Join the Worldwide Indexing Event

Join volunteers from around the world on July 20 and 21 for an international history-making event! The goal? For 50,000 indexers and arbitrators to submit at least one batch in a 24-hour period! Do more if you would like, but one batch is all that is required to be counted in the record.

Note the times – Starts 6 p.m. MDT (Mountain Daylight Time) on July 20 and ends 5.59 p.m. MDT on July 21 – so 24 hours!

Here is the full details from the FamilySearch blog

“On July 2, 2012, a total of 49,025 FamilySearch indexers and arbitrators joined together to set the all-time record for the most indexing participants in a single day. That lofty record is about to be broken—by you!

Join volunteers from around the world on July 20 and 21 for an international history-making event! The goal? For 50,000 indexers and arbitrators to submit at least one batch in a 24-hour period! Do more if you would like, but one batch is all that is required to be counted in the record!

This remarkable goal will require help from every current indexer and arbitrator out there, plus many new volunteers,*but it can be achieved if generous volunteers like you commit to participate. So mark your calendar and spread the word! Invite friends and family to join you. Organize an indexing party; create a fun family challenge or a society or church service project. Everyone is needed. Everyone can make a difference!

No matter where you live or what language you speak, you can participate and add to this historic worldwide achievement. You may choose to work on any project you prefer. However, we suggest that you work on the following projects in your native language:

  • US—Obituaries, 1980–2014
  • US—Passport Applications, 1795-1925
  • US, New Orleans—Passenger Lists, 1820-1902
  • UK, Manchester—Parish Registers, 1787-1999

The record-setting begins at 00:00 coordinated universal time (UTC) on July 21, which is 6:00 p.m. mountain daylight time (MDT or Utah time) on Sunday, July 20. It ends 24 hours later, at 23:59 UTC (or 5:59 p.m. MDT) on Monday, July 21. Check the FamilySearch Facebook event page for your local start time and status updates.

Through the selfless efforts of worldwide volunteers like you, millions of people have found their ancestors. At the end of this exciting 24-hour event, millions more records will be available and ancestors will be found!

One batch is all it takes. Don’t miss your chance on July 20 and 21 to be part of this history-making event! Plan now to get involved and add your name to the record-setting legacy!

*New indexers can visit to learn more about how to join the FamilySearch indexing effort.”


Posted in, Indexing | Tagged | Leave a comment

FamilySearch Now Has One Billion Digital Images Online in the Historical Record Collection

On 23 June 2014 FamilySearch announced :” the online publication of its one billionth image of historic records at, a feat that took just 7 years to accomplish. If you don’t have the time or means to travel where your ancestors walked, perhaps you can begin unveiling their fascinating lives through the tidal waves of new online historic records that can recount the stories of their lives. “

Some interesting facts:

“FamilySearch started preserving and providing access to the world’s historical records for genealogy purposes in 1938 using microfilm and distributing copies of the film through its global network of 4,600 local FamilySearch centers. In 2007, it made the shift to digital preservation and access technology and began publishing its massive historic records collections online.

It took 58 years to publish the first two billion images of historic records on microfilm—which was limited to patrons of its local FamilySearch centers and affiliate public libraries. In the past 7 years, it has been able to publish one billion images at, which expands access to anyone, anywhere, with Internet access. DeGiulio projects the next billion images should take about 3 to 5 years to publish.

70% of the online images currently come from FamilySearch’s initiative to digitally convert its huge microfilm collection for online access. 25% comes from new camera operations—275 camera teams digitally imaging new historic records in 45 countries that have never seen the light of day or the Internet. And 5% come from agreements with partnering organizations.

Currently, FamilySearch publishes about 200 million images of historic records online each year (averaging about 500,000 per day) making the vast majority of them accessible for the first time to more people from anywhere in the world.”

For the full article go to


Posted in, Historical Records | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers has been digitized and is available at!

Better a day late???

Wow!  Just announced in the Ancestry blog This is great news for anyone doing research in  Great Britain – that is England, Scotland or Wales!  Never available before in digital format that I am aware – this along with the Imperial Gazetteer of 1872 are foundation research tools.  The Imperial Gazetteer is also available at and elsewhere on the internet.

