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New Records on FamilySearch: Week of April 23, 2018

FamilySearch - 3 hours 58 min ago

New archived records from around the world are published on FamilySearch every week to help you find your ancestors. This week, the new additions include more than 1.6 million records from Brazil, 660,000 images from Florida, plus records from Peru, Washington, North Carolina, South Africa, Massachusetts, Denmark, Italy, and obituaries of Germans from Russia in the U.S.

See the official announcement to learn more or search these new free records:

New Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of April 23, 2018

Over 6 billion searchable historic records are available from around the world on FamilySearch.org. Records are published with the help of thousands of volunteer indexers who transcribe digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. To help make more historical records from the world’s archives available online, volunteer with FamilySearch Indexing.


Sergeant Stubby: Famous World War I Military Dog

FamilySearch - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 11:05

Sergeant Stubby was one of the most famous World War I military dogs. His valiant service on the battlefields of France proved that war heroes can come in many shapes and sizes. Here’s his story—and how to start exploring the stories of WWI military heroes (albeit mostly human) in your own family history.

A Stray Becomes a World War I Military Dog

In 1917, a stray bull terrier mix wandered onto a military training lot in New Haven, Connecticut. There he met Private J. Robert Conroy, a young man in whose company he would travel the world, save lives, and become famous.

Stubby, as the little dog was dubbed, quickly joined the daily routines of Private Conroy’s unit, the 26th Yankee Division of the U.S. Army’s 102nd Infantry. He entertained the soldiers with antics that included a modified salute with his paw. However, a canine couldn’t officially join their ranks. So when the Yankee Division shipped out one night, Stubby quietly hopped on the train along with them, and then, with Private Conroy’s help, stowed away on the troop transport ship.

Stubby on the Battlefield

Once the unit reached France, Stubby charmed commanding officers into letting him stay with the Yankee Division all the way to the front lines. He soon began to prove his worth on the battlefields. Distinguishing friend from foe by their familiar language and smells, Stubby alerted medics to the cries of wounded soldiers—or stayed with them until they died so they would not be left alone. He led disoriented soldiers back to the trenches. Once, Stubby himself got lost, but French troops found and returned him. When German prisoners marched through Stubby’s camp, the fierce little dog had to be restrained so he wouldn’t attack them.

With all the dangers at the front, injury was perhaps inevitable for this canine soldier. During an attack, Stubby inhaled mustard gas, which required medical treatment. Later, Stubby recognized danger during another gas attack. He roused soldiers from sleep and likely saved many lives.

His keen nose for gas paid off again when he reportedly averted an attack on a French village. Afterward, some women from the village sewed him a little chamois coat. It was hand-stitched with Stubby’s name and decorated with Allied flags. He wore it throughout the war and for the rest of his life.

Perhaps Stubby’s most distinguished act was catching a German spy by harassing and biting him until his fellow soldiers arrived and captured him. For this feat, Stubby was promoted to the honorary rank of sergeant, becoming the first dog to receive a rank in the U.S. armed forces.

One day, during a grenade attack at Chateau-Thierry, Stubby took shrapnel in his chest and in one leg. Private Conroy carried his canine companion to a field hospital. Stubby needed surgery and a month’s recovery. But even during his convalescence, he lifted the spirits of the wounded. And then he returned to the Yankee Division, to the joy of both men and dog.

Stubby Receives a Hero’s Welcome

After 18 months of service, Stubby completed his tour of duty. During a victory parade in France, he saluted President Woodrow Wilson. Back home, he received a Humane Society medal from General John J. Pershing, the commanding general of the United States Armies. The famous dog visited the White House and eventually met both Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. He marched in more parades, became a lifetime member of the American Legion, and even joined famed actress Mary Pickford in a vaudeville act.

Eventually, post-war life moved on for Conroy and Stubby. Conroy enrolled in law school at Georgetown University. Stubby came along and became one of the school’s first mascots.

In 1926, Stubby died of old age in Conroy’s arms. He had become perhaps the most famous of World War I military dogs. His obituary ran in several newspapers. And the soldiers with whom he served—especially Conroy—remembered him with love and gratitude for the rest of their lives.

Learn about More World War I Military Heroes

Who were the World War I servicemen in your family? Discover your ancestors in FamilySearch World War I records. Do you have World War I (or any other) stories, photos or documents to share? Share them on the always-free-for-everyone FamilySearch Memories.

 

Sources Consulted

“Object: Stubby” in “The Price of Freedom: Americans at War” online exhibition catalog, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, accessed 13 April 2018.

Bausum, Ann, Sergeant Stubby: How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Books, 2015.

Golden, Kathleen, “Stubby: Dog, Hoya mascot and war hero,” O Say Can You See: Stories from the [Smitshsonian] National Museum of American History, 23 May, 2011. Accessed 13 April 2018.

Kelly, C. Brian and Ingrid Smyer, “Sgt. Stubby,” The American Legion, 19 Feb 2015, accessed 14 April 2018.

