It’s the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend

stadium at nightWarning: Participating in genealogy and family history football while watching an NFL game with your significant other may cause side effects including distraction, interference with relational bonding, and failure to fully enjoy chips, salsa, and guacamole. Research responsibly.

It’s the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend! Now that the playing field has been narrowed to twelve, the winner of the Lombardi trophy will soon be determined on the field. Although some teams are required to play more on their way to the Super Bowl, it’s anyone’s game. Since there is no NFL team in the land of genealogy and family history, the following of the locals here can change as fast as the wind. It’s a house divided. But in football, there is no place like home!

So, are you up for your game this Wild Card weekend? Do you have your goal defined for each of the games you will play? Have you narrowed the field so that you are prepared to finish the season on February 1, 2014? Each play moves you closer to a genealogical touchdown, to winning the game, and ultimately achieving the Lombardi trophy of your Family History Bowl.

Have you looked for information on your pivotal person and it’s just not where you hoped it would be? Is the record set impossible to access in the time frame of this season? Does the most obvious record set not exist? Check out this page on the FamilySearch wiki. Go to the bottom of the page to “Selecting Record Types.” There you will find a listing of objectives and a priority list of records to search. If you cannot find that record set online, check the FamilySearch catalog for available microfilm, then visit the Family History Library or order microfilm to view at your local Family History Center. If you need assistance contact me. I would be happy to provide coaching advice or execute a play or more on your behalf.

To the NFL players and coaches this season, the genealogist who struggles to find time to play the game, to our ancestors whose lives were rarely blessed more than ours, I close with a quote known as The Man in the Arena[1]:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Cheering you on in your game to win your Family History Bowl!

1.Roosevelt, Theodore. “Citizenship In A Republic.” Delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on April 23, 1910. Accessed January 4, 2014. http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html. [For a copy of the complete speech in PDF format click here.]

Copyright ©2014-2015 Lynn Broderick and The Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Wishing You the Very Best This Holiday!

Assembly Hall 2014 WPAcross the street from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City there is a gated area called Temple Square. Although it sometimes serves as a respite from the intensity of researching one’s ancestors, the Friday after the American Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, visitors can enjoy the lights on Temple Square complete with a scheduled concert series and an ongoing presentation of the nativity.

On New Year’s Eve  there is a series of performances beginning with a sing-a-long of Broadway tunes at 5 pm in the Assembly Hall to Vocal Point performing in the Tabernacle at 10:15 pm. [Vocal Point gave an outstanding performance at RootstTech 2014.] Fireworks are scheduled for midnight to welcome 2015!

Although the Family History Library is closed today and tomorrow to celebrate Christmas, it will be open from 8 am to 5pm beginning on Friday the 26th until the 31st. The Family History Library opens on Saturday at 9 am and is closed on Sundays. The 2015 holiday schedule is available here.

As we close 2014, I want to thank you for your interest and subscribing to my posts. If you have a friend that would be interested, would you please recommend me?

Wishing you and yours the very best this holiday season and all that is good in the coming new year!

[There are many opportunities forthcoming in genealogy and family history during 2015. I would like to recommend RootsTech 2015. This conference will be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah February 12-14. See RootsTech.org for further details.]

 

American Thanksgiving Traditions: Food, Football & Family History

The graphic in its entirety is available at nfl.com.

The graphic in its entirety is available at nfl.com.

Thanksgiving is the most traveled holiday in America with an estimated 46.3 million Americans expected to migrate, at least for the day, 50 miles or more this year!

Thanksgiving is traditionally known as the day of America’s greatest food consumption! Think turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie as the common core of the Thanksgiving banquet. Each family has other traditional favorites as well. This year I found a recipe that adds a new twist to an old favorite. If it meets with positive reviews from the culinary critics at my table, I’ll share it with you next year :)

Football has also been a traditional favorite at this time of year. Whether it is a friendly game at your local field or watching one or more of the three NFL games offered throughout the day, it has become part of the holiday for many Americans. The NFL posted an informative graphic about this holiday tradition. Did you know that QB’s named Tom are 5-1 playing on Thanksgiving since 1950? In addition, Thanksgiving has become one of the biggest running days of the year with morning Turkey Trots offered throughout the nation!

