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

Saturday, May 30, 2020

MyHeritage Releases Exclusive New Record Collection from Germany has uploaded over 2.4 million images completely indexed in their new North Rhine Westphalia Death Index 1870–1940. Quoting from an email announcement:
The collection includes 2,450,551 records along with beautiful scanned images of the original documents. The images have been fully indexed by MyHeritage for the first time, making the information more accessible and readily searchable than ever before. These records are available only on MyHeritage, and are an invaluable resource for anyone researching their German roots.

Civil death registration records in Germany, called Personenstandsregister, were kept by the German Civil Registrar. They cover 98% of the population and have been mandatory in all German states since 1876. They may include the first and last names of the individual, the date and place of birth and death, age at death, residence, name of spouse, and even the names of the individual’s parents.

The state of North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany with over 17.5 million inhabitants. During the period covered by the records in the collection, the region comprised 3 provinces: Westphalia, North Rhine, and the German Free State of Lippe. They were unified by the British after World War II.

Millions more records will be indexed and added to this collection in the future, in a series of planned updates.

This collection is a true treasure trove for those with German heritage. I hope you and your readers find it valuable. 
You can search the collection now and read more about the North Rhine-Westphalia Death Index 1870–1940 on the blog

Friday, May 15, 2020

Church Service Missionaries during the COVID-19 Pandemic

For the past few years, my wife and I have been serving as Church Service Family History Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Brigham Young University Family History Library. Beginning in March, the Library was closed because of the social distancing requirements imposed by the COVID-19 Pandemic. As of the date of this post, we are in the ninth week of being sequestered at home. Presently, the University is deciding whether or not to hold classes in the Fall Semester through distance learning (online). This would likely mean that the Library will be closed for the rest of 2020. 

Even if the Library were to open on a limited basis for students or visitors, it is still likely that we will be unable to serve because of our age and possibly immunocompromised. So, it looks like it might be a while before we see the BYU Family History Library again. 

Meanwhile, we are still doing webinars from home. 

BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel

Here is my latest webinar.

I hope we can keep doing webinars even though the Library remains closed. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Art in Meetinghouse Foyers and Entryways to Reflect a Deeper Reverence for Jesus Christ

The most significant, for me, part of this whole announcement are two images that were included near the end of the Newsroom announcement. You can see that there is an image of a glass display case with two picture tripods staked in a corner. The next image shows both the glass display case gone and the tripods gone and they are replaced by a photo show Christ teaching. 

At the time of this post, we have spent over eight weeks without meetings in our chapels. This time away from meetings has been described as a time for focus on teaching in the home. It seems to me that it may also be a time to redirect our use of the chapels and the meetings and activities that we have traditionally conducted in those buildings. Glass cases with photos of missionaries or activities may disappear. Meetings that we think are essential may be replaced with further emphasis on teaching in the home. 

How much of our "Wasatch Front" culture really applies to the entire world? Quoting from the announcement:
In the Church’s temples, every furnishing adds to an atmosphere of peace, worship and reverence for Jesus Christ. The same principle applies to the Church’s meetinghouses. It is in chapels that Latter-day Saints partake of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper — bread and water that symbolize the body and blood of Jesus. This is “the most universally received ordinance in the Church” and “the most sacred hour of the week,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said last year. Everything that surrounds this rite, including the artwork people see as they enter the chapel, should contribute to what the Apostle called “an increasingly sacred acknowledgment of Christ’s majestic atoning gift to all humankind.”
Think about what changes need to be made to have this go into effect. 

Monday, May 11, 2020

A Piano's Purpose

A Piano's Purpose

This short video was made for Deseret Industries. I go way back with Deseret Industries. You may not have one of these stores in your area but if you do, you will find a treasure trove of bargains. What does this have to with genealogy? Well, I visit the large store here in Provo, Utah from time to time and I always check to see if they have genealogy books. I collect old genealogy manuals, references, and other books and sometimes I find some very good items.

Our society often depreciates things that are old and seem useless, including people. I have reached the age when I have become essentially "invisible." Unless I take the initiative and specifically stop and address people around me, I am categorically ignored.

One of the advantages of helping and teaching genealogy is that I get to have interaction with a lot of people. Maybe as you watch this video you might think about your own older relatives and pay them a visit to find out what they know about your family.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Spiritual Dynamite

This short video is one of the keys to surviving the effect of COVID-19 on our lives and the lives of those around us. Although the video is animated and cute, the message is profound. Here is the explanation of the video from the explanation online.
Invite more spiritual power into your life by combining family history with the blessings of the temple. Elder Dale G. Renlund has promised that those who do will experience protection from temptation and receive personal power to change, repent, learn, become more holy, and help turn the hearts of family members to “heal that which needs healing.”
Although we can't presently (at the time this post was written) attend the temples, we can still do our family history.