 

About the Author

Sunny Morton is an internationally-known, award-winning writer, editor and speaker for the multibillion-dollar genealogy industry. Her voice is heard on the Genealogy Gems Podcast, which has more than 2.5 million downloads worldwide. She is a contributing editor at Family Tree Magazine and the NGS-award-winning coeditor of Ohio Genealogy News. She has been a popular speaker at events across the country, including RootsTech. Sunny is especially known for expertise in tracing U.S. ancestors; unique comparisons of the industry’s leading websites; and inspiring presentations on how to reconstruct meaningful stories from genealogy records.

 


New Records on FamilySearch: Week of April 16, 2018

FamilySearch - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 15:05

New archived records from around the world are published on FamilySearch every week to help you find your ancestors. This week, the new additions include almost 3.5 million records from Oklahoma, 1.5 million from Germany and more from Quebec, Italy, Lesotho, Ireland, Peru, Georgia, Texas, Costa Rica, and Poland.

See the official announcement to learn more or search these new free records:

New Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of April 16, 2018

Over 6 billion searchable historic records are available from around the world on FamilySearch.org. Records are published with the help of thousands of volunteer indexers who transcribe digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. To help make more historical records from the world’s archives available online, volunteer with FamilySearch Indexing.


#52Stories for Families

FamilySearch - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 16:22

If you’ve used #52Stories to write your personal history, try #52Stories for families to help you record your family’s story, one question at a time. These weekly questions will get the conversation going so you and your family can discuss and preserve your most precious memories. At the end of the year, you’ll have a collection of the stories that have shaped your family and strengthened your relationships.

How to use these questions

Ask your family members one question each week for a year. Or pick your 12 favorite questions and ask just one per month.

You can pose each question while gathered all together, or you can send it out by email or text. Visit the #52Stories Printables page to find shareable images to send to your family or to post on social media.

While these questions as written pertain mostly to your family of origin, you can adapt them to capture family stories from your current perspective as a parent or grandparent.

No matter how you approach it, #52Stories for families is a great way to gather multiple perspectives as you collect and record family memories. Bonus: you may also find yourself strengthening generational bonds and forging a strong family identity.

  1. What are some of your family’s greatest accomplishments—things you worked together to achieve?
  2. What family goals are or were you forever setting, whether or not you actually achieved them?
  3. What are the biggest obstacles you’ve overcome together as a family?
  4. What are some crises, natural disasters, or other tragedies that you had to pull together to get through?
  5. What are the parameters that define “success” in your family, whether financial, occupational, educational, religious, familial, etc.?
  6. What are some of the inside jokes that no one outside your family understands?
  7. What fictional family—anywhere in books, movies, or television—most closely resembles your family and why?
  8. What movies or books are frequently talked about or quoted in your family?
  9. How does your family tend to show their love for one another—perhaps through acts of service, gifts, saying it out loud, humor, hugs and physical affection, etc.?
  10. What are some of the physical traits that make it obvious your family members are all related to one another?
  11. What are some of the personality traits that run in your family—quiet, loud, adventurous, reserved, hilarious, serious, courageous, cautious, faithful, skeptical, fun-loving, hard-working, etc.
  12. Are there any occupations that have run in your family for generations?
  13. Are there any hobbies or common interests that run in your family?
  14. What are the most common pastimes that your family enjoys together—sports, outdoor activities, board games, music, plays, movies, cooking, swapping stories?
  15. What songs would be on your family’s soundtrack—the songs that everyone knows the words to?
  16. What meals would be in your family’s cookbook—the foods that make you feel nostalgic for your childhood or for home?
  17. What are some of the meals and cooking traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation?
  18. Which of your maternal grandmother’s physical and personality traits can you identify in her children and grandchildren?
  19. Which of your maternal grandfather’s physical and personality traits can you identify in his children and grandchildren?
  20. Which of your paternal grandmother’s physical and personality traits can you identify in her children and grandchildren?
  21. Which of your paternal grandfather’s physical and personality traits can you identify in his children and grandchildren?
  22. What old family stories are most often told at family gatherings?
  23. What are some of the quotes, proverbs, sayings, or aphorisms your family members repeat often?
  24. What are some unique colloquialisms, phrases, made-up words, and mispronunciations your family is known for?
  25. What are some of your family’s core values?
  26. As you’ve looked at your family compared to other families, what makes yours unique, different, or special?
  27. Does your family have deep roots in a particular place? How has that place impacted your family story?
  28. How many different cities or towns has your family called home?
  29. What other families have been particularly influential to your family—cousins, friends, neighbors, in-laws?
  30. What was your family’s most frequent vacation destination?
  31. What are the most memorable vacations your family has ever taken together?
  32. Who are some of the nonrelatives who have played a significant role in your family memories—neighbors, teachers, religious leaders, coaches, community leaders?
  33. Who are some of the most interesting characters you know about from your family history?
  34. How has military service or involvement in foreign wars affected your family dynamics, past and present?
  35. What are some of the major life events that pushed your family in a new direction and brought you where you are today?
  36. What are some of the historical events (wars, emigration, natural disasters, etc.) that have had a significant impact on your family history?
  37. How has faith played a role in your family history? What religious traditions influenced your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and beyond?
  38. What traditions did your family observe around Christmastime?
  39. What traditions and rituals do you remember surrounding the start of a new school year?

