The generations on either side of me link me to my past and my future. My view of family history involves revealing the roots and the branches.

Throughout this blog you will find perspectives related to the doctrines of temple and family history work from revealed revelation given to living prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS - Mormon).

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Year in Review: FamilySearch Grows as World’s Foremost Family History Resource



SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - December 29, 2015— FamilySearch.org, an outstanding free website hosted by FamilySearch International, the foremost family history organization in the world, has released a 2015 year-end summary of its global efforts to ultimately connect families across generations. It has made substantial progress in creating new personal and family discoveries through significantly more access to historical records, expanded partnerships, a more powerful and user-friendly online search experience, and hundreds of free localized events hosted worldwide.

For more than 100 years, FamilySearch and its predecessors have gathered and preserved worldwide records, creating the largest collection of genealogical and historical records in the world. It continues to digitally convert its vaults of microfilm for online viewing, along with millions more newly captured record images from archives across the globe.

In the past 25 years, it has been influencing technology and initiatives that engage a broadening swath of consumers to have emotional, endearing experiences with their family and family history. It uses its nonprofit status to continue to rally the growing sea of commercial companies—large and small—in the genealogy and family markets to join in the noble efforts.

HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2015

During 2015, Steve Rockwood took the reins of FamilySearch, replacing retiring Dennis Brimhall as CEO.

Two Family Discovery Centers, which represent a new concept in presenting family history information, were opened in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Belleview, Washington. Ground was also broken for a new FamilySearch Library in St. George, Utah, which will have some of the new discovery center experiences.

RootsTech 2015, a global family history event held in Salt Lake City, Utah, and hosted by FamilySearch, uses technology and fun experiences to expand family connections. It attracted a record 300,000 attendees in person, online, and through local post–Family Discovery Day events.

During 2015, FamilySearch, in cooperation with several other organizations, launched the Freedmen’s Bureau Campaign (discoverfreedmen.org) to finish digitizing and indexing Civil War–era records that are crucial to African American research success. This project should be completed in 2016.

On October 23, 2015, FamilySearch celebrated the 30th anniversary of its well-known Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, which houses the largest and most expansive collection of family history records in the world. Hundreds of thousands of patrons still frequent the facility from around the world.

DISCOVERY

The My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together booklet, which was launched in 2014, provides an engaging way to capture and preserve family trees—particularly for those individuals and cultures who are less tech-savvy. In 2015 the number of languages the popular booklet was published in was expanded to 42.

More and more people made use of the local 4,891 FamilySearch facilities (family history centers) in 2015. North America alone has seen a 25 percent increase in attendance at these local libraries during 2015. Online, FamilySearch.org has seen 291,806 visitors daily—an increase of 19 percent.

New patron discovery experiences have been launched in family history centers worldwide during 2015, and 1,505 local post–RootsTech family discovery day events were held.

Enhancements were introduced to the FamilySearch.org Family Tree to assist patrons in creating more accurate records and to find records of their ancestors more easily. The site has introduced a redesigned landscape pedigree view, easier access to indicators in other tree views, and safeguard reminders to help patrons avoid making common editing mistakes. The indicators clearly show possible data problems for an ancestor and opportunities to provide missing information and help to locate missing ancestors.

Dynamic record hints were added through the Search feature at FamilySearch.org to aid patrons in making new research discoveries. The hints are more plentiful as they comb through the mountain of new historic records added weekly to the site from its global records preservation efforts, and the interface has been improved to easily follow through with or dismiss hints. Over 670 million new patron hints were generated during the past year.

Through partnerships with other major online genealogy sites, patrons can now use a single click to search ancestry.comfindmypast.com, and myheritage.com for the person they are viewing in FamilySearch’s Family Tree.

This year’s FamilySearch innovations have made searching and recording personal and family experiences more user-friendly and have improved the accuracy of FamilySearch’s databases. Searchers can use improved exact matches in their search criteria to more easily locate records, attach records from search results to people in their Family Tree, and gather and sort information in the new hybrid view that combines historical records with their corresponding indexed information.


