Live! From the Family History Library

I am writing this blog from the Family History Library where history was to be made today–

  1. We were to have participated in a state-wide earthquake drill, called Shake, Rattle, and Roll.  Because of the large number of seniors with canes, walkers, and wheelchairs in the Library today, the Library personnel took the training and cancelled the general public portion.  So we did not have to run for cover nor duck beneath the tables.  And the computers continued to provide access to the internet undisturbed.
  2. Family History Expos is in the middle of their semi-annual April Research Retreat.  Ten avid researchers and five support staff, including Holly Hansen Expo President, are collecting new data on hard-to-find ancestors.  Searching state vital records, city directories, passenger lists, the new 1940 census, marriage certificates–and most of all, looking for origins in other countries.  One attendee is working on her certification and one is expanding her speaking repretoire. 
  3. Behind the scenes, technicians are working diligently to deliver almost innumerable  records and sources from more than 150 countries in effortless waves on the computers.  I personally checked the collections for Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, New York, and the United States that have been added to the databases since mid-2010.  Mega-millions of records and names have been dropped into these data sets.  Including Confederate Service Rolls, Real Estate Surveys and Indexes, a new version of the Social Security Death Index–where middle initials have been added to help distinguish between two or more persons of the exact same name.  And millions, and millions, of marriage records for the fire-ravaged American South.
  4. All of the US census records 1790 through 1930 are available through FamilySearch.  1940 is being loaded as we use the others.  And new indexes are being made for all of these genealogy super-records.  Indexes are essential for researchers to find their ancestors quickly.  And they are much more accurate when English-speaking persons index records written in English.  Typing speed is a secondary consideration.  The ability to read an entry in any record is based in large part on recognition.  And language skills contribute to accuracy.  
  5. Our Expo group this session includes some seasoned genealogists and some newbies just learning how to use microfilm and library catalogs.  So achievement in ancestry with this mixed group is especially fun.

Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  The powerful search engine of the newly-designed   can filter all of these new resources by date (in 50-years segments), by place (limited to state at this time), and by record category.  Like a genealogists dream machine–we can now select those records most likely to be relevant to our research. 


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