  40. What were some of your family’s birthday and anniversary traditions?
  41. Did your family celebrate any obscure holidays or cultural traditions?
  42. What are the heirlooms, objects, and keepsakes that hold special meaning for your family?
  43. Does your family have any specific traditions for funerals, Memorial Day, or otherwise commemorating loved ones who have passed on?
  44. What are some of the names that have been passed down through multiple generations of your family?
  45. Does your family follow any unique naming conventions, such as being called by a middle name, naming children after ancestors, inventing completely unique names, having all names start with the same letter, etc.?
  46. What are some of the most unique names that can be found in your family tree? (Try Baby Ancestry to find out.)
  47. Who are the most famous ancestors that can be found in your family tree? (Try Relative Finder to find out.)
  48. What are some of the charitable, political, or environmental causes your family fought for, donated to, volunteered for, or continue to support?
  49. What makes your family laugh? Share some of the funniest stories or events that bring a smile to everyone’s faces.
  50. Thinking of your family of origin, what were the differences between your dad’s side of the family and your mom’s side that had to be reconciled within your nuclear family? (Affluent vs. middle class, reserved vs. outgoing, religious vs. secular, Republican vs. Democrat, etc.)
  51. Fill in the blank with as many different words as you can: “We come from a long line of ______________________.”
  52. What are the values that you hope to see passed down to future generations of your family?

 

Why Your Story Matters Free Printables and Downloads 18 Writing
Tips
Weekly Questions

 


New Calling Information Available for Temple and Family History Consultants

FamilySearch - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 17:23

During the Family History Leadership Session at RootsTech 2018, Elder Bradley D. Foster, General Authority Seventy and Executive Director of the Family History Department, invited each temple and family history consultant to “go to the many resources on FamilySearch.org” to get help as each strives to minister one by one to those they are called to serve.

One of those many resources is a new “Learn about My Calling” page now available on FamilySearch.

This page highlights the three most important things to learn and do in your calling as a temple and family history consultant:

  1. Learn from the prophets and apostles.
  2. Have a personalized family history experience.
  3. Learn how to help others using key principles.

In conjunction with this page, newly called temple and family history consultants will receive emails inviting them to visit this page and contact the right helper, who can guide them in learning their calling.

Area and stake temple and family history consultants will also receive an email informing them when a new consultant has been called and how to contact him or her to provide the training the new consultant will need to help others.

Throughout this page and these emails, you will find inspirational videos and specific instructions that will help you to minister to others, one by one, as the Savior did. These resources, when used with prayer and guidance from the Holy Ghost, will assist you in helping others discover, gather, and connect with their families. Visit the Learn about My Calling page today to learn more.

 


RootsTech 2018 Access and Preservation Day

FamilySearch - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 16:36

A host of family information is stored in valuable photos, books, newspapers, records, and more that are at risk of being lost. Efforts to preserve and digitally store these resources can save family histories for future generations.

Access and Preservation Day at RootsTech 2018 was a great opportunity to hear from some industry leaders who are taking important steps in preserving valuable information. Read from the highlights below to learn how certain organizations and libraries, such as the Internet Archive and the Allen County Public Library, are working to do just that. Find out how you can participate as well as access the irreplaceable digital archives they’ve preserved in the name of genealogy.

As Curt Witcher said, “As librarians and archivists, we are curating the stories of our lives.”

Preserving Digital Memories

The Future of Digital Libraries

Digital Asset Management

 


New Records on FamilySearch: Week of April 9, 2018

FamilySearch - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 15:38

New archived records from around the world are published on FamilySearch every week to help you find your ancestors. This week, over 2.5 million new church and civil records are available from Brittany, France and more from Peru, Ecuador, Sweden, Germany, Chile, the Netherlands, and Ukraine.

See the official announcement to learn more or search these new free records:

Over 6 billion searchable historic records are available from around the world on FamilySearch.org. Records are published with the help of thousands of volunteer indexers who transcribe digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. To help make more historical records from the world’s archives available online, volunteer with FamilySearch Indexing.


New Records on FamilySearch: Week of April 2, 2018

FamilySearch - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 15:45

New archived records from around the world are published on FamilySearch every week to help you find your ancestors. This week, nearly 8 million new records are available from France and more from Sweden, Austria, Montana, Pennsylvania, Luxembourg, and the Czech Republic.

See the official announcement to learn more or search these new free records:

This week’s newly published records include the following locations or collections:

  • Austria
  • BillionGraves
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Find a Grave
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Luxembourg
  • Montana
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Sweden

Over 6 billion searchable historic records are available from around the world on FamilySearch.org. Records are published with the help of thousands of volunteer indexers who transcribe digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. To help make more historical records from the world’s archives available online, volunteer with FamilySearch Indexing.