FAMILY TREE
More than 120,000 new contributors added to Family Tree in 2015, making a total of 2.47 million. The new user-to-user messaging feature in Family Tree simplifies collaboration with others doing research on the same specific ancestors. There are now 1.1 billion persons in the FamilySearch Family Tree. 





RECORDS

FamilySearch carries out its mission through a dedicated team of employees and overwhelming contributions of time by volunteers. FamilySearch has enabled the public worldwide to use its constantly expanding record collection to make family connections through 4,891 satellite family history centers in 129 countries, with 2,864 of those satellite centers located outside the United States. That’s an increase of 15% over 2014.

The site launched 158 new historical collections in 2015, (bringing the total to 2,049), and hundreds of millions of new published records have been added to FamilySearch.org.

Personal discoveries are fueled by making historical records easily and quickly accessible online. FamilySearch does this through a combination of digitizing the world’s historical records online and engaging online volunteers to make them searchable by patrons worldwide with a few keystrokes. Around the world, 319 camera teams—an increase of 11%—digitally preserved over 122 million records in 45 countries, and 304,000 online volunteer indexers helped make them searchable.

In fact, volunteers logged in over 9 million hours and indexed over 106 million records in 2015. And 19 million of the records indexed were of international origin, in languages other than English.

At the end of 2015, FamilySearch.org now has over 5.31 billion searchable names in historical records.

Jennifer Kerns Davis, a manager in FamilySearch’s Records Division, said, “We republished England Wales censuses with more fields and family groupings that will make them more easily searchable. It was a huge undertaking that took a lot of resources. We also have begun similar improvements on the US censuses that we plan to update in the near future.” 


MEMORIES

The FamilySearch Tree mobile app now enables users to attach photos and stories (audio and text) to individuals in their Family Tree and to receive notifications when others add content to specific individuals.

The new memories gallery view allows users to more easily organize, sort, and add photos, stories, and scanned documents to their memories collections.

Last year patrons uploaded 4 million personal family photos and 40,000 new family stories.


HELP

Volunteerism is one of FamilySearch’s greatest assets. In addition to online volunteers, 3,850 volunteers serve as FamilySearch missionaries, helping support the worldwide operations needs. These generous volunteers donated a staggering 3.04 million hours of service. FamilySearch joined with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and other organizations to index and publish online the Freedmen’s Bureau records, a Civil War era collection that will prove very pivotal for African American research success. A record 12,000 volunteers have enlisted online to assist (see DiscoverFreedmen.org).

Patrons needing help can get immediate assistance by telephone (one-on-one to online volunteer assistants,) by viewing the hundreds of free video courses online, and by accessing the FamilySearch Wiki, an online reference source with over 100,000 helpful articles that are updated weekly.

FamilySearch enhanced its online help system in 2015. Users will now notice slide outs that provide contextual help in key areas on the site where users might need it the most.

FamilySearch also added 77 new family history centers around the world to provide free personal research assistance to patrons.

Access FamilySearch’s free services online at FamilySearch.org.


Memory Jogger Monday - December 28 ... on a Wednesday

Archibald Family - December 2015
List 20 or more things about yourself.
  1. Family Historian
  2. FamilySearch Police (this is a joke between my cousin Julie and I)
  3. Reunion Organizer
  4. Blogger
  5. Speaker/Presenter
  6. Teacher
  7. Seamstress
  8. Gardener
  9. Canner ... Bottler ... Freezer
  10. Small Business Owner - http://www.dennishorseshoes.com/
  11. Ten (10) time half marathon finisher (I walk!) - until I broke my foot
  12. Retired Textbook Buyer and Seller
  13. Wife
  14. Mother of 2
  15. Aunt
  16. Sister
  17. Daughter
  18. Granddaughter ... great granddaughter ... great-great (you get the idea)
  19. Missionary
  20. Neighbor
  21. BSA Woodbadger
  22. List Maker
  23. Card Maker
  24. Cake Decorator
  25. Soap Maker
  26. Back Seat Driver
  27. Procrastinator ... why this Monday post is showing up on a Wednesday
See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Lord Expects Us to Perform Family History Work Well

