Genealogy Internet Utilities and Other Genealogy Delights

Hello 2007: You promise to be a big Genealogy Year!

Hello Genealogy News Sheet readers: What promise Genealogy in 2007 holds for all of us! So I decided to start the New Year off with some of the internet tools I have found exceedingly useful in a more than 200-hour research marathan on difficult and impossible lines–lines I have worked on for more than 10 years.

Known as One-Step, this genealogy portal gives you better, and more controlled, access to over 100 different websites and databases. And the site is one of the most user-friendly utilities I have used. Names that were impossible to find in the U.S. census records and among the immigrants who came through Ellis Island now magically appear–for me. So I know that the problem was in the site or its indexes, not in my limited computer skills.

(I always knew it was a mistake to take the advanced course before I enrolled for the basics. Yet, when I finally enrolled in the basics class, the instructor treated me like an advanced student, assuming I knew how to open a file and create a folder. Not so and still not so!) and also respond masterfully to One-Step. Indexing errors or 1 million+ entries needn’t stop you from finding your ancestor. And the map access is a time-saver. So I invite you to check out this portal site and use the utility programs these computer-tech genealogists–most of whom are volunteers–have designed to aid us.

Special research help with New York City censuses and broad coverage of East European and Jewish names is a utility that I really appreciate. Searching the concentration of names in a small area is a real challenge–especially when indexes have been poorly read.

And if you are developing a genealogy database, you might invite their in-put so your site works faster, and we can find the right ancestor.

Add to your January reading list:

Crume, Rick. “Stepping Up,” Family Tree Magazine (Feb 2007) 58-61. Describes and compares the different search formats for One-Step–how and when to use them. Very helpful.

Morse, Stephen. “Morse’s Code: A One-Step Portal for Online Genealogy,” Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly (September 2006 and December 2006), two-part article. Or, read the online version at Well illustrated with computer screens and special search tips from the master himself.

This International Genealogical Index utility searches for individual ancestors faster and provides access to the churchbooks for a whole batch, in alphabetical order, more effectively than the search options available on Searches can be made by surname, surname and given name, and by batch number.

The Hugh Wallis site also screens out all patron submissions and their myriad duplicates. It reproduces only the controlled extractions from the original records–this part of the database is considered to be statistically perfect, with less than 8% error because each entry is read by two different extractors and, when their is a conflict, the original is re-read by an arbitor to resolve the differences.

While the URL above will get you to the site on most search engines, I prefer to Google IGI Batch Numbers + Hugh Wallis through the browser.

Perhaps the site is most helpful for cities, towns, and boroughs where several parishes and Nonconformist churches exist. Since most researchers do not know the areas occupied by each church (parishes are territorial), nor do they have street addresses for their ancestors, having access with an index and by each parish is very useful.

A feature I especially like, is similar to the search mechanism for the old DOS version of the database: you get an alphabetical list for your surname of interest within each time period. This feature allows you to examine persons in each parish for a match with what you already know. It’s a microsearch.

You can also print a list of batch numbers for each parish or place and use the list to ensure you don’t miss any within your time period. Using a special file conversion and printing utility–LDSCompanion 2.12 from

You can create excel spreadsheets of the data from each batch so that you can view both vertically and horizontally each parish and compare the entries from several parishes over time.

You can do all of this manually from the IGI–you can do it faster and more effectively using these utility programs. For example, Double Proof: The Farr Family DNA Project, posted Monday 14 August 2006, describes the manual conversion of parish batches–took two skilled people more than 100 hours to do what could have been accomplished in a short day using Hugh Wallis’s and Steve Archer’s utilities!

3. Patrick Deathrage’s IGI Splicer:
In 1994, Deathrage created a splicer program for the IGI which converted the data into a myriad of databases to help you compile an accurate family tree. What we sometimes forget is that the IGI is data. And it is available on the internet for free. Polish churchbooks in large cities often included the street number in each entry as a means of identification for the parish officials. If you reorder the data by street number, you can identify people who live in the same house, who live next door, who move from one household into another, and who move around the city. You can see the kinship networks which began in Poland before your family emigrated, and which are still supported today within your own family circle.


Family Atlas is new, reasonably priced, genealogy software which takes the data in your family records and automatically creates customized maps. You can trace migration patterns–based on your own family–pinpoint events and sites of importance to your family, identify neighborhoods in which your ancestors and their family members reside. And mark them all on digital maps. It really is a stunning program.

Think about the implications of reconverting the data in the IGI by sorts that apply to your family experience, then importing those sorts into Family Atlas with its 3.5 million name worldwide database. You can actually map the neighborhoods!
This topic will be continued to another Genealogy News Sheet because it is of great importance to us, as we work to trace our family lines easily, and document them correctly. Watch this site during January–most Mondays there will be a new post. I will also post material 2-3 times during the week in between my research sessions at the Family History Library, my delivery of Why Migration Patterns Are Important at UGA’s Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and getting ready to participate in the St. George Genealogy Jamboree–WOW what a lot of new stuff I get to share with you all. Your favorite genealogy expert, Arlene Eakle
P.S. Some genealogists are printing each post and putting them into a binder where they can consult specific resources as they needed for their own research.

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One Response to Genealogy Internet Utilities and Other Genealogy Delights

  1. arlene says:

    Hi News Sheet Readers–
    I am trying to make the Genealogy Internet Utilities urls work as links to their respective sites. My computer skills are somewhat limited to do this. Hang in there and when my webmaster gets through, the urls should work. Obviously this is a topic that resonated with several of you and my email inbox was bulging with requests and some recommendations.

    Seems more complicated to describe it, than I have found it to search the sites and use their technology. Keep watching–we’ll fix it. Arlene

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