So, what about family history? Tradition speak volumes and it is never too late to adopt or create a new tradition. As individuals, we determine what we carry forward and what we create. Once again, for those who may have missed it, I found a set of questions produced by the team at Real Simple that I have carried forward to interview family members at important times of gathering. Although not of my own creation, I find these questions to be a gift from the author that I would like to extend to you, my readers. Choose the questions most relevant and cultivate them into conversations. Later, jot down those stories and memories. You’ll be making family history as you record it :)

On the eve of this important American holiday, we at the Single Leaf wish you and yours a very happy holiday! As we have reached out, you have reached back, and for this we are grateful :) Happy Thanksgiving!

© 2014 Lynn Broderick and The Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Genealogy Football: 30 Minute Challenge

Genealogical Touchdown Photo WPI confess that this post qualifies as a delay of game, but as the Dallas Cowboys prepared last week to meet the Jacksonville Jaguars in London at the NFL International Series, Emmitt Smith was on hand for the festivities. The former Cowboy was the first Pro Football Hall of Famer to discover his roots all the way back to Africa on Who Do You Think You Are?  during the first season. It was a great episode!

While in London the 2014 Dallas Cowboys took some time to Play 60 with some youth. For those who may not know, in October 2007 the NFL began a campaign promoting youth health and fitness by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes daily. It’s a good idea for all of us :)

As I streamed through the photos of players and youth, I was reminded of a challenge I faced in one class I taught to those beginning their search for their ancestors. As an educator, I am aware of the sedentary lives of students in a classroom. As a genealogist, I am aware of the sedentary nature of many of the activities related to the pursuit of one’s ancestors. The limits on time and energy come into play even with those most interested.

On this particular occasion I had one student who was just too busy to complete assignments. Each week this student came to class. Each class period she would explain she had not found time to complete the assignment. After a number of missed assignments I asked if there was anything I could do to help. After hearing about the challenges that she faced I asked, “Would you be willing to experiment with me?” The student agreed.

During the next week this student was asked to spare 30 minutes, only 30 minutes, to work on the assignment. Morning, afternoon, or evening, it did not matter. The day of the week, it did not matter. The commitment was to just “do it” for 30 minutes.

This student later said that she committed to the 30 minutes that very evening to get it out of the way :) She reported the following: ‘I took the challenge about 9pm that very night. As I got into the databases I kept finding more and more. It was so exciting … I was up ’til 4am! I can never do that again! I had difficultly getting through work the next day.’ :)

Now, the challenge was 30 minutes, not 7 hours, but anyone who knows anything about pursuing one’s roots also knows that it can be addictive. Genealogical pursuits must have limits; 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or a few hours, one genealogical football game is best played within those limits, just like the physical sport is held to four 15-minute quarters, plus overtime every now and then.

So, if this fall season you’ve been weighed down with other responsibilities, experienced a false start, or have experienced burnout, take the 30 minute challenge! And while you’re at it, Play 60 each day as an example to our youth for a more active and healthier generation! Studies show that it helps the mind as well as the body, which is good for tackling those tough genealogical brick walls. :)

[For those who may have missed the beginning of this series you may be interested in the post, Are Genealogy and Family History Your Game This Season?]

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and The Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

The Final Day of the 46th Annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy

Friday marked the final day of the 46th annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University. Many of the vendors were gone, the book scanning moved back to its West Valley facility, and family history consultants were invited for a day of free training. There was no keynote speaker, just the choice of five classes throughout the day from the 8 different tracks offered. Maybe it was just me, but it seemed that all of us were a bit exhausted!

Family History Consultants WPOne of the goals at FamilySearch is to provide training to family history consultants who serve in their local areas, including the many family history centers throughout the world. Although there are many resources online, the opportunity to ask questions was a bonus to conference participants. There was standing room only for the first session titled Family Tree Primer for Consultants. I happened by a wonderful question and answer segment on the policies for submission in From Tree to Temple. Consultants were also instructed in ways to encourage individuals to record their history in the My Family booklet. The final session of the day for consultants was one of the most popular sessions last year as well, Facebook for Family History Consultants.

The youngest family history consultant present was 13 year old Ruby Baird. Ruby Baird and Her GrandmotherHer grandmother, Marsha Hartmon, describes Ruby as an old soul in a very young body. Ruby was named for her great grandmothers, one from each side of the family. Ruby researches her ancestral lines, prepares names for the temple, and gifts the ordinance cards to family members so that they can complete the temple work; she also helps others pursue their ancestors.