© Stuart Gardner
“The Lord expects you and me to perform our family history work well. I think the first thing we must do if we are to perform our work well is to have the Spirit of our Heavenly Father with us. When we live as righteously as we know how to live, He will open the way for the fulfillment of the blessings that so earnestly and diligently we seek.” 
- President Thomas S. Monson, “Hastening the Work,” Ensign, June 2014.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - December 21 ... on a Tuesday

Mary and Baby Jesus - Photo from LDS Media Library
List at least five people who you would categorize as truly great men or women. What did they do to be great?

The great men and women I've chosen to share about today are from the scriptures.

Eve and Adam
Eve chose to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She choose agency - the greatest gift our Heavenly Father has given to us. Adam chose to stay with Eve (and partook of the fruit) - knowing that he was choosing between two commandments that he had been given: 1) to stay with Eve and 2) to abstain from the fruit. He couldn't keep both of them after Eve had partaken of the fruit. Together they chose mortality (life and death). Adam was the first man and Eve was the mother of all living. He is the angel Michael and he helped create the earth.

Noah
Noah was obedient to God and built an ark in a time when the people were only doing evil. Again, this was about agency as the children didn't have a chance to discern between good and evil when all around them was evil. Noah plead with the people to repent and change their ways. The people didn't change and God flooded the earth and saved Noah and his family. He became the father of all living. Through him the earth was re-created. He is the angel Gabriel and he announced Jesus' birth.

Abraham
Abraham made covenants with God and was promised that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed - that he indeed would be a father of many nations. He would have numerous posterity and through his posterity all the families of the earth would receive the blessings of salvation and exaltation. He received these promises when he didn't have any children; he wouldn't have Issac until he was 100 years old! He teaches me about patience and long suffering. He was willing to sacrifice his son (his promised posterity) to do the will of God. He teaches me to trust in Heavenly Father's will and time frame. Through the Abrahamic Covenant the blessings of the temple (salvation and exaltation) are offered to all mankind.

Mary
Mary the mother of Christ "kept all these things and pondered them in her heart". What did Mary know? What were her experiences? What heavenly teaching and training did she receive to be the mother of the Son of God? What did she think of the star, and the shepherds arrival? And a few years later when the wise men arrived; did she know they were coming, did she know who they were? From Mary I am learning how to keep spiritual things more sacred. She endured much and she loved much.

Jesus Christ
There would be no Christmas if there had been no Easter. Jesus would be just another child in Israel. Because He took upon himself the sins, sickness, unfairness, etc of all mankind and atoned for all our shortcomings and injustices we are free from spiritual death. Because He took upon himself physical death and led the way to immortality through resurrection, we are free from physical death. He is our Savior, our Redeemer. He preserves agency and promises immortality (salvation) and eternal life (exaltation). He was Jehovah the creator of the earth and we choose to become His as we take upon ourselves His name.

See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Salvation of Heavenly Father's Children is the Most Important Work

Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple - Photo from LDS Media Library
“The salvation of our Heavenly Father’s children from Adam and Eve to the present generation is the most important work in time and eternity. Our joy—or our disappointment—in the eternities may hinge on our willing participation in this great latter-day work.” 

– Elder David B. Haight, “Personal Temple Worship,” Ensign, May 1993, p. 25

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Love Taza Couple to Keynote Friday February 5 for RootsTech 2016


SALT LAKE CITY - December 15, 2015—Organizers of RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, are pleased to welcome popular lifestyle bloggers Josh and Naomi Davis (of the Love Taza website), as keynote speakers in the general session on Friday, February 5, 2016, during RootsTech 2016.

