03 March 2016

January Find, Take, Teach

January's Find, Take Teach class had quite a few more members. I am hoping the holiday slump is over.

I had a little extra time and I thought I would try and create a PowerPoint presentation for the class. If you are interested you can view it here http://1drv.ms/1L6Jmtq.

First we discussed the To Turn The Hearts booklet that the LDS Church provides to show how leaders can organize, lead, and implement temple and family history work in wards and stakes. Pages 19-21 focus on the roles of Family History Consultants.

We also discussed the upcoming RootsTech conference in Salt Lake.

I then proposed some goals for 2016 for ourselves and those we teach

  • Take some time this year to discover your ancestors and learn something new about them. 
  • Take a few hours this year and try to do one or more of these goals.
    • Add 10 new names to your family tree.
    • Write 5 memories and add them to your memories page.
    • Use the FamilySearch Indexing site, index 5 batches of records.
    • Add 10 new family photographs to your memories page.
    • Attach 10 new document sources to 1 or more individual records.
    • Teach someone else to do the same.
  • You can also set goals of your own. 

We also discussed our task as leaders and Family History Consultants:
Guide each beginner to know what to do next to advance their family history.


I had been asked several questions about how I source and find people in my own family history work. I warned them, and I warn you, I am not an expert but I try and follow the steps I have been taught.

I recently I have been using MyHeritage.com. I received subscription because of my membership in the LDS Church. It is important to know that to get the best use out of this website you need to either enter or upload a gedcom file of your family tree. MyHeritage has a strength in matching records to your tree. I simply created a gedcom in Legacy to upload. It took several hours to go through my file but I currently have 21,540 record matches to investigate.

I love to look through the Newspaper Archive to find records. Not all of them are helpful or about my ancestors but this is much quicker than trying to find records using google or another method.

On of the record hit I got was for the above article on area deaths. I have a brick-wall ancestor that lived near Greensburg so I have been working my collateral lines trying to find other information about the family. I went through the process of copying the transcript from the paper and then matching the names in my database. Everything seemed to jive with the information I already had for the family except for the name Sally West (highlighted above).

I noted that Sally West's maiden name is Facundus and that she lived in Eukipa, California on 24 Oct 1968. I then did a search on FamilySearch for Sall* Facundus. The *, star, or asterisk in a search field means that it replaces any letters after Sall. So it will find a Sally and a Sallie.

I knew the maiden name of Facundus would really narrow the search compared to West. and I was right. The top five results were all for my Sally. The highlighted result is for a marriage record for her son Wallace Warren West.

The 1910 Census record shows Sallie, in her home with her parents and five siblings.

After looking at the actual record I realized that I did have Sallie in my database but her name was spelled incorrectly. I went through each source I found and added them to my database adding sourcing information as I processed each piece of evidence.

I then did another FamilySearch search with Sall* West in California. With this search I found her in the 1940 U.S. Census. living in Long Beach, California.

With the Census information I was able to add another son Lloyd West. I was then able to find may more records for Sally.

In the end, because of an obituary about a sister I found 6 people, along with Sally's birth and death dates, place of burial, and a total of four census records. It was very productive considering how I came across her name.

[I know it has been a while since I have posted. Taking Family History classes at BYU-I has sucked up all of my spare time. I have had a lot of traffic on the website and I have been posting to twitter which shows up on the right hand side of this blog in my RebelMouse Feed.]