Monday, August 17, 2015

Find Unique Ancestral Records on FamilySearch

FamilySearch offers so many records on its site, it is easy for users to quickly35 develop a research ‘rut’ in their minds and never fully address the wealth of information it offers.

I hadn’t considered the fact that students in my classes and support groups were using all the search tools on FamilySearch until FamilySearch included a simple “Find” tab on their site.   The word “Find” in this case is deceptively simple when compared to the search power it brings into play.

The power of Find is so great is because FamilySearch applies the “Find” search on the “Find photos and stories” to all of the user submitted images, documents and stories in FamilySearch Tree.  

When I’ve explained this to people, they respond by saying, “So?”  “Why is that such a big deal?”    The answer is that it’s an immense “deal” because users of Tree are now submitting a significant number of these types of attachments to the records of their family in Tree and the level of participation is growing almost exponentially. 

When we make these attachments of our photos, stories and documents, we are almost exclusively adding information about the related person that we have personally vetted, meaning that no matter how good the search algorithm is written and used by any company, the human mind is still significantly better in identifying and validating the data in its relationship to a specific person.   

It doesn’t matter what the “Find” search results contain, because in almost every case the results belong to the person for whom you have searched or a person with the exact same name if you have wrapped your search terms in the Boolean operator of quote marks (“ “).

I won’t dwell on the “I wish great grandma had a more distinctive name than “Elizabeth Smith” argument because I’d get more refined search results, but at least we are getting results in this case from person records on Tree which have attachments that actually belong to an “Elizabeth Smith” and her record includes details that identify her specifically.   Users of Tree have already filtered the attachments to the correct Elizabeth Smith.  She may not be our Elizabeth but she is one of the significantly fewer Elizabeth Smiths in Tree because users have filtered the rest out of our results by not attaching anything to their respective records. 

That will change over time as more images, documents and stories are added to Tree by users but even then the results are linked to the “exact” person they claim to represent.

Let’s look at a search query on FamilySearch “Find photos and stories” for one of my ancestors without using the Boolean operators of quote marks.   Her name is Rosa Clara Friedlander Logie.  The unfiltered search term told the search engine to include each name as a unique term and to bring back the results for each of her names.   Thus, the results show 16,538 items in Tree that match at least one of those names.




Now, let’s add quotes around grandma’s name:  “Rosa Clara Friedlander Logie” and do the search again.   I’m lucky in that grandma’s name is quite unique, so all 6 of the results belong to her.  But even if there were dozens of Rosa Clara Friedlander Logie’s in Tree, it wouldn’t take me long to click on the results to determine which of them is my Rosa and once I have identified her record on Tree, I only have to click on the memories tab to see all of the other attachments.   Which as I noted earlier, have already been vetted by someone else (or maybe myself and I’ve forgotten about it) as being correct and attached to the correct person record in Tree.




I love this search tool because of the high value results it can contain.  It will also include any recordings that may be attached to our ancestors record as well.  If the recording includes the actual voice of an ancestor, few of us can be restrained from pumping our fist in the air and exclaiming, “Score!”

When we add these often very unique records to the huge number of church, government, website and other records that are found on FamilySearch, our chances of ancestral quest success is very high.

The main page of FamilySearch contains a tab called “Search”.  Mouse over it for a drop down list of the main types of collections on FamilySearch that are available from that position on the site.




While you are exploring, be sure to visit the FamilySearch Obituaries page.  The number of obituaries being added to the obituaries collection on FamilySearch is already immense and will continue to grow almost unabatedly for the foreseeable future.

We all know that obituaries often contain genealogy “gold” because of the amount of genealogy related data that are included in them.  Perhaps we’ll hear you exclaim “Score” too when you find the obituary of someone in your own extended family in the collection.

If you haven’t taken time to explore the depth of the FamilySearch and FamilySearch Tree sites in the past few months, do so now.   It’s already the most resource rich site in existence and its growth continues seemingly unabated thanks to resources dedicated to supporting it by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the hosts of volunteers who index, add their own records and generally support the subscription free FamilySearch site for the benefit of all users worldwide.

Posted 17 August 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Good Morning. Who Died?

I may be unique, but I doubt it.  Every morning I arise, mumble something like "goo morgan" to my wife and then stumble off to glance at the front page of the newspaper.  My real goal in reading the paper is to read the obituary page.  Have any of my extended cousins or their spouses died since yesterday?

Unfortunately, too many of them seem to by passing on now and equally sad are the obituaries I've read about many younger folks and acquaintances passing in the last few months.  Frequently, the names on the obituary page are familiar but I can't remember exactly how I know their name.  I dutifully read dozens of obituaries every month for people that I don't know.  Sometimes though, the listing is about a cousin that I've only met through the research of my lineage and related families.

Genealogy.  It's the reason I read so many obituaries every month.  I would read them to find information about friends and extended family anyway but not with such focused searches.  I work very hard to find the genealogy 'gold' hidden in the obits.

Obituaries are invaluable resources to genealogists.  The facts in them are often wrong or "off" a little because of the stress on the family at the time of the passing but the names and places in them are generally accurate.

Some obituaries are sparsely populated while others are rich with details about the person or their life.  Obituaries from the turn of the century are often lengthy stories about the deceased individual.