Millions of Internet viewers know Naomi as Taza as they follow her blog Love Taza, which celebrates the joy and purpose she and her husband, Josh, share as they raise their three small children in New York City. She started the website shortly after marrying Josh in 2007 in New York City while she finished her BFA (bachelor of fine arts) degree at the Juilliard School. She shares photos and stories of her life as a newlywed with her family out West.

Since 2007, Love Taza has become more than an online diary—it is a digital destination where millions around the world connect and find a feeling of inspiration and a guide for finding joy in everyday life. Naomi shares details of her life in New York City with her husband and children celebrating family, home, travel, food, and, most importantly, the simple joys of life. With Josh’s help, the two have transformed her website into a global business with a massive, engaged audience.

Josh and Naomi will share their business journey at RootsTech 2016, a global family history event where people of all ages learn to discover, share, and celebrate their family connections across generations through technology. RootsTech has something for everyone regardless of experience in family history or skill level in technology.

Reserve your seat for RootsTech 2016 to find inspiration from the Davises as part of a four-star lineup of keynote speakers, get involved in the special events, and learn from the experts the how-tos of family history, family stories, and more. Join us for all the events on February 3–6 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, or choose your day to join the excitement. Register early for a discount, or pay at the door.

For more information and to register for RootsTech 2016, go to rootstech.org.

***
I am 2016 RootsTech Ambassador and will be sharing these press releases on my blog in preparation for RootsTech in February 2016.

#RootsTech

Monday, December 14, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - December 14

Archibald Garden - 2015
What are some of the personal values that are very important to you? What have you done (and what are you doing now) to teach these values to your children?

Some of the values that are really important to me are:
Hard Work
Honesty
Forgiveness
Faith
Integrity
Service

We are trying to teach our children these values by example. Here are my thoughts about a few of the values I've listed and what I'm doing to teach my children.

Hard Work

My father was a great example to me of hard work. He taught me how to work when I was young. One of the first paying jobs I had was pulling weeds; huge weeds. My siblings and I would stuff our grain sacks full of weeds; being sure to shake off any dirt. Then we weighed our bags and would get paid 5 cents a pound. There were some weeds that I hated as they made me itch. And other weeds I loved because they grew so tall and were so big and though they were hard to pull, they weighed a lot.

Today we teach our children about hard work as we work together as a family on our garden. Our children help prepare the garden by pulling weeds (not as many as in my youth), planting seeds, watering, and then helping with the harvest. Also our children see us working in other areas in our home and life.

Faith

We show forth faith by actively doing things. We believe in our Father in Heaven and in His living Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. We actively do things they have asked us to do. We serve others, we keep the Sabbath day holy, we read the scriptures, attend the temple often and we teach our children to actively show their beliefs as well. Our children pray and earnestly thank their Heavenly Father for blessings received and ask for blessings for family members. We teach our children that blessings always come as we patient wait for needed blessings. When we have prayed about something and then the blessing is received we point out that blessing to our children so they too know the blessing did come.

Service

This summer we chose to serve our neighbors by making cookies each week and choosing 4-6 families with which to share our cookies. Our children loved to take the cookies to each home. By the end of the summer we had met with over 60 of our neighbors. We involve our children when we make meals to take to others. We also show them by example when we clean the snow off our neighbor's sidewalks and driveways.

See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

RootsTech 2016 Giveaway Winner - Cyler Preece

Cyler Preece
Congratulations to the winner of my FREE RootsTech 2016 Registration - Cyler Preece!

Cyler Preece is a country boy from the small town of Morgan, Utah where he was born and raised along with many of his relatives. He has recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies and a minor in Communication. For his future career he plans on owning his own marriage and family therapy practice where he can strengthen family bonds. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Rachel and his adorable little boy Porter; who can melt your heart just from his adorable smile. Cyler was introduced to family history from his mother in-law Vickie who has spent many years working at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. He is currently assisting a friend with research who is wanting to discover her family roots as well. Cyler is excited for the opportunity to attend RootsTech 2016 so he can learn the best practices of how to research his family history.

I recently learned that Cyler and my husband are related. They are 3C2R. Their common ancestors are Thomas Archibald and Elizabeth Russell Archibald.

Thank you to those who entered my 1st giveaway contest here on my blog. I hope to have other giveaways in the future.

This was my first time using Rafflecopter to run the giveaway. To select the winner the Rafflecopter software utilizes Random.org to ensure true randomness. Also in order to boost the views to my giveaway, I utilized Facebook Ads for the first time. My Facebook post about the giveaway received 2110 views of which 444 were from the sponsored post. Of the 444 views I received 23 actions (clicks, likes, and shares). I learned a lot from running that Ad (target audience, keywords, expectations, etc).

For some more numbers, that may be interesting only to me:
34 people entered the giveaway
131 entries from those 34 people

One of the entry options of my giveaway was to come back to my blog everyday and read another post; which resulted in two additional entries each day.

The winner had 7 entries. The most entries had by one person was 19!

EACH RootsTech Ambassador has a free registration to giveaway. One of the Ambassadors is attempting to keep track of everyone's giveaway. You can visit Tami at Relatively Curious to see what other giveaways are available. Check back often as she is working to keep her list updated as each Ambassador launches their giveaway.

Thank you again for participating in my giveaway! I look forward to seeing you at RootsTech 2016!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Light May Shine Upon Them


“Through our efforts in their behalf their chains of bondage will fall from them, and the darkness surrounding them will clear away, that light may shine upon them and they shall hear in the spirit world of the work that has been done for them by their children here, and will rejoice with you in your performance of these duties.”

 – President Joseph F. Smith, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, 1998, p. 247.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - December 7

Earth and Moon
What are some of your life philosophies or life views that you would share with others?

I have always liked the philosophy that we are "spiritual beings having a mortal experience."

Sometimes it is hard to remember that this Earth life is really not our home. We came into mortality (Earth life) from the presence of our Heavenly Father as His spiritual offspring. We took upon ourselves physical Earthy bodies and our body is the veil that covered us (the spirit) and also caused us to forget our pre-mortal life. As we go throughout mortality we strive to live in the world, but not be part of the world.

I really like this line from the Hymn - More Holiness Give Me:

More purity give me,
More strength to o'ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom,
More used would I be,
More blessed and holy--
More, Savior, like thee.

I have experienced many times that "longing for home". And that wishing for "more freedom from earth-stains". There are times that I have glimpses of eternity and during those times the "worldliness" around me really irritates me. Even little petty things like common bumper stickers.

Being immersed in family history and temple work helps me keep my focus that I'm a "spiritual being having a mortal experience." As I work to find my ancestors and provide needed temple ordinances, my life is put into proper perspective. I really love this quote. It sums up my feelings.

“There really can be a bond and a sense of belonging that tie together generations on both sides of the veil. This bond gives us a sense of identity and purpose. Our ties with the eternal world suddenly become very real, sharpening our life’s focus and lifting our expectations.” 
– Bruce C. Hafen, “Planting Promises in the Hearts of the Children”, Ensign, June 1994, p. 48.

See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

I Promise You Will Love Them

Back: Left to Right - Lucinda Pierce Pendleton, Maria Ann Jakeman Pierce
Front: Left to Right - Alice Crompton Jackson, Lucinda Pendleton, Maria Jackson Jakeman
Venice, Utah 1904
“... I seriously doubt that you will ever turn your own heart more to your own fathers than by writing your family history. You must know a lot about them before you can write it. This will lead you to much in-depth research. I promise you will love them when you become acquainted with them. They were noble people, and they sacrificed much to give you the heritage you have today. They deserve the best you can give them, which of course is membership in the Church and the kingdom of God and the sealing of their loved ones to them.” 
– Hartman Rector, Jr, “Turning the Hearts,” Ensign, April 1981.