There were about 750 participants at this year’s conference and an additional 50 youth. Among them were many great family stories to share. New this year, the FamilySearch computer lab was well used during the course of the conference. Many personal photographs were scanned for the benefit of participants. About 100 books were donated to be scanned; these books will be placed on-line at books.familysearch.org in about a month.

Although the sessions were not recorded, the address from Elder Paul E. Koelliker, Family the Fabric of Eternity, and the presentation material from David E. Rencher, The Role of FamilySearch in a Worldwide Community, are on-line for review. The syllabus will continue to be available at a cost of $20 for the CD and $35 for the printed edition. This syllabus contains 588 pages of helpful material, including links and bibliographies to further your research. You may order by calling 1 (877) 221-6716.

It is impossible to acknowledge all of the wonderful people I met during the course of this conference, but I put together a slide presentation of some of the highlights from this year’s event. I hope that you will enjoy it! I would also like to acknowledge the conference planning committee, including Stephen Young, FamilySearch project manager; Kathy Warburton, FamilySearch project coordinator; Michael Provard, FamilySearch conference logistical coordinator; and Kelly Summers, Church History and Doctrine, BYU. I would like to thank John Best, assistant program administrator, BYU Conferences and Workshops, and his staff, especially Jon Collier, event planner, for an excellent conference. In addition I would like to thank all of the instructors for their presentations and the participants for their many contributions!

The BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy invites you to set aside July 28-July 31, 2015 for the 47th annual conference to be held next year on the BYU Provo campus!

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and The Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

A Global Perspective: the Role of FamilySearch in a Worldwide Community

The 46th annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy is coming to a close. Today, in addition to those who registered to attend the full conference, family history consultants have been invited to receive a full day of training. The consultants will be instructed in their core responsibilities to help others find their ancestors. There will also be classes on United States, British, LDS ancestral, and professional research, methodology, FamilySearch compatibles, and computers & technology.

From left to right: Frederick E. Moss, legal advisor to the Federation of Genealogical Societies, David E. Rencher, and Glenn Kinkade of Dallas, Texas

From left to right: Frederick E. Moss, legal advisor to the Federation of Genealogical Societies, David E. Rencher, and Glenn Kinkade of Dallas, Texas

Yesterday, David Rencher, chief genealogical officer for FamilySearch International, gave the closing keynote address, The Role of FamilySearch in a Worldwide Community. Mr. Rencher outlined the journey of growth and phases of FamilySearch International. Sometimes by looking back we may achieve a clearer vision of the future.

FamilySearch invites everyone, especially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to search for their ancestors. As people accept this challenge, there are going to naturally be more beginners. He asked those present to remember when they first started their family tree and to be patient with the errors made by those new to this endeavor. He encouraged participants to manage this learning curve by mentoring them in their pursuit. He spoke about “pain points” and acknowledged that mistakes have been and will continue to be made.

Mr. Rencher compared FamilyTree to the recent renovation of the LDS Ogden temple where he realized that “scraps will be left over when building a temple” and that the same is true when reconstructing the pedigree of the human family online. He addressed the debate of quality vs. quantity and shared his experience of completing work that was a duplication in his earliest days in this field. He said that, “why all that I did was completely disposable, I had an experience that turned my heart.” In essence, the time he spent was never “wasted,” yet FamilySearch is “trying to have the most accurate lineage-linked system” as organized by man. “Let’s focus on the work that we are to do and do the best work possible.”

Mr. Rencher outlined the role that FamilySearch has taken, from its earliest days of negotiating access to the world’s records to a point of agreement and signed contracts. Microfilm is still being used by the request of a few repositories. In addition, there are 189 cameras in the field capturing digital images, while microfilm is being scanned from the vault to be placed online. “The films I wanted were converted first; the ones you wanted — last, not really, but there must be some executive privilege,” he joked. Mr. Rencher discussed how FamilySearch has improved its quality check. “You know the image skipped is the one you want.” Amazingly, FamilySearch provides 1.6 million new searchable names each day, so “if you did not find your people yesterday, check today.”

Once FamilySearch International was “the only game in town.” Now there are major for-profit companies and FamilySearch “welcome[s] them to bring their resources to the table.” He said, “we are not in competition.” He mentioned the free access members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received to ancestry.com, findmypast.com, and myheritage.com. He says that it is about a $700 savings for members each year. However, “these members fund all that is free on familysearch.org.” He said that he is also very excited about FamilySearch’s partnership with BillionGraves and shared an example of his contributions to this project. He said, “I have no teary-eyed videos today. You are stuck with my humor,” as he pointed out a discrepancy between a vital record and a cemetery stone he used as an example from his personal research.

