Friday, November 10, 2017

Have You Ever Wondered What to Do With All Those Photos of Your Ancestors?

A few months ago, FamilySearch had an interesting blog on the process of digitizing these photos.  They broke things down to six easy steps to help you get started.

If you are interested in reading more about this process, click on the blog link below.

Link to Digitizing Photos

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Using Your Smartphone for Family History

Image result for smartphone imageBelow is a great article from FamilySearch on using your smartphone for Family History.  It bears repeating.   It is found at this site:

In the old days, researching your family’s history probably required making a trip to the library while lugging around a briefcase stuffed with pads of paper, pens, old journals, newspaper clippings, cameras, and various other documents.

But things are different in 2016.

While today’s family history enthusiast will likely carry a laptop and an audio recorder, research trips no longer need to be bogged down with briefcases full of information. In fact, you’ve probably got all the tools and information you need right in the palm of your hand, thanks to your smartphone.

Smartphones today are essentially small, powerful computers with the capacity to connect to the Internet, take high-definition photos, and even record audio. Some smartphone apps allow you to take your genealogical data with you wherever you’re researching.

You can use your smartphone for genealogy work in many ways. Here are three of the most useful.

Find Ancestors Using Cemetery Apps

Image result for cemeteryAt one time or another, we all hit a brick wall in our research. Perhaps you just can’t seem to find your great-great-grandfather’s place of birth. It’s easy to get discouraged when this happens. So what should you do? Why not hop on your smartphone and use a cemetery app?

“A lot of times I’ve had success finding information about my ancestors using cemetery apps,” said Crystal Beutler at the 2015 RootsTech conference. “You can look for your ancestors in these databases, which are made up of information submitted by cemeteries, historical societies, and volunteers like you and me.”

Beutler acknowledged that many cemetery apps are available but said that her favorite is Find A Grave. “Not only have I found pictures of headstones [with Find A Grave], but I found obituaries, biographies, photos of individuals. It’s really exciting.”

The app also provides a place where genealogists from around the globe can collaborate and assist one another in their research.

For example, if you can’t find an image of your great-grandmother’s headstone within the app, you can request that a photo of the headstone be taken and uploaded. One of over 200,000 volunteers worldwide could respond to such a request, taking and uploading the photo in a short amount of time.

The Find A Grave app is available for download on the App Store and the Google Play Store.

Edit and Enhance Family Photos

Let’s say you use your phone scanner to get an image of an ancestor, but unfortunately the image appears grainy and unclear on your smartphone screen. How do you improve the quality of this precious image? Well, lucky for you, there are apps for editing and enhancing images right on your phone.

“Facetune is a great way for fixing portraits that are old and damaged,” said Rhonna Farrer at the 2015 RootsTech conference. The photos below were edited using this app.

Edit and Enhance Using Your Smartphone

 is available for download on the App Store and the Google Play Store.

But Facetune isn’t the only photo-editing app to choose from. If you’re looking to make your family photos shine just a little more, consider downloading Farrer’s own Rhonna Designs Magic app.

“Rhonna Designs Magic is a photo-editing app that I developed, and, among other things, this app allows you to not only improve the quality of photos but also make them pieces of art so that you can use them for family scrapbooks, personal histories, or planning family reunions,” said Farrer.

You can also download Rhonna Designs Magic on the App Store and the Google Play Store.

Record Family Voices

When it comes to preserving family memories, perhaps nothing brings family history to life like hearing the voice or the laugh of a grandparent or cousin.

“FamilySearch Memories is an app where you can organize photos and stories,” Farrer said, “but the thing we love about this is that you can record and save interviews of family members. It’s easy to record just from your phone.”

To record a family memory in the app, simply tap the Audio button on the bottom right. To record a family interview, tap the green + in the upper right corner of the screen. Record a family story, and then tap Done at the bottom of the screen.

Download the FamilySearch Memories app from the App Store or the Google Play Store.

What smartphone apps do you use in your genealogy work? We’d love to hear about them! Tweet us at @RootsTechConf.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Family History is Evolving as Technology Evolves

 Click to view the videoKSL TV produced a cool video presentation about how technological advances are pushing family history into a new realm.  This includes areas like record preservation, indexing, availability of researching where internet is lacking, and of course, expanding family history use onto mobile phones and tablets.

As FamilySearch makes "Discovery Centers" more available, you will find a whole new world of family history progress using the interactive TV screens, and other technologies to assist you with the work.  Over the next few months, our library will be remodeled to become a family history center.  Stay tuned for more details soon.

Click HERE to view the video clip created by

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

My Heritage - A Great Partner Program!

Image result for My Heritage
Have you tried the partner program, My Heritage? Sister Diane Berrett recently taught My Heritage to patrons and missionaries at the FamilySearch Library. Below is a description of the My Heritage program:
My Heritage is one of the FamilySearch partner sites and LDS members have free access. Once signed in, a person can search over 8 billion records.
When a family tree is created in MyHeritage, the program searches all the trees and connects each user to other people who have the same relative. These are called Smart Matches. It can connect you with relatives all over the world.
MyHeritage searches and notifies a person of Record Matches that they can review, confirm and add to their tree.
By creating a tree in MyHeritage, you are allowing the program to find people and records that you can then add to your FamilySearch tree.

Wiki Wiki!!

Elder Malcom recently taught an excellent class on using FamilySearch Wiki in your research. Below is information from that class:
Wiki (Fast) In Hawaiian
“The best way to get the right answer on the internet is not to ask a question but to give the wrong answer.” Ward Cunningham
The FamilySearch Wiki is a tool for finding information about subjects, records that may have been generated about your ancestors, and the places in which the records might be found.
When you search in the Wiki you can search for places your ancestors lived, but also for subjects and research methods to help you understand and learn about the history of your families. You can possibly find records and record collections from the states, counties and cities where your ancestors may have worked and lived. You will not find Wiki pages about specific ancestors, but you may find a link to a database that contains your ancestor's birth, marriage and/or death record!
The Wiki has information from the United States, as well as from 244 countries, territories, and islands. Here you will be able to find information about records available in these countries as well as links to documents, such as census records, marriage records, birth records and death records, and much more. Probate documents are often very informative and may help you in your search. There is an extensive list of links to United States military records on the Wiki.
With research and reading, combined with some information gathering to lay the groundwork, you can begin to construct your family tree and fill in the blanks that may have eluded you. The FamilySearch Wiki is a wonderful place to start to learn about the places your ancestors resided in order to be better able to discover further information and records!
By simply typing a word or two into the search engine at the top right of the page, you can begin to see some of the thousands of information pages that are here on the FamilySearch Wiki.

In addition to searching for information here on the FamilySearch Wiki, you can also contribute to the Wiki by writing articles about where you have found records the Wiki is missing and editing articles that may need editing. We view the Wiki as a community effort that will only get better with your participation. The only thing more fun than watching your family tree grow is helping others to grow their family trees as well. Your expertise is needed!