Sunday, March 9, 2014

Genealogy Publishing, Collections and Surprises

Recent months have proven to be memorable in my family history research.  ABook Census waling books package of ‘lost’ family photos arrived in the mail from a source previously unknown to our family.  Very large research file attachments on emails arrived asking me to ‘safeguard’ the information and to keep a copy if I wanted it.   Some folks have even sent me all of their data and family photos asking that I either post it on my website or help them resolve the brick walls they’ve encountered.  Of course, the brick walls almost exclusively relate to the tie to my own lineage.

I’d give credit for these contacts to the searchable data on my website or postings to various genealogy forums I’ve made over the years, but after questioning the instigators, they were self-motivated and found me after being prompted to search for what in essence was me.  Sometimes the contacts come from pure serendipitous events that put me in contact with folks who are related or have interest in the same people in my family tree.

You undoubtedly have similar stories in your lives associated with family history research and temple work.  We should expect help in that sacred work as we focus our efforts with faith and thoughtful research activities, using all of our tools available to us including sincere prayer.


Some folks in my genealogy circles have published slices of their genealogy research in hard copy books that were most welcome in their families.  I’ve written about this in the past but wanted to add an update to the older notes.

Amazon recently purchased a well-established self-publishing company and folded into their online offerings.  The product was renamed “CreateSpace”.  I can’t recommend it above or one of the other sites except to say that if you want to monetize your publication, it will be easier when your book is included in the book section of Amazon. 

Christmas seems far away right now but if your book is going to be the present, it is time to get working on it in earnest.  Once you've completed your wordsmithing, wrap up the dedication, design the cover and send your file to one of these services.

Expanding Resources at FamilySearch

The resources on FamilySearch continue to grow at an astounding rate.  Millions of new records have been posted in the past two months including records from may locations around the world that I’ve never seen before -- Especially with such easy access!!

Many new research aids have recently been added to the FamilySearch Wiki but by members and non-members.  They are wonderful tools to aid in our quest. 

As with anything published on the web, content found there is always a moving target.  Several months ago, I found a site that was diligently adding death records for most states in the U.S.  I saved the link for this month’s article to let them more fully populate the data before passing the address on to you.  Much to my surprise, the site and all of the subpages have disappeared!  I can’t find them at all as I write this note.  At first I thought that they’d mistakenly left the pages as free access while developing a pay site but now doubt to be the case after a through search.

If you haven't taken time to review the new resources in the FamilySearch Collections for a while, take a look now.  Even though I'm fairly close to the titles being posted, I'm still pleasantly surprised from time-to-time with some of the collection titles that flew under my radar yet are central to knocking down a brick wall in my ancestral research.