FamilySearch also collaborates with non-profits, such as the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). One current project is the Preserve the Pensions from the War of 1812. FGS “took point on that” and the images will be offered for free on fold3.com. He showed examples of the plethora of documents found in these files, including “that torn page out of the family bible” from the days when duplication services were not available. There are 7.2 million pages related to this project. Each dollar that is donated will preserve two pages; this becomes four pages with ancestry.com’s commitment to match donations dollar for dollar. These files are being digitized alphabetically and the records are currently digitized to about the letters G-H and are available online. For the month of July there was a goal to raise $1800 a day to preserve these records. Although it is now August, your monetary support to this project is still greatly appreciated!

Mr. Rencher admitted that “there is an element of independence that must be given up to collaborate and sometimes it is painful … [but, the goal is to] connect people to their ancestors.” His presentation slides, The Role of FamilySearch in a Worldwide Community,  are available on the conference website. Elder Paul F. Koelliker keynote address, Family the Fabric of Eternity, is also available on the conference website.

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and The Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Settling in at the 46th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy

Christine Baird talks with T.C. Christensen

Christine Baird talks with T.C. Christensen

Wow, the power of stories! This was the response to many who attended the keynote address on the second day of the 46th annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy. T. C. Christensen, a writer, director, and producer, shared his experience in the creation of the movie Ephraim’s Rescue to a full house. His remarks were titled, “I Am Ready Now — Lessons from the Life of Ephraim K. Hanks.” If you haven’t already heard, this man’s story is amazing! I won’t reveal the plot, but I will say that this man wrote two personal histories and both are lost. It is only because a man named Andrew Jenson interviewed Ephraim in June of 1891, and other fragments of recorded history, that we can know Ephraim’s story.

T. C. Christensen remarked that, “in making a film, the research is everything!” Journals that were kept are the reason we know about this man. He also shared how the demographics of the time period brought power and impact to the story.

Besides the cast, Christensen recruited descendants of the rescued pioneers as movie extras. He said that they filmed one winter scene in the summer for safety reasons and even then the waters were treacherous. “We can’t do in the movies what they did in life. We are wimps!” He said that those descendants would say during filming, “if my ancestors did this for real, I can do this for five hours.” The excerpts we viewed brought many to tears. The legacy of Ephraim’s story testifies that great things can happen when preparation meets opportunity.

As for today, conference participants will have the opportunity to hear from David E. Rencher, chief genealogical officer for FamilySearch International, on “The Role of FamilySearch in a Worldwide Community.” After his keynote address, participants will have the choice of seven tracks with classes that will discuss United States, British, Scandinavian, Canadian, Estonian, and French research, methodology, digital tools, and FamilySearch products and programs.

The vender prize drawings, which in the past have been held on Friday, will be held TODAY at 1:00 p.m. in room 2254 of the conference center. Participants MUST be present to win.

FamilySearch Computer Lab WPThroughout the day FamilySearch will continue to provide scanning opportunities for photos, and collect books that will be scanned and made available online after the conference.

The computer lab will be open with a dozen computers provided by FamilySearch for use by those attending the conference this week.

Incline Software, the makers of Ancestral Quest, and Heritage Makers, a publishing program, will demonstrate their wares from 5:15 – 6:15 p.m. in rooms 2254 and 2295, respectively. Added to the program is a demonstration by Ancestor Cloud, a social media program for genealogy, that will be held in room 2267.

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and The Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

So Many Stories … The 46th Annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy

So many stories, so little time … this is how I feel as I try to capture the essence of the first day of the 46th annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy. I met so many wonderful people who shared so many wonderful stories!

The Koelliker Family and Me[1]

The Koelliker Family and Me[1]

Yesterday’s opening keynote address was given by Elder Paul F. Koelliker, an emeritus member of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has served as executive director of the Temple Department and as assistant director of the LDS Family History Department. His remarks centered on the purpose of family history and genealogy and the motivating factor for all we do – LOVE! He encouraged participants to think beyond the charts and find the stories that touch the hearts of those around us. He commented that we should think more about the future of our children than we do of the past and asked, “What stories have you written down to teach the generations to come?” He challenged participants to determine five actions they can take from ideas presented at this conference and implement them into their lives. He encouraged participants to think of family history in a forward direction. “Cousins is the new buzz word” and he suggested we find ours and take them to the temple. He shared a story of finding one of his cousins in Africa. Elder Koelliker who is of Swiss descent said, “who would have thought?” I had the opportunity to visit with the Koelliker family after the session ended, and well, all I can say is that they make you feel like one of their own.

Hannah Z. Allan Teaching Youth about Using Social Media in Family History

Hannah Z. Allan teaching youth about “Using Social Media in Family History”

There was standing room only during the opening session of the Youth track. Hannah Z. Allan discussed using social media for family history. So many youth commented about how much they enjoyed her presentations! I even noticed a few adults trying to disguise themselves as youth so they could attend these sessions :)

Joan Enders had the youth actively engaged in The Military Life of Joshua H. Bates, a Camp Lewis Soldier

Joan Enders had the youth actively engaged in “The Military Life of Joshua H. Bates, a Camp Lewis Soldier”

Throughout the day FamilySearch provided scanning opportunities for photos and began to collect books that will be scanned and made available online after the conference.

There is also a computer lab with a dozen computers provided by FamilySearch for those attending the conference this week.

Today, the keynote address, “I Am Ready Now – Lessons from the Life of Ephraim K. Hanks,” will be given by T.C. Christensen who wrote, directed, and produced the movie Ephraim’s Rescue” After his keynote address, participants will have the choice of seven tracks: Beginner, DNA Research, United States Research, Immigration and Migration, Photos, Youth and Genealogy, and the FamilySearch Family Tree. There is definitely something for everyone interested in pursuing their ancestors!

Incline Software, the makers of Ancestral Quest, and Heritage Miniatures will demonstrate their wares from 5:15 – 6:15 p.m. in rooms 2254 and 2295, respectively.

[1] Photograph courtesy of Alfonso J. Flores, BYU Marketing and Communications

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and The Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

 

It’s the First Day of the 46th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy

John Best, second from the left, and his staff are ready to greet conference participants :)

John Best, second from the left, and his staff are ready to greet conference participants :)

The BYU conference center staff was on hand yesterday to distribute badges, syllabi, and guides from 3-5 p.m. By the time I arrived at 3:15 p.m. lines were formed and participants were excited to begin a week dedicated to increasing knowledge and sharpening skills in the field of family history and genealogy.

One of my favorite aspects of conference attendance is the opportunity to meet new people who share the same interest. This year was no exception.

Danielle Johnson, and her son, Jedidiah, will enjoy the week at the 46th Annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy

Danielle Johnson, and her son, Jedidiah, will enjoy the week at the 46th Annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy

Yesterday, at the counter purchasing registration was a mother, Danielle Johnson, and her son, Jedidiah. He is one of our youth who was registering to attend the full week of instruction. Jedidiah has an interest in DNA research, a track scheduled to be taught on Wednesday :)

This morning and throughout this week, John Best and his staff will be ready to greet and assist conference participants. Mr. Best will also host a student meeting at noon today in room 2295 for those who registered to receive university credit.

This is THE DAY for the FREE YOUTH TRACK, for those 12 – 18 years of age. Topics include advice on how to help adults with genealogy and how to use social media for family history. If you are a youth or know a youth who would like to attend, you may register on-site at the BYU Conference Center any time today :) The last presentation is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

The first keynote address of the week, “Family, A Pattern of Heaven,” will be given at 8:30 a.m. by Elder Paul F. Koelliker, who has served as the executive director of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple Department as well as the assistant executive director of the LDS Family History Department.

After the keynote address, courses will be offered in methodology, online research, and writing and publishing family histories. United States, German, Spanish, and Italian research will also be discussed. There is an entire track dedicated to the specifics of FamilySearch including “Insider Tips and Tricks” :)

A vendor demonstration will be given at noon by Family Chartmasters and an evening vendor demonstration will be given by Legacy Family Tree from 5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. These demonstrations will be held in room 2265 of the conference center.

I confirmed yesterday that the Harold B. Lee Library is open from 7 a.m. to midnight and computers will be available during these hours; however, research assistance will only be available at the BYU Family History Library from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and until 6 p.m. on Friday. The library has subscriptions to many noted genealogical websites and houses a large collection of microfilm. Scanning, printing and other services are available. The BYU Family History Library is located on the second floor, which is downstairs and to the right of the main entrance. For more information contact the BYU Family History Library at (801) 422-6200.

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and The Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.