Here is the description of the Phillimore Atlas:

“Parish registers are a vital resource for the period prior to civil registration, which began in England and Wales in 1837. When looking for registers, it’s important to know what the parish boundaries were at a specific point in time because many parish boundaries have changed over the centuries. For example, beginning in the 1830s many of the larger old, or “ancient,” parishes began being split up into smaller parishes.

The Phillimore Atlas outlines old parishes prior to 1832 and provides the date of the earliest surviving registers for the parish. The atlas includes England, Wales, and Scotland.

Some counties included hundreds of parishes, so knowing a parish’s location is a huge help when you’re trying to locate your ancestor’s parish records. In addition, your ancestor may have left records in several nearby parishes, all while living in the same area. The Phillimore Atlas provides an easy way to see what parishes were in the area prior to 1832 so you can do a thorough search.

The maps we have available do not have the grid printed along the sides. All maps have a grid range from A1 to M10, with the letters falling along the longest side.”

This is one of my treasured books!  – but the digital online version looks even easier to read!

How do you find this on the Ancestry web site?  Go to the menu Search and select Card Catalog – and then on the next screen Sort by Date Added

Don’t have an Ancestry membership?  Head to your local Family History Centre

Posted in, England, Research | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting the Most from

Did you know that you can still access videos from RootsTech 2014?

One of our favourites – there were many good ones! – was a talk by Christa Cowan from – “How to Get the Most from”  - this video was shared at our FH Fair in late February – and is available for  you to view from home.

Go to – and look for the link to 2014 videos at the top of the screen.  There are a lot available.  Scroll down to find Christa!

Posted in | Tagged | Leave a comment

Explore 375 years of new Devon parish records

If you have ancestors from Devon then this is a good news message!  Devon is one of the larger counties in England.  This announcement tells of the addition of the remaining Devon records to the online collection at FindMyPast – so now the entire collection from 1538 to 1915 is available, over 4 million records!

From the FindMyPastBlog dated 30 May 2014

“Spanning 1538 to 1915, the Devon Collection is a rich source comprising over 4 million fully searchable transcripts and scanned colour images of the handwritten parish registers held by the record offices in Barnstaple and Exeter.

With Plymouth and West Devon Record Office’s records already available on findmypast, these new additions mean that findmypast’s Devon Collection is the best possible place to find Devonshire ancestors.

Famous Devonians in our records

The baptism, marriage and burial records of many notable Devonians are stored within the collection. The baptism of literary icon Samuel Taylor Coleridge, author of ‘Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner’ and founder of the Romantic Movement, can be viewed in records from the parish of Ottery St Mary.

Crime writer Agatha Christie’s baptism record appears in the parish register of Tormohun in 1890 under her maiden name Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller.

Legendary explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton, who was famous for completing the Hajj to Mecca disguised as a pilgrim, translating the Karma Sutra into English and becoming the first European to visit the great lakes of Africa amongst other exploits, was born in Torquay in 1821 and is recorded in the collection.

Born in Devon: The father of the computer 

The records also include the polymath Charles Babbage, who is widely considered to be the father of the computer. Records of his 1814 marriage were kept by the parish of East Teignmouth. Sir John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough and ancestor of Winston Churchill was born in the parish of Musbury at the height of the Civil War. He was a legendary soldier who revolutionised the British army in the late 17th century and was, for a time, one of the richest men in England. Details of his baptism can also be viewed in the archives.

VC winner and hero of the Zulu wars, Sir Redvers Henry Buller, is yet another famous military man from the county. Sir Redvers was widely celebrated before his disastrous leadership during the Second Boer War saw him sacked by the Minister for War, St. John Brodrick. He was born in Crediton in 1839 and died there in 1908, with both events being recorded by the parish.

Travel and emigration 

The records are also of international significance as many historic Devonians emigrated to Canada, the US and Australia to work in the booming mining, fishing and agricultural industries. Devon’s position on the west coast meant that it was often used as a jumping off point for those headed to the United Sates.

The Mayflower, the ship that carried the first pilgrims across the Atlantic, departed from Plymouth and the Devon Collection houses records that predate this famous voyage. These new records will help people from all over the world to trace their ancestral roots back to the county.

The Devon Collection adds to findmypast’s already extensive cache of parish records, the largest available online. These records allow family historians to go as far back as the 1500s, and with more parish records still to come as part of the 100in100 promise, family historians can now explore their more distant roots more easily than ever before.”

Thank you to Dick Eastman for making me aware of this article

FindMyPast is available for free in your local Family History Centre

Posted in England, FindMyPast, Research | Tagged , | Leave a comment

New scanning service from FamilySearch available at Family History Centres

In a blog article dated 21 May 2014 FamilySearch describes how they are going to help us with our old Photographs and Documents

“FamilySearch International (online at announced today a new, free family photo and document scanning and preservation service for patrons in thousands of its North American family history centers. Patrons can now digitally preserve and share their precious printed historic family photos and documents using customized Lexmark multifunction products (MFPs).

“We all have them. You know, the kitchen or dresser drawers, paper boxes or plastic bags, scrapbooks or folders—all full of family photos, vital records, and other keepsake correspondence from our ancestors,” said Penney Devey, FamilySearch Director of Worldwide Patron and Partner Services. “These family artifacts are constant reminders of our heartfelt good intentions to someday preserve, organize, share or tell their hidden stories for posterity. We just don’t know where to start, how to do it, or feel we can’t afford it.”

Well, thanks to FamilySearch and Lexmark, the future is now here. And there is now a very convenient, free solution to each family’s photo and historic document preservation and sharing needs readily accessible to almost everyone.”

See the rest of the article at:

Check your local FH Centre to see if they have the necessary equipment!  Looks like a great service!

Posted in Family History Centres | Leave a comment

Should You Go Fast and Far? Or Slow and Sure?

We have talked about the Genealogical Proof Standard – and think it is important.  This past week I was pleased to read the following on the blog written by Anne Gillespie Mitchell posted 15 May 2014:

For Mother’s Day, I wrote a post about taking your tree back as far as you can go on your matrilineal line:  I Can Take My Tree All The Way Back to Eve. How Far Does Your Matrilineal Line Go? Some who saw the headline for the post thought I meant Adam and
Eve from the Bible. But if you read the post, you know I didn’t mean Eve of Adam and Eve. It was just trying to draw you into the article.

But, it got me thinking.. Could you do it? And how would you do it?

Well, you do it the same way you do everything else in genealogy. You build your tree one generation at a time using the Genealogical Proof Standard.

It’s the same process you would follow if you are trying to prove the family legend about how you are part Native American. Or that you are a descendant of a Mayflower Pilgrim. Or that your ancestor fought in the Revolutionary War. You do it one generation at a time. Analyzing your sources and documenting as you go.

For every generation, we recommend you follow the tried and true 5-step process that we covered in  5 Steps to a Healthy Family Tree:

  1. Conduct a Reasonably Exhaustive Search. Collect as much documentation that you can to prove the previous generation.
  2. Cite Your Sources.  If you don’t know where the information came from how can you evaluate how reliable it is? And if you don’t write down where you found it, you will have to search for it all over again. And again. And again.
  3. Analyze Your Findings.  Compare and contrast the data that you have.  Don’t take anything at face value.
  4. Resolve Conflicting Evidence.  Was someone born in 1893 or 1897?  How do you decide which birth year is right and why did you decide that.  Again, if you don’t write it down, you won’t remember later. (Yes, I’ve been burned by this!)
  5. Write Your Conclusions.  Do you sense a theme here? Write It Down!

As for the trees that go back to Adam and Eve, are they correct? I personally haven’t seen one that is documented and analyzed to the degree that fits the 5-step Genealogical Proof Standard. But if you have, send me a link.

In the meantime, I’ll get back to extending my own family beyond my 3rd great grandmother Eve, trying to break down brick walls, uncovering my ancestors’ stories and hopefully inspiring a few of you along the way with new ideas—and having you inspire me in return.

But if you are trying to determine if something you see in a book, in an online tree or in a document is true, run it through the microscope of the 5 steps.  If you do that and you feel like a fact passes muster, then you can feel pretty good about it.

- See more at:

Posted in, Research | Tagged , | Leave a comment