The obituary for one of my great grandmothers is almost a half page long, complete with her photo and comments by friends and religious leaders.  When I found it, I didn't even try to obey the "Silence" signs in the library.  "Hah!"  "Look at that!!"  My exclamations gained the attention of everyone on that floor.  I could only manage a grin and a finger point at the page before finally telling them that "I found my 2nd great grandmother!"   Shaking their heads at the eccentric behavior of one of "those genealogists", the other patrons went back to their studies and research.

The smile on my face stayed in place all day.  I greeted everyone with a little more cheer during the visit and had extreme patience with the young desk attendant who repeatedly tried and failed to restock copy machine with paper.

Frequently, I find obituaries or death articles in digital newspapers online.  Sometimes, I can't imagine why they are in a newspaper from a distant town, but am grateful because the local newspaper of the time was destroyed by uncaring corporations who purchased then name and subscriber list of the local publication, but had no interest in the years of published content.

Absent the indexing and hosting of online digital images of newspapers, I wouldn't have found the majority of the obituaries now safely stored in my sources folder and in the Memories section of their respective records on FamilySearch Tree.

Are you enjoying similar success with ancestral finds in your own research?  If you haven't, don your Sherlock cap and enter into the fray.  Today is a good day to put a smile on our face too.

When you have thoroughly mined the Internet and need to physically visit a library, take the stairs and not the elevator.  If you visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, expect to have a lot of fun and research success.

Obituary of Rosa Clara Friedlander Logie

American Fork Daily Citizen
Logie Rosa Clara Friedlander 2
21 Jun 1913

Death of Mrs. Rosa Logie.

She Passed Away Sunday Afternoon -- A Short Sketch of Her Life

Mrs. Rosa Clara Logie died on Sunday afternoon, June 15, at 3:40 p.m. after a lingering illness of nearly six months. The cause of her death was a general breakdown from old age. The last six weeks she suffered considerable, but the end was very peaceful.

The funeral services were held Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Second Ward chapel. W.S. Chipman taking charge. The choir sane, "I Need Thee Every Hour." Opening prayer was by Bishop W. B. Smith and the song, "Resting Now From Care and Sorrow."

The speakers were William R. Webb, Bishop James Garner and President S. L. Chipman. An appropriate solo was rendered by Mrs. Clifford E. Young. The choir sang "Adieu, All Earthly Honors." James H. Clarke offered the closing prayer and Stephen D. Chipman dedicated the grave. The floral offerings were numerous and beautiful.

Mrs. Logie was thoroughly good Christian woman and one who had a kind word for all and harsh words for none. She was a devoted wife and mother, a loyal friend and a good neighbor.
The following short sketch of her life was read by Brother Joseph B. Forbes:

Sister Rosa Clara Friedlander - Logie was born on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel, June 16, 1837 of English-French and German parentage. He father died while she was but a child and her mother married again, living in London. At the age of 12 she embarked with her mother and stepfather for Australia.

Mrs. Logie in her youth was left alone in Sidney, New South Wales, in charge of Mission President Brother Farnham, her parents living in Melbourne. At this time, in company with Sister Mary Ann Evans who is now living here, they walked twelve miles every Sunday to the church branch of the L.D. S. in that far off country. sister Evans testifies to the faithfulness of that young maid to the principles of the Gospel. At the age of 16 this young maiden met and married Brother Charles J. Logie, about 1853.

They left Australia in 1854 for California, taking passage in the ship Julia Ann in company with the missionaries, John S. Eldridge, James Graham, Brother Farnham and twenty- three others with hopeful hearts they souls buoyed up with anticipation of arriving in Zion in a few short months. But God ordered it otherwise, and severe trials and disasters came upon them; their ship was wrecked upon a coral reef, which was part of the Scilly Islands, one of the Society group in the great Archipelago of the Pacific; a lonesome barren isle, where they were imprisoned for seven long months, living upon turtle meat and turtle eggs and water obtained from the rain, which they caught in shells. We cannot picture the dreary, disconsolate life they led. Five of the heroic band lost their lives by shipwreck; the balance apparently doomed to death by starvation and exposure. They were finally taken off the island by French fruiting vessels and conveyed to Tahiti, which is in the main course of vessels to the Sandwich Islands.

President S. S. Smith of Colorado, now dead, told me of the arrival of Brother Charles Logie and his wife at Honolulu and of their sad experiences on this voyage. In due time they arrived in San Francisco. Leaving San Francisco they arrived in Carson City, Nevada, living there a short time; from thence moving to Lehi, going from Lehi to Provo Valley, living a short time in Midway; thence to American Fork, where meeting their old friends, Brother and Sister Evans and Brother John S. Eldridge, they felt that they would settle down in peace and make their lifetime home in this city.

How much could be said of such lives, vicissitudes, trials, poverty, everything to endure to discourage and dishearten and through it all, her hope and courage predominated, and now they have both gone to their eternal rest and reward. such lives are but lessons, faithful lessons to those who remain giving strength to the weak vicissitudes encouragement to all.

Sister Logie was the mother of twelve children, and this alone it seems to me, entitles her to a crown of glory. There are nine living children as follows:

Sister Annie L. Clark, Charles J. Logie, Mrs. Rosa L. Bennett, Mrs. Eliz L. Bennett, Mrs. Elizabeth Atkins, Walter Logie, Mrs Elenore Gaisford and the Misses Georgina and Beatrice Logie.

She leaves twenty- nine grandchildren and twenty- two great grandchildren.

Posted 16 August 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog