might occur to you that it would be harder to hack multiple passwords than hack the server for the system that is helping you remember all your passwords.

I believe that the main objections to multiple family tree websites arise out of a lack of basic computer skills. Many people are not comfortable with the multiplicity of the online experience. For example, I taught a class about online ebook sources today that included a number of extremely popular and well-known websites. Very few of the websites were familiar to those attending the class and most were "overwhelmed" at the number of places to look for genealogically significant ebooks online even when the number of websites was really quite a vanishingly small representative of all the possible online sources.

As you can tell from what I have already written, maintaining multiple online family trees can be a challenge, but the benefits are substantial and when taken in the perspective of working with dozens or even hundreds of different programs and websites, not as significant an issue as it might initially appear to be.

Stay tuned for additional posts on this subject.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Experiencing the Digital Divide

The digital divide is the gulf between those who have ready access to computers and the Internet and those who do not. A recent Pew Research Center study found that about 10% of Americans do not use the internet. However, the percentage for people over the age of 65 was at 27%. Many, if not most, of the people who are interested in genealogy, fall into that age group and sadly, the percentages ring true. Here is a quote from the article entitled, "10% of Americans don’t use the internet. Who are they?"
For instance, seniors are much more likely than younger adults to say they never go online. Although the share of non-internet users ages 65 and older has decreased by 7 percentage points since 2018, 27% still do not use the internet, compared with fewer than 10% of adults under the age of 65. Household income and education are also indicators of a person’s likelihood to be offline. Roughly three-in-ten adults with less than a high school education (29%) do not use the internet in 2019, compared with 35% in 2018. But that share falls as the level of educational attainment increases. Adults from households earning less than $30,000 a year are far more likely than the most affluent adults to not use the internet (18% vs. 2%).
As is indicated, these numbers vary not only by age but also by the economic level of the populace.  Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are continually reminded of their duty to seek out their ancestors and take the names of their ancestors to the temples. The group who spends the most time involved in temple work is exactly the same group of people who are the most challenged by technology.

Back in 1975, the first personal computer was introduced, the MITS Altair 8800. See "Personal Computer History: 1975-1984." Also, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak introduced their Apple1 computer in 1976. If you are 65 years old today, you were already 21 years old back in 1975 and probably through with your formal education and unless you already had an interest in or contact with computers and you were more than likely not interested in the new developments. I was an exception to this because of my early contact with the University of Utah mainframe computer during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The first Macintosh computer was introduced by Apple in 1984 and by that time today's over 65 group was already into their 30s and the likelihood of taking an interest in the new technology had decreased even more.

Just think about typing. Fortunately, unlike many of those in my age group, I learned to type in high school but before that one typing class, I had almost no contact with typewriters or typing. I see the effects of this lack of early instruction almost every time I sit down with an older person and try to help them with their computer and genealogy skills. We assume that children today are taught "keyboarding" skills and in many cases that is a true assumption, but there are still many schools that do not have universal requirements that children learn to type. But a lack of typing skills is a real obstacle to learning the computer skills necessary to take advantage of the technological advances in genealogical research.

Another important fact about genealogy and timeline of the development of personal computers is the fact that women are overwhelmingly more involved in genealogy than are men and it was even less likely that women would become involved with the new computer technology more than 44 years ago than they are today. There are notable exceptions but unfortunately, there were few men back then who viewed computers as an area of interest for women. Again, I was an exception to this rule and made sure that my five daughters were not just computer literate but could use computers professionally.

Interest in technology and the skills to use it effectively does not imply an interest in genealogy. Most of the current promotional efforts by the large genealogy companies assume that the target audience is technologically savvy if not advanced. You only need to look at ads for genealogical DNA testing to see this assumed interest and expertise. Another example of this assumption is the FamilySearch emphasis on technologically advanced Discovery Centers. This emphasis is interesting to me when I reflect on the fact that I spend a considerable amount of my time helping older people with their logins and passwords.

If you add up the obstacles presented to the older population, it is obvious why there is a digital divide preventing many older people from becoming more involved in genealogical research.